34 Comments
Jul 23, 2022Liked by Cynthia Chung

Thank you very much for this comprehensive treatment, a reference text, really.

Regarding this quote: “ No man, however, civilized, can listen for very long to African drumming, or Indian chanting…and retain intact his critical and self-conscious personality. It would be interesting to take a group of the most eminent philosophers from the best universities, shut them up in a hot room…and measure…”

Much of modern popular music (techno, house, hip hop) adheres to a fairly rigid 4/4 drum pattern. Worth a look?

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Yes, the two are most definitely connected! :)

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You are doing great work, Cynthia! Jeff in France

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Thank you Jeff! You as well!

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"Again, there are other types of unstable and poorly disciplined souls who would use the sentimental ideas of religion as an avenue of escape from the irritating demands of living. When certain vacillating and timid mortals attempt to escape from the incessant pressure of evolutionary life, religion, as they conceive it, seems to present the nearest refuge, the best avenue of escape. But it is the mission of religion to prepare man for bravely, even heroically, facing the vicissitudes of life. Religion is evolutionary man’s supreme endowment, the one thing which enables him to carry on and “endure as seeing Him who is invisible.” Mysticism, however, is often something of a retreat from life which is embraced by those humans who do not relish the more robust activities of living a religious life in the open arenas of human society and commerce. True religion must act. Conduct will be the result of religion when man actually has it, or rather when religion is permitted truly to possess the man. Never will religion be content with mere thinking or unacting feeling." The Urantia Book, Paper 102, Section 2.

I loved this piece, Ms. Chung, even though it challenged my fond memories of being 'enlightened' by Eric Fromm and Carl Jung. I cannot deny, though, that your presentation makes sense, particularly in the context of today's disastrous cultural decay. Thank you!

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Dec 16, 2021Liked by Cynthia Chung

Thanks Cynthia...very nice...looking forward to the next chapter:-)

Just as a side comment, I recall reading a Hunter S. Thompson book (Proud Highway?) where spent some time down there in Big Sur in the early sixties. He said something to the effect that Alan Watts and T. Leary, both of which he had met, were charlatans and bull shit artist.

Your work certainly fills in the gaps to his statements...

Anyway... thanks again...

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Dec 14, 2021Liked by Cynthia Chung

Superb...the Modern-era Western mystic philosophers in one neat bundle!

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I am about to start reading the book Acid Dreams, I saw that it has some similar approaches to this series, only focused on the 60s. Do you know Gerard Colby's book "Thy Will Be Done - The Conquest of Amazon"? He elaborates on all forms of coups and social control, but focusing on Latin America with Nelson Rockefeller's protagonism... this was the first time I read in depth about the impact of the CIA and MKULTRA in Latin America.

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Jan 30Liked by Cynthia Chung

John, “the Savage”, was a hero of my youth, after reading BNW and identifying wholly with his response to and reading of its culture.

I naively imagined that John thus represented Aldous’ highest belief values and was somehow warming us to avoid the descent into civilisation madness. (I’ve read none of his other works).

Video interviews of AH (On the schizophrenic UTube) seemed to uphold this idea. Clearly there is much more to it. How disappointing. “Bad company corrupts good character.”

Back to the Reservation…

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I can completely relate Havakuk. I also thought of John as a bit of a hero when I read the book in my youth.

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Now I think of it, he was the only literary hero that definitely influenced me. He utterly dissolved all the vile, shallow falsity AND held to truth, beauty, goodness, rootedness, place, family, legacy, love. He turned away from the corrupted mainstream, transformed by the shock of discovering its shallowness and duplicity. I never read the follow-up. Did he feature?

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Havakuk, your thoughts have inspired me to write out a bit of an essay as a response to your message which I plan to share as a post to my readers since I think we are not the only ones who were wondering as to why Aldous created such a character as John (the Savage). There was no follow-up, Brave New World Revisited is just a compilation of lectures Aldous made. I hope you find my response somewhat useful and look forward to your further thoughts.

"The story of John (the Savage) is a clearly tragic one but is also a mocked one by Aldous. John is portrayed as someone who ultimately rejects "the nature" of things and is stuck in his overly rigid moral classical view of the world, represented primarily by his closeness to the works of Shakespeare. Thus, Aldous is also attacking what Shakespeare represents as well, in terms of a quality of moral intervention and reflection on a society that was regarded as sick, corrupt and mad. John is born in a Reservation, but his parents come from the “Utopia” world. The people living in this Reservation, the “natives” are portrayed all as selfish human animals stuck in backwards and bloodlustful traditions. John rejects the primitive immorality of his environment just as he later rejects the other extreme, the so-called advanced bio-technological environment of immorality he finds himself in this Brave New World.

By the way the title itself shows how Aldous mocks Shakespeare, since it is a line from Shakespeare's The Tempest, which is about seeking a better world, the New World, which seems to be a hopeful concept of what the Americas would represent as an escape from the corruption and degeneracy of Europe at the time. Hence, the representation of John in the Reservation, can also be regarded as Aldous mocking the failed American experiment for a better world, out of the reach of European decay.

