Jung’s Map of The Soul And Sam Harris’s Free Will Claims
As covered in the last post, the book (MOTS from here on), covers a bunch of topics and concepts aimed at explaining the parts of the psyche. I only want to focus on the terms and concepts to paint an argument to how Sam Harris’s free will claims miss a huge and very important point.
We would do well by defining the term psyche itself. And I will use the terms first to explain the current term being explained and then move on to explain the previously used terms. Most of these are already used in common parlance anyway but its good to go over them again.
This is your internal life.
It’s easier to explain this in terms of what it is just not. You might think of it as the mind, or the conscious experience, but Jung defines those as just parts of the psyche.
So in all the psyche contains — consciousness, unconsciousness(has two parts – personal and collective), self, shadow, anima/animus.
And that’s what the book is trying to do — explain the psyche in parts and how they work together as the whole.
This the part of the psyche you have direct access to, the “you” here is the “I”-ness you feel in every waking moment.
Consciousness is explained better along with the ego, which is next.
The I-ness you feel at any given moment is the ego which is in charge. It takes the central place in consciousness and has access to objects in consciousness — these are mostly thoughts, feelings, emotions.
You can take a note of your ego and the consciousness surrounding it right now. Try to remember what you had for lunch yesterday and you will find yourself searching your memory for it, which is then retrieved into consciousness where “you” ( the ego) then get it.
There are parts to this, the personal and the collective.
For this discussion, understanding the personal unconsciousness is enough.
It is a place where all the repressed memories, thoughts, feelings live. The repression goes back to early childhood and it continues throughout one’s lifetime. Most of these are negative experiences, unmet needs and desires, the adjustments one has to make, and instincts and wishes sacrificed to better fit into human society.
These repressed emotions and experiences are what then gives rise and triggers complexes throughout one’s lifetime.
A complex as Jung defines is a collection of memories, thoughts, feelings, experiences bound together by emotions.
Complexes rise from within the unconscious and bleed into consciousness where they disturb the ego-consciousness. When in the grips of a complex the person’s ego-consciousness is no longer in complete control, the person falls into an automatic state of behavior. The person after a while when out of the complex’s grip looks back on the episode and asks himself ” I don’t what got over me!”.
In the olden days, this was usually referred to as possession.
The triggering of complexes is a complex phenomenon. Jung used word experiments to bring them out, you are asked a word and you have to say out loud the first thing which pops into your head — thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc. brought about by the word.
In Our Times
In our own time, we have renamed this grip of the complex in other ways a prime e.g. is procrastination, and so on.
You make plans, write to-do lists, meditate, organize your files and folders, and do project planners. You plan to wake up and study for 3 hours and then you find yourself 3 hours later still on youtube, Netflix, IG, and on your mobile phone texting.
The Role of Free Will
Jung writes about a strong ego-consciousness
An ego that has achieved autonomy in childhood feels also that
consciousness can be harnessed and directed at will. The guardedness
characteristic of the overly anxious person is an indication that the ego has not
fully achieved this level of confident autonomy. More openness and flexibility
is possible when the ego has acquired a degree of control sufficient to insure
survival and basic need-gratification.
“harness consciousness”. . This is the ability to do things when you want to do them and not do things that you do not want to.
Is it possible that you are in the grip of a complex when you are experiencing a weak free will?
Sam Is Not A Psychologist
This is a problem in general with internet fame, or I guess with fame in general!
Look at all these f***ing celebs taking stances on politics and social issues — not that they shouldn’t but when all of them have nothing better to say than just go on with the cultural left just agreeing with all their friends in the media who come from journalism schools, brainwashed by academia, you know something is up.
Once you have a big enough microphone you just feel like you can throw out your ideas on everything. And SH is even more closer to all this, he already has degrees in neuro and whatnot, so no wonder he completely feels at home making a big announcement about the nature of free will, will power and habits, brain function yadayada. Heck Bill Burr feels he’s qualified to do it so why wouldn’t Sam?
Listen to bill burr here telling a guy to eat well, workout and get it right ..right after the reading the guy’s email telling bill that he can’t, he CANNOT and is UNABLE to do those THINGS. I mean god, who doesn’t know or get it that one should eat well, not drink too much, sleep 8 hours, and yet at the end of it that’s the advice from bill, a F**ing NIKE tagline — Just do it brah!
And we buy all of this and listen to it and one even blinks twice because how many care about psychology now? We care about self-help, which is what we think is psychology but how many of us or guys like bill and sam, really sit down care about psychology as JUNG did? The man created an entire field from reading about myths, religion, science, experiments, alchemy, dreams, Latin, history, and now for the most part mainstream self-help as completely sided him out in favor of – “just get disciplined man”, “eat healthy”.
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