Archive for the ‘The Flying Muse’ Category

Car Sale Finder

In The Flying Muse on February 8, 2011 at 11:54 pm


Kate’s facebook ban for being “imposter” – Local – Evening Telegraph

In The Flying Muse on January 27, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Kate’s facebook ban for being “imposter” – Local – Evening Telegraph.

BREAKING NEWS: Former Northamptonshire police officer jailed for life for child sex attacks – Local – Northampton Chronicle & Echo

In BMWs Urgently Wanted, The Flying Muse on January 24, 2011 at 5:55 pm

BREAKING NEWS: Former Northamptonshire police officer jailed for life for child sex attacks – Local – Northampton Chronicle & Echo.


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Friends Quote

In The Flying Muse on November 27, 2010 at 1:32 pm

We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.


You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.

A doubtful friend is worse than a certain enemy. Let a man be one thing or the other, and we then know how to meet him.

1.     It was without a doubt imperative to the cause that you have a clearly defined overview of your opponent before any consultation – this means to have a most intimate knowledge of his/her mental state as well as the physical to name but  two of the most important factors that must on no account be taken lightly.

In order to have an enemy, one must be somebody. One must be a force before he can be resisted by another force. A malicious enemy is better than a clumsy friend.

He hasn’t an enemy in the world – but all his friends hate him.

Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.

Choose your friends carefully. Your enemies will choose you.

The Bible tells us to love our neighbours, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.

Man is his own worst enemy.

Money can’t buy friends, but you can get a better class of enemy.

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

One enemy can do more hurt than ten friends can do good.

1.     You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.

If you want to make enemies, try to change something.

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.

You shall judge a man by his enemies as well as by his friends.

If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.

The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it.

Treat your friend as if he might become an enemy.

A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.

Man usually avoids attributing cleverness to somebody else unless its an enemy.

When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.

There are only two people who can tell you the truth about yourself: an enemy who has lost his temper and a friend who loves you dearly.

Just A Thought!

In The Flying Muse on November 27, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Conscious and unconscious

We now come to the psyche’s great paradox. It knows what it doesn’t know of. It is conscious, when it wakes from dreamless sleep, that it has been totally unconscious. It is conscious, when awake, that it is only partly conscious, and that there is a great deal within it and beyond it that is unconscious. Indeed, it is relatively conscious, at all waking times, to a greater or much lesser or minimal degree, of its relative unconsciousness.

This last point is rather an important one. It affirms that it is impossible for a psyche, when conscious, to be unconscious of the fact and of the extent of its own unconsciousness. It is both a logical and a substantial point that consciousness necessarily includes some cognisance, however marginal, of what is not within it. This means that there is always coded within it some surrogate or marker of this ‘what is not within it’. In its dusty, relatively unused corners lie the rusty keys to its own extension, the transcendence of its current limits.

The most radical thesis on this point is that there is, somehow or other, coded or indexed within any and every current field of consciousness everything that is not within it.

The conscious-of-the-unconscious paradox is particularly acute at the verge between the two. Suppose I have forgotten a name which I know that I know. I stand at the edge trying to summon up the forgotten name: I know what I am looking for but I don’t know exactly what it is. I have got in consciousness some imaginal marker or trace, a nonverbal index entry, which makes me know that I know the name, and which I broadcast at the verge. When the name crosses the verge it joins its marker and I say ‘Of course’.

But let’s follow the radical thesis and consider the case in which I have got in consciousness imaginal markers of something I have never known, which no-one anywhere else at any time has ever known, and I have no overt knowledge that I don’t know it. This will naturally make the markers obscure, so much so that I may well assert that for all practical purposes they are not anywhere in my consciousness. Well, the radical thesis insists that they are there, this side of the verge, supraliminal not subliminal. Such markers are necessarily imaginal, in image not verbal form, since they relate to content that is prior to any explicit form of human, cultural symbolism. They constitute part of a tacit, universal imaginal language in the psyche that is presupposed by any subsequent manifest predication.

A somewhat intermediate and instructive case is any small child starting to acquire its mother tongue. It doesn’t overtly know the grammar of the language, but it doesn’t have to be taught it, for the imaginal forms or markers of any grammar are readily accessible somewhere within its field of consciousness, and to these markers actual grammatical forms, evident in the family’s use of language, readily attach themselves. This has a parallel in Chomsky’s view that the overall framework of universal grammar is genetically inbuilt in all humans. Every child knows what the linguistic options are within this framework, but has to discover by experience which particular set of options its mother tongue has selected (Chomsky, 1985). But once people have learnt one explicit language and used it a lot in reflective, conceptual ways, they seem to lose the knack of effortlessly attaching a spoken language to imaginal markers, and so make heavier weather of learning a second language.

It is possible to conceptualise some of the main types of unconsciousness and generate a list something like the following. The first distinction is between the processes whereby something is made or kept unconscious, and the content of unconsciousness. And with regard to the content of unconsciousness, we can distinguish between personal unconsciousness and non-personal unconsciousness.

The processes that sustain unconsciousness

I have no idea what the full range of these processes is, or rather I should say I am very busy not noticing what they all are doing. For all practical purposes, at the time of their operation, they are unconscious. Here are some of the more obvious ones.

1. Inattention. This is the effect of everyday selective attention. For example, there may be something in my visual field which is distinct and possible to see, but I am not aware of it because I am attending closely to something else. Another example, I may not attend to what is outside the range of my perceiving, that is, over the horizon, round the next corner, beyond earshot. Or again, the contents of my accessible memory are mostly out of consciousness, because I am busy attending to what is going on in present time and have no need or wish to recall them.

More radically, I simply do not attend to what transcends the process of sense perception. I unawarely disattend from what happens at and beyond its edge, where other realities can loom up in the mist of unknowing. I am hypnotised and seduced by sense perception, and the bits of introspection that go with it, into systematic inattention to every other mode of knowing.

Selective attention may be immediately due to ego-bound preoccupation – with sense perception and with everyday concerns and interests. Beyond that it is the result of an embedded cultural framework of beliefs acquired early in life which desensitise people so that they don’t notice what the framework has no concepts for. The vast inattention that results from these two processes may well be the everyday way to sustain unconsciousness. But it will be interwoven with other items below.

2. Thresholds. Certain impressions have too low or too high energy frequencies to reach consciousness; or, to put it the other way round, the current structures of consciousness are unable to detect them and only operate within a certain band. Obvious examples here are sensory thresholds which screen out infrared and ultraviolet, subsonic and supersonic, bodily processes and so on; psychic thresholds which screen out extrasensory impressions; and spiritual thresholds which cut off cosmic consciousness. Psychic and spiritual thresholds can, it seems, be altered by appropriate training and inward opening.

It is an open question whether restrictive thresholds of a psychic and spiritual kind are in some sense innate and developmental, or whether they are acquired by systematic and congealed inattention (plus identification, see below), or whether they are a mixture of the innate and the acquired. I take the view that there is a significant acquired component.

As well as thresholds which restrict vertically the band of frequencies within which I am conscious, there are also those that determine the horizontal extent of my consciousness within any given band or form of consciousness. Within sense perception acuity of sight and hearing will only extend so far. Within two-valued logical thinking there is a limit to what I can conceive. The same kind of open question applies here too. Where there is a limited range of non-perceptual forms of consciousness, is this innate and a developmental if only temporary limit, or is it acquired, or both?

3. Identification. If I identify fully with the current explicit structure or process of consciousness, I am unaware that I am doing it, since I have abandoned any viewpoint that would give me such cognisance. This also means I cannot locate the boundaries of that structure or process, which in turn means that I sustain in unconsciousness everything beyond those boundaries. If my face is right down in the pea soup, I cannot see it there, and have lost sight of the rim of the soup bowl and of what is beyond it on the table. Thus when I identify with the subject-object split, as I have described in earlier chapters, I have no awareness that I am doing so and as a result my feeling of participation with the world, and the deeper processes of the imaginal mind in perception, recede into unconsciousness.

Of course, the conscious-of-the-unconscious paradox means that such identification can never fully sustain unconsciousness, since any explicit structure of consciousness will always contain markers of what is beyond it. Sooner or later the markers will disconcert me enough to start my disidentifying, and moving onto some wider and deeper structure.

Inattention, thresholds and identification – in interaction – are perhaps the three primary factors that sustain unconsciousness.

4. Acute forgetting. I cannot recall something when I know perfectly well that I have not really forgotten it. This is temporary lapse of memory, which recovers after a pause, or after turning attention to other things.

5. Chronic forgetting. I cannot recall what I used to know, and the memory loss appears to be permanent. However, I may still be able to recognise what I have thus forgotten when I see it again. If I have to learn it all again, I may learn it significantly faster than I did the first time. And I may be able to recall it under hypnosis. So there are still significant traces or markers left.

6. Repression. Certain emotions, images, ideas and impulses that have entered consciousness I forcibly push down into unconsciousness because they are too threatening to my precarious and beleaguered sense of identity. This process is one that particularly occurs during and after traumatic events in infancy and childhood. It is not only the emotions and images to do with trauma that can be repressed, but some elements of psychic heredity (see below), and also early manifestations of psychic and spiritual capacity where these are met with adult hostility and rejection.

7. Defence mechanisms. If all the other defence mechanisms – of projection, denial, displacement, reaction formation, rationalization, undoing, regression – are seen as elaborations or variants of repression, that is, as ways of pushing certain states out of consciousness, then they belong in this list of processes that sustain unconsciousness.

8. Blocking. Whereas repression pushes out of consciousness something that is already in it, blocking will not let into consciousness something that has never entered it but is ripe to emerge within it. This especially applies to formative potentials – to do, for example, with psychic and spiritual capacities – whose time for overt manifestation and development has come, but whose emergence into consciousness may be defensively resisted.

The contents of personal unconsciousness

This list contains only those contents that are particularly to do with the individual psyche and its inner life.

1. The processes that sustain unconsciousness. All of the processes given above are also themselves unconscious, part of the content of unconsciousness. The effects of some of them may be obvious within my consciousness, but the doing of them appears to be unconscious. I seem not to be aware of my inattending, of my thresholding, of my identifiying with the current structures of consciousness, of my forgetting at the very moment of forgetting, of my repressing and blocking. These things apparently operate outside my awareness of what I am up to. This raises a key question which I will deal with in a later section: what keeps these processes so seemingly unconscious?

2. Bodily processes and physical heredity. We are not conscious of most bodily processes, at least when they are working normally, nor of the genetic base of the body, nor of the effect of this on our conscious structures, nor of our physical drives when they are dormant.

3. Body-mind processes. We are not conscious of how we move the body, fall asleep, wake up, alter the breathing rate. We are certainly conscious of these things going on, but not of how they go on.

4. Accessible memory images. What I am able to remember but am not needing or choosing to remember.

5. Inaccessible memory images. These include whatever a person has acutely or chronically forgotten.

6. Subtle bodies. Various other non-physical sheaths of consciousness may be totally unconscious, including the immediate subtle sheath interpenetrating the physical body with its chakras, and its vital energy – variously called mana, prana, chi, etc.

7. Psychic heredity. Whether you explain it in terms of reincarnation, or better still, in terms of resonant affinity with a line of people who lived in earlier times, we are born, I believe, with congenital behaviour tendencies, the samskara skandhas of Buddhist psychology. These go beyond the effects of physical heredity and are a dispositional legacy of our psychic ancestors. We are not conscious of their origins, of their nature (until some work is done on them) and of how and where they are deposited in the psyche.

8. Repressed material. This includes emotions, images, ideas and impulses that have entered consciousness but have been forcibly pushed out into unconsciousness because they are too threatening to the individual’s precarious and beleaguered sense of identity. This covers childhood trauma and birth and intrauterine trauma; the participatory modes of the psyche that lead to too much vulnerability; maybe some elements of psychic heredity; early manifestations of extrasensory and spiritual capacity where these meet with adult hostility.

9. Deep entelechy. All the formative potentials of the psyche – beyond physical and psychic heredity and more basic than either – that have not yet emerged as explicit structures of consciousness are unconscious. Entelechy contains the developmental seeds of the psyche that have not been actualized. For the foetus the entelechy will include all aspects of bodily, psychological, social, psychic and spiritual development. Entelechy is the unconscious, enfolded, latent, promise of the psyche, its potential stages of unfoldment. For a similar account of entelechy see Houston (1987: 31-32); see also Wilber’s account of the ground-unconscious as a developmental concept, (1990: 105).

10. Ripe entelechy. Those formative potentials that have matured in the unconscious and are ready to emerge into explicit conscious states. Ripe entelechy will also deliver into consciousness prompts to individuate or participate or conservate or innovate.

11. Blocked entelechy. This includes potentials which have not yet been actualised, have not emerged as explicit structures in consciousness, and are ripe for emergence for their time has come, but they are blocked, held down in unconsciousness and resisted.

12. Transpersonal archetype. Whereas the entelechy is human potential enfolded and embedded deep within the psyche, the transpersonal archetype, the divine form of the manifest person, dwells in the elevated subtle domains. Archetype calls to entelechy, entelechy aspires to archetype. Transcendental archetype seeds the immanent entelechy in the psyche and beckons it to unfold the developmental stages of the person.

The contents of non-personal unconsciousness

These items go beyond and outside the structure and dynamics of the individual psyche into wider states and spaces. For a pareallel account, see the researches of Grof (Grof, 1976, 1988).

1. Phylogenetic heritage. The unconscious repository of phylogenetic history, a recapitulation of the evolution of all life forms, from the simple to the complex, from the remote past to the present. Its conscious outcrop is in terms of physical reflexes and instincts and unlearned instinctive behaviour.

2. Racial memory. The unconscious respository of family, cultural and racial history that is beyond personal memory and learning.

3. Mythic images. This is an offshoot of racial memory and refers to relatively independent image structures that condense within them the collective experience of the race with regard to basic aspects of human life. They can be as confused, contradictory and misleading as human experience itself. They are quite other than transpersonal archetypes (see above) or cosmic archetypes (see below). For a clear untangling of the confusion Jung makes between myth and archetype see Wilber (1990: 255-257).

4. Unnoticed energies and realities. These include other realities and aspects of this reality that are unnoticed because of some one or more of the processes that sustain unconsciousness. This item covers a huge field encompassing subtle aspects of this reality, extended spatio-temporal accounts of it, psyche-matter interactions, and all sorts of different content in other realities (see Grof, 1976, 1988). It overlaps with the next three items.

5. The recently deceased. Those who have recently died are relatively close to earthly conditions and can mingle their activities with humans. Their influence can range from the destructive and malicious, to the addictive and indulgent, to the misleading and mischievous, to the helpful and supportive, to the protective and guiding.

6. Presences. These are high-raised souls in other and exalted dimensions of being who can exert an inspirational and transformative influence upon humans.

7. Cosmic archetypes. These are the great powers of creation, the first manifest dynamic forms which emanate the patterns for all subsequent creation. See Plato, Philo, Plotinus, St. Augustine, Hindu-Buddhist systems, Grof, Wilber.

The guardian on the verge

There is a quite fundamental question which I raised above at the end of the first item in the personal contents of unconsciousness. This item asserted that the various processes that sustain unconsciousness – inattention, thresholds, identification, forgetting, repression and so on – are themselves unconscious, part of the contents of unconsciousness. If this is so, the key question arises: What extra process sustains all these processes in unconsciousness? If it is another unconscious process, then we embark an an infinite regress of processes which by definition are forever inaccessible to consciousness; and this seems to be inherently implausible.

The point has long been made that repression is an unconscious process but is not itself repressed. But what keeps it, and the whole family of such processes, unconscious? The answer takes us to the heart of the conscious-of-the-unconscious paradox. What keeps unconscious the processes that sustain unconsciousness, I believe, is (1) a conscious anxiety about being overwhelmed by its contents and (2) a conscious choice not to notice what I am doing to keep them at bay.

In other words, there is a systematic self-delusion based on fear operating at the verge of unconsciousness, and both the act of self-delusion and the fear are supraliminal, within the margins of consciousness. This is a ring-pass-not which I choose, at the fringe of my awareness, to set up out of anxiety – so as to make it seem that my various devices for sustaining unconsciousness are subliminal. I choose, as it were, to convince myself that these devices are unconscious when they clearly are not. My self-delusion thus sets up a new illusory verge, throwing into apparent unconsciousness the processes, such as repression, that sustain, at a more basic verge, the real unconsciousness. Nevertheless, though only apparent and illusory, this new verge becomes the de facto one.

This is the guardian on the verge, not beyond the fringe, but visible and identifiable at the margins of awareness. It is not itself an unconscious defence mechanism, an unconscious act of inattention, but a conscious choice to delude myself that I am unaware of just such processes. It is a quite unique, and paradoxical, phenomenon in the dynamics of consciousness. And it is therefore a quite unique key.

For I can at any time reverse the choice to sustain the guardian in place, dismiss it and remove my self-delusion. I can choose, instead, to live with the anxiety of being overwhelmed and notice all the devices I am using to cope with it. The processes that sustain unconsciousness thus become conscious as redundant habits above the deeper verge which they set up, and I can start to modify and dismantle them, and shift that verge. A deep process of transformation and liberation begins.

In his early theory in the 1890s, Freud’s view was that anxiety is a product of repressed libido. Thirty years later, he reversed this to the view that anxiety leads to repression; and repression, he held, was unconscious but not itself repressed. What he never explained was how conscious anxiety can lead to non-repressed but unconscious repression. Nor has anyone else ever explained it as far as I can see. This may be because conscious self-delusion of the guardianship kind is a particularly kind of addictive choice to make. And because it is an addiction which may be particularly strong in psychologists and psychotherapists who spend a lot of time in thought and practice at the verge where the guardian stands.


