.[Photo by Amanda Friedman, from Saeed Jones website: http://saeedjones.wordpress.com/]
"This God is no longer miles of abstract space away from you in an extra-mundane sphere. This divinity is not a concept in a theological textbook, or in the Bible; it is an immediate thing, it happens in your dreams at night, it causes you to have pains in the stomach, diarrhea, constipation, a whole host of neuroses...If you try to formulate it, to think what the collective unconscious is after all, you wind up by concluding that it is what the Prophets were concerned with; it sounds exactly like some things in the Old Testament. There God sends plagues upon people, he burns their bones in the night, he injures their kidneys, he causes all sorts of troubles. Then you come naturally to the shocking dilemma: Is that really God? Is God a neurosis?...Now that is a shocking dilemma, I admit, but when you think consistently and logically, you come to the conclusion that God a most shocking problem. And that is the truth, God has shocked people out their wits." -C.G. Jung, Letters Vol. 2, p. 391
God has knowledge of the opposites but not the experience of their effect. He has experienced only their peaceful unity...The repressed value contains transformative energies and a consciousness of its own; that to achieve consciousness and discover the nature of one's own inferiority it is at times necessary to go against one's own ego-dominated commandments.
-- Charles Ponce, Working the Soul, pgs. 68-69
In a letter by Carl Jung to the Islamic scholar and mystic, Henri Corbin, Jung concluded with a phrase, "the misdeeds of our dreams." - from my March 2010 Learning For Life Group Newsletter essay, The Misdeeds Of Our Dreams, Heresies Of Wholeness - An Autobiographical Account Of Bad Feeds At The Transcenders' Banquet
Dreams are objective facts. They do not answer our expectations, and we have not invented them...we dream of our questions, our difficulties...Our dreams are most peculiarly independent of our consciousness and exceedingly valuable because they do not cheat...There is no doubt as to the impartiality of the facts..." - C.G. Jung, Dream Analysis, Notes of the Seminar Given in 1928 - 1930, Bollingen Series, Princeton University Press, 1984, pg. 3-4
Bishop Bluebols Writes To The Bishop - A Personal Stuggle To Integrate The Split God-Image
Prologue to the Bishop's Letter:
For this month's essay on dreams and dream work I am submitting Pere Bluebol's "Dream Of The Dark Man" as not only indication of one man's personal myth but also as a meditation upon the transpersonal level of dream work, specifically of shadow work, done for not only one's personal individuation but, as Jung wrote much of, also done for the split Western god-image (see following paragraphs below for further explication of this). This may be too advanced for many readers/seekers but here with Pere I at least introduce Jung's most important and admittedly controversial contentious contribution - well researched in study of human history, myth, religion, art, culture and in countless hours of clinical analytical work with analysands, psychiatric hospital patients as well as his own personal psychological work, that the transpersonal dimension is not merely about the personal use, aggrandizement and reifying of finite egos (which is what recent misapplications of Jung in popular culture have mistakenly conveyed; for instance, the notion of "gods and goddesses in everyone" which has inflated modern egos more than ever via a tremendous inflation and loose interpretation of contemporary science in movies like "What the Bleep" wherein channeler J.Z. Knight-as-Ramtha proclaims that "we are all gods". I would here remind Knight-Ramtha and self-proclaimed, self-appointed "gods" of Shakespeare's King Lear who, because of his god-like, naked inflation, reaps the archetypal, offended, wrathful Whirlwind for his hubris. From Knight and New Age to BP oil and many similar potentates the mistaken belief is that the gods are good and "the better than mortals" for merely being gods. Jung (and myth and religion as practiced through the millennium) has disproven that sacred reality is necessarily ontologically and morally Good! In the Christian myth it is after all, God the Father who requires the brutal death of His "only begotten" and Sinless Son! Lear-like inflation and misapplication of Jung's psychological tenets is precisely NOT what Jung is about at all. Rather, he is about personal and collective conscious awakening to the reality of the objective, really-Real, psyche. Contra Freud, psyche is not "nothing but" a personally and collectively formed garbage dump formed by the ego to collect the repressed rejecta of humans and their "discontents" (more on this below). Jung contends that if each individual struggles to integrate (reclaim shadow projections in order to consciously integrate them into human personality) they contribute to the transformation of the as yet to be transformed Western god-image which evolves, as do all god-images everywhere, as humans evolve in consciousness in space and time. Space and time is where the personal and divine transformation occurs, from the bottom up, from the dynamic tension between both, both contingent upon the other for some as yet understood yet intuited understanding that, as Sir Eddington once said it, "something we know not what is doing something we know not what."
