Brian Nuckols on Dreams, Pt. 2: Freud and Jung | WSB #10

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Freud and Jung
Freud (L) and Jung (R)

In this second part of our interview, Brian Nuckols explains the Freudian and Jungian pictures of the psyche. While doing so, he digs into concepts such as depth-psychology, projection, shadow, and anima/animus. Among other issues, Brian explains how Freud’s and Jung’s outlooks differ, what role culture plays for Freud, and just what the ontological status of Jung’s archetypes is.

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Next week: Brian Nuckols discusses the metaphysics of dreams within dreams and recurring dreams, before offering practical tips for dream analysis and lucid dreaming.
Special thanks for Jackie Blum for the podcast art, and The Tin Box for the theme music.

Topics discussed

0:44 – Intro Freud – historical context
2:20 – Freudian psyche
7:53 – The divided psyche as self-fulfilling psyche?
12:37 – Baudrillard, depth psychology in reverse, and projection
21:00 – Jungian psyche
27:44 – Political philosophy and Jungian shadow projection
37:15 – Difference between Freudian and Jungian psyches
44:41 – Jung’s ontology

Sources

Brian’s map of the psyche
Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious by Carl Jung…

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Brian Nuckols: Ontology of Dreams, Pt. 1 | WSB #9

Download this episode / Watch on YouTube / RSS Feed / iTunes

What are dreams? A popular contemporary view says there isn’t much to them – they must be something like the brain’s defragmenting of the day’s loose associations. Whatever the merits of this deflationary view, there’s no question that they feel like much more – like events we undergo in some other realm, perhaps some different layer of reality. After a powerful personal experience with lucid dreaming, Brian Nuckols became fascinated by the many theories of the ontology of dreams. In this first part of this interview, Brian recounts how dream analysis and lucid dreaming affected his own life. He then dives deep into the interpretation of dreams held by the Runa – indigenous people living in the forests of Peru. Finally, he takes us through a survey of the history of major theories of the ontology of dreams – from the pre-Socratics all the way through to Nietzsche.

Audio

Video

Next week: Brian Nuckols explains Freudian and Jungian theories of dreams and the psyche
Special thanks for Jackie Blum for the podcast art, and The Tin Box for the theme music.

Topics discussed

0:20 – Introduction to Brian Nuckols
1:23 – Brian’s intense lucid dream
9:18 – The ontology of dreams (against the deflationary view and shared dreams)
15:18 – The Runa people’s interpretation of dreams
22:34 – The source of ayahuasca
25:57 – The hero’s song
30:27 – Intro to history of interpretations of dream ontology
31:49 – Pre-socratics (Parmenides)
33:13 – Plato
34:59 – Aristotle
36:56 – Christianity – Monastics and Gnostics
40:00 – Francis of Assisi (weather and prayer)
42:45 – Witches, dark ages, and Satan
45:01 – Bruno and Derren Brown
49:50 – DaVinci & polyphasic sleep
50:55 – Wordsworth & Coleridge: the sublime
54:05 – Nietzsche, Zarathustra, and the birth of psychoanalysis

Sources

How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology beyond the Human by Eduardo Kohn…

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A Suicide and a Tattoo

Fresh from the needle

A few days ago, a man named Rob hung himself. I met Rob only once – the day he gave me my first tattoo.

Here’s the background: as a result of my legal status (a subject for another day), I’d never left the U.S. since I first arrived when I was seven years old. I was all set to change that – I was leaving soon to backpack through Europe indefinitely. This felt like a major transition in my life, and I wanted to mark it with my first tattoo. I thought for a long time about what the tattoo should be. For a while, I’d settled on Escher’s “Drawing Hands.” It represented, for me, the notion that we create ourselves. But, I soon thought: if that’s the idea I want to mark on my body, then I should do it with an image that is actually my own creation. And so I decided on a doodle I once drew on a piece of receipt paper while working at a restaurant – a piece I’d titled “Love.” I have a huge collection of “restaurant doodles” from my server days, and “Love” has always been my favorite.

My best friend Dan had a friend named Rob. Rob was his best friend throughout his teenage years. They’d fallen out of touch, but, as I remember now, they’d recently reconnected. As I had no money to pay a professional tattoo artist, and Dan assured me Rob was pretty good, I decided to ask Rob to tattoo me.…

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