september 22, 2001
Today, the Sun, appearing to travel along the ecliptic, reaches the point where it crosses the equator into the southern celestial hemisphere. Today day and night are of equal length.
Today rat haus reality completes its sixth revolution around SOL and begins its 7th cycle. This is the first ratitor's corner in the last twelve months. I resigned last March, after 15 years, of working at Silicon Graphics, and have spent most of the time since doing the "limbo walk", seeing what arises inwardly in this state of free-fall. This ratitorial is dedicated to Elizabeth Thompson for all she has helped me see and experience in an utterly contemporary way of my wholeness, of being linked back to expressing a more conscious, living love of self, and of all I find I am embedded within throughout uni verse.
History and anthropology teach us that a human society cannot long survive unless its members are psychologically contained within a central living myth. Such a myth provides the individual with a reason for being.
--Edward Edinger, The Creation of Consciousness,
Jung's Myth for Modern Man, 1984, p.9
I find it so tragic and ironical that the age in which we live should regard the word "myth" and "illusion" as synonymous, in view of the fact that the myth is the real history, is the real event of the spirit. It is this immense world of meaning with which the image links us. The myth is the tremendous activity that goes on in humanity all the time, without which no society has hope or direction, and no personal life has a meaning. We all live a myth whether we know it or not. We live it by fair means or we live it by foul. Or we live it by a process or a combination of both. We have a myth that we live badly. The Christian myth is a myth in the real sense of the word.
More than a year ago a dearly cherished friend recommended a book which I have only begun reading recently by Edward Edinger called The Creation of Consciousness, Jung's Myth for Modern Man. As the back cover describes,
This is a timely and exciting book. Using religious and alchemical texts, mythology, modern dreams, and the concepts of depth psychology, the author proposes nothing less than a new world-view -- a creative collaboration between the scientific pursuit of knowledge and the religious search for meaning.
"Religion is based on Eros, science on Logos. Religion sought linkage with God, science sought knowledge. The age now dawning seeks linked knowledge.
The first chapter traces the outlines of a "new myth" emerging from the life and work of the Swiss psychiatrist C.G. Jung -- not another religion in competition with all the others, but rather a psychological standpoint from which to understand and verify the essential meaning of every religion.
Chapter two [The Meaning of Consciousness] discusses the purpose of human life and what it means to be conscious, "knowing together with an other." In religious terms the "other" is God; psychologically it is the Self, archetype of wholeness and the regulating center of the psyche.
Chapter three [Depth Psychology as the New Dispensation: Reflections on Jung's Answer to Job] examines the implications of Jung's master-work, Answer to Job, in which Jung demonstrates that God needs man in order to become conscious of His dark side. Depth psychology, the "new dispensation," find's man's relation to what has traditionally been called God in the individual's experience of the unconscious.
The final chapter [The Transformation of God] explores Jung's belief that "God's moral quality depends on individuals," which translates psychologically into the pressing need for man to become more conscious of his own dark, destructive side as well as his creative potential.
This is an important book, written in the shadow of ominous global forces. Its basic focus on the quality and meaning of individual human lives reflects an underlying concern for the continuation on earth of any life at all.
The anchor of this ratitor's corner is the book's first chapter (below), included to convey something of the growing understanding for the need in human society of a new central living myth, grounded in the creation of more and more consciousness. Such a new myth can serve to resurrect our human family from the apparent ashes and darkness that, on the manifest level, we appear to be evermore attracted to. Instances of human activities are listed in the latter half that signify experiences lived in awareness that augments the sum total of consciousness in the uni verse. Such a fact of the creation of more consciousness provides, as Edinger explains, a tangible "meaning for every experience and gives each individual a role in the on-going world-drama of creation."
With so many American flags being unfurled of late, I return with increased appreciation to the illuminated understanding Krishnamurti precisely articulates regarding where we must go as a species to successfully grow through and beyond our adolescence and embark upon the cosmologically open-ended journey and exploration of what humanity will discover and manifest as a maturing species in the process of expanding human consciousness, individually and then collectively.
When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.--J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, pp.51-52
We can ill afford to so continue separating our selves from each other within our single, fragile, utterly mysterious, and indescribably precious human family. The opportunity facing each of us to transform this source of violence is: to expand the consciousness we are carriers of by facing squarely the despised, rejected, or ignored aspects of our selves, individually and collectively, and embrace anew these estranged yet integral parts of our whole selves. Doing so re-integrates aspects of our selves that have been split-off and sacrificed, resulting in such consequences as those we all are too painfully aware of at this moment.
The tragic, terrifying experience of death so many endured on September 11th, and the ocean of agony all who knew them are now immersed within, is the most recent expression of humanity's collective unconscious shadow, containing those "dark, rejected forces massing in the shadow of the unconscious, as it were, knife in hand, demanding revenge for all that man and his cultures have consciously sacrificed of them in the specialised conscious tasks he has set himself" and demonstrating anew "how all our history is a progression on two levels: a conscious and unconscious, a manifest and latent level." This understanding of the archetype of the shadow by Laurens van der Post, written about in his biography of Carl Jung (excerpt below), offers an immensely relevant insight into how the shadow -- within ourselves individually, culturally, and collectively throughout humanity -- is "a pattern that ha[s] at its disposal all the energies of what man ha[s] consciously despised, rejected, or ignored in himself." (Edinger, Jung, and van der Post, writing in a different epoch, used "man" to encompass all of humanity in the most inclusive way.)
