Discussions & Dreams April 1998
"The psyche cannot leap beyond itself. It cannot set up any absolute truths, for its own polarity determines the relativity of its statements." ~C.G.JUNG
From Covert Harris:
I tossed my posting out to see what others might be thinking about the direction of some genetic research into behaviour. I thought the similarity between the researchers' simplistic black and white model and the Taoist circle was interesting, so I included it in my posting, especially because I feel the opposing types of thinking are ultimately trying to shed some light on the same mysteries.
I had dinner with a medical researcher last night who challenged some of the statistics of the studies I cited. I have, therefore, decided to do some more homework before bringing this thread up again on the Fireside Circle. Before I remove the subject for a while, however, I am going to confess to you that I have harboured the intuition that DNA determines major aspects of the archetypal constellations, and that there is something very big to be discovered in this area. I also believe that, as with all scientific breakthroughs, if such a link became an accepted model for a time in the future, it would in no way diminish but would certainly expand and enhance, the Mysteries. Science is just science, nothing more.
Have you read Marie-Louise von Franz on the synchronicity between DNA and the I Ching ("Number and Time")? Personally (and like Jung), I don't go along with the causal paradigm, i.e. that archetypes are caused or determined by physical factors. (Is this what you mean by 'DNA determines'?) If Jung is right, then it might be more a case of holistic non-locality rather than dualism - the archetype manifesting (non-causally) as simultaneously mind and matter?
From: Mike Dickman
Patricio (and all)
Was just wondering what you might think of the terms neophilia and neophiliac as the corollary and echo of necro-same? Leprosy or psoriasis of the soul vs its gangrene, so to speak?
Reminded of Thomas':
Good and bad, two ways
Of moving about your death
By the grinding sea,
King of your heart in the blind days,
Blow away like breath,
Go crying through you and me
And the souls of all men
Into the innocent
Dark, and the guilty dark, and good
Death, and bad death, and then
In the last element
Fly like the stars' blood... (mumble, mumble, mumble)
And the wicked wish down the beginnings of plants
And animals and birds,
Water and light, the earth and sky,
Is cast before you move,
And all your deeds and words,
Each truth, each lie,
Die in unjudging love . . .
"This essential battle against Western history's monotheistic unconsciousness necessitates a battle against monotheism's professional minions of its secularism and scientism, today's thought-police, who, in the name of mental health and therapy of soul, apply ego psychology to the diseases of the Gods."
- James Hillman, "A Note on Hermes Inflation"
From: Krishnan S. Anand
[Kurt Papke wrote:
I would recommend Robert Bly's Iron John as a counterpoint to Puer Aeternus. MVF says nothing about the impact of the Father in PA, whereas Bly focuses very much on what the Father (and other males) can do to assist in the initiation process.]
This is precisely Hillman's point (and criticism of MVF) when he talks about the "Senex-Puer" pair, esp. distinguishing between Puer and Son-Great Mother. There are a couple of interesting essays by Hillman in Fathers and Mothers ed. Patricia Berry. I think he has later expanded on this theme in a couple of books.
In light of these comments, it might be interesting to discuss the differences (and similarities?) between the way men and women experience and relate to the Puer. For women, he can be an Eros/animus teacher and soul-guide, who works closely with the Self (at least in my experience of Aaivan), but how do men - and other women - relate to him? And again, the myth of Eros and Psyche surely becomes relevant?
"Psychotherapy had, still has, a medical shadow. This shadow is an introject of the cultural canon that elects psychiatry above psychology, body above soul, brain above mind, and science above art. So, the work of the psychotherapist is always shadowed by feelings of inferiority which fasten on the fact that he or she is "not medical." To come into its own, psychotherapy has to stand apart from its medical oppressor who speaks with the voice of materialism, scientism, and linear causality."
~James Hillman, Suicide & the Soul
From Alice Howell:
dears all - my polar bear Walter Andersen died apr 1!!
as the last coin is counted
all has turned to gold
love has truly minted
more than life could hold!
love to all!
Another safe sea Journey to your dear old polar bear, and much comfort and love to you. You made Walter known to us through sharing your heart-warmed and warming tales of his rich companionship, ever-simmering love and passion for life, mischievous bent and Earth-respecting sense of the quiet wisdom hidden in Nature. His fisherman's sweater, your shared coffee in overstuffed armchairs, the poesies he gave you, rubber boots and shared currant-filled scones, Walter getting himself a nightcap of brandy, smiling and understanding of your own need to listen to the invisible voice calling, the simple and the sacred so deeply intertwined in your togetherness and in your combined love of the World and its soul. And now not only does Walter laugh kindly at death by choosing this great rite of passage on April Fool's Day, but he leaves us after sojourning for the same number of years as Jung - 86!
Boundless blessings, endless voyages, & gratitude to you both.
"I looked over at you fondly - a big burly polar bear of a man, over seventy, with white hair, rosy face, and laughter crinkles around smiling eyes. Camera at the ready, you were trying to catch a gull soaring higher and higher above you without a single flap of wing."
~Alice Howell, The Dove in the Stone
"All too often, such immediate moments are painful and traumatic ones. They represent scars and wounds in the psyche which can bring grief, shame, guilt, anger, resentment boiling up out of the personal unconscious and, like hidden currents, force us off course and bring us face to face with people, events, and emotions we had in no way anticipated. So the process itself is a familiar one to most of us, but that moment on the beach, and, by extension, the cumulative experience of Sophia at Iona hint at the unexpected collapsing of time into joy. Not a joy for grabbing, but rather one for visiting. Music, subtle fragrances, art can conjure this way - who knows how it happens, since each of us is different, but the secret has to lie in keeping still, fully aware for a few seconds, in the midst of life, of the Absolute breaking through into the relative, eternity invading the present with the immediacy of just being."
Alice Howell, "A Day of Joy"
"Invite the Sacred to participate in your joy in little things, as well as in your agony over the great ones. There are as many miracles to be seen through a microscope as through a telescope. Start with the little things seen through the magnifying glass of wonder, and just as a magnifying glass can focus the sunlight into a burning beam that can set a leaf aflame, so can your focused wonder set you ablaze with insight. Find the light in each other and just fan it."
"Maybe someday science, the new science, will prove what the mystics throughout the ages have always known: matter has consciousness. Matter is consciousness with form; nature is energy expressed through form in beauty."
~ Alice O. Howell, The Dove in the Stone
A few logs that might interest fellow science fiction buffs, and those interested in how old mythic themes are being transposed into sf as our new mythology. (Jung discussed a couple of sf novels in his Flying Saucers book, John Wyndham's Th e Midwich Cuckoos (on which they based a 50s film, 'Village of the Damned'), and Fred Hoyle's tale ( The Black Cloud ) about a sentient alien shadow-cloud that threatens the Sun.
Firstly, 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' . . . CETK is indeed one of my fav films, and I always include a discussion of it in courses devoted to looking at sf film classics from an archetypal perspective. The film is a prime instance of 'the inversion of the shadow' theme, through which the aliens are seen not as Wellsian cold intellects or invading monstrosities (a theme revived in the flat and trite Independence Day), but rather as playfully angelic intuitives and empaths, who prefer to communicate in images and music (right brain stuff) rather than through verbal logic or cold detachment. Spielberg, as the Peter Pan Puer par excellence, portrays them as childlike in stature (except for their androgynous-looking and benevolent leader), yet obviously superior in intellect (hence their large heads). I think the key character in the film is the little boy, Barry, who at no point is even remotely afraid of the aliens (whereas his mother is initially terrified), but instead sees them as potential pals with whom he can play, hence his remarks to them, "You can come and play now," and his concise summary of their awesome technology:
"Toys!" The message is obviously that it's OK to advance technologically as long as we don't lose our sense of fun and play, and as long as we use that power primarily to communuicate and advance unity (ultimately between worlds) rather than to destroy or harm.
On another level, the film uses the quest theme through which Roy - another Puer who's 'in love' with the aliens - following his alien-implanted 'vision', goes on the trek to Devil's Tower (note the name) to regain the lost treasure of his inner Child; off he goes at the end of the film, led blissfully into the Heaven of the Mother Ship (hence a coniunctio) by a surrounding group of childlike aliens (to the tune of 'When You Wish Upon a Star'). Lotsa archetypal stuff here. Barry's mum, fired by the same vision, joins Roy on the quest, which for her is to retrieve (through a second coniunctio) her lost son (sound familiar?), and also, we sense, her own lost innocence and childlikeness, too. (A third member joins them on the quest to reach the summit of Devil's Tower, but he falls asleep after inhaling sleep gas; another interesting archetypal angle here - stay conscious if you want to get to the treasure! = Christ's Parable of the Seven Virgins)) So while Spielberg's vision may seem on first glance straightforward, it's far from it, but instead presents us with one (very optimistic) option as a futuristic and mythic extrapolation (dramatized as the aliens) from our current state of technological advancement. He adopts a similarly innocent and positively Puer-ile line with the less effective and (in places) nauseatingly sentimental ET, but that's another story (more 'inversion of the shadow' stuff, too). I think the guy's a genius - as many Puers are.
Secondly, the one and only '2001: A Space Odyssey':
The 2001 Monolith is a 3+1 quaternity; its linear dimensions are 1 x 2 squared x 3 squared, while the 4th dimension is a spacetime gateway that passes through the Monolith. Dave's 'descent into Hell' into the Monolith is a kind of psychotic crack-up, equivalent to an initiation. The sound and imagery here is brilliant (any of you remember ye olde 60's, when you used to smoke joints as you watched this bit ad nauseum?) Eventually, though, Dave ends up in a shattered state in a calmly ordered room that's riddled with balanced decor - the compensating mandalic order which appears right at the end of the film when we see the Monolith standing between two symmetrically aligned statues, while Dave's embryonic new Self - the Cosmic Child - hovers above the scene. Clarke's sf theme here is 'transcendental evolution through alien intervention'. In other words, unlike the deliberately questing hero, who sets out to seek the treasure, the mythic death/rebirth quest is imposed on Dave by the God-like Overlord, an alien so advanced that's it's impossible to conceive of 'it', yet alone judge what its intent is, or whether it's good or bad. (We have to wait till 2010 to find that out!) One of Clarke's maxims is that 'any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic'. His second assumption is that any sufficiently advanced alien is indistinguishable from God. I still think this is the greatest sf flick ever made.
"Dave - my mind's going . . ." (HAL)
Safe Journeys through the Event Horizon
Maureen (preparing for beam-up)
From: Covert Harris
Thanks Maureen for the CETC and 2001 movie tributes; I loved them both. And I would be interested in your impressions of "Contact" also.
Re your request for papers: When I joined the Jung Circle I promised a write-up about "Titanic." I since abandoned the idea. In my research I came upon a couple of insightful reviews that made most of the points that I thought everybody was missing. Dr James Kraut (on the Jung Circle) wrote one, and the other was from one of the news magazines, of all things. (I don't remember which one; but Corie Brown, Ray Sawhill, and Yahlin Chang were among the authors.) Of the points that the 20-odd reviews I perused didn't cover, a couple were made in my earlier share about Jungian imagery in movies. One of the neatest, which I have not yet mentioned, or seen mentioned, was the burgeoning relationship between the undersea explorer, Brock Lovett, and Rose's granddaughter, played by Suzy Amis, I believe. This, to me, suggested the re-experiencing with knowledge of the "split psyche" metaphor presented by the Titanic myth, with the guidance of the Old Woman archetype in Rose, which allowed the torn psyche to come together "again" at a higher level in the young couple's potential syzygy (if I am using the term correctly). The vignette (and the popularity of the movie) optimistically suggests that now, at the dawning of Aquarius, we might actually get the message this time around (we didn't get it when the boat sank). It was to make this point, Maureen, that I originally asked you for your Aquarius paper, which is magnifique!! I'll try to come up with another topic for a paper.
