On The Dragging In Of Models

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PeterB
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On The Dragging In Of Models

Postby PeterB » Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:19 am

Just a few reflections on what I see as a tendency to attempt to bring cultural bagge into our our understanding of Dhamma which look as though it might shed light, but actually acts as barrier to understanding what the Buddha taught.
At the moment i would like to look at the bundle of often contradictory odds and ends that is Jungian Psychotherapy.
On the surface it appears to have commonalities with certain aspects of Dhamma..reinforced by Jungs tome's being illustrated by decontextualised Buddhist imagery.
I would argue that various concepts that are the at the core of Jungian analysis are not only not found in Buddhadhamma but are at odds with The Buddhas teaching..concepts like the Shadow Personality have no equivilance in the kandhas. The same with the Archetypes as envisaged by Jung.
These concepts may be fruitful ground for artistic expression, in the same way that Christianity served as an insipration for the artists of the Renaissance, but they have no objective reality.
In this I would suggest , Theravada Buddhism and modern psychology have a common view.
Modern psychology many are surprised to learn, would not touch either Jung or Freud with a barge pole.
Their ideas are seen as outmoded and unverifiable. The only reference to them in any degree level course in Clinical Psychology is as historical footnotes.
In the context of a Theravadin forum the thing to note is the complete absence of anything akin to Jungian thought in Buddhadhamma
Which does not prevent a widespread assumption that those equivilants must somehow sorta be there there...
For anyone interested one place to start might be an exercise in which Jung's ( or anyone elses ) concept of The Unconscious is placed into the schemata of the khandas...

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Re: On The Dragging In Of Models

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:32 am

Greetings Peter,

That reminds me of my efforts a few hours ago to try making sense of these attempts by Nanavira Thera to represent "Fundamental Structure" using mathematical language...

Static version: http://nanavira.xtreemhost.com/index.ph ... &Itemid=87
Dynamic version: http://nanavira.xtreemhost.com/index.ph ... &Itemid=88

:?

I'm sure there was some point to it, but me not being a mathematician, I couldn't work it out. I suspect it was an attempt to mathematically deconstruct perceptions of atta.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

PeterB
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Re: On The Dragging In Of Models

Postby PeterB » Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:42 am

I can see that would be frustrating Paul..
I think that was an individual pursuit that most could not manage I certainly couldnt, it is to my regret that my maths were always poor..I would have done something useful otherwise like build bridges..instead of being an NHS drudge. :smile:
I think that the assumption largely unexplored, that there is some kind of fit between Buddhism and Jungian psychotherapy is fairly widespread.

metta Peter.

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Re: On The Dragging In Of Models

Postby Dan74 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:16 am

I find analytical psychology agrees well not only with the Buddhadhamma but with modern understanding of complexity theory.

Archetypes are understandable as emergent strictures in a decentralised system such as a neural net model of the mind (anatta). A simple and uncontroversial example of these structures are complex behaviour found in ants and bees based on several simple rules and many units interacting. Likewise the mind with relatively few rules of what is attractive/repulsive, reward/punishment etc would tend to organise mentation in specific patterns.

Shadow is simply the aspects of us that we would rather not see, both positive and negative. There is no mystique about that.

As for the Unconscious, the whole Buddhist project would make no sense if we were entirely conscious. Jung's project was deeper awareness, withdrawal of projections and a decentralised way of being where various aspects of functioning are in balance - individuation. The Buddha's project was deeper awareness, seeing things as they are (rather than the way we want to see them), anatta and developing perfections. I see a lot of similarities.
_/|\_

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Re: On The Dragging In Of Models

Postby PeterB » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:31 am

Ok Dan74 ..thanks for that..where would you posit the Unconscious vis-a-vis the khandas ?.
Similarly where in the schemata of the kandhas would you posit The Shadow ?
Do you consider the theory of archetypes that you have proposed to be that proposed by Jung ?
Or a developmemnt of Jung's thought ? Or as a different theory altogether ?
Could you contextualise the place of "analytical psychology " within the mainstream corpus of clinical psychology..can you point to accredited degree courses on mainstream Clinical Psychology which carry modules concerned with analytical psychology ?
You have suggested a lot of similarities between Jung's thought and Buddhadhamma..do you see any major differences ?
Finally..I know that this is the Dhamma-free-for-all forum , but could I ask you to frame any replies within a Theravadin model ?

