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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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 The suicide bomber and the sun-hero myth 
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Post The suicide bomber and the sun-hero myth
Our whole civilizational enterprise suffers from an obsession with the
hero archetype, causing a collective hubris. It is depicted in the
myths of Icarus and Bellerophon, and in the fairytale of the death of
the sun-hero (see below). The Icarian madness permeates our whole
culture. It implies an obsession with daylight consciousness and its
values, which causes the irrational burgeoning life of the unconscious
to be burnt off. The scourging sun melts away the wings of Icarus so
that he comes crashing down, and a lightning from Zeus makes
Bellerophon suffer the same fate. Faster and faster, higher and
higher, expansion at all cost, and a relentless search after career,
money, and status. Hardly anybody can listen to the faint voice of the
unconscious, anymore, but become obsessed with the Icarian premises of
career, political correctness, and scientific correctness.

The dragon-killer Siegfried represents an archaic side of the psyche
and belongs to the Nietzschean fantasies that reside in the
unconscious. He is the hero whom all extraverted men want to emulate.
They all want to be famous, brandishing their sword in the sun, so
that everybody, especially the women, can see how splendid they are.

In myth, the sun-hero always suffers a violent death, as do Icarus and
Bellerophon. It depends on a secret identity between the sun-hero and
the chaos-dragon. The latter is the mother of the hero, from which the
hero derives his energy. In Egyptian myth, the sun replenishes his
strength during the nightly journey in the underworld, and rises as a
newborn from the darkness of chaos. During the nightly journey the
dragon Apophis is defeated, but the sun god Ra is also doomed to
suffer demise in red blood at the western horizon.

The heroic obsession has made an inroad in the Muslim world. The
suicide bomber symbolically attacks the chaos dragon, but he also
kills himself in this act, in conformity with the dramaturgy of the
hero archetype. Western societies accomodate suicide bombers who are
intent on killing the "dragon" who is their own mother, who generously
has fed and raised them, namely society, as such. These people are
possessed by the sun-hero archetype, because they are lacking in the
capacity of a strong consciousness, to be able to harbour such ideas
in consciousness, instead of living them out.

Muslim young men blow themselves away in their "heroic" fight against
"draconic evil", whether it's USA or a competing Muslim denomination.
They want to achieve glory at all cost, so who or what happens to be
chosen as "dragon" is of little consequence. The gist is that they
have a sincere wish to become glorious dragon-killers.

There was even an attempt to build a whole civilization on this heroic
theme, namely the Third Reich. The German backstabbing myth involves
the Jew, representing chaos, who stabs the heroic German soldier in
the back:
http://972mag.com/wp-content/uploads/20 ... ab-big.jpg
According to this myth the WWI army had remained "undefeated in the
field", only the revolution at home was to blame for Germany's defeat.

Accordingly, in the Nibelungen saga, the sun-hero Siegfried was
stabbed in the back by Hagen. This image is what underlies the
backstabbing myth. But it is a projection of an archetype: the hero,
in defeating the dragon, is himself dealt a deadly wound. When the
dragon is defeated the hero's own fate is sealed. Germany, who lived
the sun-hero myth and attacked the forces of chaos in the form of the
"inferior races", also doomed itself to destruction. So Siegfried is
his own shadow, his own "Ugliest Man".

The heroic possession causes destruction both to the Muslim world
and to the Muslim religion, and in increasing measure to the Western
world. They have in mind to kill the chaotic forces of the
unconscious, and aim to remove any sign of the spontaneous from
religious or daily life. The politically correct elite in Western
countries have much in common with this programme. They are fixated on
principles of consciousness: any signs of burgeoning life which
is rooted in the heart, and the unconscious soil, must be rooted out
from society. One of the foremost hubristic moral principles is that
mankind must be maximated on this earth, and the world's poor must
be sustained at all costs, without regard to environmental costs.

Life must be adjusted to political correctness and the conventions of
tidiness. The ideal of the political Islamist is, likewise, a tidy
society according to perfect rules, under the antibiotic rays of a
scorching sun, which allows no room for spontaneous life. Many in the
Western world live according to The Principles, and the
Islamists have already found the definitive truth in the quran. They
won't allow room for the unconscious, representative of the chaos
dragon. So radical Islamism is today unconsciously involved in the
self-destructive dynamic of the sun-hero.

"The Death of the Sun-Hero" (from Andrew Lang, The Yellow Fairy Book) :
http://mythfolklore.net/andrewlang/016.htm

Icarus:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icarus

Bellerophon:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellerophon

The Nibelung saga:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nibelung

M. Winther
http://home7.swipnet.se/~w-73784/


Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:23 pm
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Post 
Moreover...

I am arguing that the hero's journey is viewed as the pattern for individuation in our culture. But the myth always involves the death of the hero, something which tends to be forgotten. The hero must die but life must go on, so the hero is not the perfect model for individuation, if we don't want to follow the example of suicidal Sturm und Drang romantics, or Islamic suicide bombers. An unconscious identification with the hero archetype is likely to lead to catastrophe as the archetype poisons the soul with the expansive spirit. This fulfills a purpose in that it fuels the flight from unconscious dependency, but the hero is surreptitiously dependent on the Mother, anyway, as he is doomed to fall prey to her in the end.

