You might say we’re drowning in facts. We have enough information before us to come to valuable conclusions concerning how we’re trapped in a vicious dynamic that can have no happy outcome. A dozen times a day we can realize how a particular institution or corporation is acting to further destruction.
We click on Like or re-Tweet and scroll on down the screen….
This tells us something too. Though mostly we don’t want to hear it. We’re exhausted by an increasing sense of helplessness and dread at what’s coming; what’s here. We know we’re being manipulated; that we’re isolated; and that our isolation keeps us easily manipulated. We’re reduced to vertigo watching it all – and ourselves – go down the drain.
We may even realize that our reactions only make matters worse. For some panic takes us over the edge and we begin to want to hasten the end. This takes the form of self-destructive behavior and lashing out at others. Some of us retreat into fantasy. We console ourselves that whatever we wish for hard enough will come true. Some hold it together and keep doing what has to be done to keep things going another day. Some attempt to fight for what they’d like to see protected and rebel against the destruction of everything.
All of us are mesmerized in one way or another by how intractable the ongoing course of events appears to be as things continue to unravel. We dream-walk through our days; amazed at how a situation that is so clearly bad can just keep getting worse.
How do we break these cycles? We don’t need another fact concerning how bad things are now or how much worse they are going to become. We don’t need any more strident calls to redouble our efforts. Whether we acknowledge it or not we begin to see that what we’ve been doing has been futile. Is our only response to continue with more of the same?
What else could we do? Not what more. What else?
External signs of collapse are the consequences of internal collapse. External incoherence is a sign of internal incoherence.
Our institutions are corrupt. They not only negate what it means to live but actively seek to destroy whatever is alive. Positions that gain adherents and vow to “get things done” are the most insane. In reaction we find ourselves on the defensive, muttering, or at times yelling, “NO!”
Our NO is a symptom. Beneath it we need to confront that we have no YES.
It may be that in every time of collapse the mechanism of collapse, what leads the old ways into extinction, grows out of a reaction to the increasing incoherence of the old positions.
“Great Pan is Dead!”
This cry was heard throughout the Pagan world at the end of that era. A ghostly voice echoing just out of earshot. It was the sound of cognitive dissonance. The rising realization that their world was passing. It entered into people’s awareness in this way before there was any better way to make sense of it.
Nietzsche recast this cry for our time with his proclamation, “God is dead!” We’ve confused the message with the messenger and confused how he’s been misunderstood with what he was telling us. The ancients’ way to put it appears more honest. Harder to take the wrong way. It’s not up to any individual or group of people to claim the death of an era. The best we can do is listen….
Of course what usually happens at this point is that some will rush in wishing to fill the void that’s been left with their own exceeding self-regard. We are clearly well into this stage.
The stress of it all keeps us thrashing.
Still, there are quiet voices…. It’s just that we cannot hear them so long as we continue to be overwhelmed by the noisemakers.
What’s been coming increasingly clear is that we have one basic thing backwards. We regard the “leading edge” of conscious thought to be the pinnacle of evolution. We keep taking a simplistic view of an evolutionary ladder with us at its pinnacle – and holding this position because we have thoughts constantly filling our heads – We see this as the foundation of our belief in Progress™.
Here is where the so-called Copernican Revolution did nothing to unseat our vanity. We replaced a cosmos in which the Earth was the center of the universe with one where our capacity to think was at the center. This did not makes us humble. It only fed our egomania.
This view is decidedly upside-own. If we want to call what we value highest intelligence, then we need to recognize that the highest intelligences are to be found in what we call the least conscious places. We are entranced by the machinations of our conscious minds while we take the myriad networks of organisms and cells that provide our body’s homeostasis as the result of mere instinct or even the workings of a clock-work mechanism. We wonder at how some emotional cripple has amassed a fortune in imaginary tokens of wealth while we take for granted the workings of our living planet.
These are the compensations of an infantile and fractured personality. What is missing is an awareness of how the consciousness we so highly value is only able to exist because it rides on such a solid foundation of what we have dismissed as simply unconscious forces. We keep trying to somehow reconcile this. Its truth is in many ways unavoidable. Don’t forget Jung’s dictum relating to our unexamined Shadow….
We keep trying to bring the unconscious into consciousness. We do this in a myriad of ways. All of our beliefs have roots in this desire.
What if we turned it around?
Jung is a great guide in this, as with so much. His perception of the Collective Unconscious, of Archetypes, present an entry into what’s involved.
