Thursday, September 17, 2015

Wolfgang Giegerich on Dreams (Theoretical Passages)

Dreams are highly relevant to individual people, for helping us discover where we fit into the world. The whole point of “awareness” and “being awake"--popularly known in such new-age slogans as "enjoy the present moment", "live each day like it's your last" etc--is to keep our favorite dreams alive. The psychology of Wolfgang Giegerich retains the importance of dreams, discovered by Sigmund Freud and especially Carl Jung, on the level of individuals, while dismantling Jung’s notion of “collective unconscious” as a reification of psychological phenomena. Below are selected theoretical passages concerning dreams from his works (later I would like to write a post on his striking analysis of some of Jung's dreams that Jung of course meticulously describes in his published works):

Technology and the Soul (2007)


p. 9-12
The Via Regia as Absolute Interiority
When... the dream is considered by (Freud as well as by) Jung and most of those who follow him to be the via regia to “the unconscious,” i.e., to the soul, we witness the strange fact that in the very area of an objective psychology a subjective, private, “inner” phenomenon is privileged… The left hand does not know what the right hand is doing..
In accordance with ideas about dreams he found in other cultures, Jung distinguished between "great dreams" and "small dreams”, where the former type might, for example, be the dreams of the medicine man of a tribe, dreams that did not deal with his personal life and inner experience, but were concerned with the fate of his whole people. The small dreams, by contrast, were only of personal significance. This distinction overcomes the lump-sum glorification of dreams as the privileged access to the soul. A totally different perspective might open up on the basis of it because this is a fundamental distinction within the one notion of dreams. What is it that is distinguished? Not two literal "sizes" of dreams, like we have different shoe sizes, but two fundamentally different levels. Whereas, except for the size, there is no intrinsic difference between large and small shoes, the great dream and the small dreams are not comparable; they are phenomena of truly different orders. But what do we hear about the great dream from Jung, as late as 1960? "What is the great Dream? It consists of the many small dreams and the many acts of humility and submission to their hints." The great, i.e., the totally different level that was introduced by distinction between the two types of dreams, is reduced to the the level of ordinary dreams. The opportunity to differentiate between the opus magnum of the soul and the opus parvum was missed.
As much as I enjoy working with the dreams of my therapeutic practice or in seminars, I cannot accept the idea that the dream is the via regia to the unconscious (let alone the old wives' tale of there being such a thing as "the unconscious" in the first place). Commitment to the objective psyche or no, the privileging of dreams and the idea of "unconscious" inevitably tie psychology's thinking back to the individual person and thus to personalistic psychology and to the anthropological fallacy. They support the fantasy that the soul is inside people and the prime avenue to it is introspection.
Just as in the beginning we found that one can get different messages from Jung's psychology about the same issues, we have to note here that in Jung there is also a strong tendency opposite to the described so far, the privileging of any particular area or phenomenon of life, such as dreams. When Jung established a Psychology Fund at the Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule (Swiss Federal Technical University) in Zurich, he stipulated that "The treatment of psychology should in general be characterized by the principle of universality. No special theory or special subject should be propounded." The aim was to free the teaching of the human soul from the "constriction of compartments."' In Jung's published works, we find the same idea expressed. He criticizes the limitation of psychology that, as he says, had fifty years ago (Jung wrote this in 1936) been "very welcome to the materialistic outlook of that time," and "it still is in large measure today." He evaluates this as "an excellent excuse not to bother with what goes on in a wider world." Psychology in his view does not have "the advantage of a 'delimited field of work'" (CW 9i 112).
Clearly, the investigation of these patterns and their properties must lead us into fields that seem to lie infinitely far from medicine. That is the fate—the distinction as well as misfortune—of empirical psychology: to fall between all the academic stools. And this comes precisely from the fact that the human psyche has a share in all the sciences, because it forms at least half the precondition of the existence of them all (CW16 209, trans. modified).

    The difference between all the sciences rests on the division of the whole of reality or the whole of human experience into compartments. Each science has then the job of studying one of these compartments as its own "delimited field of work" and sphere of competence, and the section of reality assigned to it conversely defines it as this particular science. The point of Jung's views expressed here is not the harmless one that there should be collaboration between the different sciences. This would he the nowadays customary demand for "interdisciplinary studies." "Interdisciplinary collaboration" precisely leaves the delimited fields of work intact and confirms their division; there is no objective unity (in the definition of the field), but only a subjective and practical one (through the collaboration of the human researchers). Jung's thesis is much more radical. If the psyche has a share in all the sciences and is half the precondition of them all, and if psychology is that "special science" whose field of competence has to be precisely that factor that is common to all the sciences (and of course not only to the sciences but to all aspects of cultural life at large), we have to realize that psychology is not on the same level with all the other sciences; it is logically above or beneath them. There cannot be a kind of simple "collegiality" and collaboration on an equal footing between psychology and the sciences because psychology is not defined by a particular section ("field," "specialty") of reality as its subject-matter. The unity or universality demanded by Jung for psychology is objective, based on the fact that its "specialty" is the common psychological factor in all special aspects of reality: "Although we are specialists par excellence, our specialized field, oddly enough, drives us to universality and to the complete overcoming of the specialist attitude ..." (CW 16 § 190).
It is clear that once one has, with a clear methodological awareness, established oneself on the ground of this conception, one can no longer uphold the privileging of particular phenomena or range of phenomena. The via regia to the soul cannot be defined in terms of special experiences like dreams or visions as the object of study, a fact that should actually have been self-evident from the outset. Because objects, things, phenomena are not viae (roads, ways, paths) at all. The via regia has to be a real via: a 'method' (which contains Greek hodos, way, road), an approach, a style of thinking, with which one can study the objects of one's study, in the case of psychology all sorts of phenomena: dreams, myths, symbols, psychological symptoms just as well as, e.g., our modern technological civilization. What this real via regia is has already been stated. It is that methodological approach that construes any phenomenon to be studied by it as uroborically self-contained, as having everything it needs within itself. It is the method of absolute interiority. 

