I know this blog is dead, but I do have plans to do something new with this little name I've created for myself. Unfortunately that will have to wait until some things financially and domestically work themselves out. For now, I am finally posting this online. I've been too scared to do it until now, but now since I've gotten my grades back and it's all said and done I'm willing to put it out there. This is my Masters Dissertation.
I had been thinking about the ideas of this for the past year, but writing it late this summer was a chore and I knew it showed by the time I sent it off. Furthermore, I disdain academic style of writing and went for something very... me... in this. That was probably too cocky of me. Indeed, early word from Essex was my writing was too conversational, and not how an academic is supposed to write. Still, they liked my ideas. Later on a professor from my old university, whom I had read over the dissertation, basically dismissed it as trash altogether. This discouraged me greatly. So for this to pass, even though the graders at Essex probably didn't care for my prose, but did like my ideas, is somewhat vindicating I suppose. And besides, deep down I still prefer how I wrote this to how they might want me to write it.
It's by no means a good paper- very top-heavy, which was a cause of word limit and time, so it leaves some things unanswered which I suppose I'll take care of if I move on with this PhD. We shall see.
It's by no means a good paper- very top-heavy, which was a cause of word limit and time, so it leaves some things unanswered which I suppose I'll take care of if I move on with this PhD. We shall see.
This investigation explores problems with locating archetypes within the self, whether as mental categories or inborn knowledge. These problems originated with the work of C.G. Jung, who became confused regarding where to locate archetypes as his theory grew. With synchronicity, Jung begins to develop a dual-aspect monism that seems to place archetypes away from the self and out into the universe, but he confuses his position by conflating the psychic with the universal. Jung's ambiguity has resulted in a 'contradicted mess' of archetypal theories on the contemporary Jungian scene. Archetypes can be liberated from the self via the philosophy of Baruch Spinoza, whose own metaphysics can be used to bolster the monism that Jung approximated. Spinoza's God and Jung's notion of the unus mundus sync well with one another, as does Spinoza's theory of knowledge and Jung's individuating process. This suggests that there is much work worth doing in uniting Jung with Spinoza.
1. Problems with Archetypes
Archetypes are the bedrock of C.G. Jung's analytical psychology.1 But even just a cursory glimpse at the development of archetypal theory depicts a battery of problems that threaten the integrity of the entire concept. An analysis of the work by Jung and contemporary Jungians suggest that these problems arise from a commonly held position, namely a favoritism towards the subject, or empirically stated, an introverted bias towards the psyche, mind or brain. This investigation suggests that this introverted bias needs to be belied. But before we begin belying, it is reasonable to properly define just what we are trying to save.
What is an Archetype?
Jung's own definition of the archetype varies greatly throughout his Collected Works, and so it is difficult to distill all of his versions into one coherent explanation. He believes that archetypes are unconscious material that emerge from a psychic reservoir every single person has access to, what he calls the collective unconscious.2 The archetypes, per Jung, condition the universal aspects of human behavior. Humans are not born with a blank slate for a mind, but rather with a brain that is already differentiated due to specific aptitudes. Those specific aptitudes are determined by archetypes. “[Man's] system is tuned into woman from the start,” says Jung, “just as it is prepared for a quite definite world where there is water, light, air, salt, carbohydrate, etc.”3 So the collective unconscious gives us virtual information about the world. There is an archetype for mother, just as there are archetypes for the various aspects of one's personality. But Jung warns us that we mustn't think of these virtual images as having actual content. Rather they are of a “collective character,” unconscious patterns or forms that are activated by conscious experiences.4 The archetype is merely formal; it is fleshed out with the imagery and ideas of our own experiences.5 So the archetype is a universal in the same vein of Plato's idea. A universal is a priori knowledge, meaning that experience of a universal “does not suffice to prove it, but merely so directs our attention” towards its existence.6 Reiterates Jung, the archetypes “are, in a sense, the deposits of all our ancestral experience, but they are not the experience themselves.”7
It is important for Jung to make this distinction between the virtual and the actual, because the idea that we all have somehow inherited actual pictures that facilitate our experiences would have been a ridiculous pitch even back in his day.i Jung is in danger here of becoming a casualty of the “Lamarckian fallacy.”8 To his deficit, early in his writings Jung haphazardly uses the terms 'archetype' and 'primordial image' interchangeably, even when he begins to recognize that archetypes are not the images themselves, and also that they herd not only said images, but ideas, feelings and experiences as well.9 By 1946 he draws a line between what he calls the archetypal image and the archetype-as-such. The archetypal image is the knowable, qualitative content that is marshaled around by the archetype. The archetype-as-such, the actual archetype, is unknowable according to Jung.10 It is well known that Jung lifted this distinction of what we can perceive versus the a priori structures that we cannot perceive from Kant.11 As summarized by Bertrand Russell, who supplies helpful commentary on the problem of universals, Kant attempted to explain a priori knowledge by stating that the world (the object) supplies only crude aspects such as color or hardness to us. This is phenomenal information. It is we (the subject) who supply the the a priori data of how the object relates to us, such as the conditions of space and time.12 Thus Kant created categories that restrict our perception. Jung seems to adopt the same understanding here for archetypes; in this understanding archetypes are modes of perception firmly entrenched within the brain.
Samuels observes why the addendum of the Kantian barrier was a shrewd tactic on Jung's part. When discussing the archetype “it now becomes unnecessary to seek for pictorially similar material. Archetypal themes can be detected even if contents vary greatly; the arguments over cultural transmission are bypassed.”13 Thus the Lamarckian canard is seemingly disproved, since it is not the images themselves that are transmitted from generation to the next, but merely the skeletal forms that they attach themselves to. Without the archetypal imagery, the assumption now is that it's “perfectly reasonable” to hypothesize the inheritance of archetypes sans content, much in the same way the mechanisms for instincts are transmitted genetically without the actual behavior that they govern.14 Thus the archetypes remain“the deposits of all our ancestral experience.”15
But there is reason to think that Jung misappropriated Kant; for Kant phenomenal information pertained only to the object, whereas Jung extends this to mental representations (i.e., the archetypal image).16 Jung seems to do this to place premium on the psyche; this is a tendency we will expand upon later. This action leads to other problems: If the archetypal image is parallel to the phenomenal, then the archetype-as-such should be analogous to the actual unknowable object, what Kant calls the noumenal. But Jung instead conflates the categories of perception with the the noumenal, so the archetype-as-such becomes a combination of both. By Jung's logic then, the categories of perception that filter to us phenomenal information are now also supposed to be the unknowable, noumenal reality that the phenomenal represents, i.e., all of reality is psychic. By most standards this is ridiculous.17 Furthermore, appealing to any kind of Kantian barrier was suspect on Jung's part, for this choice does not solve the question of archetypes and inheritance, but merely avoids it. More on this later.
It is important to depict the function that Jung believes archetypes play in an individual's psyche. The archetype is in a sense a messenger from the unconscious, often bursting to consciousness during a period of duress or imbalance in the individual's conscious attitude. An exploration of the unconscious contents offers a deeper knowledge of both the conscious and unconscious, or more simply put, the self.18 One of the earliest examples Jung gives of this process is in his 1912 publication, Symbols of Transformation. In the book he tells the story of a Catholic priest who obsessed over the tale of Judas. The priest appeals to God and asks if Judas was truly a traitor. God answers the priest's prayer and tells him that Judas was not a traitor, but a servant in the grand scheme of things. Shortly after the priest is compelled to leave his post and become a missionary. During his travels he converted to a different sect of Christianity. Jung explains that he was Judas in his fantasy, and he had to “assure himself of God's mercy” before leaving the church. Ergo the priest's obsession was really about his own personality, “which was seeking a way to freedom through the solution of the Judas problem.19 Thus the archetypal image, in this case the story of Judas, acts as a tool for circumnavigating a situation otherwise too difficult to comprehend. In a sense the archetype is a sort of absolute knowledge that can be gleaned to solve problems on the individual scale. Again, this corresponds with Jung's belief that knowledge of the self is key to psychological health. He calls this process individuation.20
So far we have only outlined some elementary aspects of archetypes and the collective unconscious. But the basics that we have established are by no means without problems. From these essential points alone it is not evident what Jung thinks the source of archetypes might be. This would obviously be a difficult question to answer without tools from science or philosophy. But it seems a certain din is inevitable when one tries to interface archetypal theory with topics outside of analytical psychology. Jean Knox observes how it is difficult for other fields to take archetypal theory all that seriously when amongst the Jungians there is so much confusion about what archetypes are even.21 In one passage Jung admits that he did not help much in the endeavor for clarity, and that his work led him into a “net of reflections” that extended far beyond psychology.22 Ostensibly he simply realizes that he that might have gone overboard with the considerable amount of topics he has weaved into his texts. By consequence of this Knox decides that it is “probably futile to trawl painstakingly through Jung's Collected Works, finding evidence to suggest that one way of envisaging archetypes predominates over another in his writing.”23 There admittedly is a lot of truth to this. And yet with it must be noted that Jung muses that he not only overdid things, but also that his conception of the archetype was simply changing over time. The notion has been put forth before that Jung basically had his theory 'figured out' by 1921, and consequently then for the rest of his career he was only providing exposition on analytical psychology in different ways.24 But even but a cursory glance at some of Jung's writings on archetypes suggest that he was earnestly trying to refine his ideas in different ways.25 Whether it was well-executed or not, the addition of the Kantian barrier was an example of this. But Jung's understanding was evolving in other ways too, namely his ideas on the possible source, or perhaps better put, the location of the collective unconscious.