Thus, one can work dreams on two levels, usually in the first and intermediate stages of therapy/analytical work the personal dimension of the dream is worked all the while knowing (or not) that the transpersonal (archetypal) dimension is present as foundation from and to which the personal psychological "complexes" express and refer us consciously back to, the transpersonal depth dimension and function of the psyche which is essentially a religious function, religious here understood etymologically as linking back to original and fructifying, ultimately mysterious Sources/Forces. Second level dream work presumes working the personal developmental first/intermediate level of psyche. Dream work may partake of all levels depending on the psychological work and progress of individuation of the client.
Without Jung's essential understanding of the reality of the archetypal depth dimensions of the psyche the ego is forever caught in the "god almighty" trap, inflation, forever trapped in reductive Freudian and neo-Freudian personalistic psychologies which see the unconscious as a necessary creation of the ego in which we dump/repress the trashy id parts of self and civilization. In this reductive view all of conscious human life is forever reduced to "nothing but", signs. This is called psychologism which ironically, and irritatingly to Jung, Jung was most often accused of, to which he repeatedly demonstrated to those who were truly interested in objectively understanding his approach that it is Freud's and other personalistic approaches which reduce all human productions in time to "nothing but" specific concrete signs which is what symbols a la Freud and post-neo-Freudians are reduced to, mere signs, "nothing buts". Real symbols function to point to reality beyond themselves. Jung reinstates and revalues the right use of symbols as symbols rather than concretistic reducing of symbols to "nothing but" signs.
In Pere's dream below the ambivalent nature of the Dark Man must be consciously carried without the all too easy interpretation reduction to only personal and collective evil. That his mission in the dream is not yet completely known is certainly revelatory that personally and collectively human consciousness has yet evolved enough to clearly see the integration now incrementally occurring in some few individuals which collectively is still in the far distant future.
Pere's dream can be worked on a purely personalistic psychological level as to what the dream reveals about the his psychic state. Dream interpretation can remain at this level and is of great practical value for the dreamer. However Jung's as yet to be understood discovery of the archetypal unconscious can also be traced in dreams, as in the one below, for Jung's revolutionary contribution to psychology, one of many, is that every individual psyche is a necessary and sacred vessel for the transformation of none other than God, rather, the God-image. This term, god-image, refers to the images of God evolved and inherited throughout the evolution of human consciousness as humans began to image what was at first a lasting compelling yet mercurial intuition, that there is more to conscious human existence "than meets the thigh or eye". To quote poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, this intuition is that "the world is charged with the grandeur of God", that this grandeur is a holy terror and a shocking problem for which both earliest and contemporary humans are compelled to seek, understand, appease and serve. The Western God-image "God" is clearly a split entity, both good and evil, more unconscious than conscious, more a force of nature like a volcano or tempest.
Jung discovered that individuals struggling with their own part of good and evil are also carrying the tremendous task and burden of consciously carrying that good and evil of and for the "still untransformed God-image". Suffering one's opposites is intimately involved in the transformation of God. Anyone who has truly been gripped by the unconscious, by "God as a trauma", deeply knows that there is no ego inflation in this sacred task. One is brought low, humbled, often broken, in the encounter of the finite ego with the transpersonal god-image depicted in the Book of Job as a dark leviathan of the depths. Pere Bluebols dream recounted below depicts this divine struggle to transform the still untransformed God-image of the West. The Dark Man of the dream consciously carries the opposites of the Western god-image personally, culturally (Europe/American), and transpersonally.