He had in this journey into his own unconscious self discovered another archetypal pattern of the utmost significance in this regard. He called it the "shadow" -- a pattern that had at its disposal all the energies of what man had consciously despised, rejected, or ignored in himself. One sees immediately how aptly the term was chosen, because it is an image of what happens when the human being stands between himself and his own light. Whether this shadow should be properly regarded as archetypal in itself, or whether it is another shadow of archetypes themselves, is almost academic. The dark, rejected forces massing in the shadow of the unconscious, as it were, knife in hand, demanding revenge for all that man and his cultures have consciously sacrificed of them in the specialised conscious tasks he has set himself, are real and active enough to keep us too busy for academics and scholasticisms. They show how all our history is a progression on two levels: a conscious and unconscious, a manifest and latent level. Here is another overwhelming example of how he helped my own tentative groping in this direction and how he helped to banish the sense of isolation spoken of in the beginning.
The manifest level provides all the plausible rational justifications and excuses for the wars, revolutions, and disasters inflicted on men in their collective and private lives, but in reality it is on this other latent level where, unrecognised, the real instigators and conspirators against too narrow and rigid a conscious rule above are to be found. There, proud, angry, and undefeated, they move men and women on the manifest level about as puppets in predetermined patterns of their own revengeful seeking, or like a magnet conditioning a field of iron filings on a table above.
That is why all men tend to become what they oppose, why the New Testament exhorted us not to resist evil because what follows logically is that ultimately the dark, dishonoured self triumphs and emerges on the scorched level of the manifest to form another tyranny as narrow, producing another swing of the opposites of which Heraclitus spoke. The answer, as Jung saw it, was to abolish tyranny, to enthrone, as it were, two opposites side by side in the service of the master pattern, not opposing or resisting evil but transforming and redeeming it. These two opposites in the negations of our time could be turned into tragic enemies. But truly seen psychologically and again defined best perhaps in the nonemotive terms of physics, they were like the negative and positive inductions of energy observed in the dynamics of electricity; the two parallel and opposite streams without which the flash of lightning, for me always the symbol of awareness made imperative, was impossible.
Containing those two opposites, putting the light of the superior functions at the service of the dark, bearing all the tensions induced thereby, the individual could grow into a resolution of the two into a greater realisation of himself. One says greater because the self realised thereby is more than the sum of the opposites, because in the process of their resolution the capacity of the individual to join in the universal and continuing act of creation wherein his own life participates enables him to add something which was not there before.
Each of us carries within, our own unique, individual shadow. This aspect of our self includes -- but is not limited to -- that which we split off and sacrificed of our inner wholeness to survive the tempest of becoming self aware, initially in childhood and then through and beyond becoming a physically mature adult. That which most irritates, enrages, or disturbs us about another reveals, through the mechanism Jung termed "projection," what we unconsciously most despise, reject, or ignore within our own self.
Jung revealed in great detail how the individual imposed his quarrel with his own shadow onto his neighbour, in the process outlining scientifically why men inevitably saw the mote in the eye of their neighbour. It was not just out of ignorance of the beam in their own but unconsciously to avoid recognising it as reflection of their own. He defined for the first time in a contemporary idiom a primordial mechanism in the spirit of man which he called "projection," a mechanism which compels us to blame on our neighbour what we unconsciously dislike most in ourselves.
The key here is that initially we are unconscious of this process of projecting our shadow externally to avoid internally seeing, acknowledging and addressing what it personifies. We make choices both consciously and unconsciously. When we unconsciously choose we are not aware of the motivation that drives such a choice (or even the fact that we have chosen), but the choice is nonetheless made, producing the resulting actions and consequences. Seen in this light, we are unconsciously choosing to be unaware of our behavior so as to avoid recognizing within what we are all too ready to see instead as being the problem of another, of "the other", of that which is not us.
Laurens points to this above when he distinguishes between events on the manifest and latent levels. In latin `manifest' means literally "what you hold in your hand" while `latent' means "to lie hidden or concealed, to lurk". Thus rather than on the manifest it is on the "latent level where, unrecognised, the real instigators and conspirators against too narrow and rigid a conscious rule above are to be found. There, proud, angry, and undefeated, they move men and women on the manifest level about as puppets in predetermined patterns of their own revengeful seeking."
What is being revengefully sought? Whatever we chose to sacrifice in the past in the moment(s) of crisis to compenstate for inner experiences of pain, fear, conflict and/or lack and survive in the best way we could see to go at the time. An example of sacrificing something precious within could include any number of variations on the following theme (and an infinite number of alternative scenarios). At 10 I was desperate for my father's love when my parents divorced and he moved out of our house. To try and ensure he would still love me, I buried a part of my self that I thought he didn't appreciate and adopted in its stead a false self I thought he would value and from which he would thus continue loving "me". Of course the "me" I then offered to him hoping he would love was not me, and he could only fail in what I most deeply yearned for. The sadness, anger, grief and confusion resulting from such an unconscious choice would supply ample raw material for a revengeful inner seeking of that which had been so tragically sacrificed.
Consciousness is a psychic substance which is produced by the experience of the opposites suffered, not blindly, but in living awareness. . . . Every human experience, to the extent that it is lived in awareness, augments the sum total of consciousness in the universe. This fact provides the meaning for every experience and gives each individual a role in the on-going world-drama of creation.
