I am cramming for exam three and the final exam and I am reading about the unconscious. Apparently there is a debate between whether the unconscious is “smart” or “dumb”. The Freudian unconscious is very smart, every bit as smart as its conscious counterpart. It uses sophisticated defenses, is complex, and dynamic and flexible. A Non-Freudian view of the unconscious is that it is dumb in that it is simple, automated, performs routine information processing.
I can’t go with either of them. My view of the unconscious is more aligned with Freud’s (though heavily influenced by Jung) in that I view it as extremely complex. But does complexity neccesate it being “smart”? And could there be an underlying simplicity to the complexity? (see Emergence)
I remember walking with an environmentalists along the Pacific Crest Trail. We got into a talk about paganism and revelation. I forget what her view was (she was pagan) on the matter was. My own view was that God (the Gods, Goddess, God, The Creator, etc..) reveal reality to us in an infinite number of ways. Our mind seeks to make sense of the immensity of the infinity of reality by the development of heuristics. By learning symbols and patterns, we can see the underlying Synchronicity of reality. There are an infinite number of “messages” for us to read, yet we don’t speak the lingo and it goes unheard. (See Zen)
The unconscious mind, a microcosm of the macrocosm (as above, so below) is likewise capable of an infinite number of signals. We do not understand most of them, but occaisionally one will reach out and slap us across the head. Complex, yes… smart or dumb? No.
I’ve got to get back to studying. Those sugar donuts, black coffee, buffalo strips, and pepsi, are all catching up on me…. ugh.