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Archetype Dogma, Empirical Criteria

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.mythology,alt.pagan.magick,sci.psychology.theory,alt.psychology.jung
From: Solar-Phallus 
Subject: Archetype Dogma, Empirical Criteria
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2003 07:11:03 GMT

for those who were interested in the extension 
of material in the discussion about Jung/Noll per
se and an examination of empirical criteria for
supporting the contention of the reality of 
archetypes, here's detail....

50030620 VIII om Pisces-Age-Y2006

>>> ...Archetypes are not found in the brain..they are not 
>>> created by evolution and do not have their roots in 
>>> science but in mysticism.  

nagasiva asks:
>> are they to be found at all, or are they just imagined?
> ...archetypes make the most sense to those who already have 
> a sense of them ..those who already experience life as a 
> pattern with repetitions 

repetitive experiences are part of the physical world (just
looking to cycles of day/night/day demonstrates this). 
I see no reason to go looking for them in fantastic realms.

> and who find themselves in the sometimes confusing position 
> of noticing things before they happen...knowing things 
> which they seemingly shouldn'd be able to know about 
> someone or something.  

this really is an excellent response. this is one of 
the few experiences (dreaming true) that I have had and
confirmed in others which poses great difficulties for
me in explaining, but I'm not sure it requires a 
theory of archetypes or entire separate realms 
(spiritual) which are unverifiable to deal with it. :>

> Those who sense it's all part of a plan.   

that could be an imagined sensation. it's comforting
to think in terms of Parental Planning and Cosmic
Justice, but I see no rationale for presuming this.
> As for the "just imagined" phrase...well, what if 
> it's all "just imagined"???  Then what?  Imagination 
> is a very powerful thing.

(sticking at least with card-themes ;>) hey, I'm just 
calling a Spade and Spade. I agree it's powerful, 
but I don't think it is somehow more real because it
may be so. such 'reality' is different than we're
talking about as far as I know (the apparency or
intensity of a subjective phenomenon).
>> how can we distinguish between the real and the imaginary
> What if there is no real distinction?  What I mean is that 
> if you can imagine can probably experience it.  

imagination is part of experience, so I'd agree, but not that
that which is imagined is more than this (part of fantasy).

> Believing is seeing and that sort of non-sense....  

I haven't noticed that good subjective principles such as 
the one you offer here translate very well to the world
of objects and the empirically-verifiable (as compared
with the merely imagined).

>> when there is no criteria for distinguishing between what
>> you are calling the 'spiritual' and what I call the 'imagined'?
> There is so much evidence of a spiritual realm, I hardly 
> know where to start.... For many the evidence is direct 
> experience, however, there are enough unexplained 
> phenomena to point us in the direction of these areas 
> as worthy of study.  

I don't agree that phenomena that present anomalous data
to otherwise observable principles constitutes sufficient
reason to begin postulating separate spiritual realms and
universal underlying unconscious origins for what y'all
would like to call 'the manifest world'.

my question to you wasn't what types of things you and people
who agree with you might consider evidence, but how you and
I might establish criteria for agreeing on of what the
'spiritual' consists.
> If they can't be studied using ze old scientific method..
> then where does one begin?

part of that method includes peer review and repeatable,
observable, testable results which would otherwise
*falsify* hypotheses extended from suppositions such 
as you are advancing here. religion doesn't include that,
and instead offers what you are offering: fantastic and
comforting explanations at times without skepticism, and
usually without the least bit of agreed evidence or the
criteria for establishing it.

your databit of precognition (e.g. dreaming true) is not
actual evidence for what you're describing; it is only a
fragment of data for which strict materialism may find 
hard to account. because the limitations of conventional
ideologies are hard-pressed to account for these events,
that doesn't make every alternative hypothesis true that
does explain them, it just makes refinement necessary.

> Carl Jung claimed that what led him into this area was 
> a very real dream in which he felt he had experienced 
> something which would come to pass in the future....
> and it did....he realized that he had a psyhic 
> experience and being the type of person he was, 
> he chose to investigate the possibilities....  

good idea. I have done the same. that doesn't mean that
we have to arrive at the same conceptual explanations. 