What is Soul? (2012)


p. 85
Jung said about dreams (but he could have said the same about all psychological phenomena): “The dream is its own interpretation” (CW 11 § 41, Letters 2, p. 294, to Jacobi, 13 March 1956). It presents itself, and, other than natural phenomena, presents itself as a speaking, as meanings; but at the same time, it also uroborically and self-sufficiently returns into itself. It comes as in itself reflected.

p. 105-106
There is no existing passageway, bridge, ladder, or staircase via which you could simply “walk” out of the sphere of the semantic and in its stead walk or climb into that of syntax. A passageway or ladder would imply that the other dimension is a mere annex or extension, or the addition of a second story. The idea of a second story seems to do justice to the requirement of verticality, but this verticality is only literal, spatial sensibly imagined. And as the two stories are independent of each other, the very verticality of the difference between the semantic and the syntactical is itself construed as a merely semantic and in this sense horizontal difference, inasmuch as the “upper” one and the “lower” one, although semantically, and for the imagination, clearly in vertical opposition, are logically just as horizontal, just as much juxtaposed alternatives, as the left and the right or the front and the back one. Constitutive for psychology is the logical, syntactical, or psychology verticality, which requires psychology’s self-negation or self-sublation.
    There is no denying that Jung unfortunately himself stayed pretty much stuck on the semantic level, firstly in his theoretical description of the opposition between consciousness and the archetypal images of the collective unconscious, secondly in his tying the psychological process to the literal human individual, and thirdly in his idea about what the solution of the problem of our time was, for example, that what was needed was “to dream the myth onwards.” Jung refused to acknowledge psychology’s need to enter the level of logical form, of strict thought, of syntax.

