Monday, February 2, 2009

Fittingly Beside the Belfry -- Pere Bleubols Ponders Good & Evil In The New Age In Voices Severally


[from Pissoirs Du Mal, Le Journal Des Les Moineaux (Urinals of Evil, The Journal of the Sparrows), from the dust jacket, the photo and the blurb beneath:

"Ah! It is Beginning Fittingly Beside the Belfry, Priest shirt on, rakishly unbuttoned, God Maddened Pere Bleubols Ponders Good and Evil in the New Age Near the Virgin Blue Garbage Can, Refuse of God Talk through the Ages O'reflowing Beside, and Betide, Les Rouge Fleurs du Mal...

He's swell. He's a pal to the mages. Nevermind his rages. Remind him to pack his socks and to tie his shoes...

The Quest? To Rescue Dante But Not To Redeem Him,
For THAT, Dear and Fellow Peregrinator, He Must Do Himself."]

[If you wish to read the section, Jung's "Cloud-Cuckoo-Land" in Context before what immediately follows below this then scroll down until you come to it. This section is where the Learning For Life Group newsletter article is taken. I hasten to say that the fictional/frictional dramatic dialogue content immediately after the dedication and epigrams below expresses my own contradictory and passionate views du jour and do not reflect the views of my colleagues of LFL Group. This blogspot format offers me a chance to express myself in many ways and what follows is one of them, more raw, less censored, and chasing, as always, my own tail, and perhaps a god tale, as earnestly and authentically as I can, imperfect as it all is and ever shall be.

I'd rate this on an ascending scale from low to high volume from 1 to 10 as a 10 on the "Rant-o-meter" so be forewarned. As my favorite philosophy professor at the Christian college often said, rather new to Christianity and not familiar with the linguistic tourettes required to truly be a member of the God's Own Club,

"If I sound bitter it's because I am."

B
ombaste.]


For Betsy Steele Halpern, Jungian analyst, who died April 3, 2008 :


My first analyst, she had much work cut out for her for I was "a lost fart in a thunderstorm" freshly tossed up from "the Christ-haunted landscape" of the American South. I should have bought her a necklace of pearls as a gift to her when I impatiently parted the analysis not realizing then that I had already started the Descent by heading off heedless, arrogant, headlong and as desperate as Rimbaud "to worship at any shrine impulses toward perfection." Thank you, Betsy, for releasing me to my fate "into the fluff" you called the New Age movement with your authentic blessing. I return to the beginning yet again, humbled, a sinner still, swilling away, an ass but more honestly so, bare assed and embarassed for the lint of the New Age fluff tenaciously, cloyingly clinging still to me bum. I clutch my January 25, 2008 dream of nakedness as I left the collapsed New Age altar having grabbed a Swiss beer stein called an alpenstein, translated, white stone ("white" (alpen) "stone" (stein)) from it as it crashed down with all its gods and symbols, gurus and priestesses in a wintery cold heap beneath the spiritual decay and rubble. En exilio yet again, I then and now seek 1) to get some clothes on departing the debris and, 2) to understand and honor the alspenstein-white stone with the help of Carl Jung and others, and begin the limping journey anew which you helped me launch in 1981 or 82. Here I go now more hunchbacked than ever, a gargoyle ledge-sitter " 'ponst my haunches" quoting King James verses for the love of the music and what was/is hinted therein them -- that Silence of God which makes me babble so.

"No, no, no, no! Come, let's away to prison:
We two alone will sing like birds i' the cage:
When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down,
And ask of thee forgiveness: so we'll live,
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
Talk of court news; and we'll talk with them too,
Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out;
And take upon's the mystery of things,
As if we were God's spies: and we'll wear out,
In a walled prison, packs and sects of great ones,
That ebb and flow by the moon." -- King Lear, in King Lear by William Shakespeare


Selah.



-----------------------------------------------------


The universe is simplified since he summarized it as a rumor in an empty shell. -- George Rodenbach re: the poet Stephan Mallarme


The journey from cloud-cuckoo-land to reality lasted a long time. In my case Pilgrims Progress consisted in my having to climb down a thousand ladders until I could reach out my hand to the little clod of earth that I am. -- Carl Jung


The Indian goal is not moral perfection but the condition of nirvana. He wishes to free himself from nature. In keeping with this aim he seeks in meditation the condition of imagelessness and emptiness. I, on the other hand, wish to persist in a state of lively contemplation of nature and of psychic images. I want to be free neither from human beings nor from myself nor from nature for all these appear to me the greatest of miracles. -- Carl Jung


"Sir, to which sublime tradition do you belong?" [traditional greeting, in ancient times, for strangers coming upon each other at the border of Tibet and China]. -- quoted by J. Marvin Spiegelman, Jungian analyst/writer


