AGAMIC PSYCHOLOGY: THE BAUM TEST AND HERMENEUTIC SEMIOTICS
Dr. K. Loganathan Universiti Sains Malaysia
Agamic psychology is a modernized version of the ancient Tantric Psychology that developed in India and took firm roots in South East Asia , the Far East and many other countries. Currently it is also flourishing as an active field of research in the West in various forms. This ancient psychology is being refashioned here as a rigorous field of science by through the use of ACCESS TESTS an example of which is the NEW BAUM TEST. This test was originally developed in Germany by some Jungian psychologists but now we have modified it suitably so that historical ways of being of a person can be accessed. We are developing this field as belonging to the general field of the Hermeneutic sciences. This we accomplish through what can be called Hermeneutic Semiotics- a science of interpretation of symbolic elements in which the symbols are also taken as TEXTS.
ABOUT BAUM TEST
Picture-drawing techniques as a measure of cognitive functions and personality characteristics have been popular with educationists and psychologists for several decades now. There is renewed interest now among the cognitive psychologists , philosophers and others in view of the recognition of the importance of metaphorical thinking as something peculiar to the humans, something perhaps even the most advanced computers cannot accomplish. As early as 1926 GOODENOUGH developed a standardized procedure for evaluating the intelligence of children from their drawings of a man. At about the same period Emil Jucker introduced the Tree Drawing Test in vocational guidance settings that was carried farther in a more elaborated manner by Charles KOCH (1952, 1957) . To date existing picture drawing techniques are: Draw-a- Man test or D-A-M (GOODENOUGH, 1926) House-Tree- Person or H-T- P technique (BUCK, 1948), Draw-a Person or D-A-P test (MACHOVER), the Michigan Picture Test ( Max L. HUTT, 1986) the Hand Test ( Edwin E. Wagner, 1986) and so forth.. A. I Rabin in His book PROJECTIVE TECHNIQUES FOR ADOLESCENTS AND CHILDREN provides a good account of most of these tests. The Tree Test however was farther developed in Japan by Kimio YOSHIKAWA and associates who called it the Baum Test in which the German word Baum meaning "tree" was used as a technical term for the drawings of fruit trees as such.(Yoshikawa & K. Loganathan, 1985). Subsequent to that we developed the New Baum Test and have been doing many researches into the human unconscious since 1987. This test, the central element for Agamic Psychology, will be described in considerable detail later.
Picture drawing is an important tool with psychodynamic therapists who use it as a projective technique. It is assumed that in the drawings a person discloses the elements of his own unconscious, cognitive appropriation of which will serve to cure mental illness. However as it is practiced at the moment, the relevance of Hermeneutics as such do not seem to be well appreciated. KOCH (1952, 1957) used the Tree Drawing Test as an aid in diagnosing vocational aptitudes in the educational settings , and for cognitive and personality functioning in clinical settings. Yoshikawa and his associates in Japan used it as a tool for studies in the image formation processes among children and the effects of ecology, culture and biological endowments on them. And because of this not only it became an interesting alternative for Pigetian type of studies on the cognitive development of children, but also a useful tool for cross-cultural psychological studies.
The use of children's drawings in cross-cultural psychology was initiated mainly because of their nonverbal character. DENIS(1966, 1970) analyzed children's drawings and found that they are good indicators of group values, cognitive functioning and degree of Westernization. He found that while familiarity is a factor in what they choose to depict, children do not always draw what they are familiar with. There are selectional processes operating with desires, goals, wants, wishes and other such intention related factors interfering what are chosen to be drawn. Children depict objects in their drawings not simply because they are familiar with them but because they value them. ADLER(1982) in a follow-up study also noted that although children's drawings may mirror their environment, they also reflect existing value systems by presenting preferences. On finding the predominance of apple trees in the drawings of children across Western and non-Western countries, he concluded that the apple is representative of the spread of Westernization, as well as desirability for modernization. On the whole he found support for the value hypothesis of DENIS (1970) and concluded that drawings as a projective technique, provide children with a good opportunity not only to reflect their personal feelings and their attitudes toward people and situations, but also to express the group values that are prevalent within their cultural environment.
