Posted on Leave a comment

Spiritual Problem


Millions of persons long for immortality who do not

know what to do with themselves on a rainy afternoon.

                                                                                         – Susan Ertz


We wear more clothes than any people who have ever lived.  We eat more different kinds of food than anyone since Louis XIV.  What goes on in the corner drugstore the bazaars of Arabia couldn’t match.  What we find piled at the supermarkets is the harvest of the world in all seasons at the same time.  And as we push through the aisles, grabbing this and that from every corner of the globe, with the Muzak sludge overhead, we should be the most contented people in the world.  Are we?

                                                                                                                                                 –  Agnes de Mille


YouTube is now owned by Google.  I doubt whether anyone there (at either place) actually knows who I am.  Yet I have come to the (somewhat uncomfortable) realization that YouTube has become an (external) augmentation of my (own, internal) mind.


I mainly use a desktop computer.  The people (that is – the software) at YouTube know which computer is mine.  That is – they presume that it’s always used by the same person (and perhaps this computer I use is even associated with my name)


No doubt the people whose job it is  to perfect the software which chooses (from among countless millions of possibilities) WHICH videos to present to me (or to anyone) based upon our previous ‘choice history’ … these folks are very well paid.


They may well even be (self-consciously) aware that they are trying to figure out how the human mind works.


For one thing, it is Very Important HOW the incoming videos are categorized … how they are characterized.  The system must have the capability of making a good guess as to the REASON we watch a given video.


If 300 hours worth of videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute    and the average length of a video is 4.3 minutes … that means that (about) 6 million videos get uploaded (to YouTube) every day.

YouTube videos are watched by 1.3 billion people … about 5 billion videos are watched          per day.


Perhaps they have a way of getting the people submitting the videos … to (effectively) categorize them.  (I don’t know)


But what about the problem of Quality Control?   That would have to be handled “in house”, wouldn’t it?


In any case, YouTube recently began suggesting (to me … by offering them) videos containing the thoughts of Carl Jung … for whom I happen to have a Great Deal of Respect … (affection, even).


(Now … let it be noted – that I never SEARCHED for anything by Carl Jung!  The SOFTWARE still figured out that I might like them!


That’s when I realized – that YouTube … has become my assistant.  They’re making intelligent guesses … as to what I wish to learn about!


I’m grateful for this.   (and also … it gives me the creeps, a bit)


For many decades I have had a Deep Interest in the Human Condition.  (What is the nature … of Human Nature? … or of the Human Situation?) So anyone who shares this interest (or, by any means, aids me in my search for the Truth of this matter) … is my ally.


I just (still) have a hard time     imagining YouTube (the computer programs that make it work) … as my ‘friend & ally’.


It’s a New World, I reckon.


But let’s have some Real Content –


Please take the time (13.5 min.) to watch –      (Carl Jung – the Spiritual Problem of the Modern Individual)


In hopes of (possibly) preventing World War III    Jung did his best to Understand and to Explain why world wars (I & II) came about.


He believed that (we) humans were unprepared to grapple (effectively  / well) with the (tremendous) existential problems of Human Life … (now) without the help of the ‘crutch’ of religion.  Modern man now feels he is on his own   to deal with (any and all) existential dilemmas.


With the Industrial Revolution (and urbanization) came the phenomenon of Mass Society … wherein the Modern Man feels himself impotent, insignificant,  and powerless. Our psyche’s (organic, natural) tendency is to attempt a compensation, which (if NOT brought into the realm of the conscious mind) can pose a Great Hazard to our well-being both as individuals and as a society.  We will (then, if the urge remains within the Unconscious) seek Power … perhaps even Lust for power.  This makes us vulnerable (and susceptible) to some rising dictator … promising us the power we long for.


I would also suggest –    (Why Passivity Breeds Mediocrity and Mental Illness)     [which is only 8.6 minutes]


It suggests that Modern Man now finds himself in possession of (considerable) Discretionary Time … and that we (literally) do not know what to do with ourselves.


One of the most popular new diets is the Paleo Diet.  It makes sense to us – that if we want to be healthy … we should eat what we were eating during our (long) evolution … rather than eating the foods which now happen to be available (and which the ad men want us to eat)



Like that –  human beings have had to struggle just to survive … for many eons.  And now (all of a sudden) we find ourselves with our survival (relatively) assured … and we have all this time on our hands!

We are tempted to imagine that it makes sense – to do as little as possible.


Well … this turns out to be a Bad Program.


[Now, I’m going to assume you’ve watched these 2 videos … and offer you a quote by Parker J. Palmer  –


I remember talking with a friend who has worked for many years at the Catholic Worker, a ministry to the poor in New York City.  Daily she tries to respond to waves of human misery that are as ceaseless as surf in that community. Out of my deep not-knowing, I asked how she could keep doing a work that never showed any results, a work in which the problems keep getting worse instead of better.  I will never forget her enigmatic answer: “The thing you don’t understand, Parker, is that just because something is impossible, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.”


We need to apply our energies to something we (deeply) care about.


How about … ‘Let’s save this planet’  ?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~    (The Science Delusion  – Rupert Sheldrake) [an excellent talk]  [Did you notice the photo (of the ‘pro-science’ demonstration) in the Spiritual Problem video … about 4 minutes in?]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *