Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Our Psyche

"Technology, its poisonous by-products, weapons of mass destruction and inhumane repercussions are projections of the human psyche, expressing our current stage of development. They express not only our consciousness, but also our unconsciousness. "Look at the devilish engines of destruction!" Jung wrote, "They are invented by completely innocuous gentlemen, reasonable, respectable citizens who are everything we could wish. And when the whole thing blows up, and an indescribable hell of destruction is let loose, nobody seems to be responsible. It simply happens, and yet it is all man-made" -Daniel Pinchbeck, pg. 107 of 2012

It seems to me that the evil of the world is headed for a major downturn. The most innovative and popular technologies -- the Googles, Firefoxes, Twitters & Youtubes -- are projecting a much different psyche than the one described above. I'm confident that the psyche of my generation will be much different than the old-man psyche that gave birth to the destructive culture we currently live in. The fact is, the world we want is a much different world than the one we have, and I fully expect (in a very moral sense) for future technologies and business practices to reflect that.

**I realize this is an optimistic view, but it seems to me that an optimistic psyche has a better chance of success than a pessimistic one.


brutus said...

The downturn we will face won't be that of evil but of abundance. Faced with scarcity, evil behaviors will reassert themselves.

The change of psyche you prophesy is already underway, but I don't think we yet understand it. Although it's certainly true that among the generation attuned to all things electronic there is tremendous dissatisfaction with the world we have, the discontinuity with the world we will soon have to too great to predict reliably. And why assume that optimism is a better strategy for success? Isn't that rather circular?

Jeff said...

I want to be clear that I'm not saying I think these technologies will save us, but I do think they reflect a positive change; a change toward open-source, bottom-up, social-connection, & well-being based business practices.

As for my optimism, if the world of human creation is the realization/expression of the collective psyche, it would seem beneficial to have a healthy, positive psyche (for that would create a healthy, positive world). It definitely is circular, but that's not a problem because we're talking about a cycle =)

brutus said...

Your comment makes me smile. The world of human creation, huh? Sure, we're creative, but we're responsive first to reality as we perceive it. The happy thoughts create happy people meme is fatuous, IMO. It's not unrelated to the saws "ignorance is bliss" and "denial ain't just a river in Egypt."

Daniel Dennett calls consciousness a benign user illusion. As such, it's possible to have a delusional grasp of reality at both ends of the happy/depressed continuum. Maybe it's just me, but an honest appraisal of the human condition and our position in history must admit quite a bit of misery, corruption, and injustice. They shift around over time, but they never go away.

Jeff said...

-I think it's more related to "be the change you want to see in the world."

-I'm not claiming a lack of illusion, i agree with Daniel Dennett seems similar to John Gray (the second quote)

-I'm not denying the misery, corruption & injustice; This post just happens to be focusing on a positive.