Jung in the 21st Century Volume One: Evolution and Archetype by John Ryan Haule (Routledge) The first volume provides an original overview of Jung's work, demonstrating that it is fully compatible with contemporary views in science. It draws on a wide range of scientific disciplines including, evolution, neurobiology, primatology, archaeology and anthropology.
Divided into three parts, areas of discussion include:
Jung in the 21st Century Volume One: Evolution and Archetype, is an invaluable resource for all those in the field of analytical psychology, including students of Jung, psychoanalysts and psychotherapists with an interest in the meeting of Jung and science.
Jung in the 21st Century Volume Two: Synchronicity and Science by John Ryan Haule (Routledge) The second volume explores Jung's understanding of synchronicity and argues that it offers an important contribution to contemporary science. Whilst the scientific world has often ignored Jung's theories as being too much like mysticism, Haule argues that what the human psyche knows beyond sensory perception is extremely valuable.
Divided into two parts, areas of discussion include:
Jung in the 21st Century Volume Two Synchronicity and Science continues to be an invaluable resource for all those in the field of analytical psychology, including students of Jung, psychoanalysts and psychotherapists with an interest in the meeting of Jung and science.
Volume One: C. G. Jung has become the most beloved of the original giants of psychoanalysis in the minds of the general public, but his fate in academic circles has been much less impressive. Scientists have generally ignored his contributions, accepting the official Freudian judgment that his theories are mystical and anti-Semitic. For many decades Freud seemed to be the "scientific" psychoanalyst, and views about Jung were based less on fact than on his reputation as the Crown Prince of Psychoanalysis who strayed too far into the realm of superstition to be taken seriously.
Two developments since 1970, however, have uncovered a different and truer Jung. The first of these was Henri Ellenberger's publication in 1970 of The Discovery of the Unconscious, where Freud, Jung, Adler, and Janet were placed in historical context, and it came out that Jung had always belonged more to the French-English-Swiss-American tradition in psychology that paid attention to natural and "artificial" (i.e. hypnotic) dissociations in the human psyche. They were the so-called "French School" of psychology that Jung had always claimed to belong to, investigators who were fascinated by the discovery, first, that all of us have simultaneous conflicting subpersonalities; second, that each subpersonality lives in a different world, remembers a different past and strives for a different future; and third, that some of these subpersonalities seem capable of knowing things that appear to be impossible (telepathy, clairvoyance, etc.).
Ellenberger was a tremendous inspiration for me, and I began to study the works of Pierre Janet, Theodore Flournoy, Morton Prince and the other dissociationists (all cited by Jung) who were experimenting with hypnosis a century and more ago. New aspects of Jung's lifework opened up to me, and my concept of the psyche expanded marvelously.
Still, however, I was not sure how "scientific" any of this work was, and I remained skeptical about whether Jung's insights would ever be appreciated by the mainstream of Western thought. At that point, in the late 1990s, I became aware of the new field of Evolutionary Psychology, founded by the married couple, Leda Cosmides and John Tooby. Here were researchers who accepted Jung's view that the human psyche is the product of evolution and that something very much like the archetypes (now called "mental modules") had become the center of discussion.
Here, I thought, were people carrying on the work of Jung—even though they never mentioned his name. As I studied their work, however, I found their ideas more rigid than Jung's and a bit too dogmatic. I began reading the sources that they were citing, and a whole new world opened up for me. What I discovered and how it affects my understanding of C. G. Jung's lifework is the subject matter of Jung in the 21st Century.
Jung in the 21st Century Volume One: Evolution and Archetype by John Ryan Haule (Routledge) Volume 1, Evolution and Archetype, presents a coherent and unified perspective on Jung's lifework as an outgrowth of the dissociation school of a century ago, with special attention to how the essence of his theories has been rediscovered by contemporary evolutionary science. The nature of the archetypes, the complexes, the role of dreams, relationship between ego and self, the transcendent function—all of these deeply "Jungian" concepts are actually supported by what brain science, the science of animal behavior, paleontology and similar fields have discovered. Working out the details in all of this really does give us a Jung for the twenty-first century, one whose views are dependable, not only because Jungian analysts say they are effective in the consulting room, but also because laboratory work links them solidly with the biology of the human organism.
Jung in the 21st Century Volume Two: Synchronicity and Science by John Ryan Haule (Routledge) Volume 2, Synchronicity and Science, takes up Jung's critique of science for failing to investigate certain matters that it finds to be impossible or embarrassing: the practical value of altered states of consciousness, the reality of parapsychological experiences and the like. In 1896 Jung urged the members of his college debating society to take up the challenge of these things that lie in the "border zones of exact science" and discover what the truth really is. A half-century or so later, in dialogue with Wolfgang Pauli, one of the founders of quantum mechanics, he offered a new vision of the cosmos—of reality in general—one in which life, intentionality (striving for the future) and parapsychology are not embarrassing exceptions to reality as we know it but just as deeply real as everything that we naively take to be self-evident. There is substantiation, too, from physics and biology that Jung's speculations in this realm enjoy a good deal of support.
The Jung described in these two volumes may be a more radical critic of Western culture but a more cautious and astute theorist than many have guessed.
This book emerges from equal measures of pessimism and optimism over the future of Analytical Psychology, the "Zurich School" of psychoanalysis that C. G. Jung started a century ago and that I have practiced more than three decades. On the one hand, pessimism: psychoanalysis was a major cultural force in the twentieth century but has waned significantly in recent decades. Its standing as a "science"—once loudly proclaimed but always somewhat questionable—has become precarious with recent advances in brain research.' Worse, within the world of psychoanalysis, Jung has generally been marginalized as a "mystic" who dispensed with science in favor of dubious superstitions. Despite such good reasons for pessimism, however, I am also optimistic. Recent developments in evolutionary biology show that the basic tenets of Analytical Psychology are amazingly "consilient" with the most recent scientific theories and the evidence that supports them. The word consilience has been given prominence by Harvard sociobiologist E. 0. Wilson, to mean that when facts and theories from different disciplines all point in the same direction, they implicitly support one another and jointly contribute to their mutual likelihood of being proven correct. They "create a common groundwork of explanation" (E. O. Wilson 1998: 8).
Consilience convinces us by its cable-like argument. We follow a bundle of evidence strands, all supporting one another so that gaps here and there in some of the strands do no damage to the argument (Lewis-Williams 2002: 102). Much of archaeology, paleontology, evolutionary biology and neurobiology have no choice but to draw their conclusions on the basis of cabling or consilience, and this is precisely the sort of reasoning Jung employed in developing his theory of the archetypes. Jung dreamed of unifying the biological and human sciences at a time when a cabling of those disciplines had little empirical justification. And he did so with amazing prescience. Therefore, the time has come to tell the story of the remarkable consilience between Jung's archetypal psychology and a biology founded on Darwinian principles and augmented by the science of genetics—what biologists today call the "modern synthesis."'
But this is only half of the story. Jung was also relentless in challenging the limitations of science, especially its refusal to admit phenomena that are undeniably real, such as life, intentionality and consciousness. From his university years onward, Jung argued that science had to explore its "border zones," especially the phenomena of parapsychology. Later in life he collaborated with one of the founders of quantum mechanics, Wolfgang Pauli, to formulate synchronicity as a cosmic principle. Although the doctrine of synchronicity is not accepted by contemporary scientists, Jung's argument for it is consilient with the scientific thinking that solved earlier problems involving "action at a distance," namely magnetism and gravity.
Specialists and dilettantes
Among the three or four hundred books and articles outside the field of Analytical Psychology that I have read in preparation for this study, only E. O. Wilson's Consilience and the articles of a diverse group of scholars that call themselves biogenetic structuralists mention Jung's doctrine of the archetypes as a possible contribution to the synthesis of knowledge.' Wilson adds that archetypal theory has never been sufficiently developed (E. O. Wilson 1998: 85). Among Jungian analysts, only the British psychiatrist Anthony Stevens has publicly recognized the problem: "Concepts introduced by Jung more than a half-century ago anticipate with uncanny accuracy those now gaining currency in the behavioral sciences generally" (Stevens 1983: 27). Stevens notes that no theory of psychology can today "command more than esoteric interest if it fails to take account of biology, physics, and neurophysiology." Jungians, however, have been reluctant to investigate such things, remaining satisfied to be "mesmerized by archetypal symbols" (Stevens 1983: 32, 29).