p. 170

In addition to alchemy and archaic initiation experiences, we must even say about modern dreaming (such as in analysis) that it is not "immediate" in the sense of directly coming from out of "the unconscious" as unadulterated nature, the way Jung saw it: "The dream is a natural occurrence, ....... a natural product" (CW 11 § 41). "The archetype is pure, unvitiated nature ..." (CW 8 § 412). "The unconscious is a pure natural process ..." (CW7 § 386, transl. modif.). The dream is "a spontaneous product of the unconscious," dreams are "direct productions of the unconscious" (Kindertraum seminar p. 19 f., my transl.). It is not as simple as that. On the basis of his own experience, Jung himself had to admit that "[a]s soon as certain patients come to me for treatment, the type of dream changes." And in response to this experience he comes up with the general conclusion that, "In the deepest sense we all dream not out of ourselves but out of what lies between us and the other" (Letters 1, p. 172, to James Kirsch, 29 Sep 1934). This (rather isolated) statement of Jung's points to a very different reality. Not pure nature, not direct production from "the unconscious."
A propos the last-cited view of Jung's, I remember that soon after I started training as a Jungian psychotherapist I got into a conversation with an older auditor of some of our courses, who had over a period of time undergone analysis in different cities with several different analysts from different schools. He told me to my surprise that when he had switched to a particular Jungian analyst (one who had just written a book on dreams as a source of religious experience), he all of a sudden started to have numerous mandala dreams that he never had had before, nor after his analytical work with this analyst. This is a drastic example of what Jung had stated: "the type of dream changes." Those dreams of his did not come "out of himself but out of what lay between him and his analyst.
In this particular case, it can even be questioned whether those mandala dreams that this man had were in fact dreamed "out of what lay between him and the other." For it is not altogether inconceivable were not really his own dreams at all. Maybe what he dreamed was actually only "the Other's," the analyst's, "dreams." Many patients are extremely receptive and impressionable. Themselves psychologically relatively nondescript and vacuous, their psyche longs or needs to attach itself to strong convictions that it senses in others, where the content of the convictions and whether they are true or not is more or less irrelevant. What alone counts is the felt conviction and the aura or charisma of the other if the other person is their analyst, or, in other cases, their guru). Jung said (ibid.), “The feminine mind is the earth waiting for the seed,” waiting to he spiritually fecundated. Here it would be a severe mistake if we understood "feminine mind" (Jung said "weibliche Geist”) the way Jung might possibly have meant it, namely as the Geist of women, in this case of the female patient analyzed by his correspondent; the “feminine mind" as an in itself vacuous one waiting for the seed must be understood as a psychologIcal (rather than biological or, as they now say, "gender") concept. As such it can of course occur in persons of either sex.
But, another caution in the same vein, what is longed for by the "feminine mind" waiting for the seed, is also not so much a seed. A seed would imply having to go pregnant with it for a long gestation period and finally giving birth to something new. Only great thinkers, poets, artists, only persons primarily deeply, existentially, concerned with and focusing on the truth of the age (or of aspects of life), have such a feminine mind that is capable of conceiving (the substantial) impulses as seeds from others and carrying them to term within themselves as homines toti (i.e., with inclusion of their conscious artistic and thinking powers), with the result that they produce a great work. The phenomenon that we are concerned with in the case of analysands dreaming not their own, but their analysts' dreams, is very different. It is the phenomenon of a longing to merely become the mirror of the analyst's or guru's inner conviction and to do the bidding of the other's soul. The psyche of such patients unconsciously produces—seemingly as the "hard facts" of their true nature, as their "self-experience" and part of their "self-actualization''!-the confirmation of what they, also unconsciously, intuit to be the somewhat charismatic analyst's psychological theory, his pet beliefs. Participation mystique.  
Truth and the deep inner conscious-unconscious wrestling with ideas, as in the case of the great minds, is here not an issue. Those patients own consciousness, their own veritable participation is excluded, probably because there is nothing in vacuous minds that could actively and productively participate. Therefore any psychological theory will do. Shamdasani was right to speak, on the very general level of 20th century culture, of "the malleability of [here I would add: modern] individuals, who have been willing to adopt psychological concepts to view their lives," all sorts of concepts. He was right to conceive of "psychologies as social formations (in contrast to: scientific knowledge) and of "psychic reality" as "the fabricated real," in extension of William James' observation that "the most remarkable 'property" of the trance state "was its capacity to present itself according to whatever theory one held about it." But be that as it may, the fact that the type of dreams can change depending on whom one is working with, or (outside therapy) whom one is relating to, shows that at least in such cases one's dreaming is decidedly mediated.
As an aside, we may in this context also wonder whether those of Jung's favorite analysands whose visions, dreams, or paintings "from the unconscious" he incorporated into and discussed in his seminars and published works as documentation of what allegedly came directly "from the unconscious" were not in truth their "dreaming" Jung's dreams, having Jung's "visions," painting Jung' thoughts, rather than dreaming their own as part of their individuation process. "The feminine mind is the earth waiting for the seed"! Elsewhere we hear, "There are women who are not meant to bear physical children, but they are those that give rebirth to a man, which is a highly important function" (Letters 2, p. 455, to Carol Jeffrey, 18 June 1958). This statement also does not have to be restricted to literal women (although there are enough historical examples of this phenomenon with women), but should rather be taken as a psychological statement about the weibliche Geist in the psyche, i.e., in either sex. Maybe what some of Jung's analysands were doing was "giving rebirth" to "Jung"—where this name uki, however, not so much stand for Jung the man or personality as for the author of his Psychology, for what Jung intellectually stood for ("rebirth in a spiritual sense").
What is experienced in analysis is at any rate not evidence of images in "the unconscious" as unadulterated nature. And now that Jung's Red Book has become publically available, we can even see that all those seminal dreams and visions Jung himself had during the essential years after his separation from Freud were not spontaneous products of "the unconscious" appearing in him as pure observer or recipient, but rather (unconscious and thus "raw") reproductions (regurgitations) of material stemming from his vast reading and learning about myths and symbols—reproductions, of course, that were adapted to, selected, and required by, the personal speculative needs Jung had as homo totus.
The rawness of these personal experiences results from the fact that they are devoid of any real participation of consciousness and its cultivating, artistic, refining processing. As Jung said, in doing active imagination you have to "switch off" consciousness'"! What you then produce (not from "the unconscious" but) unconsciously has naturally the primitive form of a careless, sloppy scribble, contingent, fragmentary products.
When Jung, however, stated about himself that "My problem is to wrestle with the big monster of the historical past, the great snake of the centuries, the burden of the human mind, the problem of Christianity. ... Other people are not worried by such problems, they do not care about the historical burden Christianity has heaped upon us. But there are people who are concerned with the great battle between the present and the past or the future" (CW18 § 279), he revealed two things for us. First, that he was one of the great minds whose distinction I described earlier, and secondly that contrary to his usual self-representation, his productions did really not directly come from the unconscious" as pure nature, but were fundamentally mediated by the historical past and his being "worried by such problems," that is, in the depth of his psyche being reached and fundamentally challenged by them. His productions are the results of his wrestling with the great snake of the centuries rather than being what nature, or God, or the unconscious sent him as their revelations. It is not true that, as Jung claimed with respect to the material recorded in his Red Book, “All my works, all my creative activity, has come from those initial fantasies and dreams ….” (MDR p. 192), but precisely the other way around: even those initial fantasies and dreams were results of his being “worried by such problems.” They are part of his (the whole man’s) response to his historical locus.

