Puppets Worshipping Apollo

This post is in response to Will To Power by Monarc.

“Each god ‘is a manner of existence, an attitude towards existence and a set of ideas . . . A God forms our subjective vision so that we see the world according to its ideas.’ Thus it is not true that we have ideas – ideas have us. And it is as well to know what ideas, what gods, govern us lest they run our lives without our being aware of the fact.”
~ The Philosopher’s Secret Fire, Patrick Harpur

The ideas that have us:
self, identity, individuality, ego, mind…
perception, logic, association, projection…
‘because of’, reason, rationalization…
will, power, superiority…
ownership, control, dominion…
pride, arrogance, fear…

Such a confluence of ideas gives hint to a fundamental issue around which they revolve. Connect the dots and a picture might take form. But the dots shift and the connecting lines bend.

“Look to the man to your left, yes, the cripple. Watch closely as he rises from the seat, see his shoulders rise when the crutches go under there. Similarly, when your pride is upon something, that something is only a crutch, an accessory.”
~ Monarc

We speak of a ‘crutch’ because we see the shoulder rise. And, speaking of a crutch, the shoulder rising is surmised to be the shoulder of a cripple. But it’s always easier to see the shoulder rising in another. Within the view from our own eyes that are set in our head, our shoulders don’t appear to rise when we look at them for our head rises along with our shoulders. A ‘crutch’ can become a part of us, a part of our world… or was it always there? Is it a ‘crutch’ if there is no discernible point where the self ends and it begins?

It’s amusing to watch the mind of man trying to grapple with its own nature that can’t be seen because it is ever behind him. We try to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and tripping over ourselves we continually fall on our faces. We then lift up our heads from the dust and there is dust in our eyes. If we are crippled, it is by our own behavior. But what are we besides what we do and how we act? This doesn’t however answer the question of the source and direction of causality. Are credit and blame just ideas forced upon experience?

Self-ownership? Self-will? Self this, self that… people are funny. In seeking to possess, we are possessed. In seeking to control, we are controlled.

“Question: If control’s control is absolute, why does Control need to control?”
“Answer: control needs time.”
“Question: is control controlled by our need to control?”
“Answer: Yes.”
~ William S. Burroughs

The rational mind rationalizes, but the rationalization is just a story told. The psyche is a fire around which we sit swapping ghost stories and seeing the ghosts in the flickering shadows. The purpose of the ghost story is to induce fear in pretending that ghosts might really exist and in the laughter that follows we pretend that ghosts are just fictional characters. The soul is such a ghost. Call it the unconscious or call it the soul. Tell endless stories about it. Whatever it is or isn’t doesn’t change.

“The rational ego cannot finally cut itself off from soul: but its denial of soul’s myriad images leaves an empty voice which in turn, is mirrored – as soul is always mirrored – in the universe at large. The dark abyss of space punctuated by the tiny lights, like the gnostic soul-sparks, of dying suns is the image of the modern soul. Or, rather, soullessness – in the face of which the ego suffers that sense of alienation, rootlessness and lack of meaning which is the inevitable corollary of its inflationary belief in its own self-sufficient power.”
~ Patrick Harpur

The soul animates us by imagination. The soul imagines us for soul is imagination. We try to usurp the soul’s power by imagining we imagined the soul, the very source of imagination. In imagining our own power, we destroy the power of imagination. Soul becomes like an animal killed and with its heart removed placed in the glass case of the mind. Soul becomes mere will. Even ‘will to power’ is impotent in its seeming purity. The imaginal (the gods, angels, and demons; the shadow and trickster) has no place to reside. With the self willing away all that exists outside of its perceived control, the unknown ‘other’ is forced to take the form of psychological symptoms.

“within the affliction is a complex, within the complex an archetype, which in turn refers to a god”
~ James Hillman

This brings us to the issue of what is primal. Speaking of the cat, you wrote, “That could have always been there and passed down to man.” I know that for you the cat represents a primal image within your experience. As such, does the primal image of pride and power express a primal nature carried over into the modern experience of civilized human? Both cat and human have been domesticated, but how much has domestication actually changed us?

As for primal images of the feline persuasion, I’m reminded of a description I once read, although the exact words and source are now forgotten. Here is what I recall. The author was describing the behavior of a wild cat, specifically a mother defending her cubs. Even when facing a larger and stronger male, the mother will fearlessly confront the male. Her spine and neck will be straightened as if forming a channel of laser-like power which is focused outward from the eyes. It’s an absolute intensity that will shake the confidence of almost any aggressor.

It’s no abstract will, no ideal of self-ownership. It’s a tangible force. Human rationalizations of ‘will to power’ are irrelevant to its compelling reality. There is no possessor or possessed. The force and the cat are singular. As you said, “the cat’s attitude has no ‘because of’.”

Let me bring this back to the problem of the modern human. The Enlightenment Age brought forth a rationalized ego, a hyper-individualistic ideal of freedom and self-determination. Many conservatives, especially right-libertarians, have become the greatest defenders of the most extreme form of this: self-determination justified by self-ownership. A beguiling ideal in its declarative simplicity.