--Edward Edinger, The Creation of Consciousness, pp.32-3
What each of us sacrifices within to survive crises we are presented with by life contains the seeds of our self transformation and redemption. In some of his most eloquent writing, Laurens points out the requisite need for each re-learn her or his own forgotten language of self-betrayal. When understanding of and facility with this dialect is not re-gained, the resulting dark need for tragedy and disaster in the life of the individual, as well as throughout society, will continue expressing itself. Re-learning this language is possible only through profound self-knowledge. In other words, through conscious awareness of one's wholeness encompassing the manifest as well as the latent -- that which lies hidden and concealed.
The real trouble began for me, as it has done for countless others, when I sought to understand imaginatively the primitive in ourselves, and in this search the Bushman has always been for me a kind of frontier guide. Imagination shifts and passes, as it were, through a strange customs post on the fateful frontier between being and unrealized self, between what is and what is to come. The questions that have to be answered before the imagination is allowed through are not new but have to be redefined because of their long neglect and the need for answers to be provided in the idiom of our own day. For instance, in what does man now find his greatest meaning? Indeed, what is meaning itself for him and where its source? What are the incentives and motivations of his life when they clearly have nothing to do with his struggle for physical survival? What is it in him that compels him, against all reason and all the prescriptions of law, order and morality, still to do repeatedly what he does not consciously want to do? What is this dark need in the life of the individual and society for tragedy and disaster? Since the two World Wars that have occurred in my own lifetime, disorder and violence have become increasingly common on the world scene. Surely these things are rooted in some undiscovered breach of cosmic law or they would be eminently resistible and would not be allowed to occur? Where indeed does one propose to find an explanation for the long history of human failure? How can one hope to understand this aspect of man and his societies, and comprehend a scene littered with ruins and piled high with dunes of time which mark the places where countless cultures have vanished because men would not look honestly, wholly and steadily into the face of their inadequacies? The answers to none of these questions are available unless one is prepared through profound self-knowledge to re-learn the grammar of a forgotten language of self-betrayal, and in so doing the meaning of tragedy and disaster. It is the ineluctable preliminary to our emancipation, especially for those priests and artists who have been subverting themselves and the societies which they are dedicated to preserve. Unless one is honestly prepared to do so, one is warned at this crepuscular immigration post that one had better not cross the frontier.
If one is blocked, by whatever dynamic, from looking honestly, wholly and steadily into the face one's inadequacies, the meaning of tragedy and disaster will remain obscure from conscious perception. Many in the United States at the present moment are becoming what they most ardently oppose in their desire for blood-lust revenge. The self-defeating weapon of revenge can only serve to increase the frequency and magnitude of violent response and counter-response that will escalate further unconscious, blind reaction. Our human brothers and sisters so inclined, are not currently aware that choosing to unconsciously exercise one's powers of response ability in such an amply discredited manner further consigns all being to the same "chain-gang of mere cause and effect from which life has labored so long and painfully to escape."
In any case, I did not believe then as I do not believe now, that you could punish whole peoples or even solitary individuals into being better persons. This seemed a renegade, discredited and utterly archaic concept. It has been tried throughout history. Far from being an instrument of redemption, which is punishment's only moral justification, it is an increasingly self-defeating weapon in the hands of dangerously one-sided men. I know only that I came out of prison longing passionately -- and I am certain my longing was shared by all the thousands of men who had been with me -- that the past would be recognized as the past and instantly buried before it spread another form of putrefaction in the spirit of our time. I thought that the only hope for the future lay in an all-embracing attitude of forgiveness of the peoples who had been our enemies. Forgiveness, my prison experience had taught me, was not mere religious sentimentality; it was as fundamental a law of the human spirit as the law of gravity. If one broke the law of gravity one broke one's neck; if one broke this law of forgiveness one inflicted a mortal wound on one's spirit and became once again a member of the chain-gang of mere cause and effect from which life has labored so long and painfully to escape.
The prison mentioned above was the Japanese prisoner of war camp in Bandoeng, Java which Laurens inhabited during World War II for over three years beginning in March 1942. The extraordinary accounts of this experience, described in The Night of the New Moon and The Seed and the Sower, reveal the living power of transformation that is possible when people are enabled, and ennobled, to be conscious of their own suffering and do not hide from and make of it "an excuse for all forms of indulgences and violence and mere blind reaction."
The first morning I went on parade with the officers. The men booed the officers and I thought, "Oh my God. There is something wrong. This must be put right. One can't have this."
The most awful form of corrupting is the human spirit which hides behind its suffering and makes it an excuse for all forms of indulgences and violence and mere blind reaction.
And I wrote a message to the camp which we pinned on all the trees. It was to the effect, `Don't think that the continuity of what you are and what your life is and what you should be has been broken because you've been put into prison walls.' I said, `This continuity is there. You've just got to rediscover it in a new way. And together we can live our lives perhaps in a way we should long since have lived it before.'
Laurens' response to incarceration at the hands of the Japanese was to start what became a prison educational system, serving over 1200 men with 40 teachers presenting more than 30 subjects. Laurens taught a class in the Japanese language because as he explained to the people who elected to pursue this course of study,
"Just the fact that you are learning Japanese will change you -- your attitude to the Japanese. And however powerless you are, a change in you will produce and equal and opposite change in your captors, although you may not know it."
