• 3017amen
    1.9k
    A discussion over in the EOG causation thread made me think of Logos. There are as many definitions of Logos as there are philosophers and psychologists. The interpretation from Carl Jung intrigued me.

    It got me to thinking about the differences between the sexes (I'm hoping will offer a contribution).

    I never really bought into the idea that men and women were that diametrically opposed (men from mars; women from venus). And that's what intrigued me about Jung's interpretation, as taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logos#Jung's_analytical_psychology here:


    Jung contrasted the critical and rational faculties of logos with the emotional, non-reason oriented and mythical elements of eros. In Jung's approach, logos vs eros can be represented as "science vs mysticism", or "reason vs imagination" or "conscious activity vs the unconscious".

    For Jung, logos represented the masculine principle of rationality, in contrast to its feminine counterpart, eros:

    Woman’s psychology is founded on the principle of Eros, the great binder and loosener, whereas from ancient times the ruling principle ascribed to man is Logos. The concept of Eros could be expressed in modern terms as psychic relatedness, and that of Logos as objective interest.

    Jung attempted to equate logos and eros, his intuitive conceptions of masculine and feminine consciousness, with the alchemical Sol and Luna. Jung commented that in a man the lunar anima and in a woman the solar animus has the greatest influence on consciousness. Jung often proceeded to analyze situations in terms of "paired opposites", e.g. by using the analogy with the eastern yin and yang and was also influenced by the Neoplatonists.

    In his book Mysterium Coniunctionis Jung made some important final remarks about anima and animus:

    In so far as the spirit is also a kind of "window on eternity".. it conveys to the soul a certain influx divinus... and the knowledge of a higher system of the world, wherein consists precisely its supposed animation of the soul.

    And in this book Jung again emphasized that the animus compensates eros, while the anima' compensates logos.

    In my opinion, there seems to be two camps at work here; the diametrically opposed attributes, and/or complimentary attributes. The opposing attributes include things like the appeal to femininity from the man's view, and the appeal toward masculinity for the woman. In other words, it is safe to say that men and women like each other's "homeostasis" , and what they have to offer intrinsic to their gender differences(?).

    And so, should we gravitate toward, and value, the Venus in the female, and the Mar's in the male? Or should we simply say no to that, and instead embrace the 'complimentary', and/or conclude men and women are basically the same and really and simply both want the same things?
  • unenlightened
    5k
    I wonder what fun Jung would have had with the distinction between masculine v feminine, and butch v fem.

    I ought to mention that "Jung's analytical psychology" should, by his own analysis be called "Jung's male psychology".

    Where I start with this is to notice that we are talking about identifications. so we are talking about categories, definitions and binaries. I could say that since I am male, everything that I am, and everything I do is male, and proper to masculinity. Doing housework wearing lipstick and dresses and pushing prams and hugging other men, are masculine because men do them. Such is primary identity security.

    But we don't do it like that. Instead, we cover up the genital reality, and perform and conform to an idea of what has come to be associated with the gender we are forbidden from directly displaying or even mentioning. So there is this seemingly inevitable dichotomising of absolutely everything into contrasting signifiers of gender. Colour (pink and blue), dress, mannerisms, are just the beginning: __ men are analytical and women are ... continental??? The ultimate folly being the serious analogising in a psychology book that male and female are so different as to be incomprehensible to each other - asif from different planets

    The significance of these more or less arbitrary divisions is enormous, a matter of life and death quite often. But because they are arbitrary, our conformity to these stereotypes leaves us with an unexpressed internal 'other'; animus and anima. And these actually rule our lives most of the time, while we deny their existence. Consider, for example the analytical skills versus the emotional outbursts of our current batch of hyper-masculine leaders.
  • 3017amen
    1.9k
    Consider, for example the analytical skills versus the emotional outbursts of our current batch of hyper-masculine leaders.unenlightened

    Unen!

    Thanks for the contribution, and your thoughts. Lots to unpack here. But, I couldn't help but underscore your quote by recognizing its significance.

    The old gender stereotype's of women having the market on emotions seems outdated. In fact, probably a lie endorsed by the rubrics of the time. As you so well pointed out (not to get too political here) the archetype of the current potus having very thin skin and often overreactive seemingly out of pure emotion and/or insecurity about his abilities, is a pretty bold example.

    Also, consider that men and women are both sentient creatures, but having different goals and motivations (to their sentience). For instance, men might be more apt to get defensive over their lack of mechanical skills, coordination or sports abilities, while women might get more defensive over their clothing choices, their choice in men, or their children's misbehavior. I think the short answer to the distinction there is that both sexes just manifest their emotions differently.

    But the important point is the self-awareness that comes with being an emotional creature or Being. I remember talking with a good friend of mine who's a retired engineer. And we were talking about self-awareness as it relates to being in a business meeting. He said in so many words 'its all about feelings'. Of course, one must wear whichever hat/multitask is required to get'r-done, but yes, we all just want to be loved and recognized. The balancing act between emotion and Logos is an ongoing process... .
  • tim wood
    4.7k
    But because they are arbitrary,unenlightened
    I was just reading a little bit about Amazons. Every woman part Amazon? It is hard to think of anything that is not arbitrary, except maybe brute existence, and not even sure about that.
  • unenlightened
    5k
    except maybe brute existencetim wood

    Not sure what you mean by this; some of us have penises and some of us have vaginas, a few of us have something a bit ambiguous - is that brute existence?
  • tim wood
    4.7k
    Your phrase struck in me a chord. That is, that much of what seems simply brute existence is arbitrary. And a closer looking at ancient history, in, e.g., its details of life provides a glimpse of difference and some substantial clues as to how arbitrary a lot of things are.

    In the last century science told us that race is arbitrary (i.e., there is no such thing as...). We seem on the verge of learning that sexuality is arbitrary. At the moment I cannot think of anything that is not essentially arbitrary - well, maybe certain matters and aspects of reason. No complete thoughts here....
  • unenlightened
    5k
    Right, yes. I think the lesson is that almost all one can say of human nature is that it is to be almost unlimitedly plastic, and formed by culture. A bit discomforting that one is the captain of one's ship and master of one's fate only to the extent that the culture allows.
  • 3017amen
    1.9k
    A bit discomforting that one is the captain of one's ship and master of one's fate only to the extent that the culture allows.unenlightened

    Indeed. The truth in freedom speaks volumes. Ideally, at least... .
  • tim wood
    4.7k
    I think you're on to something, usually not attended to, not even usually glimpsed. Maybe here we can pry open the doors a bit more than usual, for maybe a moment or two longer than usual, and mainly in the way of foregrounding and making explicit the sheer possibilities of possibility. Poets, philosophers, artists, and thunder means the light is already spent. Hegel's owl of Minerva is near - is never far. Is our Ulysses's moment to be virtual?
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.1k
    I wonder at the presumption (as in temerity, audacity) of those who, like Jung, make sweeping declarations regarding our essential nature. What was it about him and his contemporaries (like Freud and Wells, for example) that led them to believe they could proclaim with such assurance? Wells' A Short History of the World is so blithely judgmental of people, so patronizing and dismissive of some and so admiring of others, that it's arrogance inspires a kind of awe.

    Rudyard Kipling was inclined to pontificate boldly about the differences between men and women as well--just read The Female of the Species. Notably, Rudy even seems to make a similar distinction between them in that poem as Jung does with his logos and eros. Did it occur to them that what they thought the distinction was merely reflected what those of their time of a certain status thought it was, what they were used to, and so what they thought it should be? Great Proclaimers have few doubts.
  • Gnomon
    729
    I never really bought into the idea that men and women were that diametrically opposed (men from mars; women from venus). And that's what intrigued me about Jung's interpretation,3017amen
    I don't know if Jung was that dogmatic about his pigeonholes of human nature and psychological types. But he was an Analytical psychologist, and categorizing is what they do. It's a way of simplifying something that is too vast and vaguely understood to be dealt with as an undifferentiated whole. He was basically inventing his own brand of scientific/empirical Psychology, as opposed to the former philosophical/literary theories of mind, from scratch.

    Be that as it may, most non-scientists prefer to think in terms of simple dichotomies, such as Male/Female. But modern cosmopolitan societies have smashed together so many incompatible notions of human nature, that the ancient binary designation of M/F now seems quaint. The PC terminology is still evolving, but today there seems to be an infinity of sub-categories between M & F. When I was young, there were only three possibilities : Male, Female, and Other (queer). But today that "Other" slot has a whole alphabet of subtle non-binary designations : e.g. LGBTQ+. And the implication, in some liberated circles, is that Gender is merely a biological suggestion, and that Sexual Identity is a personal lifestyle choice.

