The Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung was born in 1875, the son of a poor pastor of the Reformed Swiss Church. Mild early childhood neuroses had led him to become interested in psychology, even though it was not a prestigious occupation at the time. He studied medicine at the University of Basel, and practiced in Zurich.

C.G. Jung

Jung is best known for his ideas of archetypes, introversion and extroversion, and the collective unconscious. His method led to an entire Jungian school of practice, including the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. In some quarters, his mystical writings on topics like alchemy and synchronicity have made him a kind of Godfather of the new age movement. In Jung, we see the intersection of standard, accepted scientific practices and occult mysticism. Jung maintained his entire career, however, that he was a scientist, not a mystic.


Archetypes are idealized images of personality that we emulate. the four primary archetypes are the self, the shadow (that which one hides from the world and even from oneself), anima or animus (the idea of the opposite gender), and persona. There are many persona an individual can take on. These are idealized forms that we aspire to:

Jungian archetypes of persona


The archetypes relate to introversion and extroversion. Jung relates the ancient archetype of Apollo to introversion: dreaming, reflecting and visioning. Extroversions is related to the ancient archetype of Dionysius: one who wants to participate in the world – politics, intrigue, family, etc.


The collective unconscious is a reservoir of unconscious experience that a species can tap into. This is distinguished from an individual’s unconscious – the collection of personal experiences that he or she draws from. As Jung put it in Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (1996, 43):

My thesis then, is as follows: in addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature and which we believe to be the only empirical psyche (even if we tack on the personal unconscious as an appendix), there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents.


Jung was cutting his teeth in Psychotherapy in the shadow of Freud, but as its most promising young star. When the two first met, they famously had a half-day long conversation. But Jung’s openness to seemingly non-scientific matters led to a rift between the two great psychotherapists that never healed. Differences in wealth (Jung married a very wealthy heiress, while Freud struggled) and youthfulness (Jung had to carry  the sick Freud at a conference) led to antipathy  between them.


At the age of 40, Jung felt that he had achieved all that a person could ask for, professionally and personally. He even said that “life begins at 40, the rest [the earlier period] is just research.”  Jung began a series of eccentric self-explorations, such as painting the inside of a tower on his property, studying alchemy and writing and illustrating The Red Book, a kind of exposition of his own personal unconscious, including dreams and visions. He claimed that all his late work was derivative of The Red Book. Because of its personal nature, the book was only shown to less than a dozen people and kept in a safety deposit box for a half-century before finally being released in 2009 by his grandson.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 12.20.14 PM

Image from The Red Book (New York Times)

Along with the posts on RousseauPlatoBaconMachiavelliSaid, Marx and Locke, this post, and many to follow, are part of an upcoming project (as you can see it’s not all philosophy!) – stay tuned.

Leave a comment

Filed under academia, intellect, Uncategorized

Jungian Archetypes


RE: The Jung article posted above

Originally posted on Cognitive Consonance:

Archetypesvary greatly through different cultures many of which overlap. As these archetypes are used symbolically to helps us make sense of the world, they can be found in all forms of human expression: art, drama, literature, etc.

The nature of archetypes is such that they are easily recognisable so that we can easily attach emotional meaning. As mentioned in my previous post on Carl Jung, they can be associated with a multitude of behavioural and emotional patterns. However, some archetypes are far more recognisable than others. As a paradigm, the Wise Old Woman, the Great Mother and the Hero. One of the most important archetype is, however, less known. Jung describes it as the Persona and was something he identified early in his own life. He recognised it as his “tendency to share only a certain part of his personality with the outside world.” As he grew older and more…

View original 562 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

¡Ikatú! = “Yes, we can!” (A new proposition on how to understand and measure poverty)


Some applications of Wilber’s quadrants ..

Originally posted on Accion Ambassadors Blog:

The Fundación Paraguaya appreciates thinking outside the box, which in turn makes me appreciate the Fundación. Take their vanguard project Ikatu, for example. The mission of this endeavor is to analyze the multifaceted reasons that contribute to about 60% of the Paraguayan population to live in poverty[1]. Looking at income and purchasing power parity to describe a person living in poverty is not enough to address the problem. This kind of approach simplifies the truth about life and existence and as most of us realize as we mature: life just is not that simple.

