Tools to Change Society Questions
- Parent Category: Tools to Change Society
- Category: Questions
- Published on Sunday, 20 October 2013 00:11
- Written by Skip Conover
- Hits: 175
I have studied the works of and about Dr. Carl G. Jung for many years, and something has always troubled me. How does one say why his work is important to the average person? I’m sure many of us, who consider ourselves “Jungian” by self-description or certification, can point to an infinite number of quotes, which point toward the central point that must be made, but they never quite get there.
In working with The Red Book on Twitter™, I have found that in 4-5 tweets (@skip_conover), I can quote an important passage, and each tweet has its own individual wisdom. I post them in reverse order, so that when someone reads my timeline after the posting, the 4-5 tweets will be correct from top to bottom. BUT, it doesn’t much matter. You can also read the sentences in reverse order, and the wisdom shines through just the same, if not more.
To me, what Dr. Jung was pointing at throughout his long and prodigious scholarship was a technology of the mind (read “psyche”). What is its purpose? Why is it unconscious? What should we take from it?
Interestingly, Dr. Jung was long interested in the teachings and methods of Tibetan Buddhism, which developed a technology of Mind (“Rigpa”) independently, through the good offices of thousands of monks who retreated from everyday life for years on end and simply meditated to find the answers. Since most of us don’t have that kind of time, we’ll have to do this through educating others and ourselves by whatever means we have at our disposal.
It seems to me that Dr. Jung was pointing out that the role of the psyche is to aid us in our lives. James Hillman famously pointed out that interpreting dreams is the wrong way around. Dreams are interpreting us (and implicitly, trying to help us live our lives). And that’s their role, isn’t it? Psychotherapy is about helping people, whose psyche has become dysfunctional, but this article is about what it means to normal people; or those only slightly deranged, like we Jungians.
Dr. Jung pointed out that everything we think comes to us in the form of images. When we speak to someone in a conversation, we are interpreting images in his or her psyche and in our own psyches as words (also symbols) to convey them from and to our counterpart in the best way we can. When we have a good conversation, our surroundings seem to disappear as we are carried through a series of images, passing back and forth between the parties.
People who have studied Neuro Linguistic Programming know that any word has its anchors, which link it up to other images (and indirectly words, because they too are symbols) in our unconscious, thereby bringing them to consciousness. Let’s pick one at the end of this sentence, to see what I mean: the word is “ant.” Now when you see that word, does it make you think of red ants, an ant hill, chocolate covered ants (a delicacy), an ant farm, an invasion of ants; or, if someone is reading this to you, did you think of your Mother’s sister, Aunt Sally? [When I was a child I was very confused, because I didn’t see why my parents were calling my Aunts Anne, Joyce, Dorothy, and Virginia ants! The image still gives me the willies.]
The point of the last two paragraphs is that our psyche is producing images all the time, both night and day. Our psyche is producing images it thinks it needs us to envision for the next thing that will happen in our life. During our waking life, we can control this process to a degree, by what we call directed thinking. But when we sleep we stop directed thinking, and the psyche gets to produce what it thinks we need to know, but always in the form of images--dreams. And since our psyche can’t write English, or Arabic, or Chinese very well, it produces this information for us in the form of metaphors, which convey what it means in a round about kind of way. And sometimes, these metaphors come to us in waking life, in the form of visions (waking dreams).
I’ll offer a recent personal experience, which really made me finally “get it” on this topic. Last week I was struggling through some very tough personal issues, with many possibilities about how I should deal with the situation. The thinking about the alternatives really had “smoke coming out of my ears” and I was truly mind-tied about what to do. This had me grumpy, and very introverted and uncommunicative.
Finally, thanks to a series of dreams and visions (where my unconscious was giving me hints about what to do), I made a decision about what step to take at a particularly critical moment. Still, in the morning of the most important day, October 11, 2013, I walked out of the house not knowing what the outcome would be. I was hit over the head with a Vision, complete with sound effects.
Suddenly the song “There Has to Be a Morning After” came into my head, and I was envisioning the “Poseidon Adventure” from the movie, complete with Shelley Winters swimming through the flooded engine room, and finding her way to the bottom of the ship (which was the highest point, as the ship was upside down), and there rescuers were cutting through the bottom with torches to rescue anyone they might find there. I had to laugh out loud! It was my psyche telling me that it had worked through all of the complex permutations of what I was facing, and come what may, everything would be all right. Whew! Immediately I had new confidence, and a laugh. The latter was very welcome at the time.