The New Baum Test that we have developed has gone considerably much further. We found that through the BAUMS we can in fact reach the subconscious or the unconscious layers of the human mind in which the metaphorical and mythical ways of thinking of the person are disclosed for everyone to see. This also necessitated the fine-tuning of the interpretive processes so central to the understanding of the metaphorical and mythical. This science that brings together hermeneutics and semiotics is called by us HERMENEUTIC SEMIOTICS to distinguish it from other related fields. It is this line development that links us with such ancient Tantric psychologists as Thirumular, Pokar, Gorakkar and so forth who were also active proponents of Saiva Siddhanta.
But why TREE over and above so many other objects in the environment? What is so peculiar to the tree that it is the most suitable for the psychological tasks such as ours?
In addition to the tree being an object of experience practically of all people throughout the world, there is something peculiar to it that makes it abundantly suitable for the Access Tests that we are interested in. The tree is symmetrical about a vertical axis and Hermann RORSCHACH has noted that symmetrical construction about a central axis is needed to render possible the projection of the psychic contents onto it. But there are other reasons as well. It appears that the FORM of a tree is somehow representative of the structural dynamics of the human psyche. The paragraph of Hermann HILTBRUNNER (cf. KOCH, 1952, p.9) explains quite clearly the nature of this relationship. Thus he says:
' Did we not say at the beginning that there is a relationship between tree form and human form, that plant life in the tree, as in a standing statue, reaches the highest resemblance to humanity and that memorable encounters with trees are indeed real meetings with oneself?.... But wherein lies the distinction, and what reasons persuade us to contrast plant life with animal and human life? See, the plant is an open system; everything pertaining to it strives outward; everything happens at the periphery, is formed under the bark and at the ends of the axis of the shoots. No type of plant demonstrates this to us more fully than a tree and a cross section through its trunk, which is provided with vessels only in that part of the wood where the youngest and outmost rings rare. The bodily constitution of the human beings and animals, on the other hand, is seen to be a closed system in which everything is moved inward and which is nourished and controlled by the central organs. The being of a plant therefore means outward movement of life, striving away of the zones of growth from the core. this functionless, more symbolic center. Animal life on the contrary means turning the physical life inward, concentrating it in a body and in the inside of the body which in all its parts and organs is throughout life embraced and supplied with blood by the same current of power. That which in all its organs thus seems concerned with and directed towards a center and functions centripetally in this way, must all be there from the beginning and must be complete, full-grown; it is, as it were, young to end; up to its natural death it forms buds which may come to fruition according to circumstances."
The tree then, is an outward expression of the life force which in the case of animals is turned inwards. Human beings see an affinity, unexplainably puzzling even to themselves, with trees; a fact that may explain why in many primitive cultures trees are objects of worship. A perception of some similarity with something deep within may explain why trees figure such sacred objects in many cultures throughout the world. This is also echoed in the words of Kitaro NISHIDA , one of the most brilliant philosophers of Japan. In one of his books he says:
" A tree exists as an integration of branch, leaf, root and trunk which have their distinct functions-a tree is not simply an aggregate of such elements. Also if the tree as a total integrated reality does not exist, then such things as branch, leaf and so forth are meaningless. The tree exists as an integrated totality that can be differentiated into distinct elements without, however, suffering disintegration in the process. Then if a tree appears in the consciousness of an individual, it must be reflective of the manner in which the individual has integrated into a coherent wholeness the whole of objective existence"( Quotation provided by Yoshikawa)
It is possible that these affinities arise because there are elements similar to them in what C.G.JUNG has called COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS that he discovered through his extensive studies of dreams mythologies and folklores. It must be recalled that what led JUNG to postulate the COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS as a layer deeper that Freudian personal unconscious is the discovery of motifs and themes(called archetypes, imago, mandala, etc.) in the fantasies, visions, and dreams of normal and abnormal people, strikingly similar to those in ancient and primitive mythologies, religious cults and so forth. It is this notion that brings Jungian analytical psychology close to Tantrism and Saiva Siddhanta. The New Baum Test also manages to reach this deeper layer and through that capture the archetypes currently present in the deeper reaches of the human psyche.
