One of our student graduates sent me one of those chain email things that keep circulating in the internet ether forever. Usually I don’t bother to even look at those since I have so little time to spare, but something made me read this one. Given that I am on a thinking spree about how different thinking is in different values and the consequences arising from this process, I immediately thought of B. F. Skinner and C.G. Jung as an example of values levels conflicts.
In the past year I posted several articles in which I mentioned operant conditioning in which a referred to B. F. Skinner so I will not bore you again with the same here.
Here are the articles for your reference:
Nevertheless, I thought the following little tidbit of an urban myth – if the experiment wasn’t really performed – is telling. I also added at the end, for contrast a quote from ” C.G. Jung, Phenomena Resulting from the Assimilation of the Unconscious, Relations Between the Ego and the Unconscious, Collected Works, Vol. 7.
There is nothing else I could possible say after Jung’s quote.
“A collective attitude naturally presupposes the same collective psyche in others. But that means a ruthless disregard not only of individual differences but also of differences of a more general kind within the collective psyche itself, as for example differences of race. This disregard for individuality obviously means the suffocation of the single individual, as a consequence of which the element of differentiation is obliterated from the community. The element of differentiation is the individual. All the highest achievements of virtue, as well as the blackest villainies, are individual. [,]
“Naturally the only thing that can thrive in such an atmosphere is sociality and whatever is collective in the individual. Everything individual in him goes under, i.e., is doomed to repression. The individual elements lapse into the unconscious, where, by the law of necessity, they are transformed into something essentially baleful, destructive, and anarchical.[,]
“Any large company composed of wholly admirable persons has the morality and intelligence of an unwieldy, stupid, and violent animal. The bigger the organization, the more unavoidable is its immorality and blind stupidity. (Senatus bestia, senatores boni viri). Society, by automatically stressing all the collective qualities in its individual representatives, puts a premium on mediocrity, on everything that settles down to vegetate in an easy, irresponsible way. Individuality will inevitably be driven to the wall. This process begins in school, continues at the university, and rules all departments in which the State has a hand.
“Now, all that I have said here about the influence of society upon the individual is identically true of the influence of the collective unconscious upon the individual psyche. But, as is apparent from my examples, the latter influence is as invisible as the former is visible. Hence it is not surprising that its inner effects are not understood, and that those whom such things happen are called pathological freaks and treated as crazy. If one of them happen to be a real genius, the fact would not be noted until the next generation or the one after. So obvious does it seem to us that a man should drown in his own dignity, so utterly incomprehensible that he should seek anything other than what the mob wants, and that he should vanish permanently from view in this other. One could wish both of them a sense of humor, that – according to Schopenhauer – truly “divine” attribute of man which alone benefits him to maintain his soul in freedom.”
Until next time, be well.