I often have a similar experience with the “Johnny Appleseed Song” popping into my head. Like this morning, it usually pops up after I’ve been through some difficult passage in my life. My psyche is celebrating, it seems.
So these images (as I’m a more auditory person, and not a very visual person, these often come up first in the form of music or song) are definitely sending my conscious mind messages, which I can “read” and understand in the context of the pile of memories that are hidden in my unconscious until my psyche needs them to present a metaphor.
So the point here is that it seems to me that we must rethink how we talk about dreams and visions. Rather than interpreting them, we need to think about what they are saying to us when they are interpreting us. What was the Vision of God saying to Abraham, when He showed him a sheep to sacrifice rather than Isaac? [Genesis 22: 1-13] Surely this was a manifestation of Abraham’s God beginning to tell human beings to stop with human sacrifice (though we never seem to learn this lesson properly—witness the carnage of the 20th and 21st Centuries), and to sacrifice animals instead, as was done for millennia in Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, and throughout the world.
If you buy a book of dream interpretations, it cannot possibly tell you very much of any use in understanding your psyche. If I asked everyone who has read this far to draw pictures of the ants they saw when I constellated the word “ant” above, every one of us would draw something completely different, although all pointing in the same general directions.
The interpretations of dreams must come from within, because that’s where we keep our individual images—in the unconscious. Whoever wrote that book you bought at Barnes & Noble has no idea what “anchors” (associations) you have for those symbols in your own life.
My wife bought me a very nice book for my birthday: The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetypal images. It has outstanding contributions from many able Jungians. I recommend it. But for every association they offer for each of the symbols, there are inevitably many more from all of the cultures of the world, a fact with which they would probably all agree.
All of this brings me back to the importance of dreams and visions in our own lives. These are not some mystical dross, which is of passing interest to new agers and psychotherapists. Like the unconscious mechanisms that make our hearts beat and our lungs fill with air, these are messages from our unconscious about how to live our lives more happily.
How do we get everyone to start thinking about it in that way? Would it be better for society? Could we start telling people that this is part of how your psyche makes your life, and you would be better off understanding what it is saying? It sounds simple when I lay it out like this, but it’s taken more than a quarter of a century and hundreds of hours of concentrated study of what Dr. Jung was saying to get to this point.
The average person has no chance of reaching this epiphany without some real help. Until they get it, the advertisers and politicians of the world will lead mind-tied football fans and “how well my washing machine is working” Mothers by the nose, much to the detriment of all of us. How many marriages could be saved and murders prevented if there was a better understanding of this among those who can’t afford a therapist? Why aren’t we teaching this from the First Grade?
Skip Conover is an international businessman, author and artist. He is a Founder of the Archetype in Action™ Organization. You can follow him and his work on Twitter using @skip_conover or on Pinterest. Skip is the author of Tsunami of Blood .
- Parent Category: Tools to Change Society
- Category: Questions
- Published on Tuesday, 13 August 2013 15:04
- Written by Wikileaks Party Platform
- Hits: 950
Could the Constitutionalists of the American Tea Party get behind this platform?
TRANSPARENCY. ACCOUNTABILITY. JUSTICE.
The WikiLeaks Party believes that truthful, accurate, factual information is the foundation of democracy and is essential to the protection of human rights and freedoms. Where the truth is suppressed or distorted, corruption and injustice flourish.
The WikiLeaks Party insists on transparency of government information and action, so that these may be evaluated using all the available facts. With transparency comes accountability, and it is only when those in positions of power are held accountable for their actions, that all Australians have the possibility of justice.
The WikiLeaks Party is fearless in its pursuit of truth and good governance, regardless of which party is in power. In each and every aspect of government we will strive to achieve transparency, accountability and justice. This is our core platform.
In a parliamentary democracy, Parliament has three functions
1) To represent the people (the democratic function)
2) To design, guide and implement policy (the legislative function)
3) To scrutinise and oversee government practice, honesty and efficiency (the oversight function).
However what we have witnessed in Australia, despite exceptional work by individual politicians in all the major parties, is a failure of the oversight function. There has been a gradual acceptance that once a single party or a coalition has gained the majority required to form a government, Parliament then becomes little more than an extension of that government’s executive machinery: the houses of Parliament effectively become rubber stamps for its policy agendas. This problem becomes particularly pressing when a single party gains a majority in both Houses, a spectre that remains a distinct possibility after the 2013 election.
