A Dream, Association, Amplification

dream-110/28/2016 Dream: I am in a 50’s classroom with wooden desks and black-broads on all the walls. I was at the front black-board examining the work written there and noticed at the lower right corner a part of the final mathematical equation has been erased and asked the team with me in the room about this. One fellow, a little older, said here it is and was at the side black-board on the right writing out the equation as I and the other two team members watched and listened to what was being written and explained.

Association: I am first reminded of teaching in this class room at UIBE in Beijing and filling the front blackboard by writing my lectures notes from the upper left to the lower right. We also began every day listening to the Voice of America news with special reports on the pending 1989 Kuwait rescue lead by the US. This also reminds me of the effort in the movie Interstellar looking for mathematical equation to help solve the global environmental disaster facing Earth. I also thought of the movie Good Will Hunting and Will solving mathematical problems on a university hall blackboard. Also I associate my blog entry Trump: A Space-Time Traveler where I entertained Kurt Gödel’s incompleteness theorems. And finally most recently, I associate the my Dream 10.26.2016 where I projected a complex issue onto my friend and former colleague Leo. I was in the midst of working this through when I had this dream, whose amplification continues the processes of understanding what is unfolding.

Amplification: Here is what I wrote as part of my amplification to the 10.26 dream: When I first started teaching at UND in 1974, the pedagogy I began using was the experiential learning model and at the undergraduate level I had to generate class-room experiences to analyze. In MBA courses with practicing managers, they used their working experiences to analyze, relate to theory, and weekly write a 5-page paper. What I recently realized is that my blogging experiences on Trump are in essence a continuation of this classroom experiential pedagogy? The theory I am using is presented in Robert Romanyshyn’s book The Wounded Researcher: Research with soul in mind (WR). In the last Blog post I was applying WR Chapter 12 on Writing down the soul. Then other day I re-read Chapter 13 Towards an ethical epistemology, which I will make use of in this blog entry following on the Trump: A New Moses post. Chapter 13 is the theory helping analyze a recent experience I had with a former UND colleague that is causing me to re-think the new ethics.

I now move to amplifying this latest dream. I have been re-reading Romanyshyn chapters and during the night decided to re-study Chapter 13 towards an ethical epistemology and drill down into what this chapter proposes. I am drilling into the difference between the ending in the Trump as Moses blog post listing my previous blogs presenting the new ethic, A New Depth Ethic, Deep Jesus, Us?, The Mathematics of Faith?, and what Romanyshyn proposes in his Chapter 13. Is there something new in his ethical epistemology chapter that extends the new ethics outlined?

We begin by presenting Wikipedia’s definition of epistemology as “the nature of knowledge, the rationality of belief, and justification. Much of the debate in epistemology centers on four areas: (1) the philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge and how it relates to such concepts as truth, belief, and justification, (2) various problems of skepticism, (3) the sources and scope of knowledge and justified belief, and (4) the criteria for knowledge and justification.” I do not intend to address these points but want to keep this definition in mind as a reference to what will eventually unfold. Romanyshyn begins Chapter 13 with an interesting quote from Erich Neumann’s cornerstone book Depth psychology and a new ethic, …[T]he old ethic … an ethic of conscious attitude … is typified by the text form St. Augustine (354-430) in which the saint thanks God that he is  not responsible to him for his dreams.” Today, 2000 years on, things have changed – we are responsible for our dreams, however, not many realize this!

We begin by saying that Romanyshyn’s WR project, as a whole is itself moving towards an ethical epistemology and is seen addressing the full definition of epistemology. This said, what Romanyshyn attempts in his last Chapter 13 to understand his experience of writing this last chapter by applying his project’s epistemology – the ethical responsibility all researchers have in understanding how their personal complex influences conducting of their research projects. Romanyshyn’s project has been birthing this book for 20 years and this morning he is describing at the beginning of this chapter his sixth time starting to write the chapter and his anxious feeling from the pressure of deadlines to complete the book. Contributing to his anxiety is that this morning he did not follow his usual “routine of dedicating the day to his ancestors” and to others gathered around his writing table (333).

