Clue-by-Four: Ramblings of a Jock Dork

Shifting the Collective Unconsciousness: Love in the Time of Obama

Posted in Clue x Fours and Other Tools of Sanity, Misadventures in Dating by Wingnut on March 23, 2010

(Disclaimer: This post has nothing Obama. But, this is the “time of Obama” so to speak. Furthermore, his  name just sounds something like Cholera (see this book for details). The subsequent association between the two terms you now have is entirely incidental, if incidental means mildly on purpose.)

“It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves.”

—Carl Jung

During prosperous times for the psychoanalytic school of psychology (defined as before people discovered Freud was just as pervy as the next guy), Carl Jung postulated that, while we all have our own unique thoughts and experiences, we also share a set of thoughts and ideas with that dumbass who just called 911 to report their order from Wendy’s had extra mayo instead of extra mustard.

Now, before you all look in the mirror and envision exchanges between yourself (aka Topher Grace) and Kirkwood Smith1, it should be explained that this does not mean your next trip to Arby’s will end with a call to the LAPD2. It does mean, however, that:

“…in addition to our immediate consciousness…there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents.”

Even though you may not be calling the FBI’s BAU to complain about the content of this blog (I see you dialing. Put the phone down!), you may share the same sense of entitlement that drives 911-guy to complain to a Federal Officer that I am committing verbal hate crimes against guys who dial 911 for stupid shit (Don’t you dare press send!).

Maybe you are different and, if you are, I sorry that your “best participator” certificate got lost in the mail a few years back. We will rush you a replacement, if you believe you are entitled to one, along with the “best forgiver” award you just earned. (Random Thought: How many people can be “World’s Best Dad” anyway?)

All kidding aside (for at least a few sentences), Jung hypothesized that, while we each develop individually, we also inherit a set of ideas and ideals from the society into which we were born. Ideas about sexuality, love, parenthood, intelligence, money, power, etc. are largely shared because the ideas are psychological imprint. In more basic terms, there is a tramp stamp3 on the back of each of our psyches.  And. Because we live in a society where the primary children’s network (aka Disney Channel) features characters sneaking into a strip club (Zack and Cody), you have some deep-seated problems and need some serious counseling my friend (I, of course, do not because I only ride the crazy train every other Tuesday).

Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the area of love and romance (For society as a whole, not just you. Talk about self-important)

There was a time when the concept of love was viewed very differently by society and, on the whole, society seemed to function pretty well. It is only in the last 30 years or so that the “fairy tale” romance has become the backbone for our view of love and marriage45. You could try to prove me wrong by arguing Shakespeare wrote one of the greatest love stories ever told, Romeo and Juliet. And you would be correct because this, in fact, is the Bible when it comes to why REBOUND relationships can be a BAD IDEA. (Honestly, RJ was about social issues of the time).  In fact, I have it on good authority that Shakespeare did not write The Notebook and that viewing the movie Titanic was the actual cause of his death6.

Love was something more, something deeper that has been cheapened, to some degree, by this shift toward the intense and fleeting. Our attention span for “real love” and “smart choices” has turned into a 30-minute sitcom. In some respects, love is now this commercialized monstrosity (like Valentine’s Day) where you meet someone and explosions and sparks fly, we make all sorts of promises, buy all sorts of stuff and live happily ever after right? Oh, wait, he forgot to go to Jared. Dump his ass.

How many times are we actually wrong about that person we are going to spend the rest of our life with because we “listen” entirely to what our emotions tell us about how this person makes us feel. As my dear NDF said when I chatted with her last night7, lust and passion are often mistaken for “love.” (I have been guilty of this offense. So, I completely understand what she was saying…I may lust after you Peanut Butter, but I do not actually love you. I’m sorry if this breaks your heart8).

For a large segment of our society, love is that “mystical emotion”, something that “just happens” and we have “no control” over it. Never mind the fact that there is loads of evidence that this concept of love just DOES NOT work in a way that leads people to true happiness and allows for excuses for bad behavior and poor choices. (Yes Rachel Uchitel, your decision to quit stripping for Tiger was obviously a bad decision. He may have been married, but you “loved” him right? How is that working out for you?)

The reason for all of this is that our collective unconscious believes that love is an emotion that has something to do with the stars and cosmos; and, we can’t control our emotions can we?

We, in fact, can.

The hope and change we need comes in recognizing that love as an action.

(Part 2 will address this revolutionary idea)


  1. KIRKWOOD SMITH!!!!! (Just for you MR)
  2. Unless they put sauce on my Beef N’ Cheddar. Heads will roll!!!!
  3. It’s not artistic expression…it’s a butterfly.
  4. This is largely because it’s hard for a society to appreciate the greatest love poems of all time when the majority of them couldn’t actually read. They focused on more practical things, like how a man pushed his plow.
  5. Ironically enough, this should have been the time period of the “fairy tale” romance because, when you are dead at 30, you haven’t had time yet to hate your spouse.
  6. He is actually hiding out with Elvis and 2-Pac. And, since his stories are lumped in with the likes of the Ghost Whisperer, I don’t really blame him.
  7. Hello again MiO. You do know you totally rule right?
  8. Don’t worry PB, I know for a fact that the Jelly loves you.

4 Responses

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  1. Joan said, on March 23, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Completely spot-on interpretation of Freud as pervy and for the view of psychology in general…my acquired knowledge of the history of psychology would’ve been much better had the professor related the information in these terms.

    Except when you likened the collective unconscious to a tramp stamp…while yes, appropriate so that those who can’t grasp the language you’re using can understand that basic idea, it was slightly offensive to my eyes and brain as I mentally pictured society’s tramp stamp, and Jung turning over in his grave. I’m still on board with you watering down these entries into a “______ for dummies” where tramp stamp is appropriate 🙂

    Otherwise, society needs some sort of intervention to set about undoing the deep-set ideas that has us on the wrong path. This stumps me. My “starfish” intervention is only valuable one-on-one…reaching people at a larger level makes my head spin!

  2. MiO said, on March 23, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    I lust after and do in fact love peanut butter. :o) I can’t believe you are denying your true feelings for that creamy goodness! Hmm…perhaps it is because your head has been turned and you are now investing your time/lustful thoughts/passion in FB bars! LOL! More for me :o)

  3. bruinbill said, on March 23, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    This is way too intellectual for me. I was content with Freud’s saying that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Of course, I was smoking cigars then. Shakestick not only understood love, he invented psychology a few centuries before its founders “founded” it. Of course, they could only have “founded” it if it had been lost!!!

    Love changes by application. And by age. It may start with the visual, the emotional, and the sexual, but, like all living things, it evolves or it dies. After 41 years of being married to my one true love, love is much more about being together, caring, sharing, and helping. And in the end, true love will be about emptiness and loneliness, as one partner normally finds death before the other.

  4. […] and becomes routinely visible from space. The collective unconsciousness that Jung referred to [see “Love in Time of Obama” for more on Jung’s theory] has become contaminated to the point that higher levels of junk have […]

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