In the end Stevens has been too much a specialist in psychiatry, not only to explore the broad consilience between Jung and the modern biological synthesis, but also to use this knowledge to begin rethinking the doctrine of the archetypes.' The job requires a shameless dilettante, hard-working and curious, someone who has a yen for facts and theories and the patience to sift through mountains of them. Jung viewed himself as a dilettante of this type, "constantly borrow[ing] knowledge from others."'
As the author of this study, I put myself forward as such a dilettante. No one can master all of the fields of study involved, but the right sort of dilettante might hope to sketch out the confluence of those fields, leaving it to specialists to follow some of the leads into new territory. My own qualifications for surveying diverse fields of science are limited. In 1963, I earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry and biology and later taught high school chemistry. In 1973, I earned a doctorate in religious studies and taught philosophy and religion at university level. More recently I have taught Jung's Collected Works nearly every semester for more than twenty years and published several articles on the history, development and import of his thought.
Jung's dream of a fundamental science Jung's scientific ambitions manifested as soon as he finished his medical degree and accepted an appointment to the Zurich mental asylum, Burgholzli, where he apprenticed himself to Alexander von Muralt and began studying cross-sections of the brains of schizophrenics under a microscope. However, when von Muralt confessed that for him brain dissection was "just a sport" (Shamdasani 2003: 45f), Jung turned to the Word Association Experiment, where he first made a name for himself by establishing the empirical foundations of neurotic dissociation. He found that emotionally charged words organize themselves into "complexes" or subpersonalities.
In this effort, Jung was working in the middle ground between the French dissociation school of Pierre Janet and Freud's brand new school of psychoanalysis (cf. Haule 1984). It led to a six-year-long association between Jung and Freud, in which Jung strove to accept the sexual doctrine of psychoanalysis. The end of that period was heralded for Jung by a dream of a house in which each floor, moving from attic to sub-basement, came from an earlier period of history than the last. He found a pair of skulls in a pit under the basement floor. He discusses this dream a half-century later, shortly before his death in 1961:
The dream is in fact a short summary of my life—the life of my mind. I grew up in a house two hundred years old, our furniture consisted mostly of pieces about a hundred years old, and mentally my greatest adventure had been the study of Kant and Schopenhauer. The great news of the day was the work of Charles Darwin. Shortly before this I had been living in a still medieval world with my parents, where the world and man were still presided over by divine omnipotence and providence. . . .
I was fascinated by the bones of fossil man, particularly by the much discussed Neanderthalensis and the still more controversial skull of Dubois' Pithecanthropus. As a matter of fact, these were my real associations to the dream. But I did not dare mention the subject of skulls, skeletons, or corpses to Freud, because I had learned that this theme was not popular with him.' (CW18: para48509
For Jung the dream was a clear description of the layered psyche of his later theories. From the year of the dream, 1909, onwards, Jung looked to phylogeny, the evolution of the species, as a basis for understanding the development of the human individual. In the fall of 1913, he wrote a letter to Smith Ely Jelliffe and William Alanson White, the founders of the brand new American journal, Psychoanalytic Review: "We need not only the work of medical psychologists, but also that of philologists, historians, archaeologists, mythologists, folklore students, ethnologists, philosophers, theologians, pedagogues, and biologists" (Letters, i: 29f). In 1932, the publisher of Rhein Verlag invited Jung to edit a new journal, to be called Weltanschauung, in which Jung and his editors were to "fish out from the ocean of specialist science all the facts and knowledge that are of general interest and make them available to the educated public" (Letters, i: 106f).
Although Weltanschauung never got off the ground, a more limited but related project did, the annual Eranos Conference to which specialists from a variety of disciplines (unfortunately, few from the sciences) met for a week and discussed one another's papers. Meetings began in 1933 and survived for decades after Jung's death at the villa of its benefactress, Olga Fröbe-Kapteyn, near Ascona in Switzerland (Bair 2003: 412ff). Almost simultaneously, Jung established a lectureship at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic Institute, in Zurich, where "psychology should be taught in its biological, ethnological, medical, philosophical, culture-historical, and religious aspects" (Shamdasani 2003: 15).
In the 1930s, while all these "universalizing" activities were going on, Jung stopped calling his school "Analytical Psychology" and began to call it "Complex Psychology": "Complex psychology means the psychology of 'complexities' i.e. of complex psychical systems in contradistinction from relatively elementary factors" (Shamdasani 2003: 14). In this statement, as was often the case, Jung was working in the spirit of William James, whose model of self and reality has been described as "fields within fields within fields" (Barnard 1998: 199).
A look back at twentieth-century social science
By 1900 little had been established that might have formed a scientific foundation for psychology. Neurology had not yet discovered the nature and function of the neuron. Evolution as a theory was not in doubt, but how it worked still awaited the rediscovery of Gregor Mendel's work with pea plants.' The scientific study of animal behavior (ethology) had to wait for Konrad Lorenz and Niko Tinbergen in the 1930s. Meanwhile, a century of French experiments in hypnosis had shown that the psyche has both conscious and unconscious portions, and that splits between them are variable and possibly related to traumatic events. Upon this poorly defined foundation, Freud intuited a way forward, inventing a theory of psychotherapy that was compelling, controversial, and vaguely scientific-looking, although rather isolated from the scientific mainstream. Harvard psychologist, J. Allan Hobson, summarizes the situation this way:
It was owing to the initially slow growth of neurobiology that psychoanalysis diverged from the experimental tradition. And it is owing to the currently explosive growth of the brain sciences that a reunification of psychoanalysis and experimental psychology may now be contemplated in a new, integrated field called cognitive neuroscience. (J. A. Hobson 1988: 24)
Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection itself required almost a century of debate before rough agreement was reached. Darwin had had the kernel of the theory for a good two decades without publishing a word of it, while he compulsively accumulated data to support it. He was finally forced to "rush" his ideas into print when Alfred Russell Wallace hit upon the same theory. The Origin of Species was published in 1859 without a mechanism to explain how natural selection works. Today it is common to define natural selection in opposition to the theory of Jean Baptiste de Lamarck (1744-1829)—for instance the notion giraffes gradually "acquired" a long neck by stretching it a little further in each generation. But Darwin did not clearly reject Lamarckism, even arguing that "information flows from the organism to its reproductive cells and from them to the next generation" (Badcock 2000: 38-40). Only with the rediscovery of Gregor Mendel was it realized that the units of inheritance are relatively unchangeable entities (genes). The "modern synthesis" of genetics and natural selection was forged between 1918 and 1932 (Plotkin 1998: 27). The final piece of the puzzle was supplied in 1953—nearly 100 years after Darwin's initial publication—when James Watson and Francis Crick established the structure of DNA, and the science of "molecular biology" began.
Thus the foundation that Jung was looking for was finally established when Jung was seventy-eight. Complaints that some of his statements about the inheritance of the archetypes have a Lamarckian flavor, therefore, appear to be unfair in view of the fact that no one was clear on the meaning of natural selection until long after the theory of the archetypes had been promulgated.
Through most of the twentieth century, Jung's primary opponent was the "Standard Social Science Model."" The SSSM assumed that biology had a negligible effect upon human behavior. Although animals were moved by inherited instincts, human behavior was determined by culture, alone. Our human mind, the SSSM supposed, frees us from the determinism of matter, but shackles us with cultural determinism. At birth our mind is a "blank slate" (tabula rasa), waiting to be written upon by culture. Behaviorists measured cultural inputs (stimuli) and outputs (behaviors) and ignored the mind itself. They thought of it as a "black box," the investigation of whose unfathomable innards would simply be a distraction from inputs and outputs that could be measured. They aspired to a science as clean and hard as physics to free themselves from the stickiness and complexity of biology.
While the Standard Social Science Model insists upon a nature/nurture dichotomy, contemporary evolutionary psychology has found that nature and nurture are interdependent. We inherit the neural and anatomical structures that make our experience what it is and give it a species-specific shape. But these inherited structures can be used only in the particular cultural context into which an individual is born.' The structure itself is "empty," and each human culture "fills" it with its own specific adaptations. In the words of Konrad Lorenz, "Nurture has nature; . . . nurture has evolved and has historical antecedents as cause" (Plotkin 1998: 60). Similarly, the archetype is "a biological entity . . . acting . . . in a manner very similar to the innate releasing mechanism much later postulated by ethologist Niko Tinbergen" (Stevens 1983: 39). The maturation of the Darwinian paradigm has restored the continuity of humanity's place within the Animal Kingdom.