    So, it's not surprising that you can no longer see the male/female thing in black & white terms, as Jung did. But the Logos vs Eros and Mars vs Venus conceptual categories are still useful as a starting point for understanding alien ways of thinking and behaving. Men's & Women's advice columnists have for years struggled to answer timeless gender mysteries, such as "why can't a man be more like a woman?", or "what does a woman want?" Yet, ultimately, only in a long-term long-suffering marriage, can wives & husband learn to read the opaque mind of their significant Other. Short-term "partners" should be content to enjoy the sex, and don't worry about "what she/he's thinking". :smile:
  • Possibility
    1.4k
    And so, should we gravitate toward, and value, the Venus in the female, and the Mar's in the male? Or should we simply say no to that, and instead embrace the 'complimentary', and/or conclude men and women are basically the same and really and simply both want the same things?3017amen

    For me, it’s about embracing the complementary as it comes. There are ways that I am ‘typically’ female, and ways that I am not - and you won’t know which ‘typical’ traits pertain to me until you get to know me. Definitions are a start to understanding each other, but they should never be considered the whole story. They’re a basic level of information, from which we develop a more complex relational structure. Men and women are different in the sense that everyone is different, and cannot be assumed to want the same things. The ‘typical’ distinctions between us are based on ‘fuzzy’ conceptual patterns, not on inherent divisions.

    So, whether you start with the view that men and women are basically the same, that they complement each other, or that they are two different species is not as important as recognising that your perspective should never be assumed accurate on a person-by-person basis. It comes down to how uncertainly you’re willing to interact with the world, because from my perspective, all three of these have an element of truth to them.

    There is a large amount of male-female difference that comes down to historical roles and how this has affected experience, and with that language and conceptual structures. Our social and cultural reality has evolved differently, and so we tend to experience the world differently - but none of this is inherent or fixed.

    My view on gender is that there is: a basic genital distinction, inclusive of both/neither, from birth, that then biologically develops the body from ten; a conceptual or social/cultural identification of role that can vary, and develops rapidly through language and experience to structure the self-identity that emerges around twelve; and a chemical-based sexual orientation range that starts to develop during puberty. This complexity doesn’t lend itself to a simple binary or even linear distinction, and any attempt to shoehorn individuals into neat compartments is bound to confuse. That’s humanity for you.
  • 3017amen
    1.9k
    I don't know if Jung was that dogmatic about his pigeonholes of human nature and psychological types. But he was an Analytical psychologist, and categorizing is what they do. It's a way of simplifying something that is too vast and vaguely understood to be dealt with as an undifferentiated whole. He was basically inventing his own brand of scientific/empirical Psychology, as opposed to the former philosophical/literary theories of mind, from scratch.Gnomon

    Gnomon!

    Indeed, I'm not married to Jung, but like most so-called axioms or theories we study, there are usually at least more than a few good takeaway's from them. He theorized about a few 'archetypes' concerning men and women, one of which he called The Persona:

    The persona is how we present ourselves to the world. The word "persona" is derived from a Latin word that literally means "mask." It is not a literal mask, however.

    The persona represents all of the different social masks that we wear among various groups and situations. It acts to shield the ego from negative images. According to Jung, the persona may appear in dreams and take different forms.

    Over the course of development, children learn that they must behave in certain ways in order to fit in with society's expectations and norms. The persona develops as a social mask to contain all of the primitive urges, impulses, and emotions that are not considered socially acceptable.

    The persona archetype allows people to adapt to the world around them and fit in with the society in which they live. However, becoming too closely identified with this archetype can lead people to lose sight of their true selves.


    Gnomon, what was interesting there, was this notion of loosing one's true self, this one very important concept or takeaway to be considered in both the discovery and uncovery of Being ( A Maslonian phrase which I've always liked).

    And the implication, in some liberated circles, is that Gender is merely a biological suggestion, and that Sexual Identity is a personal lifestyle choice.Gnomon

    Yes. Me personally, I'm happily heterosexual and love women. Which, is another reason why I raised this question of Venus v. Mars. The dichotomy is not only the differences between the sexes themselves (masculinity and femininity) but the stereotypes that have presented themselves throughout the ages.

