Monday, June 14, 2010

Root Assumptions

Do we ever understand what we think? We understand only such thinking as is a mere equation and from which nothing comes out but what we have put in. That is the manner of the intellect. But beyond that there is a thinking in primordial images, in symbols that are older than historical man; which have been ingrained in him from earliest times, and, eternally living, outlasting all generations, still make up the groundwork of the human psyche.

It is possible to live the fullest life only when we are in harmony with these symbols; wisdom is a return to them. It is a question neither of belief nor knowledge, but of the agreement of our thinking with the primordial images of the unconscious.

Carl Jung, the 20th century Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology, wrote those thoughts in his 1936 book, Modern Man in Search of a Soul. Jung is describing what Eastern philosophy has expressed for centuries. As Jung said, we only understand what we perceive and believe. Perceptions and beliefs are rooted in the assumptions we make about social and religious beliefs as well as the other five or six core beliefs in our belief structure. Our root assumptions are built-in ideas of our focused reality. They are agreements we make with the conscious mind. Every reality has its own set of agreements.

The conscious mind is a complex aspect of the self. We like to believe that only one aspect of the self exists in this reality, but as Jung points out we are immersed in other aspects of the conscious mind. Those aspects are not connected to the brain so there is a primordial element to our psyche. Our moments of reflection bring some of these elements into our reality, but we usually ignore them. We perceive reality as cause and effect, guilt and punishment, and the expansion of time so our primortal thoughts do not fit into our root assumptions. But, they exist whether we recognize them or not. We exist in more than one reality. These realities are simultaneous and open-ended. The aspect of the conscious mind that is connected to the brain is moving toward the realization that it plays a part in these multidimensional realities.


Sistah Kenya said...

I love this one Hal.. I had to come here just to get a word from you.. I had forgotten about your blogs I do apologize.

Hal said...

It's good to hear from you Sistah Kenya. Thanks for visiting.