In 1973, while the. SSSM still dominated the scene, evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky set the tone for future studies: "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution" (Richerson and Boyd 2005: 237). Today, evolution is, the braid in the "cabling" of arguments in biology and the
social sciences. During the reign of the SSSM, Jung's theory of the archetypes seemed to diverge from the general course of Western science. Now that evolutionary theory has matured, however, the existence of archetypal patterns is no longer outside the purview of science. All living beings depend on them, and every human archetype has evolved from pre-human precursors. We are not set apart from nature; we are part of it.
The task ahead
Evolutionary psychology was founded in the 1980s by people who saw that psychology was "in trouble." Because, "No general theory of how the mind works was on the horizon," they realized they would have to "make psychology consistent with the other sciences by founding it on evolution" (Aunger 2002: 35). Now it is not only possible but also essential that we finally take up the work Jung dreamed of doing and find the connections between archaeology, primatology, neurology and the rest. A truly Darwinian science of the mind and of culture is beginning to assemble and must have a decisive impact on how we conceptualize the archetypes.
Not Jung, but Robin Fox, an anthropologist at Rutgers University, said: "What we are equipped with is innate propensities that require environmental input for their realization" (Fox 1989: 45). Fox insists that no account of the human condition can be taken seriously if it ignores the five million years of natural selection that have made us what we are (Fox 1989: 207). He lists more than twenty human patterns that would be sure to manifest if some new Adam and Eve were allowed to propagate in a universe parallel to ours. These would be archetypal realities, passed on through DNA, and expressed in distinctive neuronal tracts in their brains. Such behavioral patterns would surely include customs and laws regarding property, incest, marriage, kinship, and social status; myths and legends; beliefs about the supernatural; gambling, adultery, homicide, schizophrenia, and the therapies to deal with them (Fox 1989: 22).
Jung said pretty much the same things in the 1920s. He did not do the research, and he did not know many who agreed with him. He just had a damn good hunch. In the end, however, science works with its hunches, tests hypotheses, discarding some and refining others. Hunches always lead the way, while testing and refinement keep them viable. A theory of archetypes risks becoming nothing more than a "folk theory of psychology' if its consilience with the other fields in the grand Darwinian synthesis is not tended to.
A "folk psychology" lives outside the mainstream of cultural and intellectual discussion and devotes itself to private, "interior" experience. Often it prides itself on speaking an almost secret language. Historian of psychology and lecturer in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Eugene Taylor, has made a strong argument that folk psychology is exactly what Analytical Psychology is: that, in the United States, it belongs to a long "shadow" tradition going back as far as the Great Awakening in the early eighteenth century, and including Quakers, Swedenborgians, Christian Science, and Esalen. By "folk psychology," Taylor means "a mythic and visionary language of immediate experience . . . usually some form of depth psychology" whose "function is the evolution and transformation of personality" encompassing themes "of deepest, highest, and ultimate concern" (E. Taylor 1999: 15).
Analytical Psychology runs the risk of becoming not only a "folk psychology" but a "mystery religion" as well. There is nothing derogatory in what I mean by a mystery religion. During the Hellenistic period and the early Roman Empire, underground religions kept alive a vast reservoir of wisdom about morality, consciousness changing and the spiritual life. Many Jungian analysts believe they are doing the same thing today, and are very likely not deluding themselves. But adherents of a mystery religion cut themselves off from the mainstream cultural dialogue and agree to speak a different language. They may even delight in the numinosity of that language, and they may be right to do so; for such words and metaphors may harbor a great wisdom.
It seems that Jung foresaw this dilemma in the 1930s when he was trying to "fish out from the ocean of specialist science all the facts and knowledge that are of general interest and make them available to the educated public." He tried repeatedly to contribute to the cultural conversation, to found a Complex Psychology that belonged under the evolutionary tent, talking the language and using the metaphors that the wider world uses. As the twenty-first century began, the time for Complex Psychology had finally arrived.
Archetypal hypotheses may someday become testable; if so, the tests will likely be performed in the laboratories or digs of other academic specialties that work under the umbrella of evolutionary science. "Complex Psychology" will go right on "borrowing knowledge from others." It is the aim of this book to sketch a borrowing program, to bring together a large number of discoveries from several Darwinian specialties and see what they tell us about Jung's ideas.
The borrowing program
Jung in the 21st Century Volume One: Evolution and Archetype by John Ryan Haule (Routledge) Part I of this book attends primarily to archetype as a species-specific behavior pattern. We review Jung's definitions (Chapter 2) and examine language behavior as a model archetype (Chapter 3). The evolutionary roots of language are traced into our primate heritage (Chapter 4), and we discuss two forms of symbolic Communication that make our species unique, language and art, in Chapter 5.
Part II examines the relationship between psyche and brain. Chapter 6 provisionally accepts the mainstream opinion that psyche and brain are two aspects of the same reality—where psyche is the subjective dimension, the lived brain, and the brain itself is the objective "substrate." In Chapters 7, 8 and 9 we see that neurobiology supports Jung's theory of the distinction between ego and self and the compensatory role of dreams, and in Chapters 10 and 11 that it actually explains his theory of the feeling-toned complexes. Chapter 12 deals with the neurobiology of psychotherapy, while Chapters 13 and 14 describe the relationship between archetypes, altered states of consciousness and psychological transformation.
Part III takes up Jung's idea that the human psyche itself has been "evolving" over the course of our species' history. Chapter 15 reviews Jung's claims about the history of consciousness, and Chapters 16-20 describe our emergence from our primate roots and the ways we have used our consciousness from the Paleolithic era to the present. We end with the problem Jung identified as the crisis of modernity: the split in our Western psyche between an underdeveloped capacity for altered states of consciousness and a highly developed capacity for technological thinking. Chapter 21 summarizes the results of this study.
part I: Evolution, archetype and behavior
When psychologist Noel W. Smith, whose findings are very useful to our argument, discovered striking similarities between the rock art of the California Native Americans and that of our Ice Age ancestors in the caves of Europe, he felt required to make the following disavowal: " 'Archetypes' are the mystical concepts invented by psychoanalyst Karl [sic] Jung. There is no objective evidence for them nor is any possible" (N. W. Smith 1992: 13). It is not unusual for such repudiations to include a misspelling of Jung's name or more serious errors of fact. They reveal that the scholar in question is dealing with Jung's rumored reputation and not with any ascertainable facts. Smith evidently believes that Jung propounded archetypes as inherited images, a view that Jung struggled all his life to correct.
We begin our review of Jung's relationship with contemporary science by clarifying the essence of archetype. It is a behavior pattern. No one doubts that animals inherit behavior patterns; and with the advance of evolutionary science in the last few decades, very few any longer doubt that humans do. Although Jung described archetypes in various ways, the strong trend of his views has turned out to be amply supported by the structure of brain-and-psyche as modern science understands them.
After a survey of Jung's claims about archetypes, we shall describe language as a model archetype and pursue its evolutionary roots into primate communication and sociality. We end this section with an investigation into what sets our species apart from other primates.
Part II: Jung's psyche and its neural substrate
Part I focused on the behavioral dimension of archetype so that we could appreciate what such patterns are, how they are inherited, how they manifest in characteristic ways at characteristic times, how they prepare us to attend to and to work at some things rather than others, how they have evolved through our primate heritage, how they are filled in and completed by culture and how the numinous power of their emotional charge can alter our consciousness and transform us personally, socially and culturally.
Now in Part II we look at the relationship between psyche and its primary physical organ, the brain. In Chapter 6, we consider the relationship between psyche and brain in a general manner, particularly the dominant contemporary paradigm of psyche/brain identity. A Jungian perspective will have some reservations with this paradigm, but we will accept it provisionally so as to more easily demonstrate that Jung's theories are in fact consilient with evolutionary science. Our reservations will be reserved for Volume 2.
Part III: History of consciousness
Part I has demonstrated that Jung's concept of the archetype as a species-specific pattern of behavior is harmonious in good detail with the various evolutionary sciences. Part II has demonstrated that when Jung's model of the psyche is interpreted along the lines of the psyche/brain identity theory which dominates today's discussions, it is strongly supported by contemporary neuroscience.
