LAWS OF WISDOM by Ralph Losey
Observe our self, know our self, and slowly bring order out of chaos.
Arnold Keyserling, Charles Tart, and others discovered that our own consciousness is the main hindrance to our realization of full potential. We are not only held back by weak thinking, but by our fragmented and constricted consciousness. We cannot answer the big questions and fulfill our potential because we cannot see the big picture. Since we see only a chaotic series of disjointed snapshots, and think poorly if at all, the meaning of life remains a puzzle. Without expanding and integrating our consciousness, and without clear thinking, we can’t make sense of our life, discover who we are and what we really want.
From these insights we know that the first step we must take in order to answer the big questions ourselves is to transform our consciousness. We need to observe our self, know our self, and slowly bring order out of chaos. We need to awaken from the trance. The many scenes will then start to flow together into a movie that makes sense. As our functions segregate and consciousness integrates, we can develop our thinking. When we learn to think critically and creatively, we can figure out how the cosmic Laws apply to our life. We can answer the big questions for ourselves. Thus, from a practical perspective, the Laws of Wisdom which must first be considered are the laws of our own consciousness.
Our inner world can be as chaotic as the outer. We experience a convoluted flow of thoughts and associations, feelings, and day dreams. The disjointed nature of our consciousness is one of the basic problems. To use thinking to sort out our inner world and start making sense of things, we must know the basic structure of our consciousness, the order underneath the chaos. The first basic law – constitutional principle of consciousness – which we need to learn to begin this process is the Law of Four. In consciousness we experience the fourfold ordering principle as the four functions: sensations, thoughts, feelings and willing. In time our consciousness emphasizes one or the other of these four.
THE FOUR FUNCTIONS
Willing means the following types of consciousness, the following experiences: action of all kinds; decisions; doing; determining; controlling; yes-no; on-off; accomplishing; effectuating; carrying out; implementing; working; ordering; intuiting; forebrain; deep sleep and attention.
Feeling means the following: love; emotions; affects; drives; fun; intensity; enthusiasm; exhilaration; moods; imagination; force; power; passion; sentiment; strength; laughter; joy; humor; playfulness; right brain; metabolism; impulses; and dreams.
Thinking means: reason; relate; rational; logical; analytical; discursive; ratiocination; order; consider; reflect; ponder; cogitate; dialectic; symbolize; conceive; connect; deliberate; either-or; both-and; enumerate; hind brain; breathing; language; and reflection.
Sensing means perception; observe; 5 senses; unprocessed information; intake; direct and immediate consciousness; discern; sensuality; left brain; sex and excretion; sense data; and waking consciousness. The Four functions are usually shown on a cross.
A basic law of life on this planet is that by the time you are an adult, the functions are disordered and of unequal power and capacity. Perhaps some day this law will change, but for now it is safe to assume you have work to do.
We integrate and make sense of the disjointed, chaotic nature of our consciousness through a process where we first disentangle and separate these four functions from each other. Once the four functions start to operate on their own, the functions strengthen and start to run smoothly. Then our consciousness naturally integrates and expands. This is a basic law of consciousness development which we can count on to get us out of the mess society and miseducating puts us into. In this way the hypnotic trance of our culture can be broken.
When our consciousness reaches a certain point of clarification and integration, it is easy to see the operation of the hidden fourfold order in consciousness. We can observe the distinct characteristics of the four functions in our self and others. The actor awakens and starts to make sense of his role in life. But at the beginning of this process when we are half asleep – deep in consensus trance, and our inner world is chaotic and our functions tangled, warped and weak – the differences between the four functions are not so apparent. Consciousness seems to be uniform, the inner world a bland, albeit chaotic, flow.
Still, with just a little reflection about your day as a whole, the four fundamentally different types of consciousness will be revealed. The biggest divide is the difference between your consciousness when asleep and when awake. This difference is as obvious as night and day. When you are sleeping you are not dead, you still are, but your consciousness is fundamentally different than when you are awake. When asleep you are either dreaming or you are in deep sleep. Dreaming consciousness is sometimes called “subconsciousness”. It emphasizes the feeling function, but can also include the other functions to a lesser degree. Deep sleep is sometimes called “unconsciousness”. It emphasizes the willing function, but again can also include the other functions in diminished capacity. When you are awake you are either perceiving or reflecting. In normal “waking consciousness” the sensing function dominates, and when in “reflective consciousness” thinking is emphasized.
Thus every day you have four fundamentally different types of consciousness: waking consciousness, reflective consciousness, dream consciousness and deep-sleep consciousness. Each of these stages naturally emphasizes one of the functions, but does not exclude the rest. Thus for instance while dreaming you emphasize feelings, but you still think from time to time, or make decisions and take actions. You can also still sense the outside world when in a dream, and sometimes even incorporate these sensations into your dream.
The same is true for waking consciousness. Although your five senses dominate, you can still feel, think and act. When you are reflective, you still have perceptions. You don’t go blind, nor do you have to close your eyes to think (although that can sometimes make it easier). Even in deep-sleep, you are not just in pure will, other functions occur: feelings, even sensations. If someone calls your name, even in deep-sleep you may hear and awaken. The consciousness of most people is so completely segregated, that even though they experience deep sleep every night of their lives, they have no memory of that part of themselves at all.
When we talk about disentangling the four functions we do not mean to separate the four types of consciousness, just the contrary. Separation is the process, not the goal. The functions are purified – separated from each other – so that the four types of consciousness can then be integrated, blended into one, a “super consciousness”. When the four functions are pure and clear, they can work together. The great difference between waking and sleeping consciousness will then be bridged. For instance, once you learn to really sense, without pollution from the other functions, you see things as they are, disentangled from preconceptions and feelings. Your waking consciousness is strong. Such a truly awakened person can then remember and blend with the other parts of them self. When awake they will still remember their dreams, their essential wishes and desires. They will act in accord with their thinking – walk their talk – in connection with the profound silence of deep sleep. As waking, reflective, dream and deep sleep consciousness merge, based on strong, pure functioning, a new type of “super consciousness” will develop. A holistic self encompassing and integrating all types of consciousness will emerge. We will begin to fulfill our natural human potential.
In the meantime we begin by recognizing and disentangling the four basic states of consciousness. We have already discussed thinking at length, and how to free it from the other functions. Although thinking is the function emphasized by us humans, it is not the base function, in other words, not the first function. The basic function upon which all consciousness is, or should be, based, is sensing. Sensing is the intake of data and perceptions, pure unprocessed information. Sensing is based on the five senses: seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching It is the dominant function of “normal waking consciousness.” Without sensing there would be nothing to think about, nothing to feel, no basis for actions.
The development of sensing begins with birth as we slowly start to open our eyes and orient our self to the world. The development of the five senses continues at an accelerated rate for the first few years. Then it stops prematurely because the perception of most of the child’s instructors, the parents and teachers, is so limited. The child soon learns to ignore and forget the perceptions which are not verified and accepted by the adults. Soon the child altogether ceases to perceive in a “non-adult”, that is “un-stunted” way. They learn to focus into the narrow con sensual reality consciousness in which they are raised. The trance screens out all other perceptions.
Although our senses are somewhat stunted in childhood – how much so depending in large part upon our family and education – they are never killed altogether. All of us can still sense to some degree, and our senses can be reawakened and grow. The larger world we started to perceive in childhood can be revived. We can awaken from the culture trance. There are many exercises to do this. Art and music can also be used in this way. Many of the phenomena of “extra sensory perception” may actually just be the normal, un stunted functioning of the senses. We can all be much more aware than we are now. The seemingly incredible abilities of artists and athletes, as well as psychics, show this to be true. The singer with perfect pitch, the batter who can see the stitches on the baseball as it flies at him at 90 miles an hour, the quarterback who can see the open receiver in a crowded field, the telepathy who hears a thought, or the clairvoyant who sees a future event. All this hints at what is possible when our sensing is purified, trained and strengthened.
After a sensation comes, we can experience the feeling which comes with it, the power and energy of what is sensed. Feeling is the positive or negative response, the impact. Feeling is the world of desires, drives, emotions and dreams; the world of the instincts, pleasure and pain, likes and dislikes.
Our ability to feel is also stunted for much the same reasons as our senses. There is little or no place for our feelings in the adult world we are trained to enter. Very few feelings are acceptable in western culture. We are taught to turn off our feelings, the boy children especially. Some sedate feelings may be permitted, but the palate is quite limited. In general strong emotions of all kinds are suspect and forbidden. The subconscious, instinctual world is considered dangerous, especially feelings related to sex. Some children are abused, physically or mentally. They are subjected to strong negative emotions, deeply hurt feelings, and do not know what to do or how to handle them. Many cannot endure the pain and so turn from all feelings, becoming dry robots, autistic or schizophrenic. Even in the best of families we acquire complexes or neuroses of one kind or another. In today’s culture we all leave childhood psycho-traumatized to a certain degree.
