Carl Jung referred to the ‘unconscious’ parts of the human brain as the “collective unconscious.” He felt the whole of mankind shared the unconscious aspects of the brain. To him, it was populated by archetypes, instincts, symbolic references and inferences, etc. Freud believed the unconscious was personal …To me, in my own personal experiences over many decades, it appears to be both personal and in some aspects collective or shared. Critics of both notions about the unconscious claim neither notion about the unconscious can be tested, observed, or in some ‘scientific’ way experienced. So how does one 'deliberately' dredge or do Bucket Work in the unconscious?
Jung said many of the things, namely in the form of images, we experience in dreams, hallucinations, or when awakening as some image just pops into our consciousness, were not obtained as “personal acquisitions.” Again, for me it simply doesn’t matter. What matters is that something stacks my experiences for me, beads them together, takes some of this and adds it to some of that, etc. I spent years trying to make something work on an invention. Nothing. Then two years later …I get up and there it is. Lots of things are far too complex, too dimensional, for our linear consciousness to handle. So they go into the ‘black hole’ and stay there …until one day - without the slightest warning or notice - we awaken with a solution to some difficult problem. Of course if one is not working on a problem, then the unconscious drifts and this absolutely monstrous and glorious capacity is lost ...for many it's lost for life.
Jung used to sit in a chair in his ‘tower’ and try to slip backwards into unconscious. For me, it’s about taking stock of my dreams (I sit for a few minutes and try to determine what such and such a dream might mean - if anything). I sit with paper in hand ready to write (which I learned from the poet William Stafford) …as if to ‘take dictation from some unknown entity in my skull.' I’m often stunned with what I write. Stafford started out each morning writing down some conscious experience he was having …”Betty Johnson just jogged by …” He heard the gravel crunch on the street and knew she ran each morning. Just to kickstart each day. And then, as if over the next hour or so something awakened inside his brain …he would start getting completely new images, ideas, notions, insights …sometimes he would scribble frantically to keep up. Always something new, something he would never had gotten ‘appeared’ that he said “often glowed on the page.” It ‘glowed’ because it was so right, so good, and often opened him to yet other ‘mysteries.’ He, like me, had learned to trust his unconscious to ‘let it go’ into our consciousness: 'going live!'
Ideas, in all forms, are priceless in the sense that if we don’t discipline ourselves in some way to ‘be there’ when they arrive, we’ll miss out. And in missing out, we fail to acquire the very thing that could transform our existence. To capture an idea, we have to be alone (Pascal), in some quiet place, and we have to be patient with this strange, powerful, mysterious, compelling aspect of human existence that others before us named ‘the unconscious.’ Bucket Work is about finding ways to dredge up stuff from ‘the unconscious’ that provides us an ‘assessment’ of what we might be able to do with our existence, that on any day might dredge up an idea …always we’re dredging to find an idea or some part of an idea on which we can build something, a personal acquisition.’
BUCKET WORK is a compilation of essays and poems that each try to probe into the power of the imagination to transform one's existence, as if spokes on a bicycle wheel all heading toward the hub that holds the future together. The book reveals a startling fact: all attempts at 'self-assessment' fail because one does not have a 'self' to assess. The 'self' one believes they have is but their personality, their persona (Greek for a mask with a hole to speak through). A false front for the 'missing self.' Throughout history, every tribe, state and nation begins early on to bind each new child to society (via "man-forg'd manacles" wrote William Blake). Every law in every set of law books around the planet directed toward 'child welfare' is a double-binding weapon: it attracts the parents concerned about the well-being of their child, while at the same time turning the ultimate 'ownership' of the child over to the tribe, state, or nation in the event the parents refuse to comply with the tribe, state, or nation's collective agenda. Societal insecurities reign over individuality.
