365 T-shirts - the reasoning

This blog should be sub-titled: a journal of my life in geek.

I get my geek on with things about which I am geeky: comic books, Baseball, Ultimate, science fiction, my favorite bands, books I have read and loved, and Jungian psychology to name some of the most frequently traversed subjects.

I began this project simply as a way to count my T-shirts. I own a lot of T-shirts. But how many do I have? Do I have 365? We shall find out.

When I started this blog, I thought about how each T-shirt means something to me. I bought it for a reason, after all. I set myself the task to post an entry about a new T-shirt every day as a way to simply write something every day, a warm up for writing fiction, which is my passion. Writing is like exercise. Warm ups are good for exercise. But after completing a month of blogging about T-shirts, I have learned that this blog serves as a journal; it documents my life in geek, sort of a tour of my interests in pop culture. The blog serves as a tool for self-inventory, for assessment and analysis of self and the origins of self, for stepping through the process of individuation in catalogues, lists, and ranks.

The blog also made me aware that I have some serious gaps in my T-shirt ownership, and I am in the process of collecting some new T-shirts for several of the great popular culture icons that I truly love. Stay tuned.

I was also a bit surprised that people checked out my blog and continue to check it, read it, and even comment on it. I am very appreciative of this readership. Please feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I will respond.

Also, please note that I have moved the original introductory text to the side bar. And now, I present to you the most recent entry of 365 T-shirts: a journal of my life in geek. Thank you for reading.
(Second Update - 1310.24. First Update - 1306.05 Originally Posted - 1304.25.)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

T-shirt #250 - Winnie the Pooh and Teaching

T-shirt #250 - Winnie the Pooh & Teaching

-  On Jungian Thought, Poohism, and Teaching

I started this entry back in July, and it's been sitting on my computer ever since. This is why I am in shorts in the pictures.

I love Winnie the Pooh. Disney Pooh. Milne Pooh. Doesn't matter.

I love POOH.

I did discuss this affection some in T-shirt #166.

I feel that Today is somewhat of a milestone as the number 250 has some significance.

So, today, I wish to share a few thoughts on intersections between Jungian thought, Tao te Ching, and Winnie the Pooh.

Somewhat coincidentally but also by design (teleology?), I am teaching the power point in my mythology class tonight that I am shown teaching in these photos.

If you have not read The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff, and you have any interest in either Tao te Ching, Winnie the Pooh, or both, then I recommend you read it immediately.

A free PDF version is available FROM THIS LINK.

Today, I wish to share thoughts punctuated by a series of photographs that comprise some of my favorite ideas in the whole world.

The best reaction to all situations is LOVE. But it is so hard to function this way.

It is so much easier to judge and to be angry, frustrated, annoyed, to give into one's stress.

But I keep trying.

If this statement about love as the right reaction to the universe makes you think of "Love is the Answer," then check the video I posted in T-shirt #166.

When I started this entry back in July, this woing toToday,he start text: Apparently, some of my students check this blog to see what I am doing. I really am working when I say I am working. Honest. For the last two days, I have worked on the blog throughout the day because I need to get to work and keep making progress with the work or I will not meet the deadline. The blog can be like a black hole. If I start working on it with the intention to finish it, I can easily get sucked into another universe, and once I emerge, I have not completed nearly enough work.

Things have not changed much since July. I work many hours. I work on the blog off and on throughout the day in an attempt to multi-task, though by nature I am not a multi-tasker.

The blog CAN be like a black hole.

I continue to experiment with how to better manage my time.

Jung came up with the idea of the Collective Unconscious to explain his idea of archetypes. He had no other explanation for the recurring predisposition toward images and image patterns by people with no communication with one another, with cultures that did not have interaction with one another.

George Lucas adapted Jung's Collective Unconscious as the Force in the Star Wars movies.

I like both versions of these ideas.

I believe firmly in the interconnectedness of people and things, of the universe.