As previously noted, Jung often states that the archetypes are in some way linked to biology.26 Jung's conjecture on the physical location for archetypes is admittedly confusing; he sometimes links archetypes with “structures in the brain,” while in other instances he appeals to genetics.27 It is unclear whether Jung thinks both ideas are somehow true or if he's simply writing in metaphor; all of his conjecture is fueled by a degree of scientific ignorance that seems to fit his confession of being in over his head.28 But one thread of interest is the way in which Jung relates the archetypes to the instincts, and how this changes throughout his texts over the years. Atmanspacher notes how Jung's understanding of the archetypes gradually shifts from equating archetypes with instincts (biology), to placing archetypes and instincts separately but on the same spectrum (psychology and biology), to finally something approaching metaphysics.29 In the essay 'On the Nature of the Psyche,' Jung first mentions the psychoid, a deep, inaccessible level of the collective unconscious where the archetypes not only emanates from the psyche, but from the physical as well.30 At first glance this is merely a more sophisticated approach to anchor the collective unconscious within our biology. But Jung's work on synchronicity shows that he was clearly flirting with something altogether more ambitious.
Jung defines synchronicity as “the simultaneous occurrence of a certain psychic state with one or more external events which appear as meaningful parallels to the momentary subjective state.”31 A crude example of this is when a person has a vision of a loved one being in a car accident while, unbeknownst to that person, their loved one actually gets into a car crash. Such coincidences have no linear cause, yet they have a distinct meaning for the person who witnesses them. This meaning is tied into the “essential change of attitude” that the synchronistic event is said to cause for the observer. As noted previously, archetypal images are said to bring a similar sense of change. In general, this “emotional charge” is what Jung calls a numinous experience.32 That archetypes and synchronicity both carry numinosity may be due to the fact that archetypes emerging from the psychoid are central to the cause of synchronicity.33
There are many questions about synchronicity that do not concern this investigation.34 But the idea that the psychoid archetypes are in some way responsible for synchronistic events has tremendous implications for any conception of a collective unconscious. Jung is not entirely clear on this. Roderick Main notes that Jung never equivocally states that archetypes cause synchronicities, but on the other hand Jung does cite cases with patients who experience synchronicity and where Jung believes “an archetypal foundation” was at work.35 Joseph Cambray quotes a letter that Jung writes to Wolfgang Pauli, in which Jung states that, if the archetype is not the actual cause of synchronicity, it is nevertheless certainly a condition of it.36
At the very least Jung thought that synchronicity reveals something about the psychoid, and that the psychoid connects the psyche with the outer world. As we have noted, Jung postulates that the psychoid is an inaccessible level of the unconscious where the realms of the psychological and physiological converge. By this logic then synchronicity is experienced when an activated archetype within an observer causes not only a psychic event but a physical event as well, via the psychoid.37 In this version of synchronicity, it is not the presence of the psychoid archetype that actually causes the external event seen by the observer, but instead perhaps the psychoid archetype simply heightens the observer's awareness to find a coincidence that is meaningful to his or her heightened mental state amongst the otherwise mundane everyday randomness. But as Main notes, “Jung sometimes goes further than this” and suggests that the psychoid “should also refer to the relationship between a person's psyche and the physical world beyond that person's body.” Here the archetype arranges forms “inside and outside the psyche.”38
The idea that archetypes actually manifest themselves not only in the internal world but the external too was encouraged by Jung's client-turned-colleague, the physicist Wolfgang Pauli.39 Pauli, a leading quantum physicist infamous for his ruthless evaluations of what and what didn't count as true science, took a curious liking to Jung's analytical psychology after undergoing therapy with Jung and his affiliates in the 1930s.40 Pauli helped “to stress the shift in conception of the archetype away from being inborn or being an ideal form to something active, constellating rather than causing events.”41 In this take on synchronicity, the observer experiences a synchronistic event when an archetype emerges in separate branches, one in the subject's psyche (the thought of a loved one crashing), the other in objective reality (the loved one crashes). In this case the term psychoid is not reserved merely for the place where psyche and physiology converge, but open instead to the interconnectedness of all mind and matter. This seems possible only if our definition of the archetype is changed so that it is no longer a universal within the psyche, brain, or body, but rather information that is outside of us. This is affirmed by Pauli's remark that “the archetype should not be seen as an 'inborn structure' lying 'latent,' just waiting to manifest itself, but as something that constellates, or emerges at certain stages and situations in life.”42 So in Jung's work with Pauli on synchronicity, the archetype, and presumably the collective unconscious as well, is relocated outside the body or subject entirely!
Indeed, Gieser writes that Paul did “not want to see the archetypes as 'psychic' structures that are projected onto material objects, but rather as third order factors that structure both psyche and matter.”43 Thus the archetype is no longer an innate biological mechanism or merely a psychic entity but instead an organizing principle manifesting in all aspects of reality, where the psyche is but one example. To Pauli, the archetypes were organizing patterns for all aspects of reality; independent as they were from the psyche, they are as much universals of the mind as much as they are the laws of nature. But Jung seems a bit cautious to go entirely in this direction.44
Atmanspacher notes it is understandable that Jung would be hesitant in making this final shift in his archetypal theory, after all the developments the idea had gone through from the primordial instincts up until now.45 He was committed to his own brand of phenomenology.46 Pauli did not like Jung's tendency to explain everything in terms of projections from the psyche, and indeed he felt that the “concept of introjection,” where information from the objective world flows into the psyche, was of equal importance.47 The danger of conflating the idea with the mental was stressed by Russell, who argues that many people mistake universals as psychic qualities when in fact they suggest a third order that is beyond both subject or object. Consequently this is why Russell prefers to avoid the term 'idea' and instead opts for universal to avoid confusion.48 This is an important criticism for those who view the archetypes as psychic categories; it also why Russell thought it was “silly” to think that universals could be innate to the subject.49
Jung certainly had a tendency to conflate the universal with the psyche. As far back as 1896-1899, Jung had already established his firm belief that the psyche was an “independent realm” that ought not be curtailed by scientific materialism nor metaphysics.50 His steadfast belief in the primacy of psychology was based on the assertion that man “lives at the boundary between two worlds.”51 It seems here as if Jung has swapped metaphysics with psychology. The fact that from the get-go Jung had such a reverent view of the psyche makes it arguable that his relationship with Freud was doomed from the start, for whereas Freud endorsed a reductionist view of the mind that looked for casual explanations of behavior in suppressed desires, Jung sought a constructionist methodology where a network of irreducible factors resulted in the emergence of the psyche.52 It also seems inevitable then that Jung would make the psyche the starting point for all his investigations, and consequently Jung would assume the archetypes must originate from within the psyche, or more precisely the subject. It should be noted that in this discussion the subject becomes synonymous with psyche, which by proxy is correlated with the brain, whereas the object is tantamount to objective reality, or the rest of the universe. One example of Jung's preference for the subject can be found in Psychological Types. In this book Jung essentially describes his ego psychology, where different styles of consciousness can be described by varying functions and attitudes. Out of the two attitudes, introversion and extraversion, it is obvious that Jung privileges introversion for being concerned with the subject (whereas extraversion is an attitude focused on the objective world first and foremost). Thus it are the people who are introverts who perceive and act upon the archetypal, whereas extraverts seem to be stuck in the mundane.53 In this respect Jung's preference for the subject could also be called his introverted bias. So Pauli's effort in getting the archetypes out of the mind and into the rest of reality can be equated to removing the subject's priority over the objective, or moreover to make the distinction between psyche and matter relative.54
But it is equally possible that Jung's stance here might be based less on his scientific perspective than his convictions as a psychiatrist. Two years before his death, in his 1959 interview with the BBC, Jung adamantly states his conviction that the world “needs psychology.”55 Jung makes a similar diagnosis for the future of all humankind in his essay 'The Undiscovered Self.'56 So perhaps Jung's privileging of the psyche comes not so much from a philosophical stance that the world is entirely psychic, but rather from the desk of a therapist who is proscribing a cure for his entire species.57
But despite these concerns, there is ample evidence to suggest that Jung actually did subscribe to Pauli's iteration of archetypes.
