Statement of Purpose

To lick the verboten. Was ist das?

If we consult the free, online version of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, we are told that lick, as a transitive verb, means “to draw the tongue over.” The sense experience that occurs when we draw our tongue over a surface is one of the most private sensations available, as the information is acquired via direct contact with the sensed object, unmediated by distance or the shared vision of a peer. The word “lick” comes from the Old English word “liccian” which is akin to the Old High German “leckon.” Verboten, another word of mutual descent, is defined by the OM-WD as something that is “not conforming to the
usual selection principles.” This, the forbidden, is the object which we draw our tongue over, with which we have our most personal sensations. For, as Jung says, “Sensation is a hindrance to clear, unbiased, naive perception; its intrusive sensory stimuli direct attention to the physical surface, to the very things round and beyond which intuition tries to peer.”[1]

When we think of a “physical surface,” it’s hard not to imagine, inculcated as we are by the influence of Hollywood movies, a
well-traveled city sidewalk. This concrete element is something we tend, on a day-to-day basis, to ignore, attempting to look around it via intuition and fantasy. If the thought of licking this surface ever occurs, it is accompanied by that feeling of disgust associated with compulsive, unwanted thoughts. In opposition to this perspective, the authors of this blog wish to argue that true confluence with reality occurs when we give ourselves over to the direct stimuli of that forbidden place, the “physical surface,” and attempt to come face to face with experience. With this assertion in mind, we believe that one can lick the verboten to the point where one tries, not to peer around the “physical surface,” but to not not peer around the “physical surface.”

Jung, C.G. From “Psychological Types,” p. 221 in The Portable Jung. Ed. Joseph Campbell. New York: Penguin Books, 1971.


2 Responses to “Statement of Purpose”

  1. Uomo November 10, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    Fantastic publish. I just discovered your blog and wanted to say that I have truly appreciated browsing your posts. Thanks, SuperKuhlWunderBlog!


  1. A Popular Appeal « WWSKWBD? Lick the verboten. - September 21, 2010

    […] Statement of Purpose […]

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