Figure 50 The guardian on the verge

If we bring the whole business out into the open, the sequence of events seems to be something like this, although in reality it is not likely to be a temporal sequence but more a concurrent pat-a-cake, like a bunch of hands all slotted on top of each other at the same time. First, the current field of consciousness is full of markers of what is not in it, markers of the contents of unconsciousness. Second, these markers start to draw to themselves the unconscious contents with which they resonate. Third, these contents become imminently subliminal, they draw close just beyond the verge of consciousness, with a foreshadowing rumble at the verge. Fourth, this looming up, the feeling that the markers are about to be joined by one knows not what, generates conscious anxiety. Fifth, a conscious choice is made out of this anxiety to delude oneself that one has no awareness of the various devices being used to keep what is looming up unconscious. This fifth event, or pat-a-cake layer, is the weirdest: all in one go you consciously delude yourself that you are unconscious – when you are not – of processes you are using to sustain systematic unconsciousness. This is the real heart of maya.

Figure 50 depicts the guardian. The triangle in the darker line is consciousness, the lower layer of this being where the guardian stands, within consciousness but at the verge of unconsciousness, performing its curious act of chosen self-delusion.

The guardian will start work very early on, at foetal or infantile, pre-verbal stages, so its degree of choice and consciousness at that time may be highly attenuated, low-level, marginal – but the inherent logic of the whole situation requires that it is unmistakably supraliminal. Later in life its degree of choice and consciousness may be increased in order to keep it effective in its elected role, with post-verbal conceptual elements transferred into it.

Threshold and verge

I used these two separate terms in order to avoid confusing two different concepts. ‘Threshold’ is the term I use to designate what may be built-in restrictions as to what can enter a particular form of consciousness. Sensory thresholds are certainly built in, it seems, to the structure of the nervous system. And psychic and spiritual thresholds may proceed from the entelechy as part of a developmental phase and so in that sense they may also built in, even if later they can be altered by self-development.

A vertical threshold determines, for example, what is above or below the range of human hearing. A horizontal threshold determines the extent of hearing within its band – for example the distance beyond which I cannot hear certain sounds.

‘Verge’ is the term I use to designate the boundary to consciousness that is set up by all kinds of processes such as selective inattention, identification, forgetting, repression, blocking, including thresholds, and including the guardian’s self-delusion. So ‘verge’ is the inclusive, generic term, of which ‘threshold’ is a species; and there is the de facto verge of the guardian and a deeper one set up by the processes the guardian deludes itself about.

Conscious markers of unconscious contents

I wish now to look at some of the different sorts of conscious markers of unconscious contents. But first I will recapitulate the basic argument derived from the conscious-of-the-unconscious paradox.

Any field of human consciousness – and I cannot speak for horses and guerillas or any other non-human creature – knows that it is bounded, knows – behind the self-delusion of the guardian – what these boundaries are, and knows that there is something which it does not know beyond those boundaries. This is because there are always things within the field of consciousness which indicate what is beyond it. I have called these things markers.

I have suggested the radical view that any current field of consciousness contains markers of everything that it excludes. This is in line with a general principle that the whole is coded and represented in each of its parts. So though I am only conscious of a small part of the whole universe of being, within my conscious field I have access to markers of all of it.

But what sorts of markers are there? Well. one important class is provided by boundaries, because boudaries themselves are markers.

Thus a very obvious sort of marker is a perceptual limit, that is, as far as the eyes can see, the ears can hear, the nose can smell. For visual perception this sort of marker is the horizon and what abuts it, all of which together is a marker telling us that there is more sky and land beyond it, and tell us something about what kind of sky and land there is likely to be immediately beyond it.

Another obvious one is the boundary of any area of explicit propositional knowledge. If I marshal all I know, however little, about bee-keeping, then the restrictions of this will clearly indicate the broad categories of what it is I don’t know.

These first two examples are boundary markers within a certain form of field such as perception or propositional knowledge. But there is another much less obvious sort of boundary marker, and that is the edge of a field as such. Take the visual field. That has an edge, not the limit of what I can see out there in the world, but the actual experiential edge of the field where it blurs out into seeming nothingness. This experiential edge is a spatial edge, but it is not in the space of the world, since there is nowhere in the world you can locate it. Since, however, it is clearly spatial it must be an edge between two different kinds of space, two different kinds of world. It is in short a marker of another world.

This is a very disconcerting marker and one that the guardian will very quickly delude itself about. It will insist that it is not conscious of systematically disattending from it when it knows perfectly well it is doing that very thing out of great anxiety. For if it does not so disattend, goodness knows what will tumble over the edge into consciousness.

Another disconcerting marker is at the edge of imagination, when it converts into supersensory perception, either of this reality beyond the range of one’s ordinary perception, or of quite other realities. The guardian will likewise pretend it is not aware of practising selective inattention, so that it gets nowhere near this sort of edge.

But it is not just boundaries within fields and boundaries of fields that are markers. It is the very central content of fields that are markers. Thus the distinctive patterns within perceptual imagery are markers, that is, the patterns and images just as such, without words and concepts and propositional beliefs attached to them. These are the patterns, which, when we do attach words and concepts, we call sun or moon or tree or river or mountain As patterns and images pure and simple they designate the dynamic archetypes in an unknown dimension that generate them. They mark and bear witness to the great unseen powers and principalities of their continuous creation.

With this central mass of markers, the guardian has to be very busy. One main device is to identify so strongly with the subject-object split inherent in the use of language that I no longer see the perceptual field as a set of images I am involved in generating, but as something given out there. I set up outside it an alienated little ego, which replaces the real I who is a participant in the original generation of the world, and the field itself becomes an opaque set of closed things, instead of a transparent set of radiant markers of archetypal origins.

Then I plaster over the perceptual field the concepts and elaborate belief-systems that derive from the cultural use of language. I embed these concepts and belief-systems so deeply into the very act of perceiving that they totally obscure the meaning of the field per se, that is, as a set of markers of the powers of creation. Thus selective inattention is sustained by the distracted use of language and conceptualisation. When combined with identification, the guardian has converted a central throng of markers of the great unknown into a debased and banal coinage for exchange with other alienated souls.

But there is no avoiding the call of the unknown, for the general concepts and conceptual systems that come with the use of language are the most obvious and unavoidable markers of all. Concepts spawn their polar counterparts, so concepts that classify the limited and familiar immediately generate their polar terms, which are the great abstract markers of any language. The concept of the limited yields the concept of the unlimited, and so it goes from known to unknown, consciousness to unconsciousness, familiar to unfamiliar. Concepts designate classes, and classes of classess, and classes of classes of classes, and we are launched into handling infinite sets and theories of infinity – which are used to redefine the parameters of the finite. Terms like ‘all’, ‘everything’ are, as markers, latent and limitless cornucopiae. And so it goes on.

In our personal psychology, when we repress into unconsciousness painful trauma of the past, we set up markers of the repressed material by symbolically re-enacting it in our current adult behaviour. In short, just about wherever we look within the field of consciousness its contents are constituted by markers of the contents of unconsciousness. The invitation to self-transfiguration is compendious.


In The Flying Muse on November 27, 2010 at 1:29 pm

‘Horrific’ Cornwall paedophile ring guilty of abuse of girls as young as 5 |

New insights into the moon’s rich geologic complexity

In The Flying Muse on November 27, 2010 at 1:22 pm

New insights into the moon’s rich geologic complexity.

In Media Dailies, The Flying Muse on November 27, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Brazilian Police Restore Law & Order

In The Flying Muse on November 27, 2010 at 3:39 am

Drug gangs flee Rio favela after crackdown Published: 11:18 GMT, 26/11/2010 Hundreds of gang members have been filmed fleeing from a Rio shantytown after police invaded the slum. Elite police units in borrowed navy tanks rumbled through a heavily fortified favela in the Brazilian city in an effort to apprehend drug gang leaders blamed for five days of widespread violence, as scores of armed youths fled to a neighbouring area. Authorities said the gangs had erected roadblocks on major highways to rob motorists en masse, torched more than 40 cars and buses, and fired at police outposts – all to protest against a security programme that has been pushing them from the favelas where they’ve held sway for decades. The officers arrived in the Vila Cruzeiro shantytown under the cover of police helicopters and amid the rattle of high-calibre gunfire despite the gang members’ efforts to block access with burning vehicles. As police entered, alleged gang members were seen fleeing down jungle-covered hills, across an area known as “the green hell,” to a neighbouring gang stronghold, Alemao. At least 30 people have died, many believed to be suspected drug gang members, and more than 150 suspects arrested in police raids at nearly 30 shantytowns in the northern and western parts of Rio. Authorities also have established 13 permanent police posts in the favelas as part of their efforts to clean up the seaside city before it hosts the World Cup football final in 2014 and the 2016 Olympics. Police have not released the identities of all those killed, but spokesman Henrique de Lima Castro Saraiva did acknowledge on Wednesday that “bystanders would be affected” by the battles. © Independent Television News Limited 2010. All rights reserved.


In The Flying Muse on November 26, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Vatican bust of Caesar Vatican bust of Caesar, side

102/100 BCE: Gaius Julius Caesar was born (by Caesarean section according to an unlikely legend) of Aurelia and Gaius Julius Caesar, a praetor. His family had noble, patrician roots, although they were neither rich nor influential in this period. His aunt Julia was the wife of Gaius Marius, leader of the Popular faction.

c. 85 BCE: His father died, and a few years later he was betrothed and possibly married to a wealthy young woman, Cossutia. This betrothal/marriage was soon broken off, and at age 18 he married Cornelia, the daughter of a prominent member of the Popular faction; she later bore him his only legitimate child, a daughter, Julia. When the Optimate dictator, Sulla, was in power, he ordered Caesar to divorce her; when Caesar refused, Sulla proscribed him (listed him among those to be executed), and Caesar went into hiding. Caesar’s influential friends and relatives eventually got him a pardon.

c. 79 BCE: Caesar, on the staff of a military legate, was awarded the civic crown (oak leaves) for saving the life of a citizen in battle. His general sent him on an embassy to Nicomedes, the king of Bithynia, to obtain a fleet of ships; Caesar was successful, but subsequently he became the butt of gossip that he had persuaded the king (a homosexual) only by agreeing to sleep with him. When Sulla died in 78, Caesar returned to Rome and began a career as a orator/lawyer (throughout his life he was known as an eloquent speaker) and a life as an elegant man-about-town.

75 BCE: While sailing to Greece for further study, Caesar was kidnaped by Cilician pirates and held for ransom. When informed that they intended to ask for 20 talents, he is supposed to have insisted that he was worth at least 50. He maintained a friendly, joking relationship with the pirates while the money was being raised, but warned them that he would track them down and have them crucified after he was released. He did just that, with the help of volunteers, as a warning to other pirates, but he first cut their throats to lessen their suffering because they had treated him well.

72 BCE: Caesar was elected military tribune. (Note that Pompey and Crassus were the consuls for 70 BCE.)

69 BCE: He spoke at the funerals of both his aunt, Julia, and his wife, Cornelia. On both occasions, he emphasized his connections with Marius and the ancient nobility of his family, descended from the first kings on his mother’s side and from the gods on his father’s (revealing a notable talent for self-dramatization and a conception that there was something exceptional about him).

68/67 BCE: Caesar was elected quaestor and obtained a seat in the Senate; he married Pompeia, a granddaughter of Sulla. Caesar supported Gnaeus Pompey and helped him get an extraordinary generalship against the Mediterranean pirates, later extended to command of the war against King Mithridates in Asia Minor.

bust of Caesar

65 BCE: He was elected curule aedile and spent lavishly on games to win popular favor; large loans from Crassus made these expenditures possible. There were rumors that Caesar was having an affair with Gnaeus Pompey’s wife, Mucia, as well as with the wives of other prominent men.

63 BCE: Caesar spent heavily in a successful effort to get elected pontifex maximus (chief priest); in 62 he was elected praetor. He divorced Pompeia because of her involvement in a scandal with another man, although the man had been acquitted in the law courts; Caesar is reported to have said, “The wife of Caesar must be above suspicion,” suggesting that he was so exceptional that anyone associated with him had to be free of any hint of scandal. In 61 he was sent to the province of Further Spain as propraetor.

60 BCE: He returned from Spain and joined with Pompey and Crassus in a loose coalition called by modern historians “The First Triumvirate” and by his enemies at the time “the three-headed monster.” In 62, Pompey had returned victorious from Asia, but had been unable to get the Senate to ratify his arrangements and to grant land to his veteran soldiers because he had disbanded his army on his return and Crassus was blocking his efforts. Caesar persuaded the two men to work together and promised to support their interests if they helped him get elected to the consulship.

59 BCE: Caesar was elected consul against heavy Optimate opposition led by Marcus Porcius Cato, a shrewd and extremely conservative politician. Caesar married his only daughter, Julia, to Pompey to consolidate their alliance; he himself married Calpurnia, the daughter of a leading member of the Popular faction. Caesar pushed Pompey’s measures through, helped Crassus’ proposals, and got for himself a five-year term as proconsul of Gaul after his consulship was over. However, he used some strong-arm methods in the Assembly and completely cowed his Optimate colleague in the consulship, Bibulus, so that jokers referred to the year as “the consulship of Julius and Caesar” (instead of “the consulship of Caesar and Bibulus”). Caesar was safe from prosecution for such actions as long as he held office, but once he became a private citizen again he could be prosecuted by his enemies in the Senate.

58 BCE: Caesar left Rome for Gaul; he would not return for 9 years, in the course of which he would conquer most of what is now central Europe, opening up these lands to Mediterranean civilization—a decisive act in world history. However, much of the conquest was an act of aggression prompted by personal ambition (not unlike the conquests of Alexander the Great). Fighting in the summers, he would return to Cisalpine Gaul (northern Italy) in the winters and manipulate Roman politics through his supporters (see this map of Caesar’s Gallic campaigns).

56 BCE: Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus met in Caesar’s province to renew their coalition, since Pompey had been increasingly moving toward the Optimate faction. Pompey and Crassus were to be consuls again, and Caesar’s command in Gaul was extended until 49 BCE.

bust of Caesar

54 BCE: Caesar led a three-month expedition to Britain (the was the first Roman crossing of the English Channel), but he did not establish a permanent base there. Meanwhile, Caesar’s coalition with Pompey was increasingly strained, especially after Julia died in childbirth in 54. In the following year, Crassus received command of the armies of the East but was defeated and killed by the Parthians.

52 BCE: Rioting in Rome led to Pompey’s extra-legal election as “consul without a colleague.” Without Julia and Crassus, there was little to bond Caesar and Pompey together, and Pompey moved to the Optimate faction, since he had always been eager for the favor of the aristocrats.

51 BCE: The conquest of Gaul effectively completed, Caesar set up an efficient provincial administration to govern the vast territories; he published his history The Gallic Wars. The Optimates in Rome attempted to cut short Caesar’s term as governor of Gaul and made it clear that he would be immediately prosecuted if he returned to Rome as a private citizen (Caesar wanted to run for the consulship in absentia so that he could not be prosecuted). Pompey and Caesar were maneuvered into a public split; neither could yield to the other without a loss of honor, dignity, and power.

49 BCE: Caesar tried to maintain his position legally, but when he was pushed to the limit he led his armies across the Rubicon River (the border of his province), which was automatic civil war. Pompey’s legions were in Spain, so he and the Senate retreated to Brundisium and from there sailed to the East. Caesar quickly advanced to Rome, set up a rump Senate and had himself declared dictator. Throughout his campaign, Caesar practiced—and widely publicized—his policy of clemency (he would put no one to death and confiscate no property). In a bold, unexpected move, Caesar led his legions to Spain, to prevent Pompey’s forces from joining him in the East; he allegedly declared, “I am off to meet an army without a leader; when I return, I shall meet a leader without an army.” After a remarkably short campaign, he returned to Rome and was elected consul, thus (relatively) legalizing his position.

48 BCE: Pompey and the Optimate faction had established a strong position in Greece by this time, and Caesar, in Brundisium, did not have sufficient ships to transport all his legions. He crossed with only about 20,000 men, leaving his chief legate, Mark Antony, in Brundisium to try to bring across the rest of the soldiers. After some rather desperate situations for Caesar, the rest of his forces finally landed, though they were greatly outnumbered by Pompey’s men. In the final battle, on the plains of Pharsalus, it is estimated that Pompey had 46,000 men to Caesar’s 21,000. By brilliant generalship, Caesar was victorious, though the toll was great on both sides; Caesar pardoned all Roman citizens who were captured, including Brutus, but Pompey escaped, fleeing to Egypt.

October 2, 48 BCE: Caesar, with no more than 4,000 legionaries, landed in Alexandria; he was presented, to his professed horror, with the head of Pompey, who had been betrayed by the Egyptians. Caesar demanded that the Egyptians pay him the 40 million sesterces he was owed because of his military support some years earlier for the previous ruler, Ptolemy XII (“The Flute Player”), who had put down a revolt against his rule with Caesar’s help. After Ptolemy XII’s death, the throne had passed to his oldest children, Cleopatra VII and Ptolemy XIII, as joint heirs. When Caesar landed, the eunuch Pothinus and the Egyptian general Achillas, acting on behalf of Ptolemy XIII (at this time about 12 years old), had recently driven Cleopatra (at this time about 20-21 years old) out of Alexandria. Cleopatra had herself smuggled into the palace in Alexandria wrapped in a rug (purportedly a gift for Caesar) and enlisted his help in her struggle to control the Egyptian throne. Like all the Ptolemies, Cleopatra was of Macedonian Greek descent; she was highly intelligent and well-educated. Caesar saw her as a useful ally as well as a captivating female, and he supported her right to the throne. Through the treachery of Pothinus and the hostility of the Egyptian people to the Romans, Achillas and an army of 20,000 besieged the palace. Caesar managed to hold the palace itself and the harbor; he had Pothinus executed as a traitor but allowed the young Ptolemy to join the army of Achillas. When he ordered the Egyptian fleet burnt, the great Library of Alexandria was accidently consumed in the flames.

drawing of Caesar with general's cloak
drawing of Caesar with general’s cloak; see also this statue

February, 47 BCE: After some months under siege, Caesar tried unsuccessfully to capture Pharos, a great lighthouse on an island in the harbor; at one point when cut off from his men he had to jump in the water and swim to safety. Plutarch says that he swam with one hand, using the other to hold some important papers above the water; Suetonius adds that he also towed his purple general’s cloak by holding it in his teeth so that it would not be captured by the Egyptians.

