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The UNUS MUNDUS forum of Psychovision (Remo F. Roth) invites discussion of theoretical and practical issues of a possible union of Carl Jung's depth psychology with quantum physical principles.
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 Trickster Dream/ Subjective or Objective? 
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Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:22 pm
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Post Trickster Dream/ Subjective or Objective?
Here is an evident trickster dream I had recently. I fairly much understand it. But I invite comment on this question: Is it one to be interpreted at the subjective level or the objective level? Are the two figures aspects of me or does one or both of the figures actually refer to my manager?

Dream: I see my immediate manager. He is on his back, pinned to the floor by a clown (evil faced clown). The clown makes comment to him “Oh, you have soft shoulders.” The clown also takes a lipstick and proceeds to paint clown-like lips on him (smile or frown, or evil grin, I am not sure) My manager, I see, has dropped a clipboard onto the floor. It is near his right hand.

Associations:

I have recently been in some difficulties in the workplace for which I see my manager as having been part culpable. I see him as having made light of a serious matter which resulted in a conflagration.

The clipboard is an authority/ power symbol. In my workplace the manager collects stats by means of it, humorously referred to as “the clipboard of power.”


Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:07 am
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Post Re: Trickster Dream/ Subjective or Objective?
I suppose it is objective, although the boss could partly be a projection of yourself. The clown is a demon that has intruded into your workplace and proceeded to paint your boss as a "buffon". When people's shadows are stirred, they often become infantile, defensive and touchy, etc. A workplace can turn into a hornet's nest for no good reason at all. Often it is an infantile aspect in the unconscious of the boss that stimulates collective infantilism, I would say.

However, why does the trickster, an autonomous archetype of the unconscious, lend his energy to the infantile aspects of personal psychology, in order to create turmoil? That's a more interesting issue, for us people not particularly interested in the intricacies of workplace sociology.

Could it be that it assists individuation by making the situation unbearable to mature people, so that they take measures to change their lives? I reason along similar lines in my Thanatos article (here), where I argue that the unconscious destructive urge is activated in social and societal situations where a psychological motherly dependency threatens the vitality of ego consciousness. It seems like the directionality and "manly" power of ego consciousness must be defended at all costs, as it is imperative to individuation. The ego must not metamorphose into a Caspar Milquetoast (here). The light of consciousness must be safeguarded against the Cimmerian shade of the motherly realm, even at the price of societal destruction. It seems like the force of individuation is ruthless in this sense. It is better to live in destitute conditions and to be a man, than to be a milquetoast leading a good life on the surface.

Perhaps the notion of "soft shoulders" refers to this. On a busy road such as a freeway, the soft shoulder is the area at the side of the road where vehicles are allowed to stop in an emergency. It is an empty space where you can park your car, as you cannot continue anymore, because of engine trouble. When the vehicle breaks down, it implies that you cannot continue on the collective societal path anymore, but is forced to individuate. If a person has "soft shoulders", it could mean that there is in his psychology a preparedness for the eventuality of engine breakdown. Of course, a spiritual consciousness, or knowledgeability in the realm of Jungian psychology, constitutes such soft shoulders, i.e. there is always a preparedness for breakdown, an alternative place where life can continue. But people who lack soft shoulders often find themselves in a critical situation when they lose their job, etc.

Mats Winther


Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:12 am
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Post Re: Trickster Dream/ Subjective or Objective?
Ops, I found that "hard shoulder" is the proper term in UK (where the dreamer lives), whereas the emergency section of the road is referred to as "soft shoulder" in USA. This makes my interpretation of "soft shoulder" less likely.

Mats


Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:20 am
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Post Re: Trickster Dream/ Subjective or Objective?
Hello Mats

To “carry the world on one’s shoulders” is an expression which might be useful here. But moving on and more generally:

Your essay is a little bit beyond me but I think I agree with your thoughts.

My own thoughts would go something like this:

Example: One is born, slapped by the midwife (pain) and placed into the mother’s embrace (pleasure) . One is cast out of the grey of the collective unconscious, into the white and the black of consciousness – the ability to discriminate.

One would really rather remain in the grey. But now this is no longer an option. The white of the mother’s embrace is preferred and the black of the midwife’s slap is relegated. The white becomes the “personal” ego, the black becomes the personal shadow.

In fact, my guess is that the “personal” ego is not personal. It is not “I”, rather it is “Mother and I.”