John, in his rejection of “the nature” of things, that is interpreted here as being governed by the seeking out of pleasure and the avoidance of pain, also rejects this so-called bio-technological Utopia which also is primarily governed by the senses and the seeking of pleasure. However, John himself finds that he also desires. He becomes infatuated with Lenina, whom Aldous describes repeatedly as very “pneumatic.” However, in John’s desire for Lenina he is also portrayed as a hypocrite that cannot even live up to the ideal he is demanding for. John in his desire for Lenina also rejects the promiscuous sexual nature of Lenina, he wants her to be a sort of Madonna, not a “whore”. He thus ultimately is disgusted by Lenina who does not live up to this moral standard. Lenina in fact finds this moral standard of a Madonna reprehensible, since she has been conditioned to think so, along with everyone else in this “Utopia.”

John, in his frustrations with Lenina, is a representation of the expectations of a rigid Christian dogmatic approach, expectations that are portrayed as the very opposite of what is “natural”. We see this as well with John flagellating himself, in a desperate attempt to reject the pleasure - he would rather seek out pain, something that he sees as free of immorality. Lenina represents another extreme, which is the subject of maximum conditioning and biological engineering. Lenina does not really have thoughts of her own but is a creature that follows a hierarchical structure in society and ultimately does what she is told. In fact, Lenina herself, does not really want sexual promiscuity, but to not desire this is to be a dangerous heretic in her world. Ultimately Lenina is not too deeply troubled by this, a nice soma vacation and she is back to her normal self.

Mustapha Mond, one of the World Controllers, is in many ways how Aldous regards himself. It is a rather large irony that in this so-called world that is free to act out its sensual “natural” desires, it is not free to act out love, loyalty or purposefulness which are also, one can argue, “natural”. Mustapha Mond himself recalls how he had to make the decision as well, whether he would abandon purposefulness and real scientific inquiry for a status quo. For if indeed this world were in fact the best of all possible worlds we could hope for, change would be the ultimate enemy, at least through the lens of a World Controller.

Mustapha Mond decides to uphold the status quo, and to uphold this, certain “natural” tendencies must in fact be oppressed, re-engineered, forbidden. The only two characters that seem to be capable of “free will” are Mustapha and John (the others have gone through heavy bio-engineering and conditioning).

In the end, it appears according to Aldous’ portrayal, that Mustapha Mond made the better decision. But his decision is to give up entirely on his free will and make himself the abiding subject of a greater power, for clearly it was not Mustapha who thought up this world they live in. Mustapha decides to surrender to it and become its servant.

John is driven mad in his complete rejection of this world. Driven to a mad frenzy he is unable to change things or even influence things for the better. He can only preach from his book “The Works of Shakespeare.” In the end, John is driven to the state of a deranged animal, he has become a “savage” or perhaps Aldous would like us to believe that he always was one. He cannot cope with the realities of the world he lives in since he has been conditioned himself, he has brainwashed himself with the Christian traditions of Shakespeare and has been living in a delusion that cannot participate in any form of reality. Thus, it is John who is a backwards primitive in this sense. The “Savage” is not the primitive “natives” living on the Reservation but the Old Christian World. As Aldous had one of the characters state, “soma is Christianity without tears.” As Aldous portrays the situation, there is no way out for John but to end himself, which he does and even in this last scene where we are given the image of his feet swaying to and fro from his hanged body, Aldous subtly mocks him to the very end.

It must be understood that Aldous himself, along with his brother Julian went through heavy conditioning. Eton was the first and probably most brutal experience for the three brothers. His middle brother Noel (Aldous is the youngest and Julian the oldest) committed suicide on the grounds in his twenties, his body was not found until weeks later. Aldous would lose a great deal of his sight at a young age and thus much of the larger expectations fell on Julian the oldest. Julian also suffered from a great deal of spiritual turmoil and underwent electro-shock therapy several times, including during the London bombings and had to be rushed into another building during the bombings during an actual session of electro-shock. I think suffice to say, Aldous did not choose his life but it very forcefully chose him. The world that Aldous describes in his Brave New World, was already very much something that he had been living through and had been forced to adhere to in order to merely “survive” or at least one can see this was how Aldous saw things at a young age. It was a painfully unnatural process at first but he came to not only accept it but enforce it in his own ways, in perhaps what he saw as a sympathetic acquiescence similar to a Mustapha Mond. Aldous surrendered to it and became its servant.

For Aldous there was no alternative to existence and one need to either except this in order to have some modicum of “thriving” or else be destroyed in an attempt to oppose it. In the end, Aldous could not see what use there was in attempting to oppose such a massive apparatus already largely in place towards a scientific dictatorship. The only modicum of freedom granted in such a world, as understood by Aldous, was to become an enforcer of it, a World Controller. Hence his encouragement during his numerous lectures at such “elite” educational centers such as Berkeley to strive to be an Alpha, Alpha+ or if someone really played their cards right a World Controller. Only then could one have a little space of their own, a little piece of freedom, all they needed to do was completely surrender to it….

Thus, the true tragedy is that of Aldous in his story and mockery of a moral and loving idea of a Brave New World."