March, 47 BCE: Caesar had sent for reinforcements, two Roman legions and the army of an ally, King Mithridates; when they arrived outside Alexandria he marched out to join them and on March 26 defeated the Egyptian army (Ptolemy XIII died in this battle). Although he had been trapped in the palace for nearly six months and had been unable to exert a major influence on the conduct of the civil war, which was going rather badly without him, Caesar nevertheless remained in Egypt until June, even cruising on the Nile with Cleopatra to the southern boundary of her kingdom.

June 23, 47 BCE: Caesar left Alexandria, having established Cleopatra as a client ruler in alliance with Rome; he left three legions under the command of Rufio, as legate, in support of her rule. Either immediately before or soon after he left Egypt, Cleopatra bore a son, whom she named Caesarion, claiming that he was the son of Caesar.

August, 47 BCE: After leaving Alexandria, Caesar swept through Asia Minor to settle the disturbances there. On August 1, he met and immediately overcame Pharnaces, a rebellious king; he later publicized the rapidity of this victory with the slogan veni, vidi, vici (“I came, I saw, I overcame”).

October, 47 BCE: Caesar arrived back in Rome and settled the problems caused by the mismanagement of Antony. When he attempted to sail for Africa to face the Optimates (who had regrouped under Cato and allied with King Juba of Numidia), his legions mutinied and refused to sail. In a brilliant speech, Caesar brought them around totally, and after some difficult battles decisively defeated the Optimates at Thapsus, after which Cato committed suicide rather than be pardoned by Caesar.

coin of Caesar
coin issued by Caesar depicting military trophy

July 25, 46 BCE: The victorious and now unchallenged Caesar arrived back in Rome and celebrated four splendid triumphs (over the Gauls, Egyptians, Pharnaces, and Juba); he sent for Cleopatra and the year-old Caesarion and established them in a luxurious villa across the Tiber from Rome. In a letter at this time he listed his political aims as “tranquility for Italy, peace for the provinces, and security for the Empire.” His program for accomplishing these goals—both what he actually achieved and what he planned but did not have time to complete—was sound and farsighted (e.g., resolution of the worst of the debt crisis, resettlement of veterans abroad without dispossessing others, reform of the Roman calendar, regulation of the grain dole, strengthening of the middle class, enlargement of the Senate to 900), but his methods alienated many of the nobles. Holding the position of dictator, Caesar governed autocratically, more in the manner of a general than a politician. Although he nominally used the political structure, he often simply announced his decisions to the Senate and had them entered on the record as senatorial decrees without debate or vote.

April, 45 BCE: The two sons of Pompey, Gnaeus and Sextus, led a revolt in Spain; since Caesar’s legates were unable to quell the revolt, Caesar had to go himself, winning a decisive but difficult victory at Munda. Gnaeus Pompey was killed in the battle, but Sextus escaped to become, later, the leader of the Mediterranean pirates.

October, 45 BCE: Caesar, back in Rome, celebrated a triumph over Gnaeus Pompey, arousing discontent because triumphs were reserved for foreign enemies. By this time Caesar was virtually appointing all major magistrates; for example, when the consul for 45 died on the morning of his last day of office, Caesar appointed a new consul to serve out the term—from 1:00 p.m. to sundown! Caesar was also borrowing some of the customs of the ruler cults of the eastern Hellenistic monarchies; for example, he issued coins with his likeness (note how the portrait on this coin, celebrating his fourth dictatorship, emphasizes his age) and allowed his statues, especially in the provinces, to be adorned like the statues of the gods. Furthermore, the Senate was constantly voting him new honors—the right to wear the laurel wreath and purple and gold toga and sit in a gilded chair at all public functions, inscriptions such as “to the unconquerable god,” etc. When two tribunes, Gaius Marullus and Lucius Flavius, opposed these measures, Caesar had them removed from office and from the Senate.

February, 44 BCE: Caesar was named dictator perpetuus. On February 15, at the feast of Lupercalia, Caesar wore his purple garb for the first time in public. At the public festival, Antony offered him a diadem (symbol of the Hellenistic monarchs), but Caesar refused it, saying Jupiter alone is king of the Romans (possibly because he saw the people did not want him to accept the diadem, or possibly because he wanted to end once and for all the speculation that he was trying to become a king). Caesar was preparing to lead a military campaign against the Parthians, who had treacherously killed Crassus and taken the legionary eagles; he was due to leave on March 18. Although Caesar was apparently warned of some personal danger, he nevertheless refused a bodyguard.

March 15, 44 BCE: Caesar attended the last meeting of the Senate before his departure, held at its temporary quarters in the portico of the theater built by Pompey the Great (the Curia, located in the Forum and the regular meeting house of the Senate, had been badly burned and was being rebuilt). The sixty conspirators, led by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus, Decimus Brutus Albinus, and Gaius Trebonius, came to the meeting with daggers concealed in their togas and struck Caesar at least 23 times as he stood at the base of Pompey’s statue. Legend has it that Caesar said in Greek to Brutus, “You, too, my child?” After his death, all the senators fled, and three slaves carried his body home to Calpurnia several hours later. For several days there was a political vacuum, for the conspirators apparently had no long-range plan and, in a major blunder, did not immediately kill Mark Antony (apparently by the decision of Brutus). The conspirators had only a band of gladiators to back them up, while Antony had a whole legion, the keys to Caesar’s money boxes, and Caesar’s will. Click here for some assessments of Caesar by modern historians.

possible head of Caesar
first century BCE portrait bust with features resembling Caesar’s, found in Ancient Thera

Julius Caesar

Dr. Carl Jung: Psyche

In The Flying Muse on November 24, 2010 at 12:06 am



1875 – 1961

Dr. C. George Boeree

Anyone who wants to know the human psyche will learn next to nothing from experimental psychology.  He would be better advised to abandon exact science, put away his scholar’s gown, bid farewell to his study, and wander with human heart throught the world.  There in the horrors of prisons, lunatic asylums and hospitals, in drab suburban pubs, in brothels and gambling-hells, in the salons of the elegant, the Stock Exchanges, socialist meetings, churches, revivalist gatherings and ecstatic sects, through love and hate, through the experience of passion in every form in his own body, he would reap richer stores of knowledge than text-books a foot thick could give him, and he will know how to doctor the sick with a real knowledge of the human soul. — Carl Jung

Freud said that the goal of therapy was to make the unconscious conscious. He certainly made that the goal of his work as a theorist. And yet he makes the unconscious sound very unpleasant, to say the least: It is a cauldron of seething desires, a bottomless pit of perverse and incestuous cravings, a burial ground for frightening experiences which nevertheless come back to haunt us. Frankly, it doesn’t sound like anything I’d like to make conscious!

A younger colleague of his, Carl Jung, was to make the exploration of this “inner space” his life’s work. He went equipped with a background in Freudian theory, of course, and with an apparently inexhaustible knowledge of mythology, religion, and philosophy. Jung was especially knowledgeable in the symbolism of complex mystical traditions such as Gnosticism, Alchemy, Kabala, and similar traditions in Hinduism and Buddhism. If anyone could make sense of the unconscious and its habit of revealing itself only in symbolic form, it would be Carl Jung.

He had, in addition, a capacity for very lucid dreaming and occasional visions. In the fall of 1913, he had a vision of a “monstrous flood” engulfing most of Europe and lapping at the mountains of his native Switzerland. He saw thousands of people drowning and civilization crumbling. Then, the waters turned into blood. This vision was followed, in the next few weeks, by dreams of eternal winters and rivers of blood. He was afraid that he was becoming psychotic.

But on August 1 of that year, World War I began. Jung felt that there had been a connection, somehow, between himself as an individual and humanity in general that could not be explained away. From then until 1928, he was to go through a rather painful process of self-exploration that formed the basis of all of his later theorizing.

He carefully recorded his dreams, fantasies, and visions, and drew, painted, and sculpted them as well. He found that his experiences tended to form themselves into persons, beginning with a wise old man and his companion, a little girl. The wise old man evolved, over a number of dreams, into a sort of spiritual guru. The little girl became “anima,” the feminine soul, who served as his main medium of communication with the deeper aspects of his unconscious.

A leathery brown dwarf would show up guarding the entrance to the unconscious. He was “the shadow,” a primitive companion for Jung’s ego. Jung dreamt that he and the dwarf killed a beautiful blond youth, whom he called Siegfried. For Jung, this represented a warning about the dangers of the worship of glory and heroism which would soon cause so much sorrow all over Europe — and a warning about the dangers of some of his own tendencies towards hero-worship, of Sigmund Freud!

Jung dreamt a great deal about the dead, the land of the dead, and the rising of the dead. These represented the unconscious itself — not the “little” personal unconscious that Freud made such a big deal out of, but a new collective unconscious of humanity itself, an unconscious that could contain all the dead, not just our personal ghosts. Jung began to see the mentally ill as people who are haunted by these ghosts, in an age where no-one is supposed to even believe in them. If we could only recapture our mythologies, we would understand these ghosts, become comfortable with the dead, and heal our mental illnesses.

Critics have suggested that Jung was, very simply, ill himself when all this happened. But Jung felt that, if you want to understand the jungle, you can’t be content just to sail back and forth near the shore. You’ve got to get into it, no matter how strange and frightening it might seem.


Carl Gustav Jung was born July 26, 1875, in the small Swiss village of Kessewil. His father was Paul Jung, a country parson, and his mother was Emilie Preiswerk Jung. He was surrounded by a fairly well educated extended family, including quite a few clergymen and some eccentrics as well.

The elder Jung started Carl on Latin when he was six years old, beginning a long interest in language and literature — especially ancient literature. Besides most modern western European languages, Jung could read several ancient ones, including Sanskrit, the language of the original Hindu holy books.

Carl was a rather solitary adolescent, who didn’t care much for school, and especially couldn’t take competition. He went to boarding school in Basel, Switzerland, where he found himself the object of a lot of jealous harassment. He began to use sickness as an excuse, developing an embarrassing tendency to faint under pressure.

Although his first career choice was archeology, he went on to study medicine at the University of Basel. While working under the famous neurologist Krafft-Ebing, he settled on psychiatry as his career.

After graduating, he took a position at the Burghoeltzli Mental Hospital in Zurich under Eugene Bleuler, an expert on (and the namer of) schizophrenia. In 1903, he married Emma Rauschenbach. He also taught classes at the University of Zurich, had a private practice, and invented word association at this time!

Long an admirer of Freud, he met him in Vienna in 1907. The story goes that after they met, Freud canceled all his appointments for the day, and they talked for 13 hours straight, such was the impact of the meeting of these two great minds! Freud eventually came to see Jung as the crown prince of psychoanalysis and his heir apparent.

But Jung had never been entirely sold on Freud’s theory. Their relationship began to cool in 1909, during a trip to America. They were entertaining themselves by analyzing each others’ dreams (more fun, apparently, than shuffleboard), when Freud seemed to show an excess of resistance to Jung’s efforts at analysis. Freud finally said that they’d have to stop because he was afraid he would lose his authority! Jung felt rather insulted.

World War I was a painful period of self-examination for Jung. It was, however, also the beginning of one of the most interesting theories of personality the world has ever seen.

After the war, Jung traveled widely, visiting, for example, tribal people in Africa, America, and India. He retired in 1946, and began to retreat from public attention after his wife died in 1955. He died on June 6, 1961, in Zurich.


Jung’s theory divides the psyche into three parts. The first is the ego,which Jung identifies with the conscious mind. Closely related is the personal unconscious, which includes anything which is not presently conscious, but can be. The personal unconscious is like most people’s understanding of the unconscious in that it includes both memories that are easily brought to mind and those that have been suppressed for some reason. But it does not include the instincts that Freud would have it include.

But then Jung adds the part of the psyche that makes his theory stand out from all others: the collective unconscious. You could call it your “psychic inheritance.” It is the reservoir of our experiences as a species, a kind of knowledge we are all born with. And yet we can never be directly conscious of it. It influences all of our experiences and behaviors, most especially the emotional ones, but we only know about it indirectly, by looking at those influences.

There are some experiences that show the effects of the collective unconscious more clearly than others: The experiences of love at first sight, of deja vu (the feeling that you’ve been here before), and the immediate recognition of certain symbols and the meanings of certain myths, could all be understood as the sudden conjunction of our outer reality and the inner reality of the collective unconscious. Grander examples are the creative experiences shared by artists and musicians all over the world and in all times, or the spiritual experiences of mystics of all religions, or the parallels in dreams, fantasies, mythologies, fairy tales, and literature.

A nice example that has been greatly discussed recently is the near-death experience. It seems that many people, of many different cultural backgrounds, find that they have very similar recollections when they are brought back from a close encounter with death. They speak of leaving their bodies, seeing their bodies and the events surrounding them clearly, of being pulled through a long tunnel towards a bright light, of seeing deceased relatives or religious figures waiting for them, and of their disappointment at having to leave this happy scene to return to their bodies. Perhaps we are all “built” to experience death in this fashion.


The contents of the collective unconscious are called archetypes. Jung also called them dominants, imagos, mythological or primordial images, and a few other names, but archetypes seems to have won out over these. An archetype is an unlearned tendency to experience things in a certain way.

The archetype has no form of its own, but it acts as an “organizing principle” on the things we see or do. It works the way that instincts work in Freud’s theory: At first, the baby just wants something to eat, without knowing what it wants. It has a rather indefinite yearning which, nevertheless, can be satisfied by some things and not by others. Later, with experience, the child begins to yearn for something more specific when it is hungry — a bottle, a cookie, a broiled lobster, a slice of New York style pizza.

The archetype is like a black hole in space: You only know its there by how it draws matter and light to itself.

The mother archetype

The mother archetype is a particularly good example. All of our ancestors had mothers. We have evolved in an environment that included a mother or mother-substitute. We would never have survived without our connection with a nurturing-one during our times as helpless infants. It stands to reason that we are “built” in a way that reflects that evolutionary environment: We come into this world ready to want mother, to seek her, to recognize her, to deal with her.

So the mother archetype is our built-in ability to recognize a certain relationship, that of “mothering.” Jung says that this is rather abstract, and we are likely to project the archetype out into the world and onto a particular person, usually our own mothers. Even when an archetype doesn’t have a particular real person available, we tend to personify the archetype, that is, turn it into a mythological “story-book” character. This character symbolizes the archetype.

The mother archetype is symbolized by the primordial mother or “earth mother” of mythology, by Eve and Mary in western traditions, and by less personal symbols such as the church, the nation, a forest, or the ocean. According to Jung, someone whose own mother failed to satisfy the demands of the archetype may well be one that spends his or her life seeking comfort in the church, or in identification with “the motherland,” or in meditating upon the figure of Mary, or in a life at sea.


You must understand that these archetypes are not really biological things, like Freud’s instincts. They are more spiritual demands. For example, if you dreamt about long things, Freud might suggest these things represent the phallus and ultimately sex. But Jung might have a very different interpretation. Even dreaming quite specifically about a penis might not have much to do with some unfulfilled need for sex.

It is curious that in primitive societies, phallic symbols do not usually refer to sex at all. They usually symbolize mana, or spiritual power. These symbols would be displayed on occasions when the spirits are being called upon to increase the yield of corn, or fish, or to heal someone. The connection between the penis and strength, between semen and seed, between fertilization and fertility are understood by most cultures.

The shadow

Sex and the life instincts in general are, of course, represented somewhere in Jung’s system. They are a part of an archetype called the shadow. It derives from our prehuman, animal past, when our concerns were limited to survival and reproduction, and when we weren’t self-conscious.

It is the “dark side” of the ego, and the evil that we are capable of is often stored there. Actually, the shadow is amoral — neither good nor bad, just like animals. An animal is capable of tender care for its young and vicious killing for food, but it doesn’t choose to do either. It just does what it does. It is “innocent.” But from our human perspective, the animal world looks rather brutal, inhuman, so the shadow becomes something of a garbage can for the parts of ourselves that we can’t quite admit to.

Symbols of the shadow include the snake (as in the garden of Eden), the dragon, monsters, and demons. It often guards the entrance to a cave or a pool of water, which is the collective unconscious. Next time you dream about wrestling with the devil, it may only be yourself you are wrestling with!

The persona

The persona represents your public image. The word is, obviously, related to the word person and personality, and comes from a Latin word for mask. So the persona is the mask you put on before you show yourself to the outside world. Although it begins as an archetype, by the time we are finished realizing it, it is the part of us most distant from the collective unconscious.

At its best, it is just the “good impression” we all wish to present as we fill the roles society requires of us. But, of course, it can also be the “false impression” we use to manipulate people’s opinions and behaviors. And, at its worst, it can be mistaken, even by ourselves, for our true nature: Sometimes we believe we really are what we pretend to be!

Anima and animus

A part of our persona is the role of male or female we must play. For most people that role is determined by their physical gender. But Jung, like Freud and Adler and others, felt that we are all really bisexual in nature. When we begin our lives as fetuses, we have undifferentiated sex organs that only gradually, under the influence of hormones, become male or female. Likewise, when we begin our social lives as infants, we are neither male nor female in the social sense. Almost immediately — as soon as those pink or blue booties go on — we come under the influence of society, which gradually molds us into men and women.

In all societies, the expectations placed on men and women differ, usually based on our different roles in reproduction, but often involving many details that are purely traditional. In our society today, we still have many remnants of these traditional expectations. Women are still expected to be more nurturant and less aggressive; men are still expected to be strong and to ignore the emotional side of life. But Jung felt these expectations meant that we had developed only half of our potential.

The anima is the female aspect present in the collective unconscious of men, and the animus is the male aspect present in the collective unconscious of women. Together, they are refered to as syzygy. The anima may be personified as a young girl, very spontaneous and intuitive, or as a witch, or as the earth mother. It is likely to be associated with deep emotionality and the force of life itself. The animus may be personified as a wise old man, a sorcerer, or often a number of males, and tends to be logical, often rationalistic, even argumentative.

The anima or animus is the archetype through which you communicate with the collective unconscious generally, and it is important to get into touch with it. It is also the archetype that is responsible for much of our love life: We are, as an ancient Greek myth suggests, always looking for our other half, the half that the Gods took from us, in members of the opposite sex. When we fall in love at first sight, then we have found someone that “fills” our anima or animus archetype particularly well!

