Marcuse's later book, One Dimensional Man, takes these themes into a political thesis. He compares Imagination (spontaneity, originality, play, creativity, dreams) with the technological rationality of modernity "which swallows up or repulses all alternatives" (p.xvii):
... [Imagination] is likewise recognised in psychoanalysis, which is in theory based on the acceptance of the specific rationality of the irrational; the comprehended imagination becomes, redirected, a therapeutic force. (p.249)He wonders whether such "rationality of the irrational" may be therapeutic in a wider social sense (p.249). Here again he implicitly comes close to moving beyond Freud's essentially negative view of the unconscious. I see Marcuse's understanding as related to Jung's positive viewing of the unconscious as an active, guiding, potentially healing inner wisdom. Indeed, the cover paragraphs of Marcuse's (1964) One Dimensional Man, and Jung's (1989) Man and His Symbols, both stress the that the central theme is the importance of imagination and the creative aspects of human nature.
However, Marcuse used the ideas of Freud and not those of Jung. What is more, he scathingly dismissed Jung as 'right wing' (Marcuse, 1969). He does not explain this dismissal. I can take a guess that Marcuse interpreted Jung's attention to the individual (as opposed to the 'collective'). Marcuse may have seen this as a form of 'right wing' conservative 'capitalist' individualism, as opposed to Marx's insights into the importance of political social involvement. Marcuse also may have reacted negatively to Jung's somewhat negative description of communism in general (Jung, 1989).I also hazard a guess that Marcuse did not think much of Jung's somewhat affluent reliance on his wife's family fortune and his clinical practice to the often rich and bourgeois. I can understand this perspective, but Marcuse seems not to appreciate the genuinely radical nature of Jung's hope for a better world through the cumulative effect of personal inner journeys to wholeness and inner contact with powerful experience of the collective unconscious.
Although deeply influenced by Marx and Freud, Marcuse is essentially Hegelian in that he advanced a comprehensive project of philosophical doctrine decrying positivism and bourgeois capitalist society's infatuation with scientific technocratic attitudes and analysis. In the end, his main contribution is not Jung's idea of an inner journey to wholeness but a call for sensual freedom as counter revolutionary and his ideas of selective intolerance and counter-indoctrination. His final word is the "Great Refusal". Part of this is that the role of critical theory is to be negative, to refuse to join in with the hegemonic ideology of technocratic rationality (p.257). As part of the repressive nature of modernity, technological rationality renders traditional protest ineffective (p.256); one-dimensional society inexorably leads to false consciousness (p.253); only the outcasts, outsiders, exploited, persecuted, unemployed and unemployable start "refusing to play the game" (p.257) and, for Marcuse, the critical theorist must stand with them.
Analysing modernity from a psychoanalytic standpoint, his later work emphasised the centrality of human relationships and satisfying work to individual fulfilment (Bullock & Woodings, 1983, p.245). He contends in his introductory work on dream understanding, The Forgotten Language (1951), that dream language should be taught in schools alongside other languages. Not sufficiently concerned with the underlying interests of their true selves people tend to get caught in the pursuit of power for its own sake and the acquisition of material goods (Park, 1991. p.141). His work from the 1950s warned increasingly of the alarming domination of technology over modern societies .
Psychoanalysis ... is a tangible example of a science employing methodological self-reflection. The birth of psychoanalysis opens up the possibility of arriving at the dimension that positivism closed off, and of doing so in a methodological manner that arises out of the logic of inquiry. (Habermas, 1971, p.214)From their discourse, the analyst and the client develop a critical conscious understanding of the client life situation. The unconscious speaks through dream analysis, unconscious word associations, imaginative inner dialogues and other methods designed to encourage unconscious images to percolate to consciousness. The analyst/client relationship is voluntary and can be stopped at any time. The correctness or usefulness of the analyst's insights are determined by free acceptance and judgement by the client. Professional standards and the analyst's professional body provide safeguards for the analyst/client relationship.
Habermas sees psychoanalysis as a model for the way in which the critical social theorist can act and, in general, the way that communicative action could proceed (Held, 1980, pp. 317-324). This exemplifies the self-reflection part of the reflective process which supplements rational reconstruction. This is similar to Bruner's understanding of human reflexivity "our capacity to turn around on the past and alter the present in its light, or to alter the past in the light of the present." (Bruner, 1990, p.109). Reflection must be maintained along with practical engagement in social and individual problems.