Martin Burt, Executive Director of the Fundación Paraguay, introduced Ikatu as a project to understand poverty as it exists in Paraguay. The hopes are to be aware of what characteristics (vital behaviors) differ between their clients coming from different social classes. That way the Fundación could see how to improve their services to their…

View original 200 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


IN his web chat on The Guardian website, Slavoj Zizek noted that “we were all Fukuyamaists,” meaning that everyone, even the left, believed in a sense that we were at Fukuyama’s “end of history.” The meaning of this end of history was widely debated, but it argued that with liberal democracy, no further progress was required or possible.

Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History and the Last Man

Fukuyama actually meant this in a Hegelian sense – that the thesis of monarchical authoritarianism and its liberal communitarian antithesis had been resolved with the synthesis of moderate liberal capitalist democracy. [Hegel's most influential idea was that an idea, or thesis, confronts its opposite, or antithesis, and the two resolve at a higher level in a synthesis.]  Zizek’s point was that even the left had failed to imagine possibilities other than the same liberal democracy and that debate came to be about what kinds of reforms – essentially tweaks – could be made to make the system more just.

Prof. Slavoj Zizek is international director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities at the University of London and senior researcher at the Institute for Sociology and Philosophy, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

We continue to find ourselves in this rut, caused by an inability to imagine alternatives to the system we find ourselves in. This is particularly perilous for Hawaiians, who are in various ways trying to imagine an alternative society, but are trapped in the paradigms imposed on us over the past century.

When trying to imagine alternative social arrangements, it may be helpful to think about what kinds of assumptions can be made of people in any given system. In capitalism, for example, we assume that most people do not steal (most stores do not have security guards, but often a 100 pound teenage girl as the only one “guarding” the store – this is only seen as dangerous in “dangerous” neighborhoods, not in “normal” ones), but in fact believe in the system to the extent that people will go out of their way to show that they have the money to buy even overpriced goods (to which prestige may be attached). Those who do steal are shunned, perhaps shown on reality or crime shows as examples of social misfits. They are, in the terminology of [transpersonal] psychology, pre-conventional; they do not adhere to the expectations of the society, but to one “below” it. The ability to assume people do not steal is quite an accomplishment, because it is an assumption that people do not always do what is in their blatant self-interest – or perhaps that their self-interest can be much more complex.

NOW imagine a society in which one could assume that people are pro-social, and that they do not behave in ways that damage the natural world – this society is already beginning to emerge and its norms are being constantly enforced (see the film version of The Grinch). These people are “post-conventional,” but this view is quickly becoming “conventional” – Noam Chomsky noted recently that in his youth, women’s rights and the environmental movement did not exist. Now imagine further a society in which it can be assumed that history, law and intellectual and artistic pursuits are actually important and should be encouraged, even if they don’t have “market value” – or where they’re given market value (or where there is no market). This exercise may be viewed as utopian, but that is exactly the point, as Robert Kennedy said, “to imagine a world which has not been and say ʻwhy not?'”


Filed under academia, Environment, ʻĀina, Globalization, intellect, Uncategorized


If Marx was declared dead in 1990-91, he seemed to be resurrected in 2008. As Communist governments fell or were transformed, awkwardly, into pseudo-capitalist ones (as Russia did, and China had previously), capitalism appeared to have taken the day – Francis Fukuyama’s “end of history” had arrived. But in the inventing years, Marx retained his currency in academia because of his theoretical contributions to the critique of capitalism, and because the academic left was not as jubilant for the end of history as was the right. Then Marx was rehabilitated when capitalism’s structural flaws became apparent with the financial crisis.

Karl Marx (1818-1883)

All this is to situate Marx in the real world – I came to know his work during his brief afterlife in the 1990s. I remember first reading The Communist Manifesto at a campsite in Flagstaff Arizona and feeling somewhat subversive in that conservative state. Thus it is with some relish that I dust off (literally) my old copy of The Marx-Engles Reader. Marx was born at Trier, Prussia (later Germany) in 1818, studied at the Universities of Bonn and Berlin, and wrote his best-known work (though not his magnum opus), The Communist Manifesto in 1848 [Hawaiian connection]. He married Jenny von Westphalen, the daughter of a Baron, had several children, and lived in such dire poverty that some of the children died, though spies told of his caring, loving demeanor as a father. He lived in England and collaborated with Friedrich Engles, author of Condition of the Working Class in England.