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Wow, @Cynthia-Chung, I'm grateful for your comments. There is a lot to process there; I will certainly look out for your further essay. You make a strong case for what Aldous was portraying, based on your knowledge of his background.

Have you come across any of the recordings of his speaking about the trajectory of the world, on You Tube etc? My sense is that they are warnings not to submit to the 'beast' system (my reference, not his). I'll see if I can track down one, at least.

I wonder if there is room for further nuance, in what Aldous was himself processing: the possibility of another pathway — a third way, which I explore in my short essay, A Narrow Path to Life, https://open.substack.com/pub/writethevision/p/a-narrow-path-leading-to-life . It represents a metaphor of my own lived conviction that there is a narrow path to life, consistent with rejecting Compliancy with the System, providing we avoid the trap of Cynicism.

It seems that latter option was what escaped John (I'd forgotten / erased the memory of his demise)… and perhaps Aldous, ultimately. Mond, arguably, appears not to be cynical, but in fact, he is entirely cynical, because because he has yielded to and been wholly absorbed by the claims of the Utopian System, though (my recollection is that) he can still "see" the truth, beauty and goodness present within the Old Order… but he's rejected its suitability for the New Order. It makes people uncontrollable, after all.

My take, for now, would be that Aldous found himself at the crossroads between the passing of European Christendom, which he associated fully with Christianity, but which was, in fact, fatally affected by imperial “DNA”, from the beginning, well, at least from the fourth century. Unable to believe that there was a third way between barbarism and imperious subjugation by the beast system (including subjugated religious faith), he embodied his despair in the literary personhood of John the savaged. But unable to find the courage to commit suicide, (as you explain his brother had done), I suspect he sought / went the Mustapha Mond route, as you suggest.

In spite of Huxley’s rejection, I do believe there is a third way (never properly open to John, or Aldous, perhaps?) and I believe it is through a rediscovery and reinvigoration of a primarily practical, rather than primarily creedal, Christian faith, lived in a way that more accurately and appropriately connects the mundane with the divine, which chooses, therefore, the true path of Yeshua, the Messiah: kenosis or self-emptying humility (not to be confused with the Buddhist concept of self-annihilation) in the face of imperious, imperial power, rather than being enveloped by Cynicism. In the system, but not of the system. Necessarily subject to the beast system, rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, but also ultimately, rendering to God what is God’s : absolute allegiance and complete truthfulness, as a pathway to inner liberation and charismatic empowerment to live in the world, towards the world, for the sake of the world. As I see it, the Global Majority churches are increasingly exploring this reality, the moreso, as they reject the imperious spirit of European Christendom.

As you suggest, this discussion merits greater attention, and I look forward to reading your further essay and further interaction.

In appreciation, @Havakuk.

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Jan 14, 2023Liked by Cynthia Chung

Absolutely excellent

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"According to authors such as Craig Heimbichner (Blood on the Altar), Martin P. Starr (The Unknown God), and John Carter (Sex and Rockets), Dennis Hopper and David’s dad, John Carradine, were both members of the infamous Agape Lodge of the OTO, alongside doomed rocket scientist Jack Parsons, actor Dean Stockwell, and doppelgangers L. Ron Hubbard and Robert Heinlein (who was also, it will be recalled, a Laurel Canyon resident). According to Gregory Mank (Hollywood’s Hellfire Club), John Carradine and John Barrymore were also members of the so-called “Bundy Drive Boys,” a group that engaged in such practices as incest, rape and cannibalism. And according to Ed Sanders (The Family), among the upscale homes visited by a Process Church work group 'was the John Barrymore mansion, located at 1301 Summit Ridge Drive.' " https://centerforaninformedamerica.com/inside-the-lc-the-strange-but-mostly-true-story-of-laurel-canyon-and-the-birth-of-the-hippie-generation-part-xvii/

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Thank you for posting that link! I had read through that series of articles some years ago, but when I tried to search for them more recently, the censored search results made them impossible to find. I'll be sure to save a copy and the links this time, so I can reread them, and have them available to share in the future.

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I think from the piles of convoluted nonsense these people put together the CIA synthesized workable MKULTRA stuff to turn people into automatons useful for the megalomaniac purposes of the CIA's true bosses who I think are the top international bankers. I think if you check these bankers out you will find philosophical links between them, Pharisaism, Zionism, maybe going all the way back to Babylon in some respects. Controlling humans like barnyard animals on an earth farm is an old and evolving concept with psychopaths and in my opinion is undoubtedly having a major effect on the direction of the planets evolution.

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Jul 22, 2022·edited Jul 22, 2022

I was in SF as a young hippy, tripping and experiencing the eye opening psychedelic experiences. It put me on a spiritual journey that I still am on. It was a shock that I couldn't believe at first when I heard that it was all engineered by the CIA. How could it be, when we were all turned on and turned off to everything that was establishment and becoming free spirits? It helped make me an activist, which I still am today, in Ecuador. And the music was so great, how could the CIA develop such great bands?

I never went to Esalen, I thought that it was too elitist. It's great to know of the origins in Swiss. with the crazy guy they all loved. Many of my favorite people. At least they weren't eugenicists. I listened to Alan Watts from time to time, but thought his humor was way too dry, and didn't give him so much credit as he gets now as a proponent of Zen. I am always trying to be Zen, a life long practice.