The archetypes are great 'primordial images' ' the inherited powers of human imagination as was from time immemorial', (JUNG 1968, Col. Works., Vol., p.64). The archetypes are also described as 'thought-forms' of humanity and are as much feelings as thoughts(ibid.,p.65). It is also stated that the greatest and best thoughts of man shape themselves upon these primordial images 'as upon a blue print'. Jung has also something interesting to say about the active presence of archetypes in the human mind. They are said to be 'deposits of the constantly repeated experiences of humanity'(ibid.p.68); subjective fantasy-ideas activated in the unconscious by the recurrent physical processes. This implies that the ecological factors have an important role in shaping the psychological nature of individuals. It should be recalled here that Tantric Psychology, in the days of Tolkappiyam (3rd cent. B.C) was also ecological in essence. We should not also forget the biological maturational factors that bring about the existence of different kinds of impulses at different stages of development and the sociocultural factors that regulate interactional behavior in an important way.
The fundamental insights of Tantric Psychology, particularly as outlined by the Tamil Siddhas who were actually medical practitioners of a kind, must be recalled here as they are immensely relevant for Agamic Psychology as well.
The methodology of Agamic Psychology is Pedagogic Hermeneutics, the kind of Hermeneutics that was articulated in Marapiyal, an independent text hat has come down to us as an appendix to the very ancient Tolkappiyam. Armed with this methodological orientation, we analyze human behavior taking it as a TEXT or TEXT-ANALOGUE. By TEXT we mean something very general: anything that challenges an individual by disclosing the presence of IGNORANCE within him/her. A TEXT as such has a DUALITY of structure- the Surface Structure(S.S) and Deep Structure(D.S). The surface understanding is the source of ontic and onto enigmas the resolution of which require the interpretive movement towards locating the D. S that serves as the Agentive Cause for the structural peculiarities of the S.S. Further details are available in the introduction to METAPHYSICA UNIVERSALIS OF MEYKANDAR, an English translation of Meykandar's Sivanjana Botham, a great classic in Hermeneutic Science.(The whole text will be available soon in this Home Page)
Agamic Psychology begins with the commonsense assumption that human behavior consists essentially of doing something, acting to achieve something, to attain what is intended. However , unlike the Behaviorists we do not reduce them to response patterns strengthened by various forms of schedules of reinforcement though we certainly do not deny the presence of positive and negative reinforcements in social existence. However in the interest to UNDERSTAND human behavior in all its depths, we take them as TEXTS and subject them to a hermeneutic analysis. Such a form of analysis leads us to rediscover the NADIES of the ancient Siddhas. These nadies can be rendered as PSYCHOTROPISMS, deep seated desires or motivations almost like instincts. There are FOUR different types: numenotropism(or serpenotropism), lumenotropism, charmenotropism and giggotropism( For further details see the article on Tantric Psychology, in the Electronic Journal of Saiva Philosophy, Vol.1. No.1. in this Home Page) Some Siddhas maintain that underlying these four is another, a more fundamental pull viz. GURU NADI, the primordial source of all human dynamics. What is important to notice here is that these tropisms are not culture-bound ; being the most primordial are common to all creatures, whether human or non-human.
