Monday, May 7, 2012

Freying Ends

Readers of either literature, or of non-fiction, might have some familiarity with Joseph Campbell. I don't think it's possible that anyone who has left college in the last twenty years with a sociology degree left without an awareness of Carl Jung. Not that any of the members of the classes stated above had actually read either Campbell or Jung, but that they had had at a minimum a survey course that gave Campbell and Jung credit for some influence on a certain type of intellectual inquiry. From psychology to aesthetics, the basis for what passes as intellectual inquiry into the nature of Man is typically reduced, under the current liberal orthodoxy, as being dependent upon either Jungian interpretation, or the interpretation of Jung from Campbell. Jung was a successor to Freud, who broke with Freud over the definitions that Freud introduced (the Id, the Ego, and the Superego.) Jung still took the basic analysis of Freud, interpretation of dreams and hypnosis and determined that the Freudian division was an improper rationalisation of the mental process; that thought and meaning couldn't be divided into parts. The Jungian interpretation averred that the analysis that was necessary treated the thoughts, emotions and behaviours of the the patient required an interpretation that considered the whole of all those individuations.

For those unwilling to dig out their college texts, my synopsis is this brief; Freud believed that there was conflict between the partitions of the human psyche that exhibited itself as aberrant behaviour when those partitions were out of balance; Jung believed that the failure to apprehend the patterns of the human psyche left one out of touch with ones understanding of his condition. Freud's view was more in line with the Hegelian line of analysis, in my view, Jung also relied upon Hegel for his justification of viewing the human mind as relying upon a gestalt that exceeded the perceived elements of thought and rationality, and extended to an understanding that exceeded the sum of the conclusion's parts. The theory of how the mind works is still struggling under the conditions set out by both Freud and Jung. Modern psychiatry is attempting to take thought out of the equation of "what is mind," looking at the mind as a set of chemical reactions, that if wholly understood, can allow us to "fix" the human mind into having the appropriate thoughts necessary to have a healthy human mind. At present, from what I have seen, most of this deals with the amygdala, and the uptake of serotonin. That is, the pleasure center, and the feelings one receives from the intake of certain naturally produced, or externally induced, chemicals. (If I have erred in any significant way, please feel free to criticize. This is a blog post, not an essay for the AJM.)

There are, then, two basic schools of thought when it comes to evaluating human thought, and describing the motivations of human thought and behaviour in the popular media. The Freudian is viewed both as antiquated and out of touch with the new realities of Jungian analysis, and more rational and structured than is necessary for the understanding of the human condition. Jungian analysis is favoured, since the interpretation of anything in the Jungian world is directly related only to those discovered or stated archetypes defined within the literature itself. If you exhibit behaviours not explained by any of the previously discovered archetypes, it is simply a lack of understanding or observation that leaves us yearning for greater understanding. The undiscovered archetype.

Unfortunately, most analysis of behaviour is judged against these two schools of interpretation.

Think about that sentence for a moment. Behaviour is being judged by whether or not it fits either the Freudian school of analysis, or the Jungian school of analysis. Behaviour. What you or I choose to do. When faced with catastrophe, how I respond will be judged according to how my behaviour fits with the analysis provided by either Freudian or Jungian analysis.

Let's take a look at some behaviours, and ask ourselves whether or not the analytic of  either of these schools of thought are up to the job of determining whether the behaviours being observed are appropriate, or not?

Let's take the case of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. If anyone amongst us had a greater stake in understanding the human condition, one could aver that the LCWR is invested most in a greater and clearer understanding of the need to determine the appropriate beliefs that should be held in order to adhere to a path of understanding and behaviour, in order to both confirm acceptance of the beliefs of the LCWR, and to view that acceptance of belief as being the motivation behind adhering to a path that fleshes out those beliefs in a way that orders the actions, words and deeds of the member of the LCWR.

The problem is, that it isn't clear that either Freud or Jung can lead one into an understanding of the appropriate beliefs and values of the LCWR.

Stepping aside from the question being begged, let's look at the Green revolution, and the latest news on the war on non-Green. The latest standards for LEED are being proposed. Sometime, later this year, the 2012 LEED standards are going to be proposed to the U.S. Green Building Council.

"The proposed changes to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, administered by the private USGBC group but since adopted by the federal government, disallows the use of over 75 percent of America’s certified forests and the third most commonly produced plastic worldwide." (PJ Tattler, April 19, 2012.)