The home of feelings, the dream world, is a forgotten area. It is given little importance by most of the adults who raise us. After some indulgence, we are encouraged to grow up, to put our fantasies and play behind us. Imagination is “kids stuff”, dreams are unreal or unimportant. So the indoctrination-education-program goes. We lose all touch with our dream world, our deepest desires and wishes. In today’s world of advertising, subliminal fill our feelings with new, acceptable desires and goals. In the United States for instance many of us actually come to believe that our deepest desires in life involve material consumption of one form or another. The pursuit of happiness becomes the pursuit of money and thrills. We find pseudo-happiness in consumption and entertainment, in movies and television. Our emotional needs come to be filled from the outside by observing the actor’s feelings. On the inside we become dead, hollow – the juices of our own feelings dry out. The function atrophies, and for some dies.
Again, this process can be reversed, feelings can be resurrected. The joy of play and imagination we knew in childhood can be regained. There are many procedures for this reawakening, you have only to find the one you like. For some it may be music, for some acting, for some martial arts, for others loving and hugs, for others sex. For many there are powerful traumatic events in their childhood which must be worked through. There is deep pain and emotional hurt in their past which must be overcome before their feelings can develop and grow, or before they can mature sexually. Many different psychological therapies have been developed to overcome this pain, including the pain of birth itself with which we all enter this world.
As we face and overcome the traumas and hang ups of the past, our feelings naturally strengthen, and our overall energy grows with the increased capacity to feel. Our dream world starts to communicate better with our waking selves. We start to transcend the advertising propaganda, to get in touch with our own desires. We start to find out what we really want out of life. We learn what we really love, what gives us real happiness and fulfillment. We learn from both our suffering and our joy. The dry sensations become charged. We awaken to art, to beauty, to sex. Our whole lives become filled with a new fire, with intensity and new feelings of all kinds. The purified feelings give our thinking a whole new dimension, our will a new power and force.
Willing is action, choice, control, deciding yes or no, movement. It is also the force of attention, memory and intuition. Again, the same sad story applies to willing as with the other functions. The baby has no trouble deciding whether to suck, no trouble crying out loud. Its will starts out strong, with a natural intensity and decisiveness. Then child rearing and education set in. For many the will atrophies, almost dies, sacrificed to a parent’s ill-conceived notion of discipline and obedience. We must all learn to conform, to fit in, to do what we are told, or else.
We all become entranced to some degree. After all, we are dependent on our parents for survival. For many children the adults make most of their decisions. They are not given the chance to choose for themselves. Eventually many forget how; they become weak and indecisive. Most of us learn to sit still in class for hours, to conform with what is expected to get the grade or our parents’ love. Again at home in today’s world we are encouraged to stare for hours at a television. We become conditioned to “short attention span theater”. Many lose the natural physical strength, agility and flexibility with which we are all born. We become fat and lazy, unable to focus our attention on anything for more than a few minutes at a time.
We learn to do exactly what we are told, and are conditioned to have no will of our own. This can be true even of the athletes among us who may otherwise be physically strong. Discipline is imposed on us from outside, from our parents, teachers and coaches. Our inner will, attention and self discipline may not be given a chance to develop. Then our will becomes dominated by another person, or by another function within our self, especially thinking. Psychologist’s say the average person talks to himself over 50,000 times a day. Much of the time we are telling ourselves that we can’t do something or another. This proves to be a self-fulfilling prophesy. The person with a weakened will gets cut off from their deep sleep self. They lose all connection with the inner depths, the world of the unconscious, the gateway to pure Awareness, to effortless, knowing action in the flow. Adrift from their depths, they lack spontaneity, freedom, autonomy. They are far removed from the creative world of action in tune with the Universe.
There are many procedures to regain a lost or weakened will. Even something as simple as changing the chatter in our head from can’t do, to can do, will do a lot. Thinking can help the will get started. It can encourage successful actions with a positive attitude. Thinking can help set realistic goals, in tune with our true inner motivations. When the first goal is met, we are encouraged to try for the next. The feelings can also empower the will, giving our actions force and intensity. Exercises of all types can help separate and strengthen the will. Not only physical exercises, but also psychological and spiritual.
Once our will is purified and strengthened, our attention also grows. This greatly facilitates the continuity of consciousness. Through attention, the unconsciousness of deep sleep is linked up to waking consciousness, and a kind of “super consciousness” is born. It comes from acting in touch with our depths. Through the force of attention we learn to maintain Awareness. Then we can act out of dynamic nothingness – a living intensity. We awaken from the trance, find wisdom and learn to act in accord with profound intuition. Night and day become one, the right and left brains are merged. The pure Awareness of deep sleep integrates with waking life. We act freely, spontaneously, autonomously, yet in touch with all and everything. We act in the moment, effortlessly yet effectively, in the flow of harmonious alignment.
The fourfold nature of consciousness is a basic law. Knowledge of this law stretches back to the dawn of history. Evidence of the apprehension of the fourfold ness of our experience can be found in nearly every culture on Earth. In the West we have the tradition of the four elements arising in ancient Greece, if not before. Everything could be reduced to the four elements of earth, air, fire and water. Prematurity continued in Western traditions, both within Christianity and elsewhere. The basic symbol of Christianity, the cross, represents the four with one function emphasized, the feeling function of God as Love.
Even though the fourfold cross was the basic symbol of Christianity, Church doctrine favored the laws of the trinity (father/son/holy-ghost) over that of the maternity. In the West the most important traditions emphasizing the four continued outside of the church in the hidden or occult traditions such as magic and alchemy. The great twentieth- century psychologist Carl Jung has written extensively on the psychological nature of these occult traditions. He found that the psychological symbolism of the four elements was the basis of medieval alchemy. The Alchemists search for gold was actually a secret search for perfect integration of the four psychological functions. This spiritual quest had to be disguised as chemistry to avoid the inquisition.
Carl Jung in his significant, albeit very difficult work on the psycho dynamics of alchemy, MysteriousConjunctionss, pointed out the correspondence of the four functions with the visions of Ezekiel and Zachariah in the Bible. Ezekiel had a vision of four creatures, with faces of a man, lion, ox and eagle. The four figures went with a vision of four wheels within wheels, each going in one of the four directions, together forming a moving throne of a figure having the appearance of a man. My partial representation ofEzekiel’ss vision is shown here.
There is a similar vision in the Bible in Zachariah of four chariots, the first with red horses, the second with black, the third with white and the fourth dappled gray. The horses went forth to the four winds of heaven. As Jung points out, there is a remarkable parallel vision by the Native American, Black Elk, as reported by Diehard in Black Elk Speaks. In Black Elk’s vision twelve black horses stand in the west, twelve white horses in the north, twelve bays (reddish-brown) in the east and twelve grays in the south. Black Elk and his vision are discussed in Chapter 10. The importance of twelve in relation to four will be shown later in the work of Arnold Keyserling in Chapter 5.
THE CASE OF: CARL V. JUNG v. SIGMOND FREUD
The four basic functions are the backbone of Carl Jung’s psychology. In first describing these four functions in 1921 in his book Psychological Types, he used almost the same terms for them as we do today. He called them Sensing, Thinking, Feeling and Intuition. His use of the term Intuition, instead of the more generic Will, is in my view a combined error of usage and translation.
It is easy to understand Jung’s error in usage of the German word equivalent to Intuition, instead of Will, when you consider the man himself. His emphasis on the highly developed “inner aspect of willing”, on intuition, is explained by his own personality. He was a highly-developed intuitive type who tended toward introversion. Although one of the great geniuses of the twentieth century and a brilliant intellectual, Jung was clearly a man of vision, not a man of strong will. Although strong physically, and always active, and out door oriented, he was a poor decision maker who relied on feelings and intuition, and was terrible in personal relations, social action and politics. Jung naturally saw the willing function through the glasses of his own experience. He saw it as entirely a matter of intuition. For him the experience was true. He was an introversive thinker, not a man of will. On the few occasions when he did venture into the stage of politics and history, he bungled. This is shown by the relationship with his mentor, Sigmond Freud, and his ill-fated Presidency of the International Psychoanalytical Association. This dramatic episode in his case will be discussed further in this chapter.
It is also shown by his unfortunate relationship with Germany in the thirties and his Presidency of the General Medical Society for Psychotherapy. 1 Although never a Nazi supporter, Jung’s weakness and naiveteé resulted in his manipulation by the Nazis to their advantage. In 1933 Jung was Vice President of the General Medical Society for Psychotherapy, a group dominated by Germans. The President of the group resigned in protest of growing Nazi influence in German psychoanalysis. Jung accepted the presidency in these circumstances and remained president until the outbreak of war.
In 1933 Jung’s name was used with a Nazi manifesto published in the group’s international professional journal. The manifesto urged members of the group to adopt Hitler’s ideological principles. Jung claimed in private letters to other psychologists who complained of the outrage that even though he was the President and Editor, the publication of the manifesto under his name was done without his knowledge or consent. But as editor he could have retracted the manifesto or taken a public stand against the Nazis. He did not do so. He tried to work with the Nazis, to, as he said, try and protect the position of psychoanalysis in Germany, to prevent its suppression by the Nazis. In the process he published certain statements about Jewish psychology which he would later regret. 2 Many of the intellectual leaders of the time, such as his friend Count Keyserling, broke with Jung at this time for his tolerance of the Nazis in particular, and nationalism in general. Others went so far as to brand Jung as a Nazi collaborator and anti-Semite. Although this judgment is unfairly harsh, hindsight shows that some criticism of his political actions and inaction is warranted. This unfortunate episode in his public life clearly reveals “introversive will” as his “Achilles heel”.
The whole concept of introversive and introversive personality types originated with Jung. The four functions, with either an introversive or introversive emphasis, constituted his basic scheme of eight fundamental personality types. These eight personality types are well-known today in the Myers-Briggs personality test and other similar tests based on Jung’s classification. Today testing and typology are becoming ends in themselves, and Jung’s initial classification of eight types has been expanded in derivative systems to 16 or even 32 types. You take a test, find out your type and the type of your friends, learn a little about yourself and others, and that is the end of it.
Jung used his system of personality types in a completely different way. The recognition of type was only the beginning of a long process of “depth analysis”. Jung was only interested in labeling the different personality types in order to facilitate the personal realization and unification of all of these aspects of Self into a larger whole. He was not concerned with classifying people into personality types. He was concerned with “individuation,” a term which he defined as the process by which a person becomes a psychological “individual,” that is, a separate, indivisible unity or whole. The goal was realization of full human potential by bridging the four basic states of consciousness into one, linking the conscious with the unconscious. He described this process in terms of the “synthesis of the four functions” and “integration of the personality.” The basic symbol for this he found in the crossed Wheel, the four encircled by the one.
Jung described the individual personality type, the extrovert, as a person whose consciousness is primarily directed to the outside world, to external objects or other people. Conversely the introvert is primarily subject-oriented. Their consciousness is primarily directed towards the internal world of the psyche. Jung considered each psychological orientation to be of equal importance and validity. His goal was balance, a full consciousness of both the inner and outer worlds. Similarly he considered the four functions to be of equal importance and the goal was again to develop and integrate all four.
According to psychiatrist Edward Whitmont, before Jung, psychology severely undervalued the introversive type. This was in accord with the tendency of Western society as a whole to be strongly extroversive. Jung was able to persuade the then infant psychiatric profession of the equal validity of introversion to extroversion. Before Jung came on the scene in the 1920s introversion was used practically synonymously with autism or schizophrenic tendency. Dr. Whitmont states that old textbooks of psychiatry commonly referred to a schizoid person as an introverted or autistic person. The bias may be gone in some psychiatric circles, but as Whitmont states in his book The Symbolic Quest, the bias against the introversive personality in society continues.
Although everyone has both introversive and extroversive personality characteristics, for most people one tendency dominates over the other. The introversive person is more at home in his inner world, the extroversive is at home in the outer world. Usually each type fears the realm in which the other type is at home. The introvert distrusts and pulls away from the external world. The extrovert distrusts, fears and runs away from their inner world. Whitmont notes that the extroversive person naturally projects their lack of self valuation onto others. He found that the typical extrovert’s complaint is that nobody appreciates him or takes him seriously. The converse is probably true with introverts. The path towards wholeness must involve a recognition as to which type you are. Then you can try to overcome your projections and strengthen the weaker world.
The difference between introversive and extroversive types is analogous to the much-touted differences between the right brain and the left brain. Generally the left brain is oriented to the outer world, the world of order, waking consciousness, and the ego. The right brain is oriented to the inner world, the world of chaos, dream and the Self. The corpus callosum in the brain stands between the two sides of the neo-cortex. Most people cannot overcome the corpus callosum, they cannot merge the two realities into one. They cannot attain balance. They remained trapped in one side of the brain, or another.
Most people in the United States – seventy five percent according to the Myers Briggs tests – are in the left side and test as extroverts. The conscious ego is cut off from the larger transpersonal Self. The left and right brains are blocked, with the left brain usually dominating. There is no inner coherence which includes everything, including chaos and the unpredictable. The extrovert is imprisoned in the social reality of a constricted left brain, a false little coherence with poor creativity, depth and perspective. The introvert is lost in vague imaginations of right brain feelings with poor focus, clarity and purpose. Either way the waking-reflecting person does not know the sleeping-dreamer. With the two sides of the person disassociated, it is not possible for health, holistic coherence and spiritual development to progress. It is a basic law of human development that the separation of the brains has to be overcome. The dreamer and doer must become one!
Carl Jung found that the same type of balancing process is required of the four functions. Each person tends to have one function which dominates because it is naturally stronger and more highly-developed than the others. Some will be thinking types, some sensing, some feeling and some willing types, or as Jung called them, intuitive types. This emphasis of one of the four functions is in addition to the overall emphasis of either introversive or Dyers. In his book Psychological Types Jung explained:
For experience shows that it is hardly possible – owing to the inclemency of general conditions – for anyone to bring all his psychological functions to simultaneous development. The very conditions of society enforce a man to apply himself first and foremost to the differentiation of that function with which he is either most gifted by nature, or which provides his most effective means for social success. Very frequently, indeed as a general rule, a man identifies himself more or less completely with the most favored, hence the most developed, function. It is this circumstance which gives rise to psychological types.
The eight different personality types which result from Jung’s system are:
Introversive Willing or Intuition
Extroversive Willing or Intuition
The introversive functions are inwardly oriented, inclined to be passive and receptive. The Extroversive functions are outwardly oriented, inclined to be active and dynamic. We will see this system of eight (4 x 2) repeated again in Chinese thinking with the eight trigrams of the I Ching, an ancient Chinese text which had a profound influence on Jung. This is discussed in Chapter 8 on Chinese Laws of Creativity.
No one is a pure type, a one dimensional single type. We are a combination of many types, but still we tend to emphasize one or two. The process of individuation requires knowledge of your introversive and extroversive tendencies, and knowledge of your functions. When you know which type you are, you can begin to develop the other side, and other three functions.
One key to developing the other three functions is to first liberate them from the dominance of the strong function. For example, if extroversive thinking dominates, separate your thinking from your other functions, especially feeling. Give your feelings room to breathe, keep your thinking off of them, don’t criticize them. Don’t think about them, just feel. Then start to look within more, direct your thinking to your inner states. Don’t think so much about other people or things.
The goal is always to develop all four functions, and both sides of yourself. Then in the final step all of the sides of yourself are integrated into a larger whole. The unconscious deep sleep and dreaming selves blend with the conscious waking and reflective selves.
When the unconscious is brought into awareness Jung found, as many had before him, that an elaborate, yet coherent system of symbolic materials is revealed. Moreover, he intuited that this unconscious material was objective and universal, the structure was the same for all people everywhere. He called this deepest strata of the psyche the “collective unconscious”, in contrast to the personal unconscious or subconscious. The contents of the collective unconscious were universal symbols, pre-existent forms which he called the “archetypes”. Jung found cultural expressions of the archetypes in the esoteric teachings, tribal lore, myths and fairy tales found all over the world.
Long before Joseph Campbell, Jung spoke of finding your personal myth, and considered individuation to be the actualization of your special myth. As described in Jung’s book The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious the archetypes can be brought into consciousness primarily through dreams, but also through “active imagination”. He defined active imagination as “a sequence of fantasies produced by deliberate concentration”. According to Jung “active imagination” is a different kind of exercise than the “free association” process recommended by the father of modern psychiatry, Jung’s mentor and once close friend and teacher, Aching Freud.
The story of the close relationship between these two giants of psychology, Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, and Jung, provides important insights and background into the development of the fundamental ideas of modern psychology. Carl Jung’s side of the story is extensively told in his excellent autobiography Memories, Dreams and Reflections, written many years after the death of Freud. (The rest of the Jung quotes here are from his autobiography.) Jung also wrote numerous books and articles about Freud’s work. Freud, always the polite Viennese and 19 years senior to Jung, never wrote publicly about his relationship and breakup with Jung. Freud’s side of the story comes primarily from his many private letters to Jung and others.
Jung started as Freud’s admiring student and chief champion. Indeed, Carl Jung was one of the first psychiatrists outside of Vienna to accept, and even promote the then radical and even shocking ideas and theories of Aching Freud. Now that Freud is the epitome of established psychiatry, and the Freudian school is the most widely-accepted and emulated in the world, it is easy to forget that in 1906 most of the medical and psychological establishment considered Freud a far-out radical with ridiculous, even scandalous theories.
Freud’s influence on the far younger Jung was profound. It started in 1900 when Jung, then age 25, first read Freud’s classic The Interpretation of Dreams. He said he was too young and inexperienced to understand it then, but three years later, after working in a psychiatric hospital in Switzerland and experimenting with hypnosis, Jung read the book again in 1903. Then he began to understand what Freud, and thus modern psychiatry, was all about. Jung was one of the first to realize the truth and significance of Freud’s ideas. For it was Freud who “discovered the unconscious”.
Freud was the first person to bring psychology into medicine and start to try to understand the “mentally ill” and the causes of their sickness. Freud showed how his theories not only explained mental illness, but also “the psychopathology of everyday life”. Freud found that the unconscious and hidden instinctual drives were present in everyone, not just the mentally ill, and that they had profound effects. Freud insisted that psychiatrists should themselves be analyzed, should explore and know their unconscious in order to know and understand the problems of their patients.