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Krishnamurti, Isherwood and Huxley were seduced by life in California as were most everyone you focused on. Its an intoxicating place. I guess its intoxication that really has us seriously on the ropes. Your man in Toronto, Gabor Mate has stuff to say about that. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Cynthia.

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Thomas McGrath: You propose that hippie culture was established to neutralise the anti-war movement. But I also interpreted your book as suggesting that, as far as you’re concerned, there’s also some resonance between what you term “psychedelic occultism” (the hippie counterculture) and the “elite” philosophy/theology? You think this was a second reason for its dissemination?

David McGowan: Yes, I do. Hippie culture is now viewed as synonymous with the anti-war movement, but as the book points out, that wasn’t always the case. A thriving anti-war movement existed before the first hippie emerged on the scene, along with a women’s rights movement, a black empowerment/Black Panther movement, and various other movements aimed at bringing about major changes in society. All of that was eclipsed by and subsumed by the hippies and flower children, who put a face on those movements that was offensive to mainstream America and easy to demonize. And as you mentioned, a second purpose was served as well – indoctrinating the young and impressionable into a belief system that serves the agenda of the powers that be....

https://dangerousminds.net/comments/classic_rock_conspiracy_theory_weird_scenes_inside_the_canyon

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Jul 17, 2022·edited Jul 17, 2022

Yesterday Into Today: Laurel Canyon: Walking the Sixties. Part III

"A number of books and articles have been written about the Laurel Canyon music scene in the 60s and 70s, but none perhaps as intriguing as David McGowan’s Weird Scenes: Inside the Canyon...

Still, in Weird Scenes, McGowan brings to the surface an uncanny amount of coincidences and intriguing links between many 60s musicians living in close proximity to a place called Lookout Mountain Laboratories, up-and-coming filmmakers, murder, and what the anti-war movement referred to as the military-industrial-complex (McGowan prefers the term “military/intelligence complex”).

It is McGowan’s thesis that the 60s counterculture movement was manufactured in order to undermine the growing anti-war movement. In support of this, he points out that a number of the Laurel Canyon bands back then were created almost overnight, and that many of the musicians not only did not come from musical backgrounds or have prior musical skill, but that they came from blueblood families, or families with backgrounds in the military, intelligence, and/or politics. In connecting the dots, McGowan seems to be indicating that government and/or military elements may have been the ones doing the “manufacturing.” A whale of a conspiracy theory? Perhaps. But McGowan presents background information, which can be verified, of so many of the musicians, that it is hard to dismiss his thesis outright. Here is a sampling of some of those musicians.

Jim Morrison. According to McGowan, Morrison was the son of Admiral George Stephen Morrison, “the commander of the U.S. warships that allegedly came under attack by North Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin” and propelled escalation of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. The book shows a photo of a preppy-looking Jim Morrison standing next to his father on the bridge of one of the warships in early 1964. In 1967, a mere three years later, after the release of his album Doors, Morrison, would be asking the world to “‘break on through to the other side” and “light my fire” on the Ed Sullivan Show..." https://www.independentnews.com/community/yesterday-into-today-laurel-canyon-walking-the-sixties-part-iii/article_ee6521f8-2d84-11e8-8cab-972d1af4ffcb.html

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Every movement - religious or cultural, spiritual or education or medical - starts with an idealistic vision, and over time becomes corrupted or taken over by those with other agenda.

We can include Christianity here.

By highlighting the darker elements and influences of the human potential movement, you have ignored the positive aspects.

I grew up with the human potential movement, as a teenager in the sixties, and a developing adult and student of psychology in the seventies.

Looking back, this period was one of incredible growth and awakening for me, and I observe in dismay how today's psychologists are reduced to using only cognitive behaviour therapy (with a dash of mindfulness more recently being approved), which is based on the principle that humans are entirely rational, and can control their emotions and mental state through their thoughts.

No credence these days is given to the principle of "working on yourself", i.e. discerning your own hidden motivations and impulses and triggers.

"Working on yourself" (with the help of trained professionals, who had themselves been through this process) was a principle of Freudian and Jungian analysis, and of the experiential psychotherapy movement, and I can't emphasise enough how important this is, in changing the therapist-patient dynamics (as well as in one's general process of maturation and integration).

The alternative therapeutic approach is one of the "expert" - a psychiatrist or psychology with loads of book knowledge - holding themselves above the "patient" - the person who needs to be fixed.

This is the medical model, and we have seen in recent years how flawed this is, just for general medicine.

The "expert" has all the knowledge - the "patient" is someone with an illness that needs to be fixed, most likely with some pharmaceutical.

During my career as a clinical psychologist I went from strongly anti-psychiatry (R.D. Laing's view) to pro-medication (because there are people who are not reachable by talk therapies or other psychological interventions) and back to a more moderate position, not against all psychiatric medications but horrified at their overuse today, and particularly as a first intervention for young people.

I won't try to deny the influence of the CIA in the use of psychedelic drugs back in the sixties and seventies - but this too had its positive side. As did the access to Eastern philosophies and religions and spiritual practices.