Other archetypes

Jung said that there is no fixed number of archetypes which we could simply list and memorize. They overlap and easily melt into each other as needed, and their logic is not the usual kind. But here are some he mentions:

Besides mother, their are other family archetypes. Obviously, there is father, who is often symbolized by a guide or an authority figure. There is also the archetype family, which represents the idea of blood relationship and ties that run deeper than those based on conscious reasons.

There is also the child, represented in mythology and art by children, infants most especially, as well as other small creatures. The Christ child celebrated at Christmas is a manifestation of the child archetype, and represents the future, becoming, rebirth, and salvation. Curiously, Christmas falls during the winter solstice, which in northern primitive cultures also represents the future and rebirth. People used to light bonfires and perform ceremonies to encourage the sun’s return to them. The child archetype often blends with other archetypes to form the child-god, or the child-hero.

Many archetypes are story characters. The hero is one of the main ones. He is the mana personality and the defeater of evil dragons. Basically, he represents the ego — we do tend to identify with the hero of the story — and is often engaged in fighting the shadow, in the form of dragons and other monsters. The hero is, however, often dumb as a post. He is, after all, ignorant of the ways of the collective unconscious. Luke Skywalker, in the Star Wars films, is the perfect example of a hero.

The hero is often out to rescue the maiden. She represents purity, innocence, and, in all likelihood, naivete. In the beginning of the Star Wars story, Princess Leia is the maiden. But, as the story progresses, she becomes the anima, discovering the powers of the force — the collective unconscious — and becoming an equal partner with Luke, who turns out to be her brother.

The hero is guided by the wise old man. He is a form of the animus, and reveals to the hero the nature of the collective unconscious. In Star Wars, he is played by Obi Wan Kenobi and, later, Yoda. Notice that they teach Luke about the force and, as Luke matures, they die and become a part of him.

You might be curious as to the archetype represented by Darth Vader, the “dark father.” He is the shadow and the master of the dark side of the force. He also turns out to be Luke and Leia’s father. When he dies, he becomes one of the wise old men.

There is also an animal archetype, representing humanity’s relationships with the animal world. The hero’s faithful horse would be an example. Snakes are often symbolic of the animal archetype, and are thought to be particularly wise. Animals, after all, are more in touch with their natures than we are. Perhaps loyal little robots and reliable old spaceships — the Falcon– are also symbols of animal.

And there is the trickster, often represented by a clown or a magician. The trickster’s role is to hamper the hero’s progress and to generally make trouble. In Norse mythology, many of the gods’ adventures originate in some trick or another played on their majesties by the half-god Loki.

There are other archetypes that are a little more difficult to talk about. One is the original man, represented in western religion by Adam. Another is the God archetype, representing our need to comprehend the universe, to give a meaning to all that happens, to see it all as having some purpose and direction.

The hermaphrodite, both male and female, represents the union of opposites, an important idea in Jung’s theory. In some religious art, Jesus is presented as a rather feminine man. Likewise, in China, the character Kuan Yin began as a male saint (the bodhisattva Avalokiteshwara), but was portrayed in such a feminine manner that he is more often thought of as the female goddess of compassion!

The most important archetype of all is the self. The self is the ultimate unity of the personality and issymbolized by the circle, the cross, and the mandala figures that Jung was fond of painting. A mandala is a drawing that is used in meditation because it tends to draw your focus back to the center, and it can be as simple as a geometric figure or as complicated as a stained glass window. The personifications that best represent self are Christ and Buddha, two people who many believe achieved perfection. But Jung felt that perfection of the personality is only truly achieved in death.

The dynamics of the psyche

So much for the content of the psyche. Now let’s turn to the principles of its operation. Jung gives us three principles, beginning with the principle of opposites. Every wish immediately suggests its opposite. If I have a good thought, for example, I cannot help but have in me somewhere the opposite bad thought. In fact, it is a very basic point: In order to have a concept of good, you must have a concept of bad, just like you can’t have up without down or black without white.

This idea came home to me when I was about eleven. I occasionally tried to help poor innocent woodland creatures who had been hurt in some way — often, I’m afraid, killing them in the process. Once I tried to nurse a baby robin back to health. But when I picked it up, I was so struck by how light it was that the thought came to me that I could easily crush it in my hand. Mind you, I didn’t like the idea, but it was undeniably there.

According to Jung, it is the opposition that creates the power (or libido) of the psyche. It is like the two poles of a battery, or the splitting of an atom. It is the contrast that gives energy, so that a strong contrast gives strong energy, and a weak contrast gives weak energy.

The second principle is the principle of equivalence. The energy created from the opposition is “given” to both sides equally. So, when I held that baby bird in my hand, there was energy to go ahead and try to help it. But there is an equal amount of energy to go ahead and crush it. I tried to help the bird, so that energy went into the various behaviors involved in helping it. But what happens to the other energy?

Well, that depends on your attitude towards the wish that you didn’t fulfill. If you acknowledge it, face it, keep it available to the conscious mind, then the energy goes towards a general improvement of your psyche. You grow, in other words.

But if you pretend that you never had that evil wish, if you deny and suppress it, the energy will go towards the development of a complex. A complex is a pattern of suppressed thoughts and feelings that cluster — constellate — around a theme provided by some archetype. If you deny ever having thought about crushing the little bird, you might put that idea into the form offered by the shadow (your “dark side”). Or if a man denies his emotional side, his emotionality might find its way into the anima archetype. And so on.

Here’s where the problem comes: If you pretend all your life that you are only good, that you don’t even have the capacity to lie and cheat and steal and kill, then all the times when you do good, that other side of you goes into a complex around the shadow. That complex will begin to develop a life of its own, and it will haunt you. You might find yourself having nightmares in which you go around stomping on little baby birds!

If it goes on long enough, the complex may take over, may “possess” you, and you might wind up with a multiple personality. In the movie The Three Faces of Eve, Joanne Woodward portrayed a meek, mild woman who eventually discovered that she went out and partied like crazy on Saturday nights. She didn’t smoke, but found cigarettes in her purse, didn’t drink, but woke up with hangovers, didn’t fool around, but found herself in sexy outfits. Although multiple personality is rare, it does tend to involve these kinds of black-and-white extremes.

The final principle is the principle of entropy. This is the tendency for oppositions to come together, and so for energy to decrease, over a person’s lifetime. Jung borrowed the idea from physics, where entropy refers to the tendency of all physical systems to “run down,” that is, for all energy to become evenly distributed. If you have, for example, a heat source in one corner of the room, the whole room will eventually be heated.

When we are young, the opposites will tend to be extreme, and so we tend to have lots of energy. For example, adolescents tend to exaggerate male-female differences, with boys trying hard to be macho and girls trying equally hard to be feminine. And so their sexual activity is invested with great amounts of energy! Plus, adolescents often swing from one extreme to another, being wild and crazy one minute and finding religion the next.

As we get older, most of us come to be more comfortable with our different facets. We are a bit less naively idealistic and recognize that we are all mixtures of good and bad. We are less threatened by the opposite sex within us and become more androgynous. Even physically, in old age, men and women become more alike. This process of rising above our opposites, of seeing both sides of who we are, is called transcendence.

The self

The goal of life is to realize the self. The self is an archetype that represents the transcendence of all opposites, so that every aspect of your personality is expressed equally. You are then neither and both male and female, neither and both ego and shadow, neither and both good and bad, neither and both conscious and unconscious, neither and both an individual and the whole of creation. And yet, with no oppositions, there is no energy, and you cease to act. Of course, you no longer need to act.

To keep it from getting too mystical, think of it as a new center, a more balanced position, for your psyche. When you are young, you focus on the ego and worry about the trivialities of the persona. When you are older (assuming you have been developing as you should), you focus a little deeper, on the self, and become closer to all people, all life, even the universe itself. The self-realized person is actually less selfish.


Personality theorists have argued for many years about whether psychological processes function in terms of mechanism or teleology. Mechanism is the idea that things work in through cause and effect: One thing leads to another which leads to another, and so on, so that the past determines the present. Teleology is the idea that we are lead on by our ideas about a future state, by things like purposes, meanings, values, and so on. Mechanism is linked with determinism and with the natural sciences. Teleology is linked with free will and has become rather rare. It is still common among moral, legal, and religious philosophers, and, of course, among personality theorists.

Among the people discussed in this book, Freudians and behaviorists tend to be mechanists, while the neo-Freudians, humanists, and existentialists tend to be teleologists. Jung believes that both play a part. But he adds a third alternative called synchronicity.

Synchronicity is the occurrence of two events that are not linked causally, nor linked teleologically, yet are meaningfully related. Once, a client was describing a dream involving a scarab beetle when, at that very instant, a very similar beetle flew into the window. Often, people dream about something, like the death of a loved one, and find the next morning that their loved one did, in fact, die at about that time. Sometimes people pick up he phone to call a friend, only to find that their friend is already on the line. Most psychologists would call these things coincidences, or try to show how they are more likely to occur than we think. Jung believed the were indications of how we are connected, with our fellow humans and with nature in general, through the collective unconscious.

Jung was never clear about his own religious beliefs. But this unusual idea of synchronicity is easily explained by the Hindu view of reality. In the Hindu view, our individual egos are like islands in a sea: We look out at the world and each other and think we are separate entities. What we don’t see is that we are connected to each other by means of the ocean floor beneath the waters.

The outer world is called maya, meaning illusion, and is thought of as God’s dream or God’s dance. That is, God creates it, but it has no reality of its own. Our individual egos they call jivatman, which means individual souls. But they, too, are something of an illusion. We are all actually extensions of the one and only Atman, or God, who allows bits of himself to forget his identity, to become apparently separate and independent, to become us. But we never truly are separate. When we die, we wake up and realize who we were from the beginning: God.

When we dream or meditate, we sink into our personal unconscious, coming closer and closer to our true selves, the collective unconscious. It is in states like this that we are especially open to “communications” from other egos. Synchronicity makes Jung’s theory one of the rare ones that is not only compatible with parapsychological phenomena, but actually tries to explain them!

Introversion and extroversion

Jung developed a personality typology that has become so popular that some people don’t realize he did anything else! It begins with the distinction between introversion and extroversion. Introverts are people who prefer their internal world of thoughts, feelings, fantasies, dreams, and so on, while extroverts prefer the external world of things and people and activities.

The words have become confused with ideas like shyness and sociability, partially because introverts tend to be shy and extroverts tend to be sociable. But Jung intended for them to refer more to whether you (“ego”) more often faced toward the persona and outer reality, or toward the collective unconscious and its archetypes. In that sense, the introvert is somewhat more mature than the extrovert. Our culture, of course, values the extrovert much more. And Jung warned that we all tend to value our own type most!

We now find the introvert-extravert dimension in several theories, notably Hans Eysenck’s, although often hidden under alternative names such as “sociability” and “surgency.”

The functions

Whether we are introverts or extroverts, we need to deal with the world, inner and outer. And each of us has our preferred ways of dealing with it, ways we are comfortable with and good at. Jung suggests there are four basic ways, or functions:

The first is sensing. Sensing means what it says: getting information by means of the senses. A sensing person is good at looking and listening and generally getting to know the world. Jung called this one of the irrational functions, meaning that it involved perception rather than judging of information.

The second is thinking. Thinking means evaluating information or ideas rationally, logically. Jung called this a rational function, meaning that it involves decision making or judging, rather than simple intake of information.

The third is intuiting. Intuiting is a kind of perception that works outside of the usual conscious processes. It is irrational or perceptual, like sensing, but comes from the complex integration of large amounts of information, rather than simple seeing or hearing. Jung said it was like seeing around corners.

The fourth is feeling. Feeling, like thinking, is a matter of evaluating information, this time by weighing one’s overall, emotional response. Jung calls it rational, obviously not in the usual sense of the word.

We all have these functions. We just have them in different proportions, you might say. Each of us has a superior function, which we prefer and which is best developed in us, a secondary function, which we are aware of and use in support of our superior function, a tertiary function, which is only slightly less developed but not terribly conscious, and an inferior function, which is poorly developed and so unconscious that we might deny its existence in ourselves.

Most of us develop only one or two of the functions, but our goal should be to develop all four. Once again, Jung sees the transcendence of opposites as the ideal.


Katharine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers found Jung’s types and functions so revealing of people’s personalities that they decided to develop a paper-and-pencil test. It came to be called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and is one of the most popular, and most studied, tests around.

On the basis of your answers on about 125 questions, you are placed in one of sixteen types, with the understanding that some people might find themselves somewhere between two or three types. What type you are says quite a bit about you — your likes and dislikes, your likely career choices, your compatibility with others, and so on. People tend to like it quite a bit. It has the unusual quality among personality tests of not being too judgmental: None of the types is terribly negative, nor are any overly positive. Rather than assessing how “crazy” you are, the “Myers-Briggs” simply opens up your personality for exploration.

The test has four scales. Extroversion – Introversion (E-I) is the most important. Test researchers have found that about 75 % of the population is extroverted.

The next one is Sensing – Intuiting (S-N), with about 75 % of the population sensing.

The next is Thinking – Feeling (T-F). Although these are distributed evenly through the population, researchers have found that two-thirds of men are thinkers, while two-thirds of women are feelers. This might seem like stereotyping, but keep in mind that feeling and thinking are both valued equally by Jungians, and that one-third of men are feelers and one-third of women are thinkers. Note, though, that society does value thinking and feeling differently, and that feeling men and thinking women often have difficulties dealing with people’s stereotyped expectations.

The last is Judging – Perceiving (J-P), not one of Jung’s original dimensions. Myers and Briggs included this one in order to help determine which of a person’s functions is superior. Generally, judging people are more careful, perhaps inhibited, in their lives. Perceiving people tend to be more spontaneous, sometimes careless. If you are an extrovert and a “J,” you are a thinker or feeler, whichever is stronger. Extroverted and “P” means you are a senser or intuiter. On the other hand, an introvert with a high “J” score will be a senser or intuiter, while an introvert with a high “P” score will be a thinker or feeler. J and P are equally distributed in the population.

Each type is identified by four letters, such as ENFJ. These have proven so popular, you can even find them on people’s license plates!

ENFJ (Extroverted feeling with intuiting): These people are easy speakers. They tend to idealize their friends. They make good parents, but have a tendency to allow themselves to be used. They make good therapists, teachers, executives, and salespeople.

ENFP (Extroverted intuiting with feeling): These people love novelty and surprises. They are big on emotions and expression. They are susceptible to muscle tension and tend to be hyperalert. they tend to feel self-conscious. They are good at sales, advertising, politics, and acting.

ENTJ (Extroverted thinking with intuiting): In charge at home, they expect a lot from spouses and kids. They like organization and structure and tend to make good executives and administrators.

ENTP (Extroverted intuiting with thinking): These are lively people, not humdrum or orderly. As mates, they are a little dangerous, especially economically. They are good at analysis and make good entrepreneurs. They do tend to play at oneupmanship.

ESFJ (Extroverted feeling with sensing): These people like harmony. They tend to have strong shoulds and should-nots. They may be dependent, first on parents and later on spouses. They wear their hearts on their sleeves and excel in service occupations involving personal contact.

ESFP (Extroverted sensing with feeling): Very generous and impulsive, they have a low tolerance for anxiety. They make good performers, they like public relations, and they love the phone. They should avoid scholarly pursuits, especially science.

ESTJ (Extroverted thinking with sensing): These are responsible mates and parents and are loyal to the workplace. They are realistic, down-to-earth, orderly, and love tradition. They often find themselves joining civic clubs!

ESTP (Extroverted sensing with thinking): These are action-oriented people, often sophisticated, sometimes ruthless — our “James Bonds.” As mates, they are exciting and charming, but they have trouble with commitment. They make good promoters, entrepreneurs, and con artists.

INFJ (Introverted intuiting with feeling): These are serious students and workers who really want to contribute. They are private and easily hurt. They make good spouses, but tend to be physically reserved. People often think they are psychic. They make good therapists, general practitioners, ministers, and so on.

INFP (Introverted feeling with intuiting): These people are idealistic, self-sacrificing, and somewhat cool or reserved. They are very family and home oriented, but don’t relax well. You find them in psychology, architecture, and religion, but never in business.

INTJ (Introverted intuiting with thinking): These are the most independent of all types. They love logic and ideas and are drawn to scientific research. They can be rather single-minded, though.

INTP (Introverted thinking with intuiting): Faithful, preoccupied, and forgetful, these are the bookworms. They tend to be very precise in their use of language. They are good at logic and math and make good philosophers and theoretical scientists, but not writers or salespeople.

ISFJ (Introverted sensing with feeling): These people are service and work oriented. They may suffer from fatigue and tend to be attracted to troublemakers. They are good nurses, teachers, secretaries, general practitioners, librarians, middle managers, and housekeepers.

ISFP (Introverted feeling with sensing): They are shy and retiring, are not talkative, but like sensuous action. They like painting, drawing, sculpting, composing, dancing — the arts generally — and they like nature. They are not big on commitment.

ISTJ (Introverted sensing with thinking): These are dependable pillars of strength. They often try to reform their mates and other people. They make good bank examiners, auditors, accountants, tax examiners, supervisors in libraries and hospitals, business, home ec., and phys. ed. teachers, and boy or girl scouts!

ISTP (Introverted thinking with sensing): These people are action-oriented and fearless, and crave excitement. They are impulsive and dangerous to stop. They often like tools, instruments, and weapons, and often become technical experts. They are not interested in communications and are often incorrectly diagnosed as dyslexic or hyperactive. They tend to do badly in school.

Even without taking the test, you may very well recognize yourself in one or two of these types. Or ask others — they may be more accurate!   But, if you like, you can take my Jungian personality test on the internet:  Just click here!


Quite a few people find that Jung has a great deal to say to them. They include writers, artists, musicians, film makers, theologians, clergy of all denominations, students of mythology, and, of course, some psychologists. Examples that come to mind are the mythologist Joseph Campbell, the film maker George Lucas, and the science fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin. Anyone interested in creativity, spirituality, psychic phenomena, the universal, and so on will find in Jung a kindred spirit.

