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  • Curriculum and the Dream Paradigm

    - Stephen Schafer

     Carl G. Jung employs the symbol with a degree of sophistication comparable to the priest-sorcerers and scientist-astrologers of yore.  With the empirical science of Analytical Psychology he explores the dimensions of the Odyssey of his patients-the Hero journey and the road of trials leading to healin.  He is recognized as one of the foremost navigators of the psyche.  Hagalaz is just one of the forms taken by the symbol of the cross and the circle. Below is a composite of the Buddhist Tao and the Jungian functions of psyche.

    Figure 5: Tao

    Very briefly, the fundamental elements of Jungian psychology include the functions (thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition) and the principles of co-incidence, compensation, conditionalism (patient-centered therapy), amplification, and the prospective aspect. These parameters of the dream are also parameters of the media, and it is by way of this parallel that analysis of the media-as-dream becomes possible.  The parallel is explained in more detail in my follow-up essay.

    The "reality" symbol O┼ is used in many modern contexts to express essentially the same meanings that have been communicated since time immemorial.  The symbol is inherent in mathematics.  With it we express trigonometric function and geometry, itself; and, as we have seen, it expresses the calculus of time-the all and the nothing.  The Stanford research Institute uses the same fundamental symbol to address complex global problems by assessing them at four levels: Psychological, normative, process, and substantive).  Business, industry, and academe employ the symbol as graphs to navigate the human sociological reality, and people everywhere use the symbol to read maps.  Universally, humans employ symbolic media to understand and navigate a psychological reality.

    Worldviews such as astrology are holistic concepts in which numerous levels of correspondence exist for the purpose of discovering complex unknown values.  Traditionally because it was a relatively known factor, the human physical body was used as a medium for discovering unknowns about the cosmic physical body, and because it was relatively known, the cycle of the sun was used as a medium to discover and communicate about unknowns such as the evolution of human consciousness.  The archetypal Hero, like the role model of today, was a cognate of the cultural persona.  If this seems somehow strange or primitive, if it seems like an instance of "personification" as it has been rationalized so often, we can blame our current scientific-materialistic paradigm for our limitation. Because denizens of that paradigm could not see clearly beyond its limiting parameters they viewed the great civilizations of the past as through a glass darkly.

    Joseph Campbell quoted from the Gospel of St. Thomas:  "The kingdom of God is here now on earth, but men do not see it."  This statement might be understood in terms of modern physics and paraphrased:  "The unified field is here now, but men do not see it."  Carl G. Jung coined the term Archetype, and said that archetypes as he defines them are similar to the electro-magnetic fields of physics.  Jung also said that dreams and Greek drama are similar in structure.  Joseph Campbell said that, "The patterns and logic of fairy tale and myth correspond to those of dream...Dream is the personalized myth, myth is the depersonalized dream; both myth and dream are symbolic in the same general way of the dynamics of the psyche."  Based on the above ideas, we can begin to formulate a kind of metaphorical trigonometry in which the " = " sign means "corresponds to." We have the following formulae:

    • Symbols and symbolic patterns = structure of human reality
    • Human reality = 4 dimensions become (trinity of place, time, and action)
    • Identity = trinity
    • Symbols = reality
    • Structure of classical drama = structure of Jungian dream
    • Drama = dream
    • Aristotelian dramatic unities = good classical Greek drama
    • Narrative = dream
    • Greek Drama = plot/character/action
    • Plot/character/action = Structure of dream
    • Myth = depersonalized (collective, archetypal) dream
    • Depersonalized dream = collective myth
    • Myth = Journey of the Hero
    • Journey of the Hero/Archetype = drama = plot/character/action
    • Plot-character-action = The road of trials-Initiation/mask-persona/evolution
    • Dream = personalized myth
    • Dream = myth (personal and collective)
    • Depersonalized myth = personalized myth
    • Personal dream = depersonalized myth
    • Depersonalized myth = dream of cultural persona
    • Interactive video games = interactive dreams
    • Personal identification = Interactivity, attention, and retention
    • Interactivity, attention, and retention = motivation (dynamic)
    • Identification = motivation


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