Romanyshyn begins this chapter telling a dream he had the night before that was related to his anxiety feelings about time deadlines coming from his publisher. In Robert’s dream he was in a classroom group taking a timed paper-pencil test. He realizes 20 minutes into hour test that he has the wrong test, pencil, and he approaches the proctor who is busy talking with another person on frivolous things and does not pay attention to him – he is anxious not having the right tools to complete the test. Robert is sure he has to take notice of this dream as it relates to his writing this last chapter as he quotes Jung asserting, “The images of the unconscious place a great responsibility upon a man” and “[i]nsight into them must be converted into an ethical obligation” (Jung, MDR, 1965:193).

After an initial amplification of this dream, Robert moves to his morning ritual, a nod to his ancestors, continued writing the ethics chapter, and keeping the dream image present as its amplification matures. Robert ends this prelude to this chapter, saying “I am making a place for the dream in the work, which is what an alchemical hermeneutic method does,…the dream is not the content of the research or this chapter … The dream in research is a way of doing research, a path that can be followed, part of a method that would keep soul in mind,:” and as he worked this day he amplified the dream throughout the day as it revealed meaning to what was unfolding in writing this last chapter. Robert’s dream informed him about what was coming down as he began writing this last important chapter. I am now mindful of what my dream is revealing about my project?

Romanyshyn is now ready to introduce Chapter 13 and he does so with another quotation from Neumann (p.74): … [T]he old ethic is a partial ethic … it fails to take into consideration or to evaluate the tendencies and effects of the unconscious … Within the life of the community, this takes the shape of the psychology of the scapegoat; in international relations it appears in the form of those epidemic outbreaks of atavistic mass reaction known as war.

If our epistemology does not take into consideration the unconscious, our dreams, they are “one-sided, fixed truths and ideological exercises of power (emphasis added). Romanyshyn points to the example of the historical development of depth psychology to see “how differences with the other without proper consideration of the other in oneself, lead to animosity toward and the demonizing of the other.”  Looking at republican and democrat animosities, I think it is accurate to conclude that these individuals’ do not understand what the new ethic requires, working with one’s shadow and the other. I then had to ask myself, Steven, if you claim to understand and are trying to live this new ethic, how can you explain the animosity recently shown towards a friend and past colleague, Leo? This is the mystery under investigation and the plot deepens in Robert’s next observation that I think is on the trail of explaining this quandary.

Romanyshyn asks us to consider this issue: … “how can the ethos of Western science, despite its great achievements, cast a huge shadow of destruction over human life and the environment” – capitalism has produced great wealth, high living standards, in the midst of inequalities, starvation, unemployment, weapons of mass-destruction, constant wars, and global warming!  If a friend, a colleague, holds the opposite logic on global warming as you, how can they accept each other living under the same teepee? Robert suggests that “All the bodies of knowledge we create, like those who create them cast a shadow. The challenge is coming to terms with “the shadow side of our ways of knowing and constructing the world. An ethical epistemology would have us make a place for the unconscious in our ways of knowing the world” (336). This is the essential difference between Leo and I, which and Zizek’s clip on the pervert’s guide to ideology addresses. I sent this to Leo believing he needed to be forced to put on the ideological classes allowing him to see into the ideology, the shadow of capitalism. I anticipated it was going to verbally violent since we live 1500 miles apart and besides he is much bigger than I.

What I attempt in the publication and Blog post Kapitalism On The Couch, is a psychoanalytical approach to analyze capitalism’s shadow. This project stirred some anxieties in the application of The Wounded Researcher’s ethics epistemology to global corporate capitalism. I wouldn’t have mind if my friend Leo had built his case like Francis Fukuyama’s “the end of history and the last man” , reaching the conclusion that liberal democratic capitalism is the Promised Land. Fukuyama soon had to discard his argument, however, Leo, lacking a logic just trashed the idea that capitalism might have a dark other  side. So, here is my dilemma, how can I respect the other when the other does not respect himself with a well-thought-out-logic that respects our common mother – Mother Earth? This is a disrespect that will eventually kill us and our childrens children’s children.

Romanyshyn ends this introduction challenging my understanding of my inner personal shadow other and the outer other. “The present day shows,” he writes, “with appalling clarity how little able people are to let the other man’s argument count, although this capacity is a fundamental and indispensable condition for any human community. Everyone who proposes to come to terms with himself must reckon with this basic problem. For, to the degree that he does not admit the validity of the other person, he denies the ‘other’ within the right to exist – and vice versa. The capacity for inner dialogue is the touchstone for outer objectivity” (Jung, TTF, p187).