In my experience, God prefers what Jung has called the 'natural man' to be a vessel for His 'continuing incarnation' (Answer to Job, par. 746) -- the one who belches and farts and scratches his ass; who is 'a thing despised and rejected by men' (Isaiah 53:3); who is 'a daily laughingstock and the butt of everybody's jokes' (Jeremiah 20:7); who is 'married to a whore' (Hosea 1:2) and nothing more than a stinking goat-herd (Amos 1:1). That is, He prefers the guilty fools and ignoramuses of the world, like you and me, and not, in Jung's words, the 'guiltless ones' like Them -- the learned and the pious 'rabbis' of all religions -- ...[for] according to Jung, 'In them the Dark God would find no room.' -- Reb Yakov Leib HaKohain

One cannot be too cautious in these matters, for what with the imitative urge and a positively morbid avidity to possess themselves of outlandish feathers and deck themselves out in this exotic plumage, far too many people are misled into snatching at such "magical" ideas and applying them externally, like an ointment. People will do anything, no matter how absurd to avoid facing their own souls. -- Carl Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, Collected Works, Vol. 12, par. 126.


We're going to have our bathe in the river, and never mind the crocodiles. -- Carl Jung


***********************************

First Prolegomena To All Future Resistance


"It is night and now do all sleeping fountains wake." -- Zarathustra, in Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra

A Rule to break: Let sleeping dogs lie. -- Folk saying

A Rule to Follow: "Now, gods, stand up for bastards." -- Edmond, in King Lear by William Shakespeare


Now enter Diogenes Teufelsdrochk (taken from Thomas Carlyle's nom de plume for his satire, Sartor Resartus (The Tailor Retailored). Diogenes in Greek means god begotten. Teufelsdrockh translates from the German as donkey dung".

(God Begotten Donkey Dung blinking awake from sleep) "Damn those fountains! Can't a man sleep for godsakes? Burbling away all night while silent by day!! What was the dream?...ah...yes...










here














in












this













dream
















I have fallen out of heaven. Yea, verily, I have been thrown out by the very deities I tried to play footsies with who acted like they wanted it and then offended angels perceiving me a human rival tossed my fleece socks down upon me as an afterthought. Not a kindness, mind, but an insult to socks and sockitude and what they do. Still, the hurt is and was immense here now hanging on at the familiar perimeter, the Fenetre Fence, recompense for my offending hubris. And all I did was suggest! In the concrete world of Heaven suggestions are creations, coagulate accretions taken for fundamentals. There there is no poetry. No art. A fart becomes instantly too, too solid. Becomes reality creation. Becomes manifest and a curse upon Heaven and Earth for we are tempted to think that whatever is thought is a hard thing. This is a temptation. One of the worst and is an idolatry most foul.

It is the human imagination which is most truly, profoundly creative, with subtleties upon subtleties unfolding, infolding. Resonances unending. Effulgent, ever indulgent in proliferation of World and worlds and gradations never fading except into pastel shades hinting in visual whispers, "There is more..."

Whereas Heaven, Nirvana, icey and cold, is mute. Dumb as a box of hair. Hard as a brainpan.

Overtones and resonance. I tried to bring these to Heaven, along with my socks. Besides, my feet are warm, and Theirs? The Deities'? Cold as purity. Unyielding and smooth as plaster, all shape and shine yet no heat. No warmth at all. There is no place for feet in Heaven. Thus the angels, those feathery toadstools forever floating, all flame and flicker with not even a flint of spark in them, they are symbols perhaps for something Other-than-Matter supposed to convey something of Beyondness to us down here, solid substantial makers of something out of existence in the abjection and the abstraction, imaginations on real fire heating real flesh reaching into and warming many dimensions but let's not do that thing which Heaven does, reify and therefore deify and turn everything stone cold in a second and then call it religion, spirituality.

So much for Heaven's Spiraled Gate where all my life entire I all-too-humanly, always overwrought, have waited looking through the bars, a dumb ox in human form stubbornly staring in, yet again not having learned that once inside the Gate and amongst the Heavenly Company it is not at all as it appears to be from the outside despite the aroma of saffron and sage, myrr and milk.

The roses there have no pricks. But let me tell you, pricks will out!!

The rose petal and gossimer wide skirt of the appointed (usually self-appointed) pope or popette at first billows invitingly as container and sustainer, the very breadth and breath of wisdom, o the power and the glory (dost thou know that glory, gloria etymologically means, reputation? There is much shadow in this but tis disguised by millenia of angels, bloody footless featherdusters, descanting "gloria, gloria in excelsis deo". There's Ego in Heaven after all with such need for singing, nay, insistent repetitive shouting, of Divine Reputation. Boasting, it is. And very unbecoming of Deity...) but, soon, soon, all too soon, the Shadow slithers forth from beneath the Skirt revealing that even Paradise in its heights cannot escape the Law of Compensation and thus that which is in the depths, the repressed and scapegoated Shadow, veritable Lucifer, o'retakes the wings and belfries, even the shade beneath the Throne, O Rorschach, and some one or two or a group become It's emissary and thus the ancient drama of the conflict within God, spread out and played out amongst humans, continues unabated and, until Carl Jung, remains mostly unconscious or, if explained, is rejected as false because the belief is that God, the god-image, is perfect, whole, unblemished and complete. The All Good UH-OH.

Exuent Diogenes Teufelsdrochk.


[An interjection from Harvey Cox regarding New Age capitalism's desacralization of the authentically sacred:

"If there is any fault to be allocated, it lies not with the victims [of commercialization of spiritualities] but with the buyer-seller nexus within which the new Oriental religious wave is marketed. Despite what may be good intentions all around, the consumer mentality can rot the fragile fruits of Eastern spirituality as soon as they are unpacked. The process is both ironic and pathetic. What begins in Benares as a protest against possessiveness ends up in Boston as still another possession. Dark Kali, the great and terrible destroyer, whose very glance can melt the flesh of the strongest warrior, whose slightest breath can stop the pulse and paralyze the soul, finds herself dangling from bracelets with all the other charms.


No deity however terrible, no devotion however deep, no ritual however splendid is exempt from the voracious process of trivialization. The smiling Buddha himself and the worldly-wise Krishna can be transformed by the new gluttony into collectors' trinkets. It was bad enough for King Midas that everything he touched turned to gold; the acquisition-accumulation pattern of the new gluttony does even more. Reversing the alchemist's course, it transforms rubies and emeralds into plastic, the sacred into the silly, the holy into the hokey...(a) changing of the gods into consumer software..." -- pg. 134, Turning East, The Promise and Peril of the New Orientalism, Harvey Cox, Simon and Schuster, 1975.]


'In them the Dark God would find no room.' -- C.G. Jung


In
a 3 a.m. 7 Eleven parking lot, two men sit in an Edsel, shiney red, with decals of flaming fire licking back from the front doors toward the rear. A priest and a striking man cleaning his contacts slurp slushy fruit drinks from paper cups in the front seat.

Pere Bleubols (Pere BB, for short): Here we go again, Loose. I begin again ending in the same refrain (stating as if announcing),

No avoidance of pain works truly.

Is that the theme?

Loose (affectionate moniker for "Lucifer") : Not quite. Don't suffer saying it right for all rites are meant to do that. Faking it sometimes works but in these matters best to play it from the inside out. Leave the tricky stuff to me, "le Tricster, par excellence". And I remind you not to shout. I did not do so when I plummeted to Earth, now "the most odious one", once "the Lover of God". The war, silly humans, is within the Godhead of which I am a part, dangling here where I've been given some play room but must caper, alas, with the likes of you and all the rest "in His image", what C.G. (Jung) describes accurately as "dreary little mirrors" in "His Likeness".

But Big Boom Boom Aboveness hikes His skirts and as young boy C.G. saw, for it was a revelation insisted upon him by Him Himself, finally shits His turd from beneath the celestial throne, clouds departed, crashing down upon the pristine shining Cathedral roof here, as they say, below. Now THAT, my good Pere, is proof of the existence of God! It is the Crap not yet heard around the world. It is the yet to be unfurled Open Stench of the Deity where stupid humans inflatedly think It is their very own but it is slowly sinking in, spreading around, rumors and humours on the wings of blue-assed flies, that the Divine Stinky, says some, this intuited but not yet known aspect of the Divine is about to reveal Itself, that your stinky is It's Stinky and how you humans consciously deal with it instructs Divinty Itself as to Its own Stinkiness and Its Purpose, if that can be divined, maligned, opined as, of course, it can be and is and ever shall be. Turd without end. Amen. [See Carl Jung's Memories, Dreams, Reflections, pgs. 36-42, where Jung gives an account of and commentary upon the vision just described]

Tis but an opinion and yet, hence from this wincing groaning Defecation, out of this Grimacing Heavenly Heaving, comes Alchemy, the only sacred art of your species, twas and tis for Feces' Sake that gold bricks baked, and still do, from Vatican to Fort Knox and back to Vatican again for I am not a fool for the game here is power and all of it that money can buy. And falsity these days is NOT cheap though cheap and false it may be, this Redemption Retailing, this Enlightenment Industry, this Mystery School for the Elected Elite plucking satguru's ashes from midair. But, and I agree with him, CG says, "Yes, wonder of wonders. Miracle of miracles. BUT it is not individuation."

