Each Angel its Own Species

Tue, 12 Mar 1996 09:30:13 -0500

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Maryness is not an archetype. Archetypes
are simple abstractions.Think about the
archetypes Jung describes. They tend to
express some essence. True, we may
speak of the archetype of the self but the =

actual self is not the archetype of self. The
archetype merely paves the way for the
eventual emergence of the individuated self,
just as the symbol of the mandala symbolizes
the self. It is not the same as the self.
Jung's amplification technique expanded
the meaningfulness of symbols not just for
the sake of the symbols but in order to help
us transform the material signified in the =

symbol into a broader experiential domain. By
experiencing the archetype we out grow it.
We do not out grow ourselves. The self
continues to grow with us. =

The "like-Mary" grid assumed that all of
the subject's behavior, across all of the
situations, varied according to the
subject's reactions to the situations.
Core constructs that were selected as
components of the Self, vary in their
applications to the situations. This is
realistic in that we all have to make =

certain compromises and adaptations =

in certain situations. To the extent that
the components are integrated into the
notion of self, then they should add up
to the global construct of Maryness. =

Even if the expressions of the components
and Maryness varies across contexts, =

they should still form a coherent unit. =

Concerning the meaningfulness of whole
figure constructs- Mair (1967) asked
subjects to rate people along the
construct "like self" and along trait like
constructs that were judged to be either
like self or not. Mair found that the traits
did not polarize when correlated with like
self. His conclusion was that the whole
figure construct "like self" could not
integrate the meaning of the traits.
Several issues come up here. First, he
might have gotten very different results
if he asked the subjects to rate
themselves on the traits (instead of other
people on the traits) across various =

situations. There is no reason to believe
the traits should add up in other people
the same way they add up in one's self,
at least not if we see the traits as subsets
of each person. This has relevance to the
medieval belief that angels were not
subsets of a species of Angels, but each
angel was its own species. In Jung's
individuation psychology, each of us is
invited to become a species of our own- =

not just cogs in the machine of the
category Human beings.
Making people the elements of simple
abstractions- as is done in the typical
rep grid- does not make angels out of
them. It tends to subordinate people to
simple abstractions. It would be as
though we walk around with a check list,
reducing people to traits. Perhaps,
instead, we should be elaborating people
with a potentially endless array of =

subordinate constructs. In the traditional
approach the abstraction comes first, in
the second the person comes first.
In my replication of Mairs study I used
Mairs trait & like self grid in one condition.
In another condition I used all whole figure
constructs. The figures were chosen to
be people who were either like self or
not like self. In this condition, there
was much more polarization- those
people judged unlike self correlated
negatively with the "like self" construct,
those selected to be like self correlated
positively with "like self" .Thus the
polarization that Mair used to test =

meaningfullness of whole figure constructs
actually was greater when we restricted
the grid to whole figures. It was apparently
the traits that could not come up to the
meaningfulness of whole figures, not the
other way around.
The study should be repeated rating
self in many situations on like self and
on (un)characteristic traits. Then we
could see if people add up to themselves.
It is possible that sometimes, for some
people, that the trait constructs elicited
to add up to "like self" do not add up to
like self. It depends on whether the
person is doing the adding or not. We
know from mathematical simulations that
if they do add them up, then corresponding
regressions will reflect this. This puts us
miles ahead of where Mair left us- thinking
that whole figure constructs were
The reduction of people to abstractions,
instead of the elaboration of people by
abstactions, is rampant in psychology. =

The most malicious expression of this
is the dismissal of another person's
experience by a diagnosis. We have
seen this recently on Mr. Nightingale's =

net. It is a shame that the diagnostician's,
both certified and uneducated, have not
had more to say about a fellow sientist's =

mathematical, philosophical and =

psychological ideas. But it is not
surprising. Some people put the ideals
of the bandwagon before the lives of
real people.
Thank you for putting my person =

before your diagnosis.
Bill =