Jung (In The Weeds): Part Three

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Jung (In The Weeds): Part Three

Post by Cindy B. » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:05 am

Last edited by Cindy B. on Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:56 pm, edited 26 times in total.
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"Ego and Archetype" by Edinger

Post by Cindy B. » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:06 am

*If new to this book or to Jungian Analytical Psychology, I highly recommend first reviewing this post to understand the gist of the material to be discussed: Myth and Psyche: The Evolution of Consciousness



Ego and Archetype: Individuation and the Religious Function of the Psyche
Edward F. Edinger, MD (1972)


The following book description comes from the 1992 edition:

"This book is about the individual's journey to wholeness, known in analytical psychology as the process of individuation. Edward Edinger traces the stages in the process and relates them to the search for meaning through encounters with symbolism in religion, myth, dreams, and art. For contemporary men and women, Edinger believes, the encounter with the Self is equivalent to the discovery of God. The result of the dialogue between the ego and the archetypal image of God is an experience that dramatically changes the individual's worldview and makes possible a new and more meaningful way of life."


This book is most definitely "in the weeds" as Neoplato would say, so it's best to structure the conversation as we go along. Edinger divides the work into three parts, so we'll begin with Part I: Individuation and the Stages of Development.

Part I is further divided into three chapters: The Inflated Ego, The Alienated Ego, Encounter with the Self.


***


So first we'll consider Chapter One: The Inflated Ego.


Andreas has devoted considerable self-study to this work recently, and it's he who suggested exploring it here, so...

...Andreas, please start this discussion for us in whatever way suits you best. :)


Cindy
Last edited by Cindy B. on Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s. --Jung
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Post by Andreas » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:42 am

Thanks Cindy. Absolutely (lol) magnificent.

I think it would be nice to clear up some definitions first. The terms I would like to understand and re-evaluate better are Ego, Inflation and Identification. By no means I understand these terms fully and that is where more experienced readers in the work of Jung and psychology can help.

1) Ego - The center of the conscious personality. I think it would be nice to keep in mind that Ego as Jung defined it, is a complex and not a single property or a single idea that one holds in mind at any given time but a constellations of ideas which form our idea of personality and who we think we are.

2) Inflation - is more tricky.
The dictionary definition of inflation is: "Blown up, distended with
air, unrealisticalIy large and unrealistically important, beyond the
limits of one's proper size; hence, to be vain, pompous, proud,
presumptuous." I use the term inflation to describe the attitude
and the state which accompanies the identification of the ego with
the Self. It is a state in which something small (the ego) has
arrogated to itself the qualities of something larger (the Self)
and hence is blown up beyond the limits of its proper size. (Ego and Archetype, p. 7)
And Jung from Jung Lexicon

http://www.psychceu.com/Jung/sharplexicon.html
Inflation. A state of mind characterized by an exaggerated sense of self-importance, often compensated by feelings of inferiority. (See also mana-personality and negative inflation.) Inflation, whether positive or negative, is a symptom of psychological possession, indicating the need to assimilate unconscious complexes or disidentify from the self.
An inflated consciousness is always egocentric and conscious of nothing but its own existence. It is incapable of learning from the past, incapable of understanding contemporary events, and incapable of drawing right conclusions about the future. It is hypnotized by itself and therefore cannot be argued with. It inevitably dooms itself to calamities that must strike it dead. Paradoxically enough, inflation is a regression of consciousness into unconsciousness. This always happens when consciousness takes too many unconscious contents upon itself and loses the faculty of discrimination, the sine qua non of all consciousness.["Epilogue," CW 12, par. 563.]
[Inflation] should not be interpreted as . . . conscious self-aggrandizement. Such is far from being the rule. In general we are not directly conscious of this condition at all, but can at best infer its existence indirectly from the symptoms. These include the reactions of our immediate environment. Inflation magnifies the blind spot in the eye.[The Self," CW 9ii, par. 44.]
Bold part mine. It would be nice to know the symptoms here since I have no clue what they are. Anyway maybe this is a different conversation...

3) Identification - I think is pretty self-explanatory. Identification with an archetype which leads to an inflated state is the way I think about it. Thoughts?

Now about Ego and Archetype. I think what is at the heart of the first chapter: The Inflated Ego, and maybe at the heart of the the first part of the book is this little quote.
The basic problem for the adult is how to achieve the
union with nature and the gods, with which the child starts, without
bringing about the inflation of identification. (Ego and Archetype, p. 11)
So how, one, can achieve this union without getting inflated?

I think this will do for a starter. I hope other can participate too. :)
Last edited by Andreas on Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Cindy B. » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:47 am

Merci, Andreas!