These were revolutionary ideas at the time and had great appeal to the introspective Carl Jung. Moreover, as anyone who has read Freud’s many books can attest, he was a great writer, clear and stylistic, a true intellectual giant with wide cultural scope and sophistication. Jung was profoundly influenced and indebted to Freud’s pioneering work. By employing Freud’s ideas, along with a study of hypnosis, Jung excelled at the psychiatric hospital. He effected many remarkable cures and so developed a local and eventually international reputation as a “medical wizard”. A very successful medical practice grew out of that reputation. 3
At this early formative stage Jung was planning a career in academia as a professor of psychiatry. In 1905 he became a lecturer in psychiatry at the University of Zurich and a senior physician at the Psychiatric Clinic. By 1909 his private practice had expanded so much that he had to resign from the clinic, but he kept on teaching until 1913. Jung dared a break with academia in 1906 when he published a paper entitled “Freud’s Theory of Hysteria”. Two professors reacted to his paper by warning him away from Freud to protect his career. Jung replied with a letter saying: “If what Freud says is the truth, I am with him. I don’t give a damn for a career if it has to be based on the premise of restricting research and concealing the truth”. Jung continued to publicly defend Freud and his ideas. In 1906 he worked up enough courage to send Freud a copy of another article he had written based on Freud’s work, “Studies In Word Association”. This began a correspondence between the two men which went on until 1913.
In 1907 Freud invited Jung to Vienna and the two men met for the first time. They met at one o’clock in the afternoon and talked virtually non-stop for thirteen hours. In Jung’s words Freud was “the first man of real importance I had encountered … I found him extremely intelligent, shrewd, and altogether remarkable” and yet Jung’s first impressions were “somewhat tangled; I could not make him out”. If Jung ventured even slight reservations about Freud’s ideas, Jung claims that Freud would brush them off with references to Jung’s lack of experience. Jung was impressed by Freud’s sexual theories, but Jung could not decide to what extent Freud’s emphasis on sexuality was based on subjective prejudices, and to what extent it rested on verifiable experiences.
Above all, Freud’s attitude to everything spiritual seemed highly questionable to Jung, the son of a country preacher. Freud discounted the spiritual as repressed sexuality. Upon reflection Jung thought that Freud was making a religion out of sexuality, trying to set up a new dogma that would replace philosophy and religion with Freud’s science of the unconscious and sexual libido. To Freud sexuality included spirituality. For all his radical theories, Freud, born in 1856, was still very much a nineteenth-century man of science. He subscribed to the Newtonian materialistic view of the Universe. The body was a machine, and the psyche Freud discovered was just a by-product of it. This was too narrow a view for Jung. He intuited the next step in science, beyond materialism and determinism, into relativity and the hidden fractal order behind chaos.
In spite of the philosophical differences, due perhaps to the tremendous strength of Freud’s external will as compared to Jung’s, the two men became close friends. Outwardly Jung acted as if he were Freud’s strongest public supporter, but inwardly he harbored some secret reservations about Freud, both the man and his ideas. Freud sensed some uneasiness, but he attributed it to Carl’s youth and inexperience. Freud had been deeply disappointed before by his friends and colleagues, but he genuinely liked Carl and trusted him completely. Freud had high hopes that Jung would help him to establish his work and wanted him to be an equal, both personally and intellectually. Freud even caused Jung to be appointed President of his International Psychoanalytical Association and editor of its journal. Jung and Freud were invited to America to lecture at Clark University in 1909. A close friendship developed on the long boat trip over, but Jung preferred it to be a father-son type of relationship.
By 1911 Freud publicly declared Jung to be his designated successor. As Freud himself put it in a letter to Jung, “I formally adopted you as an eldest son, anointing you as my successor and crown prince”. Carl did not have the courage to turn him down, but apparently he was not as excited and happy about it as Freud had expected. A few private disagreements followed where Jung felt that Freud criticized him for his interest in parapsychology and the occult. Certainly the concerned Freud warned Jung not to go too far in his introversion.
Two years later, in 1913, after a series of dreams and deep inner turmoil, Jung finally summoned up the strength to break from the great man. He did not have the strength of will to do it in person, or directly. He instead started writing snide, even immature letters to Freud. When they met, Jung would end up apologizing to Freud for his letters. Finally, Jung’s letters became insulting, and their once close friendship came to an end. They never saw or even wrote to each other again. Only as a personal enemy did Jung have the courage to leave Freud and abandon the psychoanalytic kingship that was his for the taking. For Aching Freud it was a great personal blow. Jung’s incomprehensible actions appeared to be the height of egotistic arrogance and ingratitude, the classic Oedipus killing of the father by the son.
Although bitter and painful to both men, the breakup appeared to be necessary for Jung to finally transcend his now large ego and to continue in his development. According to Jung, after he broke publicly with Freud all of his friends and acquaintances dropped away. Jung, then age 38, went into a deep spiritual crisis which lasted four years and proved to be the turning point of his life. The turmoil was so great that he stopped teaching and abandoned his dreams of an academic career. He was, in his words, in a “state of disorientation.” “I felt totally suspended in mid-air, for I had not yet found my own footing”. He had turned away from his mentor and teacher, Freud, and no one was left to help him.
All of his energy then went into self analysis, to try to find his footing in the depths of his psyche. This time of deep introspection – which he called the “confrontation with the unconsciousness” – was terribly intense for Jung. His life was filled with disturbing dreams and visions. He began to believe his house was haunted and saw ghosts and other spirits. So did other members of his family. This went on for four years, from 1913 to 1917. In the end it was the stability and reality-grounding of his family, his wife Lemma, and five children, that kept him from going completely insane. 4
Without the experience and guidance of the elder Freud, Jung was alone in his pioneering work of exploring the unconscious. He was on an introspective journey, an adventure into the deepest realms of the psyche, with no human guides to help him. Nevertheless, he continued for four difficult years on an intense program of self analysis. He considered his “voluntary confrontation with the unconscious as a scientific experiment”. This experiment on himself led to incredible personal experiences and provided him with the insights upon which the rest of his life’s work was based.
Although Jung had no friends or colleagues who could help him – none in his time had dared to go so far – in his dreams, and his waking dreamlike visions, a mysterious guide came to him called “Philemon”. Philemon first appeared to Jung in a dream where he saw him as a “winged being sailing across the sky”. Then when lemon came closer he saw he was an “old man with the horns of a bull” holding four keys in his hand. Philemon remained with Jung for many years in his dreams and waking fantasies. He and other archetypal figures from Jung’s unconscious appeared and taught him much about himself and the psyche, eventually opening all four doors. Jung came to think of Philemon and others like him, as “ghostly gurus” of the inner psyche.
Some fifteen years later, when visiting India, Jung met a scholar in the Hindu tradition who had had similar experiences of instruction from ghostly guru’s long since dead. Jung was relieved to finally learn that he was not alone in his strange experiences. But at the time it was first happening with the horrors of the first World War around him it took a great inner courage for Carl Jung to continue his explorations. He was alone in conservative Switzerland, with a heavy medical practice dealing with the insane and psychic abnormalities of all kinds. During this dark night of the soul visions of all kinds became almost a normal occurrence for Jung. Certainly he lived very close to the brink for a long time.
Familiar as he was with the insane and the delusions they suffered, Jung feared for his own sanity. According to Jung’s son, Franz Jung, during those years his father kept a gun in his night stand and said that when he could bear it no longer, he would shoot himself. When he was not working with his patients, Carl Jung spent his time alone painting sandals or working with stones and building small stone villages by the lake. Sometimes Franz was allowed to join his father in painting or stone play, but only if he did not speak. Franz remembers that for seven years their father kept to himself and spent little time with them. The children knew little of his turmoil, but his wife, Emma, knew and was able to help. Emma would become a psychotherapist herself.
With Emma’s help Jung never used the pistol, he came through his great experiment with his sanity intact. He was a new man. His destiny had been fulfilled by reaching psychic depths beyond those found even by his predecessor, Freud. Jung found by personal experience that, just as he had always suspected, Freud’s theories were not complete. There was another, deeper strata of the psyche underlying the inner world and psyche known to Freud.
Freud, a neurologist by training, was the first modern thinker to find and open the door to the unconscious, the first to subject it to scientific inquiry and begin to look around. Freud looked into the first room, what he found the raw animal instincts absorbed, fascinated and at the same time horrified him, and he would go no further. It was left to Jung to keep looking, to find the cellar door behind the instincts on which the psyche was grounded. Look he did, but how to describe what he saw, how to put the chaos of his experience into some kind of order, to rationalize it for scientific understanding? That became Jung’s life work, leading at first to an articulation of the four functions, the personality types, and then to the archetypes, the collective unconsciousness, the individuation process and the rest.
