Magicians or Teachers

10/04/2013 09:21


Magicians Or Teachers


There`s a concept of man in relation to the externality called 'Mu'. Everything that exists outside the individual is, potentially, a part of his/her 'Mu'; or, to put it another way, what appears in one's experiential domain is for us and, in a very real way, the creation of our minds, that is,  we get what is there, because our unconscious need supplies it for our development. According to the developmental psychology of Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961), the archetype of the `Self`, corresponding in religious parlance to 'God', needs opportunities for personal growth and enrichment, which is where the educator becomes important as an interface between the child and its internal 'mission' from its `Self`.


 Usually a child`s taught the world is a difficult and dangerous place against which it and its parents need to protect it. The result is the child sees the outside world as a threatening, hostile, alien `thing` which is complicated by parents with problems of their own; child abuse, violence, psychoses, neuroses etc., possibly due to their own previous problematical educations including false conditioning and social maladaptation. On the other hand, if the growing infant is taught that, for example, the world is his/hers,  like a virtual reality film script to use the latest techspeak, in which the child can write his/herself, but because he/she is small and vulnerable, its parents will guide and care for it until it is sufficiently developed enough to access the medium, the child's relationship to, as it were, language is of a directly developmental or 'personal' one, that is, what happens to the child as it grows is aimed directly at him/her in terms of his/her development or progress.


 The use of archetypal symbolism/imagery in pediatrics begins here. It has a role to play in the developmental understanding of children with dysfunctionalities, who require pictoral rather than alphabetical representations in order to assist their understanding. The seminal instance of an image from the unconscious assisting the developing consciousness is German chemist, Friedrich August Kekulé`s 1865 discovery of the ring shape of the benzene molecule after having a reverie or day-dream of a snake seizing its own tail, which is a common symbol in many ancient cultures, and is known as the `Ouroboros` in Jungian developmental psychology, as it depicts the process whereby the individual grows through recognizing their own inferiority projected upon others and learning to `swallow`, that is, recognize a need to adapt and grow  through learning that the perceiver is inferior and not the perceived. Confusion can result in the educator being abused by the educated as the student perceives the teacher as inferior because he/she can`t `swallow`, that is, accept, the educator`s superiority. After Kekulé`s vision of the ourobouros, the helical structure of the benzine molecule appeared in his mind and he was able to model the molecule to further his work in chemistry. Using archetypal symbolism or imagery for English language learning could help the student grasp the subject more easily and open up the possibility for greater linguistic inventiveness.


 The use of Jungian archetypes and symbolic motifs in the analysis of the unconscious is widespread, but their role as a framework with which to enhance the level of consciousness is not. It is, for example, well known that the unconscious of a woman from Manchester may contain elements from symbolic systems as diverse as Egyptian mythological fragments and Tibetan mandalas, as well as images from the Judaeo-Christian tradition that constitute her background, but knowledge of the various symbol systems is the task of the language teacher interested in such archetypal material. The chakra system of energy points and their associated images in yoga and the pictorial representation of the `tree of life` as a map of the life of the body in Judaism are but two instances of cultural models available for the purpose of guiding a child's linguistic potential through imagination.



 The importance of the channelling of libido in ensuring developmental progress cannot be overemphasised. Consultation with experts in the field of pediatrics, particularly with regard to the linking of movement therapy with speech articulation, suggest that concentration upon correct body posture produces `adjusted` individuals at the expense of creative potential. In Kundalini yoga the third chakra in the vicinity of the solar plexus is described rather poetically as a `plenitude of jewels`, a reference to its sacred character, corresponding in psychological parlance to the wealth of psychic contents waiting to receive actualization in the psyche of the individual, and which might be described as the 'crown jewels', a suggestiveness derived from English vernacular`s referencing the source of male potency rising to a spiritual and intellectual dimension at the `crown` of the head, which is the lotus chakra in yoga.


