An old brain thinking about thinking

Logo for Barbie (TM) The Movie: white serif font on bright pink background
Hosted by Joseph R. Lee, Lisa Marchiano, Deborah C. Stewart, Certified Jungian Analysts. Photos of each person, all older and amused.
Three Jungian Analysts thinking about Barbie

Old brains are interesting brains. Nostalgia for old professional conversations popped up in this old brain last week. It got my old brain thinking…

In an episode of This Jungian Life, a podcast, three Jungian Analysts think and talk about Barbie, the movie. It’s such fun eavesdropping as they explore and play with all sorts of ideas, matching aspects of Barbie the movie (and the history of the doll) with Greek mythical figures, Adam and Eve, and — all manner of myths and facts and social issues.

Do listen or watch on YouTube if you are even faintly interested. Why would I spoil your fun by summarising the content?

Bonus for old brains: revisiting lost fields of conversation

Listening to this podcast, I was swept back to the 1970s when I studied psychology (very superficially) for a post-grad diploma in education. Intuitively and no doubt unfairly, I found the Freudian outlook heavy, ominous and rigid. Again with minimum knowledge, I found the Jungian approach far more attractive, more literary and creative than scientific. Full of stories, it fired my imagination and so, my brain. That reading gave me a thrill, a buzz. Moreover, four or five Jungian analysts have crossed my path and they’ve all been a delight.

So here’s the bonus for me: I haven’t listened to any sustained discussion by experts in this particular field for decades. Maybe since the 1970s. Different expertise, different profession, different language, different framework — all this means a different way of thinking.

Of course I loved the topic, having giggled, laughed, squawked and sniffled my way through Barbie: the movie. It was a rich field. And the discussion was not bossy or false or competitive but a lovely yes-and playground for three polished minds.

So I found myself thinking as much about the style and language as about the content. Actually that is typical of my old mind.

An old brain thinking about other conversation eras

I must get to my real work in a few minutes so I’ll write more about this another day. But how dramatically the common topics of common conversation have changed from decade to decade!

Listening to Joseph, Lisa and Deborah (I fancy myself on first name terms with them) made me aware that I miss old conversations about old topics. With a totally different vocabulary. And a professional excitement. I became nostalgic for something that I’d never consciously missed!

Nostalgically thinking about thinking about IT

Last week the local WordPress Meetup group met up after several years of closure. Six people: four practitioners, a beginner, and me. My interest: to get the goss, update my knowledge, to learn what I didn’t know I didn’t know. My background: I was a pioneer in how to “write for the web”, writing the first book in the world on the subject before my companions had even been born. I’m an old geek who has been out of the business for 8 years, a lifetime online. I was upfront, saying, “I won’t be able to teach you anything, I’ll just be hoovering up your expertise.” As I’m on with no desire to move, that labels me immediately as non-serious, non-ambitious participant in the world of WordPress.

But I loved it! I’ll keep going if possible. Again, this hour was a nostalgic trip back to a person I used to be. A lost identity. Only once this year can I remember having a decent techie discussion. That’s absolutely not the way my friends and I talk about computer stuff.

Old brains cherish reminders of lost identities

Yes, I think that’s what I was doing on both occasions: remembering a long-lost identity. The Rachel who got a buzz out of tinkering with ideas about the psyche. The Rachel who explored words on the Web when the Web was a newborn environment. The Rachel who wrote that book.

I’m still alive in all sorts of ways, still discovering new ways to deal with the world and interpret the way my old brain is thinking. But I remember fondly the Rachels of yesteryear, and intend to cherish them when and where I can.

Thanks for reading. A bit of a rant, wasn’t it? But that’s something old brains can do when they think about thinking, over 83 years of changes in the self, life, world and zeitgeist.

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9 thoughts on “An old brain thinking about thinking

  1. Rant? No, delightful reading.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Thanks Anne. It’s my inner geek.

  2. “other conversation eras” What a unique idea. You’re right, other convo eras as in the times, the stage in life we’re in, what’s the hot topic of the day, etc. Plus you added the idea of revisiting ‘old convo topics’ within current word usages and deductions. Really cool. Guess I’m a fellow ‘old brainer’ HA!
    To your other point, I really relate about touching slices of who we were and then ultimately seeing how that contributed to who we are now.
    Would you consider yourself a certified Jungian these days, Rachel?

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Great to get your views, Laura. A certified Jungian? Not in a million years! Whatever I used to think I knew, I have long forgotten. But it only takes 4-7 years ago it’s still possible.

  3. Beth A Rubin says:

    Hit home!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Really? Were you recalling other Beths from days of yore?

  4. candidkay says:

    Hmmm . . . Jung and Barbie. Now there are two words you don’t normally hear in the same sentence. I’m intrigued!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      At present it’s Barbie with everything 🙂

      1. candidkay says:

        Right? But a movie with a message. I’ll take it!

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