After the First World War Jung started to develop these theories, to articulate what he had experienced in his four years of deep inner turmoil. The first book he wrote to try to do so was Psychological Types, published in 1921. At that time, in 1920, the School of Wisdom was founded in Darmstadt Germany by the philosopher Count Herman Keyserling. This is further described in the last chapter. Jung attended the School of Wisdom, and became a close colleague of Herman Keyserling. Unfortunately their friendship ended in a dispute before World War Two over German Socialism. Three of Jung’s lectures at the School of Wisdom have been translated into English and published. 5
Jung met another student at the School of Wisdom, the great Chinese scholar Richard Wilhelm, who became a close personal friend and strong influence upon Jung. Wilhelm’s case is explored in Chapter 8 on the Chinese Laws of Creativity. Wilhelm’s translations of the classics of Chinese philosophy provided Jung with important guidance on how to understand his deep psychological experiences, particularly the book on Chinese psychological alchemy, Secret of the Golden Flower, which Wihelm sent to Jung in 1928. This led to Jung’s further exploration of the western alchemical tradition and world myths. In these myths and tradition Jung discovered a language he could use to express the deepest strata of psychological experience.
When Freud opened the door to the unconscious he found the basic instincts, sex, hunger and aggression. They constituted the libido, or psychic energy which lay behind people’s behavior in an unconscious manner in a thousand different ways. For Freud all behavior could be accounted for by these instinctual impulses by pleasure and pain. Jung could never accept this answer totally. Most of all he could not accept Freud’s contention that all spirituality and religious impulses were merely repressed sexuality. Jung looked within as Freud had done and found the basic instincts, the Id. He knew the psychic reality behind Freud’s theories. (You would be hard pressed to find a person more obsessed with sex as a young man than Carl Jung who was a notorious philanderer.) Freud stopped there because he assumed that all he would find if he kept looking within kept psychoanalyzing himself was more of the same: sex, sex, sex; but with ever greater degrees of primal intensity. Freud would travel no further, for he thought to do so would lead to insanity, the complete loss of the ego. The insane from the violently psychotic to the pathetically neurotic were a daily fact of life for both Freud and Jung. They made their living trying to heal the mentally disturbed. Both knew the fine line between normal consciousness and insanity, both knew the insane were lost and consumed by their unconscious. In spite of the dangers, Jung wanted to keep probing, to keep psychoanalyzing himself using the new techniques of waking dreaming he developed.
The fatherly Freud warned Jung not to venture too far into the unconscious world. Freud wanted to protect his protegee from the dangers of the unconscious. From Freud’s perspective Jung’s failure to heed his warnings resulted in Jung’s going “off the deep end”. Freud thought that Jung had parted from science, had succumbed to mysticism, to occult rubbish. In fact, as we can see from today’s perspective, Jung’s visions and change in perspective paralleled that of another young Swiss at relatively the same time, a patent clerk who did poorly in school named Albert Einstein. Einstein and Jung, who knew each other, jumped to the next level of Science at about the same time and place. Physics and psychology, indeed the whole of our world, were never the same because of their insights.
Fortunately for our understanding, Jung did not heed the warnings of his mentor. He risked everything and continued to probe the unconscious. He was compelled to do so. He had insulted Freud and broken with the entire psychoanalytic movement. Having burned his bridges, he had no choice but to venture further. He was driven to prove wrong Freud’s vision of a Godless, mechanistic Universe.
Jung had a deep and profound intuition that behind the animal drives he would find something more, something good. True to his introversive character and inner convictions, he kept looking within, kept searching. Eventually after he found the strength of will to break with Freud, in the four-year plunge into the depths which followed, Jung found a deeper level. Beyond the instincts, beyond pleasure and pain, he discovered the archetypes. With this discovery he developed what Jung called “the process of individuation”. It is a process of development of full human potential based upon the four functions, the four keys which his guide, Wilhelm, had given him.
In the individuation process the many aspects of the Self are integrated into a larger whole. Jung found that these aspects exist on three levels: (1) the conscious ego level; (2) personal unconscious or subconscious level the home of the instinctual drives mapped out by Freud; and, (3) the deeper strata of archetypal material discovered by Jung, the level which Jung named the “collective unconsciousness”. In the visions released by contact with the collective unconscious, the consciousness on the first level and thus the ego was transformed. Jung found that by reaching the deepest third level he could go back and integrate all three into consciousness, a transformed consciousness super consciousness where human potential is fulfilled.
THE THREE REALMS
These three levels we now call the realms of Body, Soul and Spirit. The realms follow the classic tripartite division. Body is the realm of the material world, Soul the realm of energy, including psyche and personality, Spirit the realm of ideas, qualities, cognition and mentation. In space our consciousness always emphasizes one of these three. This is the basic law of three the trinity which is found in all cultures of the world as a kind of spatial hierarchy.
Like the four time-like functions, the three spatial realms constitute a basic structural law, a constitutional principle, that appears in all fields and scales of experience. Every phenomena has a physical, energetical and spiritual quality. On the microcosmic level, every electron has a body level where it appears and acts like a particle; a soul or energy level where it appears and acts like a wave; and a spiritual level where it has certain “quantum” characteristics, behaves in an unpredictable manner and has unique qualities. On the scale of human consciousness, all phenomena again appear in these three realms.
For this reason each of our four functions has three levels. For instance, Sensing does not occur in the abstract, you either sense a thing an energy, or an idea; In space, every event, every phenomena, every time function, happens in these three realms.
Spirit means the following fields of consciousness, the following experiences: animating vital principle; meaning; ideas; representations; quality; space-time continuum; intelligent or sentient part of a being; essential principle; significance; in corporeality; intellect; concept; thought;noesticity; event; information; pattern; gestalt; the abstract; ideation; idea, human brain; knowledge.
Soul means the world of people; psyche; energy; wave; time; vitality; bio-plasma; Chakra; I or Chi; vital force; ego-self; self-other; sociality; individual; entity; mind as in body-“mind”-spirit; limbic system, mammalian brain; instincts.
Body means physical; solid; matter; mass; space; particle; cerebellum, brain stem, reptilian brain; conditioned learning.
To understand and integrate our consciousness, it is not enough to understand and improve the four functions, we must also understand the three realms. We must learn to identify and recognize where each component of our consciousness lies. This classification helps us to make sense of the chaos. It facilitates our thinking, allows us to better comprehend what is happening in the world around us and the inner world. By having a basic schemata to refer to, you can learn to verify a thought which may come to you. It is a kind of legal citation process, a structural analysis involving internal precedent checking. Is the thought complete, is it holistic? Does it have all three components, body-soul-spirit? What component is missing from the idea? Which realm is emphasized? Which function does the thought pertain to? Where in the overall schemata does the thought fit? What does that tell you about it? This is all part of the thought discipline process described in the Opening Statement.
In addition to helping you to think better, learning to recognize what phenomena involve which realms also helps you to identify and sort out the functions. Knowing the three realms, understanding how they are different and how they work together, facilitates the fourfold integration process. It helps you to separate and strengthen the functions, and then to unify them.
The integration process can be better understood by including the law of three. Recall that the problem with the four functions at first is their hodgepodge intermingling, where one function tends to dominate others, and all get stunted and weak. The problem at first with the three realms is just the opposite. They are completely separate from each other, even alienated. The body and mind are disconnected, too far apart. When we are into our bodies, we tend to lose our soul and spirit. The clicheé example is the muscle-builder with enormous body and tiny head, and even smaller mind and personality. Conversely, when into spiritual things, we tend to forget, even reject our body. Just look at some monks, nuns and priests. When into our psyche our personality, our soul we tend to lose both body and spirit. The problem is to bring these three separate worlds into one. We must strive to unite our physical consciousness, with our consciousness of our psyche and our spirituality.
Again, like the functions, these three realms should be of equal importance. The spirit is not better than the body, and visa versa. But like the functions, we naturally tend to emphasize one realm to the detriment of the others. We need to observe our self and learn which one we emphasize. Then we need to make conscious efforts to boost the weaker realms. We need to bring the three realms into balance.
For instance, an intellectual prone to the world of ideas would achieve balance with exercise, by developing the body. They also need to interact with people more and develop their soul. The spiritual tend to ignore the body, sometime even punish it for the sake of their spirit. They also tend to want to go live in a cave without the distractions of other people. The body and soul are as much our home as the spirit. All three realms should be cared for and respected.
Likewise balance must be sought by the physically-oriented, those who spend all their time concerned with their bodies, how they look, what they weigh, what they eat, and how they exercise. They should also be concerned with their mind and soul. What we feed our head is just as important as what we feed our stomach. A good heart is as important as a pretty face or healthy body.
Finally, there are those who emphasize their social life above all else. They would rather talk than eat or read. They are constantly talking, to them self and others, and usually they are quite in love with the sound of their own voice. They are devoted to personal issues, to themselves and to intimacy with others. They take themselves very seriously and can talk about themselves for hours. The soul is important, but it is all too easy to become self obsessive, “overwhelmed with me”. Both the body and the transpersonal spiritual elements must be included for the soul to develop harmoniously, for individuation to be possible.