In some ways a metaphysical basis for the archetypes was present in Jung's writing well before he ever published on synchronicity, particularly in his writings on religion and alchemy. In Psychology and Alchemy Jung effectively describes the same thing that he attempts to explain with the psychoid; that area between mind and matter. That the symbol is our only comprehension of this interconnectedness is the same notion of the archetypal image being our perception of the archetype itself. So the archetype is at the source of both mind and matter.58 This insight also says something very different about the a priori status of archetypes, which we will address shortly. In an essay on the trinity Jung says more explicitly: “Empirically considered, however, the archetype did not ever come into existence as a phenomenon of organic life, but entered into the picture with life itself.”59 Here again Jung grants the archetype a status well beyond genetics or neuroscience. Even Jung's oft-used comparison of the archetype-as-such with the geometric pressures that shape a crystal evokes some sort of immaterial tendency towards self-organization, rather than an embedded biological or psychological mechanism.60 When delivering this analogy Jung quite equivocally states that the archetype “has no material existence of its own.”61
Gieser recounts an exchange of letters between Pauli and Jung in 1953, where Pauli posits that the unconscious could be better thought in terms of “potential being,” in the same way that electrons or atoms are potentially either wave or particle.62 Jung responds that he would prefer to avoid the term “being” altogether, and that 'matter and spirit' are simply labels we apply to what we believe are separate origins, when they are really aspects of one and the same.63 Jung here goes beyond the notion that the collective unconscious is the third party beyond mind and matter; rather, archetypes are from the only substance, and aspects such as psyche and matter are merely labels we use to try and describe that monism.64 By making the categories of mind and matter relative, Jung is collapsing the symmetry of opposites that typically frame all discourse on reality. Elsewhere Jung says to Pauli:
[T]he psychoid archetype, where “psychic” and “material” are no longer viable as attributes or where the category of opposites becomes obsolete and every occurrence can only be asymmetrical; the reason for this is that an occurrence can only be the one or the other when it proceeds from an indistinguishable One.65
Atmanspacher explains that what Jung and Pauli have essentially created is a dual-aspect monism, where each attribute (mind and matter) fully and irreducibly represent a deeper underlying domain.66 A key example of this the way that Jung uses synchronicity as a mind-body theory, wherein the mind and body represent synchronistic inner and outer events that have no casual connection (this would only be the case if one could be reduced into the other) but are related via meaning. It was this postulate that would eventually make Jung consider synchronicity as a ubiquitous event.67 As noted earlier, it also seems to have changed his approach to studying the archetype-as-such.
Atmanspacher observes that Jung's wholesale relocation of archetypes from within the body to out in metaphysics was an idea he became more confident weaving into his writing following the work with Pauli; consequently Jung's texts from the 1950s are some of his most exciting and controversial releases.68 In Mysterium Coniunctionis (1955) Jung adopts from alchemy the notion of the unus mundus, or one world:
Undoubtedly the idea of the unus mundus is founded on the assumption that the multiplicity of the empirical world rests on an underlying unity, and that not two or more fundamentally different worlds exist side by side or are mingled with one another. Rather, everything divided and different belongs to one and the same world, which is not the world of sense but a postulate...69
It is in the fifties when Jung gets the courage to write on loaded topics like the archetypal nature of Christ and God being equivalent to the archetype of the self ('Answer to Job'), as well as how understanding of the dynamics between the collective unconscious and civilization may be vital for humankind's survival ('The Undiscovered Self').70 It is in the fifties when Jung frequently abandons his phenomenological post and leaps heedlessly over the Kantian barrier to grapple with the supposedly unknowable archetype-as-such. For even when Jung sets up shop properly, as in his introduction to his psycho-pulp tome on 'Flying Saucers' in which he states that, “as a psychologist, I am not qualified to contribute anything useful to the question of the physical reality of UFOs. I can concern myself only with their undoubted psychic aspect...” he later cannot help himself but speculate anyways on the physical reality of UFOs and whether or not they are psychophysical entities that are proof of the unus mundus.71
What happened? It seems that Jung has adopted an approach to studying the ontological, a method that would be later described by Atmanspacher. In dual-aspect monism the localized aspects (mind or matter) can be studied as they 'decay' from the primary substance to find non-localized aspects. This creates two separate branches of knowledge, the epistemic (localized knowledge concerned with a specific aspect) and the ontic (universal knowledge that is abstracted from the localized information). Both are necessary to paint a picture of the monist center.72 This is not particularly different from Jung's previous contention that analysis of the self (which Jung invariably describes in terms of uniting opposites) leads to true knowledge. But now Jung states that individuation also leads to knowledge of the one world at large. Atmanspacher notes that uniting opposites (i.e., mind and matter) leads to a sort of asymmetry that is tantamount to ontic knowledge. Synchronicity can perhaps now be seen as when an observer experiences an archetypal manifestation within and without, which effectively corresponds with the observer's notions of mind and matter effectively collapsing upon one another, thus allowing a glimpse at the indistinguishable one.73
Locating the archetype outside the subject seems to solve some of the limitations set by the Kantian Barrier. The epistemological limits that arise from the distinction between the archetypal image and the archetype-as-such arguably betray the absolute knowledge that Jung promises with individuation by conflating the universal with Kant's categorical limitations on perception. In other words the archetype becomes a puzzling amalgam of unknowable restriction and absolute knowledge; this is what Jung conjured when he combined the categorical limitations with the noumenal.74 But with the archetype placed out in the universe, the archetype-itself is no longer a limiting factor on cognition but an underlying part of reality that can be investigated via its localized manifestations, the archetypal images. Moving the collective unconscious out of the body and into the universe has allowed Jung to overcome this epistemological dilemma. This is similar to Russell's assertion that “our a priori knowledge is concerned with entities which do not, properly speaking, exist either in the mental or in the physical world.” Russell does not see a priori knowledge as heavenly nor categories of perception, he is very critical of both notions, but rather simply the knowledge of relationships between different aspects of monism.75
Synchronicity was part of a intellectual march for Jung that resulted in the archetypes' placement in the metaphysical. What we end up with is a dual-aspect monism that is perhaps the keystone of Jung's psychology. The subjective is part of the objective, the individual is within the collective, the local is in respect to the universal. It's a compelling package.
But there is one caveat here: Jung never drops the idea that the self is the place where the psychic and physical converge.
One would think that the implications of the unus mundus would get Jung to totally adopt the worldview he shares with Pauli. But instead Jung maintains the privileges that his version of the psyche enjoys; indeed he takes the opportunity to go further. Per Jung, relativity proves that space and time do not truly exist, and thus the psyche via the psychoid is able to bypass the traditional dimensions of space and time. Suddenly our first take on synchronicity is back in play: the archetypes do not cause synchronistic events, but simply activate the power to circumnavigate space-time.76 Jung again has lifted from Kant, who proposed that the self imposes the categories of space and time on reality.77 Therefore, Jung bestows the psyche with the extraordinary ability to relativise space and time!
It should be obvious here that Jung more or less butchers the theory of relativity, for Einstein never argues that space and time are imaginary; if anything, he clearly states the complete and utter opposite: that space-time is a real, tangible substance.78 Jung's bungling here is understood by someone with an average scientific education, so one would think it didn't go unnoticed by the likes of Wolfgang Pauli. As noted, Pauli was indeed irked Jung's premium on the psyche; instead of psychoid he preferred the term “psychophysically neutral.”79 But most odd is that Pauli ultimately capitulates on this point; moreover he explicitly takes it further and suggests that the self is the “superordinate organizing principle overarching psyche and world” beyond space and time.80 By 'self' it is hard to imagine that either Jung or Pauli mean anything other than the psychic whole, which indicates that archetypes are still fundamentally psychic content. Perhaps Jung does view the archetypes as manifesting in both mind and matter, but nevertheless this otherworldly authority granted to self appears conceivable only if the archetypes are seen as psychic entities first and foremost. It seems baffling that Jung and Pauli would take the theory of archetypes so far from where they started, only to return to the subject. It has been speculated that personal biases towards symmetry lead them back to this, but this is a discussion for elsewhere.81 At any rate it seems that Russell's complaint is relevant after all, that the universal, the archetype, has been conflated with the psyche.82 Puzzlingly, Jung takes the archetypes outside of the brain and approximates a sophisticated dual-aspect monism, only to apparently fall back on the priority granted to the psyche.