p. 243-244
What is to be said about that style of therapy in which patients are invited to focus on what they feel for example apropos dreams, to dwell on their emotions and to cultivate those feelings and emotions? This is an invitation to self-indulgence and self-centeredness. It draws us only into ourselves, into the ego-world, the sphere of the human-all-too-human, and into the world of positivity. It constellates the patient exclusively as the “civil man” that he of course also is. Such a therapy teaches him to take himself terribly seriously, as if it were important what he thinks and feels. (The same applies of course to the analyst, to what he thinks and feels). But what we feel and our emotions are neither here nor there. Rather, a psychotherapy devoted to the soul needs, first, to become aware of the other picture that looms up "behind the impressions of the daily life—behind the scenes." What the soul says is what needs to be heard in therapy. "It has a say now, not you" (Letters 2, p. 532, to Charteris, 9 Jan. 1960). Not you! And secondly, such a psychotherapy with soul wants to enable us, both patient and therapist, to distinguish ourselves from ourselves, to gain a distance to ourselves, so as to begin to see ourselves objectively, soberly, detachedly as if from outside, that is to say, as objective facts, as givens (given to ourselves), just as are all the other facts of our world, in the spirit of Jung's statement about the "childlike naïveté" of modern man: He has no objectivity toward himself and cannot yet regard himself as a phenomenon which he finds in existence and with which, for better or worse, he is identical" (MDR p. 341). Any concentration on what we feel only cocoons us more deeply in ourselves and increases our (childlike-naïve sense of) identity with ourselves.
Concerning dream interpretation, concentration on what we feel is just as misplaced as free associations which, as Jung insisted, only lead us back to our own complexes. This kind of approach would amount to the cultivation and celebration of the complexes. Where it rules, there, one must think, a notion of soul and of the difference between soul and ego is simply absent. Concerning dreams Jung's "It has a say now, not you!" is of particular relevance. We want to understand the dream, its images, the text as it is written. There has to be a faithful devotion to the dream text in order to try to bring—perhaps—to light what is contained in it. The feeling necessary for dream interpretation is the truly psychological and "professional" feeling discussed above: not what we feel about the dream images, but their objective feeling quality, their felt value, their psychological dignity and importance, is what counts. We must not substitute ego feeling and emotion for feeling the thing that is of concern and we must not camouflage, through the equivocation inherent in the word feeling, the ersatz that it is. Soul-work is devoted and works on the matter with a view to facilitate, through our human devotion to it, its self-unfolding, the internal dynamic within it, what alchemy called the Mercurius. It wants to release it into its truth. Alchemy distinguished between aurum vidgi (the literal gold that the alchemical charlatans promised to make for kings and princes) and aurum nostrum (the true alchemists' psychological gold). Devotion to what we feel and to our emotions is the sign of one's commitment to the aurum vulgi.
Culturally, emotion-focused therapy is the therapeutic parallel to television, advertizing and propaganda, mass sports events, music festivals, the drug culture, etc., which all aim at our excitement and fervor, our feeling ourselves intensely, our highs. Sensationalism.
We usually think that what we are doing by introspectively trying to find out what we feel is to finally discover our true, previously merely unconscious feelings. But this is a naive belief. Just like active imagination and memory, the concentration on one's feelings is a production process. By one's concentration on "them," those feelings are being fabricated on the spot. Heaven knows whether the exploration of "what we feel" gets us to our "true" feelings that unwittingly existed all along or whether they are merely something that we just now worked ourselves up to and into through this very activity. The soul is uroboric. Such feelings are the results of its own doing.
Jung of course felt that, whereas the method of free association should be criticized as only leading to our subjective complexes, active imagination was a legitimate way that could lead us to the collective unconscious, to the archetypal sphere. But this is an illusion. All such technical practices are methods for the artificial creation of contents, images, or feelings, not a sure way to eminent origins, be they archetypal, biographical-historical, or referring to the innermost truth about oneself. "Psychic reality' is par excellence, the fabricated real" (Shamdasani, ibid.). "The fright and the apparently traumatic effect of the childhood experience are merely staged, but staged in the peculiar way characteristic of hysteria, so that the mise en scene appears almost exactly like a reality," Jung, as we heard, had had to realize in the case of hysterical neuroses (CIV 4 § 364), but the principle of this insight applies much more generally. Memory is productive, not evidential. And so are psychological theories and methods, as I briefly indicated above at the end of point 3 concerning attachment theory. The trouble arises when psychological theories deny their uroboric nature and when their productions are projected out of the uroboros, for example as referring to facts of the literal past.