What links Tantric Psychology with the Jungian analytic psychology is the discovery that these tropisms that form the springboards of all human actions are in fact instituted and regulated by archetypes. We gain an understanding of human behavior by locating the archetype that has emerged from the depths and taken possession of the psyche determining its psychodynamics and hence behavior in general. The S.S elements of overt behavior are interpretively related to covert elements, the D,S , which are in fact some archetypes. Behavior is constituted by some archetypes and behavior modifications can be accomplished successfully only by dislodging the existing archetypes and installing new ones. Such a procedure belongs to domain of Hermeneutic Counseling, which is again a modernized version of the ancient UPADESA KALAI of the Siddhas and Saiva philosophers. The New Baum Test allows us to identify these archetypes and through that gain an understanding of one's own behavior. Only when a person gains a TRUE UNDERSTANDING of himself that he would know in what direction he has to change, and what he must do in order to accomplish it successfully.
ON HOW TO CONDUCT THE NEW BAUM TEST.
We shall now describe the procedures involved as if you are administrating it on someone else. But of course the other person can be yourself. In fact we encourage self examination of this sort in order to solve your own problems.
a) Getting the Data.
[i] Provide the subject with either FOUR sheets of blank white paper, A4 size OR just a single A4 size paper however divided into FOUR equal parts.
[ii] Ask them to write at the top of the page or at the back the personal particulars such as name, sex, date of birth and so forth that may help you later to interpret the Baums accurately.
[iii] The four papers (or the four quadrants, if a single paper is used) should be labeled A, B, C, and D in that order. For each one of these, give the instructions as follows
. A: Draw a tree bearing fruits.
B: Draw a tree bearing fruits as realistic as you can.
C: Draw a tree bearing fruits which is your own creation.
D. Draw a tree bearing fruits that's imaginary, entirely different from the natural trees that you see around
. Note: Give about 10 minutes or so for each drawing. However don't hurry them too much. Advise them to use a pencil so erasing and redrawing is possible.
They should NOT be looking any natural trees around while drawing. What is drawn must be entirely from memory.
You can translate the above instructions into the native language of the subjects. You can also simplify and add in some details, examples and so forth to make the subject UNDERSTAND the instructions. But DO NOT TELL what kind of trees to draw and so forth. The subject should draw his own so that what is in his own unconscious is accessed.
Elements of Hermeneutic Semiotics
We are now ready for Baum Interpretation and through that getting to know the person through getting to know his own subconscious or unconscious. What you have infront of you is not simply some artistic productions unrelated to the existential struggles of the person. They are in fact TEXTS of a kind in which the contents of the unconscious are available in symbolic forms. We cannot understand them unless we INTERPRET them and cast thus acquired interpretive understanding into the conceptual categories of ordinary language. This process of interpretation is akin to dream interpretation but however here something we can also verify. But before we begin to interpret the Baums we have to acquaint ourselves with their Surface Structure Features in a very systematic manner.
There are THREE types of Surface Structure (S.S ) analysis: Global Structure Analysis (G.S.A), Local Structure Analysis (L.S.A) and Sequential Structure Analysis(S.S.A).
GLOBAL STRUCTURE ANALYSIS
1. Classify overall the BAUMS into various types on the basis of their Gestaltic Structure e.g. natural, unnatural, pleasing, gruesome and so forth.
2. If natural then classify them by naming as to what type of tree they are, e.g. banana, papaya, coconut, pine, apple etc.
3. Now look at the overall SIZE of the Baums. They may be big, small, average, too big, too small etc
. 4. Now look at the space location of the Baums e.g. whether in the center, displaced to the right, to the left etc.
LOCAL STRUCTURE ANALYSIS
1. Now look at the internal structure of the Baums. Note the cuts ,shadings, deletions, undue enlargements, undue diminishings and so forth
2. Is the Baum complete? Look for the branches, fruits, leaves, flowers and so forth.. Try to quantify them roughly, if possible
3. If fruits are drawn note how they are drawn. Are they in bunches or scattered? Is there only one kind or several different types drawn on the same Baum?
4. Anything unusual? There may be repetitions, backgrounds drawn etc.
5. Look at the shading ? What parts are shaded? How they shaded?
6. Also look for symmetry or the absence of it. If absent, it may be possible either the left or the right side is more emphasized.
