DLGP

Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

What’s On Your Mind?

Written by: on November 21, 2023

Spell Bound is the second book our cohort has read by the author Daniel Lieberman. The first was The Molecule of More. Lieberman spent over twenty years studying Carl Jung before sitting down to write the book Spell Bound. As he thought about the philosophers and great writers down through the centuries he had read over the years, he came to the realization that all knowledge is one. [1] He discovered there were far more connections between the disciplines than previously imagined. [2] Spell Bound, therefore, looks at the human mind as the source of the different disciplines and attempts to explain what it tells us about the human psyche. [3]

Carl Jung’s Theory of the Unconscious Mind

Jung divides the unconscious mind into two distinct parts: the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious. [4] The personal unconscious consists of parts of our minds that were conscious at one time and are unconscious now for one of two reasons. The first reason is that we simply have forgotten them over time. [5] This category would include childhood memories or other memories long ago forgotten. [6] A simple smell or taste might cause one of these memories to explode into our conscious mind, and Daniel Lieberman explains that we might sense this experience as almost magical. [7] The collective unconscious represents the parts of ourselves that we find unacceptable. Jung calls this the shadow. [8] These are things we don’t like about ourselves, so we suppress them in our minds. They can erupt intensely for any number of “mystical” reasons, just like the personal unconscious. [9] When they do erupt, we find ourselves saying things like “I don’t know what got into me” or “I don’t know what possessed me.” [10]

Superstitions

Lieberman talks about athletes being superstitious in his book. The more elite they are, the more superstitious they are before and during their games. [11] An example of this superstitious behavior is Tiger Wood’s red shirt. He always wore it when competing on Sundays because his mother told him to wear it. [12] Babe Ruth also had some unusual superstitions. He always stepped on second base whenever he jogged in from right field. He never allowed a teammate to borrow one of his bats. Most unusual, he frequently wore women’s silk stockings to guard him from falling into batting slumps. [13]

Conclusion

I think all of us have experienced explosions of memories from a simple taste or smell at one time or another. These moments are unavoidable and can be pleasant or unpleasant – depending on the memory. I don’t like to think of myself as superstitious, but if I really sit down and think about my actions, I might discover that I have superstitions about things that matter deeply to me. The human mind is fascinating, and there’s much to our minds and how they work that I still do not understand, admittedly.

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[1] Newton, Joseph, and Daniel Lieberman. “How To Unlock The True Power Of Your Unconscious Mind – Dr Daniel Z Lieberman.” Freedom Pact. August 26, 2022. Link.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Lieberman, Daniel Z. Spellbound: Modern Science, Ancient Magic, and the Hidden Potential of the Unconscious Mind. Dallas (Tex.): BenBella Dooks, 2022.

[4] Newton, Joseph, and Daniel Lieberman. “How To Unlock The True Power Of Your Unconscious Mind – Dr Daniel Z Lieberman.” Freedom Pact. August 26, 2022. Link.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Lieberman, Daniel Z. Spellbound: Modern Science, Ancient Magic, and the Hidden Potential of the Unconscious Mind. Dallas (Tex.): BenBella Dooks, 2022.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Fritscher, Lisa, and Daniel B. Block MD. “Carl Jung’s Collective Unconscious Theory: What It Suggests About the Mind.” Very Well Mind. May 17, 2023. Link.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Newton, Joseph, and Daniel Lieberman. “How To Unlock The True Power Of Your Unconscious Mind – Dr Daniel Z Lieberman.” Freedom Pact. August 26, 2022. Link.

[11] Lieberman, Daniel Z. Spellbound: Modern Science, Ancient Magic, and the Hidden Potential of the Unconscious Mind. Dallas (Tex.): BenBella Dooks, 2022.

[12] Giblin, Chris. “The Strange Habits of the Most Superstitious Pro Athletes.” Men’s Journal. June 28, 2018. Link.

[13] Ibid.

 

About the Author

Tonette Kellett

Missionary, teacher, Bible student, traveler ... Having lived in Kenya and Korea, I now live in Mississippi and work with the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

12 responses to “What’s On Your Mind?”