Another essential dimension of Analytical Psychology is Jung's diagnosis of our current sociocultural situation as an unhealthy psychological environment for the modern Western individual. For Jung, the twentieth century represented the culmination of a long historical development in the West, whereby a strong and well-defined ego has gradually been achieved at the expense of losing organic rootedness in our species nature. We act as though we have no foundation in our collective unconscious, believing that our identity as conscious agents is sufficient. This is why we come across as hectic, lost and hollow-eyed searchers to outside observers like Mountain Lake, the Pueblo spokesman. Jung concludes that we need a myth that gives depth to our lives, and that this will never be found so long as we continue to "resent the irrational." We have to open our culture to poly-phasic living, cultivate altered states of consciousness and allow our perspective to be transformed.
Part III will begin addressing these issues. We will consider the history of consciousness from monkeys and chimpanzees through the modern humans of the West. We begin with Jung's views on that history and then follow with what the evolutionary sciences have been able to discover about it. The evidence is quite strong that we have slowly extricated ourselves from a sleepy embeddedness in myth to the point of believing ourselves to be identical with our empirical egos and their monumental accomplishments through science and technology. But we have been left longing for what seems no longer to exist, the sort of meaningful discoveries available in a maximally polyphasic environment such as is common among simple hunter-gatherers. There is much we have to recover.
Jung in the 21st Century Volume One: Evolution and Archetype by John Ryan Haule (Routledge) excerpt: The preceding twenty chapters have sought to demonstrate that Jung's dream of psychology as an architectonic science—linking the various biological specialties and setting the whole on a reliable empirical foundation—can now, in the twenty-first century, finally be realized. An evolutionary perspective now really can under-gird a dependable psychology, and we can finally appreciate what Jung meant to accomplish with the idea of "archetype." The research and the writing of this volume has been guided by the aim of Complex Psychology, namely to identify di and appreciate the patterns nested within patterns that characterize the data of the human sciences and pursues this aim much the way Jung envisaged in his unsuc- cessful journal project, Weltanschauung—by extracting the leading ideas from the I sciences, archaeology to zoology, and making them available to non-specialists. This book has pulled a great deal of material from a variety of specialties in imitation of Jung's own propensity to borrow material shamelessly, like the "accursed dilettante" he confessed himself to be.
The original purpose of all this has been to rescue Jung from his undeserved reputation as an irresponsible and muddle-headed mystic, and demonstrate that he was trying to build psychology on a firm scientific foundation, despite the sketchy nature of biological knowledge a century ago. He did so by making some very astute choices. Archetypes are the intentional dimension of instincts and structure everything we do. They are not images, as is popularly believed; and they are not found exclusively in mythology. They are the products of evolution and evidence of our place in the natural world. They do not reside in some separate spiritual substance resembling Descartes' soul—for that idea is really theological, a claim that we humans stand above and outside of nature by virtue of our immortal destiny in a Christian heaven. We all have psyches, every living organism on earth; and archetypes are patterns in the intentional process (i.e. psyche) by which every organism not only survives but seeks to thrive. Since evolutionarily we are primates, human archetypes are probably 98 percent identical with those of our cousins, the chimpanzees and bonobos.
Although warmly embraced by some, these ideas have proven to be scary for other Jungians who have attended lectures I have given on this material or who have engaged me at academic meetings. If Jung's psychology has a biological basis, some have said, "Where is the magic?" Clearly they assume biology to be as devoid of "soul" as Descartes' machine-like picture of the body. Paradoxically, however, even as they apparently believe they need the hypothesis of a Cartesian soul to preserve the special numinous and magical nature of the archetypes, some also wax evangelical over the romantic idea of "embodiment." Implying that Jung was "too much in his head" (or possibly his "soul") like the mystic of popular legend, they attempt to save Analytical Psychology with techniques designed to assist people to "get into the body." They fail to realize that it is their own philosophical baggage that stands in the way of their discovering the real Jung.
An accurate reading of Jung's intentions does not begin with his brief association with Freud and conclude that he went off the rails on a mystical rampage. On the contrary, it finds his origins where he always said they were, in the "French School" of somnambulism and its investigation of altered states of consciousness. By clarifying the trend of thinking that underlies his more careful definitions of "archetype," an accurate reading of Jung discovers how rooted it is in biology and evolution. Psyche (or soul) is not some esoteric dimension of human nature, it is a universal and essential dimension of every organism. All animals have psyches, even the protozoa. Psyche is the intentional aspect of every living process. Therefore, it is inseparable from the body—inherent in every living creature and dependent upon the complexity of a creature' s anatomy and particularly its brain (if it has one) for its higher abilities.
It has been nearly three decades since Anthony Stevens (1983) diagnosed the problem with "Jungians as a group," that we have been "mesmerized . . . by archetypal symbols" and defensive about the biological implications of Analytical Psychology to the point of ignoring the "behavioral manifestations" and the "phylogenetic roots" of the archetype (Stevens 1983: 29). I would go further. We have been mesmerized by theories about symbols, as though they have no relationship to the body. Such a perspective fails to recognize the top-to-bottom structure of the archetype and the fact that the constellation of any archetype is above all a typical emotional body state. Those fascinated with symbols and their theories see only the very top of the archetypal configuration, missing the cortical and limbic changes in the brain, the alteration of autonomic nervous system balance, the dispatch of hormones and neuromodulators, bodily posture, facial expression and the like. They call for "embodiment" only because the filter of their mesmerized condition has hidden the larger physical portion of the archetype from their awareness. We have to open our eyes to the fact that symbols are the brain's interpretation of the bodily state itself and include that in our analysis of our patients. In the twenty-first century we can no longer afford to live in the stratosphere of the image alone.
We Jungians have lived, too, in the penumbra of Jung's authority. If that authority has been treated with skepticism in our monophasic society, we have chosen to view that fact with pride. Jung was a misunderstood genius who articulated insights the conventional world is not yet ready for. The effective magic of Jungian jargon-- anima, transcendent function, enantiodromia, inferior function, numinosity, ego-self axis—these words and phrases have become the secret language of initiati practicing a mystery religion, saving those blessed souls who have thought they were lost because they could not accommodate themselves to the comfortable mainstream. In working like this, we had no authority but Jung's to rely upon. We pulled sentences and images out of the Collected Works to justify our claims on the bare evidence that "Jung said so" and that it must therefore be true.
Now, however, that several scientific specialties have uncovered the biological basis for the phenomena Jung named nearly a century ago, we Jungians can begin to find the theoretical foundations of our own therapeutic interpretations, or perhaps discover that they are not as sound as we had long believed. The crucial scientific work is being "extracted" from its primary sources for us—not in a convenient single journal as Weltanschauung was designed to be—but in an endless series of well informed and well written books, many of them by the very scientists themselves who did the primary work. These are the secondary sources I have relied upon and summarized in this volume.
Widespread support from the biological sciences—as unexpected as it may seem to be—also forces us to shift some of our perspectives. Altered states of consciousness are a case in point. All Jungians surely employ them when we attend to complexes and dreams and when we practice active imagination. Jungians as a group are minimally polyphasic, but we have not recognized the wider implications of these activities—the fact that Jung, in encouraging us not to resent the irrational, has implicitly called for a much more vigorous polyphasic approach to life.
In the last dozen or so years of my practice of Jungian analysis, I have found it extremely useful to attend to the spectrum of conscious states induced in me by the analysand (through limbic resonance) or implicitly reported by the analysand himself as he .describes crucial experiences from his childhood or just the past week. For to identify and experience—that is to feel—the altered states that our monophasic society denies or denigrates is to be in touch with corresponding body states. Every discrete body state generates or is induced by its own discrete state of consciousness. To feel that state is to be in touch with the archetype, top-to-bottom. Every "symbol" either induces or is the conscious evidence of a discrete state of body-and-mind. The reason for this is that the symbol appears in consciousness as a sort of report from the brain about the state of my body. This is why in the previous twenty chapters I have avoided speaking merely of "unconscious contents," as Jung does. The expression "unconscious content" suggests an image; and the danger is that we will merely speculate about the meaning of the image and ignore the soul-and-body state that it induces in us and in the analysand who reports it. We will be "mesmerized by the symbol," as Stevens (1983) warns.