“Within the strictures of commonsense reality and personal ability, we can choose to do anything we like in this world . . . with one exception: We cannot chose what any of our choices will be. To do that, we would have to be capable of making ourselves into self-made individuals who can choose what they choose as opposed to being individuals who simply make choices.”
~ The Conspiracy Against the Human Race, Thomas Ligotti

The problem as I see it is that willpower is a theological construct. The individual will is just a modern version of the soul uprooted from religion and given a psychological facade. Ultimately, there is no reason to believe in freewill… or, rather, belief not reason (belief never needing a reason) is the only thing that gives meaning to freewill.

“Look at your body —
A painted puppet, a poor toy
Of jointed parts ready to collapse,
A diseased suffering thing
With a head full of false imaginings.
~ The Dhammapada

Yes, we intuitively experience a sense of causality with our self-consciousness at the center of the show… and yet we rationally know (those of us who rationally contemplate such issues) that humans are more complex than any simplified explanation of linear causation. Our will seems so obviously real for the very reason we can’t explain it.

The cat, on the other hand, doesn’t require intellectual rationalizations about her will being ‘free’… or even blind faith that a ‘will’ exists within. The cat doesn’t seek to be an individual self-possessed, an agent who acts upon her environment rather than instinctively responding to it. The cat simply acts with all of her being. She is one with the action she takes.

But somewhere along the way humans have lost contact with this primal nature…

“Despite his new eyes, man was still rooted in matter, his soul spun into it and subordinated to its blind laws. And yet he could see matter as a stranger, compare himself to all phenomena, see through and locate his vital processes. He comes to nature as an unbidden guest, in vain extending his arms to beg conciliation with his maker: Nature answers no more, it performed a miracle with man, but later did not know him. He has lost his right of residence in the universe, has eaten from the Tree of Knowledge and has been expelled from Paradise. He is mighty in the near world, but curses his might as purchased with his harmony of soul, his innocence, his inner peace in life’s embrace.”
~ The Last Messiah, Peter Wessel Zapffe

Okay… so, what would human experience be like if it were still in close proximity to primal nature? Although I can’t claim to know, I can offer a real-world example that might offer some insight. The following is a video which I previously shared in another post (The Elephant That Wasn’t There):

These indigenous people have a language that doesn’t accommodate abstract speculations and ideological beliefs. Their language is limited to experiential and observational descriptions and claims directly based thereupon. This would make sense in terms of my thought that the religious soul and the philosophical will have a fundamental commonality. Neither the soul nor the will can be seen. Even Jesus a supposedly ‘real’ historical figure is meaningless to these indigenous people because likewise he hasn’t been seen by them or anyone they know.

Such a language seems to be made possible by the close connection these people have to nature itself. In a very tangible way, their surrounding environment is their world. Their conception of the world is limited to their perception of the world. And their perception of their world is formed by their intimately being a part of the natural world.

Metaphors of power such as ownership and self-ownership would probably have less meaning to these indigenous people. They would only speak of ownership in terms of tangible objects such as a knife or a shelter. Ownership would be defined by the person who uses the object. Such ownership is tangibly experienced by the individual and objectively observed by others. Even the idea of land ownership would likely be too abstract for their language.

Will’ is an abstraction of action. And all action is interaction. We are all part of the world. We see nature as primal, but the primal is simply what we have denied and repressed but not entirely forgotten. We are nature. Our own primal nature reminds us of this. Our conscious minds only give us an appearance of self-understanding and self-control.

From the Apollonian view, the Dionysian looks like tragedy. But from the view of the Dionysian, the Apollonian is an illusion. The seeming tragedy of the Dionysian is that it reminds us of this illusion.

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27 thoughts on “Puppets Worshipping Apollo

  1. “Each god ‘is a manner of existence, an attitude towards existence and a set of ideas”

    In all earnestness, that’s how I see people. They appear to me as constellations of certain ideas, thus condensing into super ideas by which I can tell what rules their minds. I had a personal mythology of sorts for them, I still do, but it’s under renovation cos of Jung is always going to be under renovation as more information becomes distinguishable in relation to the inter-person differences.

    I don’t agree with ideas having us, I think they are us. The ‘have’ and the whole ownership issue stinks! 🙂

    “But the dots shift and the connecting lines bend”

    Are you referring to me by that statement?

    “Is it a ‘crutch’ if there is no discernible point where the self ends and it begins?”

    This theme runs through the rest of the post

    “The rational mind rationalizes, but the rationalization is just a story told”

    I tell ya, that encounter with ‘I AM’ really made me super. That exact thought went through my mind during my catharsis after that encounter. When I was breaking the entire universe that had been built for me to accept down. To think that all of that happened in a few months duration, hm. Twas a long road

    “The dark abyss of space punctuated by the tiny lights”

    That’s my vision man. He soils it in relating it to soullessness. Okay, my tiny lights are mobile and are powerful, creative in themselves. Creative Chaos

    “The soul animates us by imagination. The soul imagines us for soul is imagination”

    Matriiixx… 🙂

    “Soul becomes like an animal killed and with its heart removed placed in the glass case of the mind. Soul
    becomes mere will”

