Monday, December 7, 2009

Jung and Mythopoetic Thought

Carl G. Jung’s ideas concerning Mythopoetic Thought contain highly significant points for anyone interested in evolution, perceptions of reality and transcendent thought.

Jung suggested that in the mind of early humanity, people didn’t differentiate wholeness into the separate constituent elements we see today when looking at the physical world. In other words, the tree was not pulled out of the landscape by the perceiving consciousness and noticed as one of many separate things in the environment. Instead, everything in the environment was viewed as one complete and undividable entity. He suggested that to understand this conceptualization of the world, one must grasp how cause and effect has refined our perceptions of reality and helped us learn to differentiate separate and distinct physical objects out from the unity which was physical reality as early humans perceived it – an un-individuated whole.

First, people realized, for instance, that fire could provide heat for warmth, and light at night, as well as aid in warding off predators. Fire was also valuable for cooking one’s food, both to purify it (by killing germs, bacteria and parasites like tapeworms) and to make it taste better. This leap had to occur in early human reasoning as a necessary step for discovering the cause and effect relationship between things in the environment and the subtle interrelationship of interaction among and between those things in that environment (including people). Once the cause and effect relationship was discovered, the mind began to differentiate the unified whole of the environment into its constituent elements. Then, for instance, one could differentiate the dead branch which could be used as kindling to build a fire and then grasp it and use it for the intended purpose.

The stage of development prior to this differentiation of thought, the sense perception of the world as being all one big thing and not an amalgamation of many things, is what Jung called Mythopoetic Thought. Though one may think of it as a primordially primitive way of looking at the world, it may be far more accurate than the fragmented view we have of what is now commonly perceived and called the physical world.

Science tells us that the universe is composed of energy and matter. Einstein discovered that energy and matter are two sides of the same coin, meaning that when energy is slowed down below light speed, it condenses into matter while matter, when accelerated to light speed evaporates into energy in much the same way heat can turn water to steam or the lack of it can cool steam into water or even ice. Thus, matter and energy are the same thing, just vibrating at different frequencies, so to speak. Science also informs us that subatomic particles cannot be said to be anywhere. Rather, they are in constant motion at the speed of light, making them essentially everywhere at all times but nowhere ever.

This understanding allows us to imagine just how incorrect the contemporary view of physical reality is. Solidity is an illusion. Things seem solid only because of probability patterns. There is more space between the constituent subatomic particles in an atom than actual matter. The reason solid things do not let other solid things pass through them is because there is a probability that enough subatomic particles will line up to prevent the things from passing through each other, not because there is real stuff there that is impenetrable, but because there will probably be enough things lining up to make the solid things seem impenetrable.

If we are all striving to regain unity with Unity, as I believe, then one of the things we must learn to do is see the world as a Unity again, and not as separate pieces of marginally related objects whose relationship is based on cause and effect when the perception of cause and effect is, itself, a fabrication of the mind to make events fit into the manner in which the brain stores information. As one strives to see the unity of all things in order to reconnect with Unity, one discovers oneself step into a larger world: microcosmic and macrocosmic perceptions dissolve, differentiations between universal and personal wither away, and connection with a grand sense of the complete interconnection of all things and beings focuses from a blur into crystal clarity. This is known as transcendental perception.


Teru Wong said...

Differences in presences (of the God and the humankind) have created religions. Worship of fire is only a reflection of scary scenes that horrified our ancestors. Some of the religions were established by both the God and us. In which, their details cannot be found. Numerous religions have a principle idea that allows people to follow. Their guidelines taught people how to behave well. Such kinds of religions are more likely to be those established by BOTH.

Shoreline Driftwood said...

Hi Teru. Thanks for commenting. The references to fire in my article have no bearing on religious worship of fire. I merely used an example of the cause and effect principle and showed how, in early humans (long before any religion existed) a shift in conscious perception occurred according to Jung. The point of this article has very little to do with religion. However, that said, there is, and can be, no tangible evidence in the existence of any god per se, nor that any god collaborated with humans on the creation of any religion. I prefer not to devolve the discussion of the material in this article to one regarding the existence of god. You can look in December of last year and find a very long article I wrote titled "On Rejecting Arguments Supporting the Existence of God if you want to have that discussion. Thanks.

Teru Wong said...

Perception of people usually depends on their experiences. Everyone is unique, but they are different in details. Experience lets them grow. Indeed, they have different views and comments toward one thing (partially due to the subjects they are majoring in). Fire is an energy. Science is a way to explain things in a logical way. As I mentioned before, “consciousness” have been solved by “how to explain sleep?” in neuroscience. (Off-topic: human beings may still be conscious for a few days after the doctors certified death. That is the real reason why organ transplant is not encouraged by Churches.) I absolutely agree with the idea that the World is a unity (as you stated above). My scientific hypothesis, “lives in different levels” is referring to the universe as a whole. However, it is completely different from deism or other theories of singularity. The universe is a unity because of lives. Lives living inside the others. A mother cell give birth to the lower levels by cell divisions. The Earth is definitely not a rock because of the first cell (that probably does not exist) did not come from the outer space. The only logical reasons account for the occurrence of lives is that the Earth herself is a biological entity. Rigidity of our technology takes time. History “tells” because time is running short.