Neurosis: The Logic of a Metaphysical Illness (2013)

p. 13-14
The new question arises, “How can we get into a phenomenon so that we can indeed see it from within and so that it therefore indeed turns into a psychological one?” Obviously this is not a move in the externality of space, but a psychological change of attitude or viewpoint. We see something from within if, and only if, we conceive of it according to the oft-repeated alchemical principle expressed by Jung, for example, in the following way:
Above all, don’t let anything from outside, that does not belong, get into it, for the fantasy-image [or for us: the psychological phenomenon in general] has ‘everything it needs’ [omne quo indiger] within itself. (CW 14 § 749).

   This sentence, which might in analogy to Occam’s razor be called the “psychological razor,” contains the criterion by which statements and theories and phenomena can be judged concerning whether they are truly psychological or not.
    As psychologists we have to view, better: to think, the phenomenon as having everything it needs within itself, even its cause and origin, its telos and fulfillment, its meaning and truth. This is our job as psychologists! It is in this sense that Jung could also say with a Talmudic statement: “The dream is its own interpretation,” a dictum that shows that it is spoken from the position of self-reflectivity. The same idea applies to any phenomenon perceived psychologically, also to a symptom or to neurosis. We have to impute to it the character of being complete within itself, uroborically self-enclosed. I say ‘impute’ because this self-containment of the phenomena is of course not an ontological assertion (“phenomena have everything within themselves”), but a methodological stance that one may or may not adopt, but that I will have to adopt if my thinking is supposed to be psychological.

p. 206
Just as in atomic physics the Bohr model of the atom is a model and not an actual and immediate depiction of the inner structure of atoms, so also are fairytales not records of primordial experiences of archetypal images (Urerfahrungen) but intellect- or insight-produced models of particular moments in the soul’s invisible logical life.

p. 207-208
Our question is: do we in physics follow the Rutherford model or the Bohr model of the atom, and do we in psychology follow the “God” model or the “unconscious” model--or, as I would suggest, do we follow neither, but rather the form change from model to logical form, i.e., to the “model” of the soul’s logical life?
It is the neurotic soul’s delusion that turning to “the unconscious”--by dreaming, active imagination, indulging in myths and fairytales, going into analysis, etc.--is the modern equivalent to the former soul’s sleep and that the contents and figures in this “unconscious” are in themselves the soul’s sought-for own Other. Dreams and analysis may, if handled psychologically, be helpful for finding a way out of the soul’s neurosis into the normal practical life of a modern ego-personality. But they do not lead to the land of the modern soul and to the modern soul’s own Other.
    That the institution of psychoanalysis was established in the 20th century and that it believes to be an approach to the soul is a sign of the fact that the modern soul is irrevocably a waking soul.

The Flight into the Unconscious (2013)

p. 169-170 
Jung regarded the “unconscious” in general and dreams in particular as “natural processes”; dreams are the “unmediated expression of this nature. “I knew of no reason for the assumption that the tricks of consciousness can be extended to the natural processes of the unconscious” (MDR, p. 162 with Erinnerungen, p. 166). Our dream, for one, gives the lie to this view of the dream as an innocent, artless product of nature in the naive sense implied by Jung. Although I agree with Jung that no legerdemain and no wish to deceive can be attributed to the dream, the simple distribution that Jung wants to establish between a pure, innocent nature as immediate self-display on the side of the production of “the unconscious” and the reflectedness and deviousness on the side of the conscious mind, cannot be upheld. Already biological nature is full of deviousness and deception (just think of mimicry), although of course an objective, not subjective deception. The mind is on both sides; consciousness is not simply the empirical observer and passive receptor of images coming to it from a pristine nature; it is already--even though unconsciously--in the alleged facts themselves that it seems to “find” strictly vis-a-vis itself as unspoilt nature and pristine origin. Indeed our particular dream shows a much higher degree of reflection, sophistication, even artfulness and deviousness, at work in the unconscious production than in the receptive consciousness, which here attempts to hold itself in an innocence that in modernity is no longer adequate, no longer true.
    But of course, we always have to keep in mind that this is not a mistake. On the contrary, it was precisely the whole point of this dream as well as of the thinking of the “psychology of the unconscious” at large, into which this dream tried to initiate, to artificially establish a seemingly innocent consciousness that exclusively focuses on the semantics of dreams and other images and remains systematically unconscious of the complexities of their, and the artfulness of its own, syntax or logic as well as of the dialectic or uroboric relation of subject and object, reception and production. “The unconscious” in the Jungian sense was invented to have a pure vis-a-vis. And this vis-a-vis was indispensable if (a) there was to be a real presence of mythic meaning under the conditions of the modern situation while (b) the transgression across the border to “speculation” and “metaphysics” was to be avoided at all cost.
    But the cost was high, I would say too high. What was the price that had to be paid for having mythical meaning as a present reality? It was the repression, the scotomization, of the syntactical in favor of the semantic and thus the self-stultification of consciousness. One’s keeping consciousness unconscious about the logical or syntactical in order to be able to have a the contents--unsullied by the problems of modernity--as pure nature, as pristine origin (archetypes, Urerfahrung [primordial experience]) fulfills the definition of a neurotic structure.