    I’ll put that more rationally, yours is too mythical. By imagining our own power, soul is removed as Principal, relegated, and is stripped to a wisp-like state where it becomes mere will; mere will to you though. That, as can be deduced from you, is what remains, evidentially, of the soul. The soul’s last power is will. But that means the soul still animates us even if faintly. I wonder what is stripped of the soul then besides the ‘irrational imaginings’. You express the wisp of soul in the following where you had already done the stripping of the soul:
    “The problem as I see it is that willpower is a theological construct. The individual will is just a modern version of the soul uprooted from religion and given a psychological facade”

    “The cat simply acts with all of her being. She is one with the action she takes”

    She Is. I Am. As my cousin would say in pidgin “you think say you be God”. And, it’s for nothing too, just that ‘I AM’. It took years of toil to get to that summit, I ain’t coming back down.

    I don’t know about responding instinctively but I know that a being, a real be-ing, acts in the world, with the world, part of the world.

    I enjoyed it by the way. Some of these points are in the background of my post

    • “I don’t agree with ideas having us, I think they are us. The ‘have’ and the whole ownership issue stinks!”

      I understand what you mean. But when we don’t consciously and intentionally hold such ideas, they possess us as if coming from outside. Jung has written about this issue.

      “Are you referring to me by that statement?”

      I don’t recall having had any specific thing in mind that I was referring to. It was just a general response to the ideas in your post and the ideas in my own mind.

      “This theme runs through the rest of the post”

      I suppose that theme was running through my thinking, but I wasn’t intentionally creating a running theme in any overt manner. I was more loosely playing around with various thoughts that your post inspired. I felt no desire to make an absolutely coherent and conclusive argument.

      “That’s my vision man. He soils it in relating it to soullessness. Okay, my tiny lights are mobile and are powerful, creative in themselves. Creative Chaos”

      I doubt that you and Harpur are directly in disagreement. You’re just maybe using that particular imagery in a slightly different way. Since you like Jung and Fort, I’m willing to bet you’d also like Harpur.

      “I’ll put that more rationally, yours is too mythical.”

      How dare you! 😀

      “By imagining our own power, soul is removed as Principal, relegated, and is stripped to a wisp-like state where it becomes mere will; mere will to you though. That, as can be deduced from you, is what remains, evidentially, of the soul. The soul’s last power is will.”

      That is one way to think about it. I’m not clear about the details, but I’ve been contemplating in recent years how willpower has almost entirely replaced the idea of soul as animating force. The soul has been banished from everyday concerns of normal people and has become a specimen to be studied by theologians.

      But something of the soul remains within the ‘will’. Some have even tried to base an entire system of meaning on the individual will. For example, Sartre seems to have done this in his recognizing the central import of will to modern man. If you look carefully, you can still see some of the soul-like qualities of the will.

      Maybe it is wise to still give the will some respect. Not for what it is, but for what it once was and what it still contains as potential.

      “I don’t know about responding instinctively but I know that a being, a real be-ing, acts in the world, with the world, part of the world.”

      Neither do I know about responding instinctively. I’m no wild mother cat protecting her young.

      “Some of these points are in the background of my post”

      I was hoping to get beyond merely what you explicitly stated. I wanted to explore the subtext and context of the ideas in your post. And just to put my own personal spin on things.

      • “I wanted to explore the subtext and context of the ideas in your post”

        I preferred to overlook them, they’d have elongated the post. There’s a lot of sub-text to what I say, my whole blog is full of it, every post is linked to the other in some way.

        “How dare you!”

        Well, got the desired effect 🙂

        “That is one way to think about it”

        Yeah, I saw that as I was pondering it, I saw it as subject to perspective. In view of that, I said “to you”. Another way, which is linked to Nature’s denial of us, is: the soul (which is connected to nature) imagined us too much and now we are far away from it so that it seems like a faraway voice, only an special talents or just animating power remains which we assign ‘will’. The one about us doing the imagination produces two subjects with imaginal power at the same time and produces some incongruity, nevertheless possible incongruity. For this one, I can supply the image of two persons in danger of falling from a ledge or cliff, one helps the other to the top but in this way, by some means, the helper puts himself at a disadvantage of not amenable to assistance and the bond is broken, only a memory will exist for the helped (the metaphor wants to extend itself, but I restrict it, it’s carrying me into ‘too far’ cos either he’s gonna get help or he’ll forget him or he’ll keep coming to tell him all he has seen or he’ll kill him ;-)). I’ve always pondered if it’s not all part of Nature to go away from Nature. The imagination of our own power could also just be compensation for our fear of the ‘different’ beings we see as separate from us (linked to the production of hyper-individualistic ideal).

        I think I agree with Thomas Ligotti but his terms grate against mine and I think I’ll have to think about this more before making my point. I don’t believe in complete separation of man from the other absolutely. Man only Is, self-ownership is just for the sake of individual sovereignty, that one I agree to, that is linked to my concept of ‘idol’. That one is a complicated topic, but it always ends up in ‘I Am’

        • Thomas Ligotti is a philosophical pessimist of the most extreme variety and a horror writer of a very dark bent. There are few people in this world who would entirely or even mostly agree with Ligotti on the issues of freewill/determinism and suffering.

