Ep. 49 - Awakening from the Meaning Crisis - Corbin and Jung

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007fe885a79ef8> #<Tag:0x00007fe885a79e30>

topic

discussion

my notes

  • Non-teleological relationship to the play of being
  • Corbin: gnosis (ability to engage in serious play) relates to the imagination. Imaginal: mediates between the abstract intelligible world and the concrete sensisble world, transjectively mediates between the subjective and objective, all done dynamically - all this mediation and mutual affordance done in an on-going transformative transframing
  • Symbol: captures all of this
  • Corbin’s core symbol: Angel -> relates directly to gnosis (transformative participatory knowing), we have to see self knowledge and knowledge of the world as inextricably bound up together
  • Pursuit of the Divine Double: transgressive of our cultural cognitive grammar, we are born of our true self that needs to express itself (Rousseau), core virtue is authenticity, rather than the socratic model, true self is something to which aspiring -> transgressive mythology is that the self that I have now is not my true self, my true self is my divine double - something bound to me but superlative to me, me as I’m meant to be
  • Goal to transcend to become a self that is ecstatically ahead of me in some way\
  • By asking the question why did so many believe in this so deeply, the aspirational process
  • Zeroing in on this relationship of aspiration, deep connection between aspiration and rationality, rationality is an aspirational process
  • Education: liberal education deeply aspirational process, part of what makes us rational
  • Argument: if we do not understand a kind of proleptic rationality (aspiration), the rationality that emerges in education, the cultivation of rationality, pursuit of education will lead to self-contradiction.
  • Rejoining of love and reason
  • Non-logical identity between Self 1 and Self 2

The Problem of Non-Logical Identity

  • S1 -> S2
  • Two sides of aspiration:
    • I deeply understand it
    • I’m deeply grateful for it/value it
  • S1: I don’t appreciate classical music, I don’t have a taste for it, I don’t get it
  • S2: I want to be somebody who appreciates it
  • If I want to do it because I want to impress my friends then I’m not actually aspiring, because S2 doesn’t appreciate classical music because it impresses their friends, or helps in their dating life, they appreciate it for a perspectival and participatory knowing that S1 doesn’t have.
  • The appreciation of that S2 has is bound to perspectival and participatory knowing of which S1 is ignorant
  • Looks like a fundamental discontinuity here
  • Callard shows this is problematic:
    • Strawson: talks about paradox of self-creation
    • For self-creation to be truly an instance of self and creation need:
      • Continuity requirement: something deeply continuous between S1 and S2. Must be the same self (S1 = S2). If S1 gets in accident, brain damage, acts differently, that’s not self creation, S1 must be responsible for S2
      • Real novelty between them or no creation involved. Developing a skill already have not real novelty, improving a skill is not creative (S1 =/ S2)
    • Strawson points out that self-creation is paradoxical, self-contradictory
    • In order to get the real novelty of S2 have to introduce something that’s outside the logic of S1, the logic of its values and beliefs, but if it comes from outside of S1 then it’s not an act of self-creation. Can’t infer a stronger logic from a weaker logic, can’t infer S2 from S1
  • Callard says Strawson mistaken, the relationship of S1 and S2 is one of non-logical identity
  • We practice this by engaging in narrative by making ourselves into temporarily extended selves that have a non-logical identity through time and through development
  • The romantic expressionism, and the empiricist writing on a blank slate don’t capture what’s happening between S1 and S2 -> not that S1 is changed randomly into S2 from outside, nor that S1 makes S2
  • Neither pure passivity or pure activity
  • Better way to describe is that S1 does not receive nor make S2 but participates in S2’s emergence. S2 emerges out of S1 to the point that S1 disappears into S2 - we participate in an emergence
  • Aspiration is Collard’s name by which S1 participates in the emergence of S2 out of S1

(why shouldn’t this apply to improving existing skills?)

