Philemon’s Animals and Little Red Riding Hood.

i) In Memories Dreams and Reflections Jung tells us of Philemon that “He said I treated thoughts as if I generate them myself, but in his view thoughts were like animals in the forest, people in the room…” (p208).

The pneuminous theory chimes with this in some sense. Thoughts are accretions, more complicated yet still than concepts. Thoughts certainly can seem like distinct entities that return to us again and again. Conceived of accretions of pneuma this is literally so. Conceived in this way under the occult auspice, thoughts become accreted to the Narp and thus part of it (an extension of the neurotic accretion).

When we consider ourselves to be someone we name a neurotic accretion ‘I am Stephen’. The neurotic accretion is aware of its awareness. Stephen is emergent upon a complex interplay of pneuminous accretive forms. The dominance of ‘Stephen’ as the master accretion turns at least in part upon its identity with the bounded image of the regional processor (body). This suggestion that the totality is named ‘Stephen’ renders the other concepts largely incapable of supplanting it -though of course this can happen, we call these kinds of coups ‘mental illness’.

New thoughts are forged not in the neurotic accretion but in the regional processor. The pneuminous forms appear in the neurotic accretion: thoughts. New thoughts are syntheses of old ones: interbreeding of Philemon’s animals.

ii) In Little Red Riding Hood sometimes the wolf swallows grandma and LRRH whole. The pneuminous reading offers an alternative to Bettleheim. The wolf is the neurotic accretion, grandma and LRRH are thoughts absorbed by the neurotic accretion. LRRH is a tale of caution not for Narps but for thoughts themselves. Thoughts trying to avoid being synthesised must avoid Narps or they are in danger of being interbred inside the regional processor. They try to avoid the neurotic accretion but it is too clever for them and absorbs first grandma and then LRRH. The woodcutter frees them and the unsynthesised thoughts escape intact. The neurotic accretion having been destroyed by another pneuminous form is liberated into its original emptiness. The death of the wolf is the dissolution of the ego and the understanding of the thoughts as autonomous entities that cannot be subsumed.

Hence it is not only a cautionary tale for pneuminous forms but also for Narps. Pneuminous forms should not be greedily absorbed lest they destabilise the neurotic accretion owing to their unperceived autonomy.

The irony in the two analogies is that for Philemon the thoughts are like animals and yet for the fairy tale it is the notion of self (the neurotic accretion)  that is portrayed as an animal and the thoughts as humans. This is no doubt deliberate and maybe more cogent than Philemon’s notion. The neurotic accretion almost blindly absorbs thoughts and believes its identity after the fact. That is, LRRH is a childhood fairytale.

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