Another basic law of the individuation process is that failure to unite the three realms will obstruct the integration of the four functions. After the functions have been strengthened and separated, and are otherwise able to begin their backward trek to integration, they will not be able to do so unless the realms are also in a process of balancing and uniting. The total integration of consciousness into Awareness, super consciousness, as described for instance by Jung’s individuation process, requires the three realms to be brought together into a unified field of awareness where each component supports the other.
THE CASE OF: PAUL MACLEAN v. ONE BRAIN
Many of the esoteric spiritual traditions taught the three realms in terms of each human having three different brains. For instance, the esoteric spiritual philosopher George Gordie, always spoke of Man as a “three-brained being”. There was one brain for the spirit, one for the soul, and one for the body. In some traditions the spirit brain was thought to be the usual brain located in the skull. The soul brain was the heart, and the body brain some where lower, frequently in the sacrum (sacred bone). Along those lines many woman today believe that, for men at least, the third brain lies somewhat lower and to the front, with a separate mind of its own.
Until recently Scientific thinking rejected the idea that man was a three-brained being as so much “hogwash”. There was obviously only one brain, the one located in your head. Now we know better. Brain scientist Paul MacLean discovered that our skull holds not one brain, but three: the neonate, the limbic system and the brain stem with cerebellum. MacLean discovered that the tripartite structure of consciousness was built into the very structure of our brains! The spirit realm events were primarily processed in the brain stem, the soul realm in the limbic system, and body in the brain stem and cerebellum. Each of the three brains is connected by nerves to the other two, but each seems to operate as its own brain system with distinct capacities.
The fourfold nature of consciousness also seems to have a physical correspondence in the brain, in the four sides of the brain stem brain stem the right and left brain, feeling and sensing, producing theta and beta brain waves; and the hind and forebrain, thinking and willing, producing alpha and delta brain waves. As shown in the diagram on the next page of a brain cross-section, the brain neo-cortex is located at the top of the skull, the limbic system is in the middle, and the brain stem with cerebellum is on the bottom.
The lowest brain, the brain stem and the cerebellum, is the oldest brain. It developed first in evolution. In simple less-evolved animals, such as reptiles, the brain stem and cerebellum dominate. For this reason it is commonly referred to as the “reptilian brain”. This brain controls muscles, balance and autonomic functions, such as breathing and heartbeat. This part of the brain is active, even when you are in deep, dreamless sleep.
The middle brain developed next in evolution and so is sometimes called the mammalian brain. Paul MacLean in 1952 first coined the name “limbic system” for the middle part of the brain. It used to be commonly referred to as the rhinencephalon or “smell brain,” and for good reason because the center of this system holds the olfactory bulb. Then scientists discovered through electrode stimulation that there was more to this part of the brain than smell. When this part of the brain is stimulated with a mild electrical current various emotions are produced. Fear, joy, rage, pleasure and pain could all be produced at the touch of an electrode. Not that any one emotion has been found to reside in any one place for very long, that seems to change from day to day. But as a whole area the limbic system is definitely the home of emotions. It turns out that it is also the home of affective memories.
The brain on the top telencephalon called the neocortex, cerebrum, or sometimes just the cortex cortex is the evolutionary newcomer of the three brains. The higher cognitive functions which distinguish Man from the animals are in the cortex. Although all animals also have a neocortex, it is relatively small and unimportant. For instance, a mouse without a cortex appears fairly normal, a person without a cortex is a vegetable. In Man the neocortex takes up two thirds of the total brain mass. In animals it is much smaller than the other two brains.
The cortex is divided into left and right hemispheres, the famous left and right brain. The left half of the cortex controls the right side of the body and the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body. So for instance if we move our right hand we use some part of our left brain. The particular place in the left brain can be mapped by using electrode stimulation. Scientists are now busy starting to map out the general contours of the cortex, although everyone’s brain appears to be somewhat unique, and even the brain of one person changes over time.
Paul Maclean was the first scientist to see the big picture and realize that the brain was essentially made up of three brains, each evolved out of the other. He called it the “triune brain.” MacLean, now the director of the Laboratory of Brain Evolution and Behavior in Poolesville, Maryland, says that three brains operate like “three interconnected biological computers, [each] with its own special intelligence, its own subjectivity, its own sense of time and space and its own memory”. 6
MacLean thinks of the cortex as “the mother of invention and father of abstract thought”. The old mammalian brain residing in the limbic system is concerned with emotions and instincts, the “Four F’s”: feeding, fighting, fleeing, and sexual behavior. As MacLean observes, everything in this emotional system is either “agreeable or disagreeable”. Survival depends on avoidance of pain and repetition of pleasure. As for the oldest reptilian brain, MacLean compares it to a troll under a bridge in a Scandinavian fairy tale. It has the same type of archaic behavioral programs as snakes and lizards. It is rigid, obsessive, compulsive, ritualistic and paranoid, it is “filled with ancestral memories”. It keeps repeating the same behaviors over and over again, never learning from past mistakes.
MacLean, now in his seventies, has studied all kinds of animal behavior and dissected animal brains for many years. He now does so at his Laboratory of Brain Evolution and Behavior as part of the U.S. government’s National Institute for Mental Health. MacLean’s research led him to conclude that in Man the three brains produce three mentalities that are frequently disassociated and in conflict. He reached this Law of human consciousness not through introspection and philosophy, but primarily through brain experiments, mostly with animals.
Like many brain scientists of his genre, most of his work has involved small furry rodents. One experiment he found particularly enlightening involved lopping off the small cortex of baby hamsters as soon as they were born to see what would happen. He got normal hamsters. The little neo-cortexless babies could still play and nurse, and as adults they would care for their babies. None of this seemed to be at all dependent on the cortex. But then he went a little further and also cut off the newest part of the limbic system, the cingulate gyrus. Then he found that these hamsters could not play. They were like lizards and lacked the ability to nurture their young. He discovered that the ability to play arises with the limbic brain.
He could not cut up a human brain at birth of course, but he could study humans with various brain disorders, such as epilepsy. Some epileptics have electrical activity focused in the limbic system. These people reported that during such a seizure they would “have this Eureka feeling all out of context – feelings of revelation, that this is the truth, the absolute truth, and nothing but the truth”. He found that when the limbic system was activated with the cortex shut down it would also produce feelings of deja-vu, sudden memories, waking dreams, even religious conversions.
MacLean sees a great danger in all this limbic system power. The lowly mammalian brain of the limbic system tends to be the seat of our value judgments, instead of the more advanced neocortex. It decides whether our higher brain has a “good” idea or not, whether it feels true and right. In MacLean’s words:
The inarticulate brain sits like a jury and tells this glorified computer up there, the neocortex, “Yes, you can believe this.” This is fine if it happens to be a bit of food or if it happens to be someone I’m courting – “Yes, its a female, or yes, its a male.” But if its saying, “Yes, its a good idea. Go out and peddle this one,” how can we believe anything?
MacLean seems to have found a physical basis for the tendency previously noted in thinking, to assume that every insight you have, every connection you make, is true and correct. He has shown the biological basis for the tendency of thinking to serve feeling, to rationalize desires.
MacLean warns us not to fall for the soul trap of the middle brain. The limbic system is likely to think anything is true, anything is sacred, and to build thought around desires. His insights underscore the need to think like a lawyer. Two thirds of our brain is cortex. It should be used to subject our thoughts and insights to critical scrutiny. Thinking should not be the slave of feeling, it should stand in its own right. You shouldn’t leave your higher brain out of the value judgment process anymore than you should leave your emotions out of choosing a mate.
BALANCING THE NEOCORTEX, MASTERY AND INDIVIDUALITY
Not only do the three brains require balancing, but so too does the neocortex itself. The upper brain is divided into four quadrants: left brain, right brain, hind and fore-brain. The upper brain, neocortex, also produces four basic types of brain wave patterns: beta, alpha, theta and delta. The four consciousness functions seems to have a home in each of the four quadrants of the neo-cortex and brain waves types. Beta waves and the left side of the neocortex go with the sensing/waking function. Alpha waves and the hind-brain go with thinking/contemplation. Theta waves and the right brain go with feeling/dreaming, and delta in the fore brain with acting/sleeping. The four sides of the brain, and four types of brain waves, like the consciousness functions themselves which underlie them, must be balanced. This does not mean they should be averaged out and blended together. To the contrary, it means that each must be allowed its own place and time, but with equal strength and importance.
We have already seen how the consciousness functions must be disentangled, and then reintegrated and balanced. The brain wave correlation suggests that measurements of brain wave activity over the course of a day, or longer, may someday help us to monitor our progress in this work. Bio-feedback already has limited use today in consciousness research and in the diagnosis of physical and psychological disorders. In the future it should become an even more important tool of health to facilitate the individuation process.
Brain research has also shown that the two sides of the cortex, the left and the right, are in a particularly strong polarity. This polarity includes both the front and back of the brain. This division of the brain into two halves provides a physical basis for Jung’s differentiation into introversive and extroversive personality types.
Right Brain – Front Brain
Left Brain – Hind Brain
This basic division of the brain into left/hind and right/front sides has significance beyond personality. The brain’s left-right polarity must be understood and overcome. If the two sides of the brain are not brought into balance, the integration process cannot be completed.
