A New Universal Spirituality in Fargo’s Civic Center Courtyard

One year ago, during Fargo’s Ten Commandments Monument debate, a local professor supported his argument for removing Fargo’s Ten Commandments Monument with this reasoning, “Try to imagine you have recently escaped persecution in another country and are now a refugee in the United States. You travel to city hall or a courthouse to find a tablet saying, ‘Thou shalt not have other gods before me.’ What if you aren’t Christian? Are you going to feel as though you will get a fair treatment in this country? Your entire life has been one of fear of being hurt or killed for not belonging to the accepted group. And you escape that, only to find an apparent requirement to belong to another group” (Reasons clear why marker should be removed, Forum 9/03/03). His rationale is that emigrants and refugees entering public buildings should not have to pass any such religious monument so remove them all.

Fargo Civic Center Courtyard

I tried putting myself in refugee shoes, walking into Fargo’s Civic Center courtyard for my first civic experience and thought about what I would like to greet me. Instead of having no references to the center of life, I would prefer to see the Civic Center courtyard displaying monuments to the many ways men and women have found to touch the center ground – place monuments to all beliefs and to “no belief”, if no belief is possible. For me the most welcoming reception would be to see all religions openly acknowledged – this would tell me that Fargo’s belief systems are encompassing and accommodating. And this seems to be the issue – are we open and tolerant to all beliefs?

This summer I was working on a Fargo photo collage and when I took a photo of the Civic Center, I saw an opportunity to state my opinion photographically. With a panorama of the Civic Center at the top and the green lawn extended downward, I placed at the poster’s center a photo of the Ten Commandments Monument. I then selected saying from the other religions Houston Smith, author of The Religions of Man, discusses to surround the Ten Commandments Monument photo. These saying may not be the ones others would choose to represent these faiths but they have similar themes.

I had the opportunity while at UND in the 1970s to attend visiting lectures by Houston Smith and in the last chapter of this book he suggests that at the core of man’s religions we find the same underlying truth. In Smith’s final chapter, he asks us to ponder, “how do these religions fit together? In what relation do they stand to one another?” He poses three answers and suggests a direction forward. The first is that one religion is clearer and superior in expressing religious truth. The challenge here is to live to the depths of them all in order to make this judgment. The second is that in “all important respect they are the same” – each contains a version of the Golden Rule, sees man’s self-centeredness as source of his troubles and seeks to help, and acknowledge a universal Divine Ground from which man rose and good is sought. The challenge is again to fully understand them and then decide how to fit them together.

The third answer stands in contrast to the first two, in that, not all religions say the same thing but they do have a similar unity. Nor does it find one tradition to be superior, for if God is a God of love, surely, He would be revealing himself to all others as difference necessitated. The third answer is the most challenging in that the light of man’s religions derives from the “same source.” Smith suggests the challenge in this third response is “whether our personal, autonomous reason is qualified to stand judgment on matters as important as these, picking and choosing what in other traditions is authentic and what is spurious?”

Smith’s last question is, “What should be our approach to the religions of man from this point on?” Here I suggest Smith misses the point, in that we should not be about “picking and choosing” with “autonomous reason” but of exploring inwardly with symbolic reasoning our common source – our common collective unconscious. Smith’s suggestion that we must listen first to our own faith and then to others, left me wondering what listening involves. Smith views the “same religions source” as an objective rather than a subjective experience and thus left me looking for more direction.

In the face of the threats Smith saw in 1958 from “nationalism, materialism, and conformity” (today add terrorism) he correctly calls attention to the urgency of opening a dialogue on “man’s spiritual life.” In spite of these plagues, Smith called this a potentially “great century” if, however, the scientific achievements of the first half are matched by “comparable achievements in human relations” in the second. What happened to Smith’s call for a basic change human relation? How do we rate the capacity of man’s mind today to destroy itself? Where have all the soldiers gone? Still going to fields everyone….

Indeed, soldiers are still going, as suggested by C.G. Jung, in that the body count in the wake of 20th Century’s political faiths surpasses the slaughter left by the crusaders, inquisitor, and Holy Wars following the Reformation. Jung writes, “Not even the medieval epidemics of bubonic plague or smallpox killed as many people as certain differences of opinion in 1914 or certain political ‘ideals’ in Russia.” There certainly is an urgency to find common understanding – a new universal spirituality.

In considering Smith’s approach to “religions from this point on”, I discovered John Dourley’s book, The illness that we are, to offer a point of departure. What is unique is Dourley’s thesis that a universal subjective symbolic reasoning process provides a way to deeply listen, understand, and dialogue about man’s common religious function. Symbolic reasoning addresses this key concern of Smith’s, “Who does not have to fight an unconscious tendency to equate foreign with inferior?”

Smith closes his book with this Jesus saying, “Do unto others as you would they do unto you.” However, at a deeper level this Jesus saying, “First take the beam out your own eye,” has to precede “Loving thy neighbor as thy self” or “Doing unto others…” Symbolic reasoning is about “understanding the beams”, which in turn unveils the “unconscious tendency to equate foreign with inferior” or that “evil” is out there in an “empire” or “triad” and can be eradicated. A more universal spirituality might begin by placing many religious monuments in Fargo’s Civic Center Courtyard.