I shared a few weeks ago that I recently read a textbook on behavioural genetics which found through multivariate regression analysis that parenting and the "family environment" have a near zero correlation with many categories of values, attitudes, and behaviour. I thought that this finding correlated beautifully with Jung's model of archetypal correlations with values, attitudes, and behaviour, whether or not either was (or whether my observation and consideration were) "right," "wrong," or sideways in any near-final analysis a few thousand years down the pike. I also supposed that archetypes are a function of DNA.
I picked up C. G. Jung's "The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious" to better educate myself on Jung's positions about the origin of archetypes and how they compare with parental and family influence in correlating with a child's values, attitudes, behaviour, and also world view.
I realize that one shouldn't read Jung for a textbook-type, factual understanding. It is interesting to me, however, how often he "seems" to contradict himself. I take his writing as a beautiful form of deep communication which more linear approaches can not emulate. This is probably why some people prefer to view his writing as art. I see it as art (in its deepest sense) with a built-in medium of communication and connection with consciousness. Therefore, it cannot be, and would not want to be, linear or completely logical.
Anyway, here are a couple of observations regarding what I think he said relative to my questions. Pages 42 and 88 state: "contents of the collective unconscious....owe their existence exclusively to heredity....The content....is made up essentially of archetypes....which (are) identical in all individuals....it seems to me that a normally functioning intelligence can discover in this idea just as much or just as little mysticism as in the theory of instincts....the concept of the collective unconscious is neither a speculative nor a philosophical but an empirical matter." In my editing for brevity, I believe I retained the integrety of the ideas he was trying to convey.
Additionally, and a little off the subject, but interesting to me, while he says that archetypes are identical in everybody, he often also states that the same set of archetypes exists in "most" people (presumably allowing for the psychopaths and others missing a card or two from the deck). He also stated in the book that there are as many archetypes as there are life situations, which begs the question of whether new situations are created as people evolve. For instance, are the ideas of fast food and softdrinks archetypes? Surely McDonalds and Coke images stuck to these new-to-the-century ideas as hard as Mohammad Ali might stick to some man's concept of a hero. The dynamic looks very much the same to me.
While he says over and over that archetypes are inherited just like instincts, which would link them with material DNA, he also states on page 57, and expresses similar themes elsewhere: "Despite the materialistic tendency to understand the psyche as a mere reflection or imprint of physical and chemical processes, there is not a single proof of this hypothesis," which suggests that there are non-material elements at work. My take on this, and I admit I need to do a lot more work, is that Jung is not as much saying that archetypes will definitely never be linked to material beginnings, as he is attacking his naysaying critics from Missouri, so to speak. These are the numbskulls who always say I gotta see it to believe it, thereby externalizing everything, and not believing in the possibility of a psychological origin for interpretations of "reality." If C. G. is an intuitive, then these senseless sensates provide fodder for his shadow, toward which he, like everybody else, may tend to act emotionally rather than logically. Jung appears to me to be one of the most intelligent persons who ever lived. With his horsepower, he could even have had an emotional (feeling) right hand and still out-thought everyone else with his left (as Ali had to do from time to time when his right hand was damaged from overuse - please change "thought" to "fought" for this analogy). This could (but probably doesn't - as readers of my idea will probably immediately recognize - and hopefully will set me straight...or round) explain his seemingly contradictory approach to this subject.
More logs for fellow sf buffs et al.
Archetypal themes in Star Trek . . .
Firstly, the quest for transcendence (as Above, so Below):
In the first TNG episode, a soul-guide, 'The Traveller', takes the Enterprise through the power of thought to the 'Outer Rim' - the edge of the known Universe. Here their thoughts, dreams and memories become dangerously blurred with outer fact. This episode was called "Where No-one Has Gone Before" and as such was an intriguing instance of science fiction's unique power to mirror inner and outer space and so create a new mythology.
Of course, the best known 'shadow' episode is probably 'The Enemy Within' from the old Trek series. In it, Kirk is split into two versions of himself through a transporter malfunction. One self is aggressive, energetic, cunning; the other docile, weaker and reasoning. At first they're at war, but eventually they realise that they need one another and so they agree to reunite. The entire script is pretty well a paraphrase of Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell (reason vs energy, good vs evil).
Zodiac mythic cycle:
The myth individuates from Aries (the emergence of the heroic ego, epitomised by Kirk - and Bill Shatner is an Aries!), through to the dominance of the Self (balancing inner and outer exploration, personal, reciprocal and collective individuation, withdrawing shadow projections (on alien races), and balancing male and female.
Q is definitely the God-like key catalyst for their transformation of consciousness, hence he's there in the first episode and reappears in the last, when he admits to Picard that he's been trying to teach them that the real adventure is not in finding new things 'out there', but exploring new possibilities of consciousness. What I love about Q (interesting that he's the most popular character) is his mercurial ambiguity - he's peevish and childish, yet supremely intelligent; wicked, yet merciful and self-sacrificing, playful and jesting yet never a liar, omnipotent yet helpless in other areas.
Kirk, Bones, Spock + Enterprise as feminine fourth
Secondary quaternity: Sulu, Chekov, Scotty + Uhura as female fourth I guess the significance of having the Enterprise as the dominant feminine fourth, is that it's a representative of technology, science and the whole feminine realm of matter which is currently becoming incorporated into the new holistic Aquarian God-image. (This would square with Jung's prophecy about the Assumption of Mary and matter as 'mater'). Uhura as the feminine 4th and a black woman resonates on one level with the Black Madonna cult, and is also a more cultural concern. (Remember the big impact that she had in the 60s when she'd decided to leave the show and Martin Luther King talked her into remaining because of the positive influence she was having?)