But scientists, including most psychologists, have a lot of trouble with Jung. Not only does he fully support the teleological view (as do most personality theorists), but he goes a step further and talks about the mystical interconnectedness of synchronicity. Not only does he postulate an unconscious, where things are not easily available to the empirical eye, but he postulates a collective unconscious that never has been and never will be conscious.

In fact, Jung takes an approach that is essentially the reverse of the mainstream’s reductionism: Jung begins with the highest levels — even spiritualism — and derives the lower levels of psychology and physiology from them.

Even psychologists who applaud his teleology and antireductionist position may not be comfortable with him. Like Freud, Jung tries to bring everything into his system. He has little room for chance, accident, or circumstances. Personality — and life in general — seems “over-explained” in Jung’s theory.

I have found that his theory sometimes attracts students who have difficulty dealing with reality. When the world, especially the social world, becomes too difficult, some people retreat into fantasy. Some, for example, become couch potatoes. But others turn to complex ideologies that pretend to explain everything. Some get involved in Gnostic or Tantric religions, the kind that present intricate rosters of angels and demons and heavens and hells, and endlessly discuss symbols. Some go to Jung. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with this; but for someone who is out of touch with reality, this is hardly going to help.

These criticisms do not cut the foundation out from under Jung’s theory. But they do suggest that some careful consideration is in order.

The positive things

On the plus side, there is the Myers-Briggs and other tests based on Jung’s types and functions. Because they do not place people on dimensions that run from “good” to “bad,” they are much less threatening. They encourage people to become more aware of themselves.

The archetypes, at first glance, might seem to be Jung’s strangest idea. And yet they have proven to be very useful in the analysis of myths, fairy tales, literature in general, artistic symbolism, and religious exposition. They apparently capture some of the basic “units” of our self-expression. Many people have suggested that there are only so many stories and characters in the world, and we just keep on rearranging the details.

This suggests that the archetypes actually do refer to some deep structures of the human mind. After all, from the physiological perspective, we come into his world with a certain structure: We see in a certain way, hear in a certain way, “process information” in a certain way, behave in a certain way, because our neurons and glands and muscles are structured in a certain way. At least one cognitive psychologist has suggested looking for the structures that correspond to Jung’s archetypes!

Finally, Jung has opened our eyes to the differences between child development and adult development. Children clearly emphasize differentiation — separating one thing from another — in their learning. “What’s this?” ” Why is it this way and not that?” “What kinds are there?” They actively seek diversity. And many people, psychologists included, have been so impressed by this that they have assumed that all learning is a matter of differentiation, of learning more and more “things.”

But Jung has pointed out that adults search more for integration, for the transcending of opposites. Adults search for the connections between things, how things fit together, how they interact, how they contribute to the whole. We want to make sense of it, find the meaning of it, the purpose of it all. Children unravel the world; adults try to knit it back together.


On the one hand, Jung is still attached to his Freudian roots. He emphasizes the unconscious even more than Freudians do. In fact, he might be seen as the logical extension of Freud’s tendency to put the causes of things into the past. Freud, too, talked about myths –Oedipus, for example — and how they impact on the modern psyche.

On the other hand, Jung has a lot in common with the neo-Freudians, humanists, and existentialists. He believes that we are meant to progress, to move in a positive direction, and not just to adapt, as the Freudians and behaviorists would have it. His idea of self-realization is clearly similar to self-actualization.

The balancing or transcending of opposites also has counterparts in other theories. Alfred Adler, Otto Rank, Andreas Angyal, David Bakan, Gardner Murphy, and Rollo May all make reference to balancing two opposing tendencies, one towards individual development and the other towards the development of compassion or social interest. Rollo May talks about the psyche being composed of many “daimons” (little gods) such as the desire for sex, or love, or power. All are positive in their place, but should any one take over the whole personality, we would have “daimonic possession,” or mental illness!

Finally, we owe to Jung the broadening of interpretation, whether of symptoms or dreams or free-associations. While Freud developed more-or-less rigid (specifically, sexual) interpretations, Jung allowed for a rather free-wheeling “mythological” interpretation, wherein anything could mean, well, anything. Existential analysis, in particular, has benefited from Jung’s ideas.


Most of Jung’s writings are contained in The Collected Works of Carl G. Jung. I have to warn you that most of his works are not easy going, but they are full of interesting things that make them worth the trouble.

If you are looking for something a little easier, you might try Analytic Psychology: Its Theory and Practice, which is a collection of lectures and is available in paperback. Or read Man and His Symbols, which is available in several editions ranging from large ones with many color pictures to an inexpensive paperback. If you want a smattering of Jung, try a collection of his writings, such as Modern Library’s The Basic Writings of C. C. Jung.

The best book I’ve ever read about Jung, however, is the autobiographical Memories, Dreams, Reflections, written with his student Aniela Jaffé. It makes a good introduction, assuming you’ve read something like the preceding chapter first.

Copyright 1997, 2006  C. George Boeree



The Statesman

In The Flying Muse on November 23, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian philosopher and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. He is one of the main founders of modern political science.[1] He was a diplomat, political philosopher, playwright, and a civil servant of the Florentine Republic. He also wrote comedies, carnival songs, poetry, and some of the most well-known personal correspondence in the Italian language. His position in the regime of Florence as Secretary to the Second Chancery of the Republic of Florence lasted from 1498 to 1512, the period in which the de’ Medici were not in power. The period when most of his well-known writing was done was after this.

Machiavelli is most famous for a short political treatise, The Prince, written in 1513, but not published until 1532, five years after his death. Although he privately circulated The Prince among friends, the only theoretical work to be printed in his lifetime was The Art of War, about military science. Since the sixteenth century, generations of politicians remain attracted and repelled by its apparently neutral acceptance, or even positive encouragement, of the immorality of powerful men, described especially in The Prince but also in his other works. Whatever his intentions, which are still debated today, he has become associated with any proposal where “the end justifies the means“. For example Leo Strauss (1958, p. 297) wrote:

Machiavelli is the only political thinker whose name has come into common use for designating a kind of politics, which exists and will continue to exist independently of his influence, a politics guided exclusively by considerations of expediency, which uses all means, fair or foul, iron or poison, for achieving its ends – its end being the aggrandizement of one’s country or fatherland – but also using the fatherland in the service of the self-aggrandizement of the politician or statesman or one’s party.

His works are sometimes even said to have contributed to the modern negative connotations of the words “politics” and “politician”, and within a few generations, “Old Nick” became an English term for the devil and the adjective Machiavellian became a pejorative term describing someone who aims to deceive and manipulate others for personal advantage. “Machiavellianism” also remains a popular term used in speeches and journalism; while in psychology, it denotes a personality type.

Machiavelli was born in Florence, Italy, the third son of attorney Bernardo di Niccolò Machiavelli, and his wife, Bartolomea di Stefano Nelli. The Machiavelli family are believed to be descended from the old marquesses of Tuscany, and to have produced thirteen Florentine Gonfalonieres of Justice,[3] one of the offices of a group of nine citizens selected by drawing lots every two months, who formed the government, or Signoria. Machiavelli, like many people of Florence, was however not a full citizen of Florence, due to the nature of Florentine citizenship in that time, even under the republican regime.

Machiavelli was born in a tumultuous era—Popes waged acquisitive wars against Italian city-states, and people and cities might fall from power at any time. Along with the Pope and the major cities like Venice and Florence, foreign powers such as France, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire, and even Switzerland battled for regional influence and control. Political-military alliances continually changed, featuring condottieri who changed sides without warning, and short lived governments rising and falling.

Machiavelli was taught grammar, rhetoric and Latin. It is thought that he did not learn Greek, even though Florence was at the time one of the centres of Greek scholarship in Europe. In 1494, Florence restored the republic — expelling the Medici family, who had ruled Florence for some sixty years. In June 1498, shortly after the execution of Savonarola, Machiavelli, at the age of 29, was elected as head of the second chancery. In July 1498, he was also made the secretary of the Dieci di Libertà e Pace. He was in a diplomatic council responsible for negotiation and military affairs, carrying out, between 1499 and 1512, several diplomatic missions, to the court of Louis XII in France; to that of Ferdinand II of Aragón, in Spain; in Germany; and to the Papacy in Rome, in the Italian states. Moreover, from 1502 to 1503, he witnessed the effective state-building methods of Cesare Borgia (1475–1507), son of Pope Alexander VI, who was then enlarging his central Italian territories.

Between 1503 and 1506, Machiavelli was responsible for the Florentine militia, including the City’s defense. He distrusted mercenaries (a distrust he explained in his official reports, and then later in his theoretical works), preferring a politically invested citizen-militia – a philosophy that bore fruit. His command of Florentine citizen-soldiers defeated Pisa in 1509; yet, in August of 1512, the Medici, helped by Pope Julius II, used Spanish troops to defeat the Florentines at Prato. Piero Soderini resigned as Florentine head of state, and left in exile. The Florentine city-state and the Republic were dissolved. Machiavelli was deprived of office in 1512 by the Medici, and, in 1513, was accused of conspiracy, and arrested and imprisoned for a time. Despite torture (“with the rope“, where the prisoner is hanged from his bound wrists, from the back, forcing the arms to bear the body’s weight, thus dislocating the shoulders), he denied involvement and was released; then, retiring to his estate, at Sant’Andrea in Percussina, near Florence, he wrote the political treatises that earned his intellectual place in the development of political philosophy and political conduct.He also maintained a well-known correspondence with better politically connected friends, attempting to become involved once again in political life.

Machiavelli’s cenotaph in the Santa Croce Church in Florence

In a letter to Francesco Vettori, he described his exile:

When evening comes, I return home and go to my study. On the threshold, I strip naked, taking off my muddy, sweaty work day clothes, and put on the robes of court and palace, and, in this graver dress, I enter the courts of the ancients, and am welcomed by them, and there I taste the food that alone is mine, and for which I was born. And there I make bold to speak to them and ask the motives of their actions, and they, in their humanity, reply to me. And for the space of four hours I forget the world, remember no vexation, fear poverty no more, tremble no more at death; I pass indeed into their world.


In The Flying Muse on November 18, 2010 at 3:41 am

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS November 19, 2010, 11:09AM

Cardinals talk religious freedom amid China flap



The world’s cardinals met Friday in a rare Vatican summit to discuss the most pressing issues facing the church, including the sex abuse scandal, religious freedom and the conversion of Anglicans to Catholicism.

Pope Benedict XVI summoned the cardinals for a day of reflection before a ceremony Saturday to create 24 new cardinals, who ultimately will choose his successor.

For the daylong meeting, Benedict chose agenda items that were particularly timely, taking advantage of the presence in Rome of his top advisers to brief them on issues of concern and solicit their input.

The issues include clerical sex abuse, religious liberties, relations with other Christians, and the Vatican’s invitation to Anglicans to convert en mass to Catholicism.

The Vatican last year made it easier for Anglicans to convert by allowing them to retain some of their liturgical practices and heritage. The Vatican official in charge of the conversion process, Cardinal William Levada, was to brief his fellow cardinals on the process Friday afternoon.

As the cardinals were meeting, the church in Britain announced that about 50 Church of England priests had expressed interest in joining five of their bishops in converting to Roman Catholicism.

Levada, who heads the Vatican’s powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was also to brief the cardinals on the latest developments in the sex abuse crisis Friday afternoon.

The scandal erupted anew earlier this year with reports of thousands of new victims in Europe and elsewhere coming forward. A small number of victims staged a protest Friday to coincide with the meeting.

Vatican officials stressed they didn’t expect any changes to emerge from the limited discussions.

The cardinals spent most of the morning session discussing religious freedom and the persecution of Catholics around the globe. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican No. 2, recalled the bishops from the Middle East had just wrapped up a two-week meeting on the plight and flight of Christians from their lands.

The situation in China was also raised, given China’s planned ordination Saturday of a bishop who doesn’t have the pope’s approval and reports that Vatican-approved bishops are being forced to attend.

Communist China forced its Roman Catholics to cut ties with the Vatican in 1951, and worship is allowed only in state-backed churches, although millions of Chinese belong to unofficial congregations loyal to the Vatican.

The Vatican warned China on Thursday that efforts at reconciliation would be set back if bishops loyal to the pope were forced to attend. The Vatican said such actions would constitute “grave violations of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.”

Liu Bainian, vice chairman for China’s state-backed church, the Catholic Patriotic Association, said Friday the ordination was going ahead but that the presence of other bishops at the ceremony was voluntary.

But AsiaNews, a Vatican-affiliated missionary news agency that closely covers the church in China, named three bishops who had been approached or detained by Chinese government officials to pressure them into participating.

As he arrived Friday for the Vatican meeting, Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen, an outspoken advocate of democracy and religious freedom in China, sharply rebuked China for proceeding with the ordination.

“It is really shameful, such an attempt to make another illegitimate ordination. It’s incredible,” Zen told The Associated Press. “It’s against the whole civilization of today.”

Cardinal-designate Donald Wuerl of Washington said the plight of Catholics in the United States and West was raised as well, saying secular norms were encroaching on the abilities of Catholics to practice their faith. It was a reference to Catholic hospitals that might be compelled to offer procedures such as abortion that would violate the conscience of staff.

“There’s growing concern that religious freedom seems to be interpreted today about freedom to worship in your house of worship as opposed to free exercise of religious opinion and the freedom of conscience,” Wuerl told reporters during a break in the meeting.

The 24 new members bring the College of Cardinals to 203, 121 of whom are under age 80 and thus eligible to vote in a conclave.

With the new cardinals, Benedict will have chosen 40 percent of the college, infusing the elite group with conservative, tradition-minded prelates like himself and nearly ensuring that a future pope won’t radically change the direction of the church.

Lisbon: NATO’s Afghanistan withdrawal date ‘not set in stone’

NATO’s plan to wind down its combat mission in Afghanistan by 2015 is not set in stone, alliance leaders have suggested, casting doubt on David Cameron’s fixed deadline for a British withdrawal.


Alliance leaders meeting in Lisbon will on Saturday agree a timetable to transfer responsibility for security to Afghan forces, a process due to start next year and conclude by the end of 2014.

Despite Western leaders’ eagerness to leave Afghanistan, the Nato timetable remains conditional, dependent on the ability of the Kabul government to secure the country against the Taliban.

As the summit began, the Obama administration made clear that 2014 was only “an aspirational goal” and Nato’s secretary-general warned the West must remain committed in Afghanistan “as long as it takes”.

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In The Flying Muse on November 11, 2010 at 5:29 pm

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The Rise of MLM: The Raconteur & Sweet Nothings

In The Flying Muse on November 8, 2010 at 7:14 pm

The Ponzi Scams In Modern Day

In 1920, Charles Ponzi ran a short-lived but spectacular scam that linked his name to the most classic of all cons.  At first, a Ponzi scheme seems too good to be true.  Then people start making money.  Thrilled by the easy cash, investors keep their money where it can grow or talk up the incredible returns.  The scam depends on new recruits – after all, it’s their money the con artist gives to earlier investors.

Other con artists sell or trade things that don’t actually exist. To secure a loan or make a profitable deal, they present phony collateral with an air of unflinching honesty. Relying on their superhuman skills at bluffing, and on the gullibility or laziness of their victims, the con artist earns millions out of thin air.

Fraudsters and white-collar crooks run another sort of con. Cooking the books, pocketing huge bonuses and making inside deals require less artistry than a con but these crimes are also rooted in calculated deception. The fraudster plays a role – of trustworthy and sure-footed CEO, for instance – and lies without hesitation to shareholders and auditors.

The success of a con artist, broadly defined here to include those who loot and bribe for profit, blooms out of a complex alchemy of character, skills and circumstance.

Tools of a Con Artist

Whether he draws on his innate character, or earned and practiced authority, a con artist uses every angle to convince people of his integrity and his financial prowess.

Con artists draw on a variety of strengths, including:

  • Power & Influence: When he talks, people listen. He has a position of power and friends in high places. He exudes an aura of success; whatever he touches, it seems to turn to gold.
  • Charisma: He appeals to a broad swath of people. He makes people feel clever and charmed; he plants the seeds of his con with such cunning, his victims think they’ve come up with the idea themselves.
  • Strong Cover: He seems almost incapable of wrongdoing. His cover might be his solid reputation and the loans he’s secured from big banks and investment firms. Or it might be a persona he adopts: a pious member of the community or a gifted, but naive, businessman.

Climate for a Con

The con artist sees and exploits individuals’ vulnerabilities. Likewise, he taps into points of weakness in his environment.

A ripe climate for a con is one that includes some or all of the following:

  • A booming stock market: When stock prices are high, con artists will do anything to keep them up and to profit from the buzz on Wall Street.
  • Optimistic and/or inexperienced investors: A spirit of risk-taking often accompanies a booming market. Investors – including those with little experience – are ready to jump in and make a fortune.
  • Regulatory loopholes: A good con seems plausible – and has multiple layers of plausible complexity. Cons flourish when they can fly under the weakened or ineffective radar of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Collapse of a Con

The life span of a con depends on a number of factors; if a con artist can attain a limited notoriety – in which his scheme is being talked about but hasn’t created a loud enough buzz to attract real scrutiny – he can enjoy a profitable run. If he can maintain tight control over his company books and board, he can fix numbers to his heart’s content.

Of course, a con is bound to collapse. Built on a foundation of lies, it grows shakier and more difficult to maintain with each passing year. It requires ever more complicated manoeuvres to hide the hollow base and keep the money flowing.

Cons are almost certain to fail with the addition of either of the following:

  • Economic downturn: When the stock market crashes, investors become cautious. They start to pay close attention to where they put their money. If enough investors are worried, and sell stock or withdraw funds, the con combusts in a matter of days.
  • Persistent reporter: All it takes is a simple question: How does his moneymaking scheme work? Once a good reporter has asked that question, and started to follow the convoluted money trail, the end is near for a con artist.