Scherling, S.A., 2004, Ten Commandments or a new universal spirituality in our Civic Center courtyard? High Plains Reader, October 14, Vol.11, Iss.6. p.3. www.hpr1.com. Copyright © by Steven Arvid Scherling All Rights Reserved
Steven.Scherling@gmail.com.


The city of Fargo down for the count-of-ten?

I anticipated a line of spectators for the March 11th Fargo Ten Commandments hearing but only a small camera crew was at the Courthouse entrance and the courtroom was only three-quarters full. Third-year law student Tiffany Johnson presented the plaintiffs’ case and argued that the monument violates the First Amendment and is unconstitutional for the city to have accepted and to maintain the Monument. Defense assistant Fargo City Attorney Patty Roscoe argued that “secular” and “context” aspects of the monument matter, illustrating the secular by pointing to America’s legal heritage and that donation of the monument to commemorate Fargo’s 1950s urban renewal. How is Judge Erickson seeing this case?

Throughout the hearing, Erickson made comments and asked questions. As the judge professed, for this case he was playing the role of educator for the benefit 4th grade and university law students present. This certainly was helpful for court pundits analyzing the judge’s thinking and setting odds on how he will rule. Just as the attorneys and judge speculated on the meaning of what several Supreme Court Justices said or did not say in hearing their Ten Commandments case, we can speculate on how Erickson might rule based on his comments and questions.

Erickson stated the reason he allowed this case to come forward is its unique circumstances. One uniqueness is that the monument had been donated to the city to commemorate its 1950s urban renewal project, clearly stated on the monument. The judge saw this as supporting the city’s secular argument. However, Johnson made an important point – the monument contains two stars of David, the $1 bill “all-seeing eye”, an eagle grasping an American flag, and the Greek letters Chi and Rho, which are symbols representing Jesus Christ. The judge, however, did not buy Johnson’s argument that “eagle grasping an American flag” on the monument when seen by a passing U.S. shoulder holding the Muslim faith would be seen as an affront to his service.

Erickson responded with concern to Johnson’s photo of the Monument 20-feet off the ground showing that the only direct sidewalk between three public buildings intersect in a circle sidewalk surrounding the Monument. Erickson asked, “Why can’t the City move the sidewalks?” The judge clearly feels the sidewalk layout between these public buildings is making an inappropriate statement about the centrality of this religious monument. While the judge seemed to discounts the argument that it is a burden to have to avert one’s eyes when passing such a monument, he was not impressed that the city has not provided an alternate sidewalk between these buildings. The layout of the Civic Center Courtyard sidewalks should have been and needs changing Erickson is thinking.

Erickson asked Johnson, what her clients thought of the idea of placing other monuments in the Civic Center Courtyard. “I do not know – they are only concerned about the present situation,” she replied. The judge asked Roscoe, “Have other groups offered to donate similar monuments to the city.” “Not to the best of my knowledge”, Roscoe responded. Roscoe informed the court the City Commission (July 8, 2002) voted not to move the Monument and that City Commissioner Rob Lynch’s no vote was because the City’s new urban renewal plans envisioned extending 2nd Avenue North through the Courtyard and would thus necessitate moving of the Monument. Erickson quickly asked, “Does the city have any current plans regarding this?” “None to my knowledge”, Roscoe replied.

Erickson’s comments accepted and discounted points on both sides and reveal he was probing for accommodation. At the center of his concern seems to be, “how can the Fargo’s Ten Commandments Monument remain?” The judge has to be thinking that the City Commission has not strategically anticipated this case and properly defused the plaintiffs’ case with plans to address the sidewalk and to place other religions monuments in the courtyard. Such efforts in other communities have met with success in retaining Ten Commandments monuments.

A more important lapse, the judge must be thinking, has occurred within Fargo’s religions communities. They have failed to seize the opportunity to donate like monuments representing their beliefs. Where are Fargo’s Muslim’s Koran, Hindu’s Bhagavad-Gita, Tibetan’s Book of the Dead, the Native American’s Lakota Wisdom, Unitarian’s Seven Principles, free-thinkers’ Humanist Manifesto III, Chinese Dao de Ching, atheist’s manifesto, and really where is the Christians’ Sermon on the Mount monument?

Erickson’s comments and questions reveal that he would favorably have viewed Fargo Community support and a current City Commission plan to reconstitute the Civic Center Courtyard as justification for keeping the Ten Commandants Monument. Pundits calling the pending Supreme Court decision are predicting its decision will require the Ten Commandments monument be removed from inside courthouses but will allow it to remain in courtyards providing they include other secular and religious monuments. It seems Erickson’s summary decision will be for the plaintiffs – a sad outcome for all belief systems and a setback for Fargo making a statement on “universal spirituality”. However, I hear there is a side bet at even odds that Erickson will rule in favor of the City, providing the sidewalk is changed and other monuments added.