One continues in this way as one develops. One encounters motherly embraces in such things as the collective security of one’s peer group, one’s fellow team supporters etc. These collectives are preferred and accepted as ego, the individual route is relegated into the actual personal shadow.

A bit about me: Fifteen years old, I was sea-fishing at the coast. A friend was swept into the sea. He drowned in front of me. The critical point came when he said “help me.” I had no-one to support me, help me in this situation. No motherly embrace. I was on my own.

I describe what followed like this: A message went from my brain to my hand. It said “unzip your coat” (i.e. dive in after him). My hand did not move. A massive dizziness hit me. I had a curious sensation of being “two people in one.” I did not dive in.

I believe here that I had a massive ego inflation (from an external event, rather than an inner one), such that this pushed down into the shadow. The ego/shadow boundary breached. The shadow “rushed in.” I became ego and shadow in full opposition. I was “two people in one.” I believe I became such in order to evaluate the situation in front of me.

Since then I have been vulnerable to flashbacks to this event. These occur at times of moral crisis in my immediate environment. I think the full drowning event has itself become part of my shadow personality. It is reference point which is called upon as and when necessary.

My best guess is that the contents of the shadow can be in these forms:

1. A content fully consciously evaluated (the black and white of it in opposition) and simply and properly “archived” into the shadow.

2. A content not properly evaluated or actioned and put into the shadow as “pending further information.” A temporary repression perhaps.

3. A content not properly evaluated or actioned and put into the shadow as an act of individual moral laziness. I think this form indicates “Mother and I” still in operation as an individual’s supposed “personal” ego. I think this also constitutes a permanent, neurosis-forming, repression.

I am leading up to my thoughts on the trickster here. But for now I leave the above open for observation/comment.


Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:27 pm
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Post Re: Trickster Dream/ Subjective or Objective?
Your discussion is not sufficiently related to the dream. Anyway, a child at 15 hasn't got full control over his willpower and his ego isn't sufficiently strong to gain the upper hand over instinctual fear. They tend to react more like women do in Hollywood films, namely become paralyzed, or start to scream, etc. Then the male hero shows up and saves the day.

Arguably, this is the solution to your quandary. You weren't a man yet. Had it happened later in life, when your were strong, you would have conquered the paralyzing fear and taken action, with uncertain outcome. What you experience as a split, derives from the fact that the ego was severely challenged, but it wasn't sufficiently strong yet to be able to combat the instinctual unconscious, that took over the personality for a moment.

This perplexing phenomenon occurred on Estonia, too. Some adults (I don't know the proportion men/women), just sat down and became paralyzed. They simply gave up, and followed the ship to the bottom, without any reason at all. My argument is that their ego system was insufficiently developed. On the other hand, there were many people who just methodically worked their way to upper deck, threw themselves into the sea, and managed to swim to a life boat. They felt no fear, but said that they had tunnel vision, and were very focused all the time.

So a person's moral character can really only be judged at adult level, when his ego is sufficiently developed. There is no reason to remain in moral conflict over unmanly behaviour at 15 years of age. But, evidently, it is necessary to individuate, otherwise one could end up in situations that one cannot handle, due to an overpowering unconscious. It seems certain people at Estonia had remained at the ego level of a 15 year old child.

This is what I mean by the milquetoast kind of person. He hasn't achieved real ego emancipation. M-L von Franz points out that the state in our civilization has become the carrier of a mother projection. I think this affects the male psyche, which tends to revert back to a matriarchal condition of mother-dependency. It would explain the emergence of the milquetoast man, an appalling phenomenon, indeed.

Mats Winther


Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:23 pm
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Post Re: Trickster Dream/ Subjective or Objective?
Thanks Mats,

I think I have given you an incomplete picture of the event and my motive in bringing this in here.

There were hurricane force winds in the Irish Sea that day. It was the day of the Fastnet yacht race disaster in which twenty yachtsmen were swamped and drowned. That sea was at gale force on the South Wales coastline (from where my friend and I were fishing). It was certain death for anyone diving in, I am sure. Thus I felt no guilt about my role in the event at the time or since. I have never entertained the thought of unmanly behaviour being at issue.

But certainly it was major psychological event for me and which ultimately has brought me to the Unus Mundus forum.

At fifteen I was a very strong character, and more towards extravert. The most notable change in me after the event was that I went from being the smart kid in school, to the thick kid, almost overnight.