>>> Yes,  I'm suggesting that there is a spiritual realm where 
>>> consciousness exists outside of the brain and physical 
>>> body and that this is where this information is stored 
>>> for us to access....
>> that's a fantasy. it's unfortunate that occultism and
>> mysticism have been deluded by this false dualism
> What exactly are you referring to as a dualism?  

any of the possible that you seem to be implying here: 
mind/body, mind/brain, body/spirit, material/spiritual, etc.

> ...without the concept of a spiritual or mystical realm,
> there is no occultism.......that's what the occult is......

literally it just means 'hidden', of course. there are many
possible alternatives to what you're suggesting, inclusive
of being hidden from conventional society, hidden from the
conscious mind, and the *hiding* of something (e.g. stage

>> but there is it. please point me to something that you take
>> to be contrary evidence to my assertion.
> What *is* your assertion?...

that the projection of a separate 'spiritual realm' 
beyond the reach of our empirical observation,:

	where consciousness exists outside 
	of the brain and physical body and 
	that this is where this information 
	is stored for us to access....

is a fantasy. this is my assertion. it doesn't exist
as some kind of separate realm, but is instead an
apparently-dual experience resulting from what I'd
describe as bifurcated consciousness (looking outward
we see 'objects', looking inward we see a 'subject'). 

> ...You want me to try and prove it's not a fantasy?

I'm not sure you could in any case, even if that is
what constitutes the real state of things. but no, I 
just asked you to point me to something that you take
to be contrary evidence to my assertion (that it is
a fantasy). you're not doing that. instead you're
saying that it doesn't *matter* if it is real or if 
it is fantasy. experientially this is of course true,
though it may precede some very rude awakenings if/when
presumptions about how the cosmos actually works are
founded upon fantasies rather than realities. 

one may compare historical precedents, such as the 
belief that the planet ('world') is flat, has an 'edge', 
that sailing too far one might fall off, etc.  at some 
point the experience will not hold up to the real. 
if experience were the determiner of the real, then 
those who believed these incorrect assumptions would 
have disappeared forever into the Great Abyss when 
they sailed too far (you have evidence this did in 
fact occur?).

> ...fantasy exists before reality..or better put...
> imagination exists and then it's manifested.  

yes, I understand the idea. I think it is irrational,
based on wishful and unsupportable thinking. I'm not
saying that you shouldn't believe it, only that it is
wrong and this can be demonstrated pretty easily using
"ze old scientific method". :>

> Do you suggest that the forces that created all this 

your faulty premise. there is no evidence for Creationism.

> had no that's really hard to believe.

only if one is already deluded by religious fantasies.
even the rational can be difficult to believe if 
one's mind is clogged with unsupportable hogwash. :>
>> if you would like to refute me by asking me (as many 
>> have) how I would contrariwise explain the phenomenon 
>> of subjective experience with relation merely to brains
>> and evolution, then I can do so easily with reference
>> to the dual-character of consciousness (experiencER and
>> experiencED; subject and object) which requires no 
>> fantasy realms that cannot be observed outside the 
>> minds of religious converts.
> ...I really am not sure what you are trying to say ....

I'm explaining the apparent 'spiritual realm' in a manner
which requires no unusual or fantastic hypotheses. in this
manner, I can demonstrate that the usual defense of what I
call 'irrational thought' by resorting to the "I cannot
explain it in any other way" defense is unsupportable.

> many metaphysical studies and other systems...
> Subject and Object are illusionary terms.....they are 
> one and the same....

we're saying the same thing, from apparently different 
paradigms. I agree that they are part of the same (living)
phenomenon (consciousness), but unlike you I don't suppose
there is some "spiritual realm", since the evidence I've
scrutinized doesn't require creating one to explain events.

for example, precognition could be explained as induction
conducted by the unconscious mind, or extreme and 
uncontrolled sensitivity to the physical world.