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Re: On The Dragging In Of Models

Postby Dan74 » Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:26 am

PeterB wrote:Ok Dan74 ..thanks for that..where would you posit the Unconscious vis-a-vis the khandas ?.
Similarly where in the schemata of the kandhas would you posit The Shadow ?
Do you consider the theory of archetypes that you have proposed to be that proposed by Jung ?
Or a developmemnt of Jung's thought ? Or as a different theory altogether ?
Could you contextualise the place of "analytical psychology " within the mainstream corpus of clinical psychology..can you point to accredited degree courses on mainstream Clinical Psychology which carry modules concerned with analytical psychology ?
You have suggested a lot of similarities between Jung's thought and Buddhadhamma..do you see any major differences ?
Finally..I know that this is the Dhamma-free-for-all forum , but could I ask you to frame any replies within a Theravadin model ?


.where would you posit the Unconscious vis-a-vis the khandas ?.
Similarly where in the schemata of the kandhas would you posit The Shadow ?


Peter, as you probably know I am no Buddhist scholar of any sort, especially not Theravada, where my knowledge is no match for most (if not all) of the regulars here.
So I can hardly give a satisfying response to your questions. I have no idea of the Adhidammic explanations of volition and consciousness but I guess that would be the place to look.

On the cushion we often recognize things we had not been conscious of as drives, motives, fears, etc. Memories resurface. Once a prominent Theravadin Bhikkhuni who I drove back to the monastery confided that very difficult memories can resurface, i.e. abuse. I cannot begin to imagine how anyone who is familiar with meditation would question existence of the Unconscious. Maybe we are talking about different things.

I was simply speaking from experience as somebody who has worked with Jung's system as well as being a Buddhist practitioner and found that the two have much in common and also ways to enrich one another. Not to say that Buddhists "need" Jung, but some immersion can be helpful to some people at certain stages of their practice.

Do you consider the theory of archetypes that you have proposed to be that proposed by Jung ?


Jung was mainly concerned with the description of the archetypes and some anthropological parallels, he perceived. I placed them in the context of complexity and self-organisation. No conflict as far as I can tell. Besides like any system of thought it is not frozen in time but has been evolving sometimes quite radically (see e.g. James Hillman's work, especially The Myth of Analysis and Dream and the Underworld).

Could you contextualise the place of "analytical psychology " within the mainstream corpus of clinical psychology..can you point to accredited degree courses on mainstream Clinical Psychology which carry modules concerned with analytical psychology ?


I have no idea. Probably not much, depending on the country. But I suspect there isn't much Dhamma there either even though it could really be very useful...

You have suggested a lot of similarities between Jung's thought and Buddhadhamma..do you see any major differences ?


Yes, of course. To me Jung had some great insights that are useful for deepening awareness and developing aspects of functioning that can remain dormant. The Buddha taught a way of liberation and removal of all delusion. There is a world of difference.
Last edited by Dan74 on Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
_/|\_

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Re: On The Dragging In Of Models

Postby PeterB » Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:49 am

While acknowledging that all sorts of memories and fragments of memories both pleasant and painful arise in us particularly in meditation and other activities which disengage the discursive mind, I think to turn that into a theory of the Unconscious ala Jung is papanca.

