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Das psicoses latentes que ameaçam o Ocidente

por Samuel de Paiva Pires, em 03.08.12

Carl Jung, The Undiscovered Self:

 

«Everywhere in the West there are subversive minorities who, sheltered by our humanitarianism and our sense of justice, hold the incendiary torches ready, with nothing to stop the spread of their ideas except the critical reason of a single, fairly intelligent, mentally stable stratum of the population. One should not, however, overestimate the thickness of this stratum. It varies from country to country in accordance with national temperament. Also, it is regionally dependent on public education and is subject to the influence of acutely disturbing factors of a political and economic nature. Taking plebiscites as a criterion, one could on an optimistic estimate put its upper limit at about 40 per cent of the electorate. A rather more pessimistic view would not be unjustified either, since the gift of reason and critical reflection is not one of man's outstanding peculiarities, and even where it exists it proves to be wavering and inconstant, the more so, as a rule, the bigger the political groups are. The mass crushes out the insight and reflection that are still possible with the individual, and this necessarily leads to doctrinaire and authoritarian tyranny if ever the constitutional State should succumb to a fit of weakness.

 

Rational argument can be conducted with some prospect of success only so long as the emotionality of a given situation does not exceed a certain critical degree. If the affective temperature rises above this level, the possibility of reason's having any effect ceases and its place is taken by slogans and chimerical wish-fantasies. That is to say, a sort of collective possession results which rapidly develops into a psychic epidemic.  In this state all those elements whose existence is merely tolerated as asocial under the rule of reason come to the top. Such individuals are by no means rare curiosities to be met with only in prisons and lunatic asylums. For every manifest case of insanity there are, in my estimation, at least ten latent cases who seldom get to the point of breaking out openly but whose views and behavior, for all their appearance of normality, are influenced by unconsciously morbid and perverse factors. There are, of course, no medical statistics on the frequency of latent psychoses – for understandable reasons. But even if their number should amount to less than ten times that of the manifest psychoses and of manifest criminality, the relatively small percentage of the population figures they represent is more than compensated for by the peculiar dangerousness of these people. Their mental state is that of a collectively excited group ruled by affective judgments and wish-fantasies. In a state of "collective possession" they are the adapted ones and consequently they feel quite at home in it. They know from their own experience the language of these conditions and they know how to handle them. Their chimerical ideas, upborne by fanatical resentment, appeal to the collective irrationality and find fruitful soil there, for they express all those motives and resentments which lurk in more normal people under the cloak of reason and insight. They are, therefore, despite their small number in comparison with the population as a whole, dangerous as sources of infection precisely because the so-called normal person possesses only a limited degree of self-knowledge.»

publicado às 12:00

 

Como alguns leitores terão notado, nos últimos tempos, especialmente desde que decidi assumir publicamente o meu agnosticismo, tenho-me debruçado, ainda que não tão aprofundadamente como gostaria, sobre a temática da religião, deixando por aqui excertos de autores como Scruton, Jung e Mark Vernon. Na lista de leitura constam ainda obras de Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Feuerbach, Russell, William Rowe, Hitchens e dos mesmos Scruton, Jung e Vernon. Disto procede, como bem apontaste, Carlos, no primeiro texto em que respondias a um excerto de Vernon, que a verdade é que a minha abordagem à religião é essencialmente filosófica. Mais, eu padeço da mesma incultura religiosa de Camus, ou talvez mais apropriadamente, incultura em relação à religião católica, e é por isso que, embora a Bíblia também faça parte da minha longa lista de leitura, não sou capaz de responder nos mesmos termos simbólicos que utilizas. 

 