I suspect my superior thinking function (at that time) was not itself sufficient to “the moral problem” before me and perhaps to my approach to life generally. Thus I let it go.

Subsequent “failure” in my schoolwork led me into a depression at approx eighteen years and towards introversion. I view both depression and introversion positively – as “keeping the alchemical vessel sealed” perhaps.

For people who half know me I can appear on the surface to be a quiet character. For people who know me better, I am actually still the strong character I was at fifteen.

I bring this in here as me belatedly introducing myself to the forum, and to let you see from where I approach Jungian material.

I have had some interesting dealings with the trickster, especially three years ago, and more recently. Thus I broached the subject with the above dream.

I have until recently had vague notions of “splitting of personality” at the drowning event (which I think you are saying as “splitting of ego”?) But my current thinking is that it is more a case that everyone is a split personality – as conscious ego and unconscious shadow – but rarely have sufficient opportunity to realise both at once.

I suspect the drowning event was my (as ego) first confrontation with the shadow, and the flashbacks I have to this event are similar.


Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:20 pm
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Post Re: Trickster Dream/ Subjective or Objective?
Rob,
This is from ARAS The Book of Symobls p.722 to 724.

Quote:
What did your face look like before your parents were born? Zen Koan
A mask is the face imagination gives a god...The mask, far from merely concealing its wearer, provides a bridge, opening psychological experience toward the "spirits," the instinctual, archetypal factors of the personality, by providing "temporary housing" for those "gods"...This shape-shifting aspect of the mask provides ritual access to levels of experiences not ordinarily available to the conscious mind. This can be both enlivening and terrorizing...These masks also stand between subjectivity and the collective, and are influenced by collective authority... At the same time they reflect the underlying archetypal drive toward adaptation and participation in collective life, toward incarnation of the "gods"...


Peace,


Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:25 pm
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Post Re: Trickster Dream/ Subjective or Objective?
Hello Sang,

I think you are pointing out something to me here which I am not quite getting.

So I’ll describe my recent situation, and with respect to the trickster and masks: Briefly:

A political discussion arises in the workplace about immigration into the UK.

Oliver (a boxer and actual hard man) takes the lead in this, expresses right wing views (exploratory only, I venture, not really his own.)

Stan (an anxious type who habitually wears a mask of a hard man) throws a comment about “darkies” into the air, duly ignored by everyone.

Ten seconds later, I lean out from behind a computer screen into direct visual line with Stan. Stan barks out at me “Rob, you’re Welsh!” I am taken aback and raise my hand, I reply “Whoa, Stan!” I do not utter the following thought I have in mind of “Where did that come from?”

Oliver has paused strongly in his speech to wait for my reaction to this incendiary remark from Stan.

I pick up on Oliver’s anxiety. He makes no direct rebuff or rebuke to Stan. I believe Oliver is unable to, knows he should, knows he has been co-opted by Stan.

I sense that Oliver wants to bury this. He does so by means of repression (or I let him do so ?) and I dive in (to the unconscious) with him. That is, I have a repression myself. (I experienced this as an energy drain which I believe I knew at the time would be temporary.)

All is now duly repressed/forgotten. Oliver resumes his speech as if nothing had happened. I resume my work duties similarly.

Four hours later: I chance to see Oliver with his back to me, in a cubicle.

A powerful urge comes to me to “play a prank” on him, to shove him in the back.

I resist. But the urge is too powerful. I am overpowered by this urge. I shove him. I walk away laughing. Oliver laughs nervously, is confused.

Now I wonder why I have just done this. I realise I have just been possessed by a complex. (Trickster, no doubt !) The events of four hours earlier come back to me.

[My manager’s involvement comes later.] But I think this is sufficient for now. Obervations/comments welcome.


Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:26 am
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Post Re: Trickster Dream/ Subjective or Objective?
Hi Rob,
You wrote:
Quote:
I think you are pointing out something to me here which I am not quite getting.


Please feel free to ignore what I posted above if it does not help.

Peace,


Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:02 am
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Post Re: Trickster Dream/ Subjective or Objective?
The shadow, in Jungian psychology, is generally referred to as being the repressed part of the ego, whereas you seem to refer to a considerably darker force in connection with the collective unconscious. I am not really referring to a split of the ego, but rather the awareness of the ego of a power greater than itself, which can invoke anxiety. However, such an experience can create a split in the ego. It seems like you need to catch up on your reading, to acquire the Jungian terminology. There are several good introductory books on Jungian psychology. I think this incident at the workplace is perfectly trivial. I see no reason to delve into it. One should not busy one's head with trivial junk.