In turning our attention away from the symbol itself and toward
the changes it brings about in our consciousness, we are making what
I discovered in researching and writing my book on Tantra to be the
essential move in every mystical tradition (Hanle 1999b).1 Here I
refer to "mystic" in the other sense of the term—not an
irresponsible and muddle-headed way of thinking about monophasic
realities—but a serious discipline that learns to use altered states
of consciousness for psycho-
logical and spiritual development. Mystics in this classical sense are accomplished polyphasic practitioners. This is the sense in which Jung really was a mystic. We shall pursue the implications of Jung's mysticism and his challenge to the limitations scientists impose on their investigations in the second volume of Jung in the 21st Century, which begins with a discussion of how altered states can be mastered and goes on to explore those extraordinary altered states that prompted Jung to propose his doctrine of synchronicity: not merely a study in psychology but a cosmology as well. He asks the question science has not yet asked: What sort of a universe must this be if organisms and their inherent psyches can evolve in it?
Jung in the 21st Century Volume Two: Synchronicity and Science by John Ryan Haule (Routledge) In the first volume of Jung in the 21st Century, we demonstrated that the theoretical framework of C. G. Jung's psychology, although formulated nearly a hundred years ago, is well supported by advances the evolutionary sciences have made in the half-century since his death. Inherited behavior patterns (archetypes), the "mirror neuron" phenomenon as well as inborn releasing mechanisms by which we recognize archetypal patterns in others or recognize compelling opportunities to enact a specific archetypal behavior ourselves can now be described and tracked physiologically with new instruments of scientific investigation. The limbic action of the complexes and psyche as the holistic process of the human organism (self)—particularly the brain—have become well known by scientists entirely unfamiliar with Jung's contributions. Furthermore, dreams as transparent messages from unconscious to conscious and dreamscape as a subjectively lived report on brain processes that generally lie outside the purview of ego have also been supported by the chemistry of neuromodulators and images produced by magnetic resonance. Neurobiologists and anthropologists have concluded that dreams help us to integrate recent waking experience with our phylogenetic heritage (the archetypes).
As long as we confine our attention to neurobiology and ethology, Analytical Psychology fits very comfortably into the world of evolutionary biology. When, however, we pursue Jung's ideas about the history of consciousness, we find them to be critical of the exclusively empirical and rational perspective of science. Historically, Jung is correct to note that our linear, rational empiricism is a late development in the history of our species. He has no argument with the achievements of science or the empiricism that has made our technical advances possible. What puts him in tension with the scientific establishment and with Western assumptions, generally, is his instance that the "irrational" experiences we typically "resent" are no less important than the rational ones we value.
It is an empirical fact that unitary brain states provide "transcendental" perspectives sometimes characterized by a coincidentia oppositorum that appears to be the very experience many medieval theologians described as "God." If such experiences are held in contempt today as merely superstitious or frankly pathological, Jung argues that we in the modern West have lost something of value that our ancestors a half-millennium ago took for granted. Furthermore, the capacity to cultivate and employ such altered states of consciousness (ASCs) C s) is a universal feature of the human brain and nervous system. The fact that this capacity has not been eliminated by natural selection implies that it must not be a liability, indeed that it has very likely been essential for the survival of our species. We know rituals to generate altered states of consciousness are used by all primate species to build the emotional coherence of their troops, define their social structure and prepare to deal with future threats. Humans have used them to reduce tension between separate groups, solidify cooperation and trading networks, and explore the greater mythic cosmos that gives transcendent meaning to this one. Altered states have also served as the mental workshop that inspired our species' first ventures into agriculture, pastoralism, pottery-making and the like. The pursuit of ASCs opened the minds of our ancestors, some forty millennia ago, and set us on the great human adventure that has made modern science possible, and much more besides.
Jung had a compelling interest in altered states of consciousness, beginning in a childhood overshadowed by his mother's split personality (one side a conventional peasant, the other a daemonic prophetess) and by his pastor father's struggles with a crisis of faith that was probably responsible for his early death. Young Carl's spiritual quest began at least with his childhood vision of God defecating on the Basel Cathedral, when he first discovered that God could speak to him personally through the imagery of his own psyche and that organized religion was either ignorant of this possibility or deliberately concealing it. Jung honed such intuitions while writing Symbols of Transformation nearly two decades after the cathedral vision, when he discovered that all of us are living a myth, whether we know it or not. Another dozen years later, he faced a crisis in Taos, New Mexico, when he found the Pueblo people living their myth as the proud sons and daughters of the sun. They believed their worship helped the sun to rise every morning for the sake of the whole earth. They knew themselves to be partners of God, and their confident, well-grounded demeanor spoke eloquently of the effects this mythic knowledge had upon their daily lives. It was no wonder they saw white Americans as hollow-eyed, restless searchers.
An echo of the numinous relationship Mountain Lake's people had with the rising sun occurred for Jung just a year later on Mount Elgon in Kenya—where he, the Elgonyi and a troop of baboons were all caught up simultaneously in a worshipful state of mind at the dawn of every day. The fact that the ancient Egyptians carved lines of worshipping baboons into the frieze of the Temple of Abu Simbel more than three millennia ago testifies to the timelessness of our primate religiosity in the face of the rising sun. Moreover, it emphasizes the nature of the collective unconscious and hints at why we ignore it to our own peril.
Modern archaeology and its new techniques for dating its discoveries have allowed us to extend Jung's view of the history of human consciousness many millennia into the past. What we have found reveals that Jung's guesses have again been quite accurate. We have documented the importance of altered states of consciousness for human ritual behavior and found that shamanism is nearly a "hard wired" capability of the human nervous system and therefore the "natural religion of the human mind." The evidence shows that shamanism flourishes in a maximally polyphasic society, while forces of greed, conformity and ambition distrust the unpredictability of what a shaman might find. Consequently, various powerful elites have, over the millennia, gradually chipped away at the free exploration of altered states of consciousness, to the point that our modern Western culture has become almost thoroughly monophasic, in that it trusts only left-brain linear thinking.
We in the West generally believe in a powerful ego capable of virtually any worthwhile feat, while the reach and attainments of our ever advancing technology seem to be proof that we are right. These fundamental assumptions, however, leave no room for individuation, the natural tension that always exists between the wholeness of a human organism and the necessarily narrow focus of its conscious attention. The tension exists whether we know it or not. Furthermore, it generates dreams, flights of ideas and symptoms whether or not we "believe in" the unconscious. In many cases, ignoring such disturbing psychological data can lead to breakdowns and misery. We do not merely resent our irrational feelings and thoughts, we fear them.
Evidence for the inadequacy of our mainstream attitude is not hard to find. Global warming may be the most striking indication that single-minded reliance on exploiting the earth's resources for technological advancement has become measurably dangerous as the sea warms and rises to flood low-lying islands and coastlines and huge numbers of species go extinct. Meanwhile, dissatisfaction grows among the human populations of the earth. Frightened by the speed of progress, loss of livelihood and changing mores, many find themselves attracted by the illusory comforts of militant fundamentalisms, while other strata of the population explore altered states of consciousness as New Agers or through a variety of possession-trance religions like Umbanda and Santería. Feeling trapped by the linearity of mainstream thinking and a subjective lack of depth, our restless species is casting about for at least a minimally polyphasic approach to life.
But these are minority movements that have failed to find—or perhaps even to look for—commonality, a coherent rationale by which they might discover unity of purpose. It seems they are in need of a perspective like Jung's that would legitimize their aspirations while critically examining their methods. Here, however, is precisely where Jung's reputation has suffered the most. Because he urges us to embrace the irrational and discover the multiphasic nature of human consciousness, he opposes a crucial stand that has characterized Western culture for some 500 years. This is why he has been dismissed for being a "mystic," in the trivial sense of being an irresponsible and muddle-headed thinker. But if a "mystic" may more properly be one who is experienced in and has learned to use altered states of consciousness as essential tools for psychological and spiritual growth, Jung really was a mystic.
Volume 1, Evolution and Archetype, demonstrates that Jung was anything but an irresponsible and muddle-headed thinker. He was deeply cognizant of scientific issues and chose his concepts with wisdom and perhaps good luck.
Jung in the 21st Century Volume Two: Synchronicity and Science by John Ryan Haule (Routledge) Now, however, in Volume 2, Synchronicity and Science, we take up the other side of Jung, the psychologist who thought that science has been too timid to investigate matters that are unmistakably real, that confront us daily but that have traditionally been treated with embarrassment and largely avoided.
The first of these is the realm of altered states of consciousness and the irrationality we typically resent. In his call for a polyphasic approach to human consciousness, it may seem to some—observers who are more familiar with Jung's reputation than with any exposure to his writing—that he is asking for us to relinquish everything we have accomplished in the West with our left-brain rationality. If so, there would be reason enough to call him a mystic in the unflattering and trivial sense of the term. But if, on the other hand, altered states of consciousness can be mastered and become tools of psychological investigation analogous to the left-brain empirical and conceptual tools we have spent the past 500 years honing, it will become clear that the accusation of muddle-headedness is unjust and made on the basis of unexamined assumptions.
