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The Unconscious in Its Empirical Manifestations
C. A. Meier

Volume One, The Psychology of C. G. Jung
With Special Reference to the Association Experiment of C. G. Jung
Published by SIGO Press, Boston in 1984
A Book Review by Bobby Matherne ©2000


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It is rare to find an error in the second sentence of a book especially by one so literate as C. A. Meier, but alas, if you read enough books, it will happen. From the Foreword:

[page ix] Only gods are born miraculously full-grown from trees, mountains or the head of Zeus. Every science possesses its own phylogeny and ontology (sic), just as it possesses its own postulates and its own conclusions. We epigones are therefore only deceiving ourselves if we disregard the position of a school or doctrine in the history of thought or the personal history and development of its founder. If we do so, our assimilation of our subject will remain, as it were, at the epiphenomenal level.

The problem is the word ontology should be ontogeny. Ontology is the science of being, while ontogeny is the systematic development of an organism or organization. A science develops phylogenetically as physics originated as an offshoot of philosophy. Physics developed ontogenetically with each major advance in knowledge from Aristotle to Galileo to Newton to Einstein to Heisenberg. On with the ontogeny aspects of Jung's psychology. But first, let us take a look at what a detractor has to say about Jung's approach to psychic realities. Robert Sardello writes, in his polemical attack on Jung, that one must learn the "difference between one's own inner life and the experience of the objective spiritual world." [from his Foreword to Rudolf Steiner's book Freud, Jung, & Spiritual Psychology]

[page 16] Avoiding this crucial difference leads on the one hand to the confused mysticism of Jung, and on the other to modern psychologists such as R. D. Laing who approach schizophrenia as if it were spiritual experience. The first reduces spiritual experience to subjective psychology; the second enlarges subjective experience beyond its proper domain. Only the spiritual cognition of the life of the soul can produce the kind of knowledge that avoids such confusions a knowledge of the difference between soul that is self-enclosed and soul that is permeated with and radiates into the objective spiritual world, the difference between subconsciousness and supra-consciousness. One might think that Jung made this distinction, that he recognized the supra-conscious realm with his more mystical investigations of the archetype of the Self.

Here's Jung's program for his own work as a lecturer in his field as provided by Meier in his Foreword:

[page x] The treatment of psychology should in general be characterized by the principle of universality. No special theory or special subject should be propounded, but psychology should be taught in its biological, ethnological, medical, philosophical, cultural-historical and religious aspects.

The aim of this stipulation is to liberate our teaching about the human soul from the narrowing effects of specialization, and to give the student who is burdened by his specialist studies an overall breadth of view and a summary grasp of the whole field which will make it possible for him to achieve an orientation in spheres of life for which his specialist training does not prepare him. It is the aim of these lectures to offer the student, within the broad framework of general psychology, an opportunity to acquire psychic cultivation.

While, I must admit, Jung did not specify that "psychic cultivation" means coming to a realization of the "difference between one's own inner life and the experience of the objective spiritual world," Carl Gustav Jung exemplified in his life the qualities of a person who eventually came to perceive an objective spiritual reality. When asked in a filmed interview if he believed in God, his answer was unquestionably that of a person who perceives spiritual reality. Here's a poem I wrote after viewing that film of his interview. [from my poem Face to Face in my book of poetry Flowers of ShanidarCopyright 1990]

His eyes twinkling in black and white
His voice a raspy roar
Over the projector's clatter.
A fuzzy ghost speaks from the screen
"I do not believe, I know."

This was the elder Jung speaking these words with a conviction that belied any claim that he propounded a "confused mysticism." Throughout his life he spoke his truth in the words of a scientist who wished to remain within the materialistic establishment while opening a window out into the spiritual world for those inside to see. Recently I came upon someone who claimed that Jung in his later years told his friends in private something that he had not dared to write publically: that his "archetypes were actually spiritual beings." To say that Jung "reduced spiritual experience to subjective psychology" is a mean-spirited skewering of what he did Jung researched spiritual realities and wrote cogently in the words of establishment scientists to get his ideas accepted, and was very successful in doing that. He produced a psychology that is based on his own spiritual experiences and got his resultant psychology accepted by otherwise materialistic psychologists and psychiatrists. To call Jung's early seeking for spiritual realities a "confused mysticism" is to ignore the ontogenetic development of Jung's psychology in the course of his long lifetime. As Meier points out, "Jung himself never produced a systematic treatment of his own work." In fact, in another interview, Jung said that he could never be a Jungian. Most of the objections to Jung's work are better directed at the systematic treatment others made of Jung's work, not the man himself.