Each child is born a one-off, unique, but also without meaning. Memory is the faculty that aggregates experiences, feelings, tendencies, attractions and repulsions. Unless one can separate oneself from the mob, one's one-offness, one's uniqueness, is lost for life. Dredging down into one's very being is work: BUCKET WORK. But the payoff is being able to zero-in on one's capacity to conjure ideas - which can then be converted to some thing - which is the manifest 'self' one senses is missing, and becomes the individual's livelihood.
Here is an excerpt ...
‘Talent’ is NOT the Basis of Creativity
"All children are [creative]. The problem is how to remain [creative] once you grow up" groused Pablo Picasso.
The word ‘talented’ has been applied to certain individuals who appear to have abilities lesser mortals don’t possess. Time has taught us this is fallacious usage of the word. While there’s little argument that one person sings better than another or throws a football farther or can paint better pictures [a special brain ability] is not the basis for these distinctions. Most of these distinctions are easily traced to physical attributes and/or individual desires. The poet/ author Mary Oliver argues that far more is going on in [the creative process] ‘than some innate skill or ability.’ “’Talent’ is long patience and originality - an effort of will and of intense observation” wrote Flaubert to Vincent van Gogh (Oliver found the quote in van Gogh’s letters …My double emphasis) …Every brain can learn to build creative abilities by 1) developing long patience 2) by asserting a supreme effort of will and 3) by seeing what other’s miss by observing some thing longer. You and I and those newborns just born today in China or Iraq or America can learn to do this. Van Gogh agonized about his ‘talent’ until he received this factual assessment of the creative process. Suddenly the world opened: “You too can do it Vincent.” He could learn to be more patient. He could learn how to put forth more willful effort. He could practice intense observation of an object – so as to actually see it see its minutia the micro details those faint colors in the shadows the contrasts. He then began producing original paintings.
“How patient are you and what is the steel of your will and how well do you look and see the things of this world? If your honest answers are shabby you can change them ...You can make them better and then even better until the sweet taste of improvement is in your mouth” writes Mary Oliver (my double emphasis). ‘Originality’ is seeing what others missed or the result of brooding for longer periods of time or staying longer and doing more Bucket Work …or pushing oneself farther into the unknown …deeper ...or wanting a certain kind of result more than the next guy …or being willing to sit alone quietly in a room (Pascal) comparing sorting discerning differences …or exerting one’s ‘will for the breakthrough’ over one’s other desires …of emptying bucket-after-bucket of work realizing that nothing comes into existence that is worthwhile without work without that enormous effort …
Blake put it like this: “I give you the end of a golden string / Only roll it into a ball / It will lead you into Heaven’s Gate / Built into Jerusalem’s Wall.” ‘Creating’ is a process like rolling up ‘a golden string’ into a ball. And as you roll it up you gather from the experience you gather from your memories you gather from your research …and suddenly there it is before you: the manifestation of that idea. You cannot help but be filled with energy a sense of achievement a genuine joy that few ever experience. That is the meaning behind Blake’s use of the word ‘heaven’ – a sense of having gone into a new realm that is only possible with such effort. One wills oneself beyond one’s ‘comfort zone.’ One keeps rolling up the ‘golden string’ regardless of the difficulties. One simply refuses to quit because of the hard work involved. What's at stake? One's very existence.
WHY RELATIONSHIPS SOAR THEN FIZZLE
I claim there is no such thing as a 'relationship' ...that is some permanent or semi-permanent connection between two or more people. As the poet Rumi reminds us: "Today, like every other day, we get up empty, afraid, and alone ...The closest is at a great distance." Every human being can only relate to this one or that - even the closest one to us - moment-by-moment. At any moment a relating may occur, and at any moment it may end. People married 50 years do not have a 'relationship' ...They have simply learned that relating - that is exchanging thoughts, ideas, feelings, etc., moment-to-moment is sustainable and acceptable.
That we have to reconstruct ourselves each day upon awakening is a strange reality to contemplate. We must rely on both our short and long term memory to know who we are, where we are, where we work (if applicable), who our friends are, and who are we related to and who can we relate with, our life's experiences ,etc., and each day it changes a bit (sometimes more than a bit). Every aspect of relating is tied to communicating - which is difficult under the best of circumstances. We must decide what to say, then we must say it in a way that we're somewhat certain will get across the feeling, the idea, the experience, etc., and then we hope the person listening to us 'gets it.' or close to it, so that we can experience the serene joy of relating.