We tend to fear the unconscious, as we fear what was once called Nature. As we fear anything we cannot see clearly and that for this reason we find it easy to project our unresolved complicities upon it. It is the…, well, archetype, for all of our OTHERS.
But it’s not an other. Is it? To insist on this separation is to push ourselves into fragmentation. Schizophrenia, anyone?
Jung talks of symbols as the language of the unconscious. That beneath the symbols of language are archetypal symbols. When he wrote of these concepts it was a great leap and, at the same time – as must always be the case if we are to be understood at all – he had to use language as it stood. His words carried and still carry baggage associated with our notions of “unconscious” and “symbol.”
What happens when we drop these relics? The unconscious is not some un-conscious place hidden somewhere out of sight. Symbols are not signposts with meanings reducible to a dictionary entry. Say the way we see a cross or a swastika….
This ocean of intelligence we are immersed in is a living thing. It fills us as well as surrounds us. It animates us and we express its workings whenever we think we are expressing ourselves. Symbols are – and Jung saw this quite clearly as his own work with mandalas shows – that symbols are fluid, shape-shifting, always at the edge of our conscious awareness. Once a one-time symbol becomes a sign it is no longer vital. It has become fossilized.
All of what we think – in the Bohmian sense of the term, including memory and emotional reactions – of as real, as perceptions of an outside world with a tangible, felt reality – solipsism is just about unavoidable when we look into these facing mirrors and their infinite repetitions…. All of this is, to use Hoffman‘s phrase, a symbolic interface. Whatever reality actually is… well, it’s besides the point, isn’t it? We have no access to it. The only way to keep from making operational blunders, like some Australian beetle attempting to mate with a broken beer bottle, is to be clear about the nature of our situation.
Seasickness is in a fundamental sense a sickness that arises from our refusal to accept the fluidity of our situation. Accustomed to a world of “solid ground” we rebel at the seeming “chaos” of movement we encounter upon the sea. In this state we cannot navigate. We can only suffer and remain at the mercy of… not some external actuality, but conditions we have brought about as a result of our insistence, our refusal to participate in our own existence.
This is where we are. Trapped in symptoms of our refusal to accept our fundamental situation: We – within each of our own sense of an I – exist as an edge of attention with which we may participate in the ongoing, fluid, and immersive unfolding of creation. We can navigate this situation only by allowing ourselves to accept our position in it. We are not, have never actually been on firm solid ground. This fantasy has brought us into our suffering, into creating so much misery by furthering destructive reactions.
We are riding upon a sea. It is dynamic, fluid. It provides us with a capacity to be buoyant. We can traverse this sea of intelligence, navigating it through our interactions with symbols, only by accepting and allowing our buoyancy to work.
Seasickness is a refusal to accept our condition while inside some vessel that lets us use its buoyancy to keep us afloat. Drowning is what happens when we take this same stand without a vessel’s support. To drown we must negate our buoyancy. We do this by willing ourselves up out of the water. This takes us above the point of our dynamic buoyancy – with our face out of the water and our ears submerged – and each attempt to rise above our supporting medium brings a reaction that takes us below a level that is viable. Each repetition takes us farther down, tires us further, until in our exhaustion we succumb.
The last act of a drowning man is to deny he is under water and take in a breath. Refusal and denial. Sound familiar?
All of this can so easily be siphoned off into another parade of knowledge, an accumulation of facts. This has happened to Jung’s realizations. A whole cottage industry of academic pursuits built on their ruins….
We don’t need more of these. Again, our experiences with the sea provide a guiding clue.
No one can learn to swim by reading a book. No one can sidestep seasickness because they’ve been told some fact.
Swimming, sailing, navigating uncertainty, are all direct engagements between our sense of a self and an immersive reality as it presents itself to us.
These attitudes are learned by learning how to learn.
Learning how to see through dramas-of-facts and illusions-of-problems-solvable-by-acts-of-will, we find our way.
Find our buoyancy.
Discover where we are and how we may navigate uncertainty.