    Take stoicism for example. We know that basically during the fall of Roman empire it was used a philosophy of coping; physiological coping skills, in order to get through harsh/tough/difficult times. Thus we have seen this perpetuated in some instances, and taken to extremes to where it becomes a repression of healthy emotions and expression of same. And so in the face of men v. women, simple communication about one's feelings go a long way in maintaining a healthy relationship. Easier said than done I know... .

    Yet, ultimately, only in a long-term long-suffering marriage, can wives & husband learn to read the opaque mind of their significant Other. Short-term "partners" should be content to enjoy the sex, and don't worry about "what she/he's thinking". :smile:Gnomon

    In principle, I suppose it's a shame that going through long-term suffering sharpens the iron as they say, as apposed to already going into the relationship with the knowledge and tools of self-awareness.
  • 3017amen
    1.9k
    There is a large amount of male-female difference that comes down to historical roles and how this has affected experience, and with that language and conceptual structures. Our social and cultural reality has evolved differently, and so we tend to experience the world differently - but none of this is inherent or fixed.Possibility

    Possibility!

    Generally take no exceptions to your thoughts and concerns. The aforementioned quote speaks to the concern of rubrics, as well as the argument about the downside to the perpetuation of stoicism (I've met women who are very stoic).

    I think the means-to-the-end there would be the expression of feelings/differences . And that leads to the theory that we all want to feel good about our relationships. So if we want to feel good about our relationships, we have to express those feelings of wants and needs, and so on, that may uncover those differences you mention, I suppose.

    One thing that I think is quite pervasive in society, is this notion of power. My experience has revealed that there are both women man-haters, as well as men woman-haters out there. The reasons for that are numerous (such as childhood experiences, dysfunctional environments, no parental guidance, etc.) but generally fall back into the category of human pathologies. It's a bit perplexing as to why men and women need to be 'controlling' and/or who are intrinsically adversarial toward their partner's for whom they have supposed love.
  • Possibility
    1.4k
    Take stoicism for example. We know that basically during the fall of Roman empire it was used a philosophy of coping; physiological coping skills, in order to get through harsh/tough/difficult times. Thus we have seen this perpetuated in some instances, and taken to extremes to where it becomes a repression of healthy emotions and expression of same. And so in the face of men v. women, simple communication about one's feelings go a long way in maintaining a healthy relationship. Easier said than done I know... .3017amen

    The aforementioned quote speaks to the concern of rubrics, as well as the argument about the downside to the perpetuation of stoicism (I've met women who are very stoic).

    I think the means-to-the-end there would be the expression of feelings/differences . And that leads to the theory that we all want to feel good about our relationships. So if we want to feel good about our relationships, we have to express those feelings of wants and needs, and so on, that may uncover those differences you mention, I suppose.
    3017amen

    I find it interesting that you use the term ‘stoicism’ to describe this lack of communication about one’s feelings. I don’t think communication is as ‘simple’ as that. It’s not just about expressing, but about noticing, listening and hearing, too. When I mention differences in language and conceptual structures, what I’m referring to is this sense that we are expressing feelings, but they’re not being interpreted as wants and needs. Rather they’re taken as personal attacks: criticism or entrapment or anger or bitterness. And when those wants and needs expressed but not heard fail to be validated, are turned against us or dismissed as overreaction, etc, then we eventually give up on expressing those feelings. And then the relationship breaks down, and the partner is left wondering why these feelings were never ‘communicated’. This occurs as much (sometimes more) with men as it does with women.

    We rarely express feelings as a conscious, targeted communication, so it’s never in a form designed to be understood by a specific audience. It’s in our own ‘native’ emotional language. Some tend to ‘act out’ their feelings, while others dress them up in ‘respectable’ language. Part of developing a relationship is learning to recognise our partner’s unconscious ‘native’ language, so that when they express those feelings of wants and needs, we learn to pay attention, and at least make an effort to understand. Sometimes it helps to just ask for a ‘translation’, so to speak. It’s not so much about our feelings being automatically understood, but about the communication process itself: awareness, connection and eventually collaboration. It takes two.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.1k
    Take stoicism for example. We know that basically during the fall of Roman empire it was used a philosophy of coping; physiological coping skills, in order to get through harsh/tough/difficult times.3017amen