If the men could see a meaning in their life in prison that would take care of the rest. There is ultimately only one thing that makes human beings deeply and profoundly bitter and that is to have thrust on them a life without meaning. Through this system of education, through the system of every person being in prison really having a chance to be his full, natural self, in terms of the spirit, the question of bitterness never arose.
It is precisely this process of manifesting change within by re-embracing and re-integrating one's rejected self that produces an equal and opposite change in others in the world who are similarly trapped in their own avoidance and rejection of their estranged selves. Such a "leap of faith" enabling one to mount this profound commitment to inner change and growth can occur only by acknowledging the formidable and transformative powers of response ability each of us as human beings is endowed with and capable of summoning when we are ready. When we are ready to truly and fundamentally discover and explore change within ourselves, issues previously considered unmovable and fixed have a tendency to become flexible and fall away with extraordinary ease. As Laurens so aptly reminds us harkening back to Shakespeare's Hamlet, "when the time is out of joint, as ours certainly is, the readiness is all."
One of the most deceptive of popular half-truths is the saying that history repeats itself. Only unredeemed, unrecognized, misunderstood history, I believe, repeats itself, and remains a dark, negative and dangerous dominant on the scene of human affairs. Although the Bushman has gone, what he personified, the patterns of spirit made flesh and blood in him and all he evoked or provoked in us, lives on as a ghost within ourselves. This is no subjective illusion of mine evoked by the special relationship I have always had with him. Something like him, a first man, is dynamic in the underworld of the spirit of man, no matter of what race, creed or culture. I know this as an empiric fact because of all the books I have written and films I have made about the Bushman; his story has been translated into all languages except Chinese, travelled the world and been taken into the hearts of millions as if it were food in a universal famine of spirit. What this means for our own time depends in the first instance on our rediscovery of these patterns in ourselves and our readiness to cease being accessories after the fact of diminished consciousness, of which murder is the ultimate symbol. As Hamlet in his haunted fortress had it, when the time is out of joint, as ours certainly is, the readiness is all.
Are we ready to assume the response ability for the consequences of choices we make consciously? Such power to transform the world is within each one of us. Intuitively, I sense more people are consciously moving in this direction, spurred on by humanity's collective grief, rage, and anguish, screamed out anew across the world on 9-11. The following has become more and more of an irrepressible law of life for me in this journey of being within which I accompany, and am accompanied by, all of you:
In every human situation, all reality is always between two. And there is always this great responsibility, I believe, laid on all of us by life, that the person who is most aware, the person who is most highly, most completely, most widely conscious in a situation of conflict, must accept responsibility for the person who is less conscious.
In April I crashed into a car when riding home on my bicycle that seemed, by all of the parameters of the event, as if I simply should have been killed -- or at best paralyzed -- from the impact. And yet I was spared even a broken limb, sustaining only one or two broken or fractured floating ribs. The message of that experience was clearly received and apprehended as I lay in the emergency room over the next five hours. I knew I had been enveloped by the divine and, after doing a 360-degree somersault through the air, was gently laid down on the asphalt, never losing consciousness.
In hindsight, it was a death-rebirth experience. Something inside in that moment died, thus making space for something new to emerge and express it self. This supreme gift gave me the impetus to try changing an aspect of my life's course that has been a personal crown of thorns since childhood. It enabled me to commit to exploring what can manifest by removing the psychic armour I have worn around my heart for well nigh forty years. I unconsciously created this armour to protect myself from ever again experiencing the searing hurt that tempered my being with the death of my parent's marriage. Unconsciously I chose to never be that close to any human being again.
I do not know what will be encountered on this altered course, consciously chosen. As has happened more in recent years, gratitude wells up inside throughout each day. I express prayers of thanks for the blessings bestowed and for all that is received -- every meal, encounters with friends and people in whatever venue, contributing to kids lives through appreciation of music and imparting the facility to make it, walking on the beach, swimming, finding my way into what-all will now be engaged to provide for my material needs, mistakes I make in relating to others that I am expanded by and the ways I find to ask their forgiveness, dreams at night that speak of and signify one of the supreme sources of the unknowable mystery of life and of consciousness -- all these and every other encounter on this plane of being at times leave me breathless with the enormity of what I am and what I have been given.
The breakdown of a central myth is like the shattering of a vessel containing a precious essence; the fluid is spilled and drains away, soaked up by the surrounding undifferentiated matter. Meaning is lost. In its place, primitive and atavistic contents are reactivated. Differentiated values disappear and are replaced by the elemental motivations of power and pleasure, or else the individual is exposed to emptiness and despair. With the loss of awareness of a transpersonal reality (God), the inner and outer anarchies of competing personal desires take over. The loss of a central myth brings about a truly apocalyptic condition and this is the state of modern man.
--Edward Edinger, The Creation of Consciousness, pp.9-10
The following then, is presented in the hopes it will serve as a catalyst and stimulus to explore with awareness what the implications of being a carrier of consciousness can include and what the living manifestation of this new central myth for our species can create for all life exploring itself here on earth.
The following is reprinted from The Creation of Consciousness, Jung's Myth for Modern Man, Copyright © 1984 by Edward Edinger, All Rights Reserved, pp. 9-33.
The New Myth
The myth of the necessary incarnation of God . . .
can be understood as man's creative confrontation
with the opposites and their synthesis in the self,
the wholeness of his personality. . . . That is the
goal . . . which fits man meaningfully into the
scheme of creation and at the same time confers
meaning upon it.