Outcome of a Con

Hundreds, even thousands, of investors are left with empty retirement and savings accounts. Hard-working people lose their jobs as companies fold under the strain of a crooked CEO. Banks and investment firms are drained of millions. The impact of a con is felt even beyond those at the center of the scheme. New legislation may be introduced to fill a regulatory gap, but con artists will continue to find ways to profit on a lie.

Real-life notable con artists
Born in 17C William Chaloner
Born in 18C Jean Henri Latude · Gregor MacGregor
Born in 19C Philip Arnold · Nicky Arnstein · Lou Blonger · Helga de la Brache · Ed “Big Ed” Burns · Cassie Chadwick · Horace de Vere Cole · Louis Enricht · Arthur Furguson · Oscar Hartzell · Canada Bill Jones · Henri Lemoine · Victor Lustig · William McCloundy · George C. Parker · Charles Ponzi · Death Valley Scotty · Soapy Smith · Titanic Thompson · William Thompson · Eduardo de Valfierno · Joseph Weil ·
Born in 20C Dona Branca · Bernard Cornfeld · Richard Eaton · David Hampton · Konrad Kujau · Kenneth Lay
Living people Frank Abagnale · Tino De Angelis · Du Jun · David “Race” Bannon · Matthew Cox · Marc Dreier · Solomon Dwek · Billie Sol Estes · Peter Foster · Robert Hendy-Freegard · Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter · Robert Douglas Hartmann · Mark Hofmann · James Hogue · Norman Hsu · Clifford Irving · Samuel Israel III · Sante Kimes · Bon Levi · Bernard Madoff · Matt the Knife · Sergei Mavrodi · Barry Minkow · Richard Alan Minsky · Semion Mogilevich · Lou Pearlman · Tom Petters · Peter Popoff · Scott W. Rothstein · Steven Jay Russell · Michael Sabo · Casey Serin · Kevin Trudeau
Joseph Weil
Born July 1, 1875
Harrison and Clark street, Chicago
Died February 26, 1976
Nationality United States
Other names Yellow Kid
Occupation confidence men, con artist
Known for One of the most infamous of American confidence men.
Parents Otto Weil

Joseph “Yellow Kid” Weil (July 1, 1875—February 26, 1976)[was one of the most famous American confidence men of his era. Weil’s biographer, W. T. Brannon, believed Weil had an “uncanny knowledge of human nature.” Over the course of his career, Weil is said to have stolen over eight million dollars.

Weil was born in Chicago to Mr. and Mrs. Otto Weil. When Weil was seventeen, he left school and started working as a collector. Noticing that his co-workers were keeping small sums for themselves, he organized a protection racket: Weil wouldn’t tell for a share of the money.

Under the tutelage of Chicago confidence man Doc Meriwether, Weil started performing short cons in the 1890s at public sales of Meriwether’s Elixir, the chief ingredient of which was rainwater.[3]

The nickname “Yellow Kid” first was applied in 1903 and came from the comic “Hogan’s Alley and the Yellow Kid.” After working for some time with a grifter named Frank Hogan, Chicago alderman “Bathhouse John” Coughlin associated the pair with the comic: Hogan was Hogan, and Weil became the Yellow Kid. “There have been many erroneous stories published about how I acquired this cognomen,” Weil writes in his biography. “It was said that it was due to my having worn yellow chamois gloves, yellow vests, yellow spats, and a yellow beard. All this was untrue. I had never affected such wearing apparel and I had no beard.”

During his career, Weil worked with, among others, con men Doc Meriwether, Billy Wall, William J. Winterbill, Bob Collins, Colonel Jim Porter, Romeo Simpson, “Fats” Levine, Jack Mason, Tim North, and George Gross.

“Each of my victims had larceny in his heart,” explained Weil.

“The desire to get something for nothing has been very costly to many people who have dealt with me and with other con men,” Weil writes. “But I have found that this is the way it works. The average person, in my estimation, is ninety-nine per cent animal and one per cent human. The ninety-nine per cent that is animal causes very little trouble. But the one per cent that is human causes all our woes. When people learn–as I doubt they will–that they can’t get something for nothing, crime will diminish and we shall live in greater harmony.”

Weil died in Chicago in 1976 at the age of 100

Get-rich-quick schemes are extremely varied. For example, fake franchises, real estate “sure things”, get-rich-quick books, wealth-building seminars, self-help gurus, sure-fire inventions, useless products, chain letters, fortune tellers, quack doctors, miracle pharmaceuticals, Nigerian money scams, charms and talismans are all used to separate the mark from their money. Variations include the pyramid scheme, Ponzi scheme and Matrix sale.

Count Victor Lustig sold the “money-printing machine” which could copy $100 bills. The client, sensing huge profits, would buy the machines for a high price (usually over $30,000). Over the next twelve hours, the machine would produce just two more $100 bills, but after that it produced only blank paper, as its supply of hidden $100 bills would have become exhausted. This type of scheme is also called the “money box” scheme.

Salting or “to salt the mine” are terms for a scam in which gems or gold ore are planted in a mine or on the landscape, duping the greedy mark into purchasing shares in a worthless or non-existent mining company.[1] During the Gold Rush, scammers would load shotguns with gold dust and shoot into the sides of the mine to give the appearance of a rich ore, thus “salting the mine”. For a 19th-century example, see the Diamond hoax of 1872; for a modern example, involving imaginary gold deposits in Borneo, see Bre-X. Popularized in the HBO series Deadwood, when Al Swearingen and E.B. Farnum trick Brom Garret into believing gold is to be found on the claim Swearingen intends to sell him.

The Spanish prisoner scam – and its modern variant, the advance fee fraud or Nigerian scam – take advantage of the victim’s greed. The basic premise involves enlisting the mark to aid in retrieving some stolen money from its hiding place. The victim sometimes believes they can cheat the con artists out of their money, but anyone trying this has already fallen for the essential con by believing that the money is there to steal (see also Black money scam). Note that the classic Spanish Prisoner trick also contains an element of the romance scam (see below).

Many conmen employ extra tricks to keep the victim from going to the police. A common ploy of investment scammers is to encourage a mark to use money concealed from tax authorities. The mark cannot go to the authorities without revealing that they have committed tax fraud. Many swindles involve a minor element of crime or some other misdeed. The mark is made to think that they will gain money by helping fraudsters get huge sums out of a country (the classic Nigerian scam); hence marks cannot go to the police without revealing that they planned to commit a crime themselves.

In a recent twist on the Nigerian fraud scheme, the mark is told they are helping someone overseas collect debts from corporate clients. Large cheques stolen from businesses are mailed to the mark. These cheques are altered to reflect the mark’s name, and the mark is then asked to cash them and transfer all but a percentage of the funds (his commission) to the con artist. The cheques are often completely genuine, except that the “pay to” information has been expertly changed. This exposes the mark not only to enormous debt when the bank reclaims the money from their account, but also to criminal charges for money laundering. A more modern variation is to use laser-printed counterfeit cheques with the proper account numbers and payer information.

Certain infomercials feature enthusiastic hosts and highlights of satisfied customers’ testimony extolling the benefits of get-rich-quick methods such as internet auctioneering, real estate investment and marketing, for-profit toll phone business, classified advertisement and unique products of questionable value requiring active marketing by the paying customers. Infomercials which fall under the aforementioned descriptions are highly likely[citation needed] to be scams devised and engineered to “bamboozle” the unsuspecting viewers for the express purpose of enriching the scheme inventors who produced the infomercials which often grossly exaggerate their claims, in conjunction with the clips of satisfied customers’ over-excited testimonies with the superimposed captions of the alleged profits made.

Don Lapre, creator of “Money Making Secrets”, “The Ultimate Road to Success”, “The Greatest Vitamin in the World” and other schemes, was reported[citation needed] by Internet customer watchdog organizations Ripoff Report, Bad Business Bureau and Quackwatch, plus alternative newspaper publications such as Phoenix New Times as one of the premier confidence artists whose characteristic traits of overly positive attitude and over-enthusiastically cheerful and charismatic personality depend on the gullibility of the infomercial viewers to purchase the essentially useless products to gain substantial sums of profit by deception.

The wire or delayed-wire game, as depicted in the movie The Sting, trades on the promise of insider knowledge to beat a gamble, stock trade or other monetary action. In the wire game, a “mob” composed of dozens of grifters simulates a “wire store”, i.e., a place where results from horse races are received by telegram and posted on a large board, while also being read aloud by an announcer. The griftee is given secret foreknowledge of the race results minutes before the race is broadcast, and is therefore able to place a sure bet at the wire store. In reality, of course, the con artists who set up the wire store are the providers of the inside information, and the mark eventually is led to place a large bet, thinking it to be a sure win. At this point, some mistake is made, which actually makes the bet a loss. The grifters in The Sting use miscommunication about the race results to simulate a big mistake, and the bet is lost.[2]

Persuasion tricks

Persuasion fraud, when fraudsters persuade people only to target their money, is an old-fashioned type of fraud. It received high attention in Sweden around 1950 when a man named Gustaf Raskenstam had relationships with more than a hundred lonely women, and had been engaged to many of them, often several at the same time. He was eventually imprisoned for fraud. His contact ads usually had the headline “Sun and spring” (“sol och vår” in Swedish). This type of behaviour has since been called “sol och vårande” in Swedish.

Missionary conspiracy

A missionary conspiracy is a scam that involves illegitimate missionaries who are part of a cult that converts an entire community to quasi-religious beliefs. This usually involves an authority figure like Jim Jones who then uses his authority to abuse followers or to use them for gain. Usually these communities are rural, isolated, and have no money, instead they are used for manual labor, in particular on plantations and manufacturing. This is referred to as a “conspiracy” because of the difficulty to prove and the scale of the scam. These faux missionaries tend to be the representative of these communities to and from the outside world which includes the handling of money. In addition, community members either revere the missionaries as people of their new deity or refuse to admit they had fallen victim to the scam. This scam is particularly attributed to cults with strong authority figures and has taken place in Asia, Africa, Central and South America. Unlike the plot of the Poisonwood Bible no mainline Evangelical Christian denomination has ever been tied to such a scam.

Romance scam

The traditional romance scam has now moved into internet dating sites. The con actively cultivates a romantic relationship which often involves promises of marriage. However, after some time it becomes evident that this Internet “sweetheart” is stuck in his home country, lacking the money to leave the country and thus unable to be united with the mark. The scam then becomes an advance-fee fraud or a check fraud. A wide variety of reasons can be offered for the trickster’s lack of cash, but rather than just borrow the money from the victim (advance fee fraud), the con man normally declares that they have checks which the victim can cash on their behalf and remit the money via a non-reversible transfer service to help facilitate the trip (check fraud). Of course, the checks are forged or stolen and the con man never makes the trip: the hapless victim ends up with a large debt and an aching heart. This scam can be seen in the movie Nights of Cabiria.

Gold brick scams

Gold brick scams involve selling a tangible item for more than it is worth; named after selling the victim an allegedly golden ingot which turns out to be gold-coated lead.

1883 “No Cents” Liberty Head nickel

The 1883 “No Cents” Liberty Head nickel scam was developed by con artists that electroplated Liberty Head nickels, intending to make storeowners believe that the gold-plated nickel was a $5 coin.

Coin collecting

The coin collecting scam is a scam preying on inexperienced collectors. The conman convinces the mark by stating that a high-priced collection is for sale at a lower amount. The coin collector then buys the entire collection, believing it is valuable.


Pig-in-a-poke originated in the late Middle Ages. The con entails a sale of a (suckling) “pig” in a “poke” (bag). The bag ostensibly contains a live healthy little pig, but actually contains a cat (not particularly prized as a source of meat). If one buys the bag without looking inside it, the person has bought something of less value than was assumed, and has learned firsthand the lesson caveat emptor. “Buying a pig in a poke” has become a colloquial expression in the English language, meaning “to be a sucker”. Dutch, German, Scandinavian, Russian and Polish speakers employ the expression “buying a cat-in-the-bag” when someone buys something without examining it beforehand. In Sweden, Finland and Estonia, the “cat” in the phrase is replaced by “pig”, referring to the bag’s supposed content, but the saying is otherwise identical. This is also said to be where the phrase “letting the cat out of the bag” comes from, although there may be other explanations.

Thai gem

The Thai gem scam involves layers of con men and helpers who tell a tourist in Bangkok of an opportunity to earn money by buying duty-free jewelry and having it shipped back to the tourist’s home country. The mark is driven around the city in a tuk-tuk operated by one of the con men, who ensures that the mark meets one helper after another, until the mark is persuaded to buy the jewelry from a store also operated by the swindlers. The gems are real but significantly overpriced. This scam has been operating for 20 years in Bangkok, and is said to be protected by Thai police and politicians. A similar scam usually runs in parallel for custom-made suits. Many tourists are hit by conmen touting both goods.

People shopping for pirated software, illegal pornographic images, bootleg music, drugs, firearms or other forbidden or controlled goods may be legally hindered from reporting swindles to the police. An example is the “big screen TV in back of the truck”: the TV is touted as “hot” (stolen), so it will be sold for a very low price. The TV is in fact defective or broken; it may, in fact, not even be a television at all, since some scammers have discovered that a suitably decorated oven door will suffice[3]. The buyer has no legal recourse without admitting to attempted purchase of stolen goods. This con is also known as “The Murphy Game”.

White van speaker

In the white van speaker scam, low-quality loudspeakers are sold, stereotypically from a white van, as expensive units that have been greatly discounted. The salesmen explain the ultra-low price in a number of ways; they may, for instance, say that their employer is unaware of having ordered too many speakers, so they are sneakily selling the excess behind the boss’s back. The scam may extend to the creation of Web sites for the bogus loudspeaker brand, which usually sounds similar to that of a respected loudspeaker company. The “speakermen” are ready to be haggled down to a seemingly gigantic discount, because the speakers they are selling, while usually technically functional, actually cost only a tiny fraction of their “list price” to manufacture.

Extortion or false-injury tricks

Badger game

The badger game extortion is often perpetrated on married men. The mark is deliberately coerced into a compromising position, a supposed affair for example, then threatened with public exposure of his acts unless blackmail money is paid.

Clip joint

A clip joint or fleshpot is an establishment, usually a strip club or entertainment bar, typically one claiming to offer adult entertainment or bottle service, in which customers are tricked into paying money and receive poor, or no, goods or services in return. Typically, clip joints suggest the possibility of sex, charge excessively high prices for watered-down drinks, then eject customers when they become unwilling or unable to spend more money. The product or service may be illicit, offering the victim no recourse through official or legal channels.

Foreign object in food

This scam involves a patron ordering food in a restaurant, and then placing a bug or foreign object in the food. The patron complains loudly to the restaurant managers and threatens to sue. Sometimes the patron receives a free meal or additional compensation, or tries to blackmail the restaurant. A notable attempt to perform this scam which failed was when a woman placed a severed finger in a bowl of chili and attempted to extort money from a fast food chain The scam was also featured in the films Victor/Victoria, Heartbreakers and Minbo.

Hydrophobia lie

The hydrophobia lie was popular in the 1920s, in which the con man pretended to have been bitten by the mark’s allegedly rabid dog.

Insurance fraud

Insurance fraud includes a wide variety of schemes which attempt insureds to defraud their own insurance carriers, but when the victim is a private individual, the con artist tricks the mark into damaging, for example, the con artist’s car, or injuring the con artist, in a manner that the con artist can later exaggerate. One relatively common scheme involves two cars, one for the con artist, and the other for the shill. The con artist will pull in front of the victim, and the shill will pull in front of the con artist before slowing down. The con artist will then slam on his brakes to “avoid” the shill, causing the victim to rear-end the con artist. The shill will accelerate away, leaving the scene. The con artist will then claim various exaggerated injuries in an attempt to collect from the victim’s insurance carrier despite having intentionally caused the accident. Insurance carriers, who must spend money to fight even those claims they believe are fraudulent, frequently pay out thousands of dollars–a tiny amount to the carrier despite being a significant amount to an individual–to settle these claims instead of going to court.[5]

A variation of this scam occurs in countries where insurance premiums are generally tied to a Bonus-Malus rating: the con artist will offer to avoid an insurance claim, settling instead for a cash compensation. Thus, the con artist is able to evade a professional damage assessment, and get an untraceable payment in exchange for sparing the mark the expenses of a lowered merit class.

The con can take up an insurance policy while traveling then claim theft when no wrong doing has occurred. The con will approach the police and create a false statement to fulfill the requirements of the insurance policy.

Melon drop

The melon drop is a scam in which the scammer will intentionally bump into the mark and drop a package containing (already broken) glass. He will blame the damage on the clumsiness of the mark, and demand money in compensation. This con arose when artists discovered that the Japanese paid large sums of money for watermelons. The scammer would go to a supermarket to buy a cheap watermelon, then bump into a Japanese tourist and set a high price.

Gambling tricks

Barred winner

Visitors to Las Vegas or other gambling towns often encounter the barred winner scam, a form of advance fee fraud performed in person. The artist will approach his mark outside a casino with a stack or bag of high-value casino chips and say that he just won big, but the casino accused him of cheating and threw him out without letting him redeem the chips. The artist asks the mark to go in and cash the chips for him. The artist will often offer a percentage of the winnings to the mark for his trouble. But, when the mark agrees, the artist feigns suspicion and asks the mark to put up something of value “for insurance”. The mark agrees, hands over jewelry, a credit card or their wallet, then goes in to cash the chips. When the mark arrives at the cashier, they are informed the chips are fake. The artist, by this time, is long gone with the mark’s valuables.

Fake reward

The fake reward scam involves getting the mark to believe he has won some prizes after being randomly chosen. He is then required to get to a specific location to ‘collect his prizes’. Once there, he is told that he only has to sign some papers to receive the rewards. These papers can range from agreeing to financial fraud or signing up of memberships.