    The great Roman Stoics lived during the ascent of the Empire, actually. Seneca, Musonius Rufus, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius lived in the first and second centuries A.C. or C.E. Marcus, the last of them, died in 180. That's not to say there were no Stoics during the long fall of the Western Empire or subsequently in antiquity. There were plenty I would think, as Stoicism and Epicureanism were the dominant philosophical viewpoints during the Empire, until neo-platonism started to spread and the Christian emperors began the relentless extinguishment of pagan philosophy along with pagan religions. The Stoics, though, didn't teach the repression of emotions. Instead, stoic practice involved (and still involves) methods by which to lessen the influence and effect of negative emotions (such as fear and anger) and promote tranquility.
  • 3017amen
    1.9k
    The Stoics, though, didn't teach the repression of emotions. Instead, stoic practice involved (and still involves) methods by which to lessen the influence and effect of negative emotions (such as fear and anger) and promote tranquility.Ciceronianus the White

    Thanks for your contribution CW!

    Exception taken as noted. While I agree that part of what was also taught, was that one cannot fret over things they cannot control, and thus 'repression' of emotions per say wasn't the intention, I also submit it became an unintended consequence nonetheless. In the real world of so-called pragmatics (or maybe ignorance), many people interpreted it incorrectly or translated it to mean the virtues of keeping a stiff upper lip.

    And so, I'm not sure what's being taught in public schools, but the old-school stereotypical male who is always supposed to keep a stiff upper lip in order to provide for a gender specific Logos, should at the very least, be made aware of those differences. We have to halves of our brain to make whole, if you know what I mean vern.

    Otherwise, I think we run the danger of what Jung posited relative to an unhealthy Persona.
  • 3017amen
    1.9k
    When I mention differences in language and conceptual structures, what I’m referring to is this sense that we are expressing feelings, but they’re not being interpreted as wants and needs. Rather they’re taken as personal attacks: criticism or entrapment or anger or bitterness. And when those wants and needs expressed but not heard fail to be validated, are turned against us or dismissed as overreaction, etc, then we eventually give up on expressing those feelings. And then the relationship breaks down, and the partner is left wondering why these feelings were never ‘communicated’. This occurs as much (sometimes more) with men as it does with women.Possibility

    Possibility!

    Point well taken. There's a complexity relative to the human condition for sure. As you suggest, there's also the receiver who receives the information communicated. But my point is, if feelings are not communicated to begin with (say due to the stereotype's/rubrics of stoicism that seems to be popular) then how does one assume agreement is reached? You have to be able to communicate effectively, and even sometimes using simple English like 'I feel sad because' or,' I feel happy because'. Otherwise, people will act-out in deleterious ways... .

    Also, to your other point, no matter how hard you try to qualify and soften your delivery, if the person still gets defensive (taken as personal attacks), who's at fault there? And so, this notion of keeping a stiff upper lip that seems so prevalent might work in war, in economic or political chaos, and so forth but, in a relationship it's doubtful it has the same effectiveness/benefits.

    So what I'm saying there is the many forms of stoicism seems to be the root cause (and interpreted incorrectly by the masses) of this failure to listen because 'I don't want to go there', and 'neither should you go there' seems to be alive and [un]well! Accordingly, I can't imagine how two introvert's sustain a relationship unless they are clones, which is a whole different discussion in itself (what does compatibility really mean).

    We rarely express feelings as a conscious, targeted communication, so it’s never in a form designed to be understood by a specific audience. It’s in our own ‘native’ emotional language. Some tend to ‘act out’ their feelings, while others dress them up in ‘respectable’ language. Part of developing a relationship is learning to recognise our partner’s unconscious ‘native’ language, so that when they express those feelings of wants and needs, we learn to pay attention, and at least make an effort to understand. Sometimes it helps to just ask for a ‘translation’, so to speak. It’s not so much about our feelings being automatically understood, but about the communication process itself: awareness, connection and eventually collaboration. It takes two.Possibility

    I'm a little concerned about that. Actually, it's just a bit alarming (if I'm interpreting it correctly), that the jist of your argument relates to the male/female playing a metaphorical Let's Make a Deal word game, where there is this sort of interminable question-answer game of cat and mouse every time someone speaks. You seem to be suggesting that partners somehow aught to waste an extraordinary amount of intellectual energy to play this game of deciphering what the other person means (what's behind door number one). Am I wrong here?

    This 'learning to recognize the other partner's unconscious' is disturbing. It comes across as an endorsement of taking no personal responsibility for one's own self-awareness, but rather shifts that onto their partner. I hope I'm wrong here, so maybe I'm not interpreting what you're saying correctly?