p. 276
Reflecting about the nature of what he was doing, Jung was certain it was not science. But then a tempting voice tried to convince him: “That is art," to which he replied emphatically, “No it is not” (199b). The Red Book is not science, not art, but also not Dichtung (a poetic work) (213a), nor of course philosophy. This view of Jung's that it is not art and not poetic literature is not so much an observation or assessment as a programmatic statement: his refusal to let it be or become art. We have to ask: what is at stake with Jung's adamant warding off of the possibility that his Red Book might have, or might take on, art character? What was to be prevented at all cost? Asked the other way around: what would its turning into art do to the Red Book? What is it that the artist, by which I do not mean here a human being, httt 'adieu the art-producing "soul- in a human being. achieves?
        If We take a portrait as an example, what turns it into a true work of art is that within itself it successfully manages to perform a radical urvessal. Whereas empirically the starting point of a portrait is the real model out thew, the work of art deprives this model of being its origin and source and internalizes the source of authority and conviction t. holly into the work itself. The portrait as a work of art has its truth not to any likeness with the "original,” it is not a copy of the original (as in Plato’s idea of art), but it is its own original, containing its truth within itself, and this is why it glows from within. It is, as Hegel saw the self manifestation of the absolute in sensuous form. The mystique of Leonardo’s Mona Lisa is not derived from the real person depicted; its truth does not depend on any (in this case presumably existing) likeness with her. Rather, the art work has its ground solely in itself and thus has made itself independent, cut itself loose, from its “referent” so that it turned into a
self that stands on its own and speaks for itself. The art-making process is the “soul’s” or "mind’s” performance of this "alienation": the dispossessing of the external real of its authority and the making over of this authority to, and sinking it unconditionally into, the art work. (This sinking “origin” and “authority” into the art work itself is an example of an “absolute-negative interiorization”: the creation of an interiority that is not a positivity, does not exist as a positive fact. And this is why art is one instance of soul-making.)

p. 290
    Why did Jung feel the need in his oeuvre to deny (not the content of those dreams, painted pictures, and convictions, but) the fact of their having their real origin in his own subjective fantasies (fantasies which, after all, were so precious to him that he needed to put them down in an expensive leather-bound volume and spent years on their calligraphic presentation)? Why did he behave much like Peter, who also denied what he loved dearly, the Lord? The answer is that something in Jung must have been keenly aware of the fundamental discrepancy, indeed incompatibility, between his fantasy experiences and his “scientific” work as a psychologist. This is why he had to supply a false origin to his own material when using it in his works (similarly to how sometimes important witnesses against Mafia bosses are provided with a new identity by the police), namely an origin in his professional work as an analyst who merely objectively reported what he encountered in his consulting room during many years of clinical experience. The inclusion in his work of his private images and ideas involves a real uprooting of those images and ideas form their own ground and their transplantation into a very different ground or discourse, we could say, from the sphere of Jung’s “personality no. 2” and its speculative thought to that of “personality no. 1.” Jung rode two different horses. There is a logical discontinuity between his experiences and his oeuvre.

p. 314
By setting up his thoughts as events of nature, the Red Book construes them as objective facts that merely happen to the ego as the innocent victim, and by the same token the I disowns its own thoughts, giving them the status of Other, of not being his, the way a man might deny being the father of a child. The Red Book thus established a subject-object dichotomy and operates within it and establishes the I as the untouched container of whatever experiences: as ego.
Underlying the dogma' that it would be crazy to think that he, Jung or the experiencing I, had created the thoughts is an ontologizing logic, a logic of things, objects. The Red Book reifies the thoughts of the mystery as entities. Its concept of production or making that it applies to thoughts seems to be taken from the model of manufacturing, such as how a cobbler makes shoes. As long as this is one's schema for understanding "thoughts," one is of course right to say that it would be crazy to claim that one produces them. Goethe said about his poetry, that the poems made him, he did not make them. This view seems at first glance to express the same idea as the Red Book's dogma. But Goethe would not have considered his poems "events of nature." As a matter of course they would have been products of the thinking mind for him. Nor would he have denied that they are his productions, and that he was their author. He even explicitly considered all his poetry as "fragments of a great confession," in other words, as fundamentally subjective: his self-expression. With his statement about the poems that made him, Goethe points much rather to the inner dialectic of intellectual, poetic, artistic productivity, namely that it is at once subjective and objective, production and product, active and passive. But this dialectic or contradictory logic is reductively dissolved in the Red Book in favor of an unambiguous placing its two moments over against each other (which is of course necessary for establishing the theory of "the unconscious"). In order to get an understanding of this dialectic let us begin with the more accessible example of life. I do not create my life, and yet it is truly my life, my activity of living, my being and staying alive: my breathing, eating, digesting, protecting myself, etc. My life is not an Other that happens to me or is done to me; life is performative: my performing it. It is fundamentally and exclusively mine and absolutely syntonic with me. Its dialectic consists in the fact that only to the extent that my life lives me do I live my life, and vice versa. The moment it is no longer mine, then my life is gone, i.e., I am dead. Life does not have a separate existence outside living organisms and independent of their actively living. It exists only if and as long as it is individually theirs. Even my death does not come to me as if it were an Other, like the medieval idea of the Grim Reaper. It is my active performance of my very own finishing my life, my breathing my last.
By the same token, although I certainly do not “manufacture” my dreams the way a shoemaker makes shoes, they are nevertheless my dream thoughts, produced by me, only by me. They are thoughts and not events of nature. They are my thinking, i.e., (1) min and (2) mental productions, inventions, interpretations, results of the living thinking by me as subject, not the appearance of natural events or existing facts. But here again it is also true that to the same extent that I have and think my dream thoughts they have or think me. “Show me your dreams and I tell you who you are” (Freiherr von Knigge, modified), ie.e. I can show you what you are thinking deep down, or better: as what  thinking, what thoughts, you exist. You! There is nobody else. 