          I’m way more depressed and cynical than the average person, but even I have difficulty following Ligotti all the way down the path of pessimism. Still, I don’t doubt that some of his insights might be fundamentally correct.

  2. I followed Apollo, he led me to Thanatos. I’ve never fully followed Dionysius, he’s too dangerous. Now, I Am, that’s all I know, I’ve swallowed both Apollo and Dionysius meaning I came to know that both were part of me, paradoxically or not

    “And I toiled to the summit of the mountain of knowledge, I saw it all, the whole world sprawled before my eye. I descended again on the other side of that I ascended, into the village, fully knowledgeable, fully bereft. I became a man only to become a child again”
    ~Monarc

    This was another version. All around me I see people build idols: God, life, power, money, e.t.c. I have seen the Eternal, that made me and makes me feel invincible, like I’ve unravelled the universe and nothing seems worth my time, I feel like Vasudeva and wish to go and leave it all behind, be in permanent communion with Nature as I even feel now. But, we each have special talents and these are our egos. Besides, the arrival isn’t an endpoint, the arrival is a journey, even the start of the real journey

    “Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici”

    “I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s” – William Blake

    The Blake quote relates but I don’t know how 🙂

    • “I followed Apollo, he led me to Thanatos. I’ve never fully followed Dionysius, he’s too dangerous. Now, I Am, that’s all I know, I’ve swallowed both Apollo and Dionysius meaning I came to know that both were part of me, paradoxically or not”

      Something along those lines could apply to me as well.

      Dionysus isn’t exactly my style. I don’t think Dionysus requires followers. And no one would, of course, rationally choose to follow such a god.

      I came to Dionysus through my studies of depth psychology, but I became most interested in him from my studies of early Christianity. There are some major similarities between Jesus and Dionysus. Jesus is just Dionysus who has been cleaned up in order to be made more respectable for the civilized masses. Still, Dionysus remains as the shadow behind Jesus.

      “we each have special talents and these are our egos.”

      An odd thought. I see the connection.

      “The Blake quote relates but I don’t know how”

      I couldn’t say why it seems related in your mind, but it’s certainly related to my general worldview and of course to this blog. I’m constantly systematizing the world according to the meandering and convoluted tendencies of my Ne… not that any final system is ever created.

      • “An odd thought”

        Special talent as in one person uses the functions in there more skilfully than others. This is where I relate to Ligotti, cos these are sort of our idols, the egos we have that separate us from others. Self-ownership, to me, however, is a sham. I Am is all

  3. By the way, did you like the pictures I chose for this post?

    In particular, do you recognize the picture right at the beginning?

    • The first picture is a mandala but I can’t really see the objects well enough within the circle, one is a tree, that’s for sure, tree of knowledge?

      The second one intrigues me cos it reminds me of the Self in Jung. The entire picture exudes this aura of might and fearlessness, seems they run for heaven’s gate or a place where the man will be placed in a position of glory, the cheetah seems to say that to the man

      The Blake quote influences me in the way it does you too but in this particular one, can’t tell

      That my spiritual vision is similar to one Peter Gabriel had which inspired his song ‘Solsbury Hill’, heard it?

      Climbing up on Solsbury hill
      I could see the city lights
      Wind was blowing, time stood still
      Eagle flew out of the night
      He was something to observe…

      I forget the rest of the song, the picture is enough for me.

      • “The first picture is a mandala but I can’t really see the objects well enough within the circle, one is a tree, that’s for sure, tree of knowledge?”

        Yep. It’s a mandala. But not a mandala that many people are familiar with. It’s the mandala of the secret heart (hridaya). The throne is where is seated the divine principle or personification and the tree grants wishes. The secret heart is where the divine power of manifestation resides within you and where your ‘god’ is to be found.

        I’ve been fascinated by the concept ever since I first learned of it. There is a chakra related to the secret heart which is near although not the same as the heart chakra. The seed sound of the secret heart is hri (pronounced hree). A number of mantras include hri.

        I was reminded of it by the quote at the beginning. It seemed relevant. Along with primal power, there is also divine power… some might think they are the same. Maybe Dionysus and Apollo are interconnected and inseparable archetypes.

        “The second one intrigues me cos it reminds me of the Self in Jung. The entire picture exudes this aura of might and fearlessness, seems they run for heaven’s gate or a place where the man will be placed in a position of glory, the cheetah seems to say that to the man”

        In my thinking, that image brings together some related points. There is your cat’s pride which inspired my wild cat’s primal power. And there is Dionysus who was associated with large wild cats (wearing a tiger’s pelt, walking with cats, riding a cat or chariot pulled by cats, etc). The image is supposedly that of Dionysus.

        “That my spiritual vision is similar to one Peter Gabriel had which inspired his song ‘Solsbury Hill’, heard it?”

        I do know that song. I’ve heard it many times over the years, but I’ve never listened closely to the words. It’s a nice song. Did you have those lines memorized? Do you have a good memory for song lyrics?

  4. “Did you have those lines memorized?”

    Nope, not intently.

    “Do you have a good memory for song lyrics?”

