Carl Jung: Darwin of the Mind, by Thomas T. Lawson
Karnac Books, 9781855754683, 226 pp., 2008
Jung is often considered what of the greatest minds of the age, one of the founding fathers of psychology. Lawson seeks “to pull together the thought of Carl Jung and place it in a non-technical way within a contemporary context, so as to make it accessible to the general reader” as Jung never wrote much for the public. Rather than being a “Jung 101″ book, or a dumbed down version of his writings, this book is an intelligent exploration of Jung’s ideas relying less on the professional language of psychology, focusing on the consciousness and unconsciousness as a direct product of evolution.
“we have a mechanism whereby conscious might evolve. The mechanism is directly analogous to genetic evolution and operates according to the basic formula of natural selection”
Lawson compares Darwin’s model of evolution to Continue reading
The Aquarian Age is allegedly upon us, despite what actual astrological events indicate. One of the hallmarks of the New Age is said to be a shift in consciousness, from a materialist mindset to a more spiritually evolved one. This leave an unasked question: evolved from and to what? How does the spirit evolve, what will it ultimately become? Unfortunately, the basic assumptions underlying that question are flawed, and the real question remains unasked: why does the spirit need to evolve?
Evolution is a process of change. Scientists seeking to categorize forms of life did so by grouping life forms according to similarities in physical structure. It was noticed that many of these similar structures seemed to be related to simpler life forms that had more primitive versions of these structures. Eventually, a theory was established that all forms of life had originated from a common ancestor, with small variations in form compounding into massive changes between widely divergent species. Evolution was established and widely accepted as fact, well before Charles Darwin developed a working theory of natural selection, which allowed this process to take place.
Unfortunately, evolution is Continue reading
Richard Dawkins’ The Blind Watchmaker, first published in 1986, was written to counter arguments made in favour of creationism by the eighteenth century theology William Paley’s Natural Theology, published in 1902.
Paley is perhaps best remembered today for his watchmaker analogy, intended as an argument in favour of the existence of an intelligent designer, or god. This was first seriously challenged by Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection (the consequence of, or process by which “favourable” traits become prevalent and “unfavourable” traits become rarer), made well known in his The Origin Of Species first published in 1859. Dawkins further decimates Paley’s theory, arguing instead for a “blind” watchmaker, as highly complex systems can be produced by a series of small, cumulative – yet naturally selected – steps, rather than relying on a supernatural designer.
If you walk up and down a pebbly beach, you will notice that the pebbles are not arranged at random. The smaller pebbles typically tend to be found in segregated zones running along the length of the beach, the larger ones in different zones or stripes. The pebbles have been sorted, arranged, selected. A tribe living near the shore might wonder at this evidence of sorting or arrangement in the world, and might develop a myth to account for it, perhaps attributing it to a Great Spirit in the sky with a tidy mind and a sense of order. We might give a superior smile at such a superstitious notion, and explain that the arranging was really done by the blind forces of physics, in this case the action of the waves. The waves have no purposes and no intentions, no tidy mind, no mind at all. They just energetically throw pebbles around, and big pebbles and small pebbles respond differently to this treatment so they end up at different levels of the beach. A small amount of order has come out of disorder, and no mind planned it.
Dawkins explains that, of course Continue reading