I think another really important aspect of psychological maturity as it relates to meditation is the capacity to sit with "I am the problem" without self-judgment, or otherwise somehow realizing that being the problem also inherently makes you the solution.

Expand full comment

Another great and very thought-provoking read, thanks Max.

Expand full comment

This is the problem with truly worthwhile SubStacks like this one - each piece elicits a need to say so much in response (appreciation/agreement) - that I just don't have the time!

May my 'Hearting' of this superb piece suffice for now sir!

Expand full comment

This is a fantastic essay. Do you have any more pointers for going about inner work/ the secondary resources you read that were inspired by Jung?

Expand full comment
Aug 28Liked by Max Goodbird

My cat accidentally hit send on the first comment, then he asked to go for a walk & my browser cleared out my second comment. GG

Expand full comment

Re: no.1 there should be no guilt using anecdotal evidence. At some point of being / reaching maturity - means enough to trust personal instincts - you made it this far in life, right..? Sometimes our unique insight is able to connect that, which Ai fails at - ‘Unexpected, yet related.’

I stopped feeling guilty about using anecdotal evidence when supporting personal writing when I learned that Bank of Canada started using ~narratives in their own research - essentially quantifying feelings of masses. ‘Hmmm... Feelings of masses..? Yup, Feelings of Masses’.

The unsatisfying thing, is the fact that in some instances the data is virtually ~all American.

You would think that it is ~hard to quantify Feelings of Masses - but no.

Expand full comment

"Specifically: it’s hard to meditate if you’ve got a bunch of bullshit to worry about."

I meditated on bullshit, concentrating on the person/thing that was driving me crazy. Eventually all the tiny fractal arms explaining the reasons for that person or situation came clear and action could proceed.

Sometimes it wasn't what I wanted to have to go through, tremendous pain was involved at times, then there are smaller sacrifices like not eating bread or leaving home, town, country. Sometimes it went 100% against what I thought would be the morally correct thing to do like abandoning a person or idea, ie family members, friends etc..

It was the right path *for me in a set of circumstances* and then one day after doing this for years, boom (in my forties which qualifies as 'mature').

"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. -Carl Jung"

Shamans call the person who irritates a 'petty tyrant'. One uses the traits of dreadful people in their life to correct the ego. Its hard to do but supremely effective and the only proper feeling towards them is gratitude because as they say, 'self importance is the enemy'.

"As I said, the petty tyrant is the outside element, the one we cannot control and the element that is perhaps the most important of them all. My benefactor used to say that he who stumbles on a petty tyrant is a lucky one [...] because if you don’t, you have to go out and look for one.”

[...] If seers can hold their own in facing petty tyrants, they can certainly face the unknown with impunity, and then they can even stand the presence of the unknowable.

[...] We know that nothing can temper the spirit [...] as much as the challenge of dealing with impossible people in positions of power. Only under those conditions can warriors acquire the sobriety and serenity to stand the pressure of the unknowable.”


Expand full comment
Aug 27Liked by Max Goodbird

I was just talking about this the other day when commenting on how modern meditation is increasingly sold as an easy self-help intervention. It completely misses the fact that deep meditation requires serious introspection and exploration behind motives, ethics, and understanding of our own psychology and the cultural backgdrop behind all of that.

Expand full comment