There is a way out of this. The self could be rethought as merely the psychological symbol that represents the underlying universal that is clearly not restricted by the psyche. This would certainly fit Atmanspacher's assertion that localized knowledge can be used to investigate the universal; moreover, in dual-aspect monism it is thought that each aspect representing the monist center are not lesser or specific components of the monist whole, but instead that they are equal perspectives arrived at by different chains of logic.83 This fits with Jung's assertion that mind and matter are merely labels of the same one, as well as his belief that understanding of the psyche also leads to understanding of the world.84 As we fleetingly witnessed, his writings in the fifties did seem to reveal a relativation of the psyche, and in turn an acknowledgment that the subject was merely a localization of the objective, rather than a superordinate position. But even if it turns out that this was not Jung's thinking, we could simply assume that he and Pauli blew it and proceed anyways to redefine the collective unconscious as a psychological aspect of monism. But this is not necessarily a project that today's Jungians show interest in.
The moniker 'Jungian' beckons a large cast of clinicians and researchers, and this limited section cannot possibly catalog them all. This is fine, since the motive here is not to aimlessly document Jungians, but rather to illustrate how selected contemporary Jungians continue to restrict the archetype to the subject, while also stripping away many of the unique qualities that make it a special topic to begin with. With limited space in mind, we will focus on four of today's key players in the discourse on archetypes, framed within the context of what we have portrayed thus far. To guide us will be the work of Jean Knox.
Knox asserts that archetypes should not be thought as innate biology nor as metaphysical universals, but rather as image schemas, pitting them squarely in developmental psychology, somewhere between attachment theory and the work of Piaget. Knox claims that Jung described archetypes in four different ways:85
- Archetypes as “biological entities in the form of information” encoded in the genes. “They provide instructions to the mind as well as the body.”
- “Organizing mental frameworks of an abstract nature,” a set of rules that are never experienced.
- Symbolic material that contains “representational content” and therefore creates meaningful experience.
- “Metaphysical entities which are eternal and are therefore independent of the body.”
Knox argues that position (1) is untenable by itself, since information, regardless of whether or not it has actual content, cannot be innate.86 She differs here from Stevens, who sees archetypes as innate response mechanisms that arise from genes. Stevens equates the archetype-as-such with genotypes, and the archetypal image with the emergent phenotypes. For him archetypes are a matter of evolutionary psychology.87 Knox disputes this by explaining that it is impossible for genes to carry not only the archetypal images, but the archetype-as-such as well. It is not just a question of Lamarckism, but also that there only 20,000-30,000 genes in the human genome, each acting as a chemical messenger; it merely takes arithmetic to see that genes alone cannot account for such complex information. Additionally Knox does not like equating the genotype and phenotype with the archetype and archetypal image, saying that it confuses the material reality of the genotype with the unknowable form of the archetype.88 She seems to be accusing Stevens of following an outmoded model of biology.89 It is indeed difficult to accept archetypes as a matter of evolution, since archetypes seem to trend towards complexity, whereas evolution is directionless.90
Knox uses similar logic to dismiss positions (3) and (4); symbolic and metaphysical qualities cannot possibly be innate. She is particularly critical of the idea that genes are “the vehicle for eternal truths.”91 It is clear by this that she interprets position (4) as where archetypes are “innate structures that allow us to access transcendental reality.”92 Thus Knox is referring to Jung's notion that the psyche can relativise space-time, which she understandably finds preposterous. She makes no mention of archetypes as universals independent of the subject, though she does dismiss synchronicity in the span of a paragraph, citing Richard Dawkin's explanation that finding meaning in statistical randomness is merely a human illusion.93 Knox feels that positions (3) and (4), where meaning and metaphysics are innate, are the sort of arguments that keep people from taking analytical psychology seriously.94 She proposes to redefine the archetype primarily as the mental frameworks of position (2), where they are grounded within the biology of position (1).95 In this model the genes “act as catalysts.” In infancy they activate crude, automatic forms of behavior which in turn cause the infant to discriminate itself from the environment. This process gives rise to psychic constructs called image schemas. The image schemas allow the infant to make meaning of its environment; for instance, the infant would have developed an image schema that corresponds to its mother. The information corresponding to these image schemas is refined over time through the dialectical relationship between the developing mind and the surrounding environment. By consequence Knox adopts an epiphenomenal stance on the mind-body problem, where the mind emerges from the brain.96 Simply put, Knox believes that archetypes are image schemas.97
Interestingly, Knox leaves open the possibility that the archetypal nature of image schemas actually corresponds to a mathematical structure independent of the brain. But she does not capitulate fully on this point, because in her reasoning the archetype-as-such is best defined as a “primitive sketch,” which she believes is best encapsulated by the image schema.98 This leaves her at odds with Cambray and Hogenson, both of whom describe archetypes in terms of the relationships that emerge from within dynamic systems. Hogenson describes this view as one where there is no template “upon which archetypal phenomena rest,” whereas both Knox and Stevens advocate the existence of a template that “must in some significant sense inhere in the individual,” either through genetics or developmental psychology.99 Hogenson agrees with Stevens that the question ultimately comes down to whether or not the Kantian barrier is an integral part of what defines an archetype. Hogenson thinks that Jung's own lack of clarity on this issue has in turn misled his followers.100 Hogenson sees the archetype as having no location in space. Instead it is the emergent result of relationships within dynamic systems.
This view is agreeable with Russell's assertion that universals are a priori in the sense that they are observed only in relationships.101 Cambray also holds this view, and recognizes that synchronicity is due to the emergence of archetypes. But at times Cambray falls back on Jung's explanation that the psyche is the organizer of both mind and matter; he is concerned mainly with emergence from the brain.102 Hogenson also tends to use the brain as the dynamic system from which archetypes emerge; he has linked archetypes to action patterns that involve mirror neurons, circuits in the brain that are activated when an animal mimics or when an animal perceives the same action performed by another. By consequence of anchoring archetypes with this particular phenomena of the brain that has no exact nexus, Hogenson wonders if there is any place for the collective unconscious, or if it is now a superfluous concept.103 Of course, when the archetype is seen as a universal that is wholly independent of the body, and when the collective unconscious is therefore seen as a psychological description of an underlying monism, this speculation is irrelevant. Even among those who recognize the archetypes as universals, it seems that there is a tendency to fall back into the domain of the subject.
The fact that these four researchers are in varying degrees bound to the domain of the subject can probably be contributed to the uncertainty left by Jung. The same criticisms held against Jung's introverted bias can be leveled here. Russell's complaint that it is “silly” to consider universals is the same logic that Knox directs at Stevens.104 But Knox's model does not escape scrutiny. Russell also chastises those who use Kant to equate experience of the noumenal with the noumenal. This is again the same error that Jung committed. Russell's reasoning is this: if we equate our categories of perception with the noumenal, and if our categories of perception presumably arise from our nature, what happens when our nature changes? For example, it is a priori knowledge that two and two should equal four. But if our nature changes, will the answer become five? Nestling universals within our nature implies that reality must change with our nature, or if everyone's nature is different, then there is no objective reality.105 This is probably not what Knox is claiming. But the application of Russell's argument demonstrates that Knox has not escaped the fallacies of placing universals within the self. She has escaped some particulars of scientific controversy, but not a philosophical analysis of how universals can be tenable.106
One other point against Knox's model is that is tough to discern how archetypes are in any way different from psychological complexes. Knox maintains that the image schemas are universal because they form in the bedrocks of development, possibly as early as the prenatal phase. But by her own admission the development of image schemas is probably hindered for people who do not grow up in the ideal environment.107 Certainly her model portrays the development of archetypes occurring separately in each individual; there is no common reservoir. Furthermore the development of image schemas relies on the perceptual systems of cognition. Knox insinuates that the simple, mechanistic nature of these systems ensures that the image schemas retain universality. But it has been demonstrated that the schemas generated by perceptual systems actually differ and are indeed largely dependent on cultural context.108 This implies that the archetypes should be thought of as cultural phenomena, something that Knox flatly denies, but nonetheless she is in danger of falling right into this postmodern trap.109 The factors that condition archetypes in this model do give pause to the question of if they really are anything other than complexes. Such folly seems inevitable so long as archetypes are thought to be embodied separately and ubiquitously in every individual. Raising the Kantian barrier does not solve these problems; it only avoids them.
Where Are the Archetypes?