Scherling, S.A., 2005, Ten Commandments Update. High Plains Reader, April 21, Vol.11, Iss.31, p.7. www.hpr1.com. Copyright © by Steven Arvid Scherling All Rights Reserved. Steven.Scherling@gmail.com

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Face to Face – Truth about Trump

The “Black Swan One Dimensional Project” is still breathing! One Black Swan effort was The I Ching Speaks to the World on September 11: A New Ethic, which seems to have awakened the world. What is interesting about this ‘Anonymous – The truth about Donald Trump’ clip is its future projections about what is now unfolding. One can note these down and check them off to test Anonymous’ predictions about Donald Trump. This is a continuing effort to understanding “black swans” events coming our way.

Anonymous – The TRUTH about Donald Trump

Look at the history of the Great Wall, the Maginot Line, and the Berlin Wall – all testify to the uselessness of walls.

This might help us understand what is coming around the river bend. Some time ago, we watched the new AG of Californian lay out his plans to push back against Trump’s Wall to be built across his state – he outlined the strick California regulations that need to be followed. Then, there are other hurdles along with this broader learning that the Tohono O o’dham Indian Reservation covers a large part of the Arizona boarder. I predicted then that the Lakota Sioux and Tohono O o’dham braves will unite. Get your tomahawks ready. We must be careful – Trump is monitoring us like in the movie Enemy of State, we are told not lookup – the CIA is watching us. However, we should lookup to the American Indians encounters with Star People.

I woke up recently with dreams.  However, before I tell you about one, listen and watch Matt Simons Catch & Release song about his Anima and then read on… This makes one want to go sailing! Okay, maybe soon. For now, I am reading J.W. Dunne’s book “An experiment with time” which is one my sources in examining dreaming. The first dream is with my Anima – no it was not on a sailing boat, however, I do remember sailing on the Pacific on Blair H.’s boat with BarryE., and then again on Pelican Lake with Jack, Shaun B. and Fannie. There is sailing in the future!

Catch & Release

My dream was of a very beautiful woman. I had met her it seems the day before and was quite attracted to her. I was ushered into a large banquet room, to the front on the left side of the room, and was seated at a floor table. There at the next table was the woman I had met last night. I watched her carefully as she said hello and asked how I was doing. I was struck by her beauty and wanted to know her better. In analyzing my dream, I started to look at who she represents – who forms my Anima Archetype?  I know she is composed of all the women in my life – in all of life. So, I started remembering the ladies in my life:  Kathy, Karen, Phyllis, Nancy, Sandra, Sharon, Kathe, Mary, Nancy, Fannie, and of course Billiette, Amanda and Sophia – my mother and grandmothers. We (for sure not Trump) consider ‘Pocahontas’ an Anima figure and in this scene, we see Pocahontas entering a river, water representing the unconscious, and flowing into emerging life – an important role she plays in our lives. What is this dream saying to me?

Pocahontas – Just Around The Riverbend

Diving into Face To Face with Carl Gustav Jung is a very challenging task and for now, this short clip will begin an introduction. Jung’s description of how he came to study medicine I found interesting as I reflected on my experiences leading to my study of psychology – it is how we enter the river of life. I also remember a fight I had outside Agizzie Jr High School when Rubin and his gang learned to leave me alone.

Acquiring a psychoanalytical view is essential in understanding the river of life we are on. We have the Three Musketeers – Freud, Jung and Adler, and others to guide us and all identify dream analysis as essential to navigating life. The Anima Archetype is a genetic component of the female in the male – it is essential for men to comprehend who she is and what she expects. The spectacle of Donal Trump in the months ahead, sorry to say, is going to give us a case study on Anima Projection when Elizabeth Warren, Pocahontas, is nominated as the Democratic candidate for President.

Finally, we listen to James Bay’s Hold Back The River “letting me look in your eyes, stop for a minute to be by your side, hold back the river. Lonely water won’t you let us wander, letting us hold each other.”

James Bay and I, “If You Ever Want To Be In Love, I’ll come around!”

Sioux Chief Taken Aboard Star Ship

A Lakota peyote healing song to listen to as I get this ready to post online. I will continue with the idea of an experiment with time and my dreams of Anima and the other archetypes of the unconscious. Note the Owl – sas.

Catch and Release

There’s a place I go to
Where no one knows me
It’s not lonely
It’s a necessary thing
It’s a place I made up
Find out what I’m made of
The nights are stayed up
Counting stars and fighting sleep

Let it wash over me
Ready to lose my feet
Take me on to the place where one reviews life’s mistery
Steady on down the line
Lose every sense of time
Take it all in and wake up that small part of me
Day to day I’m blind to see
And find how far
To go

Everybody got their reason
Everybody got their way
We’re just catching and releasing
What builds up throughout the day

It gets into your body
And it flows right through your blood
We can tell each other secrets
And remember how to love

Da da dum dum dum dum dum
Da dum dum dum
Dadada dum dum
Da da dum dum dum dum dum
Da dum dum dum
Dadada

Fannie, I have a secret to tell you! Dadada dum dum dum!