My own experience as a teenager was that Christianity was not meeting the spiritual needs of my generation. Yes, there is a mystical aspect to Christianity - but it is not very accessible, and tends to be minimised in most churches and denominations. Christianity was (maybe still is) presented as a sort of kids' Santa Claus story, maybe suitable for uneducated medieval peasants, but not for the more educated spiritual seekers of my generation.

So we found the meditative practices of Buddhism and Hinduism to offer us something that was sadly lacking in Western religion.

Sure, there were a lot of self-styled gurus, with all the abuses that go with this. But we were better able to avoid getting caught up in this, than if we had come from a framework where the leaders were considered to be the actual voice of God (as is the case with Christianity). Our leaders were fallible humans, not immune to the power and adulation of their students. With a solid foundation of personal awareness, it was easier to discard a guru who was indulging a little too much in unrepressed sex & ego-tripping.

While there are some important disclosures in this series, I humbly beg you not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Because what is the alternative?

Mass prescription of anti-depressants? Diagnosis of mental illness by the panel of experts who decree the categories of the DSM?

Truly, I believe that mainstream psychiatry is much more the vehicle of the globalists, and much more likely aligned with the intentions of the New World Order, than the human potential movement ever was.

It was a true counter-culture movement, a rebellion against the experts telling us what was wrong with us, and yes, it was corrupted in just the same way that the ecological movement and the peace movement and so on have been corrupted and taken over by sinister infiltrators.

Discernment is the key to getting through the miasma of forces that would control us and enslave us. Discernment, self-awareness, and a strong spiritual center (and Christianity has no monopoly on this).

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Hi Mara, thank you for your comment. My intention for this series “Who Will Be Brave in Huxley’s New World?” which will and is being expanded upon in "The Shaping of a World Religion" series https://cynthiachung.substack.com/p/the-shaping-of-a-world-religion-from is not to throw out the baby with the bathwater, it is not to attack spiritualism as in the general search for the spiritual or what is sacred or the belief that we can enter an age of wisdom and love, in short governed by the good, the beautiful and the true.

I think there is a lot of confusion as to how to recognize and acknowledge that there were and are some very nefarious players that were at the very origin and shaped the movements that led up to the counter-culture movement and beyond since to recognize and acknowledge this seems to thus discount all the "good" that was brought into such processes. This almost always follows with an apology for said people, that they couldn't possibly have consciously had those nefarious intentions and because there is the appearance of so much good, in order to defend this, we must defend such destructive characters as flawed but meaning well or else risk that the entire movement, the entire institution, all comes crumbling down and as you ask, what is to replace it? However, this is not what I am saying at all, that all the "good" needs to be eradicated along with the "bad" as if we are unable to separate the two.

The point in this series is to showcase that such "good" teachings and such "good" insights were not discovered, they were not brought forward for the first time in history by these nefarious players. They have existed for centuries prior. Such nefarious characters are not the origin or the creators of these “good” teachings, they have simply taken such teachings and have purposefully twisted them for what they have defined as their idea of "liberation", of being "reborn." We must understand that all good teachings have a mirror image that appears to be its likeness but is in fact a corruption of that good teaching. For many, if not most, it will be hard to discern the difference. In the past, such "good" teachings for instance the wise teachings of the East let us say in a very general way, these teachings were not passed down to just anybody. It was from teacher to student, and it was a select few who qualified to be students to such a teacher. Today these teachings are open to nearly everyone, but without the safe guide of a proper teacher, instead we have many charlatans who claim to be good teachers when it is in fact their intention to lead one astray.

A movement that promises such a heightened idea of liberation or of being reborn is a dangerous thing, and is a path that can easily lead to self-destruction. And yes, this was an explicit intention of these nefarious players as I think I have sufficiently showcased thus far. See the Adorno quotes in my essay: https://cynthiachung.substack.com/p/gaslighting-the-psychology-of-shaping. However, I do believe that such nefarious players did view this as a real form of liberation for those who would be “worthy” who could survive this deconstruction of self and rebuilding of self. And I do not doubt that many people feel they have benefited from such movements and teachings (whether such claims are indeed accurate or whether they are self-delusional is another matter). However, the level of destruction that has occurred as a consequence of the counter-culture movement is undeniable. The world we live in today is incredibly divided, it is fragmented, it is schizophrenic and in a spiritual frenzy. It is a world where we apparently cannot make any judgements on truth or morality and is a world where children can be taught about sexuality with an adult and we are not to pass judgement since it is only “natural” and that even our very concept of a self-identity can be any arbitrary thing we feel, objects and creatures of fantasy not excluded. We are increasingly living in a world that partakes in a dream state, there is no reality, or at least it is not a reality that we can agree upon. We have arrived at this point due to the very twisting of such teachings that you proclaim did much good for you as an individual and for many others such as the human potential movement.

