[[This is an experiment. Generally I write and edit and write and edit and edit some more and then publish. I’m working on this in public; parts will probably only be comprehensible to me while that’s happening..]]
I’ve been sporadically preoccupied with the big Why Bother questions since high school: What’s worth doing? Why bother to act? What justifies itself in the face of the imminent heat death of the universe. (Well, maybe not always the latter.)
This has lead through the decades to a slow motion analysis of the meaning of meaning.
My initial thoughts were shaped by three books I found in the paperback rack in my father’s drug store when I was a high school freshman: Alan Watt’s Psychotherapy East and West, RD Laing’s Politics of Experience, and Carl Jung’s Memories, Dreams and Reflections.
It should be obvious from what follows which one of the three had the biggest influence.
I will still argue that Jung is inappropriately dismissed as unscientific. His basic mechanism of the Self, particularly as elaborated by his collaborator Erich Neumann, is an auto-regulatory system, an explicitly compensatory mechanism, that kicks in when the personality becomes lopsided and fore-grounds and integrates needed but excluded and/or under-developed aspects of the person.
With that introduction. Here goes….