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The Ascent Of Man

I purchased Jacob Bronowski’s beautifully illustrated book The Ascent of Man and the videotapes when first published in 1973 and have re-watched episodes throughout these years. With some effort, one can now watch The Ascent of Man on Youtube. I have posted here Part 1 ‘Lower than the Angels’ and then Michael Parkinson’s interview of Jacob Bronowski,  followed by personal reflections, which ends suggesting we reflect on our ascent – it can be managed!

Ascent Of Man Pt 1 Lower Than The Angels

Volume 1 of Jacob Bronowski’s epic examination of our rise from the apes and the development of civilization. (from May 1973) “Man’s imagination, his reason, his emotional subtlety, and toughness, make it possible for him not to accept the environment but to change it. And that series of inventions, by which man from age to age has remade his environment, is a different kind of evolution – not biological but cultural evolution. I call that brilliant series of cultural peaks ‘The Ascent of Man’.” Dr. Jacob Bronowski opens the programme at the Great Rift Valley of East Africa and traces the evolution of man’s great gifts – foresight and imagination. He follows man from Africa through the desert and Ice Age – Chapters 1 Shaper of the Landscape; Chapter 2 The Rift Valley; Chapter 3 Australopithecus; Chapter 4 Physical Gifts; Chapter 5 Precursors of Man; Chapter 6 The Hunter; Chapter 7 The Ice Age; Chapter 8 Cave Art.

Michael Parkinson interviews Dr Jacob Bronowski 1974

“A belief in a higher power” is a lower-level in man’s ascent as Jacob Bronowski addresses in his monumental BBC program The Ascent Of Man. One can re-watch this program many times, which I do and not tire. I recently did so and then added Michael Parkinson interview of Dr. Bronowski to complete this blog entry. While watching it, I took notes for how I might comment on it for a blog entry. Close to the end, it hit me square on, nearly knocking me off my chair, something like the shock Bronowski felt when he realized the results of applying mathematics to the analysis of early human teeth. Well, okay not quite as shocking but of the same quality of insight into what needs to be studied. Abraham Maslow defines these as peak experiences and Bronowski comments that the ascent of man is pursued today by insisting society provide every man and woman with a ‘quality working life’ designed to address the ‘highest self-actualizing need of Man’. Wow! My research ‘An Inquiry into QWL’ in my bookcase just rattled a bit and I am now wondering what to do with the message Dr. Bronowski is sending?

題名:  An Inquiry Into the Quality of Work Life in Hsinchu Science Based Industrial Park. National Taiwan University (1988)
作者:  徐木蘭; Scherling, Steven A.; 陳家聲 Hsu, Mu-Lan; Chen, Chia-Shen.

Tesseract communication through space and time. We hear you Jacob.

Here then is Maslow’s psychoanalytical framework for designing a ‘quality working life’ which ought to satisfy Maslow’s highest need, Self-Actualization.

Social interest. Negative emotions. Reactive anger. righteous indignation. Identification with the human condition. A desire to help.

Interpersonal relations: Levels of love. Be love. Deficiency love:

Awareness: Efficient Perception: Have clear eyes: has clear intuitions, can see that is the right conclusion. The hypothesis is SA has more efficient perception.

The freshness of appreciations: A miracle remains a miracle and one see this and enjoys this again and again.

Peak experience: feeling of awe and the feeling something important has happened. The mystic experiences.

 

G.W.F. Hegel on the Slave’s Development in the Master-Slave Dialectic – Philosophy Core Concepts

 

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Trumpty Through A Looking Glass

In a previous post addressing Donald Trump building his southern border wall, someone commented that “Humpty Dumpty had a wall”. Interesting, yes, we remember: “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, had a great fall, breaking his head, which all the Queen’s men and horses could not put back to together again”. My immediate thought following this memory was, could Trumpty fall from his ‘imaginary wall’, crack his head, never to be put back together again – impeached and found guilty? Is this too much a fairytale? Alice was 7 years and six months old when she encountered Humpty and so was in 2nd grade, which took me back to Clara Barton grade school, when we must have read Lewis Carroll’s dialogue of Alice meeting Humpty Dumpty.

With the curiosity of Alice and seeing a rabbit hole, I crawled closer and closer…, losing my balance, falling in – down and down I tumbled, landing in a tree in the scene of Alice’s meeting with Humpty Dumpty. I sat where I had landed and listened in…, to my surprise I realized that Dumpty’s logic, ‘back-to-front’, is the same as Trumpty’s logic. However, a big difference is that Dumpty understands his logic and explains his use of language to Alice! Listening to “Through the Looking Glass Chapter 6, we hear Humpty Dumpty, who, besides celebrating his ‘unbirthday’, provides his own translation of the strange terms in Jabberwocky. In the process, he introduces Alice to the concept of portmanteau words, which Trump is trying to produce as he is galumphing around his ‘imaginary wall’ in a triumphant manner. Alice ends her encounter with Dumpty as I imagine many Americans are thinking about Trumpty, “Of all the unsatisfactory people I have ever met”.

