The Media-Dream Model: Science Fiction as Archetypal Representation

The Media-Dream Model: Science Fiction as Archetypal Representation

Stephen Brock Schafer (Pacific Rim Enterprises, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9065-1.ch009


We live in a world not of science but of science fiction. Like pixel patterns from unconscious software is projected onto a monitor, unconscious archetypal quantum patterns are projected as what Carl Jung called archetypal representation (AR). Projected images are then subject to the vagaries of personal perception, so it may be stipulated that no absolute reality exists for humans. Rather, each person lives in a perceptual fiction. According to Carl G. Jung, dreams are projections from quantum-level unconscious dimensions into the cognitive dimension of “consciousness.” In the language of dream analysis, Jung would have described the science fiction genre as a prospective (future-oriented) dreamscape of archetypal representations. In the media-dream model, quantum patterns are derived from research in cognitive neuroscience and physics. Contemplated as AR, the sci-fi genre is predictive of cultural futures and formats psychological motives and morality. Sci-fi has the potential to detect the psychological dynamics at work during the paradigm shift into a dreamscape of illusion.
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According to Jungian principle, dreams can be analyzed with the language of symbolism in-order to access and heal incoherent individual and collective psychic states. This healing process can also be understood as a learning dynamic that is based on biofeedback. Jung called the biofeedback “Compensation”, and Jungian Compensation is a process leading to the achievement of a coherent state of being that he called “Individuation”. Therefore, achievement of coherent states that result from meaningful insight (learning) as to the unconscious significance of dream symbols becomes the healing dynamic for individuals and cultures. Science fiction films can be analyzed as if they were collective media-dreams. They provide prophetic insights that foster coherent states and throw light on alternative cultural life-paths that are being explored during the paradigm shift. Remembering that the same dynamic of dream (image) analysis and healing potential can be applied to all mediated illusions including news coverage, the science of pixel pattern projection becomes the key to creating a coherent culture.

It may be stipulated that science fiction has had a profound influence on culture. Notwithstanding groundbreaking cognitive research on the “unconscious”, according to the same psychological dynamics (association, correlation, & repetition) used successfully for decades by advertisers and, now, by neuromarketers, we understand why science fiction becomes reality. It can be demonstrated that the human reality is a product of the dynamics of dreams as researched by Carl Jung. Though the importance of dreams has been recognized since time immemorial, it is only now—in the grasp and with the evidence provided by the virtual reality of the technologically mediated dreamscape—that a majority of humans can realize, indeed, humans create their own reality of dreams. Taking full responsibility and accountability for this creative agency will change everything. The award-winning science fiction writer, A. A. Attanasio (2016), says:

We live in a world not of science but of science fiction. Consider gravity. Newton’s law of universal gravitation took people to the moon and back several times – more than a half century after Einstein’s general theory of relativity made that law fiction.

Even Einstein’s view of gravity becomes fiction inside black holes and at the first instant of the Big Bang. And the enigmas of dark matter and dark energy in this century have moved physicists to suggest that gravity may “leak” from other dimensions (String Theory) or perhaps emerge from the thermodynamics of spacetime (Entropic Gravity).

Observational experimentation, even with something as fundamental as gravity, can only ever offer us fictions. We’re biological, after all, and most of the universe is not. Categories like time and volume, which define the parameters of our world, turn out to be illusions [mathematical constructs] in cosmic reality.

Correlated research by Carl Jung and George Lakoff provides the cognitive reasons why science fiction—that always takes the form of some sort of mediation—becomes reality. The same cognitive dynamic applies to the critical problems of the media—political hacking, surveillance, the creation of reality with repetitive lies, and subliminal coercion with advertising and neuromarketing. The premise of this paper is that science fiction dramas that heal cultural collectives with coherent mediated biofeedback can be designed as Psychecology video game (PEG) research instruments.

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