 Tantric yoga is indicated as a useful form of therapy in assisting individuals who, for whatever reason, are unable to realise their blocked potential. Socio-economic conditioning tells them work, marriage, and the raising of a family (a situation associated with the third or solar plexus chakra in the Hindu system) should be the zenith of their aspirations, and is 'normal', whereas it`s `adjusted` to keep individuals from learning how to be free of reliance upon others, which is enslavement. Vested interests have a role to play too. Freemasonry`s goal is to keep the mass of people at a low level of consciousness, because easier to manipulate. Emphasis in Christianity upon logic as `Logos`, the `Word`, rather than Eros, channels libidic instinct into spirit and intellect, that is, technological endeavour, but at the expense of the brain's unmapped capacities (humans use only 10% of its potentiality), while Eros is an unmapped territory of the brain to be explored if an individual is to maximize intellectual and creative potential.


 In youth culture, recent experimental studies in the field of pediatrics suggest the use of symbolic structures and archetypal frameworks in the learner`s environment can be useful in producing a therapeutic relationship between the language learner and an alien and hostile world; particularly abroad. Results indicate the use of symbols in the externality as iconographical tools, just as one might 'click' on icons in a computer. By focusing one's energies upon a particular motif, effects can be produced upon the imagination of the individual psyche`s thought processes associated with that particular 'icon', to create a more creative, playful and harmonious learning relation between 'subject' and environment.


 There are far reaching possibilities with regard to future scenarios in connection with the concept of a symbolic externality. In theoretical physics there is a very famous experiment in which an electron gun is fired at a target. A camera placed next to the target records that each electron arrives as if travelling in a straight line. However, further observation reveals that, in spite of appearances, if the electrons are watched by technical apparatus at a point midway between gun and target, they show signs of deviating from the direct path and, as it were, choosing one amongst many alternative paths to the goal, that is, individuals who aren`t interfered with can choose from a plethora of possibilities within what the physicists describe as a 'probability wave', a notion that gave birth to the theory of parallel universes or multi-realities and which has some significance for us in our concerns with assisting students to levels of transcendent consciousness and higher levels of brain functioning. If language can be held to determine what reality human consciousness inhabits, it must also be possible for the language learner to translate themselves into a better alternative, which in fact is what many underprivileged foreigners strive for.


 The question of whether or not moving objects can be categorised as having the attributes of icons for learners of language is one which brings us into the areas of 'human hieroglyphics' familiar from Egyptian temples and, to take a rather less well known example, the Tarot deck of the seer in which the characters represent `the soul`s journey`. Derived from a pictorial Torah, that is, the Old Testament law of the Jews, the Tarot cards depict in hieroglyphic form twenty-two pathways, in reference to the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. A 'hieroglyphics of human sexuality' might reveal other paths to unlock the future developmental functionality of the brain, which would explain why Indian temples celebrate the act of physical love in stone, but the concept of hieroglyphics relating to people`s characters, rather than alphabetical characters, is one that language teachers employ almost without thinking in role play, but which requires more serious thought and training methods.


 Ethical questions remain to be resolved: is it desirable for an individual's awakening libido to be channelled? The decision has to be for the individual, while the task of the developer or educator remains one of guidance as a facilitator of choices already made. The language teacher needs to stimulate and observe the creative imaginations of subjects, in relation to the available symbol maps; to ascertain what, if any, correlations exist between the 'maps and the territory' of the developing mind. The implementation of a program resulting from a perceived need for students to interact with the environment requires that creative interface which the teacher can be. The use of an archetypal methodology using visual stimuli and the careful monitoring of reactions to input can, perhaps, assist in facilitating development. Archetypal material within the framework of textbooks or computer programs, together with illustrations and diagrams etc., can act as catalysts for developmental impulses. Unlocking the individual's self-awareness and requirements in terms of growth, is discovering just what the person concerned wants from life, before using techniques like archetypal imaging to get them moving, while researchers continue to study the effects produced by archetypal imagery and `human hieroglyphics` upon the language learner.