I suggest that the drowning event has acquired a symbolic significance to you. It is well-known in alchemy, where the drowning king calls for help from the sea. He represents the self (here) who, after being retrieved from the unconscious sea, is to undergo transformation in the alchemical opus. So, from the perspective of the unconscious, your drowned friend would represent this alchemical king whom you are to rescue from the enveloping unconscious. He represents your lost wholeness. He could even symbolize the Christ.

Image

Mats Winther


Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:00 am
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Post Re: Trickster Dream/ Subjective or Objective?
Hello Sang,

Your input is very relevant, I am sure, but not immediately sure in which way or to whom. Who is wearing the mask? Who is identified with their mask? Does the mask hide or protect? Etc. I’ll work on this.

Hi Mats,

Your sentiment about the workplace triviality is much the way I feel about it. [Case in point: trivial dream below] I sense your annoyance too, much as my own, in these events having come my way. The drowning King reference is useful, thanks.

I’m not “hung up” on these events, but as an exercise in the workings of the collective trickster I do see more than triviality. I present them here accordingly. I think then I will, as I did previously, ask you and the other forum members to let me ramble on for a bit, give my own observations, and simply put me right if I am substantially wrong in any way.

A recent dream:

I am near the outskirts of my home town, Cardiff. I have come to a fork in the road. I am lost. I approach a nearby workman and ask for directions to the city centre. I motion with my hand, right and left, and ask “Is it this way? Or is it this way? It seems neither way is actually correct. The workman points over the nearby rooftops into the distance where I see a tall redbrick building or buildings, one is domed.

Associations:

The area in which I am lost in Cardiff I associate with a route to and from the seacoast/sea-fishing, one where I was, years ago, often a little lost.

The fork in the road: Three roads, in Latin: Tri via: Trivial.

The workman I ask for directions: Is this Hermes, as guide to travellers?

The redbrick buildings: Is this the redbrick kiln for firing clay? Is it the alchemical vessel? Or is it the product of the alchemical firing, the actual red bricks?

My best guess here is that this dream tells me that my current situation is indeed trivial. I have escaped my own alchemical vessel and need to get back to it, get back in. Or, then again, am I the final product, duly released, and simply wondering where the hell I am?

Regards,

Rob


Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:53 am
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Post Re: Trickster Dream/ Subjective or Objective?
The clown is a mischievous prankster, then, representing your shadow. It is good to know your shadow, otherwise you could lose control over it, playing a prank on your boss, with the result that you are fired. But shadow psychology is really the amateur level of Jungian psychology, and not really relevant to this forum. That's why I immediately interpreted it in archetypal terms. Shadow stuff is indeed trivia, although it is necessary to deal with. The building with a dome is surely a symbol of the self, which is the direction you must go now. Brick buildings are regarded as one of the longest lasting and strongest building materials used throughout history. So this town could be medieval. Red is a very powerful colour. It is associated with dominance in a number of animal species, including humans. Red has always been a favourite among emperors and kings. It is connected with strong passions and with the planet Mars. It is the colour of the ripe fruit. Perhaps it represent a power center in your unconscious, ready to make contact with. But it is a town built of clay, and it's not made of marble and crystal. It could mean that it is somehow down-to-earth and realizable as a goal.

Mats


Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:24 pm
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Post Re: Trickster Dream/ Subjective or Objective?
Hi Mats,

Thanks for the dream input, taken on board.

I accept what you say here about shadow/trickster as somewhat trivial to the aims of the forum, and will not further pursue my own original aims here. I actually find them tiresome myself.

Regards,

Rob


Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:31 pm
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Post Re: Trickster Dream/ Subjective or Objective?
Rob wrote:
A recent dream:

I am near the outskirts of my home town, Cardiff. I have come to a fork in the road. I am lost. I approach a nearby workman and ask for directions to the city centre. I motion with my hand, right and left, and ask “Is it this way? Or is it this way? It seems neither way is actually correct. The workman points over the nearby rooftops into the distance where I see a tall redbrick building or buildings, one is domed.

I'm always interested in the colors that appear in material the psyche presents. If you would like to try exploring this aspect consider the following questions.

What color clothes was the workman wearing?