Jung asserts that Freud, "by evaluating dreams as the most important source of information concerning the unconscious" (1989, p.169), and in his empirical research, Jung built on this most important work:
He [Freud] demonstrated empirically the presence of an unconscious psyche which had hitherto existed only as a philosophical postulate, in particular in the philosophies of C. G. Carus and Eduard on Hartmann. (Jung, 1989, p.169)However, Jung (1989, p.152,153) soon moved beyond what he called Freud's doctrinaire "monotony of interpretation" on the unconscious as determined almost solely by sexual motives. Jung emphasised what Freud only partially admitted in his latter work - that dreams are not only heavily disguised recollections and fantasies dealing primarily with repressed deep emotional and infantile sexual reactions from early childhood (O'Conner, 1993, p.161). The dream events are imaginary but are evoked by real events in the dreamers life and relate to real needs. Some classes of dreams can re-enact traumatic recent events which would suggest a psychological attempt in fantasy to come to terms with reality. Moreover, Jung asserts that most dreams give messages from the unconscious in as graphic a way as possible for consciousness to take heed. As he says in Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1989)
I was never able to agree with Freud that the dream is a facade behind which its meaning lies hidden - a meaning already known but maliciously, so to speak, withheld from consciousness. To me dreams are a part of nature, which harbours no intention to deceive, but expresses something as best it can. (p.161).For Jung, the character of most dreams reveal vital inner forces or psychological energies of the personality in the interface between consciousness and the unconscious (Sanford, p.126). Jung accepts, but moves beyond, Freud's somewhat negative perspective to understand a creative and communicative function in unconscious communication. This is especially so in the way the unconscious uses dreams to communicate with the conscious mind. Different from Freud's problem-oriented dream work approach, Jung saw a creative function within the unconscious. While Freud saw the unconscious as a region of the mind where consciousness dumped unwanted impressions and memories, Jung viewed the unconscious as an autonomous second psychic centre with its own mysterious authority, capable of its own processes and communication with consciousness (Monick, 1987, p.23). His focus was less on the psychological maturation problems (which is also encountered in dreams) than on the development of mature individuals with their aims, aspirations and racial/cultural historical contexts giving potential meaning and dignity. Ultimately, for Jung, dreams are part of interplay between psychological energies in the conscious and the unconscious as part the human journey of finding a meaningful place in a purposeful universe.
For example, one of my dreams revealed a dramatic symbolic picture which showed some of my inner energies represented as a group of academics talking around a table with the final scene one of abusive verbal opposition. Why would the unconscious give such a warning? I consciously worked with the dream and extended it by active imagination. This entails writing down the dream and continuing the dialogue of the dream as if writing the script of a play (Johnson, 1986, part III). I discussed the analysis with a person well experienced in this approach. In this process of the interplay of conscious and unconscious knowledge, I became aware of a needed balance and correction in my research - the more intuitive side of my nature was in conflict with the more rigorous analytical side. The result was an altering of research approach and emphasis. In general, from reflecting on my dreams during the research process I had a self-reflective check and gauge on my journeys towards wholeness in interpretive research. I came to realise that, in the words of Dr Edward Edinger, "... there is a second entity, second psychic centre, in the human psyche and it's interested in truth." (Segaller and Bergman, 1989, p.33).
We can describe this relationship between the conscious and unconscious parts of the psyche as a dialogue, or discussion - auseinandersetzung in German, a word that implies "taking apart," "clarifying," as well as "confrontation." (Sanford, 1989, p.126).In the example above we noted that the pictorial symbols of the dream depicted some of my inner energies as a group of academics talking around a table with the final scene one of abusive verbal opposition. Here the interplay warned of a needed balance and correction in the research. Dr. O'Conner talks about dream symbols with reference to academics:
The dreamer, having tied the boat up, discovers on the wharf a sack containing a number of decapitated male heads. Heads that have been severed, disconnected from their bodies and of course their hearts. This is such a clear image of so many over-intellectualized men, all head, no body, no substance, no pulsating feeling heart. Academics tend toward this beheaded image; all in their heads, often without substance or feeling. What better image could one have of an over-intellectual man, nothing more than a head!" (1993, p.61).If a teacher were to have a similar dream could it not be that the teacher's own psyche is giving a warning. May not the teacher be in danger of ignoring other ways of knowing - the emotive, for example, or the somatic, or the intuitive, or the mystical, or even the olfactory. The crucial point is whether the teacher has an understanding of human beings that acknowledges the importance of the affective domain, of the body, of the senses and the unconscious as well as the conscious intellect. If not, the teacher may be indeed be in danger of unbalanced and unhealthy one-sided psychological development. This may be in line with the dream image of decapitated heads! With that scenario, it is little wonder that the voice of the unconscious, spoken in pictorial dream symbols, is silenced.
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|Please cite as: Williams, M. C. (1996). The use of symbo-constructive pictures to explore the shadow side of our teaching-learning. In Abbott, J. and Willcoxson, L. (Eds), Teaching and Learning Within and Across Disciplines, p179-184. Proceedings of the 5th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, Murdoch University, February 1996. Perth: Murdoch University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf1996/williamsm.html|