"Tea. Earl Grey. Hot."
Evolution of the God-Image:
Q puts th TNG crew on trial for the 'crimes of humanity' and accuses them of being a 'greviously savage race', hence the court scene jury comprises 21st-century post-holocaust freaks and cripples. Here Q is the stern Old Testament God figure, whereas he later mellows and, like Christ, even becomes human, self-sacrificing and vulnerable to pain at one point. In this sense the TNG series condenses the evolution of the Western God-image from distant dictator (Zeus/Aries age), to a closer merging of human and divine (Christ/Pisces Age). The overall trend is a double merging movement: the progressive deification of humanity and corresponding humanization of God, with the end result being, as Jung clarified, the Aquarian myth of the complete merging of God and humanity. Similarly in Trek, the humans are at first weak and helpless pawns of Q, whereas later the Q Continuum become worried that the humans are growing in consciousness and may soon rival their power and knowledge.
"Warp 9.999 - Engage!"
I am submitting a dream that begs for discussion.
I am on the ice of a lake which is next to the entrance of a river also iced over ... I am shooting pucks with others at three targets on the river ice ... the pucks spray water as there is a thin stream of water on the ice surface ... I look at one of the targets and notice that it is a person ... there appears to be glass/ice which partially encases this person who is dressed in white ... I notice that he is bleeding slightly in the legs ... he speaks ... he talks to me about his ³son² ...
I am in a plane with him and see where his wife was sitting and I listen to him sing/chant a prophecy, an omen about the child¹s birth ... his wife is silent/sleeping/unconscious ... it seems that her unborn baby is in danger and that we, that I, must hurry in order to save the baby, to save her ... I look again and I see the baby ... the baby is white haired ... his eyes are looking though all to another place ... he is the child of a goddess ...
(While writing, tears fell onto the journal. Returned to bed and tried to fall asleep without success. The images came back and filled in the empty spaces, aspects of the dream altered. The tears continued while correcting the detail of the images.)
I am checking on this man in white who is enclosed in sharp ice/glass ... it feels more like glass ... he is cut and bleeding slowly ... I am speaking to him in French while I check for danger signs, signs that would tell me if his life is in danger from his injuries ... I tell him I will be back to check on him some more as soon as I check on the condition of the other two people, dark people, men ... he is very calm and polite and understanding, he is speaking to me in French as well ... he understands my need to check on the other men, to see if their lives are in danger ... I am rescuing, saving lives like I was trained to do.
In the plane, he shows me where his wife had been sitting before ... I notice a sheet of folded glass, glass that is not sharp ... it can be held in the hand and rests on a base which is part of the glass itself ... as I hold the object, he shifts into a state of memory ... he remembers that this glass was there, in front of his wife during their journey ... I him begin to sing/chant a verse about a ³life² within her ... holding the glass, I get the sense that this child is a divine child, the child of prophecy ... the glass is a seeing, a conduit that connects to a godhead.
When I show the glass to the child sitting on his mother¹s lap (a Madonna scene), it is as though the glass hypnotizes him ... he stares through the glass, into its depths ... I have this sense of certainty that the goddess within the folded glass has captured/connected to the white-haired, white-clothed male child, that this child is not human anymore, not a human son ... he is now a child of the divine ... he always was.
Robert Longpre wrote:
I am submitting a dream that begs for discussion. ... I am on the ice of a lake which is next to the entrance of a river also iced over ...
[The delirious logs of my musings float downstream like blood-sapped Ophelias . . .]
Here is emotional, unconscious energy frozen and unflowing. What keeps it bound, imprisoned, and what will thaw it? What lurks beneath the ice ('What rough beast . . . slouches toward Jerusalem?' - Yeats)
"For shall we not keep waking
Breaking the barriers
Shattering the ice of mere distance
Till the spring of rebirth
Thaws the shadows of
Our yet unborn horizons?"
(Thus endeth one of my Ice Initiation poems)
I am shooting pucks with others at three targets on the river ice ... the pucks spray water as there is a thin stream of water on the ice surface ...
Aha! Puck (a Mercurius/Trickster figure) to the rescue - water flows and sprays. And aren't pucks round? Three targets suggests an unseen Fourth.
I look at one of the targets and notice that it is a person ... there appears to be glass/ice which partially encases this person who is dressed in white ... I notice that he is bleeding slightly in the legs ... he speaks ... he talks to me about his 'son' ...
Blood and blanched, red and white, male and female, alchemical union;
Christ as Wounded Healer; Percevale's vision of blood on the snow; the white Pelican who pecks her breast (so forming an uroboric ring) to nurture her brood with blood; Christ as androgyne and Divine Self who begets a son on himself.
"The crippled one is the creative one." (Limping Hephaestus motif). The Threefold Trinity of spirit is still weak in its connection with the Earth (wounded legs). It needs a solid base (matter as the new vision of 'mater').
... I am in a plane with him and see where his wife was sitting and I listen to him sing/chant a prophecy, an omen about the child's birth ...
Intuition pilots the dream plane (Jung)
his wife is silent/sleeping/unconscious ... it seems that her unborn baby is in danger and that we, that I, must hurry in order to save the baby, to save her ... I look again and I see the baby ... the baby is white haired ... his eyes are looking though all to another place ... he is the child of a goddess ...
The divine Child as the white-haired Ancient of Days; puer as senex (Saturn as senex rules Aquarius). The child does not save us; we save the Child; the fate of the Anthropos is in our hands. (Can we 'hand-le' our destiny?)
(While writing, tears fell onto the journal. Returned to bed and tried to fall asleep without success. The images came back and filled in the empty spaces, aspects of the dream altered. The tears continued while correcting the detail of the images.)
