Sunday Seminar August 2005

Dangers of Impersonally Objectifying the Inner Life

A problem shared by Freud, Jung and Korzybski?
Does God live in the right pre-frontal cortex?

Is "objective brain language" chasing out inner feeling and spiritual expression? 

How can general-semantics and scientific method clarify and enrich our personal insights?


Presenter: Robert James



~ The Agenda ~






Does God live in the right pre-frontal cortex?


Meditation - A Window to the subconscious?


Movie: "Chasing God"


~~ Luncheon ~~


The DiSC Profile


Emotional Intelligence


Experiential and Didactic learning


Near-Death Experiences and the Perfect Day Fantasy!


Translating Fantasy into Reality!


Monthly Business


AGS Web Domain name?

Meeting with SDN 20-21 August (Next Week!)


AGS Annual General Meeting

AGS Financial Statement and Annual Report

Election of Officers




* 0 *



David Oliphant at the Jung Soc.


Language is so fundamental.


Extraordinary dumming-down of language right across the board - Public language is often complete rubbish - jargonistic, full of cliches.


Anyone seen lists like this of phrases which can be stuck together in any sequence to sound good but be without any useful meaning ..


The use of this language is not revealing anything of the speaker or of the issue at hand.


Much of our personal daily language is not revealing of ourselves to each other.


Where would Jung be ... ?

.. fear of exposing ourselves.


(See "Background Briefing" about psycho-pathology among managers)


A potted history ...


Russell mears & William James: "Understanding Self Journal"


John McMurray Philosopher - A huge influence.


How we've seen ourselves in the European West, since the Renaissance

Rise of modern science.


To think of ourself as "a thing"

"I think, therefore I am"

A cute field between self as a thinker, and the world as an object of the thinking.


After the breakdown of the Mediaeval period ...

developed an extraodinary culture

From an epistomological unit of God / Church / Commoners hierarchy, which had a sense of order.


Reformation was the start of the breakdown of this: Everyone can have their own direct relationship with God - Their own ideas.


Trying to understand ourselves.


Descartes - The Goodness of God

We became cut off from the world around us under the duality of Descartes.


Certain knowledge had to be framed in a certain way


Science found its knowledge in a certain way

A knowing subject

"Cannot have real knowledge perverted by mere feelings!"

"Get human consciousness out of it, to get certainty!"


The nature of science is that the human self is removed from it - seeking objectivity!


The more that we can feel that it is objective, the more we can be certain about it.


The moral? of subjective response to life


Science, to be true to itself, must remain open to new evidence, to ditch its favourite theories!


The Cartesian formula enables removal of self.


The self is a very isolated thinking being.


The hing we're most assured of is our own existence.

Totally isolated in our reflective selves ...


Next major development


Science move from physical world, applying scientific method to living organisms - Evolution.


Next major shift: Conception of the Self.


The German romanticist Russeau considered self as an organism - Darwin's Theory of Evolution


Etiology: A developing process towards an end ... ?


Brings in the feeling side of the human self: Mankind as not just thinkers, but also as feelers.


Determine value - sense of an "end"

Theory of Evolution has put us back ...

Science retains that sense of objectivity


We're still locked in that developmental concept of the Self


Produces a different understanding of our place on the planet.


If, as a society, we're developing towards some ultimate goal ("The good life" (alone or together?) )


Communism (and Fascism?) - An organic model.

Marx believed that "the good life" could be had now.


Feeling-based concepts: harmony, beauty ...


Also at the heart of liberal democracy: an individual version of totalitarianism: More power and wealth, a privatised version ...


More adequate than a religious conception of the self ?


Science from mid 19th. Century, particularly when it became to be supported of a form of logic labelled "Logical Positivism" said "If it's not scientific, don't worry about it!"


The great incarnation of science is technology.


Not knowledge from relationships, but highly impersonal.


Ultimate outcome of this: When we lose connection with the world.


Martin Luthur was very aware that we are slipping under the "I-It" relationship.


Personal community is being lost from our society. Allows us to be real persons, to grow, to transcend ...



Has an interesting place in the story

With psychology, the whole process of development of science reaches its chrisis??? because in Psychology, we're making the self the subject of study.


because it's scientific, we've got to get the self out of it


Jaynes(?) (Head of Psychology at harvard) was not enamoured? by experimental psychology

Was an acute observer of human beings - Introspective insight


Why is behaviourism a legitimate science?


How to take the phenomenon of consciousness out of science?


Consciousness is intensional; everything I experience is intensional, meaning is not in itself but in the item.


eg the doors at the Capitol Theatre at manuka carried meanings

(People rushed for them, had to push down the bar to open .. )


All consciousness carries a personal meaning!