12 thoughts on “Drowning in facts”
Tremendous. The shared current is so broad. The announcement of Pan’s death has been ricocheting around for over a year as well, on my part. I like how you reversed “making the unconscious conscious.” Yes, it’s not that the unconscious become conscious, but the distinctions disappear. Proprioception emerges, though that’s easy to say. Fluidity is kind of the only issue now. It’s the whole ball game. Here’s an interesting thing that relates: We might make a distinction between form and structure. Fluidity can have form, though this form takes no stable structure. It’s a perpetually morphing flow of meaning. You made a distinction between reality and “whatever reality actually is”. It makes me think of the distinction Hans-Peter Duerr made (though he actually said he took this from Meister Eckhart), between actuality and reality. Duerr’s “reality” is the parade of knowledge, the endless train of facts (which you describe). His actuality is the unbroken fluid movement that exceeds every static structure. Reality based on the word “rea” meaning thing is everything in our “consciousness.” And this creates the shadow of an Unconscious. But actuality (or the fluid) demands a shift in allegiance, or a dropping of allegiance to “solid ground” (which doesn’t even exist). In that sense, a dropping of consciousness. This reminds me of what K used to say. This doesn’t necessarily imply that thought or consciousness is absent. Only that it no longer absorbs the entirety of intelligence. Intelligence sees through the structures that come and go, or as k used to say “sees the true in the false, and the false in the true.” Anyways there are huge parallels between what you wrote here so beautifully and what I have been writing, and especially the one written to a Counterpunch audience. Thanks for this clarity. And the chance perhaps to explore a common current in the stream for a while.
So glad this has made sense to you!
“Fluidity is kind of the only issue now. It’s the whole ball game.” Yes.
“…a distinction between form and structure. Fluidity can have form, though this form takes no stable structure.” This captures a distinction I’ve been struggling to make clear for a long time! It’s behind a practice like Qi Gong. We engage forms in “a perpetually morphing flow of meaning.” There is no “purpose” to them outside of this relationship between form, mind, and body – to use a fragmented language to attempt ti say something whole!
Duerr’s distinction between actuality and reality is tremendously helpful!
“This doesn’t necessarily imply that thought or consciousness is absent. Only that it no longer absorbs the entirety of intelligence.” Yes! Both as it works and in our awareness of what thought is and its relationship to intelligence: Intelligence contains thought. Not the other way around. As we are conditioned to expect.
I think you’re referring to this piece in CounterPunch: You Say You Want a Revolution.
“My thesis is that this trap extends to include political and economic alternatives as well.” Another way to put this is that the current political and economic situation illuminates the workings of these traps. And, as you so well delineate it, how they contaminate all of our reforms or revolutions unless we look at their foundations.
Clarity comes when we make direct contact with symbols: in this case the unconscious, the ocean, flow… in a way that lives within us. The only “lesson” we can take from each of these encounters is in the way they differ markedly from the kind of cataloguing of ideas and signs we’re accustomed to grasping onto as a result of our “education” in an accumulation of stuff. Be it “facts,” or “resources.” Each time we slip into these habits we slide back into the old ruts.
Creativity is something we can participate in. Not control. Just as with intelligence; it is not inside thought; it contains thought. It contains everything we think of as mind, self, world….
Yes. Let’s continue down this stream!
Let me try to untangle another knot tacitly hiding in conventional wisdom. We can see a relationship between brain and intelligence. Brain researchers are now saying that it’s not necessarily brain size that “dictates” intelligence, but brain organization. This still prejudices us to unconsciously see the brain as the source of intelligence. And it’s very easy to get seduced by this vision, because if our brain is damaged or we have the brain of a mouse, we’re not able to perceive the same subtleties of order.
Does this therefore imply that intelligence is a product of the brain? Does the brain create order? I think generally we assume this to be the case, even if the assumption hides in our reflex reactions, demonstrated implicitly.
But maybe we can also reverse the relationship between intelligence and brain (as we do thought and intelligence). And then everything still makes sense, but it’s like seeing a hidden image in a stereogram. It just pops up as an alternate reality.
So I’d like to ask questions that seem to reverse the usual way we look at brain/intelligence – and these questions might not all jive just yet, but let me air some of them out: Do we confuse “intelligence” with “skill and capacity”? (Can we make a distinction between these two without necessarily defining them right away? Just sort of feel out the possibility of a difference?)
I look at an ant and think, it can’t possibly have the same potential to discover meaning as a human. The ant’s “brain” is simply too small. So this implies a direct relationship between brain size and complexity and intelligence. And I begin to imagine that intelligence is a “product” of the brain.
But I also see that a larger brain creates a hall of mirrors. A larger brain causes a larger confusion, and isolates itself in abstractions that are incredibly “stupid.” Clearing up some of this “stupidity” requires facing a fact – that the brain’s own conclusions (its own products) are not intelligence. They are static structures of belief made to reflect morphing forms of meaning. They become idols for meanings that have already evolved.