Tears as the warm water of soul that thaws the ice and washes away the blood . . .
(Ice often images Spirit - the puer-senex axis - see my Aaivan Children's page on Jung Circle):
"His heart is out on lone white fields
With ice-bright eyes his Staff he wields
Walks beneath the myriad gaze of stars unnnumbered.
In a haze of crystal pallor
Wonder dense as crystal falls
He, the one Eternal Child
Is Father of us all."
I am checking on this man in white who is enclosed in sharp ice/glass ... it feels more like glass ... he is cut and bleeding slowly... I am speaking to him in French while I check for danger signs, signs that would tell me if his life is in danger from his injuries ... I tell him I will be back to check on him some more as soon as I check on the condition of the other two people, dark people, men ... he is very calm and polite and understanding, he is speaking to me in French as well ...
We must learn a new language; the Logos of the Eros. Glass both reveals and conceals; it mirrors, distorts, shatters old images (when it breaks), and is depth. In the words of Jung: 'All of us gaze into that "dark glass" in which the dark myth takes shape, adumbrating the invisible truth.'
he understands my need to check on the other men, to see if their lives are in danger ... I am rescuing, saving lives like I was trained to do
Here is the loaded confession: "saving lives like I was trained to do". Much of the trapped emotional energy is concealed in a personal woundedness here(?)
In the plane, he shows me where his wife had been sitting before ... I notice a sheet of folded glass, glass that is not sharp ... it can be held in the hand and rests on a base which is part of the glass itself ... as I hold the object, he shifts into a state of memory ...
Memory as anamnesis, the 're-collection' of a lost wholeness, an antecedent unity. Folded glass vision waits to be unfolded; now it has found its base and is earthed; you/we are ready to 'hand-le' it.
he remembers that this glass was there, in front of his wife during their
journey ... I him begin to sing/chant a verse about a 'life' within her
... holding the glass, I get the sense that this child is a divine
child, the child of prophecy ... the glass is a seeing, a conduit that
connects to a godhead ...
"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now we know in part, but then we shall know even as we are known." (St Paul)
... when I show the glass to the child sitting on his mother's lap (a
Madonna scene), it is as though the glass hypnotizes him ... he stares
through the glass, into its depths ... I have this sense of certainty
that the goddess within the folded glass has captured/connected to the
white-haired, white-clothed male child, that this child is not human
anymore, not a human son ... he is now a child of the divine ... he
always was ...
The new unfolding vision: a new Mother-Son coniunctio between the Goddess 'mater', encased in the glass of matter, united with the new divine Child, Eros as Aquarian holism. The human always has been divine; now we must realize it consciously as the androgyny and earthed spirituality of the restored wholi-ness of God. "All deities reside in the human breast." (William Blake, genius & prophet)
Thus ranteth the semi-sane shaman
"The Dark" Nathair
(Serpent Dreaming ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~)
From: Covert Harris
You replied to my supposition of links between archetypes and DNA with the following, which is an excerpt from a larger body of your very helpful elucidation - at least for me:
[Jung may have suggested that archetypes are transmitted through heredity, but he certainly does not claim that they originate via DNA. To suggest that they do is tantamount to suggesting that, say, the picture on a TV screen originates in the TV set. Similarly, it may well be that we are receivers and transducers of archetypes, which are quite posssibly all-pervasive and eternal. Certainly the existence of mandala patterns in snowflakes, atoms, chaos mathematics, and magnetic resonance patterns suggests that the God-archetype is all-pervasive.]
I stand hoisted on my own canard; or maybe more descriptively, I have had my false foot prodded, causing its retraction, and now, as the Amos the Amoeba said, long before Koko said anything, "although my composition continues transparent, my direction's no longer apparent." First I was doing what I was projecting onto Jung's motives, i.e. attacking moralists who think they can set kids "right" by teaching "moral" values; and secondly, I was simply bracketing out of my insight all the examples of archetypes that existed long before humans, as I continue, unconsciously, to try to understand consciously that which cannot be consciously understood. Now that I am more conscious of it, I will presumably do it less. (And for now I am going to ignore any metaphysical inquiry - Cartesian, Berkeleian, or otherwise, dealing with the question of in what ultimate sense archetypes exist.)
Thanks, it is really a pleasure to hear/see from someone who thinks.
Yes, same here! I guess this all relates to the axiom that 'nothing is real until it is experienced', and to its corollary: you can never lead someone further than you've been yourself.
A few quotes from Jung might throw further light on the elusive mysterium of archetypes:
"But in so far as the archetypes act upon me, they are real and actual to me, even though I do not know what their real nature is. This applies, of course, not only to the archetypes but to the nature of the psyche in general." [MDR]
"It seems to me probable that the nature of the archetype as such is not capable of being made conscious, that it is transcendent, on which account I call it psychoid." [CW Vol. 8]
On archetypes as pre-human:
"The initial event was the arrangement of indistinct masses in spherical form. Hence the primordial archetype [mandala] appears as the first form of amorphopus gases, for anything amorphous can manifest itself only in some specific form or order." [letter to Erich Neumann, 10/3/59]
On materialism as a philosophical prejudice:
'We have no justification for understanding the psyche as a brain-process than we have for understanding life in general from a one-sided, arbitrarily materialistic point of view that can never be proved, quite apart from the fact that the very atempt to imagine such a thing is crazy in itself and has always engendered craziness whenever it was taken seriously. We have, on the other contrary, to consider the psychic process as psychic and not as an organic cell-process. However indignant people may get about "metaphysical phantoms" when cell-processes are explained vitalistically, they nevertheless continue to regard the physical hypothesis as "scientific", although it is no less fantastic. But it fits in with every bit of nonsense, provided only that it turns the psychic into the physical, becomes scientifically sacrosanct. Let us hope that the time is not far off when this antiquated relic of ingrained and thoughtless materialism will be eradicated from the minds of our scientists.'
