Doing what he said without even knowing it.

I feel compelled to draw attention to this quote provided by L in a comment on another post. The reason I was compelled to do so was because without knowing it, this explains exactly why Jakarta was so fascinating:

“Anyone who wants to know the human psyche will learn next to nothing from experimental psychology. He would be better advised to abandon exact science, put away his scholar’s gown, bid farewell to his study, and wander with human heart through the world. There in the horrors of prisons, lunatic asylums and hospitals, in drab suburban pubs, in brothels and gambling-hells, in the salons of the elegant, the Stock Exchanges, socialist meetings, churches, revivalist gatherings and ecstatic sects, through love and hate, through the experience of passion in every form in his own body, he would reap richer stores of knowledge than text-books a foot thick could give him, and he will know how to doctor the sick with a real knowledge of the human soul.”

Carl Jung

For those that still doubt the relevance to their world, especially those living a cosy, secure life, I suggest otherwise if you consider that your world is a purely pyschic world, as Jung did:

“All comprehension and all that is comprehended is in itself Psychic, and to that extent we are helplessly cooped up in an exclusively Pyschic world.”
Dili has its own challenges, its own way of confronting the senses, the conscious and I assume the unconscious and i’m still grappling with the right words to describe it. More later.

Loving and leaving

I liked what Jung had to say about trying to define and describe Love:

“If he [who tries to define love] possesses a grain of wisdom, he will lay down his arms and name the unknown by the more unknown, ‘ignotum per ignotius’ – by the name of God.”

For Jung, according to my interpretation, God was a label for the unknown. So within this context, knowing that which I do not know and can not describe, I ask you – which of following scenarios would you prefer:

1. You meet a handsome traveller and bungee madly and ecstatically into the pit of love with him, enjoy the thrill, feel more alive than ever before in your life, suddenly understand your purpose in life and how the world is supposed to be and then watch as he cuts the cord that ties you together and leaves you to dangle over sharp rocks covered in poison envy. All of a sudden your legs feel like they are made of jelly and it seems someone just removed your stomach and replaced it with a bucket of ravenous tape worms swimming in acid.

2. You meet a handsome traveller, knock down just enough of the walls to your garden of eden so that he can smell and see the roses blooming but can’t touch them. For a while you feel safe, comfortable, satisfied and sleepy – as if you just ate two servings of mums lamb roast with baked potatoes, pumpkin, carrots and turnip with peas and gravy soaked up with fresh bread rolls covered in butter (and no garlic Mary!). Then he leaves and your sad in a way similar to when you eat too much and regret not trying that new dessert that didn’t smell quite right but everyone told you to have a piece of because it was aaaaamazing, even though they all got belly-aches after.

3. You meet a handsome traveller, smile and indulge your imagination in thoughts of “I wonder how long he is here for” and “Did he just return my smile, no he couldn’t of and if he did he is probably a man whore.” Then he leaves and you get hit by a a grandma on a mobility scooter who drives faster than you in a car and you die peacefully from internal bleeding, massively high on the huge amount of morphine the doctor gave you because he was sick of your whinging. You die wondering “Did he really smile at me”. But hey, at least you didn’t feel any pain.

Label them as you will, I feel I’m definitely a Number 1. And no, its not because I’m a CA.

Carl G Jung and the unconcious in Jakarta.

Found a book on Carl G Jung today – “Memories, Dreams, Reflections”. It is a combination biography / autobiography. Decided that reading it would be a good way to bring my entertainment budget back under control! Plus, had a quick flick through and noticed a few sections on the unconscious and the ego, a few pet topics of mine.

Reading through some of it has made me realise that these guys were really going out on a limb with some of this stuff. They were pioneers in an academic (and also practical) sense sometimes. I haven’t come across any reference to crazy wacky experiments in this book so far, but from what I know of elctro-shock therapy the basis for that treatment (which I heard is being revived in a modified and more humane sense in teating depression) was some pretty far-out experiments.

From what I’ve read so far, some of Jung;’s early work on the unconscious was based on his own dreams. The thing that got me most was that these guys were developing real theories that are still in play today, and they were doing it from scratch, not off the back of a ‘How to’ book but a synthesis of a massive amount of wide and diverse information.

In the current age we are so gifted with easily accessible information and yet it seems we do not use it often enough. How many of us have considered the works of Jung, Freud or Neitzche and wondered what lessons lie in modern psychology that might help us with our day to day problems, or more importantly – in making our lives better and happier? Not many, because instead we go to a self help book on positive psychology. How much of the original work has been lost in translation? I don’t know, but I’ve read a few positive psychology books and nothing as poignant as the following statement of Jungs has jumped out at me before:

“ I realised that the Unconscious is a process, and the psyche is transformed or developed by the relationship of the ego to the contents of the unconscious” Carl Jung.

This understanding apparently helped Jung arrive at the central concept of his psychology: the ‘process of individuation’. More on that later – once I’ve read about it! What it helped me understand was that these days when we talk about disaffected and disadvantaged youths we often refer to the ‘environment’ that they are raised in and we accord it a portion of blame for the way a person acts. We often refer to characteristics of this ‘environment’ such as the socio-economic back ground or living standard of a persons child-hood, or the education level they receive or the social intelligence of our parents. Whereas now it seems to me that it is those experiences derived from the environmental characteristics which are captured in the process of the unconscious and how the ego influences those experiences that really determines how we think and ultimately how we act.
 