For the average person today, awareness is stunted because they are trapped in the left brain. 7 Illnesses of all kinds then result from the stagnation of too much left brain order, and not enough right brain chaos and emotion too much daytime consciousness and ego, and not enough nighttime awareness and Self.
How do we escape from the left brain to achieve wholeness and balance? We cannot just use our left brain faculties to develop our right brain. The corpus callosum is not so easily overcome. It turns out that the only sure route from the left brain to the right brain of the cortex is down through the body, into the lower brains, especially the body brain the brain stem with cerebellum. The development of body Awareness allows an escape from left-brain-dominated consciousness.
Consciousness is in the Head, Awareness is in the Whole Body. In order to experience and live in Awareness, we have to shift the emphasis from ego in the head, to Self in the belly the center of movement situated at the level of the Sacrum, the “sacred bone,” also called the “Hara”. This is why whole-body awareness is a critical step on the path of Wisdom. Body awareness Hare the realization of the full potential of the reptile braiHare Hare must be attained by all who would escape the left-brain limitations and fulfill their full human potential.
In addition to knowledge of the body, we need to know our soul and spirit. Thus while the Path of Wisdom begins in the body, it leads to the soul and the spirit. The soul work concerns creation of a dream body by realization of the limbic brain. This requires the strengthening, balance and tuning of the natural energies of the body. This is discussed in detail in Chapter 9 on the laws of spiritual energy. The spirit work has to do with remembering your meaning in life by development of the whole cortex. The fourth step on the Way of Wisdom is to harness the will to apply all three realms for the benefit of humanity, not just personal development. The last step requires whole-brained participation in civilization. It means to take public action in culture and history. This is summarized in the chart on the next page showing the four steps on the Way of Wisdom.
In the integration process, the last step on the Wisdom Way – the critical step from left-brain Consciousness to full-brain Awareness, where the two sides of the neocortex are in balance – can only come at a certain stage in development. Looking at psychological maturity as having three basic steps of Child, Student and Adult, it can only come in the last step of adulthood.
The Child is primarily in the right hemisphere, dream fantasy, play and imagination. We all start out this way at birth. The next stage is the Student stage. Most people grow up out of the Child stage, shift to the left brain, and enter the Student stage. It involves schooling where you learn the local cultural consensus.
The problem is, most people never get out of the Student stage. They never even start the Wisdom way. They are always trying to adapt at the expense of their personal motivations. They fit in and try to succeed. They go deeper and deeper into the consensus trance. They lose touch with their own wishes, desires and motivations. They become what society or their parents want or expect them to be, not what they truly want to be. They never really grow up and find their individuality and true inner essence. They instead live small selfish lives with a false ego identity, a little “I”. They never mature to adulthood where they are connected with their total Self, their potential role in the Universe. You could say they are asleep to life, hypnotized by the local cultural customs. They are literally trapped in their left brain. To escape they must grow up and become a self organizing Adult. Only at this stage does the integration process begin.
The third stage of adulthood is best understood in the context of the medieval Artisan tradition, still present in many trades and professions today. It has three stages of Apprentice, Companion and Master. The first stage is the Apprentice who trains under a Master craftsman to learn the basics. He works under a Master or mentor as an unskilled assistant. The Companion is equivalent to the second stage. He has completed his apprenticeship, knows the trade, and typically works with a number of Master Artisans to learn more skills and refine those he already knows.
You become a Master an Adult v and have apprentices of your own, after you are well established and have complete mastery of your craft and your life. This presupposes a return back to the right hemisphere with the left now fully developed and intact. A shift to the right brain before the left is strong and fully operational is premature and can not succeed. The Master has a strong ego, but the ego is fundamentally different than before. The ego has changed from a false self image into a functional organ, a persona for creative action, in teaching or some other form of service to humanity or the Earth: the fourth step on the path of Wisdom. The ego is now in touch with the Self, but is not selfish. The ego is no longer apart and alienated from others, but is identified with a transpersonal whole. It seeks to benefit all humanity by fulfillment of the person’s unique potential, their true Ego, or big “I” connected with all others. As Arnold Keyserling says, being a Master is a personal decision, it cannot be taught. It has to be induced by another Master using subliminal method.
Left-brain, head-centered, ego-dominated consciousness is human functioning at the lowest level. It is constrained potential equivalent in chemistry to the ground state of the atom where all electrons are in the lowest energy position. To reach awareness and attain mastery you must increase your energy level by tuning into the body, and creating a kinesthetic dream body. The energy body is created by the limbic brain and the right brain of the cortex. It comes from out of chaotic imagination. There are hundreds of methods procedures to do this, to take this second step on the way of Wisdom. For instance, there is the energy work component of PrimaSounds music where the chakras are tuned, strengthen and balanced. This is described in detail in my book Chakra Music (Volume 4 of the School of Wisdom Series).
The bioenergies once created then become a Vehicle of Awareness. The energy body links the conscious ego with the total Self. Then a new “I” linked with All can develop, create and act. The ego is transformed, liberated from petty self centeredness, to concern for humanity as a whole. The meaning of your life then begins to become clear as all sides of the neo-cortex start to work together. As the integration process concludes and the subtle Sybils fade, your special work for all of humanity begins. You begin to see your life in the context of history and a larger Universe. The final transcendental step into the spirit of the times is taken.
This is the path to reality, to fulfillment of our full human potential. You begin as a student from out of the left brain of the neo-cortex, to down below to the body and body awareness. Then the way goes back up again, through the limbic system and back into the right-brain of the neo-cortex Symbols the “far-out” Self, and the development of energy awareness. This Path then leads on to mastery with a fully-developed and balanced brain. We then know who we are, all sides of our self, and we know what to do. As a Master of our Self the process of integration of consciousness can be completed. The big questions of life can be answered and personal fulfillment and enlightenment attained. The Path again moves on. Action in service of the Earth and all of Mankind becomes the focus.
The integration process the Way can thus be seen to travel full circle, but as a spiral. It starts from the little “I”, the disassociated ego in the left brain doing its little business in the world. Then the way goes down to Awareness, back up to the Self in the right brain, then on to true individuality, using the whole brain. The last step is the real Man or Woman the actualized being with an Ego in tune with Self. The Way no longer ends from ego to Self, as in most religions, but travels on to individual fulfillment and mastery/adulthood the big “I” identified with the whole Universe. Our highest potential is no longer sublimation to the infinite and the loss of personal identity. It is affirmation of our unique individuality in tune with the infinite by carrying out our sacred Work.
Thus the end is like the beginning. The realized person has an Ego, but not like the alienated ego he had when the journey began. Now the Ego rests on integrated consciousness and a whole Self. The Ego is in tune with the infinite, with all of the cosmos. The work of the big “I” is not the business of success which preoccupied the little “I” when the journey began. In the next loop of the spiral our Work is completely different. It serves the species, the Earth, all and everything.
THE CASE OF: JEAN HOUSTON v. CONSTRAINED POTENTIALS
A modern master of the procedures for this awakening is an American psychologist and philosopher, Jean Houston. She has devoted her life to exploring all sides and levels of the brain. Her adventure began in the context of academia. She first earned a doctorate in Philosophy with a special interest in history. Then in the early 1960s she obtained a doctorate in psychology. While in the graduate program in psychology in New York city she became involved in a project to study the effects of the drug LSD-25 on human personality.
The chief investigators in the LSD research project were physicians. They needed Jean’s participation for her background in the humanities to help them understand the reoccurring mythological themes of subjects on LSD trips. In this project Jean met her husband to be, Robert E. L. Masters. They worked together for many years on this project until the drug was outlawed. This project opened them to the deeper dimensions of the psyche and the full extent of human potential.
In 1966 Jean Houston and R. E. L. Master wrote their provocative and controversial book, The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience, documenting their work with these mind altering drugs. Jean and her husband had guided or observed over 206 psychedelic sessions, most of which were with LSD or peyote. With this drug research they explored all three brains and all four sides, delving deep into the collective unconscious.
Their discoveries were astounding. When used properly they found that LSD would awaken most anyone from the consensus trance, greatly expanding their consciousness and awakening previously-unsuspected potentials. Many of their subjects, and they themselves, had profound positive experiences of transcendence. In many cases this expansion of consciousness culminated in a peak state of pure Awareness, or union with God, the mystic experience behind what Aldous Huxley called the “perennial philosophy”. 8 Jean Houston and Robert Masters developed very powerful procedures using LSD which allowed them to explore the brain and invoke religious experiences of union with the infinite. Unfortunately their research was cut short by the politics of the time and legislation outlawing psychedelic drugs.
The political, medical and educational establishment was not open to the vision of expanded potential inherent in work with altered states. Use of psychedelic drugs, even scientific experimentation by doctors, was outlawed by an uptight American society. Many were alarmed by the radical work of other less responsible psychologists of the time, such as Harvard University’s Timothy Leary. 9 He and a few others advocated the unrestricted use of LSD to immediately awaken a whole generation: “turn on, tune in and drop out.”
