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<nettime> Re: Internet and Unconscious: The Psychic Interface
brian carroll on 4 Sep 2000 17:02:38 -0000

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<nettime> Re: Internet and Unconscious: The Psychic Interface

 i think C.G. Jung's use of alchemical text-images in
 _The Psychology of the Transference_ (1954) illustrates
 the transference from lead to gold and from immaterial
 to material via the idea of the `chemical marriage' of
 self and other. Jung uses power and gender and birth
 and death to explain this process of transference, or
 transmution, from one state to another in a phase change.
 stages of this psychic process are color-coded, white,
 yellow, black, red. the ultimate conjunction is that of
 the old and the new, the King and Queen, male and female,
 positive and negative, forces which annihilate eachother,
 but in the process create something new, a `return of
 the soul' and a new birth. the conceptual equivalent
 of a hermaphrodite, the philosopher, who is both self
 and other. the philosopher's stone plays a role in this
 transformative process. i could see today's philosophers
 stone being the internetworked computer for the collective
 of individuals, partially unconscious and partially aware
 of the task ahead...
 this self, then, could be the internetworked user, who
 interfaces with the philsopher's stone, the computer, to
 begin a transformative process through the experimentation
 of the material and its influence upon the immaterial of
 the psyche via the language of symbols. each internet user
 then projects their identity, or self, into the alchemical
 bath, an expanding bounded universe of collective symbols.
 in the process, conflicts arise between self and other,
 whether it is of social realities of religious morality
 versus pornography, of the MPAA versus DeCSS, or the
 texts of one class-strata of society versus another...
 these forces, people, ideas, and things, clash violently
 in opposition, the opposing forces of self and other
 becoming closer in the electronic internetwork than
 was possible without this new electronic stone. in
 essence, this contradiction and friction and the
 battle that ensues in which these forces interact
 with one another inside this im-material inter-face,
 internal and external, is a conceptual and a physical
 `heat death' of the transference process.

 the opposing forces collapse upon themselves as if a
 blackhole, and nothing escapes, but a spark of the
 individuals whom mediate this intense ex-change.
 the self and other are closer than ever before.

 if one is a philosopher and wants to know the truth
 of being and the real, mystical and materialized,
 one goes forward with the heat death, in a marriage
 with the contradiction, with paradox, in order to
 resolve the difference and unify and incorporate it
 in a marriage of one, self-and-other, one being. a
 new knowledge is created in the collective psyche,
 for some it is unconscious, a web site ignored or
 never ventured to, or a conscious attempt to know
 an idea from multiple perspectives, so as to attain
 a conscious understanding of all the variables and
 the complexities involved, and yet still with an
 effort to resolve them in a new insightful model
 for collective psyche to tap, awake or in dreams.

 especially rich is the textual, symbolic nature
 of the present internetwork. discourses and debates
 bring forces closer than institutions or books ever
 enabled, and in turn an increased purging of ideas
 occurs, strengthening contradictory philosophies in
 the process. it is a voyeuristic, philosophical journey
 of individuals versus institutions, as was quoted:

> --
> "Every advance in culture is, psychologically, an extension of
> consciousness, a coming to consciousness that can take place only through
> discrimination. Therefore an advance always begins with individuation,
> that is to say with the individual, conscious of his isolation, cutting a
> new path through hitherto untrodden territory. To do this he must first
> return to the fundamental facts of his own being, irrespective of all
> authority and tradition, and allow himself to become conscious of his
> distinctiveness. If he succeeds in giving collective validity to his
> widened consciousness, he creates a tension of opposites that provides the
> stimulation which culture needs for its further progress.
> "On Psychic Energy" (1928). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics
> of the Psyche. P. 111
> --

 the alchemical marriage (of ideas) creates a collective
 of individual thinkers, which create change, and ultimately
 transform society and the material world through this symbolic
 exchange of ideas. the internetwork, electronic or otherwise,
 is the philosopher's stone, whether people, nature, or a computer,
 because it relates the self with the other, enabling their
 death and rebirth through conceptual/physical re-integration.

 on the level of the collective, taking into account the multitudinous
 transformations of groups of individuals all over the world challenging
 eachothers conventions, such as activists versus corporation power,
 they in turn react to one another, forces influencing eachother,
 causing physical and mental effects, with a potential for rebirth of
 of new and better way of being together. without the computer, and
 its aesthetics of image and text, these forces would not be so
 symbolically visible as their own projections of their identities.
 alchemical (and semiotic) analyses open up the electronic internetwork
 for re-interpretation of the unfolding events, and gives us a look
 over the horizon at what the future could be.

 [related to alchemical marriage, death, and rebirth is that of
 Sartre's existential differentiation between being, becoming, and
 nothingness. also a process of psychic/symbolic transference].


 for alchemical text-images see:
 click `identity'

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