Environmental characteristics are obviously very front of mind over here in Jakarta. The poverty and class divide is pretty obvious, not to mention the much more frequent interaction here with ‘underworld’ figures such as touts, drug dealers and prostitutes that rarely happens (to me anyway) in Australia. The relationship with these underworld figures here is also much trickier – because pretty much everyone here is an entreprenuer of some sense, a drug dealer will be just as happy to sell you a tour (or pick up a commission selling you a tour) as they will be fixing you up with a ‘nice girl’ or selling you drugs. Being as objective as I can, it seems to me that these underworld figures are much more acceptable to me here in Jakarta then they would be at home. This may be because they also seem much more humane and more like ‘real people’ rather than ‘underworld’ figures in a sense. I put that down to the way the environmental characteristics have impacted them as they grew up and how it is affecting my unconcious now that I’m here in the middle of it.
 
So, must admit I’m having trouble keeping the emotions in check some-times, but hey, thats what feeling alive is all about, right? I Hope I’m not scaring anyone off from visiting Jakarta, one thing I haven’t felt at any stage is physical threat. I’m pretty sure even if you got mugged here they would do it with a smile, a “Mr” and probably even offer you a ride home in their Rojak.

Normalacy

Nobody is fu*ked up anymore,
everybody is normal now.
The problem is,
normal is fu*ked up.

Society accept so much today that its hard not to be normal.
Anonymous.

Politics

Wow – this blog is almost at teh stage where it drives itself! Cool! i admit not to adding much recently, but hey, otehrs lives are more interesting anyway! Thanks for the post from South America Ange!

Politics seems to be generating a little bit of heated debate, although i know mick is a passionate person sometimes I think he just loves to throw his vocab around! Quite impressive.

i think Australian Politics is very interesting at the moment, and has been for some time. being a business person I do appreciate that Costello is possibly one of the best treasureres we have had and that under the Howard regime the economy has done very well. However, Allan Greenspan was claimed to also be one of the US reserve banks best chairman and he still managed to fall from graces with some terrible choices, particularly throwing his weight behind George Bush endorsed tax cuts to the wealthy. It cost him his job.

Similarly, Costello and Howard have made some choices which I believe go against the best interests of the majority of Australians, especially in regards to tax cuts which favour the upper middle class, and especially in the last year. Also of concern are the AWA’s and the anti-terrorism laws which infringe on citizens privacy. International disasters and threats should not be used for political leverage and as such, should create common ground between political parties – we have not seen that in Australia.

I jsut wanted to touch on these topics and invite people to express their opinion of what they think Howard has done well and waht Howard has done bad. Personally I think his worst mistakes have been made in regard to immigration and environmental policy – and it extends beyond refugees to things like security, but most importantly our sense of national identity. Whilst I do agree with restricting immigration to ‘acceptable’ applicants, the definition of acceptable is definately debatable not to mention the process.

As an aside, I’m going to go see Coldplay tonight! Thanks to Mick and his great forward thinking!

Something to think about?

I think the blog is becoming a little to much I this, I that… And besides, Nick has been complaining he isn’t getting enough stimulating conversation these days. Apparently thats why he’s heading to Europe where we know all they do is play soccer, eat good food, drink expensive grog and have kinky sex. I guess he is banking on the pillow talk stimulating something!
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Have you ever considered what makes you change your mind? Are there patterns to it? Does the same thing make you change your mind all the time? I’m not talking black cats and ladders, but what about price, quality, appearance, how much you had had to drink, mood, presentation, the list goes on and on, but I wonder what is the most predominant. Lets call these things ‘Alpha Characteristics’.

It depends. It depends on a lot of things like; what your buying, how much you need it, how much time you have, Whether its a luxury or necessity, if its high value or low value, and on and on. Lets call these things ‘Beta Characteristics’.

There are millions of factors of many different things that our mind takes into account before we even realize. Namely Alpha Characteristics and Beta Characteristics. These characteristics are conditional upon each other and they grow together – the more Alpha charachterisitics, the more Beta Characteristics.

Where am I going with this? I don’t know. But, does everyone appreciate this would not be a linear equation? Its exponential (I think), as the independent variables (Alpha & Beta Char.) get bigger, the dependent variable (Total) increases by an increasing rate.

Sooooo, if your making a decision anytime soon, just give up trying to analyse all those factors and accept the idea that your brain has already done it for you. But because you never listen to it (your brain) anyway, it has to tell your gut, to tell your brain, that your gut feel is Cola flavoured toothpaste is wrong, even if you do get a free stomach pump with it.

The next time you stereotype, think external validity.

External validity is a measure of how readily youc an generalise a statement or research. High external validity implies you can make a very broad statement.

Technically we would say you have high external validity if you are basing your statement on a large number of observations. For example, if the caravan you buy from a pikey doesn’t make it out the gate, and its the only thing you have ever bought from a pikey, and you claim that all Pikeys are thieving dishonest con artists, your statement has very low external validity.

On the other hand a consumer report which collected a sample of 1,000 customer satisfaction reports from people who bought caravans from pikeys would have a much higher external validity.

So the next time you stereotype or generalise (as we are all [especially me] prone to do), think of exactly how many observations you have and consider your external validty.