SDP para. 529
I am the wind that breathes upon the sea,
I am the wave on the ocean,
I am the murmur of leaves rustling,
I am the rays of the sun,
I am the beam of the moon and stars,
I am the power of trees growing,
I am the bud breaking into blossom,
I am the movement of the salmon swimming,
I am the courage of the wild boar fighting,
I am the speed of the stag running,
I am the strength of the ox pulling the plough,
I am the size of the mighty oak tree,
And I am the thoughts of all people
Who praise my beauty and grace.
- From the Ancient Welsh Black Book of Camarthan
From: James Spigener
Hello. I'm new to the Jung Circle and don't know exactly how it works. So far, I've only seen excepts from messages housed in the responses from Maureen. Consequently, I haven't read the entire message (from Covert Harris) to which I'm responding. If, as I usually do, I'm putting my foot in it, then I'll be upbraided, as I usually am. However, following impulse, I'm responding to a message from Mr Harris, in which he apologized, basically, for being a thinking human being. Dear Covert Harris! Just because Maureen believes archetypes aren't transmitted through DNA doesn't mean you're not right. Maureen is a very smart woman, but no one is smart enough to know what's unknowable at this point. She has Jung's intuition, her own intuition and that's as far as it goes. And you have your intuition. So if that's where you spoke from, don't rescind your beliefs just because someone else has another opinion. For there are no facts on this point! It's truly a level playing field.
And if the statement," I guess this all relates to the axiom that 'nothing is real until it is experienced', has meaning in this context, then I'll add that I have experienced what I believe to be the archetypes. Though who really knows what he's experiencing when the numinous powers pay a visit? Even if I have only a very limited intelligence to interpret what has transpired, these archetypes are supposedly primitive anyway. It doesn't require a PhD to hobnob with them.
Hi there James
Thricefold welcome; and don't worry - no-one's into upbraiding (or downbraiding for that matter) here - your comments are always welcome and you're free to put as many feet in it as you like. (My 'nebulous exantiphron' in the poem 'Schizophrenia' has 7 of 'em). But to clarify my own comments, I believe I suggested something to the effect that archetypes may well be transmitted via DNA but that doesn't mean they originate in DNA(?) - hence I wasn't entirely disagreeing with Covert. My understanding of archetypes is not, on my part, a 'belief', since I have no beliefs, only experience and intuition; secondly, it was an attempt to clarify what I understand to be Jung's position on the issue. My experience of people, on the whole, is that some are holists (Jung et al.), others reductionists. One is usually in the first camp because one has an intuitive relation (as 'gnosis') to the unitary reality (unus mundus) underlying all phenomena. Materialism, on the other hand, is a philosophical bias that seems to plague those who prefer dualism over holism, analysis over synthesis, intellect over intuition, belief over direct experience of archetypes and the collective unconscious.
Again, thanks for your input - it's always welcome!
"So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home."
- Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee Nation
Another new guy, one Freeman Newhall who, only two months ago got his hands on a computer. I could use some help in trying to clairfy a statement made by Jung, in his Answer to Job where the Warlock of Surich wrote, and I quote:
"Religious statements are psychic confessions based upon unconscious (ie) transcendental processes."
The term transcendental, coined by Kant, means the mind's attempt to interpret sense perception (a rudimentary process of thought). "Religious statements": I suppose by that, he means spiritual affirmations in scriptures. The answer to Job must follow the question of Job, which seems to have been the choice between what is called good and evil (i.e.) morality, or righteousness. In Hebrew, the name Job means adversity¹ and in his case adversity caused by conflict. One of the most commonly used terms in modern psychology is approach/avoidance¹, or the conflict between desire and fear.
One might say that all emotions stem from love and fear, thus it would appear, that conflict is inherent in the emotions. As a side note: Machevilli, in 1527 A.D. made this statement in his book The Prince : "Science, Love and Fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared, than to be loved." His rationale I suppose, is that fear commands respect, whereas there is a thin line between love and hate. Jung's answer is a recognition of the process not an explanation, (i.e.) not an answer.
In the sense that Jung regards archetypes as inborn possibilities of form and behaviour, rather than having definite content, he's surely in the Platonic camp (which similarly regards the archetypes as innate yet transcendent Forms)? Two visual props are useful illustrations here: the chocolate mould - it has no content until something is poured into it - and the bar magnet. With the latter, one demonstrates the existence of archetypes (via analogy) by sprinkling iron filings over a piece of paper beneath which the magnet is hidden. We can then deduce the presence of the invisible energy field beneath the paper (I use this to add some fun in lectures on archetypes!) As to the 'genetically derived' idea, the TV set analogy could well apply here. How can a box of circuits and tubes generate the infinite variety of imagery we see on the box itself? We know, of course, that it doesn't do so alone; it simply transduces and transmits forms of energy that are transcendent to it and therefore do not originate in it in the first place. In the sense that Jung similarly regards archetypes as transcendent and holographic (i.e. implied throughout the holism of the collective unconscious), the comparison might be useful(?)
Just some playful analogies . . .
The "I Am" Alone Exists
Listen, then, those who who can hear.
Also you angels and those who
appear in visions or deliver messages,
you disembodied spirits still around.
The "I Am" of all these sayings alone exists.
I have no one who judges me:
I embrace all opposites.
You may fool yourselves with
and legal precedents
by which you break contact with me.
It may be forgetfulness,
a passion to acquire, or
a temporary intoxication,
to all of which human beings
until they sober up, lie down, and die.
But you will find me there too.
The way you have treated me is
the way you have treated your own soul.
And this time you will not die.
You will live with me until you learn.