    I have a bad memory for most things but I don’t know, songs and extraordinary happenings or idiosyncrasies of people stick with me. So I guess, if you’re have no quirks, it’ll be hard for me to remember you, in my mental world, you’ll be colored gray if I picture you, that is, nothing to offer :-). Some people are voices, others are always collecting awards or positions, that is, moulded in the ENTJ manner e.t.c.

    As far as songs go, I’ve always had this ability to anticipate what is coming next. So when I know some part or the theme of the song lyrics, I can anticipate what is gonna be or is said, my discriminative ability with sound is not that good as my vision. I use vision a lot though I have good instrumental composition skills. Seems notes are easier for me than particular letters. But, my sonic ability is something I’m still rediscovering. Usually, songs stick to me rather than I to them, it’s mostly unconscious, doing so consciously is even difficult for me, I tend to not hear the words and my mind strays so I lose attention. Consciously, I’m looking for the meaning of the song, that’s what I gather the lyrics for, to have them in memory however is a different matter; weird huh? I miss the object man, ain’t my fault, it’s how I’m wired. Besides, the songs or the words become images (my mind doesn’t stray with these, rarely, it rather takes me so far, that might even be why I stray from the words themselves) to me so memorizing the words themselves is a different matter but it does facilitate song memory cos it’s all an image now even when some words shed off. I can be shocked when I reproduce a song sometimes

    “Along with primal power, there is also divine power”

    Is divine power such that it’s given you by some separate force and primal power such that it’s within and just must be tapped?

    I’m fascinated by Kundalini, I’ll get Jung’s (pronounced Yoong :-)) book on it and see what’s up on it. I don’t much like techniques or systems (wikipedias is like that) but maybe Jung will make it ideational enough for me. I do systems as means to end of idea or principle

    “cat’s pride”

    I think you might be right cos that’s what influenced my ideas of ‘might’ and ‘glory’. If we analyse the picture, the guy is naked, nothing tells he’s princely besides the staff and the cheetah but he definitely in spite of his ‘nakedness’ is feeling quite proud and fearless, nonchalant even while the cheetah says “nothing will stop us”. I don’t know but I just get the feeling that they are going somewhere, there’s a sense of determined destination about the cheetah while the guy simply has some sort of vista

    • Yes, kundalini is interesting, but I’m more fascinated by the chakras themselves. There are various traditional cultures that have similar ideas as chakras where specific areas of the body are considered to have specific powers or meanings.

      I used to meditate on chakras. There is something compelling about them beyond just ideas. LIke MBTI, chakras give you a lense through which to interpret your experience and a language through which to communicate.

      Your interpretation of the Dionysus picture seems about right. In many other pictures of Dionysus, the figure of Dionysus and those around him often are in movement.

      I was just now realizing that, besides the crucifix, many if not most pictures of Jesus have him in movement or in the middle of an action. Both Dionysus and Jesus are without home or permanent place of residence. Like the Stoics and the original Buddhist monks, they are peripatetic.

      The movement of god-men makes sense. God-men represent the temporal movements of nature. Early humans observed the movements of constellations and planets, the moon and sun that are observed to predict the seasons, weather patterns, and the times of celestial events such as solstices. It was actually a rather important thing to do in order to determine the time of planting and harvesting and to determine when to celebrate holy days.

      Jesus is definitely more of a solar god-man, but he still has some of the vegetation god-man mythology carried over from Dionysus and other similar mythological characters. The sun as God, the visible portion of God, and Jesus as the rays of the sun ‘walking’ on the waves. The solar rays give life and make the plants grow.

      Jesus and Dionysus are wine gods and wine is all about transformation and the power of God. Grapes ripen in the sun and then ferment, earth and sun interacting to create a third. Wine is about intoxication, transformation, and divine possession.

      The idea of movement is interesting in how it has been interpreted over time. Humans used to assume that when something moves there must be something intentionally causing it to move, either a force within it or else a being acting from outside. Essentially, we still interpret the world this way but with different reasons given.

  5. You know something, I hate idea repetition. It costs me sometimes cos instead of going with the idea expressed, I think the happening or whatever object must express a new idea, I don’t like an old idea repeating at all. I’ll rather focus on what is not than what is. If it’s exactly the same as I’ve met before, I’ll pan it unless there’s some sentimental value to it. I hate idea repetition. It’s what has happened to science in my view

    I was recently telling an acquaintance that we (he and I) are the types who in a past time would have travelled cos we’d be bored of the same old place but now there’s tv so we don’t need to, it comes to us. It’s always about new ideas

    • This might relate to a difference in Ni and Ne.

      The focus of Ni brings attention to bear upon an idea seen as singular essence or image. Once perceived fully or to a satisfactory degree, Ni loses interest in that idea and will go on the hunt for a new singular essence or image. The main counter to this would be if Fe connects Ni to a tradition which would offer a container for the Ni’s seeking.

      The lack of focus of Ne makes it so that no idea is ever old. Ne doesn’t see an idea by itself. To Ne, there is no such thing as a singular essence or image. Everything is connection and connection is infinite. Take an idea in one context and put it in another context. The idea is made new. All ideas are old. Only connections are new. Old ideas are merely specific connections that have been fully explored and systematized.