We take up this project in Part I of Synchronicity and Science, where we will survey a broad array of altered states of consciousness, showing that there are already well known and even technological professions that use them to very good effect, that all of us are already using them far more than we are aware, and finally that techniques for mastering shamanic states of consciousness have already been documented to some extent. Here is perhaps the best evidence that altered states of consciousness do not represent merely a "going unconscious" or "believing six impossible things before breakfast." Indeed, it is possible to develop and master altered states and use them to complement the linear thinking with which we are already familiar. This would seem to be the next logical step in the history of consciousness—a future in which we shall deliberately accept and take advantage of the whole array of psychological tools we inherit with our DNA. Meditation practices are another source of non-linear states of consciousness that have proven to be reliable and transformative but need far more study.
In Part II of this second volume, we take up Jung's more serious challenge to science—the idea that science has been shirking its responsibility to take seriously the phenomena it treats as inexplicable or non-existent. There are four: life, consciousness, intentionality and parapsychology.
Even before his university years, Jung had familiarized himself with the literature of spiritualism and the table-tipping parlor fad that had taken the West by storm at the turn of the twentieth century. He initiated experiments at his mother's kitchen table, where his younger cousin Helly showed great promise as a medium for entities believed to be souls of the dead eager to communicate with the living. In his first year at the University of Basel, he urged his fraternity brothers to use their training in science to tackle the phenomena of spiritualism and come up with an explanation for such uncanny occurrences. Throughout his career as a psychiatrist, he kept in touch with the field of parapsychology and observed many telepathic, clairvoyant and psychokinetic events that took place in his consulting room and in the vicinity of his residences. In the final decade of his life he proposed the theory of synchronicity as a way of describing such phenomena.
The idea of synchronicity is widely misunderstood and taken to be an indication of Jung's superstitious and gullible nature. We will see, however, that it was a serious proposal of a metaphysical nature, and well within the style of thinking that science has historically employed to solve problems like gravity and magnetism, which first appeared to be impossible instances of "action-at-a-distance." In parapsychology, when we know things at a distance telepathically or clairvoyantly, our sensory organs have been bypassed and no chain of material causes will ever be found to explain how we know what we know. Indeed, parapsychology experiments have repeatedly demonstrated that distance has no effect on the outcome. This is why most scientists are comfortable dismissing such events as impossible or merely coincidental. They seem to be absurd, and not worthy of further consideration.
It is not that science proves them impossible, rather it is merely unable to explain them. Jung identifies our folk metaphysics as responsible for the confusion. Common Western assumptions about the nature of reality (folk metaphysics) shared by both the uneducated and the scientist declare that only material things are real and that if any one of them changes in shape or position it must have interacted with some other material thing. Following the model of billiard balls or gas molecules colliding with one another, we look for the cause of material change in the vicinity of the object undergoing change. Fundamental to this expectation is the folk metaphysical assumption that every material body, insofar as it is matter, is inert and insensitive. It requires something else to make it change. This makes life itself a mystery, if not an impossibility; for what allows a collection of molecules to spring into life as soon as they are gathered into a biological cell? A tenet of our folk metaphysics not accepted by science attempts to answer this conundrum, too: we say life, consciousness and intentionality are evidence that a separate "spiritual substance" like Descartes' soul is at work. This creates our mind-body problem: for we have no way of explaining how a spiritual substance can bring about changes in matter—or even what a spiritual substance might be. This is why life, consciousness, intentionality and parapsychology remain inexplicable.
Jung's proposal of synchronicity as a non-causal principle asks us to stop looking for chains of material causes and not to assume that if two things are meaningfully connected they must be found interacting in the same locality. Just as Faraday concluded that magnetism and electric current change the properties of space, and Einstein concluded that gravity is a property of spacetime, so Jung has implicitly proposed that spacetime is characterized by relatedness. He calls this property the "psychoid" nature of reality, meaning that everything in the universe has a psyche-like dimension in that it is not inert, as our folk metaphysics believes, but is always receptive.
The inspiration for this idea comes from quantum mechanics, which Jung came partly to understand through his conversations and exchange of letters with Wolfgang Pauli, one of the founders of quantum mechanics, and from the metaphysics behind the Chinese "Classic of Changes," the I Ching, which claims everything that happens in a particular moment is characterized by the moment in which it occurs. In short, the universe is relational, everything is always in relationship with everything else.
Faraday, Einstein and Jung have all relinquished folk metaphysics in the same way. In every case, a field theory gives up trying to explain a whole as the sum of its parts and instead describes the whole (a field) as imposing conditions on its parts. Thus gravity, a consequence of spacetime's tendency to bend in response to the mass of a heavenly body, organizes the heavens into regularly orbiting planets, stars and galaxies. Similarly, a psychoid field imposes cooperation upon the entities that comprise it, making them function holistically. The appropriate analogy would be a biological cell—for cells organize all their component molecules holistically, just as a mammalian body organizes its liver, lungs, heart and so forth, for the good of the whole organism. The universe, therefore, resembles an organism, somewhat as the earth is pictured according to the "Gaia" hypothesis. Matter is not inert, as the West has believed for some 400 years, but psychoid in the minimal sense of being receptive to influence. "Psyche" is simply the name we give holistic process. It is relatively simple in the protozoa and far more complex in primates. In the universe at large, it facilitates synchronicity.
Like most of Jung's theoretical constructs, considered in Evolution and Archetype, synchronicity represents an intuitive leap that science appears to be catching up with. Quantum mechanics had not yet revealed the universe to be relational in 1952, when Jung published his article on synchronicity. Perhaps, however, the author of the Pauli Exclusion Principle had some sort of intuition along these lines, for he was very aware both of the "uncertainty" of the behavior of subatomic particles and yet how "symmetrical" that chaotic quantum sea had proven to be.
Twelve years after the publication of "Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle" (CW8: ¶816-968), in 1964 physicist John Stewart Bell argued that the logic of mathematics requires that subatomic particles be governed by a relational principle.' He called it "non-locality." It concerns what are called "entangled pairs" of particles like electrons and photons. "Entanglement" simply means that both members of the pair have been involved in a previous interaction together. Bell's Non-Locality Theorem predicts that, once entangled, two particles will undergo precisely the same changes simultaneously—even if they are too far apart for a chain of causes to connect them. Alternately expressed, the identical changes occur too quickly to allow any "message" to travel from one partner to the other, even at the speed of light. The principle of non-locality, if applied to parapsychological events, would describe how Emmanuel Swedenborg famously became aware, clairvoyantly, of a devastating fire in Stockholm when he was 300 miles away. His psyche was operating non-locally with a place where he was emotionally "entangled."
In 1982, more than two decades after Jung's death, Alain Aspect directed an experiment at the University of Paris-South that proved Bell's Non-Locality Theorem. Menas Kafatos, physicist at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, who specializes in astrophysics, general relativity and quantum theory, draws a conclusion about non-locality that seems to back up Jung's intuition of three decades earlier:
Non-locality is a shocking discovery because it appears to subvert the bias that the world is composed most fundamentally of individual objects and their non-relational properties. . . . It appeared as if these results had provided final confirmation that the classical view of the relations between physical theory and physical reality [our folk metaphysics], which quantum physics had been challenging for some time, was no longer supportable. (Kafatos and Nadeau 1990: lf)
Kafatos and his co-author, historian of science Robert Nadeau, go on to speculate that if "entanglement" is the heart of the non-locality issue, everything that comprises the universe must be entangled and in relation with every other, because at one point, the moment of the Big Bang, every particle was in the same infinitely small location and participating in the same explosive interaction.
Synchronicity, therefore, appears to challenge the same metaphysical assumptions that quantum mechanics challenges. We relinquish our faulty assumptions reluctantly, even though they blind us to current realities. We must presume, therefore, that physics is slowly moving toward accepting the view that the universe is relational, like a proto-organism. Philosopher and mathematician Alfred North Whitehead made a similar argument in extraordinary detail in 1929, with Process and Reality: An Essay in Cosmology. Furthermore, as we shall see in Chapter 11 of this volume, evolutionary biology is also searching for a relational principle to complete Darwin's account of evolutionary process. Thus it may well be that synchronicity, Jung's most outrageous proposal, will eventually be supported just as "archetype" and "complex" are today.