Meaning is like a form that has no structure, that does not belong to the brain itself. And this reminds me of what Duerr said about the “fields of information” that underlie physics at its deepest reach. Here is what he says with regards to this in German (can’t find a direct translation): https://denkeandersblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/prof-dr-hans-peter-duerr-materie-ist-nicht-materie/
Essentially he says: “Matter is fundamentally NOT matter. … For over 50 years I’ve been investigating matter, which, it turns out, doesn’t exist! There are only structures of relationship; there are no objects.”
That is the coolest observation — structures of relationship involving no “things” at all. But that’s exactly what meaning is. An emptiness of static structures, but meaningful relationships in the void nevertheless.
Still, this seems strange because I’m used to looking at brain as intelligence. I still see a smaller brain in a dog, who can’t possibly confront all this.
But then I wonder what I’m actually “confronting.” Are they my own brain-made confusions?
Is it possible that intelligence only arises when brain stops confusing itself with abstractions (disconnections)? When it stops being completely absorbed by its own “things”?
(Duerr said (and K and Bohm said this from another angle) that the brain is a virtual hand, and makes “things” or “reality” out of the unstructured (but form-rich) whole or actuality).
Therefore is intelligence possible only after the brain (after consciousness) stops trying to grasp what is not graspable (what I was calling “odd words”)? Does intelligence arise when brain gives up trying to grasp (externally) what is only meaningful in a direct and immersive (internal) manner? When the brain loses its “stupid” idea that it’s separate, that it’s a “creator” of intelligence?
Still, what is its role in a positive sense, because it seems to have one?
Is intelligence the brain’s capacity to make connections, or is connectivity already “made”? Is it already implicit in the function of everything?
Does a larger and more complex brain “allow us” to live more deeply and fully in the world? Or is a larger and more complex brain merely a sign that we are able to capitalize on certain relationships in the world for particular ends?
But maybe this capacity to complicate the world with utilitarian conniving also allows it to reconcile these complications, creating a more intense reunion with the whole. Maybe our brain is a wider aperture, a more intense focal point? In this sense it neither creates the energetic order of intelligence, nor does it merely interpret the order into languages and other inventions, but is a material signpost for where a wider frequency of creative energies consolidates.
In other words, maybe it’s not that the brain “brings out” intelligence. Maybe intelligence has formed a brain. And when this brain clears itself of a confusion between thought and thing – removing all the intellectual idols clogging its aperture – then the brain vibrates in sync with as much creative energy as this material portal can sustain? I can’t tell. Perhaps encountering this creative energy changes the material of the brain, creating new pathways, new layers of brain which might build over the cerebrum and the neo-cortex.
At any rate, an intelligence that is more than the brain seems to gather force when we unlearn our allegiance to static concepts, when the brain begins to feel at home in uncertainty. On some level this is a huge, discontinuous leap from certainty to uncertainty. On another level it’s like giving up nothing, only the illusion of something.
I’m still unclear.
Maybe I can “un-clarrify” it further ! There is a great experiment that is easily replicated using Planaria, those wonderful little guys with the silly crossed eyes used in almost any biology class. You can “train them”, that is develop a conditioned reflex, so that they will flee light’ by giving them a small electric shock when exposed to light. they quickly learn to move to the dark when the light turns on. Now you can chop them up into little pieces and feed them to “untrained “planaria. The un-trained planaria will now either respond to the same stimulus with the same conditioned reflex , or learn to do so more quickly.
Ants and bees do something different. Singularly they operate mostly by what is encoded into their DNA, and yet they do complex things as a colony. Each and is out in the world doing a single task, and also being the eyes and ears and tasters for the colony. by ways of centralized communication . By way of exchange of hormones a single chemical message makes it’s way to the Queen. The whole state of the hive is controlled with her own biochemical response. They will suddenly all go on the defense of the colony, or work to adjust temperature and humidity, or to follow the same scent trail to found food sources. Ants will build bridges and cross water in a group effort. Bees will collectively fight off a bear. This is pretty organized stuff for a species with only the most rudimentary brain. But with thousands of bees and or thousands of ants, there becomes a collective “intelligence”. What they lack in individual capacity is successfully made up for in group consciousness and awareness.