Can we tap into another realm of consciousness with the Collective Unconscious? Through the interconnected fabric of consciousness, can we see the thoughts of others? Can we experience prophecies of the future? Or are the prophecies an overlap? The echoes of other consciousnesses?

ARCHETYPE: an archetype is not an image. It's a pre-disposition to an image. It's a projection of content into an imagined form. It's filled by our consciousness.

Archetypes are "universal, archaic patterns and images that derive from the collective unconscious and are the psychic counterpart of instinct. They are autonomous and hidden forms which are transformed once they enter consciousness and are given particular expression by individuals and their cultures. Being unconscious, the existence of archetypes can only be deduced indirectly by examining behavior, images, art, myths, religions, or dreams. They are inherited potentials which are actualized when they enter consciousness as images or manifest in behavior on interaction with the outside world.

"Strictly speaking, Jungian archetypes refer to nuclear underlying forms or the archetypes-as-such from which emerge images and motifs such as the mother, the child, the trickster and the flood amongst others. It is history, culture and personal context that shape these manifest representations giving them their specific content. These images and motifs are more precisely called archetypal images. However it is common for the term archetype to be used interchangeably to refer to both archetypes-as-such and archetypal images" (Jungian Archetypes, Wikipedia, 2013).

The image of Horus is purposeful in the power point as is my inclusion of the Eye of Horus here on the blog.

The Collective Unconscious and its archetypes must be taken on faith. There is no proving their existence through epistemology.

But we can see it working. We can set forth its workings, set forth the evidence and prove its existence like we would prove anything in a court of law. We can observe it to work and presume how it works and why it woeks, much like we feel we understand the migration of birds. Instinct drives us. Instinct drives birds. Instinct and the Collective Unconscious are one.

Study of Jung branches off from the standard story-type archetypes, such as child hero, wise old man, or trickster, and informs the archetypes of a man's feminine side (Anima), a woman's masculine side (Animus), and the dark side in us all (the Shadow).

But these "archetypes" do not exist independently of us. We fill them with content from consciousness. We project them onto actual people or actual images in the actual world. The archetype is the pattern, the similarity between different people's dark sides, different child heroes in different stories. But they are all different because we are all different, because different stories are different.

We must remember this.

We must make our own myths.

Everyone has the same questions. What is the meaning of life? What is after death? And everyone must find his or her own answers or live with the uncertainty. But people do not like uncertainty. People like certainty. People do not like long quests. People like short trips and then packing away what is over and done with. But the world, the process of individuation to become a self, is not a short trip.

It's a long trip.

What a long and strange trip it has been and will be.

But we must all make our own journey and find our own answers in what Jung called THE PROCESS OF INDIVIDUATION.


Jung considered individuation, a psychological process of integrating the opposites including the conscious with the unconscious while still maintaining their relative autonomy, necessary for a person to become whole.[4]
Individuation is a process of transformation whereby the personal and collective unconscious is brought into consciousness (by means of dreams, active imagination or free association to take some examples) to be assimilated into the whole personality. It is a completely natural process necessary for the integration of the psyche to take place.[38]
Besides achieving physical and mental health,[38] people who have advanced towards individuation tend to be harmonious, mature and responsible. They embody humane values such as freedom and justice and have a good understanding about the workings of human nature and theuniverse.[4]

Also see INDIVIDUATION just by itself.

Jungian school [edit]