The WikiLeaks Party aims to restore genuine independent scrutiny into our political process.
This is why we are campaigning only for the Upper House. We want to return the Senate to its core function as a genuine Upper House – offering independent scrutiny of government, protecting the interests of the people, and ensuring that light is shone upon bad practices.
Calling Time on Corruption of Purpose
Parliament is also failing Australians in its democratic function.
In a true democracy, Parliament must facilitate – not obstruct – our democratic obligation to dissent.
Yet we are witness to a degeneration of democracy into political party oligarchy, in which dissent is stifled and the public bureaucracy is contained and docile.
Members of Parliament fail to represent the people who elect them partly because of the party system: they are constrained by an obligation to toe their party line. Instead of voting according to conscience or according to the values they have publicly espoused to their constituents, they vote as they are instructed by their Party leadership.
Far too often politicians conceive their public role not to be scrutineers of government, but to be partisan supporters of their own party. Their sense of duty to the party and to the networks of political patronage to which they owe their nomination and their career prospects, outweighs their sense of duty to the electorate.
How rare is it to see a Member of Parliament, whether in government or in opposition, stepping out of line, or raising difficult or controversial issues? To engage in backbench rebellion spells death for the career politician, putting an end to their prospects of career advancement or ministerial appointment.
The result is a system of party oligarchy in which conspiracy and corruption of purpose flourish.
It’s time for a culture shift.
It’s time to give dissidents a voice in our political system.
It’s time to inject some genuine, independent scrutiny into our political process.
The WikiLeaks Party in the Senate
The WikiLeaks Party is running a number of candidates for the Senate in the 2013 election.
Our Senators will be genuinely independent in their scrutiny of the government and demand thorough transparency its contractual arrangements with private companies.
We will bring our core principles of transparency, accountability and justice to bear on all the major issues currently facing Australia.
WikiLeaks Party candidates are ideally suited to the work of the Senate: they are skilled in understanding complexity and they are experienced in dealing with large amounts of documents produced by bureaucracies and spotting their hidden significance and tricks.
The WikiLeaks Party will be vigilant against corruption in all its forms.
The WikiLeaks organisation was pioneering in its use of ‘scientific journalism’, reporting information with reference to publicly available primary sources. The WikiLeaks Party will promote ‘scientific policy’; decision-making based on research, evidence and clear, transparent principles.
In particular we will be fearless in the pursuit of the 21st century freedoms which are essential to the creation of any meaningful democracy. These include:
- the free flow of information: we live in a media-ocracy. What is politically possible is defined by the media environment. And in Australia 98% of the print media is the hands of just three corporations. Seven out of ten of our national newspapers are owned by the Murdoch News International group. The WikiLeaks Party will push for radical change in media policy to increase Australian media innovation.
- Internet freedom – the WikiLeaks Party will be fearless in its opposition to the creeping surveillance state, driven by globalised data collection and spying agencies, both state and corporate controlled. We will demand that all information on data seizure and storage of citizens’ data by government agencies and allied corporations be made public.
- protection for whistleblowers – with an increasingly unaccountable corporate state and an increasingly secretive security state, whistleblowers are an essential brake on bad practice. Only the threat of leaks can keep unaccountable institutions honest. So whistleblowers must be protected by law.
- standing up for national sovereignty – for too long Australian politics has been under the influence of foreign powers and transnational non-state actors, affecting both our foreign and domestic policy, against the interests of Australians. The WikiLeaks Party will fight to expose the collusions between the Australian state and the military-industrial complex that dominates world affairs.
- integrity in the global community – our national character is proud and generous, but recent policies have not met our obligations to the international community. The WikiLeaks Party will ensure Australia stands tall as a responsible global citizen.
- Parent Category: Tools to Change Society
- Category: Questions
- Published on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 17:34
- Written by Jean Raffa
- Hits: 1172
After my last post, Lorrie B said that gender is a huge elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. It’s true. But talking is essential if we’re to heal our gender-related wounds, so in this post I’ll offer topics for conversations.
Tribalism: Our species is between 100 and 150 thousand years old. In that time we’ve made more progress taming the instincts of carnivorous canine and feline pack animals than our own. Why are we still so territorial? So hostile toward members of our own species whose only differences from us are physical appearances and culturally- and geographically-conditioned adaptations? Episcopal priest Matthew Fox says that as a species we are extremely dangerous and our tribalism is eating us alive. What roles do gender issues play in tribalism? What changes can men and women take to eliminate it?