Now, what else is down this rabbit hole, are other of Alice’s encounters mirroring what we are currently encountering?

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The Century of the Self

The Century of the Self – Part 1: “Happiness Machines”
The story of the relationship between Sigmund Freud and his American nephew, Edward Bernays. Bernays invented the public relations profession in the 1920s and was the first person to take Freud’s ideas into the are of manipulating the masses. He showed American corporations how they could make people want things they didn’t need by systematically linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires.

Bernays was one of the main architects of the modern techniques of mass-consumer persuasion, using every trick in the book, from celebrity endorsement and outrageous PR stunts to eroticizing the motorcar. His most notorious coup was breaking the taboo on women smoking by persuading them that cigarettes were a symbol of independence and freedom. But Bernays was convinced that this was more than just a way of selling consumer goods. It was a new political idea of how to control the masses. By satisfying the inner irrational desires that his uncle had identified, people could be made happy and thus docile. It was the start of the all-consuming self which has come to dominate today’s world.

The Century of the Self – Part 2: “The Engineering of Consent”
This episode explores how those in power in post-war America used Freud’s ideas about the unconscious mind to try and control the masses. Politicians and planners came to believe Freud’s underlying premise – that deep within all human beings were dangerous and irrational desires and fears. They were convinced that it was the unleashing of these instincts that had led to the barbarism of Nazi Germany. To stop it ever happening again they set out to find ways to control this hidden enemy within the human mind. Sigmund Freud’s daughter, Anna, and his nephew, Edward Bernays, provided the centrepiece philosophy. The US government, big business, and the CIA used their ideas to develop techniques to manage and control the minds of the American people. But this was not a cynical exercise in manipulation. Those in power believed that the only way to make democracy work and create a stable society was to repress the savage barbarism that lurked just under the surface of normal American life.

The Century of the Self – Part 3: “There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads; He Must Be Destroyed.”
In the 1960s, a radical group of psychotherapists challenged the influence of Freudian ideas in America. They were inspired by the ideas of Wilhelm Reich, a pupil of, who had turned against him and was hated by the Freud family. He believed that the inner self did not need to be repressed and controlled. It should be encouraged to express itself. Out of this came a political movement that sought to create new beings free of the psychological conformity that had been implanted in people’s minds by business and politics. This programme shows how this rapidly developed in America through self-help movements like Werber Erhard’s Erhard Seminar Training – into the irresistible rise of the expressive self: the Me Generation. But the American corporations soon realised that this new self was not a threat but their greatest opportunity. It was in their interest to encourage people to feel they were unique individuals and then sell them ways to express that individuality. To do this they turned to techniques developed by Freudian psychoanalysts to read the inner desires of the new self.

The Century of the Self – Part 4: “Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering”
This episode explains how politicians on the left, in both Britain and America, turned to the techniques developed by business to read and fulfil the inner desires of the self. Both New Labour, under Tony Blair, and the Democrats, led by Bill Clinton, used the focus group, which had been invented by psychoanalysts, in order to regain power. They set out to mould their policies to people’s inner desires and feelings, just as capitalism had learnt to do with products. Out of this grew a new culture of public relations and marketing in politics, business and journalism. One of its stars in Britain was Matthew Freud who followed in the footsteps of his relation, Edward Bernays, the inventor of public relations in the 1920s. The politicians believed they were creating a new and better form of democracy, one that truly responded to the inner feelings of the individual. But what they didn’t realise was that the aim of those who had originally created these techniques had not been to liberate the people but to develop a new way of controlling them.

 

 

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Happy 21st Birthday Valentine Annah!

This is a very special ‘morning page’ as I have been planning to write it all of your life. Writing this just now has brought tears to my eyes, remembering how this day began 21 years ago. The emotions behind these continuing tears are very strong. I have wiped them away with my figure tips, which are now writing these words, sentences, and birthday essay to you. You know better than others that I now define myself as a writer, after all, efforts to keep busy teaching, photographing, and videoing have fallen by the wayside, the only thing left to do is write – no one has anything to do with me writing but myself – maybe publishing what is written but I will cross that bridge when reached. This reminds me of Laozi deciding near the end of his life to leave China and upon reaching a gate in The Great Wall he was stopped by a guard and told he could not leave China until he wrote a book. He returned home, wrote the Dao de Ching and then was allowed to leave China. This is where I am in life as you symbolically at 21 begin your life. I can only imagine reading what you will be writing when you reach 75 years. I will be there gathered around your writing desk looking on as pointed out by Robert Romanyshyn in his important book The Wounded Researcher – Reseach with Soul in Mind.