> What to you is rational?  

that which is supportable using reason rather than faith.
one may in conversation use rationality or logic to 
convince others of the truth of one's position, for
example. that's what I'm attempting to do here.

> What to you is irrational?  

that which is believed without reason, logic, or sustained 
and scrutinizing evidence. one may not truly apprehend the
basis for irrational contentions outside an examination 
of the subject's background, thought processes and 
psychological condition (this merely explains it, 
it does not actually confirm it -- there are of course
reverse-contentions that may be brought forward regarding
the "unknowability of the absolute" and other concepts).

> Many of the things which people experience are very real 
> and so in that sense cannot be labeled as irrational with 
> a sweep of the hand.  

perception does not lend itself to rational analysis
outside peer review and some observational coincidence.
if you claim anomalous data, it would be irrational 
for me to believe its truth without corroboration,
even if that corroboration were mystical in character.

> Many of life's experiences are not what many would 
> term rational...much of human behavior is not 
> rational but it's still real. 

because human behaviour may include irrational
acts, that doesn't mean that the experiences
giving rise to them are perceptually accurate.

you are correct that the experiences and the
behaviours are real, but any fictions propping 
them up (if any) are still fictions. 

for example, someone finding out that they have but
a short duration to live may act as if they have a
longer lifespan. it may serve them well to ignore
their deteriorating condition, continue ordinary
human relations with those who will outlive them,
etc.  but it doesn't change the ontological fact
that they have a deteriorating health condition.

the 'You-Make-Reality-Through-Your-Beliefs' idea is 
an exaggerated estimation of the effect that our 
beliefs can have on the subjective condition in our 
experience and endurance. sometimes attitude and
disposition are important tools in improving one's
health. where this runs into a problem is when we
start to think that because we believe, like in the
film The Matrix, that the real is created by our 
minds, we take risks beyond the ability of our
bodies to endure (e.g. "that approaching 18-wheeler 
is not going to hurt me as it passes through the 
same physical space"). there are a number of New Age
stories (e.g. "Illusions" by Richard Bach, others)
in which this metaphysics is presented as if fact, 
but empirical evidence FLATLY CONTRADICTS THIS.
that's why I call it fantasy. I have evidence on my
side, and I'm continuing to watch for other data.

>> what will it do to help us apprehend the real, 
>> if we are fabricating fictions and treating them 
>> like they have been confirmed before we even 
>> scrutinize and doubt them?
> Speak for yourself.  I have years of thought, 
> study, investigation, exploration, and experience 
> which guide me to my conclusions....  

you're asking me (and anyone who reads your assertions)
to believe it without evidence. I'm merely asking for
evidence since I don't find the same conclusions and I
wonder how you arrived at your current position in this

you continue:
> They aren't dogma...they aren't firmly rooted beliefs,
> but I highly suspect they are very close to the truth.  
> Could this truth be subjective and based on my own 
> personal belief system..possibly.  

I like to begin with this premise and extrapolate from
there. this is true whether it is my own prejudices or
those of others. thanks for being so flexible of mind.

> But then, it's possible that all we perceive as 
> truth is subjective....  

perception is itself subjective. truth is what stands
up to skeptical inquiry and remains true. the real
incorporates the merely subjective and that which is
true regardless of the biases of our subjectivity.

> Some things will never be confirmed.   

study of science leads me to think that nothing is 
ever rationally confirmed (because we cannot logically
deduce when to arrive at a Final Conclusion -- we just
proceed with the best hypothesis we have at the time).
>> This is why I have maintained that Noll is *correct* 
>> in identifying Jungians as religious (he uses the 
>> correct term in his description: "cult") and 
>> archetypes as religious dogmas.
> Nothing can be further from the truth.  

as long as the truth is as subject to your fantasies
as it is to corroborating evidence, this is not very
surprising. where the truth may be supported through
testing, reproduceable results, and peer review, and
is not the construct of some Creator, Descartes' Evil
Genius, or a solipsistic monad-person, then I don't 
really understand your objection. 

sorry if I misunderstood your relation to Jung.