-C.G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections.
History and anthropology teach us that a human society cannot long survive unless its members are psychologically contained within a central living myth. Such a myth provides the individual with a reason for being. To the ultimate questions of human existence it provides answers which satisfy the most developed and discriminating members of the society. And if the creative, intellectual minority is in harmony with the prevailing myth, the other layers of society will follow its lead and may even be spared a direct encounter with the fateful question of the meaning of life.
It is evident to thoughtful people that Western society no longer has a viable, functioning myth. Indeed, all the major world cultures are approaching, to a greater or lesser extent, the state of mythlessness. The breakdown of a central myth is like the shattering of a vessel containing a precious essence; the fluid is spilled and drains away, soaked up by the surrounding undifferentiated matter. Meaning is lost. In its place, primitive and atavistic contents are reactivated. Differentiated values disappear and are replaced by the elemental motivations of power and pleasure, or else the individual is exposed to emptiness and despair. With the loss of awareness of a transpersonal reality (God), the inner and outer anarchies of competing personal desires take over.
The loss of a central myth brings about a truly apocalyptic condition and this is the state of modern man. Our poets have long recognized this fact. Yeats gave it stark expression in his poem, "The Second Coming":
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops. again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
This poem, first published in 1921, is astonishing in the way it succinctly strikes the major themes concerning the current state of the collective psyche. The magic circle of our mandala has broken and meaning has escaped. The falcon ego has lost the link with its creator, releasing primitive levels of the unconscious from control. The ensuing chaos calls forth in compensation the birth of a new central psychic dominant. What will it be? Antichrist? The allusion to the Sphinx suggests that we must once again face the riddle of the Sphinx and ask ourselves most seriously, "What is the meaning of life?"
It is the loss of our containing myth that is the root cause of our current individual and social distress, and nothing less than the discovery of a new central myth will solve the problem for the individual and for society. Indeed, a new myth is in the making and C.G. Jung was keenly aware of that fact. A Jungian analyst once had the following dream:
A temple of vast dimensions was in the process of being built. As far as I could see -- ahead, behind, right and left -- there were incredible numbers of people building on gigantic pillars. I, too, was building on a pillar. The whole building process was in its very beginning, but the foundation was already there, the rest of the building was starting to go up, and I and many others were working on it.
Jung was told this dream and his remark was "Yes, you know, that is the temple we all build on. We don't know the people because, believe me, they build in India and China and in Russia and all over the world. That is the new religion. You know how long it will take until it is built? . . . about six hundred years."
Jung was the first to formulate the problem of modem man as mythlessness. As with so many of his discoveries, he found it first of all in himself. In Memories, Dreams, Reflections he describes that after the publication of The Psychology of the Unconscious in 1912 he had a moment of unusual clarity:
"Now you possess a key to mythology and are free to unlock all the gates of the unconscious psyche." But then something whispered in me, "Why open all the gates?" And promptly the question arose of what, after all, I had accomplished. I had explained the myths of peoples of the past; I had written a book about the hero, the myth in which man has always lived. But in what myth does man live nowadays? In the Christian myth, the answer might be. "Do you live in it?" I asked myself. To be honest, the answer was no. For me, it is not what I live by. "Then do we no longer have any myth?" "No, evidently we no longer have any myth." "But then what is your myth -- the myth in which you do live?" At this point the dialogue with myself became uncomfortable, and I stopped thinking. I had reached a dead end.
Jung later found his myth, and it is the thesis of this book that just as Jung's discovery of his own mythlessness paralleled the mythless condition of modern society, so Jung's discovery of his own individual myth will prove to be the first emergence of our new collective myth. In fact, it is my conviction that as we gain historical perspective it will become evident that Jung is an epochal man. I mean by this a man whose life inaugurates a new age in cultural history.
The epochal man is the first to experience and to articulate fully a new mode of existence. His life thus takes on an objective, impersonal meaning. It becomes a paradigm, the prototypical life of the new age and hence exemplary. Jung was aware of this fact concerning his own life. Speaking of his confrontation with the unconscious he writes, "It was then that I ceased to belong to myself alone, ceased to have the right to do so. From then on my life belonged to the generality."
The fact that Jung's personal life belonged to the generality was demonstrated by the uncanny parallelism between the critical episodes of his inner life and the collective crises of Western civilization. His first major confrontation with the unconscious occurred simultaneously with the collective catastrophe of World War I. From 1914 to 1918 while the nations of Western Christendom were engaged in a brutal external conflict, Jung endured the inner equivalent of the World War, withstanding and integrating the upheaval of the collective unconscious from within. William James had called for a "moral equivalent of war." Jung achieved a psychological equivalent of war by which the conflict of the opposites was contained within the individual psyche. Again during World War 11, Jung had his supreme revelation of the unconscious, his visions of the coniunctio, at the time of a grave illness in 1944. By D-Day (June 6, 1944), although still hospitalized, he was well into convalescence.
Almost all the important episodes of Jung's life can be seen as paradigmatic of the new mode of being which is the consequence of living by a new myth. This is not the place to examine Jung's life as a paradigm; we must instead consider the nature of the new myth which he discovered and which released him from his mythless condition.
Jung got a glimpse of his new myth while visiting the Pueblo Indians in the southwestern United States in the early part of 1925. He succeeded in gaining the confidence of Mountain Lake, a chief of the Taos Pueblos. In Memories, Dreams, Reflections Jung describes his conversation with Mountain Lake:
[Mountain Lake said] "The Americans want to stamp out our religion. Why can they not let us alone? What we do, we do not only for ourselves but for the Americans also. Yes, we do it for the whole world. Everyone benefits by it."