    (In the context of a geopolitical or social debate, it seems more appropriate to advocate your position or theory, but not in the context of loved one's/interpersonal relationships... .)
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.1k
    While I agree that part of what was also taught, was that one cannot fret over things they cannot control, and thus 'repression' of emotions per say wasn't the intention, I also submit it became an unintended consequence nonetheless.3017amen

    It became a kind of caricature, useful to opponents of the school and, much more recently, accepted by those who came to think of Stoics as being Vulcans of a sort. But yes, the common definition of "stoic" came to be a person who can endure pain and injury without showing any feeling. Rather like the word "epicurean" came to be associated with "hedonist."
  • Gnomon
    729
    He theorized about a few 'archetypes' concerning men and women, one of which he called The Persona:3017amen
    Yes. We all adapt our "true selves" to our social situation by wearing suitable personas. Unfortunately, homosexuals, being persona non grata in most traditional societies, probably begin to lose their essential sense of self while hiding behind a more acceptable mask. Unfortunately, some "flaming gays" are so driven by their biological "Venusian" essence that the mask doesn't fool anybody. So, in order to survive, I suspect that they "act the fool" in order to appear as inoffensive as possible. :cool:
  • Gnomon
    729
    This complexity doesn’t lend itself to a simple binary or even linear distinction, and any attempt to shoehorn individuals into neat compartments is bound to confuse. That’s humanity for you.Possibility
    Actually, for most humans, Complexity does lend itself to simple classification. So our innate complex non-binary & non-linear personas tend to "confuse" the average human, who finds simple black & white categories easier to deal with. The human brain seems to have evolved to form simple categories (definitions), in simple slowly-changing tribal social environments. Those who don't fit neatly into conventional binary categories, typically adapted by wearing persona masks in public.

    It's only in our modern cosmopolitan & democratic societies that binary thinkers have been forced to deal with graded shades of race, gender, and religion. For those we call "prejudiced", socializing with non-conformers is not worth the effort. So, they try to act as-if that confusing complexity does not exist. And calling their subjective true-view "unjust", just confuses them all the more. Hopefully, as time goes by, the primitive natural human brain will catch-up to our rapidly-changing modern cultures.

    Personally, I am an introvert in an extroverted world, so I've learned over the years to wear a somewhat extroverted persona. But, when I'm alone, which is most of the time, I retreat into my innate turtle shell. Some casual acquaintances, seeing my chatty & hand-waving mask, wouldn't recognize my hidden & isolated "true self". :smile:
  • Gnomon
    729
    When I mention differences in language and conceptual structures, what I’m referring to is this sense that we are expressing feelings, but they’re not being interpreted as wants and needs. Rather they’re taken as personal attacks: criticism or entrapment or anger or bitterness. And when those wants and needs expressed but not heard fail to be validated, are turned against us or dismissed as overreaction, etc, then we eventually give up on expressing those feelings. And then the relationship breaks down, and the partner is left wondering why these feelings were never ‘communicated’. This occurs as much (sometimes more) with men as it does with women.Possibility
    You are describing the "communication gap" that marriage counselors and self-help gurus have been talking about for years. It's the basis of the Mars/Venus metaphor. And it's also the reason for Jung's categorization of anima/animus. If men tend to express their ideas in abstract "rational" terms, and women express their feelings in concrete "emotional" terms, there will often be a failure to communicate.

    "He/she doesn't understand me" is a common complaint. So understanding the innate biological differences underlying mental behavior is necessary to bridge the gap. Many shaky marriages are salvaged because the female feels the problem. and works to learn the language of the clueless male. :joke:

    Mars/Venus : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men_Are_from_Mars,_Women_Are_from_Venus

    “I know that you believe that you think you understand what you thought you heard me say, but what you don't realize is that what you heard is not what I meant.” ___ Alan Greenspan?
  • Valentinus
    791
    After reading a lot of Jung, the work from the early days, working with very troubled people, strikes me as the kernel of his approach. The people described don't care about our descriptions. Especially his.
  • 3017amen
    1.9k
    Yes. We all adapt our "true selves" to our social situation by wearing suitable personas. Unfortunately, homosexuals, being persona non grata in most traditional societies, probably begin to lose their essential sense of self while hiding behind a more acceptable mask. Unfortunately, some "flaming gays" are so driven by their biological "Venusian" essence that the mask doesn't fool anybody. So, in order to survive, I suspect that they "act the fool" in order to appear as inoffensive as possible. :cool:Gnomon

    Gnomon!