And don't get me going about the Protestants, and the New Agers are no better really, who can't tell gold from a yellow Baptist school bus, who mistake size for value, the bigger the better, the more the merrier until, London Bridges, they all fall down. Graceland bubbas with bad toupes wearing pink panties beneath their three piece suits, , and much to their credit for the anima will out but they ruin it with shame, getting waxed and make-upped for TV revelations straight from His Stinkiness. Please. Too absurd. But not surprised by much at all I am continually stunned at how many varieties of this type, hype and tripe America can twaddle out from the Moloch mills of that entertainment industry which is American Religion from the formal to the fringe for, let's face it, much of what passes for religion and spirituality here is mere entertainment and out like all entertainment to make a buck while elevating some secular or psycho-sacro-saccharin-sanctimonius personality to high priest or highness priestess or now, even more easy and an even faster buck, genie, guru, showman shaman, Chanel channelers of Pleiadians ("but can they plie?") with a yonder far off Indian or Middle Eastern generic twang proclaiming the new millenium of bliss, peace, blessings and bling bling, veritable vats full of Blavatskys churned out of these mills all with personal revelations straight from that Central Star Above, Alprah Centauri. America's greatest contribution after all is it's comics from the White House to the Church House and all in between. And people gladly pay for laughter even as entire civilizations collapse and economies wither. Keep 'em laughing as paradigms shift to fanfare and solar flare, meaning old ones get plastic surgery in L.A., while the gray matter of the brain continues to obediently perpetuate the god-talk du jour. And keep the religion mills' vats full of these Blather-atskys with a dash of so-called ascended masters and a pinch of avatar catargh imported straight from Potage St. Germaine by way, o always, of Atlantis and ever demur of historical fact, Lemuria preceding from some distant star far away.

But seriously folks...

The rough beast of Yeats poem, "The Second Coming" does not slouch toward Bethlehem to be born but emerges from the shopping malls, the cyber-maws, the bestselling jabber jawkeys (lately with an Australian and a German accent) of occult secret masters mostly with non painted on white face (a mostly caucasian movement is the New Age, after all), and promulgated to the masses by a talk show host who can manifest millions of dollars yet not shed or keep off the pounds.

Zounds and gadzooks. Cue the lightningbolts! Shake the thunderclaps. Run out the bull roarers. Some Divine One is angry. And It's followers, too. But which Divine One? There are so many, Henny Penny. The sky has not fallen. Only I have done so.

Pere BB : I can't say all that! It's offensive! It's incendiary! Besides, it's alluded to through the ages in millions dead by purges and plagues, scratched upon bone and chissled in stone. It is all inked upon velum skin, on paper pages, and now etched on TV, movie and computer screens, the realization that Original Sin derives from the Originator and not the first human or ensuing sinner misbegotten in this Divine Comedia:

Seven Eleven, Nine Eleven,
Mundane as dirt is human hurt,
The agonies and the ectomies,
Whole boatloads of them,
All queries and losses.

Human Civilization scurries burying its head up its own arse or some other'n, whilst self-inflated, self-deluded Magickal Kinder Tom Thumbs proudly proclaim... [in a sing songy voice], "Stick in a thumb, pull out a plum, say, "what a good boy am I!!" And they call it manifesting.

Jeez, Loose, I'm starting to sound like you but let me continue cuz I'm on a jelly roll, Morton. [Clears throat loudly, seriously] That despite the distractions, digital and otherwise, the Abyss is completely ignored or simply, ala modern/post-modern hubris, dismissed, slight of hand in a so-called "science of mind", "science of matter" or laughably with a literary deconstruction. Meanwhile the Divine Behind bulges beneath the Celestial Throne and lets go a Big One d'eclairing, "Deconstruct THIS!!"

Ye gods and little fishes know that the Church certainly isn't going to clean up the Mess and the New Age doesn't even see a Mess cuz it's some kinda maya or it's some kinda Mayan apocalypse grinding rapidly down to a halt on a day in December 2012. Perhaps the Church may have to do it after all, at least some tidying up, still so self-absorbed and captured in theological thrall with it all heads up their own Gold skirts and million dollar mitres, thumbs proclaiming, for these baubles do distract, I must say. And it is the Deity, His Minions from Rome to Dallas, that wears Prada and NOT the Devil. It is appalling, really. Alas, you've taught me too well. But then again these thoughts seem to be the inevitable determined productions of time in the turning of the zodiacal wheel.

I need a musical interlude. Mind if I play something chorale? Loose? A cantata or two? The night passes...after all...after the Fall.

