Observations & meditations on modern life
Universal principles (pt.2)
Do you believe in anything universal? Are we connected? Should we be? Where does connection come from?
I think it would be impossible not to be connected with each other, our pets, other animals we encounter. This connection is what Carl Jung called the “collective unconscious”. His claim was that there is a part of our psyche that is not developed from personal experience, but rather it is inherited and universal.
Given my belief in balance, it makes sense for me to want an explanation that could be more applicable across the board. The total antithesis of Jungian philosophy is empirical, quantifiable evidence. Now from a scientific point of view, there IS an argument for inherited consciousness with regards to our genetic makeup and ancestry.
I know that genetics are genetics, and there is going to be an inevitable amount of our psyche that is heavily shaped by our nature (and our nurture, but let’s do nature vs. nurture another day). But I do also believe that there are principles that we can apply in any aspect of life and they’re not necessarily biologically ingrained in us. We don’t learn about love, we just feel it. Sure, biologically, love plays a part in our evolution and arguably we have the ability to feel love in order to protect our species going forwards. Love does factor into the evolutionary argument of “survival of the fittest” but I don’t believe that this is its only function in our lives.
I can’t help thinking that in any context, love still comes across. When I love what I am talking about, people hear it. When I really genuinely care about what I’m doing, people feel the effects of it. On the flip side, when I’m frustrated with something, I can never see the full picture. My own frustrations and anxieties are my biggest weakness, because we’re biologically predisposed to making “discomfort” go away, and it’s so easy to act based on frustration. There’s no longevity in biological function, if we left everything down to biology then we’d be in a constant to and fro of feeling anxious and stamping it out, feeling anxious again and then stamping it out. However, we haven’t evolved as quickly as our environment. Now, stress is long-lasting, it’s not just a matter of being chased by a predator and doing what we can in the moment to get out of it. We have developed more complex sources of stress, which means we need a more in depth way of dealing with it.
It is now not a case of just “feeling less stressed right now”. It’s a matter of being able to find a way of making that last. For me, that secret is in these principles that are hinted at by the likes of Jung, Shakespeare, and even A.A. Milne with Winnie the Pooh. Emotional pain has the same function as physical pain: it tells us something is not OK and it needs addressing. So how do we address it? We find love in the things that frustrate us most. We actually look for love in the scariest places. Because it’s there, it’s an undercurrent in everything we do and everything we experience. We just have to want to see it.
Universal principles (pt.1) – CLICK HERE