Is it even conceivable that there is a Jungian out there who has never had a debate with someone that complained Jung was “too mystical!” for their tastes?110 That the university judges analytical psychology to be “unscientific,” and that Jung is often altogether dismissed by other investigators, is a real concern for those who find value in archetypal theory.111 But I am not sure if the actions that have been chosen are the correct responses. I think it is clear that this whole mess began with the contradictions between metaphysical allure and psychiatric duty that Jung found himself in and consequently imparted to us. I am also not convinced that the possible escape from this that I outlined earlier, where Jung's premium on the self is valid so long as the collective unconscious is understood to be but one aspect of a monist whole, is correct. Although this potentially links with Atmanspacher's explanation of how universal knowledge is acquired in dual-aspect monism, the other implication with that solution, supported by much of Jung's writings, is that the universe and human evolution confirm to the same teleology. In some ways I think this notion is as unlikely as the the idea that genes are the carriers of archetypes. Maybe even more so. For if there is one sin that evolutionary theory brooks no argument for, it is the belief that evolution has direction.112
Jung's misfires were not the only thing he passed on to his disciples; so too do many Jungians get close to approximating the same thing Jung and Pauli were after, only to fall back upon the brain, psyche, self or other variant for the subject. An entertaining example of this is when Stevens explains the metaphysical possibilities of archetypes, going so far as to speculate that archetypal theory could become a new philosophy of nature. Only he then proceeds to muse that biology, specifically the structure of DNA, must be the bridge between mind and matter.113 I think this is tantamount to lighting a match and setting the whole thing on fire.
I also think Knox is right: if Jungians don't get their act together, then archetypal theory will remain a “contradicted mess” never be cited by people outside of analytical psychology save for those who want witty chapter headings.114 But I do not agree that biology instead of metaphysics should be chosen as the starting foundation; I hope the problems with archetypes that I have explained so far the very least adequately explain my decline to go in this direction. What I would like to do instead is see if an existing monist system similar to what Jung and Pauli got close to can be used to demonstrate the potential for a theory where archetypes are not embodied entities. To do this, we should look to a dual-aspect monism that is adequately delineated as to avoid confusion, and so parallels where they exist between analytical psychology can be drawn with ease. Helpfully, Atmanspacher provides us with a list of dual-aspect monists from which we can choose a suitable candidate.115 The man with whom he credits inventing monist philosophy is a fitting choice: the 17th century rationalist Baruch Spinoza.
2. Jung & Spinoza
An unmistakable accord exists between C.G. Jung's theory of the collective unconscious and the 17th century philosopher Baruch Spinoza's description of God. There are parallels in the way that Spinoza describes God's essence and Jung's notion that archetypes manifest in both mind and matter.116 Although Jung himself ostensibly does not hold great esteem for Spinoza, one finds that they tend to agree at crucial points; they share a common monism. This is a point that Jung may have missed due to his priority for psychology. This kinship between Jung and Spinoza extends into their views on absolute knowledge and psychological health. Essentially, the argument here is that Jung and Spinoza are talking about the same thing- even if Jung was never aware of it.
Benedict de Spinoza is considered alongside Leibniz and Descartes as one of the three great rationalists.117 He is most famous for the Ethics, his magnum opus, which was published posthumously.118 The Ethics is a sprawling geometric proof split into five sections, each building upon the propositions put forth in the previous pages. Spinoza touches upon an wide array of topics within the Ethics, ranging from mind-body issues and a theory of knowledge to politics and human nature. Included within the final section is essentially an outline for a psychotherapy; some have seen Spinoza as a forerunner to psychoanalysis, for reasons that should become obvious as we proceed.119 But undoubtedly the most impressive topic Spinoza covers is his metaphysics in part one, where he presents his argument on God.120 This ontology may seem very radical at first, but I think it will become obvious why this is a natural starting place to find a connection between Spinoza and Jung.
Spinoza defines God as “a being absolutely infinite- that is, a substance consisting in infinite attributes, of which each expresses eternal and infinite essentiality.”121 Spinoza often scholastic nomenclature, only to use it in very different ways; in this case substance simply refers to “that which is in itself,” or “that of which a conception can be formed independently of another conception.” 122 What Spinoza means here is that 'substance' refers to a very elemental thing in nature, so much that it is an entirely autonomous entity; it cannot be affected or influenced by another object. A substance can be described by its essence, or more specifically aspects called attributes.123 Attributes are things “the intellect perceives as constituting the essence of substance.”124 But thought and matter are examples of attributes, in the sense that they are different categories or aspects we use to interpret substance.125 Because with substance we are talking about something very fundamental, not actual, it reasons to stand two substances could not have the same attributes, since then we would consider them the same substance.126 But one substance cannot create another, since they must be completely self-caused and entirely self-determined entities.127 And because the essence of substance (its attributes) refers to different kinds of things, and not just things in themselves, it seems that each substance, at least as far as its essence is concerned, is infinite.128 The only for this to really work is if there is one substance from which an infinity of attributes flow. There is nothing else than this substance.129 This is Spinoza's God.
Clearly we are not dealing with an ordinary conception of God; indeed Spinoza takes time to launch an attack on those who view God as anthropomorphic, or, of equal importance, as separate from nature.130 Everything that is conceivable flows from God's nature; it impossible that the world would exist without God, without substance. From the infinity of attributes that God possesses, there are two of which we know of: thought and extension (mind and matter).131 From each attribute comes an infinity of modes. Modes are 'modifications' of substance, or in a sense manifestations generated by substance.132 Infinite modes are “eternal aspects of being;” they, like God, are eternal. Under the attribute of extension, the laws of nature would be an example of an infinite mode; under the attribute of thought, an infinite mode would be some universal psychology.133 Finite modes, essentially bodies, also exist, and they are the discrete manifestations of God's nature that the infinite modes affect.134 My body, your body, a chair, the dog, are all examples of finite modes under the attribute of extension; my mind and your mind are examples of modes under the attribute of thought, but so too would be our ideas of a dog or chair.135 Therefore Spinoza is saying our minds are merely the ideas of our bodies, which is no different from the rest of nature. Therefore, Spinoza endorses panpsychism, if not pantheism; the only thing that distinguishes the mind of humans from others is that, due to our material complexity, the idea of ourselves is correspondingly more complicated.136 The fact that an idea of something reflects whatever is taking place in that body is what gives us our sentience.
It is important to remember as well that God has no purpose or direction; Spinoza's system is only deterministic in the sense that things only flow from God out of necessity, not by design.137 Therefore the modes conceived under each attribute do not affect one another, since neither attribute is directed to affect the other. Therefore, though the order and connection of thoughts overlaps the order and connection of matter, they do not casually affect one another.138 Therefore discrete matter also has an idea of itself, 'or mind,' that does not emerge from the matter, but simply correlates with it. All matter is an extension of God's attribute of extension, and all thoughts are an extension of God's intellect. They emerge from the same substance, as equal but separate entities. This is why Atmanspacher classifies Spinoza as a dual-aspect monist.139
I hope this brief introduction to Spinoza's God illustrates why it is celebrated as one of the most radical ideas in the history of philosophy.140 The theory that we are all an act of God, or modes that God generates, begs a number of questions. Is Spinoza just cleverly expressing atheism, or is he actually stating quite a bit more than that? Does he think the idea of ourselves (our mind) survives the destruction of our finite bodies? If God has no free-will, are we too powerless and merely casually subject to the effects of the infinite modes (laws of nature) and finite modes (other discrete modes that affect us)?141 We will touch upon the last question when we broach Spinoza's theory of knowledge. For now though I would like to focus on one of the most “celebrated problems” with Spinoza's philosophy: the problem of attributes.142
How are we supposed to comprehend an infinity of modes emanating from a single substance? Several interpretations have been proposed. The subjective interpretation holds that “attributes are actually the subjective ways in which we think of substance, not objective properties of it.”143 Many 19th century philosophers such as Hegel embraced this view; incidentally it also seems to correlate with neutral monism, where different aspects (attributes) of the monist whole are merely interpretations of selective parts of the entire substance.144 While this approaches Spinoza's notion that attributes are the way an intellect perceives what constitutes the essence of substance.145 But at the same time Spinoza clearly does take every attribute to constitute the essence of substance.146 So the objective interpretation maintains that we should uphold the notion that the attributes actually constitute God's essence. This though seems very hard to conceive; because does this imply then that each attribute is producing distinct modes? This contradicts things that Spinoza says elsewhere, such as the belief that, no matter under attribute we conceive something, we “shall find one and the same order.”147 This is indeed how his mind-body theory as described earlier is maintained. How can this be so, how can every body have a consistent idea of itself, if every attribute is literally creating separate modes that cannot affect the other?
Jarrett proposes a solution whereby both interpretations are combined into the relative interpretation.148 In this approach our distinction between attributes is indeed subjective, although each attribute is actually the total essence of God, not just biased views of it. Our concept of thought and our concept of extension are distinct and equally adequate ideas, although their object, thought and extension themselves, are really just the same substance.149 This seems to be consistent with both of Spinoza's statements, that attributes are what we interpret as essence as well as actually being essence.150 A remaining problem are all those other attributes (an infinity of them) beyond thought and extension. If the infinite substance that is God is also supposed to have an actual infinity of attributes, in what mind are those distinctions being accounted for? In Spinoza's panpsychic model ideas are not merely our filtered interpretation of reality; they seem to be real things, and in the case of an attribute or infinite mode, eternal things as well.151 According to Spinoza it is God's intellect that holds all these different attributes for each mode. Extension and unknown attribute X are separate attributes- we can describe them via different distinctions of logic- but they are ultimately the same substance.152 It is possible then that Spinoza upholds that God's essence is infinite as to shoot down the anthropomorphic view of mind and matter being outstanding properties; they are only to humans.