Ainda assim, permite-me uma breve réplica para dizer que o ponto que levantas relativamente à ausência do utilitarismo na religião católica - e não é surpreendente a crítica que fazes ao utilitarismo de Vernon, ou não tenha este sido padre da Igreja Anglicana - parece-me poder ser disputado em dois sentidos. O primeiro, é que quando se fala em Salvação somos obrigados desde logo a colocar a questão "o que é a alma?" - que recentemente Edward Feser abordou-; o segundo, é que como Hayek, também ele agnóstico, mostra em The Fatal Conceit, a religião tem, de facto, uma utilidade, mais imanente que transcendente. Distinguindo entre as práticas de comunidades primitivas e das modernas sociedades ocidentais, o autor austríaco salienta que instituições, sistemas morais e tradições evoluíram de forma a gerar e manter um número elevadíssimo de indivíduos, através de uma selecção natural competitiva mas pacífica das tradições de diversos grupos, tradições estas que muitos não entendem ou não apreciam e que até combatem, mas que são fundamentais para a sobrevivência destes grupos. Contudo, quanto ao porquê destas terem sido preservadas contra instintos e até contra o racionalismo construtivista, Hayek assinala que a religião desempenha/ou um papel fundamental (tradução minha): "Devemos parcialmente a crenças místicas e religiosas e, acredito eu, particularmente às principais crenças monoteístas, que tradições benéficas tenham sido preservadas e transmitidas pelo menos o tempo suficiente para permitir a estes grupos que as seguiam crescer e ter a oportunidade de se espalharem através da selecção natural ou cultural. Isto significa que, gostemos ou não, devemos a persistência de certas práticas, e a civilização que resultou destas, em parte ao apoio de crenças que não são verdadeiras – ou verificáveis ou testáveis – no sentido em que são as afirmações científicas, e que certamente não são o resultado de argumentação racional. Eu às vezes penso que pode ser apropriado chamar-lhes, pelo menos como gesto de apreciação, “verdades simbólicas”, visto que elas ajudaram os seus aderentes a ser “frutíferos e multiplicarem-se e reabastecerem a terra e subjugá-la” (Génesis 1:28). Mesmo aqueles entre nós, como eu próprio, que não estão preparados para aceitar a concepção antropomórfica de uma divindade pessoal, têm de admitir que a perda prematura do que consideramos como crenças não factuais, teria privado a humanidade de um poderoso apoio ao longo desenvolvimento da ordem alargada que agora gozamos, e que mesmo agora a perda dessas crenças, quer sejam falsas ou verdadeiras, criaria grandes dificuldades."1

 

Também Jung nos traz alguma luz a este respeito, quando faz a distinção entre credo e religião, que é também útil para responder ao Corcunda. Diz-nos Jung (tradução minha) que "Um credo dá expressão a uma determinada crença coletiva, ao passo que a palavra religião exprime uma relação subjectiva com certos factores metafísicos, extramundanos. Um credo é uma confissão de fé destinada principalmente ao mundo em geral e é, portanto, um assunto intramundano, enquanto o significado e o propósito da religião recaem na relação do indivíduo com Deus (cristianismo, judaísmo, islamismo) ou no caminho da salvação e libertação (budismo). A partir deste facto básico é derivada toda a ética, o que, sem a responsabilidade do indivíduo perante Deus pode ser chamado de nada mais do que moralidade convencional."2

Atendendo à moderna morte de Deus,  quando, em A Gaia Ciência3, Nietzsche aborda o assunto, fá-lo, como Vernon salienta, contando uma história que é ilustrativa da tragédia que, para ele, foi a proclamação da morte de Deus. Diz-nos a personagem do louco (tradução minha): "Como havemos de nos consolar, os assassinos de todos os assassinos? O que era mais sagrado e mais poderoso de tudo o que o mundo já possuiu sangrou até à morte sob as nossas facas: quem vai limpar esse sangue de nós? Que água existe para nos limparmos a nós mesmos? Que festivais de desagravo, que jogos sagrados teremos de inventar? Não é a grandeza deste acto demasiado grande para nós? Não deveremos nós próprios tornar-nos deuses simplesmente para parecermos dignos dele?"3 "O homem como o novo Deus", diz-nos Vernon, "quão assustador é este pensamento."4

Nietzsche percebeu claramente o que o Corcunda salienta, tal como Jung, no que diz respeito à ausência de um critério transcendente de verdade: "Ser o aderente de um credo, portanto, não é sempre uma questão religiosa, mas mais frequentemente uma questão social e, como tal, não faz nada para dar ao indivíduo qualquer fundamento. Para suporte ele tem que depender exclusivamente da sua relação com uma autoridade que não é deste mundo. O critério aqui não é a aprovação de um credo, mas o facto psicológico de que a vida do indivíduo não é determinada exclusivamente pelo ego e as suas opiniões ou por factores sociais, mas em igual medida, se não mais, por uma autoridade transcendente. Não são princípios éticos, por mais elevados, ou credos, por mais ortodoxos, que estabelecem as bases para a liberdade e a autonomia do indivíduo, mas simples e unicamente a consciência empírica, a experiência indiscutível de uma intensa relação pessoal e recíproca entre o homem e uma autoridade extramundana que actua como um contrapeso ao "mundo" e a sua "razão."5