> Carl Jung did not invent any of this....

my apologies. I thought we were discussing some of
the ideas which he pioneered, even if they have 
been refined since his dissolution.

> Cult ...religious...just words and words which mean 
> very different things to different people.   

I'm using them in a non-judgemental way. I've studied
religious people for a long time and think that I've
a handle on their proper contextualization. I agree
that the terms themselves have been misapplied in
order to dismiss in unfortunate ways. it is not my
intent to do this, but merely to characterize the
basis of knowledge from which each draws conclusions.

religious of the cult accept the dogma without really
questioning it and rely upon it to explain phenomena
despite counter-evidence (science) or more elegant
hypotheses (cf. Occam). often, with the popularity
and convincing demeanor of modern science, religious
may even believe that they are skeptical, but this is
quite easily shown not to be the case in discussion.
>> the burden of proof rests in the laps of those who make
>> the more outrageous and unusual claims as compared with
>> other agreed knowledge.
> That's right..the burden ...of proof rests with each 
> one of us.  

that's NOT what I meant. I meant that if you wish to 
sound convincing (you may not care how you sound in your
expression -- that isn't a requirement of this forum :>)
then extrapolations beyond what we have agreed from the
outset (not much between the two of us it seems) 
will require direction of attention to some kind of 
evidence consonant with the extremity of your claim.

if I claim something ordinary, I have no burden. if my
hypotheses rely on nothing fantastic, I have no burden.
expression beyond the agreements most of us presume (such
as our existence, and that of the world, computers, the
ontological development of language, science, etc.) 
will require applicable evidence to sound at all 
convincing to those who rationally examine it.

> I have my proof for me.  Please don't ask me to 
> take on that burden for you too.  

when you make an outlandish claim, I may ask you to back
it up. this is very reasonable on my part. if you choose
not to do that, I am content to let that rest on its face. 

> ...Are you saying that you believe that the only 
> knowledge which is worthy of our consideration is 
> that which is already agreed upon by others?   

consideration? no. that which is already agreed by
others probably doesn't deserve much comment. most
of us take it for granted that we are discrete
biological organisms, for example, whether or not
we go on to presume some kind of additional realms
in which we are experiencing (e.g. spiritual).

something within a forum or amongst a group doesn't
constitute knowledge until it is agreed upon by the
group. that is the value of peer review in science.
it allows us to compare and contrast experience and
observation in order to derive hypotheses which 
have the greater likelihood of being relied upon
(this is the basis of engineering).

> ...Jung has influenced more people than many others 
> in his field of expertise 

what I would suggest is that this field of expertise,
due to its nonempirical, nonreproduceable, and 
effectively faith-based methods, is a religious one.
religious people are often easy to influence, so the
fact that Jung may have had such an influence is not
an indicator that what he maintains is necessarily 
true simply by virtue of that influence.

> and continues to do so.  I'd call this some sort of 
> very real agreement. 

it is an agreement amongst the converted. there are
surely common areas of agreement beyond this. yet
when someone who is convinced of the truth of Jung's
ideas begins to proclaim this, they can expect that
critical thought may be brought to bear upon their
expression and may undermine their faith-based and
fantasy-oriented support. 

>> You claim an entire "spiritual realm" but offer 
>> no evidence of its reality beyond the imagination of 
>> mystics and religious (whom I call the deluded and 
>> deceived)

note: I'm not trying to disparage you here, but trying
to mark out precisely the large differential in our
paradigmatic approach to this subject. if you don't
agree with my assessment, I respectfully ask that you
provide a pointer to some common experience or some
reproduceable results which serve to support what I've
clearly identified as fantasy-based errors of logic
and perception.
> ...What would you call yourself..the closed-minded 
> and slow to think for yourself?  ....