"...Strike another match, go start anew...It's all over now, Baby Blue..." sings from the car radio then switches to a CD, Jesu, Priceless Treasure magnificently chorals softly through the car interior, out the open windows into the orange light of the parking lot, mingling in with the oil refinery noise across the fast highway of eighteen wheelers and stragglers weaving home from the bars. Loose puts his contacts in. Tears. From the contacts, he thinks. Or the no contact with Blessed Beloved Turd Ball up above. Smugly above. Damn Him.

[Jungian interjections regarding the one sided notion of an "all Good God":

...
[[This account has]] failed to explain to us clearly what it has done to the Deus absconditus (Jung, The Symbolic Life, par. 1535)

Absconditus means hidden. It is a favorite expression of Jung's -- Deus absconditus, the hidden God. In English, that stem shows up in the verb to abscond. A robber can abscond with the money he has stolen; he steals it and hides it away. The Deus absconditus has that quality: the dark, dangerous, hidden God. Jung is contradicting the...naive notion of [God]. Jung is talking about the living psychological reality, not the theological abstraction. There is a world of difference between those two. Since it [God] is truly dangerous, its containment in a religious institution is indeed desirable as long as that containment works. [So long as it is contained], has been chained up then the religious dimension of [God] has been chained up. One takes orders from the establishment, rather than from the autonomous psychic content, a situation that is safer. In dreams, [God as] the Holy Ghost is signified chiefly by three images: wind, fire, and birds -- especially big birds...

[More Jung] But the action of [god] does not meet us in the atmosphere of the normal, bourgeous (or proletarian!), sheltered, regular life, but only in the insecurity outside human economy, in the infinite spaces [or late night parking lots in parked Edsels], where one is alone with the...providence of God...Like God, then, the unconscious has two aspects: one good, favorable, beneficent, the other evil, malevolent, disastrous. The unconscious is the immediate source of our religious experiences. This psychic nature of all experience does not mean that the transcendental realities are also psychic... (Jung, The Symbolic Life, par. 1538)

The ambivalent nature of the unconscious was presaged in Clement of Rome's notion of the two hands of God...[Jung, regarding prayer]:

In these circumstances it becomes very difficult to know what to make of prayer. Can we address our prayer to the good God to the exclusion of the demon, as Schweitzer recommnends? Have we the power of dissociating God like the country woman who said to the child Jesus, when he interruped her prayer to the Virgin: "Shhh, child, I'm talking to your mother"? Can we really put on one side the God who is dangerous to us? Do we believe that God is so powerless that we can say to him: "Get out, I'm talking to your better half"?...[W]e're going to have our bathe in the river, and never mind the crocodiles." (Jung, ibid. par. 1537)

All quotes above are from pages 94-97 of Edward F. Edinger's, The New God-Image, A Study of Jung's Key Letters Concerning The Evolution of the Western God-Image, Chiron Publications, 1996.]


Loose (sighing then sobering): Once again, Perry (affectionate for Pere), you fail me or at least predict failure and then don't but you are, dear human one, free willed yet fearful of offending. Offense lies heavenward yet is rising in the chest and mind of each human for you all, everyone, are the petri dish, the laboratory for this conflict and confit de Dieu divided betwixt and between Leviathan and God the All Good Mother or Father. Look who you're talking to now, fool. Really, in spite of your self perception, you're lock-faced and unfenced like a cash register with alley cat eyes...You wish to speak of God? Here's your human angel (greek for messenger), Will Shake-n-Bake-Speare, always an advocate for the human, the creaturely, the incarnate, speaking as God (I take Devil's license here to attribute it to God. My will be done, thank you very much:

"To me you cannot reach, you play the spaniel,
and think with wagging of your tongue to win me."

Pere BB (impatiently, urgently): The tongue is all we have. And it has been from the very Beginning about utterance. Utterance is text and context. It is all "In the beginning God..." It is about the wake up out of mute, unknowing, instinct-driven protoplasm into human consciousness what can wiggle its toes willingly in the shoit, can evolve into a conscious creature capable of Buchenwald and Bach, and in time just barely but significantly hold the conflict, bear it so it just may produce what CG calls a transcendent third thing, synthesis born of thesis and antithesis. Silly bunk-filled 'Merican mystics wouldn't know a dialectic if it bit 'em in the astral plane and it does!! There is no consciousness, thank you CG for this, without the opposites. You, Loose, and perhaps Big Boom Boom Abovenss, too, or in cahoots together, or not but it's done, trying to work out the glitch in what He, you, both pitched forth into being with the pots of creation knew exactly what you were doing guaranteeing that there is no stasis above or below but continuing creation, destruction, creation, destruction, always some new unfolding Thing. It is, rather, "In the beginning, or, rather, to begin the Beginning was/is Dialectic..." All the rest flows from this. And if something stands apart from this then we cannot know it for it is wholly other and therefore subject to what? More dialectic which is important yet in the end mere speculation. I am whinnying here, Loose, bear with me, almost done, back to "that Silence which makes me and all of us really babble on. Welcome to human history. Welcome to the history of human consciousness. I paraphrase and distort here, dear Walt Whitman, but "Out of the Cosmic Cradle endlessly crocking." But addle and amble we must. Until exhausted I, we, shush.