I would now like to point out how well Spinoza's monism matches with archetypal theory. In particular, the problem of attributes basically gets at the same issue that is broached with the psychoid and the unus mundus. Under the relativist interpretation, the attributes, such as those of thought and extension, appear to be different but equally valid ways of describing God's essence. Similarly, psychoid archetypes blur the distinction between mind and matter, emanating in both subject and object and to give rise to synchronicity.
Behind these coincidences is a unity; our distinctions are, as Jung himself said, labels.153 That notion both Jung and Spinoza seem to be uphold similar metaphysics is bolstered by Atmanspacher, who notes that they both subscribe to dual-aspect monism, where both aspects of the monist center are equally valid descriptions, despite not having casual connections to one another.154 Jung thinks mind and matter are two sides of the same coin; archetypal theory supports the relativist interpretation of God's essence.
Perhaps it has been hard until now to accept how archetypes could be information independent of the body. But Spinoza offers a way to understand this, where ideas are not our filtered pictures of the world, but independent agents under an attribute wholly separate from matter (though again, it and matter are truly one and same). Pauli and Jung approximated the idea that the collective unconscious was merely the psychic aspect of an underlying nature, although as we saw at the end it seems Jung conflated the psyche with this underlying nature, which distorted the model. By backing that archetypal model with Spinoza's metaphysics, the collective unconscious becomes tantamount with the attribute of thought. Indeed, Spinoza upholds a priori knowledge, not in the Kantian sense, but in the fact that he sees “an adequate idea” to be one that captures God's essence.155 Archetypes then, are the infinite modes, the universals, of this attribute. Concurrently, modes of thought are individual ideas or minds; this includes but is not limited to the minds of living things. We will touch upon Spinoza's theory of how to glean universal knowledge shortly.
I want to observe that equating the collective unconscious with the attribute of thought answers the question posed earlier by Hogenson: there is indeed no structure in the brain for the collective unconscious, because it is obviously not restricted to the human subject nor part of extension. Rather it is all the infinite modes attributed to the attribute of thought.156 By proxy of all this, I hope it's completely obvious that this syncing of Spinoza and Jung places the archetypes firmly outside the subject. They are no longer categories of perception or innate contents, but rather information about the universe that we can either affirm or deny.157 I mean that in the strictest metaphysical sense.
We could stop here, with the collective unconscious as being equivalent with the attribute of thought. But we could also go further than this and describe the psychoid as the region where our distinction of attributes collapses, when, as in synchronicity, we witness an archetype emerging as both thought and extension. It was Pauli who urged Jung to see archetypes as organizers of both the psychic and physical.158 In this case would either limit the label archetype to the psychic, or use it to refer to infinite modes belonging to other attributes as well. Ergo we could talk about infinite modes under the attribute of extension as archetypal as well. Earlier we noted that Knox left the door open to some “mathematical” ontology independent of the body was responsible for archetypes, though ultimately she felt the image schemas were the genuine article.159 I think Spinoza offers a way to enrich what she was getting at: it is evident that the infinite modes of extension, as laws of nature, in some way perpetuate our corporeal existence. Similarly the infinite modes of thought must drive our minds to being. One could then interpret any theory pertaining to the subject as ultimately an archetypal theory, though obviously image schemas cannot be archetypes, for archetypes cannot be restricted to the subject as categories of perception (nor can the self be inflated to God). By now I hope by now it's clearly understood why universals cannot also be the schema we use to interpret those same universals.160
My contention is that Jung and Pauli were approximating something very close to Spinoza's God, but in the end the introverted bias tripped them up. The fact that Jung doesn't seem to think much of Spinoza- more on this next- is a bit perplexing in light of the associations we've made thus far. Did Jung really not know he was on his way to something close to what Spinoza did three-hundred years before him? Or did Jung have a reason to think he and Spinoza were actually not at all similar? Some contextual analysis next. Before that, I would like to reprise my pending solution to Jung's introverted bias. I suggested that Jung's collapsing of the psychic with the universal could be reconciled if this maneuver was seen as relative to Atmanspacher's notion that one can acquire universal knowledge in a dual-aspect monist system by exploring the universals implicit within one of the attributes of that monism. The problem was that this seems to suggest that what's best for us is also what is best for the universe; in a system of infinities where God has no motives this seems difficult to believe. Though such teleology is implicit in much of Jung's writings; indeed, the basis of his therapy is that an impersonal unconscious will provide helpful contents for those willing to use them.161 This seems like a potential rift between he and Spinoza, for how can there be any teleology in a universe generated by an ambivalent God? The answer lies in Spinoza's theories of knowledge, emotions, and what he calls 'blessedness.'
It's curious that a real attempt to compare Jung and Spinoza has never been published before. There are a handful of articles by psychoanalysts that offhandedly mention a common aspect amongst the two, usually in regards to their mind-body philosophy, but such trivia is usually embedded within more pressing concerns.162 At least one author makes passing mention of the fact that both Jung and Spinoza value highest a knowledge beyond reason- we will get to this shortly.163 That Spinoza undoubtedly influenced figures who in turn inspired Jung has been implicitly established by Paul Bishop, who briefly draws upon Spinoza in his two books on Jung and German classical aesthetics. He describes the influence Spinoza had on the Germanic aesthetic tradition, which in Jung was arguably a successor of. But Spinoza's cameo in the narrative is of course dwarfed by the pages afforded to the principal characters of Goethe and Schilling.164 Finally, Clarke interestingly makes a connection between 'Spinozist' therapy and analytical psychology, albeit only on the point of mind-body relations.165 Clearly then there is much ground to be mined between Jung and Spinoza, a job that this limited paper cannot commit to. For now, I would like to compare the basics of Jung's individuating process with Spinoza's theory of knowledge. We can begin by looking at just what Jung himself had to say on C.G. Jung. It isn't much.
Since Jung lived three centuries after Spinoza, it stands to reason that Jung himself, who by all indications read widely and exhaustively, might have seen similarities in his ideas with those of Spinoza. But in the all twenty volumes of his Collected Works, Jung mentions Spinoza but seven times.166 When one considers the several hundred shout-outs that Jung offers Nietzsche, Spinoza's meager cameo in the Collected Works would suggest that Jung found little use for him.167 He makes what is, by his own admission, “an all-too-summary sketch” of how philosophers throughout the ages progressively disguised the irrational instincts “under the cloak of rational motivations,” thus transforming “the archetypes into rational concepts.” Jung complains that “[i]t is hardly possible to recognize the archetype under this guise.”168 Among those Jung blames for this is Spinoza: The archetype “became a 'thought,' an internal condition of cognition, as clearly formulated by Spinoza: 'By idea I understand a conception of the mind which the mind forms by reason of its being a thinking thing.'..."169 It is odd that Jung holds Spinoza accountable for destroying the metaphysical value of what Jung would later call the archetype, since Spinoza is hardly an enemy of the ontological.
There are a lot of things we could unpackage here, but I will focus on one thread. To start, Jung is quoting Spinoza's definition of what an 'idea' is from Part II of the Ethics.170 This tells us a number of things. At some point it would seem that Jung scored a copy of Spinoza's magnum opus. Evidently Jung did attempt to navigate the Ethics, for he directly quotes it three times in the Collected Works. In the passage cited above, Jung quotes 'Part II: Of the Nature and Origin of the Mind.' The other two citations are passing mentions of the scientia intuitiva and the intellectualis Dei.171 These terms are lifted from Parts II-V of the Ethics and concern Spinoza's theory of intuitive knowledge.172 It is telling that any attention Jung offers Spinoza is centered on Spinoza's theory of mind. Jung, after all, is a psychologist, so perhaps he has chosen to selectively cite those portions of the Ethics that are most suited to him. But this also has to do with Jung's introverted bias. Observe this in how Jung hones in on Spinoza's definition of an 'idea.' As the passage clearly indicates, Jung guesses that by 'idea' Spinoza is talking about the same thing that Jung describes as an idea: the primordial image, or the archetype.173 Therefore, Jung does relate his ideas to those of Spinoza's. But he does so negatively. Jung concludes that the way Spinoza privileges reason in his definition of an idea is proof that Spinoza has missed out on the true meaning of the archetype. The fact that Jung presumes that Spinoza's writings on psychology were the place to go to see if Spinoza had anything to say on things that approximate archetypes, the collective unconscious, etc., is of course a misstep. By 'idea' Spinoza means the conception a body has of itself. He places universals outside of the body. Once again Jung's placement of archetypes within the subject has tripped him up. Suffice it to say that he may have documented a very different view of Spinoza had he instead looked for archetypes in 'Part I: On God'.