I'm so open-minded that most mistake me for a convert.
here I'll demonstrate that: 

am I closed-minded? I would not call myself that, no, 
but those who present me with outrageous claims may 
find my challenging them as to the evidence upon which 
they base their assertions. I've tried very hard to 
attempt to experience and explain as best I'm able 
some very odd and extraordinary phenomena, moving some 
good distance beyond the blinders of what I'd call 
materialist scientists in so doing and their myopic
terrestrial observations.

am I slow to think for myself? on the contrary, I'd say
that I've been doing so for so long that I've run across
few with whom I consistently agree and many who appreciate
my diversity of thought and originality of presentation.

> Sorry couldn't resist.

I don't mind at all. thanks for the apology. I hope that
I've made clearer the approach I'm taking to your claims,
including patiently attempting to map out potential
bridges between us in terms of criteria of supposition
and evidence, how we might come to appreciate what may
seem to you special or insightful information that I
may not yet have encountered. I'm leaving room for the
possibility that this is true, but laying my cards on
the table (to use a convenient and appropos metaphor
for this forum :>) as to the position that I wish to
take within this discussion. 

in other discussions I may take *your position*, or 
advance more radical expositions than you have brought 
to us here because I'm open-minded and place a good 
deal of trust in rationality and philosophy. 

this is illustrated well in material you've quoted here:
>> I am not saying that what you're trying to explain 
>> is illusory, just that your theories for explaining 
>> it are irrational 

now I could have said that they "seem irrational to me"
if I wanted to be less contentious, but I'm challenging
you here for the purposes of debate in as respectful a
manner as I can, and I hope you can see this. :>
> ...I wasn't attempting to prove anything..I was writing 
> words..ideas; opinions; insights and my only agenda was 
> that they might be helpful to someone who was already 
> sensing what I had to say. 

yes indeed. and if my experience differs, then I may ask
you for something to back that up in terms of reflections
on your experience or some kind of observable evidence to
which you might point that might be available to us. you
have the option at that point of saying something like
"we have no common experiences by which you might come
by the same data" or "here is what I perceived using these
methods -- try it out and see if you get the same thing".
I've got this response before and sometimes I've been able
to reproduce the data toward which the person pointed.
> If none of it resonates as truth to you...that's ok....
> I don't necessarily believe that everyone has to tackle 
> these types of topics....

I'm exactly doing that: tackling these types of topics.
part of my tackling includes challenging wild claims.
if you don't find them wild, explain why this is so. 
I will probably allow your explanation to stand as is,
all of us comparing ours with yours to see where they
might mesh up. ;>

> you are on  a Tarot list....I wonder if you use the 
> Tarot?  

bypassing for the moment the potentially disputable
notion that such a thing as "the Tarot" is succinct
(James Revak and I have discussed this a few times),
I've had and occasionally used in divination for
myself a Harris-Crowley 'Thoth' deck for something 
on the order of 20 years now. I was inspired by 
Crowley's "Book of Thoth" and "Magick in Theory and
Practice" to explore and benefit from reflection in
using it by somewhat traditional means, and have
often represented the benefits of divination to
those who were curious about its elements/practice.
I have since heavily criticized Crowley for his 
lack of discipline and moral corruption.

my sister used a Smith-Waite deck during the course
of our co-residence (some 5-10 years) and I gleaned
some practical pointers from her methods -- she only
read for *others*, I almost exclusively read for 
myself with very unusual exceptions). 

I've made extensive study of tarotic tradition, and 
in particular the most traditional decks available (I
confess to a dislike of the Aquarian but do recognize
its prominence during a certain period of time prior
to the vast proliferation of decks between 1980-today).

I've found great benefit in prolonged meditation on and
visualization surrounding the Trumps of the decks with
which I have become familiar, and am currently embarked on
the fabrication of my own deck, proceeding from theoretic
bases in occult study, formal sefirotic design integrating
what I consider to be relevant, magically, and images 
that I associate with pertinent divinatory procedures (at
least at first I'm going to select amongst a variety of
imagery from my library which I've been accumulating for 
a decade or two with a specialization on divination and 
tarot in particular).

this probably qualifies me for what you are calling 'use
of the Tarot', yes. :> 

> I also wonder how you explain to yourself how it works?  

the issue of "how tarot works" is another of these sticky
questions because it proceeds from an unspoken premise
that it *does something you are identifying as 'working'*.