Robert Sardello, James Hillman, and other would-be debunkers of Jung are like the "scholarly wasps" in this quote by Wieland that Meier gives us on page xiv, "He that has dared to break new ground / a nest of scholarly wasps has found." The scholarly wasps perceive a tangled web when they try to un-deceive themselves from the teachings of Jung. They have tried to do something Jung admitted he would not do, i.e., become a Jungian, and they have failed. And they take their failure as indicative of some failing in Jung himself. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man." Let the de-bunkers of Jung be aware that they are only stepping on the shadow of the man.

Meier opens his chapter Creative Effects of the Unconscious by recalling how the ancients thanked the gods for their creative ideas. Note how Meier's lack of understanding of the evolution of consciousness leads him to call the reality of the ancients an attitude:

[page 10] An attitude of this kind had in fact been traditional since the earliest days of Greek poetry. The poet would invoke the muse for inspiration; and he would also thank her. I need only recall the poet's invocation of the Muse in the opening lines of the Odyssey: "Tell me, O Muse, the tale of the man of many wanderings. . . ."

This is a common failing today, and it is based on a projection back in time of attitudes of consciousness that exist today, but did not exist in the earlier times under consideration. The very idea that traditions could be based on attitudes without the attitudes resulting from some pre-existing reality seems fantastic to me. What was traditional was not an attitude, but the reality of humans with the quotidian ability to perceive the spiritual world directly. Thus, we can see that the gibes Sardello intends for Jung are better applied to Meier and other Jungians who do not perceive the spiritual world directly and blithely project their handicap on the rest of humanity going back to the earliest historical times.

If we examine what Meier says about medicine in antiquity in Chapter 5 Soul and Body we find more evidence for the reality of the ancients directly experiencing spiritual beings and calling on their help with their illnesses. "Theurgy" is the proper word for such a process of urging the gods for help in one's illness. Meier says, "This theurgic medicine had entered so deeply into the bloodstream of the ancient physicians that they never forgot the psychic factor in the healing process." (Page 152) To "get into the bloodstream" there must have been a reality of communication with the gods that infused the daily lives of the ancients, a reality that we have forgotten, and, in our collective amnesia, we presuppose that it never existed, up until now.

Meier translates a quotation from Constantinus Africanus which illustrates an early knowledge of the psychogenesis of illnesses: "The soul follows the body in its activities, the body the soul in its symptoms." When one allows oneself to be led by one's soul, health is the natural result; when one resists being led by one's soul, illness is the natural result.

In the next passage we will see how a Jungian analyst interprets the spiritual experience of the Christ Being in the Sun as a projection of "regressed libido" energy. Meier says that Robert Mayer's development of the law of conservation of energy was due to an archetypal image, the very kind of images which Jung himself in his later life came to understand were actual spiritual beings. Here we may see clearly how the very attitudes of the materialistic scientists create the very reality they purport to perceive. In Thomas Kuhn's terminology, they are blinded by their own paradigm.

[page 32] As usually happens in such cases , the image activated by the regression of the libido had a fascinating effect upon Mayer. It appeared to him in projected form in the heavens; he was fascinated by the sun as a center of energy. Whenever a fascination of this kinds occurs, we take it that a primordial image, or in Jung's terminology an archetypal image, is at work. Once such an image has been activated, it will obtrude itself upon the conscious mind with elemental power.

Like Jung had to do with his ideas to get them accepted by the scientific establishment, Robert Mayer had to fashion his spiritual insights into the accepted terminology of his time.

[page 33] There is no doubt that these studies and the new wording of his paper, which was more adequate to the level of knowledge in physics at that period, represented a tremendous achievement in terms of Mayer's work on himself. To a considerable extent he had succeeded in objectivizing the original, largely subjective content of his idea and had transformed it in such a way that it constitutes a universally valid truth. It is, in fact, nothing less that the First Law of Thermodynamics. Not only did he give the world a great new idea, which secured his fame alike as a genius and an enricher of civilization; he had also, at the same time, redeemed his own soul.

The story of Mayer's primordial image leads Meier to give us a succinct definition of a symbol. A symbol is "an image of a psychological state of affairs which could not be better or more completely expressed in any other way than by this precise image." One such symbol for me is what I call the Soul Captain. This unconscious part of our psyche leads us on paths that we follow willingly, but drags us on paths that we resist following. On page 39, Meier says, "it seems as if the unconscious behaves well when we are friendly towards it." In other words, when we allow ourselves to be led by our Soul Captain, we are being friendly to it, and it leads us without any problems; if not, the Soul Captain drags us against our will, not a friendly act. Subjectively we perceive such times as if all the forces of the universe were conspiring to make us do something we don't wish to do or to prevent us from doing something we wish to do. If we were to suddenly change our "wishes," we would immediately experience relief and unleash enormous energies to the completion of the activity we sought so hard to avoid. I often think of giving "Want Development Seminars" to teach people how much energy they can release in their lives simply by changing the things they want to do to make them align with what they are already doing in their lives.