Violence: Lorrie B also noted that men, onto whom we’ve traditionally projected our masculine drive (self-preservation) and values, are accountable for over 90 % of the world’s violence. Why are women (onto whom we’ve projected our feminine drive of species-preservation with its values of caring, connecting and relating) and spiritually enlightened people of both genders still so ineffective in reducing violent conflicts? Is testosterone the only culprit? How can the genders cooperate in healing our violent tendencies?
Male-Dominated Spirituality: Our “primitive” forebears appreciated and worshiped the sacredness of all life in its masculine and feminine aspects. Why do so many “advanced” Westerners believe that a one-sided masculine-oriented spirituality is preferable? Why has organized religion failed to solve the problems of male violence and female oppression? Why do both genders submit to external religious authorities instead of acting on the truth of these words from the Dalai Lama? “We can do without religion, but not compassion.” Didn’t Jesus and Mohammed teach the same thing? Why is Mother Teresa the female spirit person who most readily comes to mind? What can we learn from her?
Gender Stereotypes: Why do gender stereotypes still abound? Why are some people still rigidly obsessed with defending them, especially ones related to sexuality and fundamental personal rights? Why do some of us privately project logic and rationality onto males and sensitivity and emotionality onto females even though both genders contain the psychological potential for both? We’ve had three generations of world-wide immersion in technologically produced visual images, beginning with photography, and moving into film, television, and computers. Why are we still so visually illiterate and vulnerable to subtle manipulation by the media? When and how does advertising take advantage of gender stereotypes and perpetuate unhealthy ones? Who wins from this practice? Who loses? Is it true that men are more out of touch with their feelings than women? Why? Why do women seem to find it easier to integrate their masculine sides than men, their feminine sides? What factors account for the high divorce rate in North America? Why do the genders still have difficulty understanding each other and communicating?
Exploitation of Women, Children and Nature: What can I say about human trafficking, child labor, and sexual exploitation? About the rape of Nature, our Mother? These things are unspeakably appalling and both genders are complicit. God help us. With all the freely given bounty and beauty of life we certainly haven’t excelled at preserving it or helping ourselves and each other enjoy it! Why?
I know most of us would rather imagine figures of light than face dark realities, so if these questions have aroused uncomfortable emotions or offended sensibilities I hope you’ll understand and forgive. May we all advance toward Buddhism’s goal of joyful participation in the sorrows of the world.
Dr. Jean Raffa is an author, speaker, and leader of workshops, dream groups, and study groups. She maintains a blog called "Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom." Her job history includes teacher, television producer, college professor, and instructor at the Disney Institute in Orlando and The Jung Center in Winter Park, FL. She is the author of three books, a workbook, a chapter in a college text, numerous articles in professional journals, and a series of meditations and short stories for Augsburg Fortress Publisher.
Her most recent book is Healing the Sacred Divide. Her book The Bridge to Wholeness: A Feminine Alternative to the Hero Myth (LuraMedia, 1992) was nominated for the Benjamin Franklin Award for best psychology book of 1992. Reviewed in several journals and featured on the reading lists of university courses, it was also picked by the Isabella catalogue as a must-read for seeking women.
Dream Theatres of the Soul: Empowering the Feminine Through Jungian Dreamwork (Innisfree Press, Inc., 1994) has been used in dreamwork courses throughout the country and is included in Amazon.com’s list of the Top 100 Best Selling Dream Books, and TCM’s book list of Human Resources for Organizational Development.
- Parent Category: Tools to Change Society
- Category: Questions
- Published on Wednesday, 26 June 2013 19:55
- Written by Skip Conover
- Hits: 958
During the last decade, the Oligarchs of the United States have performed the largest public theft in the history of history. Tens of millions of Americans have lost their life’s savings, because the American Oligarchy was allowed to add risk on risk until they crashed the economy, all the time paying themselves $100 million annual bonuses. That was pretty good for them, don’t you think? Did you ever wonder how any individual was worth that much money?
When the crash came, they simply told a bunch of economically unsophisticated Congressmen that they were “too big to fail,” and they would have to be bailed out. It wasn’t hard to put that one over on President George W. Bush, who was always a part of the Oligarchy in the first place.
The result was that while the housing market crashed, the Oligarchy was all right. Decisions were made in hours or days, which should have been thoroughly debated. But Henry Paulson, former Chairman of Goldman Sachs, was Secretary of the Treasury, and he knew what would be best for the Oligarchy.
