Reply To: Suggestions of how discussions might be framed

  • Charles Rykken

    May 28, 2023 at 12:00 am

    I have just very recently discovered a book by Anne Harrington which was published in 1996 while she was on the faculty of Harvard as a historian of science.

    I purchased a copy at their 50% off sale at PUP. I am eagerly anticipating the arrival of this book. It goes into issues that might be counterintuitive for most people. I have struggled for many years how to reconcile material science with various forms of consciousness being the ground of all being as well as why people like Martin Heidegger is a full blown Nazi and the Zen priests in Japan were murderous whores for the militarist government of Japan up to and including all of WWII. My fervent hope is that Anne Harrington’s book will help me understand this strange situation. I personally believe that gangster government began about 7 to 8 thousand years ago. The beginning of agriculture is commonly estimated to have begun about 10 to 12 thousand years ago. A need to protect their crops from people who had chosen to remain hunter-gatherers would raid the farms in times of need. Over time the agriculture based communities developed a caste of professional warriors to protect their farms. I believe that this phase was very short as the best warriors were likely to be psychopaths and having the power to take over the government and institute authoritarian rule is just what psychopaths love to do. Thousands of years of rule by gangsters ensued. More recently, a Canadian social psychologist wrote a book about authoritarian personalities, His website is

    and his book is available as a free download at

    The question about polytheism and pluralism is interesting. William James was visited by Sigmund Freud and his young apprentice, Carl G. Jung. James was much more interested in Jung than Freud. Jung eventually developed his ideas about archetypes, he thought it was his most important contribution to analytical psychology. Hinduism is essentially pluralistic but it is also panentheistic. Atman = Brahman and Brahman is beyond all duality. The lesser gods are very similar to the archetypes. Bottom line, I do not know if many people have made that connection. I did a Google Scholar search on the two search terms below and the number of hits was low but interesting. I intend to look into it myself but you might like to take a look yourself.

    polytheism + archetypes + jung + pluralism (2,060 hits)

    hinduism + polytheism + archetypes + jung (2,370 hits)