This is the challenge not only facing Leo and I but also the World rite large – republicans and democrats. It currently does not seem possible for Western Civilization to accept a big Other, ISIS – both are now left to killing one another – can there ever be an authentic dialogue? Also as we wind down this bitter 2016 US election, the mutually assured destruction buttons have been pressed. And inside our teepee, Leo and I need a peace-pipe, but what is smoked has to properly alter our consciousness. For Romanyshyn’s epistemology to remain viable both parties have to gain from a dialogue, and that means being able to see some newness in the other’s logic that can be added to one’s own understanding – raising all levels of consciousness. It seems that if the other does not come to dialogue table ready to speak/debate/write consistently, logically, heart-felt then there is no incentive to engage in dialogue. Seeing our own evil is challenging!

This is my amplification half way through Romanyshyn’s Chapter 13, which I was again re-reading in the night anxious to get this amplification finished correctly. I was fearful that I might be mistaken, but I sensed from previous readings there is a hidden jewel of understanding to be mined here. Heaven forbid could I ever be mistaken? Yaa! Then in the night 10.29 I had fallen asleep asking about my way through this dream amplification and had this dream: I heard a voice say “metaphoric sensibility” and I said “yes, that’s it, thank you”. I recorded the dream and fell back to sleep.

Getting up, brewing coffee, welcoming ancestors to gather around, I began working with the third section of Chapter 13 A few reflections. In terms of Kolb’s experiential learning model, reflections work with our experiences and our theories especially the ones we are currently studying. Then begins in earnest the 4th and final element of our experiential learning modelexperimentation in writing with soul in mind – I felt loaded for bear.

Romanyshyn presents metaphoric sensibility in Chapter 12 Writing down the soul (314-327) and says that “adopting this sensibility towards one’s work allows the researcher to remain open, curious, and inclined toward the “not yet” of the work that is held as a possibility in the ‘is not’ of metaphor. The ‘is not’ of metaphor is always a mystery and the mystery of metaphor invites the wounded researcher to keep the mystery in the work alive, primarily by avoiding any premature closure of meaning, by allowing the work to dissolve itself when it has become too fixed.”  Here is the struggle I was having at this point reflecting on this dream, it is “the tension between ‘is’ and ‘is not’ of metaphor, is the tension between the ego’s intentions for the work and the soul of the work.” What I am now in the midst of moving toward is “In the ‘is not’ of one’s metaphorical writing is the path to writing down the soul of the work” (323).

Romanyshyn elaborates further on metaphoric sensibility as it applies to an ethical way of knowing by suggesting there are two moments necessary to understand and practice. The first moment is that “to appreciate oneself as an other, it is necessary to be in dialogue with an other.” The outcome of this moment is the other reflects back to you that your view is one respective among equals. “The other sees things differently,” Romanyshyn writes, “from another perspective, and with this recognition the other challenges who one is and how one imagines the world.” A key aspect in this process, that I am adding here,  is that the challenge to one’s perspective has to be seen as creditable to the point that one becomes curious in seeing in the dialogue the potential of broadening one’s own level of understanding – one’s level of consciousness. When I tried to open a dialogue with Leo, by sending him Zizek’s clip on “what it means to be a revolutionary,” his comment was that it was boring, illogical, Marxist propaganda and then said he quit watching soon after it began. Certainly, not a stimulus to dialogue!

Romanyshyn points out that “… if the conversation is to be truly transformative for each, if each is to see his or her view as a perspective among others, then each has to be able to listen.” A metaphoric sensibility begins by listening deeply to the other perspective and then and only then speaking. Leo’s comment was a “kick-in-the-balls,” to paraphrase a Zizek joke that he missed not listening to the end of the meaning of a revolutionary clip – this killed my desire to attempt another  dialogue – there was no way I could see a dialogue with Leo broadening my view of the World. What I saw were holes in his logic, which I did comment on, not in my best way, my fault addressed in the second moment. However, by this time I think we both felt it was not worth the effort, as this second moment seems to have been lost. I am not sure, if forever.