I am now in semi retirement but until recently i was the director of a Therapeutic Community which operated both on group therapy and one to one therapy lines. It was founded in 1968 by my predecessor, during the time it has functioned it has deployed about a dozen therapists at a time. There is a turnover among the therapists so over the years there have been scores of them.
The therapists themselves have to be qualified in a recognised sphere of therapy.
In that time I recall not one Jungian Therapist.
Just to make it clear this is not a policy issue. The interventions are judged on results not ideology.
Jungian Therapy in the UK is exclusively the domain of those clients who can afford to go private.
And several recent independant surveys have been highly critical of Jungian and indeed other forms of analytical therapy in terms of actual outcomes.
The therapists are an eclectic bunch. Over the years CBT has become the dominant theme. Simply because it works and can be shown to work.
AS I see it CBT and its variants are what is compatible with the Theravada, dealing as it does with the observable, the pragmatic. And eschewing as it does myth and legend and models drawn from the imagination.

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Re: On The Dragging In Of Models

Postby chownah » Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:08 pm

Counting Backwards Therapy?
Crazy Bullshit Therapy?
Cerebral Bashing Therapy?
Cacaphanous Bellicose Therapy?
Chownah's Blueberry Therapy?
Canadian Baseball Therapy?
chownah?

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Re: On The Dragging In Of Models

Postby altar » Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:22 pm

Hi,
this is my thoughts. Ideas of an unconscious and shadow self are similar to ignorance in buddhism. We aren't aware of all our consciousness, or maybe it is better to say we aren't aware of certain sankharas, or maybe it is better to say we ignore certain sankharas. A shadow self I think would refer to sankharas that are not clearly comrehended and are spiteful.
Zack

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Re: On The Dragging In Of Models

Postby PeterB » Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:35 pm

chownah wrote:Counting Backwards Therapy?
Crazy Bullshit Therapy?
Cerebral Bashing Therapy?
Cacaphanous Bellicose Therapy?
Chownah's Blueberry Therapy?
Canadian Baseball Therapy?
chownah?



Yes thats right.

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Re: On The Dragging In Of Models

Postby PeterB » Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:53 pm

altar wrote:Hi,
this is my thoughts. Ideas of an unconscious and shadow self are similar to ignorance in buddhism. We aren't aware of all our consciousness, or maybe it is better to say we aren't aware of certain sankharas, or maybe it is better to say we ignore certain sankharas. A shadow self I think would refer to sankharas that are not clearly comrehended and are spiteful.
Zack

What would you sat Zack the idea of a shadow self or unconscious adds to the Buddhist view of ignorance ?

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Re: On The Dragging In Of Models

Postby altar » Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:31 pm

I'm not sure it adds anything I just think when Jung talked about a shadow self he might have been expressing or understanding this part of the psyche as he conceived it, and that as buddhism covers the whole of the psyche it corresponds to things in buddhism, and I think anything deemed a shadow self would entail ignored fear or spite or something of this nature.

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Re: On The Dragging In Of Models

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:15 pm

Greetings,

Whilst the merit of the "dragging in of models" is questionable, we cannot ignore that we bring certain baggage (both positive and negative) into our approach to the Dhamma, based on our previous experiences, thoughts, beliefs, language and exposure to society. We cannot deny that these impact the way we approach the Dhamma, nor should we ignore them. In fact, we should aim to be cognizant of this baggage in order to help us transcend that which is not valuable, and to harness that which is in harmony with the Dhamma.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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Re: On The Dragging In Of Models

Postby PeterB » Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:11 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Whilst the merit of the "dragging in of models" is questionable, we cannot ignore that we bring certain baggage (both positive and negative) into our approach to the Dhamma, based on our previous experiences, thoughts, beliefs, language and exposure to society. We cannot deny that these impact the way we approach the Dhamma, nor should we ignore them. In fact, we should aim to be cognizant of this baggage in order to help us transcend that which is not valuable, and to harness that which is in harmony with the Dhamma.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Surely Paul., the need for that kind of awareness was what prompted this thread.
I think to see that as prior learning is to me at least, most useful .

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Re: On The Dragging In Of Models

Postby alan » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:00 am

In fact, we should aim to be cognizant of this baggage

So true! Headline that in boldface and send it out to every new age bookstore.


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