      I repeat ideas endlessly. An idea that interests me offers endless possibility. I intentionally look for ideas that connect to other ideas in my mind. These ideas are tools I keep around to make further connections. Yes, a hammer may be boring in and of itself, but there are an infinite number of things that a hammer can do or make.

      I noticed that you added one exception to your rule of hating idea repetition. You’ll pan it UNLESS there’s sentimental value to it. What makes an idea have sentimental value? Ni has no element of sentimentality. Would sentimentality come from Fe? Would this relate to how I’ve observed some INFJ’s will become focused on (sentimental toward?) a particular tradition?

      For an INFP, sentimentality would of course come from Fi. An INFP feels a personal connection to an idea because it embodies or expresses a personal value. I would suspect that an INFP would more likely become attached to a single idea than would an INFJ. INFPs ultimately look for that one thing around which their life can revolve. As for myself, that one thing is ‘truth’ and from that core I can go off in a million directions, but I need that core to keep me grounded and sane.

  6. “Your interpretation of the Dionysus picture seems about right”

    So it is Dionysus picture. Didn’t thnk that, thought you were just speculating about it, I interpreted it raw, there’s something else about it that word retrieval (or word doesn’t exist?) isn’t allowing me to express. Ah, so he’s a god man, that explains the regality about him, it just hits me like that

    “Like the Stoics and the original Buddhist monks, they are peripatetic”

    My ideal life but I don’t think IBS will allow it though 🙂

    “Wine is about intoxication, transformation, and divine possession”

    My representative for divine possession is ichor. Wine is too popular besides “I want to create my own system”

    “The idea of movement is interesting in how it has been interpreted over time”

    That’s a big point there, many cultures have that. In my system, life is not just determined by movement, speech, ‘intelligence’ and the like, even stones have life in my system

    • It is claimed to be Dionysus. It’s apparently from a temple to Dionysus (Pella, 4th cent BC). The cat is supposed to be a panther, but it looks sleek enough to be a cheetah.

      http://www.macedonian-heritage.gr/HellenicMacedonia/en/img_B1233b.html

      I often do speculate, but not about this particular picture. I was intentionally looking for a historical image of Dionysus with one of his feline familiars.

      Dionysus is an interesting character. The Dionysian mysteries were related to the Orphic mysteries. Orpheus is said to have invented the Dionysian mysteries which is interesting as Jesus has been claimed to have gone down to the underworld and returned just like Orpheus. The Dionysian mysteries may have influenced both Christianity and Gnosticism.

      Dionysus, like many god-men, was originally associated with trees. Trees are central imagery for resurretion deities. The Romans often used trees as crucifixes by nailing a board to the trunk.

      Dionysus travelled to India. He does have some similarities to Shiva in both being wildmen who wear pelts and are related to ecstasy and frenzied destruction. The two may be related or there may have been influence between them. During the Hellenistic and Roman eras, there was much contact between Greeks and Indians.

      You like ichor? Do you often drink the blood of gods? Wine may seem rather common these days, but once upon a time it was associated with the blood of gods. Many of those early mystery religions probably used psychedelic plants that would’ve been soaked in wine.

      Stones have life? Don’t be silly. I’ll show the relation between stones and life when I throw a rock at your head. Yeah! I’ll cast the first stone and show you life. And I’ll maybe knock some sense in you at the same time. What do you say to that, huh? That’s enough of your pansy philosophizing. 😉

  7. “What makes an idea have sentimental value?”

    Balance, perfection, justice, honor, I hold them to my heart. Honor is especially so because of bushido though I have a lot of honor for Honor. Few ideas have sentimental value, I doubt I even have one. When an idea has potential to change lives for instance, I will be heartily attached to it. Any sentimentality will just be transient, I can’t hold to an idea for too long, soon I stab it and walk away, I’m too detached, I don’t even like being agreed with. Justice, balance, honor, these I feel. But, the Ultimate, the truth, the true way (for each or for all, don’t care), these I probably represent, I live for them. My greatest ideal is not omnipotence though it’s intriguing, it’s Omniscience and I represent it fully. The Ultimate represents it all and that’s what my mind searches for, longs for but I don’t know about sentimentality

    Ah yes, sentimentality will be related to an idea that reminds me of a time, person or place, esp time, like my youth, close to heart. Then, it isn’t really the idea but what it’s related to that contains the object of my sentiment

    “Fe connects Ni to a tradition which would offer a container for the Ni’s seeking”

    My only tradition is ‘The Ultimate’, nothing beats that. My feeling is directed directly at people where my sense of justice and compassion operates, traditions hold me only as far as their ruling Idea, beyond that, I got nothing to do with it. That’s perhaps for me; for the world, it will be based on individual balance, equality, individual independence, compassion. I rarely think in terms of a tradition, I discovered this long ago, those self-contained arguments from the bible never appealed to me, I must think outside the box, it must all reconcile, that is worrisome in a field like science too, worried me in secondary school. I just can’t do institutions, traditions and systems with their self-contained conceit. For instance, whether there’s a crime or not, I rather analyse by perspectives, philosophically not in terms of some tradition, I can’t. Funny thing too is lack of compassion in another is disagreeable to me meanwhile, I’m a man of perspective.