"Our uniqueness makes us special, makes perception valuable - but it can also make us lonely. This loneliness is different from being 'alone:' You can be lonely even surrounded by people. The feeling I'm talking about stems from the sense that we can never fully share the truth of who we are. I experienced this acutely at an early age" writes author Amy Tan. Relationships fizzle because people believe they're entering into some sort of permanent or semi-permanent arrangement. Expectations unfulfilled lead to enormous dissatisfaction ...and eventually the gossamer fizzles out of existence.
(EXCERPT continued in column 2) ...
CATCHING IDEAS IN OUR DREAMS
Every child is conditioned to ignore its dreams. One awakes in the morning and quickly some-two hours of dreams are forgotten. Yes, we dream for about two-hours every night. If one lives to be 84 (my age), they'll have dreamed some seven years (7) of that lifespan. 7-years!
Indigenous peoples all over the world have some sort of 'dreamcatcher' ...In America, many of the Native American tribes have a dreamcatcher with a hole in the center to let out the bad dreams, but all around like a cobweb are the means of catching the 'good ones.'
I claim humans are walking dream factories, and in some dreams are closeted some extraordinary ideas. To ever experience genuine individuality, one must inhabit an idea of one's own and ride it out or swim with it into the world. Begin to write down whatever you can remember - the slightest thing - about your dreams of the night. "I was being chased by two guys bent on doing me harm ..." "I met this girl and we went to my place and made love all night ..." "I got a new car, and immediately got into an accident." Soon, you'll begin to see a pattern emerge ...Your dreams are constructing stories using your base fears as themes. Often, our fears will lead us to a good idea. Why? Because our unconscious - which pours content into our consciousness - works all day and all night on sorting experiences, collecting together bits and pieces of knowledge, and leaking glimpses of shapes, patterns, things that might be useful to your fellow,
Here is an excerpt ...
WHAT Is an ‘Idea?’
An idea is a thing an image perhaps even a mere glimpse of an imagined something often a dreamed thing that originates in our unconscious and then appears in consciousness. To Nietzsche an idea was ‘an insight …a piece of knowledge that you feel is yours alone.’ Ideas evolve. A bit a glimpse of some thing arrives a fragment and if it lingers for awhile another bit arrives then another until the thing becomes more and more part of one’s reality. Ideas beget ideas. The first bit tumbles with other bits and of course with one’s experiences.
We ask ourselves ‘is this thing useful?’ ‘Is it something that could become useful?’ ‘Is it just another version of something that already exists or is it original?’ There is no universally accepted definition of the word ‘idea.’ Its use has been bastardized for not having a ‘grounded meaning’ since its first use. The philosopher Hume wrote in the 18th century: ‘ideas are pictures driving impressions.’ And that ‘impressions and ideas follow one another relentlessly.’ ‘Pictures driving impressions’ is fuzzy at best. What’s an ‘impression?’ Obviously one’s experience plays a big part in the mystery of how ideas come to us – but I favor Jung’s insistence that the bits or glimpses of some thing we get have already been tumbled and worked over under our radar in our unconscious.
We know that we see objects in the external world with our eyes but we also ‘see’ things that don’t (yet) exist in the external world. An idea can be a crazy thing a beautiful thing a practical thing an impractical thing but even though it is only appearing to us – it is a real thing ‘an event in our brain.’ Do stick drawings of your idea. Write down your thoughts about it. Muse about it. Talk it up. Keep asking yourself: ‘Is this thing useful or not …could it become useful?’ A single idea can transform your existence …
NO IMAGINATION NO LIFT OFF NO LIFE
"Life" is an unknown. Nobody knows what 'life' is or how it began or why. "Life is the animating principle" is as far as we've gotten. 'Existence,' however, is up for grabs. The poet Rilke writes: "We are the space between two notes" (do-re). Existence for many is short ...A few live past 100-years. The question is what was/is the quality of one's existence, not the quantity. This book explores the child's experience with having its imaginative powers gutted through schooling - which is to say forced conformity to a norm.
John Taylor Gatto, Teach of the Year (several times) in the New York State school system, one day awoke and realized that for 30-years he was literally dumbing down his students. He was gutting them of all their innate powers and making them a ward of the state: a dependent for life. His book Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling drives down deep into the black hole of the so-called 'education system.' He carves it up so thoroughly one wonders how any reader could send their child to school again. In short, children are 'schooled,' 'seduced' (or led astray from themselves) for the use of the state. 'Education' (the word is derived from educe - meaning to 'draw out' 'bring forth' 'help into existence.' There is no 'education' taking place in any schoolroom.
Here is an excerpt ...
The World Needs IMAGINATORS Badly!
When we look out at the world we don't see what's there. That is we only see a certain number of things both real and imagined. We see what we've been taught is there to see and imagine ...We see through perceptions given us beginning in infancy about what's there and we do not actually see through our own eyes our own thoughts and ideas. Awareness of this phenomenon is troubling to us because it’s hard to learn to visualize again what we once did naturally as a child. What we see as grownups is a fraction of what there is to see. We need to learn to see opportunities for ourselves in the world. Elon Musk (Tesla): “ordinary people can become extraordinary” if they learn to see what is actually there for them to see.
‘Imaginator’ is a coined word that defines a person who exists imaginatively as opposed to how society has led him or her toward some ‘occupation.’ Imaginators create their own occupations. We’re each a product of a system that moves us away from our natural impulse to imagine our way in life by a school curriculum of many years that transforms us into ‘an employable prospect.’
All of that academic conditioning soon blinds us to what is possible through our own imaginative efforts. Musk: “You don’t decide your future. You decide your habits and your habits decide your future.” The architect Frank Lloyd Wright: “An idea is salvation by imagination.” We literally ‘save’ ourselves through our ideas. I claim that waiting to be ‘saved’ is folly and that the only ‘self’ we will ever experience appears when one of our ideas appears in the world. So we may have several ‘selves’ in a lifetime. The dictionary claims a ‘self’ “is a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others.” I claim that’s the definition of ‘personality’ and not the ‘self.’
"Man was given an imagination to compensate him for what he is not" said Francis Bacon - who realized fairly early in his life (late 16th to 17th century) that either man learns how to compensate himself for what he is not or he’ll be "gathered into the king's cage." Each of us is born with ‘capacities’ (not to be confused with abilities) and it’s up to us to imagine who we are and what we are to be in this world. The only authentic identity we will ever have is the one we must create for ourselves.
WHY RELATIONSHIPS SOAR THEN FIZZLE
Continued from column 1
Here is an except ...
“Practically all the relationships I know are based on a foundation of lies and mutually accepted delusions" said Sex and The City actress Kim Cattrall (my emphasis).
All of us have been ‘deluded’ – which means ‘to play false.’ The icy male cannot help but delude every female he meets with one platitude (trite remark superficial and false) after another. You know ‘lines.’ The female deludes the male (and other females) with perfume lipstick eye shadow eyelashes and by exposing as much [of her] flesh as she thinks necessary (which today is all the law allows) notably her boobs. A conversation between males and females is one complex delusion after another. “Platitudes and booze closes the gap between the sexes” said Lamarck.
Much of human behavior is socially and culturally determined, Still I find most social problems can be traced to bad parenting. Children are often physically abused or emotionally coddled. The better way of teaching them to think for themselves of becoming self-reliant of imagining their way in the world is ignored because it demands nonconformity. A parent’s job isn’t to be their child’s friend …it’s helping them learn how to face the challenges imposed by a dangerous world …to survive in hostile cruel difficult situations. The real world does not coddle children. Resilience instead of obstinacy takes years to learn. Adolescents must be held accountable early on for their actions. Coddling children sets them up to fail …Coddling is not loving - it produces a false sense of entitlement. “A resilient child can handle anything.”