    I agree to the extend that no matter what you are (heterosexual, homosexual, etc.) that one should always try to be themselves and strive to be the most authentic to other's. IMO, I think that's the real takeaway there. Jung, Maslow, Freud and others were instrumental in bringing that phenomena to light.
  • Possibility
    1.4k
    I think you might be missing a vital point here, but it’s quite possible that I’m not making myself clear enough. Most of the feelings we express, we are conscious of only AFTER expressing them. So when it seems that our partner doesn’t understand how we feel, it’s important to note that we may have only just figured out ourselves how we’ve been feeling from our expression, and how long we’ve felt that way. It’s not anyone’s fault, and I’m not saying you ought to be doing anything in particular. But I will add that we cannot expect to be understood as evidence of being loved, as much as I’m suggesting we make our own calculated investment into the relationship, of attention and effort, towards understanding how each of us - both my partner and myself - emotes. That is, how we automatically conceptualise feelings into a prediction of emotion.

    You and Gnomon spoke about a ‘long-suffering marriage’, in which we learn to read our partner’s ‘opaque mind’. I think it’s more about learning to recognise the significance of experiences for them (not just for the opposite sex in general), and to make inroads to understanding without expecting to master it anytime soon. Life itself is ‘long-suffering’ - we predict interactions and learn from, are informed by, the difference between what it could be and what it seems, never really certain of what it IS at any one time.

    The way I see it, Stoicism in the philosophical sense isn’t so much about a ‘stiff upper lip’ or enduring pain without expressing feelings at all (that’s a limited view), but about learning to be aware of feelings BEFORE we express them, rather than after, and evaluating the effectiveness of options for expression in terms of the timing, language, situation, target, etc of our interaction. It’s an awareness that there is more going on than simply stimulus-response, and that we can always strive to see the bigger picture and understand why people are motivated towards judgement, desire or inclination.

    This 'learning to recognize the other partner's unconscious' is disturbing. It comes across as an endorsement of taking no personal responsibility for one's own self-awareness, but rather shifts that onto their partner. I hope I'm wrong here, so maybe I'm not interpreting what you're saying correctly?3017amen

    This is a misunderstanding. Our partner’s unconscious language is how they express feelings before becoming aware of them. I’m not saying we need to understand or decipher this language, only learn to recognise it as an expression of feelings, not as an attack, and communicate this recognition to them. When we do that, we offer an opportunity for our partner to communicate their feelings (this time with the aim to be understood), rather than just emote.

    I understand the defensiveness when confronted with an emotional outburst, but a partnership isn’t about who holds the power or the high ground - it’s about developing a mutual potential. We reflect our partner’s experiences back to them without judgement, so they might develop the self-awareness they need.

    You’re not their therapist - I’m not saying anyone should aim to ‘fix’ a partner who demonstrates a disfunctional lack of self-awareness - but if you’re searching for a partner who can express every feeling they have consciously with “I feel happy/sad because...” then you’re not after a human being. Few of us are as self-aware as we assume we are - neither are we as rational as we assume. Often we need to be told we’re acting cranky or irritable or flat by someone who is accustomed to how we normally behave, so we learn to recognise when something’s off-balance before it gets out of hand. I think it’s part of how we look after each other.
  • 3017amen
    1.9k
    but about learning to be aware of feelings BEFORE we express them, rather than after, and evaluating the effectiveness of options for expression in terms of the timing, language, situation, target, etc of our interactionPossibility

    Yep, no exceptions taken Possibility!

    When we do that, we offer an opportunity for our partner to communicate their feelings (this time with the aim to be understood), rather than just emote.Possibility

    Yep, no exceptions taken. However, 'just emoting' is okay too, as long as it's understood that way. In other words, wanting to just vent emotions can be therapeutic (I've learned that being a musician).

    Few of us are as self-aware as we assume we are - neither are we as rational as we assume. Often we need to be told we’re acting cranky or irritable or flat by someone who is accustomed to how we normally behave, so we learn to recognise when something’s off-balance before it gets out of hand. I think it’s part of how we look after each other.Possibility

    Sure, and thanks for clarifying that as well as the entire argument here. To underscore this point though, it almost begs the question of compatibility. We know in a long term relationship couples can grow apart, together, or somewhere in between, and still make it work. While other's of course, choose not to make it work. My question is, how do you distinguish between what is a normal amount of deciphering and/or engaging in an extraordinary/extraneous amount of same?

    I ask this for obvious reasons, because spending an inordinate amount of intellectual energy being a person's therapist is not a good thing.

    By the way, what's been your take on the Venus/Mar's thing? Do we all just want the same thing ( we just manifest them differently) or do we want different things? Perhaps in your earlier replies, you've suggested a combination or hybrid of sorts, based upon each individual's (their subjective truth) wants and needs... .

    I suppose then, in any case, by being aware of who you are or embracing the true-to-thyself (as Aristotle suggested/'know thyself') ethos, the responsibility needs to be shared by both parties.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.1k
    The way I see it, Stoicism in the philosophical sense isn’t so much about a ‘stiff upper lip’ or enduring pain without expressing feelings at all (that’s a limited view), but about learning to be aware of feelings BEFORE we express them, rather than after, and evaluating the effectiveness of options for expression in terms of the timing, language, situation, target, etc of our interaction. It’s an awareness that there is more going on than simply stimulus-response, and that we can always strive to see the bigger picture and understand why people are motivated towards judgement, desire or inclination.Possibility

    Yes. Critics of Stoicism of course claim that we can't control our emotions, and that no real distinction can be drawn between things in our control and those outside our control. Stoicism is a discipline, though, and requires study of our emotions/feelings, the reasons for them and their consequences, and the development of judgment and perspective. So, Marcus Aurelius' so-called Meditations are properly considered a part of that discipline, a practice (as Hadot says); a sort of training. Thinking, reasoning, practicing, one does what one can.
  • Gnomon
    729
    The way I see it, Stoicism in the philosophical sense isn’t so much about a ‘stiff upper lip’ or enduring pain without expressing feelings at all (that’s a limited view), but about learning to be aware of feelings BEFORE we express them, rather than after, and evaluating the effectiveness of options for expression in terms of the timing, language, situation, target, etc of our interaction. It’s an awareness that there is more going on than simply stimulus-response, and that we can always strive to see the bigger picture and understand why people are motivated towards judgement, desire or inclination.Possibility
    I haven't heard it put that way before, but I agree. :smile:
  • Possibility
    1.4k
    However, 'just emoting' is okay too, as long as it's understood that way. In other words, wanting to just vent emotions can be therapeutic (I've learned that being a musician).3017amen

    I think there’s a difference between creative catharsis and ‘just emoting’ - it’s in how we direct our interactions. By ‘just emoting’ I’m referring to a failure to make any conscious choice in how we act out, particularly in who bears the brunt of our emotional outburst and why. Like when we snap at our partner after a crappy day at work. When you choose music as an avenue to vent emotions, it can also be therapeutic for those who listen - or thoughtful towards those who might otherwise cop an earful.

    To underscore this point though, it almost begs the question of compatibility. We know in a long term relationship couples can grow apart, together, or somewhere in between, and still make it work. While other's of course, choose not to make it work. My question is, how do you distinguish between what is a normal amount of deciphering and/or engaging in an extraordinary/extraneous amount of same?3017amen

    For me, it’s not a question of how much deciphering, but how much effort and attention we commit to awareness, connection and collaboration regardless of whether we can translate. I don’t think there’s a normative value you can put on this - it’s relative to how much each of us has available, given the other crap we need to deal with in our lives at the time, and what this relationship means in the midst of that. Relationships are a negotiation of effort and attention requirements - sometimes there’s enough to sustain the relationship, sometimes there isn’t, and sometimes one area of the relationship requires more effort and attention for a time. Communicating which areas need work, and how much effort and attention we have available between us, is all part of the negotiation.
  • 3017amen
    1.9k
    think there’s a difference between creative catharsis and ‘just emoting’ - it’s in how we direct our interactions. By ‘just emoting’ I’m referring to a failure to make any conscious choice in how we act out, particularly in who bears the brunt of our emotional outburst and why.Possibility

    I think you would be surprised at the fundamental similarities of expressing emotion. The expression of emotion can be manifested in different genres (angry metal/happy pop), and also in another way it can be manifested by random free ranging improvisation. In both cases an emotional purging is experienced from both the performer and listener.

    With respect to communication, tolerance, etc. relative to the so called extraneous deciphering... , points well taken Possibly!!
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