.:. home .:. essays & notes .:. guestbook .:.

essays & notes


The Emergence of Unconscious Contents
and the Assimilation Thereof

(originally written 09.28.2007)

I) The religious experience, the neurotic experience, and the hallucinogenic experience are all various manifestations of one phenomenon.

II) This phenomenon is known in psychology as the emergence of unconscious contents into the conscious.

III) The unconscious contents are possessed of a psychic force or energy normally greater than that of the conscious contents.

IV) The emergence of such contents has a naturally disintegrating effect on the conscious aspects of the psyche – especially the ‘ego.’

V) The religious experience may appear to come from without (e.g. as an act of grace) or from within as a result of a volitional act (e.g. yoga or prayer), and it often results in an increase of health and livelihood.

VI) The neurotic experience normally appears to be ‘without’ (e.g. schizophrenia) but also in that it comes about without conscious volition, and it most often results in a decrease of health and livelihood.

VII) The hallucinogenic experience is the result of a volitional act (i.e. ingestion of a certain substance), and results variously in both increase & decrease of health & livelihood.

VIII) In the event of the emergence of unconscious contents of the psyche, the ego attempts to assimilate them.

IX) A successful assimilation of unconscious contents into the conscious generates an increase of health & livelihood, increase in energy, and often, a shift in the point-of-view of an individual.

X) An unsuccessful attempt – where the unconscious contents prove too powerful of a disintegrating agent on the conscious – results in increase in neurosis and therefore decrease in health & livelihood.

XI) Since some religious experiences and all hallucinogenic experiences are volitional, they may be consciously used to assimilate the unconscious contents into the conscious.

XII) The volitional religious experience requires prolonged, intense work in one or many of various methods of concentration, which are often steeped in metaphysical & theological assumptions.

XIII) The advantage of this is that the psyche is strengthened by training and can much more likely withstand the influence of emerging unconscious contents; the disadvantages are both the need for prolonged, intense work and also the common occurrence of the methods being steeped in metaphysical & theological assumptions.

XIV) The volitional hallucinogenic experience does not require any previous work, but the outcome is much more unpredictable and is based on an unfathomable amount of factors including type of substance ingested, exact dose of said substance, the reaction of the particular body & psyche to this substance, the particular circumstance the subject is in, and the particular individuals the subject is around.

XV) The advantage of this is that it is potentially available to any human being without any time spent on religious or mental training, and therefore it does not inherently steep one in preconceived religious & theological assumptions; the disadvantages are that there is no necessary corresponding training of the mind that occurs in the volitional religious experience so the emerging unconscious contents may more easily overpower the conscious contents, and also the outcome is largely unpredictable in that many factors have to be taken into account and therefore potentially dangerous (in that it may, instead of harmoniously assimilating, be repressed and form into a neurosis).

Hosted by