Please forgive, but the following skit is impossible for me to ignore:
A little monkey watches TV, and runs to his mother:
“Please, mamma, we have to help that poor man. He is straining so hard, and his face keeps puffing up, and he says he has a HYUGE movement coming on... he is straining and puffing so hard it looks like he will explode. We really need to help him with his big movement. Let’s give him some dulcolax right now.”
Mother:”Well dear, did you hear the name of that man.”
“Ah... yes... yes... I did.. it is Drumpfkopf.”
Mother: “Hmm. That DOES sound serious. So serious you need to talk to your Father.”
“Yes, I hear you. But you know we are not supposed to butt into people’s problems like that. If I just solved everyone’s problems the easy way, they would never learn anything, and what’s the point of that? He really has to learn to include more fiber in his diet, and get more omega 3.”
“But Dad, what will he learn if he puffs up so much that he explodes, and ends up dead in the hospital? And what about all the other people?”
“OK, son, that’s a valid point. I will think about it, and let you know in a day or two. Will he get what he asks for, and suffer, or will we be gentle for once?”
Later: “Mom, if Hilary gets elected does SHE have enough dulcolax for all that stuff?”
Mother: “Well, if she has a lot of dulcolax, there is a whole lot of stuff out there, and the whole earth could end up like
that bathroom you saw in the Gobi desert near where your old cudgel is on display...”
“THAT place? I don’t want the whole earth to become like THAT place...”
The skit is simple, but the analysis is not. Which to start with, Jungian or Freudian or cybernetic?
This time, Jungian is fits best. Jung claims that the “collective unconscious” includes powerful mental entities or objects which he calls “archetypes.” My more modern, cybernetic view agrees with that – more precisely, it agrees that there is a kind of real collective intelligence here on earth (a major part of the “noosphere,” maybe all of it, depending on how you define words), and that the entities which Jung talks about correspond to certain types of cells or local circuits in that “global brain.” Real thoughts, as real as thoughts can be.
Jung has a short list of specific archetypes which, he says, have emerged as especially important in a practical sense in real human life. Humans learn many behaviors, like being careful when crossing a street full of cars, which were not hardwired into our brains, but which tend to be very pervasive in practical life. I view Jung’s “most important archetypes” as that kind of thing, practical emergent phenomena important in everyday life, but not part of the laws of the universe, not unique and not cast in stone.
On his short list of important archetypes is “the trickster,” often manifested as Loki, the monkey god or Hermes; each of these is a kind of archetypes (or set of archetypes) in itself, but they merge into each other as well.
The skit above is ironic, since from a Jungian point of view Trump has been working as a kind of avatar of Loki lately, speaking unspeakable jokes (yes, like the skit above), violating social conventions, questioning established order and so on. What should sane and rational people do about that archetype?
One important group, the scientologists, wants to get rid of all “loaded engrams” in the human mind, and that would include the archetypes, or at least the wild Dyonisian archetypes like the trickster(s). (Friedrich Nietzsche has a book talking about Apollonian styles versus Dionysian styles, and I had no hesitation long ago when I read it in identifying in a patriotic way with the Apollonian style.) From a Freudian viewpoint, these folks are basically saying we should get rid of the “id” and rely 100% on the ego only. But Freud, Jung and our modern viewpoint would all agree that this is an irrational extreme, as bad as the fetishists in ancient China who would tie up girls’ feet in string to prevent natural growth and thereby weaken the organism. The id (the associative memory or syncretic part of the mind/brain) and the ego (the global understanding) naturally support each other, like theory and experiment in natural science. If humans follow an ideology which gives total control to EITHER side of this duality, totally repressing the other, they meet the definition of “nonsanity” discussed in my paper at www.werbos.com/Mind_in_Time.pdf. The same is true if they give total control EITHER to the part of the brain which performs symbolic reasoning, or to the nonverbal intelligence; in a sane person, the two are well integrated and mutually supportive.
And so... “Sane folks don’t serve the monkey God or Loki, but they don’t try to exclude them from the inner dialogue which we are all naturally part of.”
So we don’t go as crazy as Trump, letting a kind of Loki type sense of humor crush the spirit of truth, but we DO listen and listen seriously. We maintain a strong sense of humor, which we really need, but we don’t let it get out of hand.
One more curious thought from the void: Is it Trump’s karma that he should work hard to serve a boss, who then turns around and doesn’t pay him? Does his karma demand that? A few days ago he said the world: “Let’s cancel the election. Just make me president without that pesky voting stuff.” Did he just make a deal? he certainly HAS made deals with a certain type of person, that’s clear. So to really learn his lesson, should he be elected and then discover that he isn’t president after all, that he was only hired to do a reality TV show while corruption in Washington gets elevated to a new high and the US is weakened much more than it has been in the last few unpleasant years? Well, the skit echoes that more serious kind of issue.
If he were a REAL trickster, would he find a way to withdraw in favor of Kelly Conway? There are many reasons why not, but it would be an interesting joke.
Let us hope we all find better ways to learn the many lessons we all have yet to learn.
One trivial note: I did not even know what dulcolax was until my prostate cancer surgery last April. What an intense literature review THAT required, with lots of empirical testing...