Jung often spoke both insistently and eloquently of the shift in consciousness and personality when doing the difficult task of integrating shadow within in the crucible of the consciously born, no longer rejected and projected, opposites. Usual and everyday human consciousness is caught in the dialectic of either/or mind where logically opposites cannot dwell together without tremendous tension. If one can endure this tension while working the shadow, says Jung, at some point there is a transcending awareness (which is not the sweet bypassing escape of New Age and many traditional religions) which actually consciously embodies and resolves the conflict of opposites, no longer adhered to in either/or but holding as Jung says, we give up the either/or for "the side by side". This is not accomplished by intellectual, occult or other egoic "slights of mind" viz. "if speak it thus and thus it is or shall be". The achievement of "side by side" mind is apparently only truly accomplished in the alchemical vessel (a pressure cooker, for sure) with no escape allowed. One endures and cooks and undergoes the changes in space and time, in the ego, mind, body and psyche. One does not transcend, escape, prevaricate or distract the process away from oneself (or does so at the cost of soul and at the inflation of the ego).
The Dark Man of Pere Bluebol's dream is not inflated, not like the popular vampire heroes of current Western movies and books. The current fascination with vampires, though, reveals that the West is beginning to seek from the romanticized vampire images what Pere Bluebols dream accomplishes, a conscious walker in and between and as "both worlds" of good and evil, light and dark, conscious and unconscious. This work will be accomplished in individuals and in the fullness (and emptiness) of time perhaps the human species will evolve into developed capacities of the "side by side". I personally am a long, long way from that "side by side" consciousness as are my fellow humans. It shall not be accomplished quickly but, rather, thickly and wickedly as our wicked "misdeeds of dreams" are. The "namaste", a sacred Hindu salutation which means, "I salute the god in you", so naively and glibly curtsied by many Westerners aping Ameri-Eurocentric Hinduism shall not truly be accomplished until each has the capacity to own, wrestle with and truly integrate the "na-monster" in self and other. With Pere Bluebols I bow to the monster in you knowing that this monstrousness is also that of the Western God-image. The West now has had enough scholarly and experienced commerce with Eastern religions and god-images and though the approaches differs widely the monstrous nature of self and gods are kindred. Now to Pere Bluebols letter.
Dearest Bishop D'Boue*,
Thank you for the subscription to the science journal. You are correct that I find the new science tempting and attempting whether consciously or not to come to terms with aeons of intuition that there is more to Reality and humans place within it that meets the eye or thigh...I reread your letter with great relish and with great appreciation for the tremendous patience you have with my ongoing battles 'twixt heaven and earth. This, as you know, is still the battle of all humanity caught between the animal instinctual and the rational/spiritual...
...Have been in a 'hermit' phase since the recent Trial and the Purgings...already a spiritual exile long before the Inkling Inquistors I now am more than ready to move to my own self-chosen Patmos...I am a mendicant now, without real temples to kneel in...to quote once again my beloved Rimbaud, "Ah, I am so forsaken I will worship at any shrine impulses toward perfection," only the word perfection, as you know, you who bothers with the roots of all things including words, this misused word actually means complete, as in evolving in space in time, ripening like fruit, into maturity and readiness...
...I dreamed last night I was in an old European city, , Stockholm, Brussels, Bruges-type city, late 1800's (gas lamps in the streets)...old dark city, heavy with something or other, some spirit/zeitgeist...I was some dark powerful man/force whom the zombie/daemon/vampire-like creatures roaming the city ignored since I had some of them, their energy, in me or was partially of them (a hopeful indicator, I think, of ongoing shadow integration) which allowed me to safely deliver a mother (my mother in the dream but NOT my mother in waking reality) and her son (just-adolescent, perhaps my baby brother, about 13 y/o or so with that fuzz just beginning over the upper lip) to a "safe house" owned by a still beautiful, late mid-aged blond/graying woman of magnificent eyes and bearing. She was the widow of a powerful man and prior to whatever had befallen the City was the 'queen' matriarch of society but not superficially...she had bearing, depth, wisdom, had suffered and was suffering but bore it with dignity though with concern and pain. She looked like a combination of my late and beautiful friend, Mdm. M., who died last December, and and some Nordic actress or other whose name I cannot recall. I was compelled to leave having accomplished the delivery of mother and son to the safe house.
The Boschers, as I now call them after demons in Heironymous Bosche paintings, look like enfleshed gargoyles of various frightening visages and bodies. They loaded dead bodies into vaults underneath the cobbled streets...they didn't even give me much notice as I comfortably passed by them. At some point they were stacking old blown glass laboratory tubes (like from science lab equipment of late 1800's) in which a forearm or lower leg with foot attached were sealed for future feedings/experiments.