7. Some Baums, particularly C and D, may be archetypal in nature. Look at them carefully . You may meet here snakes, ghost-like figures, imago dei's, geometrical yantras, mandalas and so forth.
SEQUENTIAL STRUCTURE ANALYSIS
There are TWO types of S.S.A: the INTRA and the INTER sequential organization.
The INTRA S.S.A
1. Having looked at the Baums in the above ways, now it is necessary to see their sequential development. Look at all the FOUR Baums and see how they are structurally related to each other. For e.g. A and B may be very similar to each other or vastly different.
2. See whether there is a historical development of some kind when you move from Baums A to D in that order. It may be possible that some features just present in one gets elaborated or deleted in the next and so forth.
The INTER S.S.A
1. This is possible only when different sets of the Baums are obtained at various intervals which is necessary for longitudinal studies. Once you have obtained such sets then repeat the procedures described above for the intra analysis.
THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF HERMENEUTIC SEMIOTICS
Some General Aspects.
In contrast to the many psychological tests, including the projective type, N.B.T distinguishes itself as one concerned with what Heidegger and many other Hermeneutic philosophers call Existential Analytics that comes along with the HISTORICITY of understanding. This mode of Being which is the innermost way of Being of a person is captured only when he is caught in his TEMPORICALITY i.e. ways of Being in which how he awaits the FUTURE is disclosed. The time consciousness is not the physical time but rather the psychological time in which the persons understanding of his own past , present and future remain as the elements constituting it. The Baum Test in addition to disclosing the dialectics of this also discloses the presence of IGNORANCE and hence only an imperfect understanding as the understanding of everyone about his/her own existence. This IGNORANCE is not to be confused with the Freudian unconscious that are traced to psychical processes such as suppression, repression and so forth. There is IGNORANCE as an innate factor in the understanding of everyone making them hermeneutical in essence. This IGNORANCE is akin to what Heidegger has described as CONCEALMENT and is similar to the notions of AVIDYA, ANJNANAM and so forth in Tantric Psychologies.
The Sequential Analyses above disclose the form of such an existential understanding of the person, how he has understood his own existence and how he continues to do so. In connection with this it should be noted that on the whole the Baums A and B tells us how the person has understood his OWN PAST, Baum C his PRESENT and Baum D, his own projections into the FUTURE.
The fact that Baum D captures a person's own projections into the future and of which he may not be very clear, will play a central in what we have called Hermeneutic Counseling that we shall describe briefly later ( in a separate paper).
The intra form of S.S.A will disclose an underlying local dialectics while inter form global dialectics. These Baum constituting processes are similar to meta-cognitive processes of the cognitive psychologists. However the Saiva philosophers and Tantric Psychologists identify them with the universal processes of production. retention, destruction and as underlying them the processes of concealment and disclosure. They also see them as the workings of the root mantra SI-VA-YA-NA-MA each syllable standing for each one of these dialectics constituting processes. It is also metaphorically described as the DANCE OF SIVA.
THE MEANINGS OF THE BAUMS.
Now at last what you have been waiting for, the semiotics pertaining to the Baums. We shall provide some guidelines here painfully acquired over many years of research. These rules of interpretation are not laws of science but something quite close to them. You can verify them with respect to their accuracy and with that confirm or disconfirm, modify and refine the rules and so forth. We shall describe them in the following categories: the Natural Baums, Archetypes and Metaphors & analogies.
Category A: The Natural Looking Baums
1. Banana and trees with broad leaves: soft and gentle, perhaps quite femenine. If adolescents or young adults may indicate the existence genuine love. Same with married couples. Generally such trees and watery plants with broad leaves disclose the active presence and dominance of Bindu, the Yin of Taoisn, the Moon principle of the alchemists.
2. Coconut Tree and trees similar in structure: discloses the dominant presence of masculinity , deep concern with a male figure and so forth. Among young children may indicate emotional closeness to a father figure. With adolescent females it may disclose romantic preoccupations. With adolescent boys it may indicate strong masculine characteristics, sharp analytical intelligence and so forth.
Such trees are expressions of the Natham of Saivites, the Yang of Taoism and the Sun principle of the alchemists.
3. Fruits: The meanings differ depending upon a number of factors. If you have only one kind fruit, it generally means the person is happy in his existence. Again the form of happiness will depend on the type of fruits drawn. Red colored fruits disclose the presence happiness arising from a loving disposition, purple colored sexual happiness, and yellow color happiness because of sexual abstention.
If the fruits are drawn in clusters, that may indicate happiness arising through social integration, cohesion and so forth.
If a variety of fruits are drawn on the same tree, it may mean that the person derives happiness through a variety of activities. The person may also be someone socially very active, perhaps a social worker and so forth.
Now if there are no fruits drawn, the person is unable to draw them at all or when he draws they are almost invisibly small, it may indicate a state of depression, sadness and so forth. Now if a person draws only fruits then that person may, not only be extremely selfish but also someone who cares only for his own happiness.
4. Leaves: The presence of abundance of leaves may indicate uncontrollable thoughts, excessive and perhaps imaginary worries. A leaf may be a representation of the presence of thought producing cognitive operations.
When the leaves are few in number it may indicate that the person is rather lacking in imagination, intellectually very constrained and so forth.
If the tree is barren with all leaves deleted so that the Baum resembles a tree in desert landscape, it may indicate that the person, though in a very somber mood, is in fact casting away his old values and generating new ones. The person is undergoing a change in personality so that in the near future he would emerge as quite a different person
The trunk is the structure that discloses the workings of Natham, the Yang principle of Taoism. The trunk in fact is the LINGAM of the Saivites, disguised to the point of no recognition. When it is broad, firm and strong, it indicates that the person values independence, autonomy and enjoys an authoritarian position in social existence. He will refuse to submit himself to other authoritarian figures and because of this will also be quite reluctant to fall in love. Young women who draw such Baums may not be inclined to get married for this reason.
Now if the trunk is narrow , thin and long like a creeper, it discloses the submergence of Natham by Bindu or the Yin of the Taoists. The person becomes tender, soft, loving and because of all these socially dependent on others.
Sometimes in the creeper-like Baums you may even note the presence of Snakes, concealed of course in the guise of a creeper or even a branch.
The branches may be radiating like rays of light of the sun. In fact such structures appear to be related the presence of a inner sun , a variant of the sun principle of the alchemists. A person who draws such Baums may generally be very intelligent, analytical and so forth. It generally shows an aggressive disposition though directed at intellectual matters.
When there are too many of these branches, illformed and winding their way and sometimes even intertwining, it may indicate a sate of intellectual confusion, an inability to think systematically and come to a neat conclusion.
If the branches, or even the trunk itself, are cut, it may indicate the active presence in memory of a painful experience which arrested the further development of a particular line of thinking or mode of existence.
If the branches grow openly without having an envelope, which is Bindu related to the moon principle, it may indicate the absence of an inner security hence the person being a bit nervous, indecisive and so forth.
Now if there are wellformed and globular envelopes and the branches reachout even the outer limits, it may disclose a disposition of confidence and courage. The person may be venturesome and will not be reluctant to explore the new and the unusual.
7. The roots
The roots generally disclose a persons exploration of the hidden part within himself, viz. the subconscious or the unconscious. Among the young people this exploration begins with exploring their own sexuality. They may seekout emotionally satisfying sexual experiences. However among the older people, it may indicate a serious interest in matters that are religious, spiritual, philosophical and so forth.
Now if the roots are drawn as within a pool or puddles of water, it may be that the person is involved in immoral sexual activities.
If the roots are covered up by a strong line indicative of the ground, in may show that the person is on the whole reluctant to acknowledge and accept the reality of the unconscious within himself.
8. Some other General Features.
a.) the leaves, fruits and sometimes even branches are drawn falling to the ground: unhappiness, wanting to getaway from the present situation because it is experienced as painful.
b) curls and dark patches inside the trunk: may be related to the desire of the person to hide something probably not sanctioned by the society. May also mean feeling guilty and so forth. c) Flowers or flower-like things: happiness, full of joy, mirthful etc.
d) Bright and clean: may be a picture of the soul itself-clean, warm-hearted, honest, sincere, open, truthful and so forth.
e) Painted dark, shaded in black: misery, depression, melancholy and so forth.
f) The whole Baum displaced to
[i] the left: introversion
[ii] the right: extroversion
[iii] the top: existing in the world of fantasy
[iv]the bottom: inferiority complex, social alienation etc.
g) the dominant presence of thorns, spikes and such knife-like shapes: aggressiveness, brutality, frustration, deep-seated anger, violent temper and so forth.
These guide lines may not be exhaustive and thorough. It is always possible to come across such symptoms and signs that are unique posing a challenge to our interpretive capacities. As a general rule it is very useful to remember the following. The vision of a tree, by its overall form, utility and functions, and by the texture and color of the trunk, leaves fruits and so forth, activates a train of thoughts feelings and emotions some of which are felt agreeable and some not so for reasons that are not always obvious and clear. Some of the elements in the unconscious may be particularly associated with parts of the tree and not perhaps with the other parts. Such feelings may not also be always negative- one may be fascinated and feel particularly attracted to some parts or some kind of tree in comparison with others. One may be attracted or repelled by either some parts or by the whole tree. One tends to delete the parts that arouse feelings unpleasant and disagreeable; or diminish its size to make it unimportant. When fascinated one tends to magnify it, exaggerate it so that it dominates the whole visual field. Sometimes under such compulsions that are for the most part unconscious, the whole Baum is shrunk or magnified, displaced off center to the left, right, up or down.
The naturalistic image of the tree suffer numerous kinds of transformations, distortions and so forth that are however psychologically quite revealing. They disclose the presence of psychic operations of various kinds the person carries along with him into every one of his perceptual activity. A person who deletes some parts of the Baum, may in fact block off certain kinds perceptual information from entering his consciousness or understanding.
Through Baum analysis of the above sort , we can identify the kind of unconscious psychic operations the person is likely to effect upon the perceptual data in ordinary life-the psychic activities that would constitute his/her style of perceiving and hence behaving.
It should be noted that the absence of such abnormal transformations are just as important as their presence. Their absence indicates what the person is not likely to do to the perceptual data-a piece of information about a person just as important as the knowledge of what he is likely to do.
Category B: THE ARCHETYPES.
The most exciting discovery that allows us to link in a meaningful manner ancient Tantric Psychology with the modern depth psychologies and alchemical studies is the success we have had in accessing the archetypes that are currently present in a person through the New Baum Test. When the test was administered to a large number of people, young and old, we met archetypes in Baums particularly C and D. It appears that the instructions pertaining to these Baums somehow reach the subconscious or unconscious layers so that their content is brought out into the open. It appears then that it is not necessary to wait for a person to dream and relate those dreams to reach his unconscious- it can be done through the use of the N.B.T.
We have pressed our Hermeneutics in this direction as well and below we describe the most salient features of this science fully aware of its inadequacies. Certainly more researches are necessary to secure very sound rules of interpretation.
a) Snakes of various sorts.
In Tantric psychology the snakes stand for Kundalini Sakti, the coiled Power or the Serpent Power which in analytical psychology appears to be termed the libido, the psychic energy related to sexuality. Normally a person who draws snakes, disguised as a form of tree or not, is full of energy and hence very dynamic. It may also indicate the presence of strong sexual desire, the actual enjoyment of it and so forth. Among adolescents it may indicate a preoccupation with the newly emerging sexual desires within.
b)Lingams of various sorts:
We have met with the presence of Lingams among young people of different races and religion disclosing that it is an archetype emerging from the collective unconscious. It also appears to be more common among young women than men. When a young unmarried woman begins to draw the Lingam, it quite often correlates with the desire to seek a male life partner, that is, conjugal relationships within socially approved institution of marriage and so forth.
c) The Yantras or The Mandala Archetypes.