Dito isto, importa afirmar que um agnóstico, ou melhor, um pensador ou filósofo agnóstico (aspirante, no meu caso), não é necessariamente irreligioso. Pelo contrário,  enquanto muitos, se não mesmo a maioria dos aderentes a um credo, limitam-se a existir e não a viver, já que aceitam dogmaticamente o que a Igreja do credo lhes diga que está certo e errado, não chegando sequer a debruçarem-se sobre as grandes questões da existência humana, como a existência de Deus, um agnóstico que o seja no sentido que a palavra tomava na Época Vitoriana, ou seja, que tenha a convicção de que nada pode ser conhecido com absoluta certeza mas que se dedica à busca pelo conhecimento com a plena noção dos limites deste e da sua ignorância, não pode deixar de repudiar o fundamentalismo quer dos credos quer do ateísmo, colocando-se numa posição de dúvida que dá corpo ao seu pensamento e à sua forma de estar na vida. Aliás, a sua relação com uma entidade extramundana, exercitando a dúvida, pode inclusive ser mais rica e intensa que a de um crente, como foi o caso de Sócrates. Mais, se o agnosticismo e o ateísmo são até mais velhos que o cristianismo, como pode este clamar estar em contacto ou saber o que é a verdade? E de que verdade falamos em concreto? E por que é que esta tem que ser necessariamente um sub-produto do Divino? Ademais, se aceitarmos que foi o Homem que criou Deus - como eu tendo a aceitar -, temos que a sacralização ocorre(u) do mundano para o extramundano pelo que, em última análise, estamos sempre a aceitar verdades que têm apenas origem humana. Não creio que a modernidade tenha transformado a verdade numa percepção humana, creio que sempre o foi, e que o Iluminismo apenas veio revelá-lo - reforçando o temor em relação à antropomorfização da Vontade Divina. Neste contexto, que outra hipótese temos que não virar-nos para a imanência, mas sabendo que esta não deixa, contudo, pelo menos para mim, de ter ligação à transcendência - na tal posição de dúvida -, e que individualmente cabe-nos adoptar princípios, valores e comportamentos que nos pareçam moralmente correctos, que em última análise, até podem derivar, e em larga medida derivam, da religião - de que as ideologias são, elas próprias, os melhores exemplos, no que à conduta política diz respeito?



1 - F. A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism, Indianapolis,Liberty Fund, 1991, pp. 136-137.

2 - Carl Jung, The Undiscovered Self, New York, Back Bay Books, 1957, pp. 20-22.

3 - Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, New York, Vintage Books, 1974, pp. 181-182.

4 - Mark Vernon, How to be an Agnostic, Basingstoke,Palgrave Macmillan,2011, p. 8.

5 - Carl Jung, Ibid., pp. 22-23.

publicado às 01:41

"Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself." (Carl Jung, The Undiscovered Self)

publicado às 13:38

A certeza absoluta dispensa provas antropomórficas

por Samuel de Paiva Pires, em 24.03.12

Carl Jung, The Undiscovered Self:

 

"That religious experiences exist no longer needs proof. But it will always remain doubtful whether what metaphysics and theology call God and the gods is the real ground of these experiences. The question is idle, actually, and answers itself by reasons of the subjectively overwhelming numinosity of the experience. Anyone who has had it is seized by it and therefore not in a position to indulge in fruitless metaphysical or epistemological speculations. Absolute certainty brings its own evidence and has no need of anthropomorphic proofs."

publicado às 19:09

Das verdades estatais às neuroses do homem moderno

por Samuel de Paiva Pires, em 12.03.12

Carl Jung, The Undiscovered Self:

 