(Suddenly, not quite done, as if arguing a case in court before the judge and jury, from Psalm 19)

"The heavens declare the glory of god,
the firmament showeth his handiwork.
Day unto day uttereth speech,
night unto night sheweth knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
where their voice is not heard."

It all becomes utterance and therefore text. I must. I must to the text. Let's not dawdle here any longer. And you're slurping your empty cup is making me crazy, addled. Thus, the night, noddled, passes and the text remains yet unuttered while you and the once sleeping fountains hurt my ears. Help me, for Chrissakes, Loose. Give me a beginning. I can't go on. I can't go on "without form and void". I, we humans, need beginning again and again. So what is the first sentence to be?

Loose (sitting up, shoulders back, wide grin, tossing his empty paper cup out the window victoriously) : Why, perfectly moi, of course, mon chere frere le pere du merde como le merde de dieu... Luciferian, splendiforous offering, veritable Fruit of Good and Evil-ish while chawing my licorice disguising breakle breath, as meaningfully mollifying as "Goddesh, Gol' darn, Goddamn and Godot with Eden Apple Pie, my my!!" Begin the beginning thusly,

I see another invitation to your knowledge world.


To be continued...



Jung's "Cloud-Cuckoo-Land" in Context


Jung's journey from Cloud-Cuckoo-Land began when he fell from Freud's grace for daring to think on his own and not buy the dogma of the Oedipal complex. Transferences and countertransferences (which are projections from personal and cultural history and transpersonal archetypal images from the collective unconscious) between both men were strong and mythic, from the very beginning. Jung had always been "his own man" in terms of character and thought (he was not a follower) and upon discovering Freud's ideas which paralleled some of his own as he researched and worked clinically with schizophrenics he contacted Freud, started a correspondence and "settled down to learn something" from Dr. Freud, almost 20 years his elder. Their first meeting together lasted 13 hours!!

That Freud had discovered the repressed within the human unconscious and found that an anamnesis seemed to allay symptoms unleashing expressions of the repressed and espressed
natural human instincts (as in espresso, compressed steam jamming through compacted black grinds (a good image of the personal unconscious, that) released an exhilerating sense of freedom in individuals and eventually in European and American culture. Eros was unleashed at last from churchy or other confines.. Dionysus was given sway in dance halls and tea rooms created boom boom room for ecstasy and unitive states with consequent and true to the archetype dismemberings and derangements of the senses which began a process of derangement and rearrangement of collective values of Europe and America. This has not ceased for Pandora's Box is forever opened and the cosmological rope-a-dope of renaissance has now gone global and many people the world over are extremely unsettled and unhappy, therefore reactive, often violently so.

Jung, intoxicated by Freud's find, prior to his discovery of Freud had already begun to explore on his own "the treasure buried in the field", the human psyche (which means soul), in the psychiatric hospital of Burgholzli, there exploring the meaning in madness he encountered in his schizophrenic patients which once kenned might restore some healthy conscious functioning of ego. Also the techniques of mezmerism/hypnosis and all the fascination of, with and by the manifestations of the unconscious, occult included, had at last began to be almost legitimately studied by science. Freud, Bleuler, Rhine, Jung and many more plowed the ground of "the field with the treasure" against great consternation of the science of their day. Yet in spite of these predictable resistences the excitement and promise of scientific discovery began to swell with the growing capacity for technological advancement via modern machinery of all kinds, along with pioneering inroads into the human psyche. All this was intoxicating as the growing zeitgeist of progress, an extention of Darwin's idea of evolution, in culture and technology nurtured high hopes for individuals and civilization. Onward and upward. Progress! The unconscious repressed aspects, what Freud called the unconscious and what Jung came to call the shadow, once identified could be channeled via psychoanalysis and expressed in more civilized ego fashion and the now made conscious sublimated id directed into more creative expression. Art, religion, science and the myriad inventions of human culture are none other than redirected creations of repressions up from"id central". All human productions through time could be uncovered to be humankind's attempt to hide, to sublimate, disguise, alter the repressed discontents of the unconscious. Civilization, it was Freudianly seen, grew in proportion the repressed contents of the human psyche. If one could discover and release repressions then a new era of wholer humanity may ensue, or so was the hopeful belief.