However, it becomes clear that the effects of these ideas have ultimately played the main role for the mad world we live in today. Wanting to see the good, “feeling” the good, this is not what is truly “good”. In order to have a true “good” one must also have access to a “loving wisdom” and unfortunately the manner in which these teachings were taught to the bulk of the counter-culture movement did not partake in wisdom at all, but “feeling states”. It is not enough that we “feel good” or “feel the love in a room”, for we should know that a room could just as easily be filled with “fear” and “panic” and “mayhem” or even “burning hatred”. To be governed by feeling states is to be the furthest from control of what happens to yourself and to others around you, you are simply a receiver, a vessel waiting for whatever will be poured into you. This was the seduction of the counter-culture movement. And like I said they were convoluting very old wise teachings of the spiritual and corrupting them into a sensorium of pleasures. That is no utopia.

As for what you ask should replace this, I have never given the impression that the 19th century practice of science and psychology or the 20th century more modern practice of prescription drugs are the answer. I do not discount the value and the necessity for a psychologist to approach the “patient” as a human being and with humility, patience and understanding. However, it is always the overall intention of the therapy that needs to be examined, and every practitioner has ultimately their own interpretations as they fine tune their practice. If the intention for instance is for “self-liberation” this of course needs to be defined, how is the practitioner understanding this, and how is the patient understanding this. You can appreciate that what is based off of this understanding of “self-liberation” will in turn dictate the direction, and the outcome of the therapy will greatly differ according to one’s understanding of what it is to be “self-liberated.” That is the whole point and where much of the confusion stems from. With a well-intentioned person this can be a perfectly fine thing, however, it can also be an incredibly destructive, deconstructing ultimately fragmenting, dissociative process. You can have good analysts, therapists, however, there is a problem when such a thing as “self-liberation” has not been defined in a healthy way, but rather has been left too much to how one decides to “interpret” or understand such a thing. In the case of Jung, which I have done more work on thus far than Freud, it is clear that he did not have a healthy definition of this. You can refer here for why I have come to this conclusion https://cynthiachung.substack.com/p/the-shaping-of-a-world-religion-carl-888.

Talking to people period, is a very good thing. And psychology is a field that went from being very primitive in many ways, as a “science” used on “patients” to becoming very sophisticated but with a great deal of dangerous methods hence the great machine of mass perception that we all live under today. However, it is not a bad thing to have discussions which is intended to heal and you do not have to be a “professional practitioner” to know this or to be good at this. What Jung brought forward was not just a method but an entire philosophy, arguably a religion, as to how one was to view their psyche in connection with another world and there was a great deal of liberty in painting that other world, to the point that Jung even changed his mind several times on how it should be painted. This, I find is again extremely concerning and has been ultimately fragmenting as an overall effect in how society thinks about “the self” in general. Again my series on “The Shaping of a World Religion” is meant to showcase what was an intentional corruption of the “good” teachings and an intentional goal for where we find ourselves today. As for the answer to what is a proper approach to mind and spirituality, in short I would say it is to learn the method of Plato in forming the hypothesis of the higher hypothesis and that reason or “loving wisdom” should always be a participant in any process of mind and understanding that we endeavour. We cannot say it is enough to “feel” or “believe” in something without having any way of judging its merits, otherwise we leave ourselves as sitting ducks for who will be pulling our strings.

If you are interested, we are beginning the first reading session of Plato’s Sophist this Wednesday at 8 pm ET. The invite for the reading will be shared on Wednesday.

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I was going to post this comment both here, and in the separate substack piece you have just published, Cynthia, so we can continue this conversation in a more public forum - except that commenting on that post is only open to paid subscribers.

Was that intentional?

Anyway, thank you for a very thoughtful response - such discussion potentially benefits everyone, in helping us all clarify our thinking and consider points we may not have thought of.

Re Carl Jung: I have not trained in Jungian Analytical Therapy, nor in fact have I read a lot of Jung's actual writings, nor have I read your series on Jung (though I will do that next).

However, Jung's work has been very influential in my own world view, both personally and in my therapeutic practice.

My understanding is that Jung himself talked of "individuation", not "self-liberation" as the goal of the process. (Self-liberation was more of an Alan Watts goal, more to do with the spiritual path than the psychological one - though the two did tend to get conflated.)

"Individuation" refers to the full integration of the personality, under the control of a strong inner centre.

One of the systems I followed was "Psychosynthesis" developed by Roberto d'Assagioli, in which model the self was connected to the Higher Self, and the various warring parts of the psyche, or "subpersonalities", were brought into harmonious alignment. (Psychosynthesis was big on developing the Will as an important but neglected function.)

This is a bit similar to one of the systems of (medieval) Magick: that of The Book of Abramelin the Mage (purportedly an ancient document more recently translated by MacGregor Mathers of the Golden Dawn), where the aspirant spends 6 months in increasingly rigorous practices of self-purification and isolation with the goal of "Conversation and Knowledge of the Holy Guardian Angel". Then, and only then, the aspirant can safely invoke all the listed demons and gain control over them.

(I have not practiced this system, but I have studied the book with great interest.)

Jung himself said "Enlightenment does not come from imagining figures of light, but from making the darkness conscious."

We all have a Shadow side, a part that we don't want to acknowledge or own: anger, petty jealousies, buried fears, greed, urges to power and control. To the extent that this stays unconscious, it tends to rule us. When we bring these impulses and feelings into the light of consciousness, we have the possibility of bringing them under control.