p. 350
It goes without saying that the individual is indispensable and that "laying [our] infinitesimal grain in the scales of humanity's sour (CW 16 § 449) is crucial. Mankind in the form of individuals. Without them, there would be no no art, no social life, no dreams. Just as birth and death, :)nd sleeping, working and love-making are constants, so the importance of the individual is a constant. I am not pleading for team work, not for a laissez-faire attitude, I am not trying to do away with individual responsibility and thereby endorse "the banality of evil." My thesis of the obsolescence of the individual is on a different level, which can be seen when in the last passage from my article I add the comment in parentheses, "(even though it [the life of the psyche] lives through us and needs us to give expression to it)." The parentheses are to indicate that here, with this comment, I have left the otherwise psychological level of my discourse and shifted to another, the extrapsychological discourse of common sense or everyday consciousness. Seen from outside, from the perspective of outer reality or common sense, the shaman, the chief, the Pharaoh, the great artist, the alchemist were, of course, individuals. But psychologically, they did their dreaming, thinking, and creating not as singular individuals, but as the soul of the tribe, as "the whole," as "universal." This alone is what makes a dream a "big" dream, the opus a magnum opus, a painting a war art. The alchemists did not work at their self-development, but claim that their’s was an unconscious concern for their own Self (only projected outside into matter) is an unforgivable psychologism, and an unfair interpretation of alchemy.
My thesis is that the individual is logically, psychologically obsolete. The thesis is not that it is obsolete a s .a positive fact. This difference of ordinary the psychological versus the nary consciousness sense of "individual" is essential. My whole argument is a psychologicall one. I am not speaking from the point of view of ordinary reality. This is to say that I attack the psychological idea of the individual as a focus and purpose, not the positive reality called individual. In a way I am trying to return (or advance?) to the truth of alchemy: that what counts is the transformation of the prime matter, not my own; and only to the extent that I dedicate myself to the prime matter's and not my own individuation or transformation process can I, too, experience my "redemption," where "my" refers to the extrapsychological notion of me as individual human being and not to the psychological notion of the ego-personality.
Now I want to discuss what I consider the different emphases in the set-up of psychology between two possible different positions. The one position basically operates within the subject-object relation. The Real is then on one side, and the psyche is predominantly the human psyche responding to "the traumas of the Real." The "objective psyche is also manifest in the capacity of the individual to image reality," this view says. This sentence has a chance of being true only if it is meant positivistically and not psychologically, i.e., if "individual" refers to the factual or empirical human being, to people, because an empirical person could be a shaman or true artist, etc. However, the capacity of the individual (in a psychological sense) to form fantasies is a manifestation of the subjective psyche. The individual's response is the equivalent to the work of sprayers who do not want to see the reality of an empty grey concrete wall and thus spray their own colorful designs on it. Psychologically speaking, only on the condition that we do our imaging not as individuals, but as logical "Universal," mythologically speaking: as the soul, the non-ego, is it the objective that manifests in our capacity to image reality. This is a crucial distinction. Of course our young men may continue to dream dreams. But if their dreams are their individual dreams, they have the same status as the dreams and the drug-induced visions of the hippie generation that later turned yuppie. Why today do we have a drug problem as no time before did? Because people want to dream their own dreams, cut off from the soul's magnum opus. Only if a young man's dream is not his individual dream, but if he is dreaming the Mercurial dream hidden in today's prime matter, in what is really going on in our time is it a dream of the objective psyche. Yes, we must "struggle to differentiate and redeem" the "dark side of the Self," we who, externally speaking, exist only as individuals. But psychologically speaking we must not do this as individuals, because as individuals in the strict sense we do not even get near the Self. We pass it by. I am too much of an alchemist to appreciate the quote from Jung, CW 8 §§ 331f., which I find reductive, even nihilistic.
It is not storms, not thunder and lightning ... that remain as images in the psyche, but the fantasies caused by the affects they arouse. ... Man's curses against devastating thunder-storms, his terror of the unchained elemerzs--these affects anthropomorphize the passion of and the purely physical element becomes an angry god. the physical condition of his environment, the physiological conditions, glandular secretions, etc., also can arouse fantasies charged with affect. Sexuality appears as a god of fertility ... or as a terrifying serpent that squeezes its victim to death.