  • Problem: S1 in an important sense causes S2 - my actions now are necessary and sufficient to result in a course that results in S2, but though S1 is temporily before S2, the opposite is the case S2 normatively. S1 depends on S2 - S1’s actions only make sense once S2 comes into existence. Only S2 appreciates it. S1 causes S2 but S1 is normatively dependent on S2
  • Everything S1 is doing only makes sense once S2 comes into existence

(really? The journey doesn’t make sense unless you get to the end? S1 is looking ahead, that’s why they are doing this. It’s not reverse causation)

  • It’s only after the aspirational transformation can S1s behaviour be justified, made sense of, be understood

(this doesn’t make sense. If S1 can’t predict that they will become S2 through this process, why do it? What turns on this?)

  • S2 is where we find the justification, legitimation, aspiration
  • That’s weird for us, because normally the thing that is temporarily prior and causes is also the thing that is the source of justification and explanation

The mythos of the divine double

  • Mythos of the divine double: preexists, fully formed, drawing me out teleologically until become S2
  • But the teleological explanations often thwarting us.
  • Want to say S1 has the causal power, but S2 has the normative authority
  • When I’m S1 when I’m aspiring to be more rational, how do I relate to S2 which doesn’t exist but has authority over me?
    • I’m relating to this aspired foreself - the self I aspire to, there’s a non-logical identity between that myself now and myself then
    • Self I’m aspiring to not logically accessible to me, can’t infer my way to it
    • My representation of my future self, has to afford me this non-logical process and that representation has to afford this transformation of me into the aspired to self. It has to actually help me become a more rational person now
    • What kind of thing does this for me? A symbol. Puts these two together in the right way.
  • My representation of the aspired to self is a symbolic self that I can internalize into my current self anagogically.
  • we transcend ourselves by internalizing how other people’s perspectives are being directed on us. Ex: Stoic aspirant interalizes socrates so he becomes more socratic
  • The symbolic self has to be internalized. The internalized self is something other than you yet it becomes something that is completely identified as you
  • Becomes part of your metacognitive, reflective rationality in the case of internalizing Socrates
  • Becomes part of the very guts of the machinery of yourself
  • Anagogically: reordering psyche to so see different ways of being in the world and as I inhabit those new ways of being in the world they allow me to then re-internalize
  • I internalize Socrates, then I indwell the world in a more Socratic fashion which allows me to more internalize Socrates, which allows…
  • Not something that is passively happening to you, something that transcends receiving and making, it is participating
  • Symbolic self that internalizes other people’s perspectives, make viable to you the self you aspire to, as you internalize them, as you transform the world is transformed also
  • The divine double is a mythos way of trying to capture this dynamic process, represents this process in a linear narrative, simplifies it into a simple kind of teleology, but not capturing the participatory nature
  • The divine double, people trying to say, that it’s an imaginal symbol, that affords the dynamic coupling of anagoge that allows you to participate in the act of self creation/aspiration
  • The divine double is you but not you, its the advanced others you have internalized into you but eventually become you, a way of being becomes viable to you
  • The self you will be, but not the self you are, but there if no inkling in your current self won’t be part of the aspirational process
  • Start from frame 1, want to move to frame 2
  • Divine double allows you to internalize from the more encompassing frame to your current frame
  • Shinning in through the divine double, shinning into your frame, which affords you moving towards indwelling the more expanded frame

  • The agent and the arena are simultaneously transformed
  • The divine double shines the greater frame into the current frame but it also draws you out, withdraws into the more encompassing frame
  • Sense of closing into your relevance, but opening into your greater self -> gnosis
  • Divine Double allows you to conform to the very play of being itself. The way being is shining but also withdrawing, affords radical transcendence which is always a process of becoming a greater or better self
  • Suggesting: Divine Double is a central example of the imaginal. Represented in the mythos of angels.
  • Divine double transjective, transframing, integrating the abstract form or a concept of the better self, integrating that with my concrete - concrete causal actions of myself, deeply symbolic in nature and in action
  • Symbol but not just imaginary, imaginal in nature, it makes, affords, the true development, affords the core of the being mode. Not about having things, about becoming someone
  • Corbin: everything has an angel, not only the agent that’s being transformed, it’s also the arena, the world opening up.
    • Every object is shining and withdrawing into its mystery
    • Everything is a thing beyond itself
    • Coupled process

