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Icarus and Ball Tamperer’s

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Inflation (psychological) and its Destructive Effect

The biggest news in Australia and the cricket world over the last week has been the Australian cricket teams involvement in an epic ball tampering, scandal against South Africa, my place of birth.

The whole saga is so hard to comprehend. What were these guys thinking? Playing in front of 30 plus TV camera’s focused on their every move, how did they think they could get away with it? Furthermore what causes superstars, at the very top of their game, to do something so stupid, especially with such a small risky payoff profile?

It reminds of the famous story of Icarus from Greek mythology. Icarus and his father Daedalus were escaping from Crete on wings that Icarus’s father made from feathers and wax. Daedalus had warned Icarus to avoid complacency and fly too close to the sea and to avoid hubris and fly too close to the sun. Icarus ignored his fathers advice and flew too close to the sun (recognise the idiom) the heat of the sun melted his wings and he tumbled down towards the sea where he drowned. This story is loaded with so much symbolism.

Jung used this story to help describe the destructive powers of an inflated ego. Delving deeper in his own words:

An inflated consciousness is … incapable of learning from the past, incapable of understanding contemporary events, and incapable of drawing right conclusions about the future. It is hypnotised by itself and therefore cannot be argued with. It inevitably dooms itself to calamities that must strike it dead. Paradoxically enough, inflation is a regression of consciousness into unconsciousness. This always happens when consciousness takes too many unconscious contents upon itself and loses the faculty of discrimination, the sine qua non of all consciousness. [Psychology and Alchemy, CW 12, par. 563]

I believe Steve Smith and David Warner like Icarus became swallowed up by the cricket team and countries collective unconscious: the collective reservoir of archetypal energies that stand at the base of such personal complexes resulted in the dissolution of their identities.

What I am describing may be difficult for some of you to understand but these guys had fallen under the spell of the culture of win at all costs. A culture of we are the best and deserve to always be the best, a sense of entitlement and ego inflation. These feelings run so deep in the countries collective unconscious that I believe Warner and Smith had so integrated their personal psyche with the countries collective unconscious that they fell prey to its lurking dark forces, ever present.

I bring up the ball tampering and the inflated ego behaviour because we have all seen this behaviour within our own trading to some degree. When we are making money and can do no wrong it is easy to become inflated and think we are better than we really are when the overall market is griped under the spell of a mania.

Take a trader in Bitcoin. Anyone who bought the dips over the last few years up until the end of 2017 could easily think they were a trading genius. Sensible people who bought Bitcoin a few months ago at $20,000 are probably asking themselves the same questions that Warner and Smith are asking themselves.

An inflated consciousness is always egocentric and conscious of nothing but its own existence. – Carl Jung, CW 12, par. 563

I am not trying to mitigate the blame for stupid, egocentric behaviour. I am merely trying to answer a question that so many are asking, how they could have done it? By sharing a perspective that shows this is so much more than one or two people I hope I have provided an alternative perspective to answer a baffling question – why?


Looking forward to more profitable trading together.

The PsyQuation Team

New Leaderboard & some Myth Busting Privacy and Crypto