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Senex and Puer Aeternus and Utopian thinking

Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:39 pm
by jtightlips21
This concept was codified by Carl Jung as two archetypes with each being the others shadow. Basically the senex is symbolized as a wise old man who is disciplined, responsible, ordered, rational and controlled. The Puer Aeternus is symbolized as an adolescence who has difficulties with limitations and longs for independence and freedom. However, I can see some similarities in religion, philosophy and mythology. Kierkegaard with the stages of life, Freud with the id, ego and superego, Nietzche with the Apollian and dionysian and C.S. Lewis on soups. This also reminds me of the political conflict between freedom and security that has long been fought.

I could not help but notice that much utopian thinking has Puer ends but uses Senex means. However, most of the time I have noticed that much of the time, all that happens is that the opposite happens and we get another pure senex disguised in puer form. I have commonly seen this with leftism, libertarianism, humanism, enlightenment philosophy, individualism and postmodernism. This is considering that right wing politics, authoritarianism, legalism, traditionalist philosophy, collectivism and rationalism seem to be more pure senex.

Re: Senex and Puer Aeternus and Utopian thinking

Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:35 pm
by NuanceOfSuchness
That's quite interesting. All of the places you've observed these shifting poles are all encapsulating notions about the complexities of the internal map of reality or false self. When I stopped watching TV I often catch glimpses of the content from time to time and become aware that humankind is lost in mind. Sometimes it makes me sad, sometimes judgemental and sometimes compassionate. (I often source conscious things to watch).

I realise my reply doesn't hold much intellectual traction with your post. In your very eloquent delivery, I wonder about the level of fragmentation of society you have managed to convey.

Re: Senex and Puer Aeternus and Utopian thinking

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:31 pm
by jtightlips21
I have found that this is a universal crisis, between enjoying life vs. preserving life. I dont know how much of this is just the problem of dualistic thinking,

Re: Senex and Puer Aeternus and Utopian thinking

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:19 am
by turiya
Interesting :)

I also found this quote interesting:

"Shakyamuni’s life exemplifies a basic interpretation of the Middle Way as the path between two extremes, close to Aristotle’s idea of the “golden mean” whereby “every virtue is a mean between two extremes, each of which is a vice."
Source: http://www.sgi.org/about-us/buddhist-co ... e-way.html

Re: Senex and Puer Aeternus and Utopian thinking

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:48 pm
by NuanceOfSuchness
turiya wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:19 am
Interesting :)

I also found this quote interesting:

"Shakyamuni’s life exemplifies a basic interpretation of the Middle Way as the path between two extremes, close to Aristotle’s idea of the “golden mean” whereby “every virtue is a mean between two extremes, each of which is a vice."
Source: http://www.sgi.org/about-us/buddhist-co ... e-way.html
You reminded me of this story...

"One day, as Siddartha sat under a tree by the river, it is said a passing boat was carrying a musician and his pupil and Siddartha heard the teacher’s words of wisdom; “If you tighten the string too tight it will snap and if you make the string too loose it will not play…”
Thus Siddartha discovered the ‘Middle Way’ and from that moment he gave up the ascetic lifestyle, realising that to reach enlightenment his body would need to be nourished and cherished."

Source: https://simontall.com/2012/06/18/the-mi ... ou-strung/

Re: Senex and Puer Aeternus and Utopian thinking

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:46 am
by jtightlips21
Are Buddhas moderation and Aristotles Golden means accomodate both/and thinking?

Re: Senex and Puer Aeternus and Utopian thinking

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:41 am
by turiya
jtightlips21 wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:46 am
Are Buddhas moderation and Aristotles Golden means accomodate both/and thinking?
In my opinion, yes and no. :D

Yes, in that the experience of both extremes/polar opposites is necessary in order to find and experience the balanced "middle ground" between them.

No, in that the experience of both extremes/polar opposites is no longer necessary once the balanced "middle ground" between them is found and experienced.

So... in that way, I'd say they accommodate both/and AND neither/nor thinking. :wink:

Re: Senex and Puer Aeternus and Utopian thinking

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:44 am
by turiya
Thanks for the Siddhartha story, Nuance. :)