I had an object lesson in this process in December 1999 when a long planned trip got cancelled at the last moment. I had just read the following passage by Meier a week before.

[page 62, 63] The proverbial expression Un Romain retournerait ("A Roman would turn back.") has a psychological meaning. It implies that anyone who leaves his house intent on some specific project and then stumbles over the threshold must have inner resistances against the plan he has in mind and would be better advised to return home and sleep once more upon his project.

On the night before we were to set out on a Christmas trip to northern Michigan, a friend called to tell us that his wife had been hospitalized due to chest pains and he didn't know for sure if she would be home by the next day when we were due to arrive at their place. So far the tests on her heart showed it okay, he related to me, but they were running more tests. She might be released tomorrow, he just didn't know yet. I got her phone number at the hospital and told him we were coming anyway. Del thought it better we not stay with them, and I suggested we wait and see. In the back of mind, I was thinking about the old proverb above. I looked it up and found right below the proverb a passage from "Seneca" whose last line was strikingly similar to Matherne's Rule #28: "The Soul Captain leads the willing and drags the unwilling."

[page 63] O Father and Ruler of Heaven, do Thou guide me
Where e'r Thou willest: I will gladly follow.
Did I not so, with groans I'd have to follow
And suffer as evil what I could have accepted as good.
Fate leads the willing, drags the unwilling, man.

In this case Fate (my Soul Captain) seemed be leading me to stay at home, so when I got in bed before going to sleep, I asked my Soul Captain to give me an unambiguous sign before we left in the morning whether we should proceed as planned on our Christmas Odyssey. When the alarm went off, as I struggled to get out of bed, I felt woozy, with a touch of vertigo as I did during my bout with sinusitis seven years earlier. I sat on the side of the bed and as I rose to stand up, it was as though a giant hand pushed me back onto the bed. Stunned, I lay back down in bed and realized that the message, the signal that I had asked for, had come to me in no uncertain terms. Not only did I get the message, but it came in such a fashion that I couldn't leave if I wanted to. Braving the cold and snow of the north country was daunting enough when I was feeling perfectly well, as I was just last evening, but there was no way I was going to proceed on this trip feeling unfit as I did lying in bed this morning. I woke Del to tell her what the problem was and that we were not going. At that point, I felt mostly relief rather than disappointment.

To be healthy one must find a healthy balance between enacting a plan regardless of the consequences versus changing plans at the slightest whim or indication.

[page 130] Sooner or later, onesidedness of any kind will inevitably be compensated by a reaction from the unconscious which will take the form of resistance against the onesidedness.

This process of compensation may remain within the bounds of normality; but a person who is mentally unbalanced will try to defend himself against his unconscious and will therefore refuse to accept its compensatory significance. By so doing, he will fatally reinforce his onesidedness; in other words, he will miss the opportunity offered him by the healing intention behind the manifestations of his unconscious. As a result, the pressure from the unconscious will be intensified; its contents will appear even more distorted, and the forms in which they become audible and visible will become increasingly bizarre. Since the material we are dealing with is derived from the unconscious, its language will be peculiar in any case; however, owing to the resistance of the conscious mind, it will become even weirder than before.

Even as early as 1919 Jung attacked those materialistic physicians who saw only physical causes in mental illness.

[page 130, 131] He maintained that doctors were hypnotized by their belief in physical causation, since they only saw the worst cases in the mental hospitals -- cases that could accounted for largely as the terminal states of prolonged hospitalization. Doctors and psychiatrists have practically no opportunities following the gradual process of the development of the pre-psychotics states in such patients.

Pre-psychotic states are those activated by complexes and they can lead us into such primitive behaviors as projection. The historical expression for the process of projection is "kill the messenger." A friend of mine cut down a tree in the front yard of a house that he and his wife had purchased from her parents some eleven years earlier. He had wanted to remove the tree shortly after they bought the house, but his father-in-law explained that it shaded the front of the house in the evening sunset, so he allowed the tree to stand. Eleven years later, he realized that the tree did not shade the house, and he had the tree removed, stump and all. His father-in-law was furious and accused him of cutting down the tree to spite him. The clue to the origin of the anger became clear only when he discovered that the tree had come from the yard of his father-in-law's mother. His father-in-law was eighty-two, in frail health, and the removal of the tree that came from his mother reminded him unconsciously, served as a symbol for, the removal of something else that came from his mother: himself. The tree was shading him in the sunset of his life. He did not want to be cut down and obliterated from the face of the earth as his tree had been. Here's how Meier describes the process that father-in-law went through.