I remember most clearly February 14, 1998, as Amah had come to Fargo to help with your birth. She had a room in the lower lever and kept a close eye on Aaron now 3 years old. That night we got Fannie and you settled into bed and asleep until Mom woke about 11 with her water breaking, which freaked me out. I jumped out of bed, yelled at Amah, and rushed us to MeritCare, less than a mile away. Fannie’s doctor was not able to deliver and so another did and I was allowed to stand on Mom’s left side as you easily just popped out so opposite to your brother’s experience of entering the world – his big head caused us consternation. While Mom was attended, a nurse took us into an adjourning room and handed you to me. You were so beautiful and I soon returned you to Mom’s arms. We love you so very much, Annah, and we are still by your side watching your ‘Dao de Ching’ in his life and willing assist in any way we can.

I have memories of when I turned 21 on March 6, 1965. I was a senior at UND living in the Sigma Nu Fraternity House. That day grandpa, Orlando, come up to Grand Forks and delivered to me a large 3 gallon-sized bottle of whiskey. I am not sure what to make of this gift as I look back on my life experience with alcohol. Orlando and Billiette were social animals living in 1950s Fargo gathering in friends’ homes around a basement bar, which they all had built. I did not drink in High School as I felt it slowed my performance playing on the hockey team. However, when hockey was over and I turned 18, the legal age in South Dakota, a bunch of us guys drove two cars to Rosholt SD and invaded the two bars which were there. The fraternity next gave me an experience with alcohol and it was in some ways a protected private environment away from the public. My first experience with hard-liquor was a real hangover – not fun.  However, when I was 21 some brothers and lady friends gathered at a local pub for a few pitchers of beer. As I remember that night, I was cautious, concerned about driving home, which was done without incident. The rest of this story is waiting until being completed in a book on Granma-B’s life, ‘Billiette Calling…’ that is calling out to me this moment. Okay, Mom, I hear you and promise you it will be completed and published this year.  I now leave this unfolding story’s thread to pursue another thread that is more theoretical and of course, Annah, you know where I am going – to C.G. Jung’s ideas.

My gifts to Mom, Aaron, and you have lately been books some being passed on from the family’s library. Most of these have been from Arvid, Billiette, and my libraries in our home. This week, I kept thinking and looking at books that I might give you today when I came across this YouTube clip Carl Jung: What is the Individuation Process? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssuDqTtUcKEw&t=391s), which is part of the Academy of Ideas (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiRiQGCHGjDLT9FQXFW0I3A) series – these are well done!

As you know from our reading together and watching the movie “A Dangerous Method” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH4BtJHkrD8) the process of ‘individuation’ is central in Jung’s thought of living a meaningful life. I hope you, enjoy, study, and apply these ideas to your life! This dream analysis scene between Freud and Jung points out a key difference in their approach to dreams and the unconscious. I selected it as central to understanding the analytical method, work with 

 

So, what physical book do I give you on this special day? I started my first reading of C.G. Jung Lord of the Underworld by Colin Wilson  December 22, 1988 in Beijing China and finished reading it alone December 31, 1988, at 21:26 a few hours before New Year’s Eve. Since then, I have re-read it countless times!  The Essential – Colin Wilson is Wilson presenting the central idea underlying his writing career – he wrote his first book at the age of 24, The Outsider, which was a worldwide bestseller in 1954 – he is a most prolific writer and when I am reincarnated I might like it to be with your spirit, Colin. I am going to select Lord of the Underworld’s Chapter 5 The Invisible Writing as a special birthday gift to you Annah, which Wilson does a fine job of weaving Jung’s ideas together. Let me see if I can do just to his work.

What possibly is invisible writing? I remembered in grade school being fascinated with ‘invisible ink’ – is this the same, I wondered? In some way they are similar. However, with invisible ink, we know what we are writing down but with invisible writing, we have to discover that is being written in our unfolding individuation project. Susan Rowland’s work on C.G. Jung’s Dramatic and Imaginative Writing.  is this deep-writing approach that Wilson addresses in Chapter 5.

So, to address this chapter, let’s examine each time Wilson mentions invisible writing. Colin’s first use of the term is in reference to his first book, The Outsiders, about 19th Century romantic writers, which Wilson suggests have the same motive force driving Jung’s work. Quoting Arthur Koestler invisible writing is described, “In my youth I regarded the Universe as an open book, printed in the language of physical equations, whereas now it appears to me as a text written in invisible ink, of which, in our rare moments of grace, we are able to decipher a small fragment.” Wilson goes on the state that, “Every major romantic has possessed this intuition: that the secret of the universe is somehow written in invisible writing” (92). The important point is to understand and use our Intuition.

The second and third mention of invisible writing follows in the next paragraph where Wilson comments on the topic of Rowland’s book and lecture – Jung as a writer. Jung being an intuitive type is not evaluated very highly in his ability to communicate his intuitions into words. Wilson finds that Jung’s attempt in writing Symbols of Transformation to be a “clumsy attempt to express this feeling that the secret is written in invisible writing.”  This evaluation of Jung’s writing skill is carried on to Jung’s later manuscripts. This should not be unexpected, if something is invisible, it is going to a challenge to visualize and write about! This is the question we need to entertain; how does one see, understand, and then write about the Invisible?

