Bush Hatred and the Eternal Silence of the Infinite Spaces
However, Matte Blanco, who was also a mathematician, realized that these characteristics were necessary consequences of the kind of logic employed by the unconscious mind, which is to say, symmetrical logic. You might say that this is the logic of the timeless world of eternity, whereas Aristotelian ("asymmetrical") logic only applies to the more limited temporal world.
For example, in the asymmetrical world, it is not possible for two objects to occupy the same space. But in the unconscious mind? No problemo. There, your husband can be your mother, a government can be a bountiful breast, or President Bush can be Hitler.
Likewise, as we discussed a couple days ago, in the unconscious mind, "time travel" is as easy as failing off a blog. One of the most vivid clinical cases I've seen of this involved a man who had been shot in the abdomen in an attempted robbery about a decade before. He thought he had forgotten all about it, until one day at work a couple of coworkers decided to play a practical joke on him. One of them aimed a metal tube at him, as if he were holding a rifle. The other coworker slapped together a couple of two-by-fours, creating a loud cracking noise that happened to sound just like gunfire.
The patient reacted just as if he had been shot. He looked down and literally saw blood flowing from his abdomen. He became agitated, and an ambulance had to be called. He was actually taken to the ER, and only after being given a strong anxiolytic did "the past" recede from the present. But for 30 to 45 minutes, the past and present were completely interpenetrating, pulling him down into an infinite terror.
This is simply a vivid example of what happens to us all on a moment by moment basis. The past and present are constantly conflated on a deep unconscious level, which accounts for so much of the richness of being. But it also accounts for virtually all psychopathology, which you might say consists not of unpleasant memories that we recall, but unpleasant memories which recall us.
This happened to me just yesterday afternoon. I'm not even sure what provoked it. It could have been a song I was listening to from my high school daze, or the first feelings of fall, or the smell of rain, or the lower angle of the sun, but something triggered an unpleasant flood of nameless emotion. I couldn't put my finger on what it was or what was causing it, but it lasted for a couple of hours. It definitely had an unconscious quality though, because it came from outside time and had a kind of depth that can only come from the symmetrical unconscious, which always has qualities of the infinite. When it's good, you call it joy, or bliss, or ananda, but when it's bad, you call it the nameless dread.
I'm sure you've all felt the bottomless and unending nameless dread. When I was younger I used to feel it from time to time in the middle of the night. I'd wake up and feel as if all my familiar psychological landmarks had vanished, so to speak. Instead, I was wrapped in the eternal silence of the infinite spaces, as Pascal called it -- "the infinite immensity of spaces of which I know nothing and which know nothing of me."
Naturally, it felt like an "external" space, but it was in internal space merely projected outward. In reality, there is no outer space, only inner space projected. A lot of people who are obsessed with extra-terrestrial life are merely inside-out psychoanalysts, treating fantasized objects as if they come from the outside rather than the inside. For example, when I was in that unpleasant state, I might imagine a burglar trying to break in my window. Mrs. G used to imagine a nuclear holocaust.
In hindsight, it is also obvious to me now how my very first heartbreak at 17 reasonated in an infinite way with the loss of Eden that Robin was discussing the other day. I wasn't just alone, but infintely so. Furthermore, I always would be. Thank God for Joseph Coors, who was there when I needed him.
Usually, the deeper the emotion, the more it partakes of symmetrical logic. For example, Matte Blanco noticed that a large part of the pain of psychosis is that emotions are raised to a kind of infinite fever pitch. Imagine my little night-terror occurring 24/7, with no way to stop it. Each moment is a calamitous novelty, completely beyond your control. Even if you've had a single panic attack, you can get a sense of this "bad infinite," which is boundless and unending. This is why some psychiatric patients slash themselves or put cigarette burns into their skin -- anything to end the nameless dread and bring them back into contact with time. Finite physical pain is far preferable to infinite emotional pain.
The logic of the symmetrical unconscious definitely explains the angry left. To anyone who is not participating in their group fantasy, one can see how ridiculously overblown their fears are. But it all makes sense in the deep unconscious. Because of its symmetrical nature, that which you deeply hate is deeply frightening. The more you hate or fear it, the more powerful it becomes, until it is equated with the all-powerful and all-evil.
Even a casual glance at dailykos or huffpo demonstrates that this is the emotionally charged mental space in which they they live. If they didn't have the cover of a large community of people involved in the group fantasy, everyone would recognize them for what they are: crazy. But because of the dictates of multiculturalism, no one is crazy so long as their particular craziness is shared by others. For the left, politics is about the management of emotion, nothing more (except for their sociopaths who run things, for whom it is about power. They never experience anxiety, an even worse form of pathology.)
But this just begs the larger issue that this is one of the very purposes of culture: to create a cohesive group fantasy in which unconscious anxieties and impulses can be contained. True, some people do this with religion, but there, the greater purpose is to plumb the depths of the unconscious in a healthy way. The left's fantasies are strikingly unhealthy, in large part because they don't realize that they are fantasies. They are like children acting out, only they think they are rational.
The conscious mind, because of its asymmetry, is able to discern differences, whereas the unconscious mind ignores distinctions and sees sameness. Obviously this has an important function that is vital to psychological health and happiness. But both processes can go haywire. For example, the loony leftist notices that Adolf Hitler and President Bush both engage in aggression, therefore, on an unconscious level, they are identical. Only the "sameness" is seen, not the vast differences. At the same time, they may enforce conscious distinctions in an illogical way, for example, between the nature of our fascist enemies in WWII and our fascist enemies today. There they see distinction where they should see the similarities.
You might say that the unconscious only sees "classes," not individuals. As Bomford writes, "An aggressive dog is felt to encompass the class of all dangerous aggressors -- and is thus perceived as presenting an infinite threat. It is easy to see that an irrational phobia is at once accounted for by this principle: something trivially alarming or just something connected with an alarming situation, is treated as though the whole class of alarming things is present within it."
One of the keys to dealing with fear is to give it a kind of boundary. The next time you're feeling anxious about something, notice this tendency of it to shade off into the infinite, which is the real fear. It doesn't surprise me at all that the left is historically so phobic, paranoid, alarmist, and histrionic, since they have no way to tame the bad infinite, being that they have rejected genuine spirituality, which is nothing less than a systematic way to transform the nameless dread of the bad infinity into the boundlessly loving and infinite One. The left will always be with us, because the unconscious will always be with us.