Marx was one of the “Young Hegelians” who followed in the wake of that philosopher to whom Foucault said “all philosophy is a footnote.” Specifically, he was a “left Hegelian” using Hegel’s idea of the dialectic to show how advanced societies would move, in evolutionary fashion, toward socialism. The dialectic was, like a dialog, a conversation in which each element responds to the last and development occurs this way. This is as opposed to a “teleological,” or internally-driven form of development. According to Kedourie in Hegel and Marx: Introductory Lectures (1995), he saw himself as another Hegel, who, standing on his head, was set right by Marx. While Hegel invoked spirit with his weltgeist (world spirit) and zeitgeist (spirit of the times), Marx was, at root, a materialist; he viewed the material conditions of humanity as the basis of historical development itself – Marx’s “historical materialism.”


In his essay On the Jewish Question, Marx addressed the topic of private property. Specifically, he examined its relation to voting rights in the US. He applauded the state constitutions that had abolished private property as a voting requirement [Hawaiian connection], but questioned whether doing so actually sublimated the role of private property so that the privilege it afforded became invisible.


“A specter is haunting Europe; the specter of communism” (Marx, 1848). This quote and the final line from Marx’s Manifesto, “Workingmen of the world unite!” are seared into the minds of the (at one point) billions of people living under communist regimes. The sheer impact of Marxʻs work, both philosophically and in the real world explains the relevance of his thought and why many still visit his tomb in London.

Along with the posts on RousseauPlatoBaconMachiavelli, Said and Locke, this post, and many to follow, are part of an upcoming project (it’s not all philosophy!) – stay tuned.

Leave a comment

Filed under academia, intellect

Edward Said

When I was an undergraduate, my Professor – David Dixon, who is the academic who is responsible for my going into political science – read from Edward Said:

“ʻOrientalism [was] a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient’ – one sentence like that can get you tenure at Columbia – it’s great!” But the back cover of the book says it most succinctly: “all [Orientalists] have a certain representation or idea of ʻthe Orient’ defined as being other than the ʻOccident’ [the West], mysterious, unchanging and ultimately inferior” (Hourani, 1978).

Foucault’s and Gramsci’s ideas of discourse and hegemony converge in the thought of Edward Said. Said finds it “useful to employ Foucault’s notion of a discourse” (Said, 1978, 3) – the dynamic exchange of ideas, statements, assertions which constitute for Foucault a form of power exchange he calls power/knowledge

Said’s metaphor of a cultural landscape (not insignificantly one that is global with few or no empty spaces) borrows from Gramsci’s application of Marxist thought to cultural space. Said thus relies on Gramsci’s translation and of Marx to make it adhere to an Italian context, i.e., to make it a realistic cultural representation. Said views, utilizing Gramsci, the replacement of “direct political control” with a kind of domination described as “cultural hegemony, ” consisting of “directive” or ruling ideas. (Said, 1993, 249)

Edward Said (1935-2003) was a Palestinian American from a Christian family, who was also a concert-level pianist and music critic. He was one of the founders of Postcolonial studies and professor of English (comparative literature) at Columbia University.

Said acknowledges his debt to Gramsci by explaining his use of an approach to scholarship forwarded in the Prison Notebooks. For Gramsci, History deposits in people traces – through heredity, family or other experiences – which accumulate to constitute a book, but this book contains no inventory. The scholar’s task is to compile this inventory, which is a task of interpretation. The reason for this task is to understand one’s own history in terms of “others’” history. It is a pluralistic project that illustrates Said’s commitment to secular, democratic and inclusive theoretical and political solutions. The goal then is effectively to become someone else, to forge a new identity that includes the inventory of the “other.”

Yet if Said prefers to locate the struggle on this idealistic landscape, it is a battlefield on which the “other” is at a disadvantage. While Said asserts that there is no “Archimedean point beyond the question from which to answer it … no vantage outside the actuality of relationships among cultures,” he engages in confrontation with the “West” from its own nucleus, and using its own language – that of literature. Said further acknowledges and describes a geographicity and a cultural dimension of Gramsci’s take on Marx. And it is in the realm of culture that Said makes his mark.