Of course, this demands a lot of discipline, and the willingness to endure the discomfort of seeing our own darkness - and so this part of the process often got glossed over, whether in the hedonism of the Flower Power movement, or the would-be rational approaches that proliferate more recently.

For example, as one of my clinical placements I spent a semester in a small psychiatric hospital where Primal Therapy was the main treatment modality.

We (staff and patients) spent a couple of hours in a room filled with bean bags and mattresses, and had great fun yelling and screaming and beating up on the beanbags. I think that Primal Therapy is meant to get you to the point where you get sick of being stuck in your emotional drama and find a way to process it and move on - but I didn't see too many people doing that. But that is where integrative therapies such as psychodrama and gestalt can be helpful.

The sixties, seventies, eighties were a time of incredible experimentation and exploration of the psyche. Much of this was half-baked, but some truly innovative and constructive therapies were developed: d'Assagioli's Psychosynthesis, Moreno's Psychodrama, Fritz Perls' Gestalt Therapy, Stan Grof's Spiritual Emergence, and many others.

However, I agree that the New Age movement (or Counterculture, if you prefer that term) suffers from the lack of a structured lineage. You are correct, these techniques are not new - they come from the Mystery School tradition (eg the technique of active imagination) and Eastern teachings such as Vipassana (which has now been adopted as "Mindfulness", but back then, was incorporated into, for example, Gestalt Therapy, as part of the experiential awareness aspects of that process).

(By the way, Plato was a Mystery School Initiate, back in the day. As we can see from his Cave allegory.)

I don't think you can blame the modern breakdown of society on the Counterculture movement.

Yes, the experimentation with psychedelic drugs and these powerful technologies of the psyche, without containment and structure and proper guidance, did often lead to personality fragmentation, or a sort of possession by one of the unhelpful subpersonalities. But much less so than we are seeing today, with the massive waning in popularity of these psychological technologies, and the shift in drug use from psychedelics for enlightenment, to uppers and downers that numb awareness, not increase it.

The gurus of the movement almost all got seduced by power and the adulation of their disciples, and this combined with the sexual liberation movement to send them thoroughly off track.

However, the more responsible ones understood that acting out impulses and feelings was not the goal, but only a path to gaining control. (And yes, this was sometimes used as justification of some base sexual acting out.)

I am not trying to make excuses for anyone - we are all responsible for our own behaviour, especially when we set up as a teacher or therapist or guru - but I also think it is important to separate out the person from the process. Whether or not Jung got corrupted in his later life is not really the point - his work stands as a set of brilliant insights and understandings.

Same with Fritz Perls. And Rajneesh.

Much more pertinent to today's situation is the rise of the "smart" phone, and TV, the proliferation of these passive means of indoctrination, together with the increasing synchronisation of globalist control over the main narratives.

Even something like the use of GPS - it seems such a little thing, and it is so easy, but I believe that this has been a way to condition people to accept instructions from a disembodied voice, instead of using your own executive functions, thinking about your goal, alternative ways of getting there, consequential thinking (eg if there is a flooded river, or a toll road, or bad traffic).

And it all leads to loss of the Self, the loss of Discernment, the loss of critical thinking.

The sexual liberation movement had a very dark side, but in itself, it wouldn't necessarily lead to today's gender fluidity madness or the increase of pedophilia. That is the result of loss of self, the deliberate breakdown of identity and the attacks on children in their formative years so that a strong identity does not develop.

Sexual acting out seems to have reached new heights - or depths - but this is part of the inevitable pendulum swing from the repression of the Victorian age, IMO. Plus undoubtedly some hijacking from the globalists, who are very skilfully trying to enslave us all. (This is not to excuse or justify, but simply to explain.)

I can't comment on Aldous Huxley's motives. And I am not really qualified to comment on Jung's motives either - except that Occam's Razor would suggest that there is no need to postulate any nefarious intention - the fame and power of his position is enough reward, even if knowledge itself might be considered an insufficient one.

To demonise these men is in fact Shadow Projection - to attribute evil intentions to an outside entity that may or may not deserve it.

"Know Thyself" does not refer solely to knowing the idealistic parts of oneself, but also the darker side.

And it is something we would all do well to keep in mind.