In any event, two things are clear so far: 1) Jung read Spinoza, possibly with some selection; and 2) Jung believes Spinoza is limited by his stance as a rationalist. Jung's understanding of rationalism and 'scientific materialism' is another tangential topic that I cannot do justice with. I do think though that Jung's application of those labels might be suspect, much like how his presumption was that Spinoza's definition of 'idea' was equivalent to his own. It seems that Pauli got Jung to see more of the nuances in these classifications.174 But if Jung really did think that Spinoza was a limited materialist, it is curious then that he would apparently see the value in Spinoza's scientia intuitiva, a knowledge beyond reason.
Jung mentions Spinoza's 'scientific intuition' in his own definition of intuition in Psychological Types. In Jung's ego model, intuition is one of the two perceiving functions, the other being sensation. Whereas sensation is concerned with immediate experience, intuition processes unconscious connections and relationships. Jung considers intuition to have the most direct access to the collective unconscious of any psychological type. He elaborates that “intuitive knowledge possesses an intrinsic certainty and conviction, which enabled Spinoza (and Bergson) to uphold the scientia intuitiva as the highest form of knowledge.”175 It is interesting that Jung cites both Jung and Bergson here. It has been shown that Jung's concept of intuition was inspired by Bergson's work on duration.176 Is Jung admitting a reliance on Spinoza here? Or is he merely observing some of the similarities between the works of Bergson and Spinoza?177 This is not clear. But Jung would see a lot to agree with in Spinoza's scientific intuition.
Spinoza believes that there are three levels of knowledge, where emotions also come into play. Spinoza states that all finite modes are affected by forces that come from both the infinite modes as well as discrete effects from other finite modes.178 Spinoza defines emotions as our apprehensions of these affects.179 For instance, we have joy for some ideas and sadness for others. Emotions caused by affects beyond our nature are passive emotions, whereas emotions we assert with our own nature are active emotions. For the most, part people are at complete mercy to these affects; this what Spinoza refers to as 'human bondage.'180 In Spinoza's estimate this is because most people only use what he defines as the first form of knowledge, which is merely perception and sensory experience. This form of knowledge is localized is often based on things such as gossip, and gives the illusion of understanding.181 Spinoza's solution is for individuals to question the epistemology of their affects, and to see that how they feel is part of a greater essence, God. The second form of knowledge, reason, is used when one sees the universal behind localized data. Spinoza claims that finite modes have a will to exist, what he calls the conatus.182 Thus, even if God has no motive, the finite modes do. In humans the conatus is most satisfied by knowledge of God, because knowledge of the universals gives us the most practical way to live in peace. When this knowledge of God is used as action, Spinoza states that the third form of knowledge has been accessed, the scientia intuitiva.183 The individual who lives within their nature, does not get embroiled in the localized but can persevere difficulties by learning about the universal, is living a life of what Spinoza calls 'blessedness.'184
Likewise, Jung believes that experience of the archetypes allows individuals to transcend everyday suffering. The story of the priest who used the Judas story to absolve his guilt of leaving the Catholic church is an example of this.185 While Jung would not have used the word 'reason' to describe acquisition of archetypal knowledge, he did believe that most people were at mercy to possession by complexes; this is not dissimilar to passive emotions and affects.186 Furthermore, Spinoza specifically delineates that, although God has no directive, we as individuals have the will to exist, and to assert our existence. It is not that what's best for God is what is also best for us, but simply that knowledge of God gives us a practical utility to survive and be at peace. That it is not the collective that knows what's best for us, but rather it is up to individual to be responsible and find in the collective what is best for him, is essentially what Jung comes around to in 'The Undiscovered Self' (1957). It again seems that, despite conflicting writings on just where the archetype is located, Jung in the fifties writes many essays seem built on a dual-aspect monism. I suggest that Spinoza's conatus could better clarify Jung's teleology, for while God may have no aspiration for meaning, it would seem that most humans do.187 Furthermore I propose that numinosity is akin to the 'blessed' happiness that comes with knowledge of God.
This is merely a cursory beginning in a comparison of Jung to Spinoza. We have seen that the ontology of Spinoza agrees strongly with that of Jung. Furthermore we have seen that their paths to knowledge of the absolute are extremely similar. And as the manifest of our investigation stated, we have shown that placing the archetypes back into the metaphysical preserves much of what makes archetypal theory special.
4. Archetypes Relocated
The objective of this investigation was to show why archetypes are a stronger concept when placed outside of the subject. To do this I displayed problems with archetypes in terms of what the archetype's location was being conceived as by Jung and his followers. At the same time I showed that Jung, with the help of Wolfgang Pauli, began transforming his theory into a dual-aspect monism that seemed to eliminate the problems of making archetypes embodied. Jung does not entirely go through with this, but nevertheless many of his writings post-publishing on synchronicity reflect a change in his willingness to contend with the unknowable. I then proceeded to show that this monism many contemporary Jungians have abandoned could be resuscitated with Spinoza's philosophy acting as a guide. I then proceeded to show two key ways in which Jung and Spinoza where in accord: Their metaphysics, and their epistemology.
There is much that this thesis does not address and therefore more work to be done. I realize that not everyone will believe at first glance that Spinoza's God is a more satiable idea than archetypes being innate. I have not displayed scientific literature that might agree with my position. Additionally I have left myself open to attack for some of the sources I have used to bolster my argument; someone my argue that Bertrand Russell was not necessarily an admirer of Baruch Spinoza. But that does not mean that Russell's analysis of universals was not consistent with what I was trying to do. In any event my objective was not to marshal together like-minded individuals, but to find the logic that could best flesh out my convictions.
Finally, as much of this paper was spent arguing the problems of archetypes, I only began to link Jung and Spinoza in earnest. Nevertheless, my hope is that I can use this investigation as a prelude for future work on interfacing Spinoza with analytical psychology. I wish no less than to expand on the argument I began here, that archetypes should be liberated from the self, for they are better thought of as universal information generated by substance.
Anthony Stevens, Archetype Revisited: An Updated Natural History of the Self, (Brunner-Routledge, 2002); Stevens, “Archetypes,” 75.
2C.G. Jung, “Synchronicity: An Acasual Connecting Principle,” The Collected Works (Bollingen-Princeton, 1973) vol. 8, pp. 840.
3Jung, “Psychological Aspects of the Mother Archetype,” C.W., vol. 9i, pp. 136.
5Andrew Samuels, Jung and the Post-Jungians, (Routledge, 1985) 25.
6Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy (Vook Classics, 2011 Kindle Edition) Loc 760-780; Though Bertrand Russell's writings were not specifically concerned with Jungian archetypes, his straightforward analysis of the problems involved with universals makes him a most helpful figure to turn to.
7Jung, “The Relations Between the Ego and the Unconscious,” C.W., vol. 8, pp. 300.
iDarwin's On the Origin of Species had been around since 1859.
8Samuels, Jung and Post-Jungians, 25.
9Anthony Stevens, “The archetypes,” Ch.3 in The Handbook of Jungian Psychology, Ed. By Renos Papadopoulos (Routledge, 2006) 76.
10Jung, “On the Nature of the Psyche,” C.W., vol. 8, pp. 417.
11Stevens, “The archetypes,” The Handbook of Jungian Psychology, 80.
12Russell, Loc 880-900.
13Samuels, Jung and the Post-Jungians, 25.
15Jung, “The Relations Between the Ego and the Unconscious,” C.W., Vol. 8, pp. 300.
16Ronald Hayman, A Life of Jung (W.W. Norton & Company, 2002).
18Jung, “Two Essays on Analytical Psychology,” C.W. Vol. 7.
19Jung, “Two Kinds of Thinking,” C.W., vol. 5, pp. 43-44.
20Jung, “Definitions,” C.W. Vol. 6, pp. 757-762.
21Jean Knox, Archetype, Attachment, Analysis: Jungian psychology and the emergent mind, (Brunner-Routldege, 2003) p. 24.
22Jung, “On the Nature of the Psyche,” C.W., vol. 8, pp. 421.
25Roderick Main, The Rupture of Time: Synchronicity and Jung's Critique of Modern Western Culture, (Brunner-Routledge, 2004 Kindle Edition) 25.
26Stevens, “The archetype,” The Handbook of Jungian Psychology, 78.
28Jean Knox, 24.
31Jung, “Synchronicity: An Acasual Connecting Principle,” C.W. Vol. 8, pp. 850.
32Ibid., 845; Main, 18.