The problem is, that it isn't clear that either Freud or Jung can lead one into an understanding of the appropriate beliefs and values of the LCWR, but clearly can when it comes to understanding the proposals of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design  program. There are no economic advantages to adhering to the program laid out by LEED. There are no rational standards that can explain why anyone would voluntarily employ the building standards of LEEDS, and no banker would, or should, view the extra expense of building a LEEDS compliant structure more favourable than any other structure, when taking into account the life-span of the building, the construction and maintenance costs, and the amortization of any note associated with construction of said structure. Return on investment isn't determined by any other logic other than the cost of an asset, and the monies that can return to the investor in terms of that cost. There isn't any Ego, Id or Superego involved.

For an investor, there is only one reality; will the investment yield a return greater than the investment's cost, or not?

Freudian or Jungian analysis is also irrelevant to the question of the LCWR. If you're not aware of the issues currently under debate, here's the short version; there are Sisters (Bride of Christ) who have organized themselves into an association (LCWR) that advocate for teachings outside the Church. Advocate for teaching is a nice way of saying committing apostasy. But, apostasy is such a harsh word.

The problem for these wonderful Sisters is, they have forgotten that either Freudian or Jungian interpretation is trumped by another interpretation; Christian interpretation. And for the Catholic Church, that interpretation has been the sole province of the Pope.

The question being posed for the Sisters of the LCWR is whether to continue to adhere to the teachings of faith, or the renunciation of their faith. Asserting that the strong presence of the masculine--the Pope--over the feminine is a question that is needing to be asked. Or, is being asked, if only in the circles of the LCWR. It is not going to be popularly addressed, since most women belonging to the LCWR are bright, educated, intelligent women, subject to the depredations of popular moral theologies. Freud and Jung. Social justice, as promulgated on the Left, from Marx, to Lenin, to Che, to Obama.

The bottom line is, should men and women, such as the women of LCWR, rely upon the analysis of Freud and Jung? Either or? Or, should they take a step back, and ask themselves if there isn't another analysis of the human condition that precedes either Freud or Jung?

Is it possible that in our rush to be accepted by such popular thinkers as Oprah and Bill Maher, the Sisters are forgetting that there is another acceptable analysis of human behaviour?

The push to remove the masculine from intellectuality is nearly complete. More and more boys are removing themselves from the education system since those schools to little if nothing towards their understanding themselves according to the current political and social orthodoxy. Religion is little mentioned, and abused as being a tool of the patriarchy.

This is the Republican War on Women writ large. It has nothing to do with political equality, but much to do with how we perceive our rights, duties and responsibilities as humans; male, female, as fathers and mothers. Politically, I can agree that all humans have a right to have their views expressed, through actions, words and through elections.

But can we simply ignore the need for a strong male, and differences between a Frey and a Freya?


g said...

With respect to LEED (there is no LEEDS), there is some method to the madness and there are standards, protocols, and materials that have been made popular by LEED that do make sense.

Specifically, the most beneficial part of the LEED standard is the energy [savings]. It is important to take a look at the life cycle of the HVAC system for example and determine if it makes sense economically AND environmentally. LEED promotes the balance.

Also, contrary to your opinion that LEED is not affordable or is more expensive, or too expensive, I again remind you the successful project takes into account both environmental AND economical determinations.

I have constructed numerous LEED buildings as well as buildings that were constructed to LEED standards but were not certified (certification is very expensive and some owners don't care).

I think LEED designations have their place and will some day be a fact of life and the novelty will be mainstay. The built environment will be more sustainable and hopefully affordable.

Regarding the certified trees in the forest, LEED has very discriminat rules for incorporating FSC wood. I am not aware of any other wood harvesting designation that is acceptable to LEED standards. Keep in mind, LEED does not set the FSC standard. It accepts the standard into the program.

We should discuss the pros and cons of the LEED standard some day. I have spent a great deal of the past 5 years involved in LEED projects and advising and educating others about the good things the LEED program brings to the industry.

In a nutshell, it's more than a green movement. There are many components of LEED that make economic sense.

LEED Green Associate

Ten Mile Island said...


Great note, thanks. Today is Chemo Tuesday, so longer response later. Gotta run!

ZZMike said...

I think Campbell is a little overrated, and Freud was a very sick man. Jung helped a little to straighten the world out after Freud.