Young Jung wrote a letter to Freud before their famous rupture in which he described ecstatic hopes for equally young and randy psychoanalysis in bringing back the "god of the vine and wine, Dionysus, into Christianity" which in Jung's time and, alas, ours presently, held no positive place for nature and the instincts, particularly sexual and agressive instincts. If one views the German film, Young Doctor Freud, one will also see that repressed sexual instincts in general along with the repressed feminine in men while women were literally oppressed and driven mad was predominant in civilized (meaning instincts repressed, denied, judged, hidden and if outted then hided) society. This was also prevalent in the Jewish cultural community of those days as the Young Doctor Freud film and any good history book will confirm. This repression, as Freud came to call it, was part of the cultural zeitgeist of the Western world, secular, Chrisitan and Jewish in the late 1800's. Thus when Freud's work began to be taken more seriously, and when Jung discovered it, there was much controversy and excitement about the positive prospects of releasing repressions in more natural yet conscious expressions. There had to be a backlash and there was but the pioneering men and women of modern psychology were driven by the very repressed energies now unleashing to risk ridicule, ire and banishment for the sake of science helping humanity to evolve. (Here is an online source for getting a greater sense of the cultural climate of Freud and Jung's time, the four part series by Adam Curtis and the BBC, especially part one, called "The Century of the Self":

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=895317227382599915ei=BFOHSfLkGorEqQLUoNz7Cg&q=the+century+of+the+self+part+1&hl=en)


Jung's Enthusiastic Letter to Freud

"...Religion can be replaced only by religion...Only the wise are ethical from sheer intellectual presumption, the rest of us need the eternal truth of myth...But 2000 years of Christianity have to be replaced by something equivalent. An ethical fraternity, with its mythical Nothing, not infused by any archaic-infantile driving force, is a pure vacuum and can never evoke in man the slightest trace of that age-old animal power which drives the migrating bird across the sea and without which no irresistible mass movement can come into being...I think we must give it time... ever so gently to transform Christ back into the sooth-saying god of the vine, which he was, and in this way to absorb those ecstatic instinctual forces of Christianity for the one purpose of making the cult and the sacred myth what they once were -- a drunken feast of joy where man regained the ethos and holiness of an animal. That indeed was the beauty and purpose of classical religion, which from God knows what temporary biological needs has turned into a Misery Institute. Yet how infinitely much rapture and wantonness lie dormant in our religion, waiting to be led back to their true destination! A genuine and proper ethical development cannot abandon Christianity but must grow up within in, must bring to fruition its hymn of love, the agony and ecstasy over the dying and resurgent god [Dionysus-Zagreus], the mystic power of the wine, the awesome anthropophagy [eating the flesh, drinking the blood] of the Last Supper -- only this ethical development can serve the vital forces of religion...One can only let this kind of thing grow." (excerpted from C.G. Jung Letters, Volume 1, pages 18/19)

Fifty years later when a student of Jung's read this letter and wrote to him with quotes from it Jung responded:

"Best thanks for the quotation from that accursed correspondence. For me it is an unfortunately inexpungable reminder of the incredible folly that filled the days of my youth. The journey from cloud-cuckoo-land back to reality lasted a long time. In my case Pilgrim's Progress consisted of my having to climb down a thousand ladders until I could reach out my hand to the little clod of earth that I am." (ibid.)

It would take many cyber pages here to trace Jung's descent to the "little clod of earth" of himself and it is well worth the effort and study but this is not the intent here of this little essay. Suffice it to say that when I first read this letter, a recovering Christian fundamentalist of the Calvinist theological cult, I was absolutely thrilled, intoxicated like Jung, by his vision for a return of ecstasy and instinct to Christianity and culture. I was befuddled by his refutation and wanted to write my own letter to him saying, "Oh but your were right and are right. We must return to the ecstasy of the animal that we are and, as you say, we must consciously do so. You are all about a conscious awakening and consequent evolution and expression further in time of this contradiction that we are, animal and human (homo sapiens), irrational and rational, instinctual and ethical (ethical meaning humans having a capacity forconscience and thus live channeling the instinctuals healthily (enough) while consciously being aware of living in relationship to the other), natural and spiritual. You have spent your life discovering evidence that nature is sublime and sacred as it is and that spiritualities derived therefrom are a further expression of nature and matter, of spirit as matter, of matter as spirit. Teilhard de Chardin, whom you were approvingly reading much of in the final years of your life even has a book, Hymn of the Universe, where he sings "the life of the Cosmic Christ working out in the world of matter by that world's most powerful force, the free spirit of man in union with God." Or as you would say, Dr. Jung, the Self (Atman)."