The next mention of invisible writing, Wilson examines the two-writing styles of Jung in writing his most popular book Psychological Types. Wilson suggests that it was written on two levels – but mostly in an “old fashion, pre-Freudian textbook style, with a cramped small script which was dry and scientific, however, at times Jung’s style changed into an open more open free-flowing Gothic script. For the most part, Psychological Types was written in a small dry script style but after this book Jung’s writing style opened up. This opening Wilson’s attributes to Jung reading, meeting, and becoming good friends of Richard Wilhelm translator of the classic Chinese book I Ching. What Jung found was a way to understand invisible writing. Jung wrote the foreword to the I Ching’s Egnlish translation.

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In Dialogue – Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson

Two of the most popularly significant analytical thinkers on challenges facing our World are Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson. These speakers are introduced, then briefly we listen to them individually speak, then presented are the series of four dialogues they participated in, and I attempt to write a note with Erich Fromm’s help on what is now unfolding.

I listened to  Video 1 taped in Vancouver: https://bit.ly/2OlRZUa and Video 2 also taped Vancouver: https://bit.ly/2CUQT0g on 10.13.18 and took some notes. I am planning to listen to Video 3: https://bit.ly/2CUa0HG and Video 4: https://bit.ly/2On6Y0a this week. However, I am starting to record my reflection on this experience in writing in order to capture the abstract conceptualizations driving these to thinkers with what is unfolding with my reflection

I have been reading and following Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson for some years now. I listened to Video 1: Vancouver: https://bit.ly/2OlRZUa and Video 2: Vancouver: https://bit.ly/2CUQT0g on 10.13.18 and am planning to listen to Video 3: https://bit.ly/2CUa0HG and Video 4: https://bit.ly/2On6Y0a this week.

Sam Harris (born April 9, 1967) is an American author, philosopher, neuroscientist, critic of religion,[3] blogger, public intellectual, and podcast host. His work touches on a wide range of topics, including rationality, ethics, freewill, neuroscience, meditation, philosophy of mind, politics, Islamism, terrorism,  and artificial intelligence. He is described as one of the “Four Horsemen of Atheism,” together with Richard DawkinsChristopher Hitchens, and Daniel Dennett.[4]

Harris’s first book, The End of Faith (2004), won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction[5] and remained on The New York Times Best Seller list for 33 weeks.[6] In The Moral Landscape (2010), he argues that science answers moral problems and can aid human well-being.[3] He then published a longform essay Lying in 2011, the short book Free Will in 2012, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion in 2014, and, with British writer Maajid NawazIslam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue in 2015. Harris’ work has been translated into over 20 languages.[7] In September 2013, Harris began releasing the Waking Up podcast, in which he interviews guests, responds to critics, and discusses his views (Wikipedia).

Jordan Peterson (born June 12, 1962[4]) is a Canadian clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. His main areas of study are in abnormal, social, and personality psychology,[3] with a particular interest in the psychology of religious and ideological belief,[5] and the assessment and improvement of personality and performance.[6] Peterson studied at the University of Alberta and McGill University. He remained at McGill as a post-doctoral fellow from 1991 to 1993 before moving to Harvard University, where he was an assistant and then associate professor in the psychology department.[7][8] In 1998, he moved back to Canada, as a faculty member in the psychology department at the University of Toronto, where he is currently a full professor.

Peterson’s first book, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief, published in 1999, examined several academic fields to describe the structure of systems of beliefs and myths, their role in the regulation of emotion, creation of meaning, and several other topics such as motivation for genocide.[9][10][11] His second book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, was released in January 2018.[7][12][13] In 2016, Peterson released a series of YouTube videos criticizing political correctness and the Canadian government’s Bill C-16. The act added gender identity as a prohibited ground of discrimination,[14] which Peterson characterized as an introduction of compelled speech into law. He subsequently received significant media coverage, attracting both support and criticism [7][12][13] (Wikipedia).

These guys are prolific and following their work can be done at their websites and on social media outlets. I am only going to link one clip to introduce these fellows before we get into the main bout – the 4-part faceoff of Harris and Peterson.

Science can answer moral question Sam Harris on TED

Jordan Peterson On The Illuminati

There we have at least an introductory video of Harris and Peterson. Much more can be learned about their thinking by searching the web and you may want to get a better handle on these two fellows, so go at it. However, now these two popular speakers faceoff in four monitored sessions which are linked below for us to watch and work to understand. May I suggest we take notes on what is unfolding, reflect on our experience, and attempt to write about the abstract conceptualizations Harris and Peterson are using to comprehend life. The central thrust of this encounter is to understand the other’s processes of thinking.

