Forever Jung: Study of Jungian Psychology In Pinoy Pop Culture

June 1-7

This story appeared March 4, 2013 in Philippine Panorama

In 1913, a young Swiss psychologist had a vision of a "monstrous flood" that overwhelmed all of Europe, then the rampaging waters transformed into a river of blood. The young man was frightened for his sanity. August of the same year, however, signaled the advent of the first World War

Carl Jung, one of the titans in the history of psychology, had always felt a primordial link between man and mankind, a connection between one and everyone. He devoted his life in finding it.  Jung was at the frontiers of an uncharted region of the mind, and resolutely pressed forward

Sponge-Like Mind

Carl Gustav Jung was born on July 26, 1875 in Kessewil, Switzerland. Since a child, his sponge-like mind had absorbed European and ancient languages, the Jewish Cabala, Gnostic Gospels, ancient scrolls on alchemy, the Mahabharata in its original texts and many others. Already a loner as a teenager, he studied medicine in a boarding school in Basel. There he met the legendary Kraft-Ebbing, and made the decisive shift in psychology. After graduation, he worked in a mental hospital in Zurich. Eugene Bleuler, who pioneered the study of (and coined the term) schizophrenia, became his mentor. 1903 was a banner year for Jung: he became a professor, got married, established a private practice and invented word association

He met his idol Sigmund Freud in Vienna. The two great minds immediately bonded as soul brothers. But their association cooled when they were analyzing each other's dreams. What started out as an evening entertainment escalated into a full-blown argument. That was in 1909

Then the visions came

Structure of the Psyche 

Jung's structure of the psyche has 3 divisions. The conscious mind (ego), is the waking self, with all the activities of the left (analytical) and right (creative) hemispheres of the brain. The personal unconscious (subconscious) contains all the subliminal dynamics like suppressed memories. The collective unconscious is essentially the reservoir of humanity's memories 

This idea made Jung's theory different from all the rest. To use tech analogy, the personal unconscious is the computer's hard disc memory and the collective unconscious is the Internet. This is where the prophetic dreams of Jung (and of Joseph and Daniel in the Bible) originated 

Organizing Principles 

The inner workings of the collective unconscious are called archetypes. An archetype is the "unlearned tendency" that serves as the "organizing principle" of the psyche. This is why Jung, unlike Freud, placed instinct on this level. When an infant is hungry, it cries for sustenance. His mental capacity may not be able to distinguish milk, but with this "indefinite yearning" comes the instinctive knowledge that he can be satisfied with certain stimuli and not with others

There are different kinds of archetypes, like the mother. Deeply ingrained in our racial evolution is the instinctive longing to connect to a source of comfort and security. This is projected into one's own (Basilio to Sisa) or to who would personify it (Maria Clara to Aunt Isabel). It's also projected into symbols (motherland, Mother Nature) and implied in Ugoy Ng Duyan by Levi Celerio and Lucio San Pedro. 

Shadow and Persona 

The Shadow archetype is the Pandorian box of our primitive past, the storehouse of genetic memories of self-preservation, perpetuation of the specie, and the evil that men do. An example is the Ifugao warrior Amtalan's death wish against his sworn enemy Pangawian in the epic Hudhud hi Aliguyun. This is why symbolism are predominantly dark and fearsome, like the tikbalang (humanoid horse); the aswang (vampire) and the snake people Zuma, Kamandag and Valentina

The Persona, from the Latin word for mask, is the representation of one's image to the world. An engkanto (earth spirit) assuming a pleasing human form to seduce a mortal is one example. Another is the social-climbing Miguel in Mateo Cruz Cornelio's Tubig Sa Buslo, about a poor boy pretending to be rich to impress a rich girl pretending to be poor

Anima and Animus 

Jung theorized that we are all looking for our "other half," the part the gods took from mortals in Greek mythology. The anima is the female archetype, the animus is the male, in the collective unconscious. The animus is symbolized by any male character, like the suffering but stoic teacher Mr. Arsenio in Courage by Bienvenido Santos. Similarly, the anima embraces a host of symbolism, from the TV ophan Anna Liza to the mysterious widow in The Witch by Edilberto Tiempo

Varieties of Archetypes

The varieties of archetypes include the family, like in the TV shows Hapi House and Munting Paraiso, The hero is the ego vs. the Shadow, like Flavio The Panday, Bernardo Carpio, Pedro Penduko. The animal represents the relationship to the animal world, like Dario and his magic rooster in Darmo Adarna in vintage Funny Comics; Alejo and the doomed horse in White Mare In The Corn by N.V.M. Gonzales; and Prince Juan and the enchanted bird in Ibong Adarna by Francisco Balagtas

Malakas symbolizes the original man; and Bathala, the god archetype

The Self and Synchronicity

The Self represents transcendence. In Celso Al Carunungan's The Sacrifice, Crispin's focus is his ego: playing with their carabao, Silver. When his father had to sell Silver, the young boy was outraged. But when he realized the sufferings of his parents, he finally learned to let go

Perfection can only be achieved in death, says Jung, so we have St. Lorenzo Ruiz and St. Pedro Calungsod

Synchronicity is when two meaningfully-related events happen but neither linked causally (cause and effect) or teleogically (freewill). Crisostomo Ibarra was contemplating about Elias' grim experiences when the latter suddenly appeared to warn him that his life was in danger

Jung likened our individual egos to isles in the sea, like the Hundred Islands of Alaminos. The waters give the maya (illusion) that we are separated. Way down beneath the surface, though, the earth gives us a solid, though unseen, connection with one another 





Jonathan Aquino's Journal 

I learned from a highly evolved entity that one of the things I need to learn in this lifetime is to stop judging

I'm not like that by nature, but I find it hard to appreciate bureaucracy. I had a recent dose of it from the Human Resources departments of both my last and the latest call center companies here in Cebu. I felt that my brain was melting as I filled those countless application and government forms in triplicate. And all the while, I'm getting the impression that they are threatening me if they find a blank space

I also don't like rudeness and paranoia. The most recent time I saw them was in the behavior of a janitor and a security guard in SM Cebu 

There's another thing I cannot stomach: greed. I don't see anything wrong with paying for a purchase using a debit card with less than a hundred in it. But Mercury Drug does. On the other hand, the convenience store of Shell gasoline station will accept credit cards but not debit cards. I don't see the point of that, either 

Employees are obligated to follow policies. You will know the attitude of management from their rules. In my previous company, we trainees wear ID laces with a different color from officers and regular employees. That alone speaks volume. Overall, though, how an employee conforms and enforces rules is a reflection of his own character 

I spent most of the day in Ayala Mall because I had free time. The place is environmentally elegant and the employees' conduct was a refreshing contrast to what I consistently see in SM Cebu. I had a waffle dog for lunch as I was writing something that I hope would be the break I've been striving for 

I browsed for a while in National Bookstore; I searched and found ideas with practical applications to my life. One is from Choa Kok Sui and the other is about the Toyota Philosophy which I'll be writing about as well. I'm not sure if I'll publish them before or after this

That's the fun part. But of course, time is not linear in other dimensions. The past, present and future are happening at the same time. Actually, time itself doesn't exist 

I'll write more about this in the metaphorical future too!

May 19, 2013
9:12 p.m., Sunday
Lahug City Cebu


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Next Saturday On 2Rivers

Daniel Day Lewis
My Ideal Day
On Dress Codes
My Househusband

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