A part of me still pleads for Jung not to recant that youthful folly. And now, myself older, I understand how Jung arrived at his regret, my having read him more deeply and widely now and with perhaps enough personal Jungian analysis to begin to practically understand and apply, how his youthful and enthusiastic expectation of a mass movement is a folly, how he came to understand that human masses, mass men, are not individuated, but are merged and of herd-animal mind, how individuation, that process of meaningful yet painful personal integration of anima, animus, and shadow (most often the animal part of ourselves, the protoplasmic self, as I call it) by nature sets one apart from the masses though one must live within and in relationship to masses, groups, institutions large and small, sacred or secular. Jung understood how groups demand and reify merge-mind with compliant conduct and eventually frown upon individuation if it means moving out of all that. My understanding of Jung's later understanding is that what he spoke of in his youthful letter had to be accomplished within the individual. This is hard enough. If more and more individuals imperfectly yet earnestly work their end of it then perhaps the collective, the masses, will be influenced.

We can look at contemporary culture and see this is so. Now, many television programs and talk shows use Jung's term, the shadow. The culture assimilates some of what he and others are/were about but can only go so far unless individuals ongoingly do their work. Jung realized that his work would eventually go the way of all mass markets and be popularized, consumerized, institutionalized and therefore greatly adulterated so he wanted to be involved with all that while he was alive so he could have a say and an impact upon how all this might take shape while trying to guarantee some accuracy regarding his discoveries, his writing and analytical principles and methods. That Jung has had an impact upon culture is not in doubt and he is still much debated, often maligned and misunderstood if paid attention to at all. Nonetheless he was taken up, all too willy nilly and, frankly, cloud-cuckoo-landly by the hippie movement which evolved into much of the what is known as the New Age movement. Most common notions of Jung in the culture are what I call "hippie Jung" which is not at all who or what Carl Jung is about. I encourage a careful reading of one of these three more accessible works by Jung if you want to deepen your understanding of his work in contradistinction to "hippie" or "New Age Jung":

Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jung's autobiography
Modern Man In Search Of A Soul, essays
Man and His Symbols, essays by Jung and several of his proteges

A final note about Jung's youthful letter -- in it are lifelong themes which Jung delved into in great scholarly and personal depth. Jung's love of Nature compelled him into science. A deeply contemplative man who grew up in the Christian religion of his community, his father and many uncles were Christian ministers, Jung also was deeply impressed by the power of religion and sought in his work to bring science and religion into some beginning and more accomodating understanding of the other. Jung located spirit in nature and found evidence for and spent his life working on gathering this evidence from the manifest records of human history, myth, religion, arts, sciences, and dreams. Jung's work theoretically and practically demonstrates the presense of an innate religious or spiritual biological function within humans. He often repeated as he was repeatedly (and willfully) misunderstood that as a scientist he had set out to prove the objective existence of a "god-image" but that he could not prove the ontological existence of god. That, he said, he left for theologians. But he could trace human history from archaic man to his present and find images that earliest humans were aware of something greater to their existence than themselves and what they perceived by the human senses, an innate intuition that there is more to existence than, as I like to say, meest the eye or thigh. From cave drawings and other archeological evidence and then from recorded history Jung concluded that humans ongoingly have had god-images which oriented them in some way as to meaningful existence. These could and should be studied and lived with to presently ferit as much as possible from them those living energies, what Jung calls archetypes, within them which turned the wheel of human consciousness forward.

This early letter also very much reveals Jung's lifelong relationship not only to religion in general but to the Christian religion which, as some writer has characterized, Jung "put on the analytical couch." Jung's work on alchemy was a later development of his studies and research in religion and Christianity in particular for alchemy combined nature (science) and religion (Christianity with gnostic, kaballa and other influences). Jung's essay, "Transformation Symbolism In The Mass" carries further Jung's earliest interest and enthusiasm for a return to the ecstatic by serious scholarship, study and depth understanding of the profound archetypal symbolism in the mass. When I first read this essay years after I had left the Christian church Jung moved me to tears of discovery of the profound meaning of the symbols and rituals of the Communion Mass. Further writings and explorations of Christianity underscore this earliest interest, his love-hate, relationship with it to the end. Yet Jung did not study Christianity exclusively. His interest in world religions, particularly the religions of the East, gave us many essays, some of the earliest in Western culture, about meditation, yoga, the Tao and I Ching. It is from these essays that the Beats of the '50's, the hippies of the 60's and the New Age movement which follows found their way to Jung. I would encourage a first reading or a rereading of these works to truly understand that Jung was not a "New Age prophet" though his openness of mind and spirit to all expressions of man's soul make him a friend to all religious seekers. For those interested in Jung's writings on the Far East and its religions there is one convenient volume now available with 12 essays and forwards; Psychology and the East, Bollingen Series, Princeton University Press, 1978.

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