Despite the laws, hundreds of thousands of young people all over the world responded to Leary and the like. They turned on to these drugs, and they dropped out. How many really tuned into the inner world described by Jean Houston is another matter. In any event, a world wide psychedelic based drug counter-culture was born: hippies v. police. As a result most of society, the silent majority, began to fear these drugs even more and tried to suppress the psychedelic experience.
The legislation of the sixties essentially tried to outlaw altered states altogether, and legally mandate the dominant “normal consciousness” of the culture. Human potential, drug-induced or otherwise, was too “far out” and new an idea to be accepted. Most psychologists then sounded like Freud talking to Jung. Although they had no personal experience with psychedelic drugs, they warned of the dangers of insanity. Many “scientists” supported the popular hysteria of the time and advocated the suppression of all research and scientific experimentation.
Houston and Masters and others saw the inherent dangers in such fear politics. They knew that legislating consciousness would lock people into limited potentials. It would rob them of their inherent right to expand and grow as individuals. Unlike Leary and others who fought outside of the system, and eventually went to prison for their beliefs, Houston and Masters remained in the establishment to try to counteract the fear politics. They developed non-drug, legal alternatives to invoke altered states and liberate potential. The ill-fated attempt of the sixties to legislate a state of consciousness was defeated. The human potential movement was born.
The laws of the sixties did not stop drug use, of course, they just interfered with the responsible leaders and guides in the area, such as Houston and Masters. This is why the scholarly and scientific approach of Houston and Masters contained within The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience (1966) was important to the many people who experimented with psychedelic drugs. In the late sixties, and early seventies, millions of people around the world continued “underground” the psychedelic exploration begun by Houston and Masters. Much of the experimentation was reckless and haphazard. The lives of some people were destroyed, or lost. Still, the lives of many others were profoundly touched by the psychedelic experience. The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience served as an invaluable, sober reference book for many underground experimenters. So too did Jean Houston’s next book with Robert Masters, Psychedelic Art (1969), containing paintings and drawings depicting, and inspired by, the mind-expanding drug trip. This art work bears a striking resemblance to the “fractal art” developed in the new Science of Chaos discussed in Chapter 6.
Jean and her husband moved beyond drugs and conformed to the laws, but did not abandon their work with altered states. In my view this is the best course to follow. As a lawyer I must, and do, counsel compliance with the local laws of state. Fortunately there are many other, safer ways to expand consciousness without the use of drugs. Look for legal tools. PrimaSounds, for instance, is one such tool which gets you high quite legally with the use of sound vibrations. There are many others that do not carry the risk of jail time and the paranoia that goes with it.
Houston and Masters left academia and formed a private foundation to develop alternative non-drug procedures to stimulate and awaken all sides of the brain. In Jean’s words: 10
In 1965 Robert Masters and I formed the Foundation For Mind Research to continue a non-drug exploration of these areas. Seeking clues to human latency in many fields: history, literature, anthropology, physiology, and brain and mind research; we began to develop many methods of evoking the enormous latent potentials of the body-mind, which too often culture and education have inhibited, or altogether blocked.
Working with hundreds of research subjects since 1965, we investigated methods with which the body can be psychophysically rehabilitated and a physical functioning that more closely approaches the optimal can be achieved. We explored the experimental and pragmatic value of altered and expanded states of consciousness, alternative cognitive modes, new styles of learning, thinking in images, thinking kinesthetically, time distortion, and the evocation of the creative process. This work has been fertilized by a variety of techniques ancient and modern: the programming of dreams, the voluntary control of involuntary physiological states assisted by biofeedback and autogenic training, the many varieties of neurological reeducation, and even the induction of religious and other peak experiences, as well as many other varieties of innate mental and physical capacities, all available to, but rarely used by, most human beings.
Jean Houston has written many books about the alternative procedures she and Robert Masters developed to transcend the limits of ordinary consciousness and realize full potential. The first of these was Mind Games (1972) by Houston and Masters. It describes many non-drug methods and procedures to get out of “normal consciousness” and explore all sides and levels of the brains. Another book with Masters, Listening to the Body (1978), describes more procedures they researched from the past, and developed anew. They concern the general strategy described before of going down into the body to get from the partial left brain and into the whole brain, right and left. Thanks in large part to Houston and Masters, and others like them who worked within the establishment for change, the misguided attempts of the sixties to legislate consciousness have failed. The legal rights of Americans and others to develop their full human potential have been protected. Only the ingestion of controlled substances is forbidden, and this is not necessary to expand consciousness.
Jean Houston’s work since the early psychedelic days has been prodigious. She has authored many more books and established herself internationally as a leading teacher in the area of consciousness. Her work emphasizes the legal procedures to apply the Natural Laws discussed in this book, particularly the procedures of myth, imagination and poetry. She continues to explore the importance of myth on development of the whole brain, following in the steps of Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell and others. In Jean’s words:
An emphasis on myth and story began to be essential to my work since about 1980. I discovered that one could go further and deeper with human capacities development work if it was encoded in myth. This is because the Great Story inherent in many myths provides the template for transformation. However ancient, myths carry the coded matrices of the next steps in human development and evolution.
In the 1980s Jean Houston served as president of the American Humanistic Psychology Association. At the same time Arnold Keyserling was president of the European counterpart organization and the two worked together in numerous seminars. Jean has also served on the Faculties of Psychology, Philosophy and Religion at Columbia University, New York University and the University of California. Today Jean Houston travels the world giving workshops for thousands of people to teach the procedures to apply the laws of consciousness. As the quote shows her special emphasis now is on the use of myths as a tool.
Jean believes that there has already been prodigious growth in the emotional, psychological, spiritual and ecological capacities of Mankind since the sixties. In her view the world is on the verge of achieving a high level of civilization. She understands herself and others as Earth stewards, responsible for our evolutionary and biological government. She is optimistic that we can fulfill our historical destiny to harness technology and act as responsible stewards of the Earth. Much depends upon whether each individual can continue to increase their own unique capacities.
The importance of liberating full potential and individual mastery is now recognized by millions of people around the world. The cultural movement concerned with this has become known as the “human potential movement.” In one sense this book is a lawyer’s perspective of this movement, setting out the basic Laws of fulfillment of human potential.
FOOTNOTES TO CHAPTER FOUR
- Linda Donn’s book Freud and Jung: Years of Friendship, Years of Loss provides an excellent and objective description of the fascinating and complex relationship between Freud and Jung. It also treats in a fair way Jung’s relationship with the Nazis and his near treatment of Adolf Hitler. Also see: Freud: A Life for Our Time, by Peter Gay, an excellent and impartial biography of Freud. For direct evidence of the rather immature way in which Jung handled the deterioration of the relationship with Freud, see the collection of the letters between Freud and Jung published in the Bollingen Series XCIV of Princeton University Press: The Freud Jung Letters. For Jung’s own explanations of his actions towards Germany before World War II and his comment on Jewish psychology, see Jung’s correspondence at the time, C. G. Jung Letters, Bollingen Series XCV:1. An excellent historical account of the relationship between Freud and Jung which also goes into the impact of Jung’s affair with an early patient is found in A Most Dangerous Method: the Story of Jung, Freud and Sabina Speilrein, John Kerr.
- See for instance Jung’s articles in the group’s journal, Zentralblatt : “The Jew, who is something of a nomad, has never yet created a cultural form of his own and as far as we can see never will, since all of his instincts and talents require a more or less civilized nation to act as host for their development.” (1934)
- It is widely acknowledged that due to a traumatic homosexual encounter in his youth, Jung had trouble with close relations with other men as an adult, particularly the very intense and sometimes sentimental Freud, and throughout his life, most of Jung’s intimate friends were women.
- Jung’s mistresses no doubt also helped with his insanity during this troubled period, and indeed, throughout his life. It was an accepted practice in Switzerland. However, when his favorite mistress, Toni Wolff, actually moved into the Jung household and lived openly with the family for many years, he was indeed charting new ground. Apparently with his international prestige as a doctor and his intense privacy and reserve, he was able to get away with this unusual arrangement.
- The Structure of the Psyche (1927); Mind and Earth (1927) published in Jung’s collected works, Bollingen Series XX, Vol. 8; and Archaic Man (1930), published in XX, Vol 10.
- These and other quotes of MacLean are from the excellent book on modern brain research by Judith Hooper and Dick Teresi called The 3-Pound Universe.
- Among ancient Man the problem may have been the reverse, namely dominance by commands heard from the right brain and obeyed as the voice of God. See for example Julian Jaynes’ The Origin of Consciousness In the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Even today there are many who have not developed their left brain sufficiently to be ready for a shift back into the right brain.
- See for instance Aldous Huxley’s The Perennial Philosophy (1944). Huxley also wrote The Doors of Perception (1963) based on his psychedelic drug experiences. William James’ had previously described the perennial philosophy of the mystic experience in his Varieties of Religious Experience (1902).
- The Politics of Ecstasy, Dr. Timothy Leary (1965).
- From the Preface to the first edition of Life Force (1980)(1993), Jean Houston