Erich Neumann (The Origins and History of Consciousness) dwells long upon the topic of the tragic hero, which he names the "struggler" type of hero. However, I personally think that all heroes are strugglers, only that the tragic fate of Adonis, Narcissus, et al., stand out as more plain versions. The death of the hero really implies that he must be abandoned as a role model. Heroic expansionism leads to catastrophe. Our Icarian culture flies on infirm wings, as the latest financial crisis bears witness to. Heroism has had an impact on the Jungian movement, too. Joseph Campbell seems to view the hero's journey as a blueprint for individuation. Edward Edinger is clearly heroic in his worldview. The Freudians recognize Oedipus, but think that it is merely an infantile pattern, while Oedipal heroism permeates our whole culture.

It is high time to abandon heroism, because it also takes a toll on social relations, and it becomes difficult to communicate if some people are expected to carry the heroic mantle, and others are expected to cringe to the hero. Freud and Jung are also subject to hero worship in a way which takes on ludicrous dimensions. People read Jung's autobiography time and time again, and now the Red Book, a form of diary of his unconscious life, attains surprisingly high sales figures.

What's that all about? I casually read the autobiography once, and never had any inclination to reread it, and the Red Book doesn't interest me at all. I suspect that many people expect to find a blueprint for individuation in Jung's personal journey. The hero is projected on Jung despite the fact that he himself expects people, as adults, to stop following role models, as this an attitude that belongs in the juvenile period. I maintain that hero worship, including unconscious hero identification, causes damage to individuation, corrupts relations, impairs the development of Jungian psychoanalysis, and ultimately puts our whole civilization in jeopardy.

Mats Winther


Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:46 am
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Post 
Mats,

We need heroes, we need role models. And if cynicism is so prevalent in our society is that no more heroes, more role models.

General de Gaulle was a hero, he had a long life. He died in a game of cards ... (the game he played was called a "success")

Jung is a role model. I reread his autobiography several times because it fascinated me.It was something so new to me. It is through him that I am interested in my dreams (positive imitation of the hero/role model)

you say: "What's that all about? I casually read the autobiography once, and never had any inclination to reread it, and the Red Book doesn't interest me at all. I suspect that many people, in Jung's personal journey, expect to find a blueprint for individuation." I suspect you to identify yourself unconsciously to hero!
:P

_________________
There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? ( Robert Kennedy quoting George Bernard Shaw )


Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:32 pm
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Yes, but it might have a secondary damaging effect in that the person identifying with the hero figure is unable to find the path that is suitable for himself, while he tries to emulate the master. Jung complains much about the problem of 'Imitatio Christi', when people during history have tried to live the life of Jesus instead of following a path of their own. It can't be much better to do the 'Imitatio Jungi'.

Mats


Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:13 pm
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Location: New Hampshire, USA
Post RE heros & role models
Fox - the trouble with role models is that individuals can become imitators as I think Mats suggests & one denies their own humanity to "copy" some avatar being neither man nor master. And you see much evil done by politicians imitating former heros. Churchill, for instance, didn't try to be like anyone; he was original, archetypal. When others like George W. Bush for example (who have personality disorders like alchoholism to begin with) try to be like Churchill it is a feeling reenactment in fact and lacks the instinct of the organic leader Churchill - it creates a collective neurosis. That said, there is some degree to this with everyone; people wear jeans today because Bob Dylan and friends started wearing jeans and it caught on among the non-cowboys types. Zeitgeist is generalized spirit taken from a hero or avatar or archetypal figure. There are groups today in physics-based management systems (W. Edwards Demings) that give people personality style tests to group different personality types to work together; four plus, four neg would make a complete sanga of eight. The Japanese pioneered this decades ago at Honda and ran factories without management of any kind. I followed a group doing this years ago to write about them and it was very innovative; the introverts created, the extroverts modified and built. Tribes naturally did this. In the American models I went back a few years later and they threw out all the introverts, creating an autonomous management culture which made nothing new.


Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:11 pm
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I saw an interview with a Yahoo official. He said that a good indicator was to check the telephone book of the applicant. If it's full of names, then it's an ideal employee. Of course, then he gets only (1) extraverts and (2) psychopaths. The introverts are shut out. Of course, then genuine creativity is also shut out. This is a very self-destructive method.

Concerning the idealization of role models. People should be rooted in their own soil instead of living according to a pattern copied from a hero figure. Look at the forlorn existences roaming about in Hollywood trying to become film stars. I watched a TV show about them, and certain of them appeared like empty shells. To be "famous" is really the red herring of modern life, it diverts the attention from the inner soil, the 'prima materia' in which true individual life can grow.

Mats


Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:44 am
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Post nerd imperialism
That is the mode of nerd imperialism; replicate elsewhere what is here - if follows the path of the American conquest just as the priests followed the soldiers into Indochina in an earlier day. The phrase yesterday was that Cairo will be the "new Silicon Valley." What was kind of wonderful about the British conquest was that it retained one center: London. When you are on the British ship, said Lord Nelson, where ever you are it is England. The Brits knew when they were conquering and did not call it something it was not. Today, Germany can actually buy Wall Street and just did.

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Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:53 am
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