I'll be back to this thread later--well, sooner rather than later--but for now I just want to mention that at times I will link to my own basic descriptions of various concepts as well as we go along for those following and who may be new to Jung. Note the word "basic" in that sentence. :wink:

As you were saying... :P

Cindy


P.S. And keep in mind that this inflation and identification are necessary parts of the process to begin with, the original state within which we're born.
If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s. --Jung
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Post by Neoplato » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:10 pm

Paradoxically enough, inflation is a regression of consciousness into unconsciousness.
Haven't seen that quote before, but it makes sense because people are usually unaware of their state.
3) Identification - I think is pretty self-explanatory. Identification with an archetype which leads to an inflated state is the way I think about it. Thoughts?
From my understanding, it doesn't lead to an inflated state because the ego is crushed altogether. So identification would not be an inflated "I" as much as "I" has been consumed in the "we".
P.S. And keep in mind that this inflation and identification are necessary parts of the process to begin with, the original state within which we're born.
I have to think about that one a bit. I hesitate to consider it an "original state".
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Post by Andreas » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:40 pm

Neoplato wrote:
P.S. And keep in mind that this inflation and identification are necessary parts of the process to begin with, the original state within which we're born. - Cindy
I have to think about that one a bit. I hesitate to consider it an "original state".
Maybe this can help.
We are born in a state of inflation. In earliest infancy, no ego or consciousness exists. All is in the unconscious. The latent ego is in complete identification with the Self. The Self is born but the Ego is made; and in the beginning all is Self. This state is described Neumann as the uroborus (the tail-eating serpent). Since the Self is the center and totality of being, the ego totally identified with the Self experiences itself as a deity. (Ego and Archetype, p. 7)
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Post by nandu » Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:51 pm

Cindy B. wrote:Remember my mentioning that we are not born conscious beings but with the potential to become so? Well, from the moment of birth, and assuming a healthy brain and normal development, interactions with the immediate social environment set the stage for the gradual emergence of the conscious ego from the unconscious and the differentiation from Self.
Cindy, so from the Jungian point of view, consciousness is linked to the brain?

I am not trying to rekindle the debate which has been going on in these fora, mind you. :wink: As a person who is only superficially aware of Jungian psychology, I want to clarify for myself where Jung stood on this issue.

Nandu.
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Post by Cindy B. » Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:51 pm

I'm still just flitting through for the moment, guys, as I avoid paying bills online :P , so I will offer more conversation later, but...

Assume, Neoplato, that we are born whole, so to speak, and the unconscious Self is all. Remember my mentioning that we are not born conscious beings but with the potential to become so? Well, from the moment of birth, and assuming a healthy brain and normal development, interactions with the immediate social environment set the stage for the gradual emergence of the conscious ego from the unconscious and the differentiation from Self.

More later.

Cindy


P.S. Please go here and review the last entry in this post re: definitions from Jung:
http://www.jcf.org/new/forum/viewtopic. ... 5341#75341
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Post by Cindy B. » Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:56 pm

So, yes, Nandu, guess I just answered your question, too.

And all, for the mere sake of discussion, think "Jungian" in this thread, and please try to set aside any other conceptualizations of similar terms that pop up, or we will get nowhere fast. Just sayin'. Thanks!

Cindy :)
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Post by Cindy B. » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:05 pm

Sorry, Nandu, our posts are out of order since I was trying to repost to include my P.S. and--surprise, surprise today--had problems with my computer. So please check my P.S., too.

Cindy :)
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Post by Cindy B. » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:09 pm

And, folks, we're at the intial stages of the emergence of ego/consciousness from the unconscious. Inflation at this stage is far different in implication than were we speaking of adults.

Cindy
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Post by Cindy B. » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:13 pm

Andreas wrote:We are born in a state of inflation. In earliest infancy, no ego or consciousness exists. All is in the unconscious. The latent ego is in complete identification with the Self. The Self is born but the Ego is made; and in the beginning all is Self. This state is described Neumann as the uroborus (the tail-eating serpent). Since the Self is the center and totality of being, the ego totally identified with the Self experiences itself as a deity. (Ego and Archetype, p. 7)
Exactly. See my P.S. (not PM :roll: ) and Jung's definitions, too.


Also, we are biosociopsychological beings. Mental development and expression is always resultant of all three influences.



Now I must go pay my bills. :( This is more fun. :)

Cindy
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Post by Cindy B. » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:25 pm

Andreas wrote:3) Identification - I think is pretty self-explanatory. Identification with an archetype which leads to an inflated state is the way I think about it. Thoughts?
Please see my PM, Andreas, and the term "identity."

Cindy
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Post by Andreas » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:30 pm

No PM, you sure you send it to me?
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Post by Cindy B. » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:42 pm

Andreas wrote:No PM, you sure you send it to me?
Of course not, I'm sorry. I meant to say P.S. :oops:

http://www.jcf.org/new/forum/viewtopic. ... 1766#81766


***

I'm not coming back until I'm done with other things I must do online. Clearly I can't do two things at once today. :roll: Or any other day now that I think about it. :P

Ciao, amico!
If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s. --Jung
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