Jung in the 21st Century Volume Two: Synchronicity and Science by John Ryan Haule (Routledge) Part I: Shamanism and the mastery of altered states
Our survey of the history of consciousness, while much broader than Jung's, essentially backs up his view that the development of a reflective ego capable of linear, directed thinking and an internalized sense of morality has alienated us from our archetypal, instinctual roots. We have found that the process of birthing our individual selves from a deep but meaningful participation mystique in the mythic world explored through altered states of consciousness was gradual and took place over the course of some 40,000 years. As primates and Archaic Humans, altered states generated in rituals bound us into functional societies and defined our intra-societal relations. In the case of our species, the mythic world first taught our ancestors how to manipulate the empirical world, and successes there taught later generations how to manipulate the mythic narrative itself for aggrandizing purposes. It has been the collaboration between economic/political power and mythic narrative that has enforced our species' movement from a maximally polyphasic to a monophasic world. The greatest success in this collaboration is represented by the cathedrals of the Gothic period, which stand along with the Ice Age caves as bookends in the process. When the Gothic contract fell apart with the Renaissance, the core of our social agreement swung to the individual, the conscious, the linear and the empirical. We have become the hollow-eyed searchers Mountain Lake perceived us to be.
Jung urges us to recover our polyphasic roots, re-explore altered states of consciousness and learn to integrate directed thinking with archetypal wisdom. To our monophasic mentality this seems to be lunacy, for our world believes that only directed, empirically based thought is trustworthy and that anything less "rational" (dreams, myth and other altered states) is childish, delusional, naive, even pathological. His stance on this issue is a major reason Jung has been dismissed as a "mystic."
Part I of Synchronicity and Science, therefore, takes up the question of whether altered states of consciousness can be mastered and turned into dependable sources of information. To do so, we look primarily to shamanism, the "hardwired" capability we all have to tune our autonomic nervous system (ANS), alter our consciousness and explore what appears before our inner eyes as a greater cosmos. Shamans have had to learn how to operate dependably in such an alternate universe; and because the techniques they have developed are quite sensible and available to us all, the possibility of integrating realizations brought back from the greater cosmos is a real possibility.
In Chapter 2, we survey Jung's views on altered states. Chapter 3 provides an overview of shamanism as it has been seen in academic studies and as it is now understood through neurobiology. The techniques of mastery will become understandable in such terms. Then in Chapter 4, we consider a form of shamanism that has been explored in great detail by Western scientists, the use of ayahuasca in the Amazon, to see how such techniques of mastery are employed by living shamans. Finally, in Chapter 5 we survey meditation techniques for altering consciousness and how meditative states can be mastered.
Part II: The border zones of exact science
To demonstrate that Jung's theories and concepts of nearly a century ago are consilient with recent developments in the biological sciences, we have been content in previous sections of this book to accept today's dominant philosophical perspective: that psyche and brain operate in parallel because in some sense they are the same thing. While the brain is a complex physiological organ that can be studied from the outside with the instruments of science and described in third-person terms, psyche is the first-person lived experience of everyone who has a brain. Having a brain in the first-person, subjective sense allows us to live a world, wander in dreamscape, form emotional alliances and become a "personality."
The brain-mind identity hypothesis has allowed us to establish the neural substrate that produces the complexes, namely the "convergence zones" of the limbic system. It also allows us to see how archetypes are both inherited with our genes and yet have their "wiring" completed through familial and cultural interactions. We have come to appreciate as well how the compelling "numinosity" of archetypal experience results from an autonomic nervous system that has been "tuned" by emotional encounters or ritual enactments. Altering ANS balance generates state-transitions in the brain which are characterized by specific altered states of consciousness, including identification with mythic figures and situations. When the two cerebral hemispheres are harmonized with the limbic system, unitive/ transformative states of awareness can be brought about. These are the experiences for which Jung reserves the terms "self," "transcendent function" and "hierosgamos" (the wedding of the gods).
Over the past 40,000 years of human history, the employment of altered states of conscious has assisted our discovery and mastery of the natural world and facilitated the hierarchical organization of societies. Shamans and their descendants have learned techniques to master trance states, and aggrandizers have learned to manipulate ideology derived from myth to subjugate large segments of the population and produce immense surpluses of food and treasure. These, in turn, have led in the West to the development of an ego preoccupied with empirical discoveries, leading to modern science and technology, as well as the devaluation of "non-ordinary" conscious states as pathological or at least irrelevant for "real life."
On account of this cultural prejudice, Part I of this volume, on shamanism and mastery, has run to some length in order to demonstrate that altered states are common and varied and that they can be managed and put to good use. If evolu. tion means anything for us humans, it is that the talents that led our distant ancestors to paint the walls of caves and to build magnificent cathedrals are very much a part of the genetic endowment that has ensured our survival as a species. We have not so much outgrown as learned to ignore this inheritance.
The topic of shamanism and mastery, however, has introduced reports from seemingly reliable observers that implicitly challenge the hypothesis of brain-psyche identity. Anthropologist Edith Turner (1998), for instance, saw a tooth extracted from the back of a native sufferer. Turner was herself in an altered state at the time and did not initially identify what she saw as a tooth, but rather saw some sort of ectoplasmic projection that seemed to be forced out of the patient's back by the shaman's thumb. Later the captured "tooth" was displayed in an empty Vaseline jar and appeared quite ordinary. The patient was genuinely cured. Turner had no explanation to satisfy herself but remained convinced that she had witnessed something extraordinary. Similarly, Amazonian shamans inflict injuries and effect cures with "darts" that lodge in a strange sort of "phlegm" that also resembles the ectoplasm of European spiritualistic seances. Such stories imply that psyche can have effects on matter. For if ectoplasm is not a "materialization" itself, changes seem to have been made in human bodies and personalities. They have been cured or attacked.
Amazonian vegetalistas claim that the "vine" taught them everything they know. Originally it showed them how to brew the complex psychedelic tea itself, and it continues to teach them what herbs are useful for healing and how to use them. Most impressively, it enables them to survey the physical and mental condition of an ailing patient, showing them how to remedy what is wrong. Their claims and their cures resemble those of the North American healer and so-called prophet, Edgar Cayce—who used hypnosis rather than a psychedelic drug to alter his conscious state. In these cases, it appears as though the psyche of the healer makes a tour of the patient's body. No doubt the shaman's brain is functioning in some sort of rhythmically harmonized fashion. But what appears to the psyche does not arrive through the sense organs. The whole procedure seems impossible, and yet the information provided appears to be remarkably accurate. Furthermore, while an ayahuasquero like Don Manuel is making such a tour, his wife keeping watch over him says she has witnessed his other-worldly activity and been horrified by it. If we accept her story, and we have no reason to suspect her of lying, we have to wonder how her psyche-and-brain--if they are one and the same thing—can have simultaneous access to the patient's body and her husband's mind.
This material takes us into "The Border Zones of Exact Science," the title of Jung's first presentation to his college student fraternity, the Zofingia Society, in November, 1896. Although officially pursuing the study of science and medicine, Jong was an avid student of spiritualism as well. Popular spiritualism—as it appeared in table rapping, visitations by ghosts of the departed, and serious investigations by people like William James and the members of London's Society for Psychical Research—belonged to the "somnambulism complex" of phenomena whose psychological investigation by Janet, Binet, Flournoy, Prince, and others constituted the informal "French School" of psychology that Jung so often cited as the primary source of his psychological theories.
As a 21-year-old university student in that first lecture, Jung demanded that science extend its empirical methods and analyze the data of hypnotism and spiritualism. He wanted his fraternity brothers to join him and leave the safe paths of established philosophy and science and "make our own independent raids into the realm of the unfathomable, chase the shadows of the night" (CWA: 23). Entering these "border zones," therefore, implied that Jung wanted to find a middle way "between the scornfully skeptical [as the majority of scientists and citizens at that time were and today still are] and the eagerly superstitious," a phrase that describes most parlor spiritualists of a century and more ago as well as New Agers today)
Jung never lost his interest in those border zones. He wrote his medical dissertation on mediumship and took up the theme of somnambulism (a.k.a. dissociation) empirically in his Word Association Studies. A few years later, he had an important disagreement in Freud's study when he accurately predicted poltergeist phenomena in the master's bookcase and Freud called it nonsense (MDR: 155). He paid close attention all his professional life to non-ordinary events and in his last decade published his theory of parapsychology in collaboration with one of the founders of quantum mechanics, Wolfgang Pauli, "Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle" (CW8: ¶816-968).