[page 162] We become subjective and "personal" because an objective attitude would demand a form of mental superiority which the excitation of the complex has made impossible for us.

Seen in this light, the complex is precisely an area of inadequate adaptation to reality, and in psychological terms this is simply equivalent to a specific unawareness of embarrassing weakness. And at this point the "trouble-maker" who has touched us on the "sore spot" (in the association experiment this is of course the experimenter), becomes an antagonist and is made responsible for our failure.

Meier devotes all of Chapter 4 from page 65 to page 149 to The Association Experiment as Developed by C. G. Jung, which first began as word association lists with stopwatch timing of the responses by the experimenter. Those words that caused a slight delay in response were loaded words indicative of complex-laden affect. Thus the experimenter would become privy to the deepest secrets of the person being tested. With the addition of galvanic skin response recording, the technology led to the modern day polygraph used by police departments for lie detection.

The question arises as to which is correct: does an emotion come and then we notice the effects of the emotion or do the effects come and those effects comprise what we call an emotion. William James took the latter view, a view that provides substantive support for the science of doyletics.

[page 163] This inversion of the causal nexus as compared with the naive view does provide us with food for thought; for example, it tends to support the theory of emotions held by James and Lange, which states that we do not cry because we are sorry, but are sorry because we cry, angry because we strike, fearful because we tremble; i.e., that "the bodily changes follow directly the perception of the exciting fact, and that our feeling of the same changes as they occur IS the emotion." James's thesis is that the states of mind that appear in "the coarser emotions, grief, fear, rage, love" are the results of their bodily expression, and that "Without the bodily states following on the perception, the latter would be purely cognitive in form."

Using the techniques of tracing unwanted doyles, one can remove the unwanted doyles and the result is a perception that is "purely cognitive in form." [See ARJ: PANACEA! .] In fact, the essence of the tracing technique is that a bodily state (called a doyle) is converted into a cognitive memory. Doyles are stored before the brain can store cognitive memories (five years of age) and the only mechanism of storage is for the brain to store the physical body states. What is stored is the trigger stimulus and the signals required to re-create the physical body state upon demand. Later in life, whenever the trigger stimulus recurs, the brain stem in the limbic region sends out the signals to re-create the original physical body state. When one does a doyle trace, the bodily state is converted into a cognitive memory so that from then on, the presence of the trigger stimulus leads to a cognitive memory rather than the bodily states.

[page 164] The research of Pfenninger, Aptekmann and Klaesi has established that complex stimuli have a periodic function and that their physical accompaniments also wax and wane in intensity and in fact exhibit a wave-like appearance on the graphs. It looks as if an exponential function is involved here. Similar behavior has been observed in certain allergic phenomena such as, for example, insect bites, which tend to swell and itch in phases. This is a vagary of the time factor and we are still completely in the dark as to its workings.

The similarity between the nature of the complex stimuli and allergic phenomena seem to suggest that allergies are doylic in origin. In other words, the physiological phenomena known as allergies stem from some stored physical body state (doyle) before five years old that is systematically re-created in later life upon presentation of the original triggering stimulus. The original event occurred when some antigen was present in one's pre-five-year-old body and caused a physical body state associated with the antigen to be stored as a doyle. Later, as an adult, when a triggering stimilus causes a doyle to arise in one's body, the body begins a systematic attack on an offending antigen that is not present, but seems to be because of the bodily states of the doyle, and the resulting inflammation and other affects are what we call an allergy. With the advent of advanced tracing techniques it may become possible to trace and erase the doyles that lead, unchecked, to allergic responses by the body. This should be considered for a future research study in doyletics.

To summarize: much of the field of complexes and their resolution is made simpler by the new science of doyletics which provides a method for systematic removal of the affects caused by the complex. Understanding is not necessary for the removal of the doyle, but the usually employed processes of analytical psychology and psychoanalysis, to the extent that they are effective, result in the equivalent of an unconscious doyle trace. With the removal of the doyle, the patient experiences relief, and, since there was some understanding that occurred during the analysis, the understanding has been credited as the agent of relief, up until now. With the advent of doyletics, the whole area of what happens during a successful therapy session is open to completely different interpretations from now on.


Any questions about this review, Contact: Bobby Matherne



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