Jung starts out from the fictitious abstraction of "the purely physical element" (as if there were such a thing), which through a secondary fantasy activity is allegedly turned into a god. If this were how it is, such a god would not have truth in him and thus not really be a god. He would not be an epiphany, but a subjective projection, a bumper sticker glued onto the Real. In contrast to the idea that "the magnum opus of any age is to fathom and consciously participate in the symbolic life which the psyche makes possible through its autocratic responses to the traumas of the Real with which it is in dialectical [Jung would say, compensatory] relationship," I say that viewed from a mythological or alchemical perspective, the god or the Mercurius does not come from a secondary "autocratic" (!) response to the Real, but is what is contained or imprisoned in the Real itself to begin with. The "autocratic" response to the Real is only anima, only Maya, projection. Likewise, the effort to re-ensoul the world with anima mundi is, in my eyes, a typically modern ego effort. If you start out with the idea of the objective psyche, you do not have to work at re-ensouling anything, because the soul is already there to begin with, and it is usually where ti is least expected and least wanted. This is why I want to mine the objective phenomena (for example, the phenomena of Globalization, Profit Maximization, etc.) for soul, rather than to “form fantasies” about them. Instead of responding in the sense of a compensatory relationship between psyche and the traumas of the Real, I want to listen to what the real process is telling me; I want to be taught by the Real how I have to think, I want to be put into my place, maybe even “baptized” by it. This is how I am trying to lay my “infinitesimal grain in the scales of humanity’s soul.”

p. 380
Jung once wrote that we always dream from within the relationship. "In the deepest sense we all dream not out of ourselves but out of what lies between us and the other" (Letters 1,P. 172, 29 September 1934, to Kirsch). We could extend this statement by saying we always dream from within the real psychological context that we are in as well as from the more superficial or deeper psychological reality level that consciousness is open to. But this applies not only to dream thoughts. It applies to all non-ego thinking. And (a) the less a person has psychologically emancipated himself as a true individual from his social group or intellectual tradition, but is rather in a participation mystique with it (as, e.g., the medieval alchemists were with the hermetic tradition), and/or (b) the more a person's roots, through his inner greatness and depth ("genius"), reach down into the foundations of the inner core or truth of that tradition (in that status that has in fact been attained by it in its historical evolution at the respective present), the more the productions of consciousness will not be the merely personal property of the ego-personality. In everything great, in poetry, art, philosophy, in (the rare cases of truly great) statesmanship, etc., it is the historical locus (all around the person) that thinks, not the individual as a lonely self.
(Here I must add, however, that concerning a single individual we cannot claim that he or she permanently belongs to this or to that level. A truly great thinker can at times Say quite banal things that come only from his or her private ego-consciousness, and, conversely, people who for the most part do not appear to he geniuses may at times produce a single great work or in,ight that comes from the depth. We may all phase into and out of various depth strata and psychological-intellectual climates, participating in them or being emancipated from them at different times to differing degrees.

p. 411
[To Jung] art as a product of human making and the voice of nature as something coming to the human subject as an absolutely innocent recipient are for Jung mutually exclusive opposites. By the same token, dreams are in Jung’s view pure nature. The human mind, our own thinking, is absolutely not implicated in them. “The unconscious is a purely natural event …” (CW 7 § 386, transl. modif.). Dreams are seen as “an unintentional occurrence, just as all natural occurrences.”

C.G. Jung on Christianity and Hegel (2013)

p. 37
Innocence (the immunity to the modern experience) is what Jung’s whole [personal, anti-psychological] project is ultimately about. It is the innocence of direct experience, primarily in the existential sense as man’s existence in the “boundlessness of ‘God’s world’” as a child of God, but also in a methodological sense: the ego (the psychologist or analysand) as the innocent observer of totally autonomous psychic facts (dreams as pristine nature). The dream images had to be radically unconscious (truly other, opposite). They were not allowed to be conceived as the subject’s own (although subliminal) thoughts (in imaginal form). A reflexive union, the I’s return to itself in its looking at its other, was not allowed. At bottom, Jung’s psychology in its logical constitution itself posits and confirms the unbridgeable gap or dissociation which is the law of modernity--that very gap that the semantics of his psychology is striving so hard to overcome (mysterium coniunctionis, etc.). And the dissociation between the syntax or logic and the semantic message is the same unbridgeable gap once more on a more subtle level.

More about Wolfgang Giegerich's work can be found at The Internal Society for Psychology as the Discipline of Interiority and his essay The Opposition of 'Individual' and 'Collective': Psychology's Basic Fault can be found on the website

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