«Whereas the man of today can easily think about and understand all the “truths” dished out to him by the State, his understanding of religion is made considerably more difficult owing to the lack of explanations. (“Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “Ho can I, unless some one guides me?” Acts 8:30.) If, despite this, he has still not discarded all his religious convictions, this is because the religious impulse rests on an instinctive basis and is therefore a specifically human function. You can take away a man’s gods, but only to give him others in return. The leaders of the mass State cannot avoid being deified, and wherever crudities of this kind have not yet been put over by force, obsessive factors arise in their stead, charged with demonic energy – for instance, money, work, political influence, and so forth. When any natural human function gets lost, i.e., is denied conscious and intentional expression, a general disturbance results. Hence, it is quite natural that with the triumph of the Goddess of Reason a general neuroticizing of modern man should set in, a dissociation of personality analogous to the splitting of the world today by the Iron Curtain. This boundary line bristling with barbed wire runs through the psyche of modern man, no matter on which side he lives. And just as the typical neurotic is unconscious of his shadow side, so the normal individual, like the neurotic, sees his shadow in his neighbour or in the man beyond the great divide. It has even become a political and social duty to apostrophize the capitalism of the one and the communism of the other as the very devil, so as to fascinate the outward eye and prevent it from looking at the individual life within. But just as the neurotic, despite unconsciousness of his other side, has a dim premonition that all is not well with his psychic economy, so Western man has developed and instinctive interest in his psyche and in “psychology”.»

publicado às 23:18

Da religião de estado à verdade única e sacrossanta

por Samuel de Paiva Pires, em 29.02.12

Carl Jung, The Undiscovered Self:

 

"The dictator State has one great advantage over bourgeois reason: along with the individual it swallows up his religious forces. The State has taken the place of God; that is why, seen from this angle, the socialist dictatorships are religions and State slavery is a form of worship. But the religious function cannot be dislocated and falsified in this way without giving rise to secret doubts, which are immediately repressed so as to avoid conflict with the prevailing trend towards mass-mindedness. The result, as always in such cases, is overcompensation in the form of fanaticism, which in its turn is used as a weapon for stamping out the least flicker of opposition. Free opinion is stifled and moral decision ruthlessly suppressed, on the plea that the end justifies the means, even the vilest. The policy of State is exalted to a creed, the leader of party boss becomes a demigod beyond good and evil, and his votaries are honored as heroes, martyrs, apostles, missionaries. There is only one truth and beside it no other. It is sacrosanct and above criticism. Anyone who thinks differently is a heretic, who, as we know from history, is threatened with all manner of unpleasant things. Only the party boss, who hols the political power in his hands, can interpret the State doctrine authentically, and he does so just as suits him."

publicado às 21:30

A diferença entre religião e credo (Igreja)

por Samuel de Paiva Pires, em 28.02.12

Carl Gustav Jung, The Undiscovered Self:

 

"The religions, however, teach another authority opposed to that of the “world.” The doctrine of the individual’s dependence on God makes just as high a claim upon him as the world does. It may even happen that the absoluteness of this claim estranges him from the word in the same way he is estranged from himself when he succumbs to the collective mentality. He can forfeit his judgment and power of decision in the former case (for the sake of religious doctrine) quite as much as in the latter. This is the goal the religions openly aspire to unless they compromise with the State. When they do, I prefer to call them not “religions” but “creeds.” A creed gives expression to a definite collective belief, whereas the word religion expresses a subjective relationship to certain metaphysical, extramundane factors. A creed is a confession of faith intended chiefly for the world at large and is thus an intramundane affair, while the meaning and purpose of religion lie in the relationship of the individual to God (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) or to the path of salvation and liberation (Buddhism). From this basic fact all ethics is derived, which without the individual’s responsibility before God can be called nothing more than conventional morality.

 

Since they are compromises with mundane reality, the creeds have accordingly seen themselves obliged to undertake a progressive codification of their views, doctrines and customs and in so doing have externalized themselves to such an extent that the authentic religious element in them – the living relationship to and direct confrontation with their extramundane point of reference – has been thrust into the background. The denominational standpoint measures the worth and importance of the subjective religious relationship by the yardstick of traditional doctrine, and where this is not so frequent, as in Protestantism, one immediately hears talk of pietism, sectarianism, eccentricity, and so forth, as soon as anyone claims to be guided by God’s will. A creed coincides with the established Church or, at any rate, forms a public institution whose members include not only true believers but vast numbers of people who can only be described as “indifferent” in matters of religion and who belong to it simply by force of habit. Here the difference between a creed and a religion becomes palpable.