Fiddle game

The fiddle game uses the pigeon drop technique. A pair of con men work together, one going into an expensive restaurant in shabby clothes, eating, and claiming to have left his wallet at home, which is nearby. As collateral, the con man leaves his only worldly possession, the violin that provides his livelihood. After he leaves, the second con man swoops in, offers an outrageously large amount (for example $50,000) for such a rare instrument, then looks at his watch and runs off to an appointment, leaving his card for the mark to call him when the fiddle-owner returns. The mark’s greed comes into play when the “poor man” comes back, having gotten the money to pay for his meal and redeem his violin. The mark, thinking he has an offer on the table, then buys the violin from the fiddle player who “reluctantly” agrees to sell it for a certain amount that still allows the mark to make a “profit” from the valuable violin. The result is the two conmen are $5,000 richer (less the cost of the violin), and the mark is left with a cheap instrument. This trick is also detailed in the Neil Gaiman novel American Gods and is the basis for The Streets‘ song “Can’t Con an Honest John”. It was also shown in an episode of Steptoe and Son in which Harold has a commode which he has purchased on his rounds (from a house wife). A passing antiques dealer sees the item and offers a large amount of money, but will return the next day. Mean time the husband of the wife from whom Harold bought the commode demands that Harold sells it back to him, instead Harold offers the man an amount of money to keep the commode, believing that he can sell it to the dealer later that day. In an episode of Hustle the fiddle game is acted out, using a dog instead of a fiddle. In the 1981 Only fools and horses episode “Cash and Curry“, the main character, Delboy, is tricked into paying £2000 for a statue worth £17, believing it to be worth £4000.[6]

Football picks

In the football picks scam the scammer sends out tip sheet stating a game will go one way to 100 potential victims and the other way to another 100. The next week, the 100 or so who received the correct answer are divided into two groups and fed another pick. This is repeated until a small population have (apparently) received a series of supernaturally perfect picks, then the final pick is offered for sale. Despite being well-known (it was even described completely on an episode of The Simpsons and used by Derren Brown in “The System”), this scam is run almost continuously in different forms by different operators. The sports picks can also be replaced with securities, or any other random process, in an alternative form. This scam has also been called the inverted pyramid scheme, because of the steadily decreasing population of victims at each stage.


The glim-dropper scam requires several accomplices, one of whom must be a one-eyed man. One grifter goes into a store and pretends he has lost his glass eye. Everyone looks around, but the eye cannot be found. He declares that he will pay a thousand-dollar reward for the return of his eye, leaving contact information. The next day, an accomplice enters the store and pretends to find the eye. The storekeeper (the intended griftee), thinking of the reward, offers to take it and return it to its owner. The finder insists he will return it himself, and demands the owner’s address. Thinking he will lose all chance of the reward, the storekeeper offers a hundred dollars for the eye. The finder bargains him up to $250, and departs. The one-eyed man, of course, can not be found and does not return. (Described in A Cool Million, or, The Dismantling of Lemuel Pitkin (1934) by Nathanael West). Variants of this con have been used in movies such as The Traveller (1997), Shade (2003), and Zombieland (2009).

Lottery fraud by proxy

Lottery fraud by proxy is a particularly vicious scam, in which the scammer buys a lottery ticket with old winning numbers. He or she then alters the date on the ticket so that it appears to be from the day before, and therefore a winning ticket. He or she then sells the ticket to the mark, claiming it is a winning ticket, but for some reason, he or she is unable to collect the prize (not eligible, etc.). The particular cruelty in this scam is that if the mark attempts to collect the prize, the fraudulently altered ticket will be discovered and the mark held criminally liable. This con was featured in the movie Matchstick Men, where Nicolas Cage teaches it to his daughter. A twist on the con was shown in Great Teacher Onizuka, where the more than gullible Onizuka was tricked into getting a “winning ticket”. The ticket wasn’t altered, instead the daily newspaper reporting the day’s winning numbers was rewritten with a black pen.

Three-card Monte

Three-card Monte, “find the queen”, the “three-card trick”, or “follow the lady”, is (except for the props) essentially the same as the centuries-older shell game or thimblerig. The trickster shows three playing cards to the audience, one of which is a queen (the “lady”), then places the cards face-down, shuffles them around and invites the audience to bet on which one is the queen. At first the audience is skeptical, so the shill places a bet and the scammer allows him to win. In one variation of the game, the shill will (apparently surreptitiously) peek at the lady, ensuring that the mark also sees the card. This is sometimes enough to entice the audience to place bets, but the trickster uses sleight of hand to ensure that they always lose, unless the conman decides to let them win, hoping to lure them into betting much more. The mark loses whenever the dealer chooses to make him lose. This con appears in the Eric Garcia novel Matchstick Men and is featured in the movie Edmond. The scam is also central to the Pulitzer prize-winning play “Topdog/Underdog.” It also appears in an episode of Everybody Hates Chris.

A variation on this scam exists in Barcelona, Spain, but with the addition of a pickpocket. The dealer and shill behave in an overtly obvious manner, attracting a larger audience. When the pickpocket succeeds in stealing from a member of the audience, he signals the dealer. The dealer then shouts the word “agua”, and the three split up. The audience is left believing that “agua” is a code word indicating the police are coming, and that the performance was a failed scam.

A variant of this scam exists in Mumbai, India. The shill says loudly to the dealer that his cards are fake and that he wants to see it. He takes the cards and folds a corner and says in a hushed voice to the audience that he has marked the card. He first places the bet and wins. Then he asks the others to place bets as well. When someone puts a lot of money the cards are switched.

Online scams

Main article: Internet fraud

Fake antivirus

Computer users unwittingly download & install a computer virus disguised as antivirus software, (usually through an ActiveX program) by following the messages which appear on their screen. The software then pretends to find multiple viruses on the victim’s computer, “removes” a few, and asks for payment in order to take care of the rest. They are then linked to con artists’ websites, professionally designed to make their bogus software appear legitimate, where they must pay a fee to download the “full version” of their “antivirus software“.


A modern scam in which the artist communicates with the mark, masquerading as a representative of an official organization which the mark is doing business with, in order to extract personal information which can then be used, for example, to steal money. In a typical instance of phishing, the artist sends the mark an email pretending to be from a company (such as eBay). This email is formatted exactly like email from that business, and will ask the mark to “verify” some personal information at their website, to which a link is provided. The website itself is also fake but designed to look exactly like the business’ website. The site will contain an HTML form asking for personal information such as credit card numbers. The mark will feel compelled to give this information because of words in the email or the site stating that they require the information again, for example to “reactivate your account”. When the mark submits the form (not checking the URL), the information is sent to the swindler.

Other online scams include advance-fee fraud, bidding fee schemes, click fraud, domain slamming, various spoofing attacks, web-cramming, and online versions of employment scams and romance scams.

Other confidence tricks and scams

Art student

The art student scam is also very common in major Chinese cities. A small group of ‘students’ will start a conversation, claiming that they want to practice their English. After a short time they will change the topic to education and will claim that they are art students and they want to take you to a free exhibition. The exhibition will usually be in a small, well hidden rented office and the students will show you some pieces which they claim to be their own work and will try to sell them at a high price, despite the pieces usually being nothing more than an internet printout worth a fraction of their asking price. They will often try ‘guilt tricks’ on people who try to bargain the price.

Beijing tea

The Beijing tea scam is a famous scam in and around Beijing. The artists (usually female and working in pairs) will approach tourists and try to make friends. After chatting, they will suggest a trip to see a tea ceremony, claiming that they have never been to one before. The tourist is never shown a menu, but assumes that this is how things are done in China. After the ceremony, the bill is presented to the tourist, charging upwards of $100 per head. The artists will then hand over their bills, and the tourists are obliged to follow suit. Similar scams involving restaurants, coffee shops and bars also take place.

Big store

The big store scam is a technique involving a large team of con artists and elaborate sets. Often a building is rented and furnished as a legitimate and substantial business.[7]

Cell phone grab

Usually occurs outside airports or train stations at the pick-up curb, requires two cons and a getaway car. The con will approach the mark and claim that their ride isn’t here due to their plane or train being late or early, and that they don’t have the change to use a pay phone, or their own cell phone battery is dead. They ask the mark if they can use their cell phone to call, usually reassuring the mark by saying that the call is local and it will not cost them much. If the mark refuses, the con will try to guilt trip them. The moment the mark hands over their cell phone, the con makes a break for it, often hopping into a waiting car to make a quick getaway.

Change raising

Change raising is a common short con and involves an offer to change an amount of money with someone, while at the same time taking change or bills back and forth to confuse the person as to how much money is actually being changed. The most common form, “the Short Count”, has been featured prominently in several movies about grifting, notably Nueve Reinas, The Grifters, Criminal, and Paper Moon. A con artist shopping at, say a gas station, is given 80 cents in change because they lack two dimes to complete the sale (say the sale cost is $19.20 and the con artist has a 20 dollar bill). The con artist then goes out to their car and returns a short time later, with 20 cents. They return them, saying that they found the rest of the change to make a dollar, and asking for a bill so they will not have to carry coins. The confused store clerk agrees, exchanging a dollar for the 20 cents the con artist returned. In essence, the mark makes change twice. Another variation is to flash a $20 bill to the clerk, then ask for something behind the counter. When the clerk turns away, the con artist can swap the bill they are holding to a lesser bill. The clerk might then make change for the larger bill, without noticing it has been swapped. This was shown in The Grifters. The technique works better when bills are the same colour at a glance like, for instance U.S. dollar bills.

Counterfeit cashier’s check

In this scam the victim is sent a cashier’s check or money order for payment on an item for sale on the internet. When this document is taken to the bank it may not be detected as counterfeit for 10 business days or more, but the bank will deposit the money into your account and tell you that it has been “verified” or is “clear” in about 24 hours. This gives the victim a false feeling of security that the document is real, so they proceed with the transaction. When the bank does find that the check is counterfeit, they will come back to the customer for the entire amount of the check.

Diet and exercise

These claim that you can take pills and use weird gadgets to quickly lose weight and/or build muscle. The only thing which loses weight here, of course, is the mark’s wallet and bank account as they are milked for money for gimmicky exercise equipment or other weight-loss products.

Empty car lot

The scammers will find a vacant lot that is essentially used as free car parking and then start to charge people at the entrance, saying that the building is under new management and now chargeable.

False charity

A con artist will go door-to-door saying that the mark’s donation will help build better playgrounds, help starving children etc; thus the mark will pay the con artist. Sometimes the con artist will even print out fake papers explaining the good that they will be doing.

Gas can

The Gas can scam happens on the street or in a parking lot, usually near a big-box store or mall. The con artist is well-dressed, and carrying a gas can. You’ll hear a story, usually involving a wife or teenage offspring waiting in the car (or occasionally, teenage offspring home alone) and then a request for ten to twenty bucks for gas. Often, the con artist will ask for your address to “return” your money. A variation of this scam has the con artist claiming that his car was towed, and he needs money to retrieve it from the towing company.


The landlord scam advertises an apartment for rent at an attractive price. The con artist, usually someone who is house-sitting or has a short-term sublet at the unit, takes a deposit and first/last month’s rent from every person who views the suite. When move-in day arrives, the con artist is of course gone, and the apartment belongs to none of the angry people carrying boxes.

Neighbor’s false friend

In the neighbor’s false friend scam, the con artist rings the mark’s door bell claiming to be a friend of a neighbor or someone who lives nearby and asks to borrow money for gas since they’ve left their wallet with all their money at their friend’s house and now there’s nobody home. The con artist is gambling that the mark knows the name of the “friend” and perhaps is an acquaintance so that it would be embarrassing to refuse assistance, but that the mark doesn’t know very much else about the “friend”, making verification difficult. Of course the con artist has just read the “friend’s” name on a mailbox or a door bell.


The paranoia scam is a scam involving the conman telling the mark various lies about different scams and instigating false attempts so that the mark, by now feeling worried and with no place to hide their money from fraud, turns to the conman (of all people) for help.

Pigeon drop

The pigeon drop, also featured early in the film The Sting, involves the mark or pigeon assisting an elderly, weak or infirm stranger to keep their money safe for them. In the process, the stranger (actually a confidence trickster) puts their money with the mark’s money (in an envelope, briefcase or sack) which the mark is then entrusted with. The money is actually not put into the sack or envelope, but is switched for a bag full of newspaper (etc). The mark is enticed to make off with the con artist’s money through the greed element and various theatrics, but in actuality, the mark is fleeing from their own money, which the con artist still has (or has handed off to an accomplice). In LOST this was Sawyer‘s preferred way of conning people out of money.

Pseudoscience and snake oil

In pseudoscience and snake oil scams, popular psychology confidence tricksters make money by falsely claiming to improve reading speed and comprehension using speed reading courses by fooling the consumer with inappropriate skimming and general knowledge tests. These popular psychology tricksters often employ popular assumptions about the brain and the cerebral hemispheres which are scientifically wrong, but attractive and plausible. A common myth is that we use only 10% of our brain.[8][9] Similar scams involve the use of brain machines to alter brain waves, and intelligence amplification through balancing the mind and body. See neurofeedback and Scientology.

Psychic surgery

Psychic surgery is a con game in which the trickster uses sleight of hand to apparently remove malignant growths from the mark’s body. A common form of medical fraud in underdeveloped countries, it imperils victims who may fail to seek competent medical attention. The movie Man on the Moon depicts comedian Andy Kaufman undergoing psychic surgery, and it can also be seen in an episode of Jonathan Creek as well as an episode of LOST where the character Rose travels to Australia in a last ditch effort to cure her cancer.


The con artist (a “rainmaker”) convinces the mark to pay them to make something happen. If it happens, then the mark is convinced it is because they paid the rainmaker; if not, the rainmaker can say they need more money to do it. A major story arc in the third season of The Wire is Senator Clay Davis’ shakedown of the Barksdale Organization. There is also an example of this in the Quantum Leap episode “A Single Drop of Rain” from Season 4.

Real estate

The real estate scam may vary according to the type of real estate, but the common goal is that the con artist tricks the seller into thinking that they are going to buy or rent the property and make monthly payments. In reality, the con artist has no intention of paying anything. This will usually continue until they are caught or evicted, but the catch here is this is hard to prove in a criminal court; the only legal recourse the seller has is to file a lawsuit against the person responsible. However, the con artist will usually scam the seller for an amount below the cost of its recovery through litigation.

Recovery room

A recovery room is an unauthorised firm that cold calls investors and offers to buy their shares. The firm targeting the failed company’s investors is offering to recover their investments for free in return for the opportunity to provide them with recommendations on future investments.

These firms, often calling from outside the UK, are not authorised by the FSA to approach UK investors. Although they are commonly known as recovery rooms, they will not buy your shares or recover money you have invested through the failed company.

Rip deal

Rip deal is a common swindle in Europe in which con artists present themselves as potential investors, then attract victims with under-the-counter payments.

Robbed traveller

The robbed traveller scam usually takes place at airports and train stations. A person smartly dressed in suit and tie appears in distress and looks around bewildered, making sure the mark has noticed them. Then they approach and tell the story that their wallet or jacket has been stolen with all their money. They then appeal for help and ask if they can borrow a small amount of money for a taxi to their friend’s house or a hotel where they’re booked in, promising to pay it back as soon as they get access to their money. Experts at this game may even trick their mark into giving them the money in the belief that they are helping an upstanding member of society in genuine distress.

Street mechanic

The con artist approaches the mark’s car and says something is wrong with it – usually something the mark cannot immediately see – the bumper is turning into the wheel, for example. The con artist tells the mark that it is a very expensive fix, but that they are a mechanic and will fix it. Really, the con artist is creating an illusion, perhaps by sitting on the bumper. They “fix” the problem in minutes. They may ask for only a ride at first, but then pretend to call their boss and pretend that they are late for work and their boss is angry, and tell the mark they have lost a customer. The mark is made to feel guilty and grateful, and believe that they have been helped by a kind mechanic who has charged less than the normal hourly rate (albeit plus a hefty tip) to replace the customer they lost. This scam has been found in the streets of downtown Baltimore.

Subway attendant

An individual dressed to resemble a subway attendant stands near a subway ticket machine at a downtown stop. The individual approaches people who appear to be out-of-towners headed back to the airport, and asks if they need directions, how their stay was, etc. They offer to sell a ticket to the airport directly from a handful they are carrying; however, these are nearly used-up tickets collected from the trash. Victims find they need to pay again at the exit. This has been seen on MARTA in Atlanta. The scammer is imitating legitimate attendants at the airport who show travelers how to use the vending machines but don’t accept cash or give you tickets themselves.

Ticket tout

A common scam on the London Underground. The scammer will wait at the exit of a station and collect disused tickets (such as 1-day travelcards) claiming that they are collecting tickets for recycling or some other excuse. The scammer will then move to an area close to the ticket office where there is a long queue and offer to sell 1-day travelcards for a discounted price, leading customers to believe that they will make a saving and won’t have to queue. Generally, passengers aren’t victims of this as the tickets are legitimate although a recent crackdown on ticket fraud has led to station staff confiscating tickets from passengers.

Undercover cop

The undercover cop scam is a scam where a con artist masquerades as an undercover police officer, usually by stopping the mark’s vehicle and showing a fake badge, and tells the mark about a case they are investigating, and that the mark is a suspect. The conman asks for money to be checked, and when the mark is out of the vehicle, the con artist gets into the mark’s car and drives away, having made sure there was more time to escape than it would take for the mark to get back to their vehicle. This scam is usually done to tourists, variations include their whole luggage being transferred to the conman’s trunk “to be checked at a police station“, or a fake immigration agent, asking for papers and then for money to clear up the problem.

Taxi Touts

No Meter

The meter is apparently broken. This is used to set a fixed price. Insist on meter use before you or any of your luggage is placed in the cab.

Re-Negotiation of Price

This is very common outside of North America and Western Europe. You have apparently agreed to a price and the taxi drives away and minutes later a new price is demanded. You can either re-state the original price or tell the driver to stop the taxi and motion to leave without paying, which may re-establish the original price.

Meter Jumps

Be aware that drivers may bump the meter rate when you are not looking. Try to avoid falling asleep on the ride. Also if the driver needs to stop for fuel, the meter should be stopped or turned off while fueling. Try to note the fare before the meter is turned off and when the car is re-started (if it is turned off during re-fueling) the meter rate should be where it was before.