I was a tall, dark, pockmark-faced man with long flowing black hair, caped, black expensive breeches/clothes, with shiney black boots moving quickly with purpose somewhere away from the safe house. At some point I was wearing expensive running shoes/sneakers, silver in color, very designed (like a lot of contemporary sneakers the new Droogs wear now), which enables me to leap easily, almost weightlessly over barriers, up rocky hillsides, leap down from high places...my arms easily grasp tree limbs, balcony railings, bars, eaves, bricks, pipes through the city propelling me over the streets below, over rooftops, to get quickly to where I was going (of which I am not sure in the dream).
I am of the "dark side" or have enough of it consciously in me now (rather than unconsciously) to allow me to move through the city, the countryside, the continent now full of the Boschers and other daemons and vampire/zombie-like beings going about the work of science...I am to assist both sides, Boschers/other underworld beings/forces and the humans, in this difficult transition during the upsurge of the repressed chthonic underworld beings, energies, creatures (brought about by science, Freud, Jung, etc.), the repressed content of the human and collective unconscious now erupted into the once safe, secure Victorian Christian heirarchical society where church and state and high social "crust" dominated the proletariet, those earthy, instinctual, "morally lower" and mentally/spiritually inferior (or so the power and spiritual elite thought).
I suddenly realize that I left my traveling bags back at the safe house/manor which apparently had some necessary things important enough for me to quickly turn around to retrieve them. Upon entering the safe house (passing two Boschers still stacking the human flesh-filled glass tubes under the cobbled street in a vault...I picked up two tubes in passing and tossed them to the Boschers who caught them and stacked them, me helping them out as I passed) the Dame of the House, the majestic beautiful woman who once was top of the socio-political and literati/philosophical strata of the city and the nation, looked at me with concern and pain in her clear piercing blue eyes...she turned away toward some slow and heavy task and I went to my bags intent on my 'mission' whatever that was..."no time to comfort her...must move on..."
I can easily reenter this dream and continue it...it is very real...I can sense, hear, smell, feel the ambiance and the mental/spiritual air of the time and place, the city and the period it all is taking place in. I am both good and evil, conscious and unconscious, human and Boscher (partake of the underworld realm)...the post-modern sneakers, silver colored, allude to the god Mercury/Hermes who is the traveler of and between all the realms, who is criminal and saint, who plays both or all sides, who has some mission of developing consciousness which does not exclude any realm, upper, middle, lower nor values from evil to good and all between...I move swiftly, a kind of flying, earth flight, low to ground but in flight and touching the earth lightly
...a whole era/aeon is undergoing a tremendous shift and it is a troubled, troubling, dangerous, violent, reactive time...Science has unsettled the old paradigm of God on His throne running the universe with the heirarchy of good and evil and His powerful Representatives on the Earth, etc., whereas the Boschers serve the "god of Science", the Lord of this World, eating/dissecting the human body, matter, reducing matter/Mater (Mother) to objects of research and knowledge, reducing or rejecting 'spirit' and 'soul' altogether, actually repressing 'spirit' and 'soul' by reducing these to rational scientific explanations as functions of chemistry and 'laws'). I stride between and within both paradigms, old and new, more of the old where magic silver shoes can help one 'fly', where being partially of the dark forces allows one to pass unharmed, even to assist, the Boschers and other dark ones experimenting compulsively urged by the emerging zeitgeist spirit/god of science/rationality which is the 'New'...yet the 'New' foolishly, inflatedly "thinks" it is not a part of or beholden to history, the past; it hovers, if you will, born like Athena from the head of Zeus, without mother, without history, full blown/full formed with no moral obligation to history, to matter/Mater including humans or Nature...Nature is reduced to an 'it' to be crafted to serve only the human will/ego...but the Boschers are driven compulsively to have what humans have, capacities for consciousness, emotions, subtleties, spirit, empathy as yet unable to fully integrate/embody these human things...
And your letter with the subscription to the Science Journal open a deep[er door to the scientific realm at least 100 or more years ahead of where my dream has me, late 1800's, as the European civilization begins Its outward decay/decline with the release of the unrepressed instincts and shadow surges up in individuals, cultures, nations, continents...all this the necesary antecedent to new consciousness incorporating past and the 'new'...