The Sacred Second Self

  • Deep connections being gnosis and the divine double, but unhappy with the term “divine double” seems to bind us too much to the mythos and the teleological structure, notion of divine seems to bind this to theism which is problematic
  • Buddha nature similar to divine double
  • This way of talking about aspiration can be seen clearly in non-theistic religions, seen clearly in gnosticism which should not be interpreted theistically, neoplatonism, plotinus
  • Not going to use the term divine double, call the symbolic self the sacred second self
  • Have an inkling of its value.
  • Notion of sacred second self notion of bringing back the soul, the soul you are becoming. Allow us to make a bridge to Jung

Jung and Individuation

  • Sacred second self central to Jung’s work
  • Jung’s Modern Man in Search of A Soul
    • Modern man lost his soul
    • Loss of real relationship to the SSS that is needed for responding to the meaning crisis
  • We can move between Corbin and Jung by picking up on your relationship to your SSS
  • Notion of developsystemicment and self-transformation and how to respond to the meaning crisis: individuation
  • Jung picking up on psychology, the processes within the psyche that are conducive to responding to the meaning crisis
  • Psychological for Jung: contrast to Freud
    • Freud: hydraulic model of the psyche, newtonian machine, things under pressure have to be relieved
    • Jung: rejects that, organic metaphor, sees psyche as a self-organizing dynamical , auto-poeitic being, complex process of self-organization
    • Individuation; self-organizing process that neither make nor receive but participate in
  • Jung gives a psychological analogue to Plato’s forms - archetype - formative founding patterns of the psyche, structural functional organization by which the self organizes
  • Archetype not images, you have to take the images and treat them in an imaginal fashion, imaginal things that are leading you into the aspirational process of individuation
  • Systems of constraints. Virtual engines that regulate the self organization of what is salient to us
  • Ex: if the Hero archetype is active in me, doesn’t me i have image in head of the hero, but an imaginal relationship in which I’m analogically interacting with the world, undergoing aspirational transformation so I’m becoming more and more heroic
  • Archetype is more adverbal than adjectival. How coming to be, not something you possess and reflect upon
  • Auto-poietic: have a life to them. The way the psyche makes itself as a living organism
  • Ego -> self
    • Ego: archetype of conscious mind: virtual engine that regulates the self organization of the conscious mind
    • Self: archetype of the archetypes, the virtual engine regulating the organization of the psyche as a whole, the principle of auto-poeisis itself
    • Virtual engine that constellates all the other virtual engines so that the psyche can continue its process of autopoietic self-organization
  • When a system is self-organizing its function and development is completely merged
  • Can set up an interaction between these imaginal symbolic entities, the archetype, that can be internalized into the way the ego self-organizes, that can be part of the dialogue between the ego and the self
  • As I dialogue through the archetypes with the self, the egos perspectival knowing and participatory being being fundamentally altered
  • individuation of the ego through its dialogue with the sacred second self
  • Jung’s deep criticism of literalism and fundamentalism - reduces the imaginal nature of the archetypes into being imaginary, lose the being mode
  • V’s criticism of Jung:
    • For most of his writing, Jung understands all of this as subjectively, all happening within the mind. Archetypes understood subjectively rather than transjectively
    • Jung misses the existential modes - having and being
    • Corbin: Jung seems to be reducing the imaginal to the imaginary
    • In fairness to Jung, what’s missing from Corbin is the psychology, haven’t told how the internalizing looks like
  • V argues can integrate the three together: Jung, Corbin, Buber, something better -> Tillich