Not Allowed, Prohibited, etc

If you hear these words, they are likely trying to get you to agree to a rip-off rate. If negotiating does not work then just wait for another taxi (don’t worry, there’s lots!). [10]

Avoiding prosecution

  • Pitiful fraud: The con artist may tell his or her mark pitiful lies about his or her family, children etc; hence the mark feels sorry for him or her, and does not alert the police.
  • Family member: Some con artists target their own families, who feel obligated not to contact authorities, due to family ties.
  • Embarrassing enterprise: If the mark loses a small sum only, he or she may be unwilling to contact the authorities if the circumstances are embarrassing, e.g. if the mark wishes to avoid revealing his or her pornography stash to his or her spouse, notwithstanding its uselessness or worthlessness.
  • Greasy crimes: Petty crimes and scams that will in the worst cases only be punished by a fine, no jail time. Often the subject of Trailer Park Boys episodes.






  1. ^ Social Security Death Index,
  2. ^ a b Died, Time March 8, 1976
  3. ^ Joseph Weil. A Master Swindler’s Own Story. Trade Paperback. p. 352 pages. ISBN 9780767917377.
  4. ^ “Con Man by J.R.Weil and W.T.Brannon”.
  5. ^ Streissguth, Thomas. Hoaxers & Hustlers, Minneapolis 1994; The Oliver Press, Inc. ISBN 978-0-06-112023-7

In The Flying Muse on October 1, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Police recruiting plans ‘favour middle classes’

In The Flying Muse on October 1, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Police recruiting plans ‘favour middle classes’ |

Ronni Scotts

In Being In The Moment, Business, Daily Meditations, Media Dailies, Music For Pleasure, Prime Time News, Readers Choice, The Flying Muse, The Master Class, The Vitriolic Potical Corner, This Day In History, To Deal or Not on September 26, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Ronnie Scott (originally Ronald Schatt) was born in Aldgate, east London, into a family of Russian Jewish descent on his father’s side, and Portuguese antecedents on his mother’s.[1] Scott began playing in small jazz clubs at the age of sixteen. he toured with Johnny Claes, the trumpeter, from 1944 to 1945, and with Ted Heath in 1946, as well as working with Ambrose, Cab Kaye, and Tito Burns. He was involved in the short-lived musicians’ co-operative Club Eleven band and club (1948–1950), with Johnny Dankworth and others, and was a member of the generation of British musicians who worked on the Cunard liner Queen Mary (intermittently 1946–c. 1950) in order to visit New York and hear the new music directly. Scott was among the earliest British musicians to be influenced in his playing style by Charlie Parker and other bebop musicians.

In 1952 Scott joined Jack Parnell‘s orchestra, then led his own nine-piece group and quintet featuring among others, Pete King, with whom he would later open his jazz club, Victor Feldman, Hank Shaw and Phil Seamen from 1953 to 1956. He co-led The Jazz Couriers with Tubby Hayes from 1957 to 1959, and was leader of a quartet including Stan Tracey (1960–1967).

During this period he also did occasional session work; his best-known work here is the solo on The Beatles‘ “Lady Madonna“. He was said to be upset at the amount of his saxophone that made the final cut on the original record. In subsequent recordings Paul McCartney restored greater sections into the song.

From 1967–69, Scott was a member of The Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band which toured Europe extensively and which also featured fellow tenor players Johnny Griffin and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, at the same time running his own octet including John Surman and Kenny Wheeler (1968–1969), and a trio with Mike Carr on keyboards and Bobby Gien on drums (1971–1975). He then went on to lead various groups, most of which included John Critchinson on keyboards and Martin Drew on drums.

Ronnie Scott’s playing was much admired on both sides of the Atlantic. Charles Mingus said of him in 1961: “Of the white boys, Ronnie Scott gets closer to the negro blues feeling, the way Zoot Sims does.”[2] Despite his central position in the British jazz scene, Scott recorded infrequently during the last few decades of his career. He suffered periods of depression and, while recovering slowly from surgery for tooth implants, died at age 69 from an accidental overdose of barbiturates prescribed by his dentist.[3]

He was cremated at the Golders Green Crematorium.

The author Joel Lane is Scott’s nephew.

Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club at 47 Frith Street, Soho, London.

Main article: Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

Scott is perhaps best remembered for co-founding, with former tenor sax player Pete King, the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, which opened on 30 October 1959 in a basement at 39 Gerrard Street in London’s Soho district, with the debut of a young alto sax player named Peter King (no relation), before later moving to a larger venue nearby at 47 Frith Street in 1965. The original venue continued in operation as the “Old Place” until the lease ran out in 1967, and was used for performances by the up and coming generation of domestic musicians.

Scott regularly acted as the club’s genial Master of Ceremonies, and was (in)famous for his repertoire of jokes, asides and one-liners. A typical introduction might go: “Our next guest is one of the finest musicians in the country. In the city, he’s crap”.

After Scott’s death, King continued to run the club for a further nine years, before selling the club to theatre impresario Sally Greene in June 2005.

Selected band line-ups

As well as participating in name orchestras, Scott led or co-led numerous bands featuring some of Britain’s most prominent jazz musicians of the day.

Alan Dean’s Beboppers


Ronnie Scott (ts), Johnny Dankworth (as), Hank Shaw (tp), Tommy Pollard (p), Pete Chilver (g), Joe Muddel (b), Laurie Morgan (d), Alan Dean (vocal).

Ronnie Scott Orchestra

– 1954, 1955

Ronnie Scott (ts), Derek Humble (as), Pete King (ts), Hank Shaw (tp), Ken Wray (tb), Benny Green (bs), Victor Feldman (p), Lennie Bush (b), Phil Seamen (d).

Ronnie Scott Quintet

– 1955

Ronnie Scott (ts), Hank Shaw (tp), Victor Feldman (p), Sammy Stokes/Lennie Bush (b), Phil Seamen (d).

Ronnie Scott Big Band

– 1955

Ronnie Scott, Pete King, (ts), Joe Harriott, Doug Robinson (as), Benny Green (bs), Stan Palmer, Hank Shaw, Dave Usden, Jimmy Watson, (tp) Jack Botterill, Robin Kaye, Mac Minshull, Ken Wray (tb), Norman Stenfalt (p), Eric Peter (b), Phil Seamen (d).

The Jazz Couriers

Ronnie Scott (ts), Tubby Hayes (ts, vib), Terry Shannon (p), Phil Bates (b), Bill Eyden (d).

(On 7 April 1957, The Jazz Couriers co-led by Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott, debuted at the new Flamingo Club in Wardour Street, Soho. The group lasted until 30 August 1959).

Ronnie Scott Quartet


Ronnie Scott (ts), Stan Tracey (p), Malcolm Cecil (b), Jackie Dougan (d).

Ronnie Scott Quintet


Dick Pearce (tp), Ronnie Scott (ts), John Critchinson (p), Ron Mathewson (b), Martin Drew (d).

Selected discography

  • 1948: Boppin’ at Esquire (indigo)
  • 1958: The Couriers of Jazz! (Carlton/Fresh Sounds)
  • 1965: The Night Is Scott and You’re So Swingable (Redial)
  • 1965: When I Want Your Opinion, I’ll Give it to You (Jazz House)
  • 1969: Live at Ronnie Scott’s (Columbia)
  • 1977: Serious Gold (Pye)
  • 1990: Never Pat a Burning Dog (Jazz House)
  • 1997: If I Want Your Opinion (Jazz House)
  • 1997: The Night Has a Thousand Eyes (Jazz House)
  • 2000: Boppin’ at Esquire (Indigo)
  • 2002: Ronnie Scott Live at the Jazz Club (Time Music)

See also


  • Clarke, Donald (Ed.). The Penguin Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Viking, 1989.
  • Kernfeld, Barry Dean (Ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Macmillan Press, 1988.
  • Kington, Miles; Gelly, Dave. The Giants of Jazz, Schirmer Books, 1986.
  • Larkin, Colin. The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 3rd edition, Macmillan, 1998.
  • Ruppli, Michel; Novitsky, Ed. The Mercury Labels. A discography, Vol. V., Record and Artist Indexes, Greenwood Press, 1993.
  1. ^ The Man Behind The Club (Retrieved March 10, 2010)
  2. ^ “Ronnie Scott”, Brian Priestley, in Carr et al.
  3. ^ Jazz and death: medical profiles of jazz greats By Frederick J. Spencer. University Press of Mississippi. Page 2010
This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations where appropriate. (January 2010)

[Reprinted from Wikipedia]

Vocalist – General, Vocalist – Bass, Vocalist – Baritone, Vocalist – Tenor, Vocalist – Soprano, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Drums, Other Percussion, Violin, Trumpet, Saxophone, Keyboard, Piano, Background Singer, Harmonica, Flute, Other, Banjo, Mandolin, Fiddle, Dobro.


John Francis Anthony Pastorius III (December 1, 1951 – September 21, 1987), better known as Jaco Pastorius, was an American jazz musician and composer widely acknowledged for his skills as an electric bass player.
His playing style was noteworthy for containing intricate solos in the higher register. His innovations also included the use of harmonics and the “singing” quality of his melodies on fretless bass. Pastorius suffered from mental illness including a Substance-related disorder, and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982. He died in 1987 at age 35 following a violent altercation at a Fort Lauderdale drinking establishment.
Pastorius was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1988, one of only four bassists to be so honored (and the only electric bass guitarist). He is regarded as one of the most influential bass players of all time.

Listen Now…

Diana Ross and Ru Paul – I Will Survive

In The Flying Muse on September 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Vodpod videos no longer available.

To Educate or Not

In The Flying Muse on September 23, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Six arrested after burning of Koran on 9/11 ‘for the boys in Afghanistan’ is posted online

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 2:53 PM on 23rd September 2010

A gang of men have been arrested after filming themselves burning a copy of the Koran on the anniversary of 9/11 – and posting it on YouTube.

Six suspects were seized after allegedly setting fire to the Muslim holy book in the backyard of a pub.

The men, who hid their faces, then posted the video of the burning on the popular website.

Six men have been arrested after filming themselves burning a copy of the Koran on the anniversary of 9/11 - and posting it on YouTubeSix men have been arrested after filming themselves burning a copy of the Koran on the anniversary of 9/11 – and posting it on YouTube

In the film the gang are seen gathered round a copy of the Koran in the backyard of The Bugle pub in Leam Lane, Felling, Gateshead.

Appearing with what seems to be tea towels wrapped around their heads, the men show the holy book to the camera before dousing it with fuel from a red can and lighting it.

One man in a grey Adidas tracksuit and white trainers, who has a blue cloth wrapped around his head makes a series of obscene gestures towards the book as it burns.

Laughing, the track-suited gang shouts ‘This is for the boys in Afghanistan.  September 11, international burn a Koran day, for all the people of 9/11.

‘This is how we do it in Gateshead, right.’

One man then attempts to add more fuel, but instead sets the plastic petrol can on fire.

He then kicks the book across the yard, leaving a trail of flames which he is forced to hastily stamp out.

Koran burning
Koran burning

The men hid their faces behind what appear to be tea towels and claimed the action was ‘for the boys in Afghanistan’

The men claimed 'This is how we do it in Gateshead!' during the sick stunt The men claimed ‘This is how we do it in Gateshead!’ during the sick stunt

Police visited The Bugle last Wednesday after the video was posted online.

Two men were arrested on suspicion of stirring racial hatred, and have since been released on bail.

On Wednesday four more Gateshead men were arrested and bailed. None were charged.

The incident follows tensions in America after an extremist Florida pastor threatened to burn 200 copies of the Koran on the ninth anniversary of the attacks.

Terry Jones, of the Florida-based Dove World Outreach Centre, was warned by President Barack Obama that the controversial plan could be used to recruit extremists.

The event was eventually called off after U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates personally contacted Jones and told him soldiers serving in Afghanistan would be put at greater risk by his protest.

It does not appear that Jones was ever threatened with arrest, however.

The pastor claimed he had agreed to cancel the event on the condition that controversial plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero in New York were axed.

Claiming ‘victory for America’, he said Muslim leaders had agreed to move the location of the Islamic centre.

The video shows the men laughing, swearing and dancing as they stamp on the burning KoranThe video shows the men laughing, swearing and dancing as they stamp on the burning Koran

But Sharif El-Gamal, who is behind the proposals to build the 13-storey centre near the site where Muslim terrorists killed 3,000 people in 2001, denied that any talks had taken place and said the mosque would go ahead as planned.

Back in Gateshead, a barman at the Bugle, who refused to give his name, said: ‘I had nothing to do with the fire. I smelt the smoke so I went outside to put it out.

‘The police came to the pub and searched it. We were closed for hours.

Pastor Terry Jones had threatened to burn 200 copies of the Koran on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacksPastor Terry Jones had threatened to burn 200 copies of the Koran on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks

‘They took my mobile phones, some empty boxes the phones had been in, some CDs and DVDs, and all the tea towels.

‘They arrested me and another man and took us to the station. They were asking questions about who had been burning the book.’

He claimed the pub has been targeted by the police because some customers had links to the English Defence League, a far-Right movement which protests against ‘Muslim extremism’.

Around 30 men mounted a three-hour peaceful protest outside Gateshead Police  Station after the initial arrests were made.

In a joint statement, Northumbria Police and Gateshead Council condemned the book burning.

‘The kind of behaviour displayed in this video is not at all representative of  our community as a whole,’ said the spokesman.

‘Our community is one of mutual respect and we continue to work together with community leaders, residents and people of all faiths and beliefs to maintain good community relations.’

Police confirmed the arrests were in relation to burning the book, not for making, distributing or watching the video.

‘On Wednesday, September 22, four men from Gateshead were arrested on suspicion of stirring racial hatred,’ a spokesman said.

‘The arrests followed the videotaped burning of what are believed to have been two Korans in Gateshead on September 11.

‘Two other men have previously been arrested and bailed in relation to this  incident. Enquiries are ongoing.’

[Reprinted from the Daily Mail – 23/09/2010]

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“… there is nothing worse than ignorance on the subject of education. This is so because the subject of education claims dominion over the widest possible territory. It purports to tell us not only what intelligence is but how it may be nurtured; not only what is worthwhile knowledge but how it may be gained; not only what is the good life but how one may prepare for it. There is no other subject – not even philosophy itself – that casts so wide a net, and therefore no other subject that requires of its professors so much genius and wisdom.”

– My Silence Protects…

Never Do A Small Injury To Your Enemy…

Original Italian title: Il Principe (written c. 1505)

Upon this, one has to remark that men ought either to be well treated or crushed, because they can avenge themselves of lighter injuries, of more serious ones they cannot; therefore the injury that is to be done to a man ought to be of such a kind that one does not stand in fear of revenge.

During the 18th century, the powerful Maroons, escaped ex-slaves who settled in the mountains of Jamaica, carved out a significant area of influence. Through the use of slave labor, the production of sugar in this British colony flourished. But the courageous resistance of the Maroons threatened this prosperous industry. These efforts included plantation raids, the killing of white militiamen, and the freeing of slaves. The threat to the system was clear and present; hence, the planters were willing to sign a treaty with the Maroons in 1738. The treaty offers good insight to the relationship between the planters and the Maroons at the time, and deserves further attention.

On March 1, 1738, the articles of pacification with the Maroons of Trelawny Town signaled to Jamaica that a new era was emerging. The English planters had feared the rising power of the Maroons, and therefore tried to subdue them. This proved to be unsuccessful, consequently causing the English to realize that making peace with the Maroons was the only possible solution. This treaty was the first of its kind and it demonstrated that a group of rebellious ex-slaves had forced a powerful class of planters to come to terms. This was an unlikely event during the eighteenth century, given the dominance of the planter class across the Caribbean. Yet the fact remains that the treaty did not solely serve the planters’ interest. For example, article three of the treaty states that the Maroons were given 1500 acres of crown land, a necessity for the Maroons to maintain their independent way of life. In addition, it made a boundary between the Maroons and the planters, which was to avoid future conflicts.

Another example of an unbiased stipulation is article eight of the treaty, which states: “that if any white man shall do any manner of injury to Captain Cudjoe, his successors, or any of his or their people, shall apply to any commanding officer or magistrate in the neighborhood for justice.” This showed some equity under the law between the Maroons and the planters. Furthermore, the fifth article of the treaty specifies “that Captain Cudjoe, and all the Captain’s adherents, and people now in subjection to him, shall all live together within the bounds of Trelawny Town, and that they have liberty to hunt where they shall think fit, except within three miles of any settlement, crawl, or pen; provided always, that in case the hunters of Captain Cudjoe and those of other settlements meet, then the hogs to be equally divided between both parties.” In other words, the English planters were willing to divide the game equally amongst themselves and the Maroons, but more importantly, they were giving the latter the liberty to hunt freely.

Although the articles of pacification granted the Maroons of Jamaica many privileges, it also attempted to limit their attacks against the system of slavery in general. There were hints of favoritism towards the planters, for example, article thirteen required that the Maroons continue to help clear roads from Trelawny Town to Westmoreland and if possible from St. James to St. Elizabeth. This was biased because, as free men, the Maroons were not entitled to labor for the planters. This showed that the planters viewed the Maroons to be inferior to them. Another bias in the treaty includes article eleven which states that “Captain Cudjoe, and his successors, shall wait on his Excellency, or the Commander in Chief for the time being, every year, if thereunto required.” This article reveals an attempt to keep the Maroons subordinate and under control. In addition to article eleven, another article that reveals a biased attitude is article fourteen, which affirms that two white men shall live with the Maroons “in order to maintain a friendly correspondence with the inhabitants of this island.” Even though this treaty was to encourage a friendly relationship between the two parties, it also gave white planters first-hand knowledge of the situation in the Maroon camp. Most important of all, the treaty also required the Maroons to act as a sort of police force for the planters, returning future runaways to the plantations, and drafting them to fight against future rebellions.

This treaty contained elements of fairness and favoritism that were evident through its articles. Some of these were beneficial to the Maroons, while others were not; however, the signing of the treaty indicated that the Maroons constituted a substantial threat to the planters. This treaty was not only ground breaking in that it recognized the Maroons and their needs, but also revealed that the English planters were fearful of the Maroons capabilities and ever-rising power.