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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. :)

Re: Senex and Puer Aeternus and Utopian thinking

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:53 pm
by jtightlips21
I found an interesting video this morning with Jordan Peterson in dialogue with two Orthodox iconographers. What was interesting was how truth was explained as the integration with facts and ideals. What this has to do with the senex and puer aeternus is the way that I have observed the natural way of observing reality. I find that the puer aeternus tends to focus on ideals and a search for meaning. Now the senex I find tends to focus on surface reality and living in accord to the facts. I have found that the intellect cannot comprehend meaning outside the context of facts. I tried to understand this with my mind, and nearly had a mental breakdown and two months of depression. At one point, I came to the point of accepting that the mind can only process facts, and that the mind gaining such knowledge of esoteric powers would be quite scary and highly undesirable. This reminds me of the old myths and stories where having infinite powers would be quite a horrible thing.

Okay, getting back to the point, I have found myself irritable with people who display pure senex traits, and realized that what I dislike is the tendency to sacrifice living a meaningful life in favor for living in conformity with facts. I have wondered if this integration with fact and meaning is the only way to arrive at truth. Because I have found that living a life without meaning is just going to make me resentful. I find myself becoming resentful with people who display meaningless morality grounded on use of intimidation and brute strength, lectures about conforming, or that dour moralist archetype.

Re: Senex and Puer Aeternus and Utopian thinking

Posted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:53 pm
by turiya
A short Alan Watts video:

https://youtu.be/D4vHnM8WPvU

:)

Re: Senex and Puer Aeternus and Utopian thinking

Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:18 am
by jtightlips21
One day ago, I just turned 30, and something is telling me that I am too old for any puer aeternus thinking, and need to submit to the senex thinking. But frankly, I dont really want to, and it seems just not right. I know they say that 30 is the new 20, but I cannot help but think that age is just an arbitrary concept with no real meaning. Since I remember when I was younger, 60 seemed old, yet now I have relatives that age, and none of them seem old. I also remember how 90 seemed real old, yet know people in their 90's who still live on their own and have very few limitations. So I cannot help but think that age is a relative concept.

So getting back to the point, I have wondered if all this stuff of senex and puer aeternus are just egoic concepts. From the holistic perspective, I would say that both are necessary. But on the other hand, I cannot help but wonder if such distinctions as senex and puer aeternus are just the ego creating divisions. Since the Ego, I find can only see parts and can never see wholes. This was something I accepted two years ago, when I realized trying to get a clear mental picture of wholes is just confusion.