What color is the mortar in the red brick building construction?

My reaction to your dream. Muslims like domed temples - that would suggest that the path to follow is to spend time "consciously" entering Eros ego consciousness as Remo describes it.

Since this is your home town - the emphasis is on your "home" or subtle body development. In our time the psychic journey is down into the lower chakras or the "belly" brain - that other center of "knowing" where the lower sun shines and imparts a "Chthonic Sun Effect" on the soul in the form of images, sensations, voices... The following images convey what I have had come up in my material. It's "light from the darkness" of the belly of the pregnant crab, of the VNS, is one way to put it.

Image
Attachment:
Belly Pregnant.jpeg
Belly Pregnant.jpeg [ 27.49 KiB | Viewed 2199 times ]

In the first half of life (how old are you?) one needs to first develop their superior function. If one lives the first half of life successfully by developing their superior function then in the second half of life (can start as early as 35) another “knocking” on the door occurs - and one is asked to go back and travel along the other forks in the road (these roads fell into the shadows because the superior function development was being honored) – for they too can add substance to the opus. Because of the above reasons I often equate taking “the road less traveled” as being connected to integrating my inferior function - which is always in the unconscious and like this one needs to spend time in the lower chakras and that means an introverted dimming of the Logos during those times one sets aside to "meditate" and look within to see on the inner screen what may arise. A "night sea journey" could be in the offering.

Gregory


Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:16 am
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Post Re: Trickster Dream/ Subjective or Objective?
Hi Gregory,

Sorry, I can’t recall any other colours in that particular dream. (But I did have a marvellous full rainbow “Peacock’s tail” dream recently. I might post this one here later.)

I am sure I began my looking within thirty years ago (drowning event). I think I had the night sea journey approx three years ago, as a culmination of this. I gave up my job for a year, slept and slept, dreamt and dreamt. Interesting times. Similar scenario over the last four months for me.

After three years I am just about getting the hang of the Jungian stuff. Remo’s stuff is still a bit strange to me. Will endeavour.

My superior function is Intuition. Inferior function is sensation. In fact (sorry to go into triviality here), I have a sense that my recent sudden and explosive possession by trickster (in shoving Oliver, as above) might have marked an enantiodromia. I have a vague sense that my intuition (that Oliver had been compromised) suddenly turned into concrete action (sensation) by me in alerting him to this fact.

For your interest: I woke one morning recently to an explosion in my head. It was like one of those starburst fireworks rising and exploding. I think it may well have been “the thousand petalled lotus” of the crown chakra opening. I’m also periodically getting the Kundalini fire up my spine and dispersing through me. It feels like I am being incinerated on the inside.

Regards,

Rob


Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:15 am
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Post Night Sea Journey
Rob wrote:
I am sure I began my looking within thirty years ago (drowning event). I think I had the night sea journey approx three years ago, as a culmination of this. I gave up my job for a year, slept and slept, dreamt and dreamt. Interesting times. Similar scenario over the last four months for me.

Nice! Thanks for sharing some more of your background. If intuition is your superior function what would you say your auxlariy function is (Thinking or Feeling)?

As far as I know I am TS in my psychology. My Night Sea Journey began on 9 June 1999 and is still ongoing. Glad I am retired otherwise I would not have been able to give this encounter its due regard.

Rob wrote:
I did have a marvellous full rainbow “Peacock’s tail” dream recently.

Sounds interesting. Given your 7th chakra experience I guess it is a connection to the subtle body chakra system a.k.a. the RAINBOW bridge.

Rob wrote:
I woke one morning recently to an explosion in my head. It was like one of those starburst fireworks rising and exploding. I think it may well have been “the thousand petalled lotus” of the crown chakra opening. I’m also periodically getting the Kundalini fire up my spine and dispersing through me. It feels like I am being incinerated on the inside.

Thanks for sharing. In Remo's view incinerated ='s radiated...

Gregory


Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:07 pm
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Post Re: Trickster Dream/ Subjective or Objective?
Hi Gregory

I’m not sure which is my auxillary function. I think these two are about even. I feel it this way too.

9 June 1999? That’s a long night sea journey! I’ve drawn you the Chariot card from the tarot deck for this. You might like to check out interpretations for it.

And your reference to Robert Frost sent me browsing around the internet, by the way. Found this:

"When you arrive at a fork in the road, take it."
- Yogi Berra

Regards

Rob


Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:42 pm
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