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Comparing A Cornucopia of The Collective Unconscious

Georgie Reporting

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In my last post, I wrote how I was feeling a little too fatigued in Joinville to do too much. So I headed back to Curitiba to take it easy and plan my next excursion to Argentina. I had passed through Curitiba a few days before and had a nice feeling about it but did not really get a chance to explore much. Now that I am back, I found my energy level is a bit higher and my general mood is much better as well. Walking around the center of Curitiba, I could not help smile for some reason. I felt very comfortable and enjoyed the European feeling to the city as well as the smiles from locals.
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It was also a bit disorienting for some strange reason. It felt a little bit like being in Odessa, Ukraine and Treviso, Italy at the same time! So I sat down in Plaza Osorio and decided to do some research on the town. The city´s migration history surprised me. From Wikipedia: ¨ In the 1850s, waves of European immigrants arrived in Curitiba, mainly Germans, Italians, Poles and Ukrainians, contributing to the city's economic and cultural development.[6]¨ You can imagine the kind of ¨Aha! moment¨ I had.
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I was in a city that, most likely, was filled with distant cousins originally from ancestral homes of mine. No wonder I enjoyed being around the crowds, even in the mall, checking out their interesting faces and receiving warm smiles from women on occasion. Those warm smiles almost seemed to say, ¨Oh I know you. Hi.¨
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About the same time, I ¨coincidentally¨ stumbled upon a few articles about Carl Yung´s theory on The Collective Unconsciousness and it started me thinking deeply about the meaning. For those of you unfamiliar with Carl Yung, he was a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. The collective unconscious, defined by Jung refers to the idea that a segment of the deepest unconscious mind is genetically inherited and is not shaped by personal experience. The articles I read made me realize how much I found Yung´s theories to be true through my experiences documented in this and other travel blogs of mine. Yung is considered the opposite of Sigmund Freud who basically said we are all born with a clean slate and that our problems come from all our living experiences, not from the past. Yung´s work is considered by many as ¨pseudo-science¨because his theory is not easily provable. I won´t go into too much about Yung´s work but I suggest you Google his theories to learn more. But right now, I do believe that his idea that we are motivated by ancient (and not so ancient) experiences of our ancestors is what drives my life and being in Curitiba is a good example. First check out the article:
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Understanding the Collective Unconscious By Lisa Fritscher
Lisa Fritscher is a freelance writer and editor with a deep interest in phobias and other mental health topics.
Updated November 04, 2019

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For all the traveling I have done, I have only felt truly comfortable in a handful of places which, as it so happens, tended to be ancestral locations filled with people who I probably have some genetic connection to. My past posts include positive experiences in Falcade, Belluno as well as Cochabamba, Bolivia, Treviso and Venice, Italy and a few other places. These experiences felt very unique to me since I grew up in a place that always felt uncomfortable for me. And in most of those cases, I hadn´t yet identified them as key ancestral places until some time later. I just knew I felt like I belonged in those places even though I didn´t look much like the locals or even know the language. And they seemed quite friendly and nice to me during my visits. Over time, I slowly began to see that their was indeed a connection between one´s genetics and to certain places and even to certain populations.
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Curitiba cemented that for notion for me. I originally was just passing through Curitiba on my way to locations in southern Brazil that some genetic cousins had listed as places their grandparent were born. None had included Curitiba but it was the first big city I hit after a 6 hour bus ride from Sao Paulo and was just going to spend the night and move on. But the few hours I had, looking for a quick bite to eat, was surreal. I still didn´t think much about it when I left. It was only when I felt like I was really dragging that I just decided to return to see if I felt those positive vibes again. And yes I did!
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Now I know Curitiba isn´t an ancestral home to my family. We may have a tiny bit of Guarani but that could be from anywhere in Brazil and I don´t think the population has a lot of Guarani ancestry but they do have some Native American and African %s to go along with the European ones mentioned above. Thus, was I suddenly in a foreign place where I share much of the same Collective Unconscious as the rest of the population? is that why I felt so much better and at ease? Does having the same, shared ancient genetics here somehow contribute to a better mental health and well being?
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I have been in Curitiba several days now and I can´t say I have felt anything negative at all. It feels very safe and, for some reason, it doesn´t feel like I am in Brazil but somewhere in Europe. I kind of walk around like I know it very well. Or maybe it´s that I find the logic of how the city is run so easy for me to follow? It is all a little bit hard to describe in writing really. So I started comparing Curitiba to other similar experiences during my travels.
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Yung´s Collective Unconscious states that our genetics hold the cultural values, morals and even tragedies that our ancestors experienced. Those are passed on down to us and can manifest into phobias and other things that are difficult for us to understand and deal with in the modern era hence the need for psychoanalysis. i get Yung´s basic premises though I get the feeling that he is coming from a very European perspective on it. What if I contain the Collective unconscious of, not only my ancient European ancestors, but that of my ancient African and Native American ancestors? It shouldn´t even be a question really. I already know that is what is going on with me and others like me. It is pretty easy to research and investigate the roots of ancient European history to better understand its culture and values but that is not as easy for Africa or the Americas. Ancient African history has been hidden and distorted due to historic racial bias and Native American ancient life was simply destroyed outright by the Europeans. It is because of this that I need to just ¨feel¨my way to try and understand what my non-European ancient fore-bearers´values and culture were actually like.
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Writing that, I am reminded of the time I visited Cuzco again last year. One moment I am happy, walking around the Plaza Mayor with my girlfriend on a bright beautiful day and the next minute I am doubled over weeping uncontrollably. I remembered that the same thing happened the first time I visited over 20 years earlier almost in the same spot. Cuzco is an ancestral place for us. We have several matches from around here and I am around 40% Andean. My connection to the locals is the same as Treviso, the Veneto, Stuttgart and Cochabamba except that it is filled with overwhelming sadness. It´s as if the collective unconscious there stems from a collective PTSD when the Spanish utterly destroyed their thousands of years way of life with the execution of the last Inca. The horror of an entire civilization´s destruction must have imprinted on the genes of those who saw it happen. Oh, it is always a little tough writing about that. Cochabamba has a little bit of that as well but for a few different reasons.
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Conversely, the European collective consciousness for me is not so sad filled. Generally, Europeans can still refer to the same beliefs spanning hundreds of years without total elimination except for perhaps the Jews and other groups. I wrote extensively about that experience in previous posts.
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So where am I going with all this? Well, I think the DNA testing phenomenon is great but it should also talk more about the value of understanding the Collective Unconscious of various groups in the world and even its health benefits. I mean, if you feel good somewhere because of the people and the place then perhaps it might be a good idea to stick around their for a while. In most cases that might not be possible. I certainly don´t want to live like the Andeans in some mountain village or in some remote, rural part of Northern Italy. I´m also part Freudian in that I like the modern conveniences and city vibe that I grew up with.
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The ultimate revelation for me is that I am greatly affected by the population and the place. I feel healthier somewhere that contains similar tribal members, but that depends too on the collective trauma-level of that population. I also now better understand why I can´t stand certain strangers to be near me. It´s only because they are not part of a tribe my genetics knows and it just shouts that...so don´t take it personally! lol I also know that their will always be a mystery about the collective values and beliefs of my American and African ancient ancestors due to destruction and bias but that I should just try and listen better to those sides and make my own determinations.
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Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Xmas and Merry Kwanzaa to all!
I leave you with this song that captures the essence of this blog.

Posted by georgeaguilar 12:29 Archived in Brazil

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