My gargoyle self in now fleshed out and moving in this dream...his mission? help the mother and the son, the Dame of the House, AND also assist the Boschers/dark ones in and through this transition, these rough beasts "slouching toward Bethlehem to be born" (W.B. Yeats in his poem, 'The Second Coming').
Synchronistically, while sitting at the Cafe Rue de Repos rereading your letter today, writing, reading, amplifying the dream, watching it unfold imaginally, writing it all down, an old still elegant though faded Victoria LTD automobile parks right in front of me, old world splendour of a car, large, cadillac-like, jaded copper/gold color green tinged--that verdigris "micturation of metals" that the alchemists speak of. The man driving it got out and I was shocked to see an older version of the tale dark man who was me in the dream, complete with badly scarred/pocked face, thick dark brown hair pulled back into a pony tale. He wore black boots, black jeans, dark brown shirt and a gold embroidered vest (having an Eastern European/romani flare to the design)...he looked part native american and part Romani/gypsy...I noticed on the large dashboard in the car interior were two black and white European-style images of the Our Mother (not the Virgin of Guadalupe whom you know I adore) along with what appeared to be a sacred card with a red felt frame around a red-lettered/printed prayer.
The driver went to his car trunk, opened it revealing full bags, unpacked scattered clothes, and a bottle of red wine, an Italian vintage whose label I recognized, inexpensive but sufficient for a boiled potato meal, or something like that...he fished a coat out of a rag heap, closed the trunk, put it on then reopened the trunk to adjust the wine bottle further into the rags, clothes and papers (so as not to break from the closing trunk?)...he walks away...watching all this the hair is standing on my arms and my neck is all prickly...this is too too passing strange...he looks just like the man in the dream who is 'me' only maybe 10 or 15 years old, my age now, late 50's/early 60's, but large, in good shape but for a bit of a middle-aged stomach and hips but barrel chested and strong with a powerful aura like a medicine man or wizard where Rasputin meets the Righteous Reaper and the Dear Savior, sharp clear eyes, shining...
I tried to see the car tags as he later pulled away but looked up too late from my writing to be able to make out where he is from...Canada? Wisconsin? Couldn't make it out...damn. I half expected to find him parked in front of my quarters in the church yard upon return home. Not.
This dreams seals it...there is now no wonder why I could no longer be in the Enclave d'Esprit Spirale which inflatedly thinks it can be "all Light", naively spiritualizng Nature and the Chthonic forces of which I believe the Boschers represent in the dreaml. To what purpose can I turn or guide, if at all, the Boschers and other related 'ill-k"? Who leads all this if it is One Entity at all? or some greater force partaking of Dark and Light, some Archon, some Entelechy experimenting, forcing, thrusting, using human consciousness to what purpose which moves manipulatingly through what humans call "Good" and "Evil"...we personify the Powers/Archetypes but these ultimately defy such personifications which are images and embodiments, hints and conjectures with hiccoughs of their work/way/will under the push of the Force...
...In this dream I leap from hill to roof to cliff to church ledge equally at home in the boulevard and the hedge, the city and the valley creche (cradle), the height and the hole; I feel something for the mother, her son, the Dame, the human bits and parts parceled and packed, parked under the cobbled streets but the feeling/emotion is remote and subject to the detached overview and perspective of larger Vision/Mission--Impersonal Forces are at work in the World, in humans, too, almost especially so, therefore sentimentality is dangerous though compassion is not although I cannot stop to comfort or explain (if I know at all) what is going on and wherefore to the Dame of the Manor. I must to my bags then swiftly fly off to some as yet to be known by me the dreamer though the dream Bluebols knows or at least intuitively leans toward the place, destination, further mission...
To be continued. Must be noted that the dream Bluebols was not inflated, not full of himself at all though he strode with magnificent confidence, authority, power and assurity through the city and the world. There was no question as to right to exist, purpose, no 'moral confusion' but a sense of ethical obligation to the Forces and the creatures born of such, human and otherwise, a mediary between what appear to be opposing worlds/energies, the Opposites Jung wrote so much about.
Please accept my gratitude along with my apologies for sending you all this and taking up so much of your time. It aids me so to know you are constantly present to receive my rantings, my prayers, my quandaries with such equanimity and genuine interest. I am forever indebted and grateful.
* Boue means mud in French