Exegesis Volume 07 Issue #022

In This Issue:

From: "Roger L. Satterlee"
Subject: [e] Re: exegesis Digest V7 #21

Exegesis Digest Sat, 09 Feb 2002

From: "Roger L. Satterlee"
Subject: [e] Re: exegesis Digest V7 #21
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2002 20:20:41 -0500

Original Message

From: "Listar"
To: "exegesis digest users" Sent: Saturday, February 09, 2002 2:00 AM
Subject: exegesis Digest V7 #21

 > >exegesis Digest Fri, 08 Feb 2002 Volume: 07 Issue: 021
 > >
 > >In This Issue:
 > >#1: From: L:Smerillo
 > >Subject: [e] Re: exegesis Digest V7 #20
 > >
 > >----------------------------------------------------------------------
 > >
 > >Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2002 11:17:20 +0100
 > >From: L:Smerillo
 > >Subject: [e] Re: exegesis Digest V7 #20
 > >
 > >RE: Dennis Frank's questions about symbols and archetypes.
 > >
 > >I think a symbol is a symbol because someone made it a symbol. It is a
 > >'throwing together' ( >Gk. sum + bollein) between two disparate objects.
 > >A rose-shaped design can be a synmbol for the sun. But the sun is not a
 > >symbol because nobody put it there.
 > >
 > >On Jung's concept of archetypes, see his-- with Carl Ker/enyi, _Essays
 > >on a Science of Mythology, The myth of the Divine Child and the
 > >Mysteries of Eleusis_ Princeton, Bollingen Series XXI, 1949 rep1959,
 > >1963,1973 (original ed. 1941 Zurich), page 92, where he gives something
 > >of a definition of the term, but also uses the word symbol (unless this
 > >is due to the translator):
 > >
 > >"The deeper 'layers' of the psyche lose their individual uniqueness as
 > >they retreat farther and farther into darkness. 'Lower down,' that is to
 > >sayas they approach the autonomous functional systems, they become
 > >increasingly collective until they are universalized and extinguished in
 > >the body's materiality, ie, in chemical substances. The body's carbon is
 > >simply carbon. Hence 'at bottom' the psyche is simply the 'world.' In
 > >this sense I hold Ker/enyi to be absolutely right when he say that in
 > >the symbol _the world itself_ is speaking. The more archaic and
 > >'deeper,' that is the more _physiological_, the symbol is, the more
 > >collective and universal, the more 'material' it is. The more abstract,
 > >differentiated, and specific it si, the more its nature approximates to
 > >conscious uniqueness and individuality, the more it sloughs off its
 > >universal character. Having finally attained full consciousness, it runs
 > >the the risk of becoming a mere allegory, which nowhere oversteps the
 > >bounds of conscious comprehension, and is then exposed to all sorts of
 > >attempts at rationalistic and therefore inadequate explanation."
 > >
 > >That is what annoys me about Jung, he says the answer is both yes and no
 > >_and_ either and both and 'or': rather like the young Jesuit at his
 > >final exams at the Gregoriana, when asked to state clearly his opinion
 > >on a dangerous theological point, and as the exam was in Latin the
 > >question was 'sic vel non?' (yes or no), he replied, 'vel...'
 > >
 > >
 > >feliciter,
 > >
 > >Lorenzo Smerillo
 > >
 > >

I am guilty of accusing Jung's of hedging, being vague, and even imitating the style of a lily livered academic bureaucrat; but the older I get, the more I like him...:) The passage above seems pretty clear and to me, and I don't quite understand your disappointment in this particular explanation/definition. I do respect a certain unknowable difference between the "consciousness" of the psyche and the conscious activities of an individual's mind. I'm fairly certain the psyche of individual's was engaged in life enriching and life sustaining symbolic activities at a time when men had a vocabulary we could only describe as grunts and gestures. The "thinking" activity of both man and animal (perhaps of rocks as well) seems likely to be quite autonomic, hence the too common notion that God (whatever) is busy doing all the "thinking" and choosing. The fact that we have a tendency to interpret symbols in a much too cultural and or too personal manner would seem to leave us unable to ...well..., to intelligently speak for the psyche--to properly name the characters of its incoming symbolic data, or to list the exact motivations these "symbols" may give rise to at any given time. I think I dimly see the psyche as being involved in some form of spiritual autonomic homeostasis. In many ways I see the psyche as being very much a blind and mute poet who usually manages to respond to life's circumstances miraculously well. Unlike me, it behaves almost as if it knew what is was it was doing..:) Much to the chagrin of Jung, I'm sure, I have very non-Jungian thoughts about something I can only call the *individual psyche*--the spiritual native of the birth chart. My idea of the personal psyche is not that of a well trained collective creature...:) I do suffer from the usual Western schismatic notion of a separation, a distance of some sort, between mind and soul. However, my individual psyche is like a bridge spanning this ethereal plain--this no man's land where angels apparently fear to tread...:) This bridge between the state of eternal omnipotence and the finite, temporarily do-able, human existence is built by individual effort from the available spiritual materials, it serves dutifully in all kinds of weather, but eventually exhausts the potentials of the inherited structural materials, or suffers from poor maintenance and, is no more.



End of exegesis Digest V7 #22

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