I am beginning to think that intelligence begins with awareness, whether that begins with the formation of a notachord, a brain , eyes and ears, or a latent “soul”I don’t know, but without awareness there is no existence
within the confines of the matrix we call an environment , a world , or a universe.
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Wonderful! You really lay out a whole series of next steps, next questions.
For the moment I’d just like to add the sense I’ve had for a long time now that brains are receivers and not creators. In this way a crystal radio, without a lot of bells and whistles, is less likely to be confused by its own intricacies, or additional layers of reception, that make it easier for a more complex receiver to mistake a compelling signal for the actual.
I came to this from the examples of “bird brains” and cephalopods. Creatures without much brain “capacity” that still show amazing intelligence and awareness. I’d say now that they are not necessarily exceptions in a world devoid of other, fellow, intelligent creatures – besides the obvious large brained ones: cetaceans, primates, and elephants…. That there’s just something in the way they display intelligence that happens to strike us, where the intelligence of an insect might not.
None of this is in opposition to what you’ve said here. I think it can safely cohabitate with your points about the brain and intelligence.
There are also hints here touching at what Jung and others have had to say about a supreme intelligence needing to perceive how limited intelligence operates to be able to see itself and grow as a whole. Much as we need to interact with difference to find our own lapses and stretch. In this case, instead of suffering from a too limited perspective, supreme intelligence suffers from a lack of gaps. Too whole a view makes seeing distinctions and any possibilities not already achieved that much more difficult. Jung talks about an increase in compassion as we go from the Old to New testament God, as an example.
I don’t want to make too strong a point on this at the expense of sitting with your questions as asked. Just that there is something in our carrying on a relationship with an intelligence that underlies the cosmos and is not a mere function of a self-entitled brain that comes back to the way we interact with that intelligence by relating to symbols and that we do this in what can at least be called a relationship with the sacred; if not solely within strictly religious actions.
I’ll be writing more on this as it keeps developing. Something about the realm of the sacred and how the kinds of actions you intimate here relate to a developing sense of how that might take place in – to be blunt – religious practice, dealing with ritual and return….
One last note: Yes, what we do, how we conceive and practice what we do, changes the organism, including the nervous system and brain. George Foy has gone so far as to say that some of our degenerative brain illnesses are fed by the atrophied state of our navigational senses. I can see how the circularity of thinking within obsession and depression would also lead to the “burning-in” of ruts and holes into the fabric of our brains.
In everything from simple balancing on one leg to my confrontations with a piano keyboard these have all taken place in ways that point at a great importance being placed on making demands on the nervous system that then lead to the generation of new connections and their strengthening. Just as we find with physical exercise and our skeletal-muscular capacities.
Thank you again,
I have been enjoying this dialog, and thought I’d jump in. What if, the brain is not a transmitter or a receiver. What if it is a filter. Think of all the extraneous “data” that we manage, store and even ignore, that is sorted ,sifted and filed, that doesn’t remain in our consciousness. Our “reality” is made from a very fragmentary sampling of what we have the capability to perceive. The more we rationalize something the smaller the amount of inputs we let filter through. Rationalization thus defies and or defines actual comprehension. Any alteration in our level of comprehension thus modifies and or sets limitations on our sense of reality. What happens to all those inputs that we have filtered out in this “sieve”? They are still there , and haunting us subconsciously. Think about your dream life. It can be extremely detailed, and full of snippets of things you failed to perceive but become somehow profound when you are not awake and fighting with your data stream. An artist friend of mine once said ” letting go of control frees the mind of contrary form and limitation” .
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Glad you’ve joined in John!
A filter, yes. It’s part of why what we think we perceive is but a sketch, as an interface is a series of signs representing how we might access what is behind and beneath it as Hoffman puts it. It’s also why so much is left out that ends up as a glimmer appearing at the edges of an “unconscious,” as Jung writes about. As we discover in dreams….
You might say that proprioception is an awareness that these filters are operating instead of just taking our reactions at face value….
To some degree that filter may be chosen or habitual, like the filter or veil of superstition, or paranoia, fear, etc. Those would be possibly able to alter reality and our response to it. I once did a lot of photography, and used an array of filters to alter the images that my camera recorded. I could completely change the mood and or meaning of a given image by altering how the light exposed the film. I could put a fine mesh over the lens and completely change a portrait from sharply focused and deeply revealing , to something ephemeral and haunting. A lot of our filtration is also emotional.
Receiver and Filter are great metaphors! A metaphor is a filter too. In general, the human is locked into trying to find filters. I understand the necessity of this in most contexts. But when we are trying to look at filter-making itself then something goes awry. Then we are entering an infinite regress.