Carl Jung wrote much of his work in German. Difficulties for translation arise because the German word Seele means both psyche and soul. Jung was careful to define what he meant by psyche and by soul.
I have been compelled, in my investigations into the structure of the unconscious, to make a conceptual distinction between soul and psyche. By psyche, I understand the totality of all psychic processes, conscious as well as unconscious. By soul, on the other hand, I understand a clearly demarcated functional complex that can best be described as a "personality". (Jung, 1971: Def. 48 par. 797)
[The translation of the German word Seele presents almost insuperable difficulties on account of the lack of a single English equivalent and because it combines the two words "psyche" and "soul" in a way not altogether familiar to the English reader. For this reason some comment by the Editors will not be out of place.]
[In previous translations, and in this one as well, psyche– for which Jung in the German original uses either Psyche or Seele– has been used with reference to the totality of all psychic processes (cf. Jung, Psychological Types, Def. 48); i.e., it is a comprehensive term. Soul, on the other hand, as used in the technical terminology of analytical psychology, is more restricted in meaning and refers to a "function complex" or partial personality and never to the whole psyche. It is often applied specifically to "anima" and "animus"; e.g., in this connection it is used in the composite word "soul-image" (Seelenbild). This conception of the soul is more primitive than the Christian one with which the reader is likely to be more familiar. In its Christian context it refers to "the transcendental energy in man" and "the spiritual part of man considered in its moral aspect or in relation to God." . . . –Editors.] (Jung, 1968: note 2 par. 9)


So the goal of Psyche, the word Jung used for "all the psychic processes," in other words, the person, the personality, the self under development, is to find wholeness, balance, to realize the self, the center wholeness in us all.

The self is the end product, the balanced, whole, transformed, transcendent being.

The Buddha.

The gestalt of ultimate apotheosis.

All spirit. One with God.

All of which brings my content sharing to the subject of Winnie the Pooh.

The Winnie the Pooh stories are consciousness at work, the Process of Individuation at work.

The One Hundred Acre woods is the unconscious. Christopher Robin is the psyche under development to become a self. All the characters and elements of his unconscious are the parts of his psyche that must be brought into balance to emerge as a whole and unified self.

Perhaps Pooh is the end result.

Pooh just is.

Pooh is totally a right-brained being.

We are all much too left brained in our society with its rules and prisons.

We all should be more like Pooh.


The Taoist idea of the Uncarved Block is called P'u. Much like "Pooh."

Coincidence or proof of the Collective Unconscious?

"Things in their original simplicity contain their own natural power, power that is easily spoiled and lost when simplicity is changed" (Hoff, pg. 10).

The secret of the Uncarved Block? LIFE IS FUN.

Pooh proves that the Pooh Way is the true way when lost in the woods with Rabbit. Rabbit is very left brained. Pooh is not. Pooh finds home when he stops looking for it. It's this counter-intuitive thinking that is endemic of the Uncarved Block.

Just be.

Let the natural forces of the universe guide you.

Be like water.


The Greatest Good is like water... Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

The greatest good is like water
which benefits all life without trying to
It resides in the purest mountain snows
and dwells in the lowest of places
Thus it is like the Tao.
-Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

from wikipedia;
Lao Tzu, aka Laozi and many others, was a philosopher of ancient China and is a central figure in Taoism or Daoism. Lao Tzu literally means "Old Master." He is revered simply as a wise man in philosophical forms of Taoism, but revered as a god in religious forms, much like The Buddha is regarded differently by the religious and philosophical schools of Buddhism. According to Chinese tradition, Lao Tzu lived in the 6th century BC and is traditionally regarded as the author of the Daodejing (Tao Te Ching), though its authorship has been debated throughout history.
The above is my own translation of his teaching on water being the greatest good. No, I don't speak any form of Chinese, but from going over many other different interpretations, I believe this is what Lao Tzu was saying;
that we all should strive to be ourselves, without ego getting in the way, to mix among all walks of life both rich and poor, both good and bad (whatever that means) and in between. And that by truly being ourselves, we'll actually be helping everyone around us without even trying (sort of like Forrest Gump.) Perhaps by losing the ego and letting go, we'll allow Spirit to work through us, thus being like the Tao or The Way.

I also believe if you read between the lines in the teachings of Jesus Christ, you'll find a lot of similar themes. Some scholars argue that Jesus appears to have studied Buddhism during his "missing years" between the ages of 20 and 30. Wouldn't surprise me one bit.
Jason Matthews - 2009

I am of the Pooh way.

The way is of Pooh.

That's a wrap.

Thank you for checking out my blog today. I am here every day, at least for another 115 days.

COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE BLOG YEAR - 115 shirts remaining

- chris tower - 1311.26 - 13:52

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