A male child must be taught why he’ll come to fear the female - her capacity to bring forth life and her powers over the sex act itself must be understood. If not the male will always resort to his physical advantage to offset his feelings of impotence around her and too often resort to violence to ‘handle’ those feelings. It takes years for a male to learn to recognize this strange fear of the smaller female. Humans exist inside emotions unless they’re taught how to exist both inside and outside them. Those who feel their way along rely strictly on their physical advantage. Those who imagine their way rely on ideas thoughts and awareness’s …their first impulses do not propel their actions. History reveals how emotional responses have sent millions to their deaths in wars. The same can be said for the problems that arise between males and females: runaway emotions are the source of most breakdowns between them. Up down all around a swirl. Every day the average person is a mishmash of feelings ...People look the same as yesterday but their feelings are always different and mostly unpredictable.
All the laws in every country are written by emotionally driven insecure people (usually males) and by intention restrict behavior through a variety of 'punishments' such as fines which are intended to hurt people financially for their transgressions: going through a stop sign speeding or reckless driving as well as the heavier ones which might mean imprisonment: murder manslaughter rape grand larceny etc. The punishments were/are intended to get humans to think a bit about consequences before they act. Few humans ever do the work necessary to be considered 'critical thinkers' - which is a person who thinks about a subject all-the-way-through. People don't think this way because it might mean having to change their actions.
WHY SEX IS DYING
Everyday of human history finds the male obsessed with controlling female movement, behavior, dress, friendships, legal standing, and of course ‘the sex act’ - a term that places human sexuality at the point of insertion of the penis into the female (‘intercourse begins here’). The male for millennia had no idea why he had this obsession (most still don't), that it derives from an aggregation of fears densely packaged into his brain. As historians have written, ‘humans may be the most insecure creatures on the planet.’ When a big tough male scales himself even to a nearby mountain, he becomes a nit, a tiny parasite, and this single problem of being part of the infinitesimal of the universe (felt as though one doesn’t exist in any real sense) has tormented him with every sort of fear associated with vulnerability imaginable - from the beginning.
That it is the female who has the power to generate new human life, and thus a number of controls shift to her because of that, including certain controls over ‘the sex act,’ has only exacerbated his fragility, his dense insecurities. This ‘power of life’ embedded in the female has made being born female extremely difficult throughout history. Recall, it’s only been since 1677 that Anton van Leeuwenhoek, the Dutchman who developed the early compound microscope, first observed ‘the tiny animalcules’ (sperm) he found wriggling inside his own semen under the scope.
The male has used his physical advantage to literally force the female into servitude in every way possible - including the passing of laws, developing all-male courts, even imprisonment for those women who resisted, to gain access to the woman and the progeny ‘the female produced’ (again, having no knowledge that the male sperm contributed to the formation of the progeny as well as the female egg) …mostly for the purposes of ‘succession’ (the source and core meaning of the word ‘success’). The male succeeds when he produces male progeny to follow him ...Those who would inherit the land generation after generation, thus perpetuating the male power over the female, thus by physical force and laws the control of new life shifted 'to the male owner.'
The male’s surname was ‘given in marriage’ to the female and to all the progeny of that marriage. The ‘wife,’ earliest version was ‘bitch’ or ‘breeder,’ was softened a bit over time to a variation of ‘woman’ or ‘wif.’ Other roots include ‘to twist, turn, wrap,’ also ‘encircle the pudenda’ (control access to the female genitals or vulva). Wif was mistress of a household in marriage, then the ‘family,’ which means ‘household of slaves,’ each obedient to the master or ‘mister’ of the ‘family.’
Women married and by law became the ‘property’ of the husband, or ‘master of the house.’ Under the law, he owned ‘all that came out of her’ (a broad term with many future ramifications). The sons were ‘his sons’ and the daughters were ‘their’s.’ Wife and children and land were all ‘property’ owned by the male ‘owner of the land.’