This orientation towards filter-finding leaves a question hanging that is very difficult to even phrase. I hear you guys trying to suggest it already. I think I’m doing the same. So I want to just kind of acknowledge what you guys are already alluding to perhaps tacitly.
Every metaphor leaves an impression of a brain facing an outside “reality” or “actuality” or whatever we call it. We want a picture of this. A filter for this. It may be that all filters, all metaphors, for this relationship with the whole fail in a very instructive way. I can’t pinpoint this directly without filtering it too much. But I hear you both saying it, so let me try to parallel what I hear:
The brain does, indeed, filter experience. However, this might be an example of what I might call a fact of the imagination and not a fact of nature. A reality we create by virtue of how we expect things to work. In other words, the brain is dominating experience with this one functional capacity – filtering. Filtering implies a division between the filter and the “outside world.” This assumption of the need to filter might be blocking other ways of relating to the whole that are even more penetrating, immersive and intelligent. Not that filtering would cease completely. But it would stop dominating experience. The belief that filtering is a sign of intelligence is not wrong, but it’s not the whole story. Filtering is only a part of what intelligence means. Distinguishing static “things” in the flowing whole may be necessary, but is entirely hallucinatory IF there is no wider context, broader overview perspective, proprioceptive function, that is present enough to see “the false in the true and the true in the false” within these filtered “things.”
Maybe I’m not making much sense yet. But I feel something forming. Intelligence needs to use filters now and then. But it can’t get fooled by them. There has to be a broader intelligence which sees “through” the filter negatively (seeing its limits). And this intelligence can’t really be named (filtered). The filter has to learn to stop trying to reach for this. Then it operates, and is “known” through this operation itself. It doesn’t picture itself, it simply IS. We move from CONSTRUCTING realities to BEING actualities. Does that make any preliminary sense? I’m not saying I have this vision down pat whatsoever. It’s on the periphery. But obviously, Tony, I’ve been trying to bring this out in the essays I wrote. I think we’re all approaching this from different angles. Love what you guys are writing!
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Sounds good Jeff.
One first thing that’s come to mind has to do with… and it came to me reading your last paragraph, “Intelligence needs to use filters now and then. But it can’t get fooled by them. There has to be a broader intelligence which sees ‘through’ the filter negatively (seeing its limits).” Until then, it seemed you, and John and I, were back talking of intelligence as something arising in the brain, or in the organism again. Intelligence does use filters now and then. It does this when it passes through what we’ve long called consciousness. But if that’s not where intelligence resides, then of course it doesn’t always….
What I’m suggesting is that if we take the broad umbrella of Proprioception to refer to an awareness that we partake of intelligence instead of harboring it, then new possibilities open up. This metaphor, every metaphor as you say, can be a filter. It’s not intelligence that relies on them. It is our conscious thinking that does – and probably has to do in order to work as it does. The difference is in seeing that this is not the all. And that we can witness? intelligence working in other ways, and perhaps partake in that. So long as we are willing to let these things happen to us without the illusion of our own agency.
I’m reminded of “God’s Will.” In Portuguese it’s, “Osh alá!” Which sounds quite close to Inshallah! We tend to go all surly at the thought. Get caught up in the Religious Wars and atheist rebellion and fail to see anything more subtle that might be going on. A classic adolescent ploy.
Yet, for me, access to creativity has been directly tied to losing an Ego perspective concerning who creates what.
Jung’s interest in Alchemy also shows how there has been a long history of inquiries into these reaches that can only be undertaken via some intermediary of symbol and ritual and extended metaphor. When taken literally it is all so obviously foolish; but that’s… a kind of invisibility? Ego thinking doesn’t want to see. And those pursuing these inquiries would rather not have their true work noticed….
Filters and metaphors,OH MY!
I have friend in Alaska that makes a living looking for gold nuggets. Apparently, he finds them in the tailing piles of the big placer operations. for these operations the real money is not in those big nuggets so much as in all the fine gold. They sort and sift and otherwise “classify” for the fine stuff, and the big stuff rolls out into a pile with the unwanted rock . He picks through those piles and uses a detector and finds discarded gold sometimes finding nuggets up to several ounces.
I believe we to, miss that ‘big nugget’ if we rely on our inner filtration all the time. OR, maybe we are picking out the big stuff and letting the important little stuff go down the drain .