 

To be the adherent of a creed, therefore, is not always a religious matter but more often a social one and, as such, it does nothing to give the individual any foundation. For support he has to depend exclusively on his relation to an authority which is not of this world. The criterion here is not lip service to a creed but the psychological fact that the life of the individual is not determined solely by the ego and its opinions or by social factors, but quite as much, if not more, by a transcendent authority. It is not ethical principles, however lofty, or creeds, however orthodox, that lay the foundations for the freedom and autonomy of the individual, but simply and solely the empirical awareness, the incontrovertible experience of an intensely personal, reciprocal relationship between man and an extramundane authority which acts as a counterpoise to the “world” and its “reason.”"

publicado às 16:21

Do indivíduo prosélito do Estado ao Estado autocrático

por Samuel de Paiva Pires, em 19.02.12

Carl Gustav Jung, The Undiscovered Self:

 

"The bigger the crowd the more negligible the individual becomes. But if the individual, overwhelmed by the sense of his own puniness and impotence, should feel that his life has lost its meaning – which, after all, is not identical with public welfare and higher standards of living – then he is already on the road to State slavery and, without knowing or wanting it, has becomes its proselyte. The man who looks only outside and quails before the big battalions has no resource with which to combat the evidence of his senses and his reason. But that is just what is happening today: we are all fascinated and overawed by statistical truths and large numbers and are daily apprised of the nullity or futility of the individual personality, since it is not represented and personified by any mass organization. Conversely, those personages who strut about on the world stage and whose voices are heard far and wide seem, to the uncritical public, to be borne along on some mass movement or on the tide of public opinion and for this reason are either applauded or execrated. Since mass suggestion plays the predominant role here, it remains a moot point whether their message is their own, for which they are personally responsible, or whether they merely function as a megaphone for collective opinion.

 

Under these circumstances it is small wonder that individual judgment grows increasingly uncertain of itself and that responsibility is collectivized as much as possible, i.e., is shuffled off by the individual and delegated to a corporate body. In this way the individual becomes more and more a function of society, which in turn usurps the function of the real life carrier, whereas, in actual fact, society is nothing more than an abstract idea like the State. Both are hypostatized, that is, have become autonomous. The State in particular is turned into a quasi-animate personality from whom everything is expected. In reality it is only a camouflage for those individuals who know how to manipulate it. Thus the constitutional State drifts into the situation of a primitive form of society, namely, the communism of primitive tribe where everybody is subject to the autocratic rule of a chief or an oligarchy."

publicado às 17:50

Carl Gustav Jung, The Undiscovered Self:

 

"The seemingly omnipotent State doctrine is for its part manipulated in the name of State policy by those occupying the highest positions in the government, where all the power is concentrated. Whoever, by election or caprice, gets into one of these positions is no longer subservient to authority, for he is the State policy itself and within the limits of the situation can proceed at his own discretion. With Louis XIV he can say, “L’état c’est moi.” He is thus the only individual or, at any rate, one of the few individuals who could make use of their individuality if only they knew how to differentiate themselves from the State doctrine. They are more likely, however, to be the slaves of their own fictions. Such one-sidedness is always compensated psychologically by unconscious subversive tendencies. Slavery and rebellion are inseparable correlates. Hence, rivalry for power and exaggerated distrust pervade the entire organism from top to bottom. Furthermore, in order to compensate for its chaotic formlessness, a mass always produces a “Leader”, who almost infallibly becomes the victim of his own inflated ego-consciousness, as numerous examples in history show.

 

This development becomes logically unavoidable the moment the individual masses together with others and becomes obsolete. Apart from agglomerations of huge masses of people, in which the individual disappears anyway, one of the chief factors responsible for psychological massmindedness is scientific rationalism, which robs the individual of his foundations and his dignity. As a social unit he has lost his individuality and become a mere abstract number in the bureau of statistics. He can only play the role of an interchangeable unit of infinitesimal importance. Looked at rationally and from outside, that is exactly what he is, and from this point of view it seems positively absurd to go on talking about the value or meaning of the individual. Indeed, one can hardly imagine how one ever came to endow individual human life with so much dignity when the truth to the contrary is as plain as the palm of your hand."

publicado às 23:59

A irregularidade da realidade

por Samuel de Paiva Pires, em 13.02.12

Carl Gustav Jung, The Undiscovered Self:

 

"The statistical method shows the facts in the light of the ideal average but does not give us a picture of their empirical reality. While reflecting an indisputable aspect of reality, it can falsify the actual truth in a most misleading way. This is particularly true of theories which are based on statistics. The distinctive thing about real facts, however, is their individuality. Not to put too fine a point on it, one could say that the real picture consists of nothing but exceptions to the rule, and that, in consequence, absolute reality has predominantly the character of irregularity."

publicado às 22:26






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