  1. Kristy Newport says:

    Tonette,
    Have you thought of something you are superstitious over?
    “I don’t like to think of myself as superstitious, but if I really sit down and think about my actions, I might discover that I have superstitions about things that matter deeply to me.”

    Enjoy your break from teaching!!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Tonette Kellett says:

      Kristy,

      Thank you for your comment. I really haven’t taken the time to think about anything I’m superstitious over yet. I’m going to have to sit down and think about it though!

      Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

  2. Jenny Steinbrenner Hale says:

    Tonette, Thank you so much for your post. I learned from you things I had missed in the book. It is so interesting, isn’t it, how complex God has made our minds. I especially like this quote from you: “The human mind is fascinating, and there’s much to our minds and how they work that I still do not understand, admittedly.”

    Was there anything you picked up in Lieberman’s book that pertains to your project or your teaching?

    Hoping you have a nice Thanksgiving!

    • Tonette Kellett says:

      Jenny,

      Thank you for your comment and your question. I think the book doesn’t so much apply to my project, but I can certainly apply it to my life. I like the part about “magical moments” – times when you seem to connect with people or places. Sometimes, it may even be divine. I strive for magical moments with my students. And I pray for them to have magical moments with the Lord.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  3. mm Chad McSwain says:

    Hi Tonette

    Have you ever had a smell or taste bring back a memory?
    It is fascinating when this happens. I have a few times and the memory is fuzzy and vernally it has been something from my childhood. Music does this too. Perhaps that’s why we like music from when we were younger or from a special memory.
    Great summary!

    • Tonette Kellett says:

      Chad,

      My mama used to wear the same perfume all the time when I was growing up – white diamonds. It was her smell. When I was 21, I graduated from college and moved to Korea as a short-term missionary with a two-year assignment in a remote part of the country. It was the longest I had ever been away from home before, and definitely the farthest.

      I was well into my second year there, walking through an underground shopping center. It was dimly lit and in the evening. Now realize there are a lot of people in Korea, even in my remote city of a million people. A group of people walked past me going the other way, and one of them was wearing a perfume just like my mama’s. Tears rushed into my eyes immediately, as I turned and said aloud, “Mama?!” I still remember the sharp feeling today, many years later.

      There have been other instances, but that one was poignant for me.

  4. mm Daron George says:

    Hi Tonette,

    Given Jung’s division of the unconscious into the personal and collective aspects, how do you think understanding these parts of our psyche can enhance our self-awareness and relationships, especially in contexts that matter deeply to us?

    • Tonette Kellett says:

      Daron,

      You always ask the deeper questions that make me think harder! 🙂

      Understanding how our conscious and unconscious mind works helps us better understand ourselves and our behavior. It helps us explain why we do the things we do, why memories explode into our minds at inopportune times, and so forth. Knowing this makes us better in our interpersonal relationships.

  5. Audrey Robinson says:

    Tonette, I had to revisit some of Jung’s work to help me understand Spellbound. You used Jung’s personal unconscious description to reflect those memories simply have forgotten them over time, i.e., childhood memories.

    On our Zoom call today, I understood Dr. Lieberman to say that the unconscious memory could also be a habit that is formed and moved from the conscious. In your review of Jung’s work – was there any mention of habits in our personal consciousness.

    • Audrey and Tonette – I’m curious about the link with habits, as well. It seems as though psychology and nueroscience may be on the brink of being able to help us develop better habits by accessing the unconscious mind. Anything you read about this from Jung would be helpful, Tonette!

      • Tonette Kellett says:

        Laura,

        The same thing I told Audrey, I did not read anything about habits in my links… even after going back and looking at them again afterward. I’m sorry. Maybe that research is coming or it is out there now and I just didn’t run across it.

    • Tonette Kellett says:

      Audrey,

      I did not read anything about habits. It would have been interesting, but there was nothing about it in my links. I went back and looked. I’m sorry!

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