No one compares to you, but there’s no you, except in my dreams tonight
I spend a lot of Time reading Carl Jung. It has been through Jung and also, John Piaget, a developmental psychologist, that I started to understand that our articulated systems of thought are embedded in something like a dream. That dream is informed in a complex way by the characteristics of our actions.
In other words, we act out things we don’t understand all the time. If that wasn’t the case then we wouldn’t need a psychology or a sociology, anthropology or any of that because we would be completely transparent to ourselves and we’re clearly not. Hence, we’re much more complicated than we understand, which means that the way that we behave contains vastly more information than we know.
Part of the dream that surrounds our articulated knowledge has been extracted as a consequence of us watching each other behave and telling stories about it for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. Extracting out patterns of behavior that characterize humanity and trying to represent them partly through imitation but also through drama and mythology and literature and ART.
All of this is a reflection of what we like so that we can better understand what we’re like. Within these reflected modes of self representation we can identify the struggle of humanity to arise above it’s animal forebears say and to become conscious of what it means to be human.
This is a very difficult thing to self actualize because we don’t know who we are, what we are or where we came from. Life is an unbroken chain going back three and a half billion years ( or three thousand for those religious zealots ), which is an absolutely unbelievable thing that every single one of your ancestors reproduced successfully for three-and-a-half-billion years.
We rose out of the sea, dirt and muck and now here we are conscious but not knowing. Although, trying to figure out who we are. Freud, I suppose in some sense started to collate the information that we had pertaining to the notion that people lived inside a dream. It was Freud who really popularized the idea of the unconscious mind. We take this for granted to such a degree today that we don’t understand how revolutionary the idea was for it’s time. For instance, the sexual catalyst behind humans emotions is what most people think of when Freud comes to mind, although the overarching, and revolutionary ideas on consciousness he discovered is now engrained in our popular culture that we rarely take heed to them.
This most notably includes the idea that your perceptions and your actions and your thoughts are all informed and shaped by unconscious motivations that are not part of your voluntary control. This is one of the most unsettling things about the psychoanalytic theories. Psychoanalytic theories are along the lines of, you’re a loose collection of living sub-personalities each with its own set of motivations, perceptions, emotions and rationales, which you have limited control over. In essence, you’re like a plurality of internal personalities that’s loosely linked into a unity. This notion of sub-personalities because self-evident because of the daily struggle that is waged in order to controlyourself.
This bleeds over to one of Carl Jung’s objections to Fredrick Nietzsche’s idea that we can create our own values. Jung didn’t believe that especially not after interacting with Freud because he saw that human begins were affected by things that were deeply beyond their conscious control and no one really knows how to conceptualize those things (e.g., never pay for therapy, do it yourself).