    • I should clarify my thoughts about tradition. I was using the term more broadly, either as a cultural tradition or a school of thought.

      Even Jungian psychology has become a tradition of sorts with its own set of institutions and training, its own methods and specialized terminology, its own lineage originating from Jung of therapists, teachers, theoreticians and writers. Jungian psychology has split off into or helped influence related schools of thought from depth psychology to transperosnal psychology.

      INFJs aren’t limited to ‘traditions’ in a traditional sense. It’s just their minds are more focused and traditions allow for Ni to be more focused. The INFJs I’ve known often have one particular thing or type of thing that they like more than everything else… which may or may not be a ‘tradition’. Even within a traditional system, the INFJ will find an original take or angle.

      For my friend, he has in recent years been very obsessed with small press horror writers. It fits the type of thing that interests an INFJ. It’s a narrow field that few people are interested in. INFJs look for their own little niche. My friend’s interest is very personal, but as bookdealer he probably is as knowledgable of small press horror writers as a devout Christian would be of the Bible.

      However, even the INFJ Christians I’ve known aren’t Christian in the simple unquestioning way an ISTJ would be a Christian. The INFJ will find some writer who is within the Christian tradition but who has their own idiosyncratic way of understanding that tradition. The INFJ won’t tend to be interested in the mainstream aspects of the tradition and will instead look to the periphery.

  8. Find little niche, look to obscure writers of some tradition, you just described me.

    I’m aware that Jungian psych has become a tradition just like everything else that gets started then soon it’s cant and the original force is lost. Me, I read Jung directly, what I do is extract his ideas and use his map to help me on my own expedition. He beat me to the Septem Sermones ad Mortuos, let me just see what else he has to offer though he’s voluminous. That Septem Sermones is the fountain of all of Jungs thought. You will find every trace there. All he does in the subsequent books is to expatiate

    • That would be more of the Ni way. Your desire is to go to the core of the Jungian tradition by going straight to Jung.

      With my Ne, I often work backwards. I’ll begin with the diversity in the tradition and then follow the various trails to find the meeting points (which may in a roundabout way bring me to the core of the tradition or it may not… the trails sometimes just go round in round or even jump me over to an entirely different tradition).

      However, in the case of Jungian tradition, I did read a fair amount of Jung before exploring the tradition. This was largely just because I was unaware of the larger Jungian tradition. I didn’t know of MBTI when I was first reading Jung.

  9. I think you’re the only person I can have discourse with without problem. This post is testament, you explored the sub-text of what I said in mine. Someone would’ve said you went out of context, I was even tempted to say it at first. All you did was take the components of my post and explore their ‘background stories’ and it’s good, it furthers the frontiers of the discussed or considered. It makes for more complete thought.

    Vicky Jo says Ni is ‘multiple meta-perspectives’, I identify. That Ni is ‘synthesizing paradoxical’, that too I identify. Thing is Ni will generate the opposites by itself and strive to reconcile them. I can’t see how one can consider something without multiple perspectives, I believe this is what you referred to as ‘my thinking style’. That is what plagued me in secondary school; there’s a nice psych story to it too, just ask ‘what happened?’. My thought is not to be used for anything, I’m an investigator, that’s my role, I keep going farther and farther out, no stop, I have to, I like to apply but my first allegiance is to exploration. My thought doesn’t settle, always with the perspectives but no one likes multi-men, women is cool for they say a man must be decisive. Let’s make that a topic of discussion: man should be decisive. How can one avoid going far and claim knowledge?

    You’re a brilliant boy Ben, and I don’t give that adjective to just anybody

    • I wanted to give you a worthy response, but I had to do so according to my style and mood. The response you got was what I had to offer. It didn’t matter if you liked it or not per se, although I’m glad you did. Not all people appreciate my way of thinking, but that isn’t my problem. As Popeye often said, “I yam what I yam.”

      I could see Ni as synthesizing paradoxical, bringing together diversity even when seemingly opposed or misfitted. Ne can synthesize but in a more haphazard way and the synthesizing can at times be merely a secondary and inessential side effect. Ne beckons onward and can’t stop for too long to absolutely reconcile the paradoxes.

      Ni will also explore, but my guess is that it will more likely use each synthesis as a stepping stone and so there is a more systematic or directed approach. This systematic or directed approach will be particularly evidence for when Ni is an auxiliary function.

      Man should be decisive? Hmmm… I’ve heard that theory before. How to avoid going far and claim knowledge? I think I get what you’re asking. This is problematic for me. Each claim of knowledge ultimately is a speculation or turns into a speculation once given a moment’s thought. So, I doubt I could help you in this matter. It’s outside my expertise.