I could observe from his excitement that he was alluding to some extremely important element of his religion. I therefore asked him: "You think, then, that what you do in your religion benefits the whole world?" He replied with great animation, "Of course. If we did not do it, what would become of the world?" And with a significant gesture he pointed to the sun.
I felt that we were approaching extremely delicate ground here, verging on the mysteries of the tribe. "After all," he said, "we are a people who live on the roof of the world; we are the sons of Father Sun, and with our religion we daily help our father to go across the sky. We do this not only for ourselves, but for the whole world. If we were to cease practicing our religion, in ten years the sun would no longer rise. Then it would be night forever."
I then realized on what the "dignity," the tranquil composure of the individual Indian, was founded. It springs from his being a son of the sun; his life is cosmologically meaningful, for he helps the father and preserver of all life in his daily rise and descent.
This belief of the Pueblos that they help their father, the sun, to rise each day and make his transit of the heavens turns out to be a primitive, naive version of Jung's new myth. Later in 1925, while traveling in Africa, Jung had another experience that crystallized the formulation of the myth more explicitly. Jung writes:
From Nairobi we used a small ford to visit the Athi Plains, a great game preserve. From a low hill in this broad savanna a magnificent prospect opened out to us. To the very brink of the horizon we saw gigantic herds of animals: gazelle, antelope, gnu, zebra, warthog, and so on. Grazing, heads nodding, the herds moved forward like slow rivers. There was scarcely any sound save the melancholy cry of a bird of prey. This was the stillness of the eternal beginning, the world as it had always been, in the state of non-being; for until then no one had been present to know that it was this world. I walked away from my companions until I had put them out of sight, and savored the feeling of being entirely alone. There I was now, the first human being to recognize that this was the world, but who did not know that in this moment he had first really created it.
There the cosmic meaning of consciousness became overwhelmingly clear to me. "What nature leaves imperfect, the art perfects," say the alchemists. Man, I, in an invisible act of creation put the stamp of perfection on the world by giving it objective existence. This act we usually ascribe to the Creator alone, without considering that in so doing we view life as a machine calculated down to the last detail, which, along with the human psyche, runs on senselessly, obeying foreknown and predetermined rules. In such a cheerless clockwork fantasy there is no drama of man, world, and God; there is no "new day" leading to "new shores," but only the dreariness of calculated processes. My old Pueblo friend came to mind. He thought that the raison d'être of his pueblo had been to help their father, the sun, to cross the sky each day. I had envied him for the fullness of meaning in that belief, and had been looking about without hope for a myth of my own. Now I knew what it was, and knew even more: that man is indispensable for the completion of creation; that, in fact, he himself is the second creator of the world, who alone has given to the world its objective existence -- without which, unheard, unseen, silently eating, giving birth, dying, heads nodding through the millions of years, it would have gone on in the profoundest night of non-being down to its unknown end. Human consciousness created objective existence and meaning, and man found his indispensable place in the great process of being.
In Answer to Job he puts it more succinctly: "Existence is only real when it is conscious to somebody. That is why the Creator needs conscious man even though, from sheer unconsciousness, he would like to prevent him from becoming conscious." And later, "Whoever knows God has an effect on him." In his autobiography he writes:
Man's task is . . . to become conscious of the contents that press upward from the unconscious. Neither should he persist in his unconsciousness nor remain identical with the unconscious elements of his being, thus evading his destiny, which is to create more and more consciousness. As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being. It may even be assumed that just as the unconscious affects us, so the increase in our consciousness affects the unconscious.
Once [the union of opposites] has been experienced, the ambivalence in the image of a nature-god or Creator-god ceases to present difficulties. On the contrary, the myth of the necessary incarnation of God -- the essence of the Christian message -- can then be understood as man's creative confrontation with the opposites and their synthesis in the self, the wholeness of his personality. The unavoidable internal contradictions in the image of a Creator-god can be reconciled in the unity and wholeness of the self as the coniunctio oppositorum of the alchemists or as a unio, mystica. In the experience of the self it is no longer the opposites "God" and "man" that are reconciled, as it was before, but rather the opposites within the Godimage itself. That is the meaning of divine service, of the service which man can render to God, that light may, emerge from the darkness, that the Creator may become conscious of His creation, and man conscious of himself.
That is the goal, or one goal, which fits man meaningfully into the scheme of creation, and at the same time confers meaning upon it. It is an explanatory myth which has slowly taken shape within me in the course of the decades. It is a goal I can acknowledge and esteem, and which therefore satisfies me.
These are the chief statements Jung has made concerning the emerging new myth. To many, especially those without personal experience of the unconscious, these statements may be hard to comprehend. The remainder of this chapter will be an effort to make the new myth somewhat more understandable. The essential new idea is that the purpose of human life is the creation of consciousness. The key word is "consciousness." Unfortunately, the experiential meaning of this term is almost impossible to convey abstractly. As with all fundamental aspects of the psyche it transcends the grasp of the intellect. An oblique, symbolic approach is therefore required.