Problem: A personal meaning vs reality?


Psychology tends to impute mdels and run experiments to test them.


Freud attempted the impossible in Psych, to find a way to connect personal meaning to a scientific explanation.


Wanted to be a "biologist of the mind" to bridge the gap.


He knew that he would have to have a base outside consciousness to set up an explanatory system.


ie: Drives and Instincts: A hypothesis that is more fundamental than consciousness that has personal meaning ...


But gave up personal meaning to the individual, it was now universalised.

(eg anything sticking up in the air was a phalus)


One of the problems with Freud is that intension comes from the conscious ?


When we thing of ourselves, it takes explanation ...

Puts a lot of power in the hearts of psychoanalysts

"I just can't help you if you're not willing to change ..."

This is similar to religion - Explain in terms of the interpretive world.

"Get out of here, Sinner ... ! "


The truth of ourselves lies outside ourselves -

Just about every feeling has been mapped into some part of the brain>

"God lives in the right pre-frontal cortex"



Conflict between Science and The Arts:

We talk about "our seratonin levels" - Use objective language.


Freudian analyst will refer to our lives in terms of drives and instincts.


The growth of an inner life:

- Not using labels, but

- Finding language to express our really-truly selves!



Wanted to be thought of as a scientist

Concept of the archetype: Something you can identify in your own inner-life, not just a concept.


Best therapy is not in explaining the concept, but explaining and discovering an experience!


Have I experienced an archetype, eg a God-Experience - Something powerful and frightening - ????????


When God delas with you, He doesn't push you around - A psychotic episode, or on the inside of an archetype


If you sit outside - use labels - like Freud ..


So Jung sits somewhere in the middle


Carl Rogers gave away Freud's instincts and works with feelings.


Not out of publicised explanatory concepts, but by direct experience of the inner life

operated in a psycho-analytic world ...


An adequate concept of the human soul that takes adequate account of feelings etc to provide a framework for education etc.


What distinguishes us as human beings is not that we can act rationally, but that we can think rationally ! ??


We need to grapple with our language. Words act strongly in our lives, and to be sensitive to when we're using a pseudo-language rather than truly revealing ourselves.



Sets up a dichotomy between "Reason" and "Passions"

Some denominations cannot trust true feelings.

As a soul, we cannot be complete without account of the feelings.


Feelings as a genuine source of knowledge

There is nothing more banal than an intellectual commenting on a painting - eg Geoffrey Smart on Radio National.


I go around looking for emotional connection.


Scientific method: Gave us a way to test our thoughts against reality.


If the connection works, then I've got TRUTH!


There is nothing wrong with objectivity as such, only when it becomes totally impersonal, and we get cut off.


If I'm feeling something, it may be totally egocentric, or it may be that I'm reading someone else's feelings ...


Need to test, and if I get a match, then I'm cooking with gas ...


Maturity: That's how we operate: Our experiences matches reality.


We need better concepts of the self, called to individuality, we don't have any option.


Have feelings about "the other" - Test them!




Nice feeling - Motivated by who the other person is.


S.method: The pattern of life is a constant process of engagement and withdrawal. It one is really hurt by the engagement, one may withdraw for ever!


The whole idea of psychotherapy (about relationships):

* No research

* Doesn't think like that ..




How to monitor if language is authentic?

* Does it carry inner depth?

* Seratonin is not suitable as a demon!


There is a mythalogical side to Science!


*** * ***


Somehow the base of our experience is how we experience what goes on inside ourselves.


Often this takes the form of poetry, metaphore.


When this occurs effectively it is very helpful.


Stories are so important about real communication


Religion and mysticism are at a low ebb in our society.


A community that is trusting enough for us to reveal something of ourselves allows us to self-transcend, to grow ...

That's what we need!


We need to abandon the concept of "scientific proof" - recognise the mythological basis of Science.


The apotheosis of Science - careless language:

* Science has shown such-and-such"

* Canberra Decided ...


The more we can give effective language to inner states the better, because then we can stand in an objective stance to reality.

Children start to do this at about 18 mths. old.

Without this language, the child stands to have serious developmental problems.


The basis of our behaviours, as opposed to out actions, is learned rather than instinctual.


Personal community happens from time to time in the Church.


What about the Buddhist conception of the transience and meaninglessness of earthly things"


Dichotomy of thoughts-feelings


Etiology: Study of causation



Does God live in the right pre-frontal cortex?


God lives in the right, pre-frontal cortex of our brain. Objective brain language is chasing-out inner feeling and spiritual language. How can we assert that equal validity of other forms of knowledge alongside the scientific, which keeps alive our rich and cultural heritage?



(Updated 06/08/2005)

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