      Brilliant Boy Ben
      Babbles Brazenly
      Ben the Boy of Brilliance
      Has a Mind Like a Bag of Bugs
      Bad Ben, Brilliance Gone Bad
      Ben’s Buggy Mind Betrays
      Brilliant Boy Ben
      Brilliant Because He Blathers
      Blathering Brilliant Ben
      Has Gone Berzerk in His Brains
      The Boy Who Wanted to Be
      But A Boy of Dreams
      Now Sits Beneath the Sun Beams

  10. Vicky Jo’s writing style reminds me of my own. She tends to chip in side-thoughts, she has a jocund style too and she’s a bleeding-heart growth person. I relate to a lot of what she says and I wonder if she’s had spiritual experiences. I wish I had money or proximity so I could either get her course or speak on phone or meet her.

    I just had this thought. You know about internet fraud right? As for you, you’re no use pursuing, how much will you give me? Maybe a sack of charms and bones from your dreams and the coffin you’ve been dreaming about that will come soon. Besides, your cat pic just doesn’t make defrauding you interesting at all 😀 roflmao

    Your Pentagon is thinking of getting legislation on cyber-attacks, that they should be interpreted as ‘acts of war’. To whatever scale the interpretation goes, I just think it gives room for abuse. Attackers can also frame other countries. It’s just going to be trouble, I don’t like it esp in those psychotic Pentagonian and US gov’t hands

    • Yes, I’ve interacted with Vicky Jo before. As a female humanoid, her expression of Fe is much more pronounced. She wants to help people, to help everyone. Yep, bleeding-heart growth person.

      I guess I hadn’t thought about here chipping in side-thoughts. But her site definitely ranges a fair amount.

      Pentagon? Shhhh! We must be quiet. They’re listening. Don’t awaken the Beast of War!

      Acts of war. It’s a funny idea when it comes to the internet. I suspect that the third world war is already going on and we just don’t notice it. I wouldn’t be surprised if all American computers have a Pentagon ‘virus’ in them which can be used to create an army of computers in case of an emergency. Those Pentagon types are sneaky fellows. They have plans upon plans with backup plans. Covert operations are going on as we speak.

      Framing and abuse can be problems. The Pentagon no doubt takes that all into consideration. But it won’t stop them from acting. I’m sure you don’t like the idea of the Pentagon’s psychotic sneakiness. Guess what? The Pentagon doesn’t care what you want. Or, for that matter, what I want. The Pentagon does what the Pentagon wants to do.

      So roll over and just take it. The Pentagon is like a large grizzly bear. The best advice is to play dead.

      It’s a Brave New World. There is going to be some real crazy stuff going on in the coming years and decades.

  11. “When an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate” – Jung

    That statement has been unfolding itself since I first encountered it. When it’s ready, I might post it too after pouring it out of its pot.

    It gets bandied around the net, but it’s a very immense statement. It is really far-reaching. It leans to saying that there’s one big Fate ordering the whole fate system where Fate is just the amalgam of the fates. It also suggests that everyones fate is linked to others (whether definite persons, that’s undetermined now). So when one thinks he’s living his own life, he’s actually also living anothers life. Each others fate orders each others life. Fascinating concept

    This isn’t hard for me to swallow cos I developed a similar concept from bereavement, that even the baby born today that died today has served a purpose, he has changed the lives of those he affected even just with the ephemerality of his life.

    “There is going to be some real crazy stuff going on in the coming years and decades”

    Even within the levity, I sense seriousness here. I think so too, I’m itching for it to start, will be interesting

    • “That statement has been unfolding itself since I first encountered it. When it’s ready, I might post it too after pouring it out of its pot.”

      It is an intriguing statement. And indeed people do like to post it all over the world wide web.

      The basic idea is somewhat simple. But it’s one of those statements that can be seen from many angles and explored to many depths.

      Jung can be taken on the level of basic psychological processes. However, to really grasp Jung, one must go beyond that. The unconscious, archetypes, synchronicity, fate, and on and on.

      The Game of Jung is a fun game to play.

      I don’t have any grand thoughts on the matter at the moment, but I will look forward to your maybe posting about it.

      “Even within the levity, I sense seriousness here. I think so too, I’m itching for it to start, will be interesting”

      I can feel the wheels of history rumbling beneath our feet. I’ve sensed a shift for some years now and have been wondering how it will all play out. Time will tell.

  12. “wondering how it will all play out”

    Basically my life, the watcher. Wondering how the future will be is like my job

    “seen from many angles and explored to many depths”

    As for me, I don’t feel many angles, I know there’s a singular essence to it though it isn’t quite illuminated yet. I however think there will be multiple components to this essence or the multiple angles will converge along the line, a similar thing which I did ‘Will to Power’.

    I think I think in a diamond pattern. I diverge then converge. Being on Vickys page helped clarify my pattern. I can diverge in my thinking but I invariably have to ‘land’. If I don’t land, the thought is not complete.

    Plus, I’m a visuokinesthetic thinker. My lingo is easy proof with my focus on “you see”, “can you see?”, “I see what you say”, images; it’s all unconscious too is the funny thing

    Jung is a repository that can perhaps never be adequately looked into cos even one statement in his works carries immense gravity. But, I really don’t want to just follow in the tradition and build on what he did, others can do that. My style (unconscious at that) is to take the thought and use it to my own purpose, sometimes very remote from source. I seldom give reference, I usually am original.

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