Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rainbow Rising from a Stream - Post Finis Citation 2009.10.18

I finished Rainbow Rising a while
ago, and it is filled with sticky notes on sections worth revisiting. Here is one that got me thinking about why I like C.G. Jung, despite the validity in Reynolds' criticism of the role that the concept of the unconscious has in the 'helpful science' of psychology. (I wonder what Reynolds thinks, then, of Jung's idea of the collective unconscious?!)
Constructive Living provides a genuine alternative model for Western psychotherapy's models of human suffering and successful living. Constructive Living doesn't merely substitute a new form of understanding human behaviour to replace entrenched Western psychological explanations. Constructive Living argues that human behaviour cannot and need not be explained by some postulated concept called the unconscious. Our approach is not irresponsible, it is not nihilistic, it is not hopeless. It merely suggests that our students' experience is more trustworthy than some scholars' words. As Richard Wilhelm put it, 'Lao Tsu does not make scientifically verifiable statements about (the Way). Given the nature of the issue, he cannot offer proof but he points to ways in which one may come to the experience of (the Way).' This strategy is the same as that adopted by Constructive Living. We offer enough information and exercises for you to check out the validity for yourself (34).
And to further his argument, he makes the following logical postulates:
• If you can control your feelings with consistency simply by willing feelings to change …
• If you stay on the same level of Constructive Living development without advancing or declining in your ability to live life well …
• If the world isn't supporting you in concrete, specific ways …
• If no one fed and clothed you as a child …
• If you continue to suffer to the same degree even when distracted or engrossed in the task at hand
• If your feelings don't fade over time in the absence of re-stimulating events …
• If the most satisfying times in your life don't include times times with behavioural accomplishments … (34).
Once again I find myself prompted to write out my reactions to this apparent ambivalence/contradiction of ideas. I've already begun it, and it is a curious argument. I think that Reynolds is right, but what he has slid over is that the unconscious is a part of reality. That, of course, is a paraphrase of Jung, who had a hard time convincing the world that the problem with seeing the reality of the unconscious is because we think our minds can grasp it — which is impossible because once the mind has grasped it, if that were possible, it would no longer be unconscious! Anyway, stay in touch for that piece of verbiage.


  1. here in india we see lot of rainbow.ur blog is marbelous

  2. In my part of Canada, rainbows are somewhat rare, so that when they do happen they are special.

    And glad you've enjoyed my blog!