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Hi Mara, the reason why that post was ultimately for paid subscribers is because there is a zoom link invitation to our wednesday reading. And I very much wanted to include that invite at the end of that message since they are entirely related. These invites are never open access since there are always dishonest players who just want to disrupt conversation. Also that response is not just a response to you, it is a response that I have ultimately been thinking of for awhile due to readers sharing their thoughts with me over the last two years. Thus your asking if that was "intentional" of me making it into a separate post for paid subscribers is already making me feel like you are thinking of yourself as too much at the center of such a conversation. The response was not just for you, it is a general response for all and for many that I have been in continuous dialog with and that is why I shared it for everyone. I was not just thinking of you when I wrote it. As for the Jung content, I will have to refrain from going further into conversation with you unless you want to actually inform yourself further about Jung. You yourself admit that you have not even read much of Jung's writings, nor have read my criticism of him, yet want to share your take on the situation. This is a bit of a waste of time. Also, the content I have written on Jung thus far is for paid subscribers. It is for paid subscribers only because I do eventually want to polish these essays and turn them into a book as I mentioned in the post. Once the book is out I do plan on sharing sections of the book for free. Thus, yes much of this discussion is for paid subscribers because only paid subscribers can read the content in full. I can see Mara that because of your "expertise" and "experiences" you feel you can comment on someone like Jung despite knowing very little. I have no interest in debating semantics such as individuation vs self-liberation and if you truly view this as wholly different I would put forward that you are not understanding anything about the discussion. If you want to use a more specific word that would fit Jung's philosophy it would be self-deification, which he actually wrote about. Again, I have taken quite a bit of time actually writing about what Jung has written in these essays and I don't plan on trying to fit them into a personal correspondence with you over the course of several responses. That is not really respecting my time when I have already made a case, which you have not read. You also asserted in another thread that freemasonry is wholly unrelated to these spiritualist networks, again you seem to have just asserted this without even asking a question. The fact that Aleister Crowley alone is very much implicated in the spiritualist circles, including the Theosophists and the Anthroposophists, even Huxley himself has had contact with Crowley, is enough to call such an assertion into question. In fact, the essay that I did source as going over the American Scottish Rite networks, a good chunk of that essay was free access, which you clearly have not bothered to read. So in short Mara, I simply do not have the time to have further discussion with someone who is not actually reading a good chunk of the content they are criticising from myself. The Huxley series is freely available and you were not able to make a solid case, you simply asserted that I was throwing the baby out with the bathwater, that was essentially what I responded to. I am not going to get into an academic debate which is to throw this and that person into a conversation that is ultimately about specific players that I have mentioned. I am always surprised as to how many "confident" people think they can barge in with their long opinions on things and in the same breath admit that they have not actually read much of the actual subject they are discussing, which would be necessary if we were to have an honest conversation about such things.

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Yet you yourself say that only someone who has been through Jungian analysis, and done the training, has full knowledge of the Jungian system - and I am assuming from your writing that you are not one of them.

You've cherry-picked bits of Jung's writings that suit your case, you have no conception of the creative genius of his work but rather have decided to demonise him as one of the authors of our modern ills.

And - while indeed there may have been others who have made similar points to myself - your recent post was almost word for word the same as your response to me, so blocking any further discussion tells me that you are not open to anything that might question your own thesis.

So no, I won't waste any more of my own time here. I thought for a moment that you might be interested in actual discussion, but I see you are only interested in self-justification and shooting down nay-sayers.

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Mara, in case you have not noticed this thread is in a public forum. You are not being censored in any way. As I already made clear my response to you which I then made into a separate post was something that I have had in mind, how do you think this works, I simply had all of these thoughts from you, it is only you that I interact with and thus you own my response?? And you are upset that I did not give you some sort of center stage on my substack and are acting like you are being censored when your comment is where it originally occurred and is open for public viewing.

Not sure how you came to the conclusion that I am cherry picking Jung's quotes when you have in fact not read what I have written (nor much of the "genius" of Jung might I add), you clearly only read the introduction to Part VII that is available for free viewing as if that suffices. And no it is not cherry picking. Those are problematic quotes and you do not want to face the fact that those are problematic morally speaking. That is all you have done so far is turn a blind eye and complain that the "good" is not being mentioned. You yourself have acknowledged that there have been negative, as in destructive effects of the Human Potential Movement, but you want to focus on the "good". But what is this supposed to mean for the movement as a whole? Are we simply to ignore the "bad" or say it is acceptable because there is this apparent "good"? Is this not morally problematic for you especially since you are apparently a psychologist?!? You are fine with writing that you are not trained in Jungian analysis nor have read much of his works yet think you can speak as an authority? You do not see any contradiction in that statement? In other words it is your interpretation, and what you wish to take away from something that you have clearly not studied in depth. Also, by my pointing out the fact that only Jungian analysts are initiated into the inner sanctum does not mean thus nobody who is not a Jungian analyst can form an assessment. The assessment is formed Mara by actually reading his writing, which you have not really done as you admit yourself, that is available for public viewing (not all of it is btw) and also assessing the institutions he was clearly involved in and the outcome of his movement. Yet you want to simply talk about your "good" individuated experiences and disregard any other intention, motive or even fundamentally morally problematic paradigm in such a movement. That is highly concerning considering you are an actual therapist and is just further proving my point.

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Methinks the lady doth protest too much...

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Cynthia - The point you are making is a bit unclear to me though it seems to be that the entire human potential movement was / is nefarious. I think you do not have the personal experience of the times you write about, as others of us lived it. For instance, Abraham Maslow was a key figure and you barely mentioned him at all. Considered to be the father of 3rd and 4th force psychology - Humanistic and Transpersonal - he studied high functioning people and creatives - to arrive at an understanding of how to expand our human potential. Nothing bad about this at all, in fact very inspiring, and it built a bridge between psychology and spirituality. My several years of training in psychosynthesis on top of a master's degree in human potential development makes me somewhat of an expert on all of this. I do hope that you arrive at a more balanced and complete perspective at some point, one that includes the positive realities of mind expansion and the unfolding of consciousness.

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