The consequences of Jung's "chasing the shadows of the night" are chiefly two. In the first place, Jung had to develop a broad enough conception of the Psyche to include all the non-ordinary events and experiences that manifest themselves despite their alleged impossibility. His view of psyche more adequately accounts for what we experience; and it will require less revision to accommodate itself to a future that surely lies before us—though not so near as William James imagined it to be—the day when mainstream science overcomes its hesitations and prejudices and seriously undertakes studies in parapsychology and related phenomena. Second, and regrettably, "the black tide of occultism," as Freud called it (MDR: 155), has injured Jung's reputation, leaving him vulnerable to the charge of being a "mystic," in the derogatory sense of being a soft-headed and superstitious investigator.
Jung in the 21st Century Volume Two: Synchronicity and Science by John Ryan Haule (Routledge) This last section of Synchronicity and Science is an investigation of where Jung wanted us to go in those "raids into the realm of the unfathomable."
We begin with an overview of Jung's relationship with the "borderzone" phenomena of parapsychology and the logic of his proposal of synchronicity (Chapter 7). Chapters 8 to 10 present a review of parapsychology, discovering that non-ordinary experiences like clairvoyance and telepathy are neither supernatural nor impossible. Surely they are far more occasional and less dependable than more familiar experiences that originate in our sense organs. But their manifestation appears to rely on human talents that can be developed and refined in ways that closely resemble what we have already seen concerning the mastery of trance states.
These things happen. They are real, and it is not accurate to say that they violate the laws of physics. The laws of physics can neither prove nor disprove them. What they violate are our metaphysical assumptions—but no less than do twentieth-century developments in physics. We do not have a metaphysics that "works" to adequately account for the reality we actually experience. We need a general account of the world that can make even quantum mechanics intelligible, to say nothing of parapsychology. Indeed, although no one doubts that life and consciousness also belong to the real world, we have no adequate account of them, either.
In the process of making such raids into the realm of the unfathomable, it will become clear that, first, psyche cannot be identical with the brain, and this on biological grounds alone, regardless of parapsychology; second, effects in the real world cannot always be understood on the analogy of colliding billiard balls; third, process, incessant change, is fundamental but neglected when we try to understand it in terms of a series of stop-action snapshots; and fourth, the best analogy for the structure of reality is organism, parts integrated into a whole whose process is a higher order of reality, transcending the sum of its constituents.
Consequently, Chapters 11 to 13 articulate the implications of Jung's theory of synchronicity to redraw our picture of reality. Jung and Pauli would add a fourth ("psychoid") field to our understanding of the universe—alongside the gravity field of space-time, the electromagnetic field, and the quantum field. The modest metaphysics proposed here will be in line with both the general trend in physical science over the past three or four centuries and Jung's appeal to Chinese metaphysics to clarify his proposal of synchronicity as a fourth principle. It renders parapsychology far less mysterious and potentially has useful application elsewhere.
Dr. Erik Goodwyn's review:
John Haule as done a great service to Jungian psychology and even
depth psychology as a whole with this work. Coming out among the
recent renaissance of Jung, including the publication of Jung's "Red
Book" in 2010, which has been featured on the cover of Time magazine
as well as the Archives of General Psychiatry, Haule takes up the
charge first helmed by Anthony Stevens in pointing out the many
striking parallels in Jung's thought on the psyche and shows how it
is very congruent with the more recent findings of evolutionary
biology, neuroscience, primatology and anthropology. Depth
psychology in general has suffered in the last few decades due to
the perception that it lacks empirical support and it has been
supplanted in the public and professional eye by more recent
therapies such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). This has been
due to several trends--the first of which was early arrogance and
dominance of Freudian schools within psychology in the first part of
the 20th century, and its distrust of empirical research. Along came
manualized CBT type therapies in the latter part of the 20th
century, which took on a very empirical approach and showed through
a large number of accumulated studies that CBT was effective for a
variety of disorders. This, along with the lack of enthusiasm for
showing empirical effectiveness of psychodynamic styles of therapy
such as those based in Freudian psychoanalysis, object relations
theory, Self psychology, and of course Jung's "Complex Psychology",
witnessed a steady decline in the public eye. Combine this with
sensationalized and often rather silly media depictions of
psychoanalysis, along with a particular penchant for touting some of
Freud's wackier ideas (like "penis envy") that no one takes
seriously anymore, and psychodynamic theory suffered greatly.
Perhaps no one, however, suffered more than Jung, who even in his day was heavily criticized for being a "mystic" in the sense of a befuddled guru and not the positive sense, who challenged Western thought with such outrageous ideas like the mind is not a blank slate, that evolution has had a profound effect on human nature and continues to do so, that altered states of consciousness such as dreaming and trance/reverie produced images that we should not dismiss or explain away with "blahblahblah" types of rationalistic/materialistic reduction but take seriously as significant expressions of the unconscious psyche. Jungian Analyst Anthony Stevens, along with a few others, however, as early as the 1980s began to notice that though psychology had for the most part forgotten about Jung, there were some curious findings being discovered independently by many other disciplines. He set the playing field with his book "Archetype Revisited" (updated in 2002), showing how newer disciplines such as ethology (animal behavior), neuroscience, and evolutionary biology have made a variety of findings that sounded suspiciously like very similar statements about the mind/psyche Jung made decades prior, such as the importance of evolution, our similarity with other animals, the interesting physiology of dreams, and so forth, and has since continued to champion a call to re-examine Jungian thought within the light of all this new research going on largely independently of each other. Jung, it seems, had been right all along, and we are now beginning to see exactly how and why. At the same time, psychodynamic theorists have begun to catch up with CBT-styled therapies and have shown that psychodynamic therapy is not only effective, but in some cases is *more* effective than CBT; in particular psychodynamic therapy has an 'extended release' effect that continues to improve patient functioning as long as 5 years after therapy has terminated--other non-psychodynamic therapies do not have this effect. Furthermore, detailed comparative studies have shown that even therapies labeled 'CBT' are more likely to be effective when they incorporate one or more principles common to all psychdynamic therapies such as an emphasis on the therapeutic relationship ('transference'), a focus on how early developmental events are playing out in current symptoms, an overall emphasis on encouraging patients to continue to express their feelings, and free exploration of dream and fantasy imagery. Jungian therapy naturally utilizes all of these methods.
Now enter Haule's work "Jung in the 21st Century". Here Haule pulls together a wide array of studies from fields of primatology, cultural and physical anthropology, evolutionary biology, and weaves a strongly coherent model of the archetype--Jung's most profound and foundational concept--that is firmly anchored in the empirical data of these disciplines. He avoids the mistake of getting hung up on the endless debates in psychology about "mental modules", Haule makes one of the most creative and important contributions to this whole area by showing how archetypes are not independent "algorithms" (which invites all sorts of pointless debates about evolutionary psychology) but "complexities within complexities" that have a long evolutionary history and emerge in development due to our phylogenetic history. These archetypes then shape our common dreams, religious feelings and experiences with "godlike" forces in our life. Haule does not stop there, however, and continues on to organize a model of altered states of consciousness and "shamanistic" practices that have been used by humans for anywhere between 60,000 to 200,000 years to attain better inclusive fitness and achieve their goals both religious and mundane (such as to achieve power and set up social strata). He continues on with a brilliant analysis of the history of consciousness--another of Jung's projects, and broadens the span of Jung's inquiry to include primate consciousness through modern day.
As a psychiatrist with strong Jungian leanings, I found this work to be timely, exciting and very encouraging; furthermore (to make a shameless plug), I found it to be an invaluable complement to my own book "The Neurobiology of the Gods" which will also be published by Routledge (as of this writing it is in the early phase of publication), which explores the specifics of the archetypal imagery of gods and spirits, and includes still other consilient data from dream science, metaphor theory, affective neuroscience, neuroanatomy, and cognitive anthropology.
Overall, Haule's book is accessible, important, and very broad in scope. The scope in fact makes it impossible for him to deal with particulars, but this is hardly noticed because we are so easily caught up in the directness and clarity of his vision. Many, I predict, will feel a distinct "click" and mental paradigm shift as they work through it. A wide variety of readers should find a great deal to think on with this book, and I feel it will be seen as a very important contribution to the new surge of neurobiological Jungian theory that is gathering momentum in this, the early 21st century. Highly recommended.