Males throughout history had zero desire to ‘relate’ to their wives or children. They didn’t enter into conversations with women or children about anything ‘serious.’ All ‘serious matters’ were in the province of men.’ They ‘related’ only to other males. Males hung out with males and females hung out with females …until very recent times. For it was the machine and the eventual industrialization the machine produced - which negated much of the physical advantage of the male - that began to change the inner workings of the 'family.' What has happened in just the last 60 years has changed the social structure of thousands of cultures.
Today, it’s clear males around the world are in panic mode when it comes to women and the rise of women with power - intellectual, financial, and legal. Much more is to come, including the end of the patriarchy established thousands of years ago. A new humankind is in the offing as Sex is Dying.
Here is an excerpt ...
At the final CROSSROAD of Patriarchy
Sex is dying. Generation-by-generation the venerable act of coitus has diminished in quality and is now without a ‘sacred’ element. The use of the word ‘love’ – “I loved him so we had sex” – is now a clammy cliché. There’s no comprehensible definition for the word ‘love.’ “An intense feeling of deep affection” can be had toward anyone given enough booze or drugs. And when sober that whole piece of suffocating gauze is quickly yanked off the wound as the person makes for the motel door. Numberless millions of women have become pregnant while ‘loving’ someone that when the sex was over or the ‘thrill was gone’ they hated. Any word fastened to human emotions is at best ‘fluid’ in its meaning, as we note how quickly ‘love’ turns to ‘hate’ and that ‘lovers’ often kill one another. “She caught him f--king her best friend and shot them both dead.” So what is the ‘sacred’ element now missing?
While ‘that glorious feeling felt in both the male and female’s bones’ may be poetic it has nothing to do with the scope of the ‘sacred’ element as it applies to sex. The word sacrare, Latin for ‘sacred,’ means ‘to devote’ and for millennia brought ‘God’ or a ‘god’ into the sex act. Both ‘Christian’ and ‘pagan’ religions have used the notion of the ‘sacred’ to install a plethora of ritual practices designed to control the sex act, and then in their final use of it to declare the sex act 'dirty and sinful.’ They in effect created ‘taboos’ even restricting the positions a couple might use during coitus. Of course violating the taboos – things ‘you’re not allowed to do and please God’ (or the ‘gods’) – was fodder for the sexually adventurous and so incest and homosexuality flourished behind closed doors. Eroticism, or extreme arousal, was produced by violating the taboos or restrictions imposed by the external social world.
In the wake of Nietzsche’s 1882 ‘God is dead’ pronouncement – which included the prediction that because educated Europe no longer believed in the divine there would be horrific world wars in the early 20th century and a complete loss of ethical values in the early 21st because people would take themselves to be mere evolved animals (Darwin) roaming about satisfying carnal appetites and surviving by any means open to them – and because modern neuroscience is claiming that the human brain is little more than a chemically enhanced computer – and because Nietzsche’s other startling pronouncement that after science had destroyed everything else it would turn on itself – I’ll attempt to create a definition of the word sacred without the vagaries now rampant on the evening news in religious periodicals and random YouTube channels.
If there were such a thing as ‘wisdom literature’ then we would expect to find at some early date the need for humans to [elevate] their sexuality over the animals. Human sex is not instinctive and therefore demands some attractor to initiate it. The first thing we find in ancient literature is depictions of the vulva and the female with massive (or multiple) breasts. The female’s behind was an attractor and was depicted in numerous ways. Later women began to wear clothing that revealed various parts of their bodies as attractors. Then came make up. But I can’t find any evidence of the sex act being elevated over the animals. For most of history children were needed as sources of labor to plant and harvest crops or simply to help defend the family. Eventually in the West sex was deemed a ‘duty’ wherein husbands and wives were to have sex to ‘bring forth children’ as labor as new members of the tribe etc.