I treat the idea of consciousness more fully in the next chapter. There I speak of the etymology of the word (page 36), from which we learn that consciousness and conscience are related and that the experience of consciousness is made up of two factors, "knowing" and "withness," i.e., knowing in the presence of an "other," in a setting of twoness. Symbolically, the number two refers to the opposites. We thus reach the conclusion that consciousness is somehow born out of the experience of opposites. As we shall see, the same conclusion is reached by other means.
I understand consciousness to be a substance, a psychic material usually but not always invisible and intangible to the senses. The problem in understanding concerns the words psyche and psychic. Until one has experienced the reality of the psyche, he can follow the discussion no further. Given the experience of psychic reality one can grasp the idea of a psychic substance. All psychic contents have substance, so to speak, if they are experienced as objectively real. What then distinguishes the psychic substance of consciousness? Consciousness is psychic substance connected to an ego. Or, more precisely, psychic contents which are potential entities become actualized and substantial when they make connection with an ego, i.e., when they enter an individual's conscious awareness and become an accepted item of that individual's personal responsibility.
The process whereby a series of psychic contents -- complexes and archetypal images -- make connection with an ego and thereby generate the psychic substance of consciousness is called the process of individuation. This process has as its most characteristic feature the encounter of opposites, first experienced as the ego and the unconscious, the I and the not-I, subject and object, myself and the "other." Thus we can say that whenever one is experiencing the conflict between contrary attitudes or when a personal desire or idea is being contested by an "other," either from inside or outside, the possibility of creating a new increment of consciousness exists.
Experiences of inner or outer conflict which are resolved creatively and are accompanied by a sense of satisfaction and life enhancement are examples of the creation of consciousness. Such encounters, sought deliberately and reflected upon systematically, are an essential feature of the individuation process which is a continual auseinandersetzung or coming to terms with contents that are "other" than or opposite to the ego. In alchemy the Philosophers' Stone is described as the mediator between opposites. In one text, where the Stone has a feminine quality, it says:
I am the mediatrix of the elements, making one to agree with another; that which is warm I make cold, and the reverse; that which is dry I make moist, and the reverse; that which is hard I soften, and the reverse. I am the end and my beloved is the beginning. I am the whole work and all science is hidden in me.
Understood psychologically, this text tells us that in the process of creating consciousness we shall at first be thrown back and forth between opposing moods and attitudes. Each time the ego identifies with one side of a pair of opposites the unconscious will confront one with its contrary. Gradually, the individual becomes able to experience opposite viewpoints simultaneously. With this capacity, alchemically speaking, the Philosophers' Stone is born, i.e., consciousness is created. The Philosophers' Stone is often described as the product of the coniunctio of sun and moon. For a man's psychology, the sun corresponds to the conscious psyche and the moon to the unconscious. Thus Jung says, "Becoming conscious of an unconscious content amounts to its integration in the conscious psyche and is therefore a coniunctio Solis et Lunae."
A number of mythical and symbolic ideas can now be seen as referring to the creation of consciousness. The Gnostic idea of light scattered in the darkness requiring laborious collection is relevant, as is the grand Manichaean image of the zodiac as a vast water wheel which dips under the earth, gathers into its twelve buckets the light trapped in nature and transports it to the moon and sun. The Kabbalah of Isaac Luria has profound symbolism of the same nature. According to this system, at the beginning of creation God poured His divine light into bowls or vessels, but some of the vessels could not stand the impact of the light. They broke and the light was spilled. Salvation of the world requires re-collection of the light and restitution of the broken vessels.
The most outstanding symbolism pertaining to the creation of consciousness is found in alchemy. Although the texts are confused and obscure the basic idea of alchemy is quite simple. The alchemist must find the right material to start with, the prima materia. He must then subject it to the proper series of transformative operations in the alchemical vessel and the result will be the production of the mysterious and powerful entity called the Philosophers' Stone. We now know through Jung's profound researches that the alchemical procedure symbolizes the individuation process and that the Philosophers' Stone represents the realization of the Self, i.e., consciousness of wholeness. A crucial feature of the Philosophers' Stone is that it is a union of opposites. It is the product of a coniunctio often symbolized by the union of the red king and the white queen, the king and queen standing for any or all of the pairs of opposites.
The alchemical myth tells us that consciousness is created by the union of opposites and we learn the same lesson from the dreams of individuals. For example:
A woman dreamed that she went into an underground cavern that was divided into rooms containing stills and other mysterious-looking chemical apparatus. Two scientists were working over the final process of a prolonged series of experiments, which they hoped to bring to a successful conclusion with her help. The end product was to be in the form of golden crystals, which were to be separated from the mother liquid resulting from the many previous solutions and distillations. While the chemists worked over the vessel, the dreamer and her lover lay together in an adjoining room, their sexual embrace supplying the energy essential for the crystallization of the priceless golden substance.
There is an interesting parallel to this dream in an alchemical text:
Do ye not see that the complexion of a man is formed out of a soul and body; thus, also, must ye conjoin these, because the philosophers, when they prepared matters and conjoined spouses mutually in love with each other, behold there ascended from them a golden water.
The golden crystals and the golden water can be understood as the essence of consciousness synonymous with the Self.
Contrary to the implications of the erotic imagery, the coniunctio of opposites is not generally a pleasant process. More often it is felt as a crucifixion. The cross represents the union of horizontal and vertical, two contrary directional movements. To be nailed to such a conflict can be a scarcely endurable agony. Augustine makes an amazingly explicit identification between the erotic coniunctio and Christ's crucifixion:
Like a bridegroom Christ went forth from his chamber, he went out with a presage of his nuptials into the field of the world. . . . He came to the marriage bed of the cross, and there in mounting it, he consummated his marriage . . . and he joined the woman to himself forever.