01 Harris/Weinstein/Peterson Discussion: Vancouver

Jordan B Peterson Published on Aug 31, 2018 This is the first video of the four-part debate that Sam Harris and I undertook in June 2018. Audio normalizes at 4:40. Sam and I met twice in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with Bret Weinstein moderating, for a third time in Dublin, Ireland, and for a fourth and final time in London, England. Douglas Murray joined the debate with us for the latter two occasions. Video 1: Vancouver: https://bit.ly/2OlRZUa Video 2: Vancouver: https://bit.ly/2CUQT0g Video 3: https://bit.ly/2CUa0HG Video 4: https://bit.ly/2On6Y0a Sam is a well-known Enlightenment rationalist, and a prominent atheist – one of the “four horsemen,” along with Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens (now unfortunately deceased) and Daniel Dennett. He believes (1) that our ethical systems should or even must be grounded in something other than arbitrary revelation or opinion; (2) that the world of facts can and should provide that grounding; and (3) that the grounding of values in fact can occur in the absence of much perceptual or cognitive intermediation. I agree with him with regard to point (1) but not point (2) and (3). I won’t present any of my argument here, however, because Sam isn’t here to respond, as he is in the videos. I have also written three blog posts on the Harris/Peterson discussions, here: 1. https://jordanbpeterson.com/philosoph… 2. https://jordanbpeterson.com/philosoph… 3. TBA A note on the release of the videos, and their delay: Any event of this scale occurs because of the collaboration of many people, including, in this case. Travis Pangburn and his staff at Pangburn Philosophy, who organized and promoted the four-part debate series, and who incurred substantial financial and reputational risk in doing so (as nothing like this has been attempted before at this scale). None of us were sure at the outset whether Sam and I would manage a useful discussion, let alone four of them, or whether there would be a positive public response. In consequence, we didn’t spend much time before the debate series thinking about release (or formatting/editing) of video or audio recording. Since the events went well, however – appearing both productive and well-received publicly – we decided to move ahead with the production and release of the recordings. The team at Pangburn Philosophy completed the editing, in consequence. Sam and I agreed to allow the initial release behind Travis’s Patreon paywall, for a two-week period, after which we would post the videos for full public access on our respective video platforms, and release the audio in podcast form. The team at Pangburn Philosophy plans to use some substantial portion of what was raised through Patreon subscription for multi-language translation of their previously produced and future content (including these four debates). Additional relevant links: Sam Harris Podcast: https://samharris.org/ 12 Rules for Life Tour: Dates, Cities and Venues: https://jordanbpeterson.com/events/ My new book: 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos: https://jordanbpeterson.com/12-rules-… My first book: Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief: https://jordanbpeterson.com/maps-of-m… Dr Jordan B Peterson Website: http://jordanbpeterson.com/ Self Authoring Suite: http://selfauthoring.com/ Understand Myself personality test: http://understandmyself.com/ Blog: https://jordanbpeterson.com/blog/ Podcast: https://jordanbpeterson.com/jordan-b-… Reading List: https://jordanbpeterson.com/2017/10/g… Twitter: https://twitter.com/jordanbpeterson Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/jordanbpeterson

02 Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson & Weinstein Dialogue – Vancouver

Published on Aug 31, 2018. Harris/Weinstein/Peterson: Discussion 02: Vancouver This is the second video of the four-part debate that Sam Harris and I undertook in June 2018. Sam and I met twice in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with Bret Weinstein moderating, for the third time in Dublin, Ireland, and for a fourth and final time in London, England. Douglas Murray joined the debate with us for the latter two occasions. Video 1: Vancouver: https://bit.ly/2OlRZUa Video 2: Vancouver: https://bit.ly/2CUQT0g Video 3: https://bit.ly/2CUa0HG Video 4: https://bit.ly/2On6Y0a Sam is a well-known Enlightenment rationalist, and a prominent atheist – one of the “four horsemen,” along with Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens (now unfortunately deceased) and Daniel Dennett. He believes (1) that our ethical systems should or even must be grounded in something other than arbitrary revelation or opinion; (2) that the world of facts can and should provide that grounding; and (3) that the grounding of values in fact can occur in the absence of much perceptual or cognitive intermediation. I agree with him with regard to point (1) but not point (2) and (3). I won’t present any of my argument here, however, because Sam isn’t here to respond, as he is in the videos. I have also written three blog posts on the Harris/Peterson discussions, here: 1. https://jordanbpeterson.com/philosoph… 2. https://jordanbpeterson.com/philosoph…

03 Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray Dialogue – Dublin

07/14/2018 This is the third time Sam & Jordan appeared live together on stage. They were joined by Douglas Murray. This event took place at Arena in Dublin, Ireland on July 14th 2018 in front of 8500 people. The event was produced by Pangburn Philosophy.

04 Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray – London

07/16/2018 This is the fourth time Sam & Jordan appeared live together on stage. They were joined by Douglas Murray. This event took place at The O2 Arena in London, England on July 16th 2018 in front of 6500 people. The event was produced by Pangburn Philosophy.

I hope you are still here and have begun to crystalize your own thinking on this topic. To help us we have moderator Bret Weinstein reflections on what he witnessed.

Reflections on Sam Harris vs Jordan Peterson, Bret Weinstein

There, now it is time to share my reflections on this experience in light of an abstract conceptualization we in the process of formulating by actively writing about what we have witnessed.

 

 

 

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