I don't think I need fantasy realms or cosmic entities or
dualistic metaphysics to explain the benefits I see in the
contemplation of the imagery and divinatory use of cards.

divination is a reflective process which makes an under-
standing of oneself and one's condition possible, whether
there are underlying structures like archetypes or realms
of spirit, or not. I try to suspend my assessment of How

and focus more concretely on What Is Happening, then once
in a while apply critical thinking to hypotheses that 
seek to explain the apparent phenomena. 
>> the religious consistently opaque, obscure, and cover
>> over knowledge (which is derived from science, and not
>> just materialist science, by the way) for the purpose
>> of making the universe seem more simple, controlled,
>> and human-centered than it really is. part of the work
>> of those interested in *truth* is the application of
>> critical thinking to unravel and dissolve the fantasies
>> which obsess religious and mystical converts, 
> your paragraph above and tell me it doesn't 
> sound like it was written by a fanatic.

hey, I'll take that as a compliment, indicating that I've
served you up a serious and hefty challenge to your proposed
worldview. :> I don't mind being labelled a fanatic,
especially when pointing to prose like above as somehow
representative of my approach to the subject.
>> whether these are encountered in the study of tarot, 
>> astronomy, time, or the condition and history of all 
>> known things. 

caveat: I've been strongly influenced by my time in
conventional schools where I excelled in math and
science, then went on to philosophy of religion,
thereafter 'graduating' (as I saw it) to individual
occult and mystical studies outside establishments.
>> when someone says "archetypes are fictions" or claims
>> that they aren't universal, are conditioned and are
>> accrued as most other databits in enculturation as one
>> develops and grows within a culture, then your job is
>> to point out what you have discovered beyond the
>> expressions of religious and mystics which supports
>> these fantastic notions, if you wish to be convincing.
> I really wouldn't know where to start.  I'll await your 
> reply and perhaps we can come to a better understanding 
> of what each of us is trying to say.

better? I'm enjoying what I perceive as your lucidity 
and defensiveness in response to my strong challenges. :>

> ...Do you think it's possible that you have thrown out 
> the value of the idea of archetypes 

have I? I don't see that this is substantiated merely
because I take a particular position within a debate
about their conceptual tenability and rational basis.
all the same....

> because you either don't understand it 

I'm still asking questions, having endeavoured to read
material written by Jung in order to apprehend what he
thought of them and how they may have changed over time
in the minds of those who promote them as somehow real.

it is certainly possible that I don't understand the idea
of archetypes, and this is in part why I continue to ask
questions of those who come to me in a manner seemingly
expecting me to accept premises I find unsustainable and
based on fallacies, muddy thinking, and inexperience.

I hope to learn more about the idea in this exchange,
even if I present the opposing arguments to them. that's
how I would deal with those who reject them outright also 
(by trying to present the strength of their possible
existence in an explication of the ideas provided by
Jung and his followers, and trying to understand the
ideas of those who oppose them even while making my
case as strongly as I'm able :>).

> or because it's not something you have experienced.....or????

this is in part the crucial element of our discussion.
according to Jung and others, archetypes *cannot ever be
experienced or observed* because they have not ever and
cannot ever enter into consciousness. 

presumably you mean that I may not have experience which
convinces me of their reality. I've had some very weird
experiences and am unsure to what you think you are
referring. what experiences *are* convincing of the
reality of archetypes, in your estimation? this is to
what I was attempting to get across in my conversation 
with Mary (something underscored by Cynthia): 

	what is the criteria by which we can know
	that such a thing as archetypes are actually
	operating or extant if they are forever
	relegated to unconscious realms, our
	observation only encountering their traces?

your response will be eagerly-anticipated. I greatly
appreciate the level of attention you're bringing to
this exchange. thanks!

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Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races