~ from the Gnostic text "Thunder, Perfect Mind"
From Covert Harris:
I assume the fact that we don't as much care about reconciling Thinking and Feeling might mean we intuitively regard them as inferior functions - possibly able to be derived from Sensation and/or Intuition, but these two giants could never come from thinking or feeling. (Jung undoubtedly dealt with this.) How about we "just do it," then pour a large Beefeater and tonic, like "The Man Who Fell To Earth"? (The fact that TMWFTE always specified Beefeater instead of just gin, was somewhat analogous to James Bond liking his martinis stirred and not shaken - reconciliation does not obliterate the two parts, it mixes them carefully while retaining their separate identities in spirit - but no computer or King's men now or ever in the future could separate them again, even though you could intuitively put them back together, as [Bohm's] model of two cylinders, one turning inside the other, with liquid in between, described, if you reversed the turning.)
When I was a young man, and attending college, there was a debating group, which I sat in on several times. The Pros and Cons flew back and forth, as in a game of tennis, and I heard the term "Devil's Advocate" used more than a few times. Who was right and who was wrong? What was the question? There seemed to be as many different answers to the same question as there were debators. Then I asked myself, what was the real purpose of the debate? And later the answer came to me, but of course, the rhetorical gymnastics were merely an exercise for the brain; then an old adage came to mind, "What you don't use you lose." Somewhere I read, that the world was divided between two different kind of people, thinkers and doers, and that thinkers rarely do and doers rarely think. (Interesting, don't you think?)
Hi Shadowcatcher (good name - caught any shadows lately?)
In Answer to Job : Jung, of course, got into a lot of hot water with the theologians with this one, since the latter failed to appreciate that Jung was talking about the God-image as it is reflected in/co-created by human consciousness, i.e. he was making psychological - not theological or metaphysical - statements about 'God' as an archetype which keeps changing its form in accord with the evolution of consciousness. Hence Jung boldly announces that human consciousness is the only seeing eye of the divine, and that individuation simultaneously transforms God. As Jung understands it, Job was faced with an archaic God who not only behaves like an intimidating, spoilt child and bully, but who also brags about his power and boasts of having created all manner of elemental monsters. This is the Aries Era raw fiery energy, the emergence of primal consciousness that typifies the OT/Zeus/Yahweh 'warrior God' era. God here is an unreflected image, with no sense of good vs evil, simply a sense of egoic, immature power and self-importance. Job, by being more 'righteous' than God, forces God to undergo a transformation of consciousness into moral awareness, i.e. we move onto the Age of Pisces, which is characterized by the splitting off of ego from unconscious, hence the moral accentuation of the opposites into good and evil (the twin fish swimming in opposites directions). God now becomes human and compassionate (in Christ), while Christ's shadow is split off (projected) onto the Devil. The next phase, again as Jung understands it, is the restoration of the original unity of God - on a level of higher consciousness, i.e. the Aquarian Age as the era of individuation, which of course necessitates the conscious reintegration of the shadow (devil), the owning of one's dark side. God now becomes indistinguishable from humanity in general (hence the Aquarian image of the human pouring out water onto the Earth). Jung refers to this new consciousness as the era of the Holy Spirit. (See also my paper on Jung Circle, "The Road Less Traveled: Shamanic Consciousness & the Evolution of the God-image") shaman.html Hope this throws some light on this crucial Jungian text . . .(?)
Avagoodweegend (as we say down here in Oz)
Blessings from the Event Horizon
Maureen/"The Dark" Nathair
From Sara Williams:
Your discussion of Answer to Job is the clearest and most beautiful "to-the-point" discussion I have ever read. Much better than Jung's! Thank you. I have printed it out.
I'm not very up on astrology, but I remember Alice H. speaking at Kanuga a few years back on the different ages and Jungian symbolism. But being a Pisces, somehow I never associated the characteristic of the Age of Pisces( "the splitting off of ego from unconscious, and the accentuation of the opposites") with my own self as a Pisces.
I have a lot to learn.
Thanks so much for your clarity on Answer to Job, and for maintaining the Jung Circle for us.
Thanks for your contribution to the Ring of Fire - wish I'd been there to soak up the clear and deep wisdom of dear Alice Howell with you - what a rare and gifted teacher and inspiration she is!
From Covert Harris:
Maureen, thanks for the wonderfully and concisely put summation of the "point" of Answer to Job. And I well know that you well know that a perfect analysis is not the music itself. This "crucial" work is my Rach II of the literary world, at least for the moment. Sections like the entrance/(entrancement) of Sophia (Proverbs 8), God's girlfriend, who was there before the creation, made the piece a real goose bumper for me.
At the risk of being too cute, how about this? If Jesus had known that he really was God, like anyone else, he wouldn't have been so hung up. Could it be that he was eating the menu instead of the meal at his last supper? I think many people have so bought into Jesus' self-proclaimed persona, that they fail to catch his personal tragedy. And yes, Shadowcatcher is a great name - and I am happy to see him/her join the Circle - and so is Sedona! If you have never been there, maybe the sign means it is time - talk about enchantment - if you can't catch your shadow in Sedona, it is time to go home; it's really a butte - oww!
And to Shadowcatcher, in relation to your interest in people's ideas of right and wrong, you might enjoy Edward de Bono's "I Am Right You Are Wrong."
From Alice Howell:
Mercy, Maureen! what a synchronicity - check out jung-psych - I was just saying the same things about age of Aries! Maybe some people would be interested in my book: JUNGIAN SYNCHRONICITY IN THE ASTROLOGICAL SIGNS & AGES... have been lurking because my right hand still doesn't work and am still dealing with aftermath of my beloved husband's death.
love n hopesalice o. howell:}
Dear Alice - love and more roses -
Illumination comes from "Down Under". I must confess that I have never read Jung's Answer to Job but I did come across the statement that I quoted in a book that I was reading, and it puzzled me (see what happens when you take statements out of context?)
What better way to receive the Light than from Jung's disciple.