Such yantras are in fact geometrical shapes of various kinds composed of cirles , triangles , squares , rectangles and so forth. These are purer forms of Bindu and Natham with circular formations related to Bindu and the rest related to Natham. Anyone who draws such yantras is already very matured, spiritually speaking and hence quite at peace with himself. His aspirations will be quite high and his personality will shine out with noble and endearing qualities. The circular formations indicate productivity and the squares and rectangles self control. The triangular formations are related to a capacity for penetrative and paistaking analytical capacities.
d) Ghost-Like Figures:
These are quite easy to recognise and are frequently met with In C and D Baums. These are the archetypes of bad dreams and normally indicate a calamity, an impending disaster, difficulty, disappoinment and so forth.
e) Pots, Cauldrons and Similar Structures.
The Pot is an archetypal symbol of mother archetype and generally represents the being of the psyche or the 'heart'. It shows that the person is quite capable of self-awareness of a sophisticated kind and hence capable of solving personal problems on his own. Normally pots are drawn with something growing inside it. What is thus drawn shows the contents of his heart, what he is seriously concerned with.
Category C: THE METAPHORS AND ANALOGIES.
Though in a way every Baum drawn can be considered a metaphor of a kind, we will consider here those metaphors that are like analogies. We consider only a few as there are an infinite number of them, each requiring interpretive rules of their own.
a) A Creeper climbing up a tree or a support: normally drawn by a young woman who clings on to a man she loves like a creeper; incapacity to stand on one's own.
b) A boat tied to a Tree. Probably the person identifies himself with the boat and hence disclosing that he is 'tied down' incapable of moving freely either in the social world or the mental world.
c) A house drawn with a fence. Discloses the presence of control in his social existence, there being people always watching and because of which feels as if imprisoned.
d) Two trees crossing each other: a situation of conflict, incapacity to decide say, between two lovers and so forth.
e) A lotus or a large flower: Normally drawn by young women; discloses the presence genuinely femine and almost divine qualities of self-sacrifice, love, compassion and so forth.
There are many more like these the meanings of which will be disclosed along with empirical studies in the pages of the Electronic Journal of Agamic Psychology soon to be launched within this Home Page. Sufficient has been given, howver, for anyone who is keen to explore the inner world of the human beings. This inner world is the world of MANTRAS, and this MANTRA SPACE is in fact the Inner Cyber Space that new developments in Information Technology has made it possible for us to explore. The TRAVEL in this inner cyber space is in fact the genuine pilgrimage that all religions emphasize for it is in this journey that we meet the Gods. The Baum Test allows us to locate the web-sites and explore them to our hearts content. We come to know in this way the hidden secrets of Nature that always intrigues us beyond measure, attain illuminations that no other forms of enquiry would furnish
Adler,L.L 1965. Cross-cultural Study of Children's Drawing of Fruit Trees. Paper presented at the First New York City Psi Psychological Convrntion, New York
Cawte, J& Kiloch, L.G. 1967 Language and Pictorial Representations in Aboriginal Children. Social Science and Medicine,1: 67-76
Denis, W. Group Values through Children's Drawings. Wiley&Sons, New York
Huzioka,Y &Yoshikawa,K 1971. Image Expression by Tree Test" from Anthropological Stand Point Quarterly Anthropologist (Tokyo) 2(3): 3-28
Koch,K. 1935 Der Baum Test, der Baumzeichenversuch als Psychodiagnosticsches Hilfsmittel
Loganathan K. 1983 Analytical Psychology of Jung and the Agamic Psychology of Meykandar. Tamil Civilization, Tamil University, Tanjore, India.
Machover, K. 1949. Personality Projection in the Drawing of Human Figures
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