November 30, 2021 at 8:51 pm #73003
I wanted to re-edit the post about collected unconscious vs collective ego.
Had other thoughts that have a slightly different perspective.
On an aside: All of the myth blasts have so much to offer. Yet it is easy to find other thoughts, ideas, images and stories provoked by various myth blasts. And sometimes it can be tempting (especially for me heh heh) to wander a bit off the path. So I’m beginning to wonder if a category of “Myth Blast,” “spin offs,” or even “asides,” might help with the occasional wanderlust or different paths in the forest that beckon. I’m cool either way. (Smile) Ok I’m going to make a 2nd post. Since I wandered.November 30, 2021 at 9:16 pm #73006
This may be a wander…so heads up ahead of time.
I was thinking about Universal Consciousness. Yes it’s not quite defined the same way as “collected Unconscious,” but it still feels very relevant.
Other ideas and words Universal Consciousness conjures besides the usual ideas of love and peace are Awareness, Compassion and Connection.
And also synchronicity. Everyone probably at some point has those synchronous moments in their lives and often those involve other people.
I think for me that can definitely go on the Aha! Scale where you feel “connected,” to something much larger than yourself. Yet think it is just as possible to look up at the stars with or without friends and feel that beautiful finite moment wrapped up in something infinite shared by all on Space Ship earth. (Love that metaphor!)
It reminds me of Campbell’s reaction to the earth from moon view.
Not this group or that group…but the whole planet.
One thing I’ve always found interesting is Joe Campbell once championing the idea of “smaller groups,” going into the forest. And yes it might sound as though it contradicts what’s said above.
I just thought it was more about less chatter and noise going into a forest. Or even that larger-groups tend to create in-groups/religion and in-fighting and smaller ones might be more open to Consciousness/Universal awareness and each other. But that’s probably a slightly different subject.
I have an opinion the reason Campbell and Jung would have not chosen to use the term Universal Consciousness is because it invites the infinite.
I’m sure they would be aware of the infinite, but for the sake of studying the shared consciousness or unconscious, a “Collected Unconscious,” works much better (even if it also points beyond itself.). It makes sense that it is the best scientific way to describe this “amorphous shared human state.” In one sense it’s definitely “collected” because we are all a part of that…have that in common.
Universal is probably less definable, since the Universe is larger than our solar system alone. But as a metaphor of experience call me purple, I find it ideal!
I’ve seen the way music brings people together. I’ve seen people from all backgrounds and cultures come to celebrate and play music together…Beatles…Robert Mirabal so many more….
Those synchronous moments we all share with each other? Or even seeing wildlife. There is definitely a “more than me,” feeling.
But what I find most interesting about that is how often it includes spontaneity or just being in the moment!
This was why, I was carried away with the Parzeval essays earlier this year!
When he is listening to his inner nature that spontaneity occurs.
It feels like the individuation process is as much about being open to the spontaneous and possible as it is to working something out from the “intellectual side alone.” Balance? (Grin)
That’s why the word awareness seems to fit for me. A balance between inner nature, intuition and intellect.
There has to be some alert and grounding on the journey to not step on snakes in the grass…(heh heh…well all psyche 3rd eye bites aside)
So now will post a third.November 30, 2021 at 10:01 pm #73005
One character story example I like of universal consciousness is Samwise Gamgee. But since he does his little every man/hobbit/being speech…I’ll take in mind anyone can be Sam (of any background, culture or place…just to add to the universal ness of it) But even more than appearance it is about heart.
Sam is not a savior…he is a symbol of something inside each of us and the best part. In the darkest times he finds an untouchable star high above Mordor.
There is something so beautiful in that! And then there are his acts of kindness yeah I know when he carries Frodo…the sniffles in the movie audience.
But back to his “good deeds.” Sam is simply helping. Simply doing good. But even that small good makes a ripple.
There is a scene in The Hobbit and it may have been translated differently to screen. (Adapted addition from LOTR appendices?) Galadriel asks Gandalf “Why the halfling?”
And he says something to the effect that Saruman only believes great power can change the world but he (Gandalf) believes in simple every day deeds of kindness.”
It fits. And this to me is Sam to a T.
Then I thought about the words “The Greater Good,” words, which suggest a multiplicity of good or bigger or better good. Where this makes sense to me is the most good such as what or where can one do the most good? That makes common sense.
Yet throughout time “the greater good,” has often been a double-edged sword.
And here it is impossible for me to not think of Sam.
The Greater Good can be a choice that one or many make. A choice to do the greater good.
But Sam simply does good. He often does it spontaneously without thinking much about it except from the heart.
And the good he does though small echoes from him out to everyone else.
Sam doesn’t see himself as a hero only an adventurer caught up in a dangerous story with his friends. Sometimes he feels small. But it makes him even braver.
The greater good can be a lofty ideal to aspire to collectively. But for me, I’ll probably remember the simple acts of good of the Samwise Gamgees everywhere around the world the best. Not only acts of good but kindness. Bodhisattva?? We certainly need more kindness and compassion in the world!
Sam is not doing good for goods sake…(a principle of the appearance of honor?) but rather he simply does good because he is compassionate and I think that’s why I and we and so many of us love him!
This is the place where I will trade the Collected Unconscious for Universal Consciousness. Collected Unconscious works to study myths in general but to “experience them,” and allow these stories to invite us to these imaginal realms of reflection and awareness and realization then I’m all for Universal Consciousness and Universal “Sam.”
In this case just in this moment a collected Unconscious becomes too impersonal for me, even if it’s an accurate description because whatever drives our inner nature to compassion feels Supra-personal….
The story of the policeman saving the man committing suicide on the bridge.
Campbell said “the whole world drops away.”
But I also wondered if what the policeman saw in that man’s eyes was himself and the whole world?
If everything comes in pairs of opposites is it possible the whole world or universe also opens up?
Looking into someone’s eyes is a very personal experience.
Don’t the myths and stories not only give us relatable themes but also characters who become like avatars of our imagination? (While we stray momentarily into these “other worlds)
We “watch/read” them and sometimes “become them,” or see ourselves in them or even our friends.
So that’s why I love the spontaneous Universal Consciousness of Sam!
We need more Sam’s in the world!December 5, 2021 at 10:32 pm #73004Stephen GerringerKeymaster
Thank you for sharing these thoughts, Sunbug.
I especially appreciate your observations about Samwise Gangee, who has always struck me as the heart, so to speak, of the Lord of the Rings novels. He keeps on keeping on . . .
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