Despite Foucault’s interest in anti-colonial struggles, Said notes that he (as well as the theorists of the Frankfurt school) do not engage theoretically with imperialism, and retain a focus on Europe. As Said puts it, Foucault’s work is “drawn from what are considered exclusively Western sources … a theoretical oversight that is the norm in Western cultural and scientific disciplines.” (Said, 1993, 41.)

Said hints that what might be called the genealogy of theory is on the side of the oppressed. Using Lyotard’s definition of postmodernism – the “loss of the legitimizing power of Western emancipation and enlightenment,” Said suggests that the power of the Western literary narrative is on the wane, and that any renewed effort in this direction is merely reactionary (Said, 1993, 57)

Said acknowledges his debt to “a certain generation of French writers,” and “of them all … Foucault” whose method he describes in the words of R.P. Blackmur as “a technique of trouble.” (Said, 1975, 283) Said shares and admires Foucault’s view of history as “a succession of functional conditions that give rise to the existence not only of knowledge, but of man himself.” (Said, 1975, 238) Prefiguring his own notion of intertextuality, Said notes Foucault’s “hampered” attempts to “[get] to the bottom” of his Archeology of Knowledge, which “yields only the … assertion that man is a temporary interruption, a figure of thought, of what is already begun.” (Said, 1975) Man is always/already the product of and the creator of his/her narrative/existence. Said here reveals his own departure from Foucault’s hermeneutic (or perhaps post-hermeneutic) approach, to his own genealogical approach, which may owe a debt to Foucault’s later work – Discipline and Punish and The History of Sexuality. Even the notion of “otherness” is ascribed to Foucault.(Said, 1975, 284) which became the theoretical centerpiece of Said’s most noted work.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


Along with the posts on RousseauPlatoBacon, Machiavelli and Locke, this post, and many to follow, are part of an upcoming project – stay tuned.

According to Wheelwright (1951) “Aristotle was born in 384 BC at Stagira, a town in Macedonia, colonized by Grecian emigrants.” Aristotleʻs father, Nichomachus (also the name of his son, for whom the Nichomachean Ethics was written) was a court doctor for the King of Macedonia. Aristotle left and  in a sense overcame the stifling provincialism of his youth and entered Plato‘s Academy at age 18, where he remained until 347 BC (Wheelwright, 1951, xv).

Aristotle (384-322 BC)

Aristotle lived, studied and taught during one of the most eventful periods of Macedonian and Greek history – he was a contemporary and was admired by Macedonian King Phillip, who invited Aristotle to tutor his thirteen-year old son, later known as Alexander the Great.

As with Plato, it is unclear exactly what we are reading when we read Aristotle, but for a different reason. As Wheelwright puts it: “the prose style is unfinished, loose, and choppy; in marked contrast to the conscientious precision with which key words are employed.”  The texts appear to be some sort of notes, and three theories exist as to how these were produced: 1) they were student notes, 2) they were Aristotle’s lecture notes, or 3) “the original Aristotelian writings were lost, recovered in a damaged condition and pieced together by incompetent editors” (Wheelwright, 1951, xviii).

Aristotle’s output was so monumental that it set the tone, in fact the content, little changed for over a thousand years in Europe, with Catholic scholastics synthesizing Aristotelian thought with Biblical scripture (although there is a fair amount of debate over the extent of his influence). His principal work can be grouped in nine basic categories:

1) Logic

2) Natural Science

3) Zoology

4) Psychology

5) Metaphysics (famously only called this because it came after the physics)

6) The Nichomachean Ethics

7) Politics (or, “On Statecraft”)

8) The art of oratory

9) The art of Poetry

It is impossible to summarize this output here, but possible to give a taste of his thought. The Metaphysics begins with questions on the nature of knowledge, and how we know (epistemology):
ALL men by nature desire to know. An indication of this is the delight we take in our senses; for even apart from their usefulness they are loved for themselves; and above all others the sense of sight. For not only with a view to action, but even when we are not going to doanything, we prefer seeing (one might say) to everything else. The reason is that this, most of all the senses, makes us know and brings to lightmany differences between things.
(Source: classics.mit.edu)

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized