Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Afterlife Letter from Freud to Jung

Originally posted on February 20, 2013

The following is a fantasized letter from Sigmund Freud to Carl Jung about the nature of a more holistic psychology:

Dear Carl,
        Now that I’m dead to the living, I’ve discovered that as part of my purgatory, my purification process, on this post-death plane I’m encouraged to do a life review. I have come to realize that I was terribly caught by the ego, which is un-ending in its illusory snares. (But then, hey, just about everyone is also caught up in their egos in their own ways, so I am also learning to be self-forgiving.) I have learned, though, that, as the 8th and 9th of the Twelve Steps in AA suggests, I need to make amends to you: I felt so ego-inflated because I had discovered a way to escape a little from the snares of illusion that I allowed myself to be blinded by that and overlooked so much more—many times more illusions that I never realized. I admit now to excessive pride because I was so very excited about what I had discovered. 

Since arriving at this plane of existence, I have been many times humbled and also given the grace of a sense of humor—which I lacked to some moderate degree, looking back / down on the life-reviews. So, as another example of relativistic thinking, because I did indeed enjoy jokes, especially the wry, bittersweet Jewish jokes, it didn’t occur to me that there were many other ways in which perhaps I was humorless.

So, now, flushed with Divine Grace (which I couldn’t see because I thought God was sort of a Jewish projected uber-father-figure), I can now acknowledge without an overwhelming narcissistic injury: Yes, I was so wrong in many ways. Yet I was also partly right and pioneering in some ways. From this perspective, I can see that others before me had many related ideas, but still I was acknowledged to have systematized it, and also organized a movement to systematically explore self-deception. I have also been shown that some of my success was the product of an idea whose time had come—a post-war swing away from over-idealism. So it wasn’t just me, me, me. Mainly, though, I’ve been shown that there’s so very much more, including your ideas.

Please forgive me for finding your explorations to be too occult. The irony that I am writing this from a pre-reincarnation semi-existence—well, how occult can you get? Ho! So I apologize for raining on your parade. From my perspective, we both have tons yet to learn, and many others have also found things that both of us overlooked. So bless you and all the other pioneers who were trying to think about the way we think. As they say today in improv training, instead of “no, but…” I should have said, “Yes, and.”

So I was a little right, sometimes about stuff that I didn’t even recognize. And you were a little—and more than a little—right. And Jake Moreno (you didn’t know about him) was a bit right. We were all a lot wrong, but it is hoped that Jake’s insights about creativity will be more widely recognized, and folks will be encouraged rather than discouraged in building on what was right. I see now that we all need to continue to revise, refine, and gently allow the bathwater to drain away. Of course, we might need to give the baby another bath in cleaner water. But that’s stretching the proverb.

Whitehead talked about dialectic, referring back to Hegel, and if we’re not too technical, I’ve learned that that is what happens more on all of these levels, Talmudic, intellectual, in all sciences, etc. Or as Moreno indicated (not that his own life really too closely followed the principles of blessing the creative), the creative process is eternally subversive of the cultural conserve. He didn’t say it, but on this other-worldly surplus-reality level, I don’t mind saying it.

There have been scholars who have respected each other and also differed. I am reminded of the 2nd-millennium BCE debates of Rabbis Shammai and Hillel. It seemed to me that neither pretended to final truth. They know that in a century or millennium new paradigms might emerge which would make all their speculations not necessarily wrong so much as relative, partial. (Or perhaps I’m just projecting this on them. I’ll have to ask them when I get to the next higher level.) Or again as dear Al— we call Whitehead Al up here—he doesn’t mind— said, “All truths are half-truths. It’s treating them as whole truths that plays the devil.” Great quote, Al.

Now Adam has just modeled an example of what you termed the Senex complex—especially the better, wiser, more nurturing side of that complex. He has validated his 47 year old son and used the senex power to say, “yes, and.” If you haven’t read David’s recent book, Spectrums, you should do so. Yes, even here on the other side. It’s transcendentally good. So beyond reconciliation, there’s encouragement, synthesis and play.

Well, end of my transmission channeling to Adam’s mind. Too much and his brain will burn to a ‘crips,’ as he calls it. “

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