33Jung, “Synchronicity: An Acasual Connecting Principle,” C.W. Vol 8; Jung, “On the Nature of the Psyche,” C.W., Vol. 8.
35Ibid., 18; Jung, “Synchronicity: An Acasual Connecting Principle,” C.W., vol. 8, pp. 845.
36Cambray, Loc 720.
37Jung, “On the Nature of the Psyche,” C.W., vol. 8.
39Joseph Cambray, Synchronicity: Nature & Psyche in an Interconnected Universe (Texas A&M, 2009 Kindle Edition); Suzanne Gieser, The Innnermost Kernel: Depth Psychology and Quantum Physics, Wolfgang Pauli's dialogue with C.G. Jung (Springer 2005, Kindle Edition).
40Suzanne Gieser, The Innermost Kernel: Depth Psychology and Quantum Physics. Wolfgang Pauli's dialogue with C.G. Jung (Springer, 2005 Kindle Edition) Ch. 4.
41Cambray, Location 402, Emphasis added by Author.
46Roger Brooke, Jung and Phenomenology (Trivium, March 1, 2009).
48Russell, Loc. 980.
50Papadopolous, “Jung's epistemology and methodology.”; C.G. Jung, “The Zofingia Lectures,” The Collected Works (Princeton University Press 1983) Supplementary Volume A.
51Jung, Ibid., pp. 142.
52Renos Papadopolous, “Jung's epistemology and methodology,” Ch.1 in The Handbook of Jungian Psychology, Ed. By Renos Papadopolous, (Routledge 2006) 33-35.
53Jung, Psychological Types, C.W. Vol. 6; John Beebe, Ch. 6 in The Jungian Handbook.
54Christian McMillian, Private Conservations with Author, 2011-2012.
55C.G. Jung, interview by John Freeman, Face to Face, British Broadcasting Company, October 22, 1959.
56Jung, “The Undiscovered Self,” C.W. Vol. 10.
57Roderick Main, Private Conversation with Author, May 2012.
58Jung, “The Psychic Nature of the Alchemical Work,” C.W., vol. 12, pp. 400.
59Jung, “A Psychological Approach to the Dogma of the Trinity,” C.W., vol. 11, pp. 222.
60Jung, “Psychological Aspects of the Mother Archetype,” C.W., pp. 151.
61Jung, “Psychological Aspects of the Mother Archetype,” C.W., vol 9i, pp. 151.
65Jolande Jacobi, The Psychology of C.G. Jung, (Yale University Press, 1973) 85-88.
69Jung, “Mysterium Coniunctionis,” C.W., vol. 14, pp. 767.
70Ibid., “Answer to Job,” C.W., vol. 11; “The Undiscovered Self, C.W., vol. 10.
71C.G. Jung, “Flying Saucers,” C.W., vol. 10, pp. 594; pp. 778-790.
74Christian McMillian, Private Conversations with Author, 2011-2012.
75Russell, Loc 940-950.
76Jung, 'On the Nature of the Psyche,' Vol. 8.
77Russell, Loc. 912.
78Albert Einstein, Relativity: The Special and General Theory (Amazon, 2011, Kindle Edition).
79Gieser, 217, 281.
82Russell, Problems of Philosophy, loc. 980.
84Ibid; Gieser, 280.
85Knox, Archetype, Attachment, Analysis, 12-39.
87BioStevens, Archetype Revisited.
89Bruce Lipton, The Biology of Belief (Hay House, 2005).
90Stephen Gould, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory (Belknap Press, 2002).
99George Hogenson, “Archetypes,” Ch.2 in Analytical Psychology: Contemporary Perspectives in Jungian Analysis, Ed. By Joseph Cambray and Linda Carter (Brunner-Routledge, 2004) 46.
101Russell, Loc. 880-900.
103George Hogenson, “Archetypes as Action Patterns,” The Journal of Analytical Psychology, Vol 54 (2012) Issue 3
104Russell, Loc. 880-900; Knox, 40-70.
105Russell, Loc. 910-920.
106George Lampert; Private Conversation with Author; 2012.
108Kitiyama, Duffy, Kawamura, & Larsen, “Percieving an object and context in two different cultures: A cultural look at New Look,” Psychological Science (2003) 14, 201-206.
110Brandon Labbree, conversation with author at Rutgers University, Summer 2011.
111Sonu Shamdasani, Jung and the Making of Modern Psychology: A Dream of a Science”, (Cambridge, 2003), 30.
113Stevens, “The archetypes,” 89.
116Benedict de Spinoza, Ethic: Demonstrated in Geometrical Order and Divided into Five Parts, trans. By W. Hale White and Amelia Hutchinson Stirling, (Oxford University Press, 4th Edition, 1923).
117Steven Nadler, Spinoza's 'Ethics' (Cambridge Introductions to Key Philosophical Texts), (Cambridge, 2006, Kindle Edition) Loc 168.
118Charles Jarrett, Spinoza: A Guide for the Perplexed, (Continuum, 2007) 32.
120Jarrett, Guide for the Perplexed, 35-36.
121Spinoza, I def VI.
122Ibid., I def III.
123Ibid., I P7-12.
124Ibid, I def VI.
125Ibid, II P3-4.
126Ibid., I P5.
127Ibid, I P6-10.
128Ibid., I P13.
129Ibid., I P11.
130Ibid., I P15s.
131Ibid, II P3-4.
132Ibid, I def IV.
134Spinoza, I P21-28.
136Ibid., II P11-13.
137Jarrett, Guide for Perplexed, 30-38.
138Spinoza, II P2-7.
140“Baruch Spinoza,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
141Jarrett, Guide for Perplexed, 30-70.
143Jarrett, Guide for Perplexed, 55.
145Spinoza., I defVI.
146Jarrett, Guide for Perplexed, 55.
147Spinoza, II P7s
148Charles Jarrett, “Some remarks on the 'objective' and 'subjective' interpretations of the attributes,” Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy, (1977) 20, 1-4.
149Ibid.; Jarrett, Guide for Perplexed, 55.
150Spinoza, I defVI, II P7s
151“Baruch Spinoza,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
152Spinoza, Ep 66; Jarrett, Guide for Perplexed, 56.
153Jung, “Mysterium Coniunctionis,” C.W., vol. 14, pp. 767; Jacobi, The Psychology of C.G. Jung, 85-88.
155Spinoza, II P32-47.
156Hogenson. “Archetypes as action patterns.”
157Spinoza, II P48, P49c
160I do think that there is a way to describe our mental digestion of archetypes, and that this could be done using Jung's ego psychology, as found in Psychological Types, C.W., vol. 6. But I am not sure about the particulars on this; I would not want psychological types to simply replace archetypes in name, only to cause the same problems.
161Jung, “Two Essays in Analytical Psychology,” C.W., vol. 6.
162L. Stein, “Analytical Psychology: A Modern Science,” Journal of Analytical Psychology (1958) 3, 43-50; D. Tresan, “The trouble with neurobiological explanations of the mind,” Journal of Analytical Psychology (2006) 51:603-607.
163A. Reiner, “Psychic phenomena and early emotional states,” Journal of Analytical Psychology (2004) 49, 313-336.
164Paul Bishop, Analytical Psychology and the German Classical Aesthetics: Goethe, Schiller, and Jung, Volume 1: The Development of the Personality, (Routledge, 2007); Ibid., Volume 2: The Constellation of the Self, (Routledge, 2008).
165Giles Clarke, “A Spinozan Lens onto the Confusions of Borderline Relations,” Journal of Analytical Psychology (2006) 61:67-86.
166Jung, “Index,” C.W., Vol. 20, s.v. Spinoza, B.
167Ibid., s.v. Nietzsche, F..
168Jung, “Instincts and the Unconscious,” C.W., Vol. 8, pp. 277.
169Ibid., pp. 276.
170Ibid., II def 3.
171Jung, “Psychological Types,” C.W., Vol. 6, pp. 770; Ibid., “Civilization in Transition,” pp. 199.
173Jung, “The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche,” C.W., Vol. 8, pp. 275-277.
175Jung, “XI. Definitions,” C.W., vol. 6, pp. 770.
176A.Y. Pete Gunter, “Bergson and Jung,” Journal of the History of Ideas (1982) 43: 4, 643.
177V.T. Thayer, “A Comparison of Bergson and Spinoza: A Comparison of Reality and Knowledge,” The Monist (1919) Vol. 29, 1.
179Ibid., III P1-5.
180Ibid., II P48, IV.
181Ibid., II P16-32.
182Ibid., III P1-20.
185Jung, “Two Kinds of Thinking,” C.W., vol. 5, pp. 43-44.
186Jung, “Two Essays on Analytical Psychology,” C.W. Vol. 7.
187Jung, “The Undiscovered Self,” C.W. Vol. 10.