When the housing market crashed, because of their risk shenanigans, it wasn’t hard to blame average Americans. We’ve dumbed down our educational system to the point that the average American can barely check out at the super market, so they could hardly be faulted for failing to understand what was happening.
When all of our bad mortgages were paid off by credit default swaps and other mechanisms, the costs of which were foisted on us by the Oligarchy in the form of bailouts, they never bothered to tell the rest of us that our defaulted mortgage debt had been paid off. As a result of that, the Oligarchy got paid on the mortgages by the government bailouts, and then they got paid A SECOND TIME by unsuspecting homeowners, who felt guilty because they could no longer pay when they lost their jobs in the economic catastrophe. They simply decided to turn over their homes to the banks, either by turning in their keys or by allowing foreclosures to go unchallenged. What a scam!
And now they’re trying to do it again. They don’t want the economy to get better very fast. Yes, it’s partially because they don’t want the Democrats to look good, but it is also because they want the economy crammed down as much as possible, so that they can ride it up again for the next 20-30 years. They don’t care what’s good for the average American, they only care about where they can hide their $100 million bonuses from taxation; and how they can fleece unsuspecting foreigners, who think that money invested in U.S. dollars is safe, even if it’s invested in inflated financial instruments.
I don’t doubt that when he began running for office, President Barack Obama was as altruistic as the best traditions of the average American. But it’s very clear that he has been co-opted and controlled by the Oligarchy. Results speak for themselves! Even though we’ve all been fleeced by the 1%, he has really done nothing to prosecute the Oligarchs, who committed massive fraud; who socialized risk but privatized profits; who had their losses covered by the federal government; and who are now in the process of collecting a second time by taking all of our homes and life’s savings improperly.
Oh yes, there was the three ring show trial of the sacrificial Sri Lankan American investment banker, Raj Rajaratnam, but he was simply the sacrificial brown face used to take the spotlight off of what the Oligarchs did. There have been a couple of other minor examples, and Bernie Madoff, but they’re really bit players compared to what’s really been going on.
Do you think the mainstream “investigative reporters” will ever cover this on your television on 60 Minutes, CNN, MSNBC, or the Evening News? Not bloody likely, because they all depend for their rice bowls on the Oligarchs. No, if anything will ever be done about the injustices that have been done to the average American over the last five years, we will all have to do it ourselves.
Full disclosure here: I am one of the Americans that lost big in the financial collapse. The bank is currently trying to foreclose for the second time. The first time around I fought them off by representing myself. This time I had a forensic report completed, which says, among other things, that the debt is probably not even in default, because it was covered by a credit default swap years ago. And the cost of that was covered by the bailouts. Who do I owe? How would I know? Of course, no one will tell me the truth, because to do so would be to reveal the truth of this colossal rip off of the American people.
If the Oligarchy should be saved by the bailouts, why shouldn’t the average American be saved? Why should the Oligarchs get paid twice, and because of their own profligate behavior with the economy? Why should tens of millions of average Americans lose their life’s savings, simply because they are ignorant of what the real deals were in the halls of power?
I thought my government was supposed to protect me from that sort of behavior. Ah, but that was in a time long, long ago, in a universe far from here. Now it is the privileged class that has control, and which is rapidly installing a new kind of Feudalism in the economic life of our planet.
The movie “Elysium”, which opens in August, explores the long-term consequences of allowing the Oligarchy to continue to control our lives in this pernicious way. Pay attention!
The “Stop Oligarchy!” logo by @ThePlamen
Skip Conover is an international businessman, author and artist. He is a Founder of the Archetype in Action™ Organization. You can follow him and his work on Twitter using @skip_conover or on Pinterest.
- Parent Category: Tools to Change Society
- Category: Questions
- Published on Thursday, 17 January 2013 05:17
- Written by Anonymous
- Hits: 1898
For the rest of my life, every time I see or hear of an NRA leader in the United States, I will think of General Reginald Dyer in the scene beginning at 6:20 of this video clip from the movie "Gandhi". The question put to him is simple, "General Dyer, how does a child shot with a 303 Lee-Enfield apply for help?"
Published on Dec 9, 2012
The Jallianwala Bagh massacre (also known as the Amritsar massacre), took place in the Jallianwala Bagh public garden in the northern Indian city of Amritsar on 13 April 1919. The shooting that took place was ordered by Brigadier-General Reginald E.H. Dyer.