I woke up today with the thought-feeling that I need to be the container-conduit, the vessel, of contradiction ~ not that I need to bear the weight of the world’s contradictions, but that I, as an individual, for my own wellbeing, need to not be pushing away anything that contradicts what is perceived, through the social construct, to be good, healthy, positive, et cetera. This is the second day in a row that I have woken up from a night’s sleep that felt like a series of messages (or the integration of messages) about what I feel like is the Jungian (or generally integrative) approach to the wholeness of human being.
Jung, on the subject of integrating psychosis:
The reason why the involvement looks very like a psychosis is that the patient is integrating the same fantasy-material to which the insane person falls victim because he cannot integrate it but is swallowed up by it.
In myths the hero is the one who conquers the dragon, not the one who is devoured by it.
And yet both have to deal with the same dragon.
Also, he is no hero who never met the dragon, or who, if he once saw it, declared afterwards that he saw nothing. Equally, only one who has risked the fight with the dragon and is not overcome by it wins the hoard, the “treasure hard to attain.”
He alone has a genuine claim to self-confidence, for he has faced the dark ground of his self and thereby has gained himself.
This experience gives him faith and trust, the pistis [the faith] in the ability of the Self to sustain him, for everything that menaced him from inside he has made his own.
He has acquired the right to believe that he will be able to overcome all future threats by the same means.
He has arrived at an inner certainty which makes him capable of self-reliance, and attained what the alchemists called the unio mentalis.
~ Carl Jung, CW14, Para 756
I came across this guy called Rupert Sheldrake, who has proposed the idea of ‘morphic resonance’ to explain how and where we retain memory, an idea that has powerful potential implications for the development of our understanding of things like collective memory and collective consciousness. Here is an introduction from his website.
Morphic resonance is a process whereby self-organising systems inherit a memory from previous similar systems. In its most general formulation, morphic resonance means that the so-called laws of nature are more like habits. The hypothesis of morphic resonance also leads to a radically new interpretation of memory storage in the brain and of biological inheritance. Memory need not be stored in material traces inside brains, which are more like TV receivers than video recorders, tuning into influences from the past. And biological inheritance need not all be coded in the genes, or in epigenetic modifications of the genes; much of it depends on morphic resonance from previous members of the species. Thus each individual inherits a collective memory from past members of the species, and also contributes to the collective memory, affecting other members of the species in the future.
Something I wonder about frequently and somewhat obsessively, is the question of where dreams come from, where our predispositions come from and how mythology informs reality. I have this idea I’m calling “cultural archetypes” and I’m sure it’s just an idea that’s coming to me from the collective memory ~ it’s not my idea: I’ve just received it. I’m sure that Jung talked about it, but I haven’t yet come across where he wrote about it.
When we interpret the flux of reality, we perceive it approximately the same as the next person because our interpretation is based on cultural archetypes remembered from the past. This idea of morphic resonance seems to support this idea, so I’m excited to have discovered it.
What do you know about morphic resonance or the templates we use to interpret reality?