Then to the rolling Heav'n itself I cried
Asking what Lamp had Destiny to guide
Her little children stumbling in the Dark
And- a blind Understanding Heav'n replied.
From Jill Peterson:
I am thankful to Deborah for pointing me in the direction of Jung Circle. My first visit to the site gave me goosebumps because the woods were exactly like the woods in a dream I had in January - widely spaced trees with no undergrowth. However, it was winter in my woods and the grass was brown.
I am looking in a wicker drawer. There is an envelope with some of Jeff's papers - earning statements. I wonder if I should look. Jeff speaks to me - he says that he can help me schedule. He has a schedule divided into seven columns which he puts on the fridge. (Jeff is my husband). I am walking alone in a suburb like the one in which I live. I come to the end of the road. There is an open woods before me. I am not where I thought I was. I look wistfully towards the wood and then turn around. Now I am in a small group. Out of the corner of my eye I see a huge snake curled up at the edge of the woods. One of the men has a shovel. He raises it to kill the snake. I scream "Don't kill it". A woman's voice says the snake isn't poisonous - it isn't a diamondback - it is a diamond wing. The snake is huge - a black pattern on white. We start to walk again, the snake follows, slithers through the group and climbs up my left leg to the thigh. I pet it with my hand and it feels like the most exquisite fur. I look into the snake's eyes which are huge and brown and wonderful. We are in the kitchen. Before I can stop him a man (I know him from somewhere) picks up the snake by the tail and snaps it like crack the whip. The snake turns into a lovely girl (the one who said it wasn't poisonous?) with lovely brown eyes and light brown, curly hair. I ask if she wants me to take her back to the woods. She says no she will stay in the backyard or garden.
Several months later I did an Active Imagination with this dream. I sat in the backyard and lit a candle and imagined the woman beside me. Then I went through the dream again. I didn't think anything was happening and was about to stop when there was a light, fleeting energy kiss from a man. I didn't connect this with Sleeping Beauty until Deborah sent me Briar Rose from the Pre-Raphaelite Collection. An awakening?!
Hugs everyone! Jill
Conflict, conflict everywhere from the Beginning to the Ending, conflict produces energy, energy needed to affect change. While reading the scriptures, I came across this statement made by the "Allegorical Jesus":
'Some of you think that I have come to bring Peace. No, I tell you, but division, to set father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother (etc.) This does not appear to be in the nature of Gender, but a Generational statement - the old against the new and the new against the old (conflict = energy). To the Native Americans the number 4 is sacred, representing the Quarternary, the four directions, the four seasons (etc.) The fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is Daleth the Door, the threshold, representing change, transition, transformation, and metamorphosis. Did you ever notice how the Aborigine stands atop a promonory? Standing on his left leg, leaning on his spear, his right leg crossed behind his left leg, forming the figure 4. Whenever I travel to Australia, in my imagination I often end up atop the Red Rock near Adelaide.
Then on ran Dingo, yellow dog Dingo
Listen to the sound of the Didgeridoo.
DreamTime, listen to the sound of the Spirit Caller, whirling and Roaring.
Knock and the Door will open
In my deck of Tarot cards,the card marked 0 is Aleph, called the Fool, because of his Innocence. It is a picture of a carefree young man, standing at the edge of the Abyss. In his right hand he holds a long staff, which is resting on his shoulder, at the tip of the staff is tied a knapsack containing the four magical tools of the Quarternary, the tools of Alchemy, mentioned in Scriptures as the four living creatures, symbolized by the ox, the lion, the eagle and man, representing water, air, earth, and fire, which corresponds to hydrogen, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen, the four basic elements, represented in the cards as Wands, Swords Cups and Penticles. The young man is holding in his left hand a Rose, symbolizing Beauty or the perfect symmetry of the Causal Plane (he has picked the Rose from the Garden). At the feet of the young man sits a little white dog (conscience). The young man is the Prodigal Son, at the Beginning, representing all Mankind both male and female (Androgyne). The card numbered 1 is Beth, called the Magician; he stands in front of his "Communion Table" with the four magical tools laid out; in his right hand he holds a magic wand upright, now the Work begins, above his head is the sign of Infinity; in the background is the Garden, but the Magician is outside the Garden, to the East of Eden.
In my deck of Tarot cards, the card numbered 2 is Gimel, called the High Priestess. She is an aspect of the Feminine Principle. In the picture we see a strong vibrant young woman, seated upon a Throne between the Pillars of Polarity, In her lap we see a scroll, the records of Time; in the background, the Veil of Mystery is inverted revealing the Holy of holies, the Secret of secrets, The Tree of Life, the Pomegranate Tree, with its Fruit, and there beneath her right foot is the Cresent Moon, symbolizing that She, an aspect of the Feminine Principle is in control of the Unconscious. The Magician, as an aspect of the Masculine Principle is the activator while the High Priestess is the Fulfiller.
The card numbered 3 is Daleth, called the Empress. She is the Feminine Principle. And in the picture we see a mature woman seated upon a Throne in the Centre of the Garden, and upon her head is a crown of 12 stars, symbolizing the 12 signs of the zodiac. Every man, woman and child is born under one of these signs, so the number 12 represents all of mankind. And in Her right hand She holds the Rod of Power, and in Her left hand She holds a shield in the shape of a Heart, and upon the shield is emblazoned the symbol of Venus, signifying the Highest Love.
This is my Beloved Mother, my Queen of the Garden, whom I worship and Adore.
"Only the unconscious can save us: in your pathology is your salvation. Otherwise, the white bread ego rules and we will have Dan Quayle in the White House, the man without a quirk. I don't want psychotherapy working for Dan Quayle, normalizing and eliminating psychopathology, for I see our psychopathology as the 'rough beast' in Yeats' poem, who is actually the Second Coming, as the poem says in its very title."
~ James Hillman, We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy . . .
[Individual posts are automatically copyright 1998]
updated 26 JULY Deborah