The second moment in metaphoric sensibility is the capacity to listen, which I see as the jewel hiding in the rough and tumble of the dialogue, and it is a key to understand both the inner and the outer others! This listening capacity is a disposition to pause when hearing the other’s words, letting them settle into the heart before the head takes over. Romanyshyn asserts this “requires a change of heart, and this change of heart involves an emotional aspect in one’s confrontation with the other.” And now we are approaching the hidden jewel in that “a different perspective challenges one’s certitude by transforming it into a perspective and presenting an emotional challenge.” Romanyshyn then uncovers the jewel being sought, “… the other’s perspective speaks to the other within oneself, and when that other within is unconscious, when it lives in one’s life as a shadow, this emotional challenge is more often than not more than one wishes to hear” (340). When I read this, I stepped back from my periscope and realized that I was as much at fault in ending our dialogue as I thought Leo was. It was a different aspect of the dialogue dynamics being examined. This gave me a different window into seeing my shadow and what I am realizing is that I have “shadow work” to do and have a new perspective in doing it – Leo’s perspective I need to more carefully examine, however, I still hope my friend will develop a logical argument.

The next section of Chapter 13 is Re-Search as an ethical responsibility that addresses the issue of ethics in conducting research projects. Several years ago another colleague told me about his published research paper on ethics and that his team’s effort to have a high powered quant-guy on board to crank the numbers. I asked if they had an equally high-powered analytical psychologist on the team – they had not. Romanyshyn’s makes two points on this ethics research project that I will briefly comment on. A researcher’s psychological complex, which is projected into the research project has to be taken into consideration, just as in quantum physics research. The second point is most interesting and let me quote Robert: “The researcher is also ethically obligated to make a place for the strangers in the work; those others who carry the unfinished business in the soul of the work. The ancestors for whom the work is done, that great extended family who line the corridors of history, as Jung speaks of them, gathered around the writing-table, their questions waiting to be heard. We owe them our attention if we are to keep the soul of the work in mind. We have an ethical responsibility to lend them an ear. For re-search with soul in mind, the ethical responsibility we have toward our subjects extends to the ethical responsibility we have toward the work” (342).

The anxiety Robert reveals at the beginning of this chapter emanated in part from his forgetting to greet his ancestors and interested friends also up early, gathered around his writing-table, ready to participate in the day’s work. I just let out a hardy laugh, a smile, and now tears are coming to my eyes. I had greeted my ancestors this morning with a bow to remembering them, seeing their photographs on my walls and their books in my bookcases. And just now, I am thinking of my grandfather Arvid Rudolf Scherling, my namesake, as he is here beside me now looking over my shoulder at what I wrote in my notebook last night – the title of his book “The dogma of a sinful constitution by ARS” and underneath I wrote “The dogma of a capitalist constitution by SAS.” I see him now smiling, saying “go for it Steven Arvid!”

The last section is Amor Fati, which Wikipedia defines as “a Latin phrase that may be translated as ‘love of fate’ or ‘love of one’s fate’”. I think this dream amplified is a direct experience of amor fait.  I have been at a blackboard all my life and recently was working with Kurt Kodel’s equations in the Blog post titled Trump: A space-time traveler. Karl Marx’s mathematical transformation problem has been an interest since graduate school. And this dream’s blackboard reminds me of teaching at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) (1988-1991) right through The Trainmen Square Massacre and its aftermath. I can remember wondering why the PRC would allow me to teach participation management principles (democracy) in a Communist State? The dynamics of this question are still with me as I study the forces in globalization. The logic like the end of history and the last man standing is on the blackboard but it has an unclear final mathematical element that a colleague (Leo) offers to re-state as I and several team members attentively listen to. From my dissertation to this dream amplification, Romanyshyn makes this important observation, “Facing the work, one accepts that one has been called into the work through one’s complexes for the sake of becoming the agent of the work itself, accepting its imperfections and incompleteness, and, resting in that place one knows that to the best of his or her abilities, one has been faithful to the dialogue with others for whom the work has been done” (344).

The real challenge at the center of being a wounded researcher and being “called into the work though one’s complexes” is to understand one’s complex involved in the research project. In trying to get this competed and sent, I turned to another chapter, started to read, and then realized that I was experiencing the holographic nature of Romanyshyn’s book. A project exploring this concept is going to take more space-time – a wounded researcher’s question, “Is the Soul holographic and what would be its mathematics?”

Michael Talbot – Synchronicity and the Holographic Universe

Fourier Series

Fourier Transform, Fourier Series, and frequency spectrum

Series of Dreams – Bob Dylan



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4 Responses to A Dream, Association, Amplification

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