The union of opposites in the vessel of the ego is the essential feature of the creation of consciousness. Consciousness is the third thing that emerges out of the conflict of twoness. Out of the ego as subject versus the ego as object; out of the ego as active agent versus the ego as passive victim; out of the ego as praiseworthy and good versus the ego as damnable and bad; out of a conflict of mutually exclusive duties -- out of all such paralyzing conflicts can emerge the third, transcendent condition which is a new quantum of consciousness.
This way of putting it reveals the fact that the symbolism of the Trinity refers psychologically to the creation of consciousness. Father and Son, like God and man, are opposites which collide on the cross. The Holy Spirit as the reconciling third emerges from that collision proceeding from the Father and the Son. Thus the Holy Spirit (Paraclete) can only come after the death of the Son, i.e., consciousness comes as the fruit of the conflict of twoness. Therefore Christ could say,
It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor (Paraclete) will not come to you; but if I go I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgement [the opposites and their resolution]. (John 16:7-8; Revised Standard Version)
The Counselor is the Holy Spirit who will teach "all things" (John 14:26) and guide men into "all the truth" (John 16:13).
Psychologically, these statements refer to the time when all individual egos will become potential vessels for the transpersonal value of consciousness. As Jung puts it,
The future indwelling of the Holy Spirit amounts to a continuing incarnation of God. Christ, as the begotten son of God and pre-existing mediator, is a first-born and a divine paradigm which will be followed by further incarnations of the Holy Ghost in the empirical man.
The biblical statements regarding the Paraclete thus anticipate the new myth which sees each individual ego as potentially a vessel to carry transpersonal consciousness. What the Lord said about Paul may eventually apply to all: "He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name." (Acts 9:15; Authorized Version)
The image of the ego as a vessel leads to the important idea of being a carrier of consciousness, i.e., an incarnation of transpersonal meaning. Two main archetypal figures have represented this idea in world culture, namely Buddha and Christ. We are fortunate to have two such figures. With two comes the possibility of comparison and objectivity. As long as there is but one figure embodying supreme value he can only be worshipped but not understood. With the presence of two we can discover the separate third thing which they both share; understanding and greater consciousness then become possible. What Christ and Buddha have in common is the idea of being a carrier of consciousness. Characteristically, the image emerging in the West represents the standpoint of the ego and that deriving from the East speaks from the standpoint of the Self. Together, they reveal a pair of opposites. The crucified Christ and the meditating Buddha represent consciousness as agony and consciousness as tranquil bliss -- total acceptance of the bondage to matter on the one hand and total transcendence of the world on the other. United they picture the two sides of the carrier of consciousness.
The idea of the individual as a vessel for consciousness brings to mind the symbolism of the Holy Grail. As the container for Christ's blood, the Grail carries the divine essence extracted from Christ by his ultimate experience of the opposites -- the coniunctio of crucifixion. In many respects the blood of Christ corresponds to the Holy Spirit as Paraclete. Just as the Holy Spirit is to be incarnated in empirical man, so the blood of Christ is to find a containing vessel in the psyche of the individual, thereby creating for itself a Holy Grail.
On the basis of our emerging knowledge of the unconscious the traditional image of God has been enlarged. Traditionally God has been pictured as all-powerful and all-knowing. Divine Providence was seen as guiding all things according to the inscrutable but benevolent divine purpose. The extent of divine awareness did not receive much attention. The new myth enlarges the God-image by introducing explicitly the additional feature of the unconsciousness of God. His omnipotence, omniscience and divine purpose are not always known to Him. He needs man's capacity to know Him in order to know Himself. In one sense this indicates a renewed awareness of the reality of the less differentiated, jealous and wrathful God of the Old Testament, with whom man must remonstrate. The divine opposites that were separated by Christianity into the eternal antagonists, Christ and Satan, are now beginning to be reunited consciously in the vessel of the modem psyche.
The new myth postulates that the created universe and its most exquisite flower, man, make up a vast enterprise for the creation of consciousness; that each individual is a unique experiment in that process; and that the sum total of consciousness created by each individual in his lifetime is deposited as a permanent addition in the collective treasury of the archetypal psyche. Speaking of the psychotherapist, Jung says:
He is not just working for this particular patient, who may be quite insignificant, but for himself as well and his own soul, and in so doing he is perhaps laying an infinitesimal grain in the scales of humanity's soul. Small and invisible as this contribution may be, it is yet an opus magnum.
Certain mythical images seem to suggest that accomplishments in the personal, earthly life are transferred to the divine or archetypal realm. For instance, in early Egyptian religion the dead were thought to be turned into stars or companions of the sun. James Breasted writes:
In the splendor of the mighty heavens the Nile-dweller . . . saw the host of those who had preceded him; thither they had flown as birds, rising above all foes of the air, and received by Re as the companions of his celestial barque, they now swept across the sky as eternal stars.
A pyramid text describes the translation of the dead king to the heavenly realm in these words:
The king ascends to the sky among the gods dwelling in the sky. . . . He (Re) gives thee his arm on the stairway to the sky. "He who knows his place comes," say the gods. 0 Pure One, assume thy throne in the barque of Re and sail thou the sky. . . . Sail thou with the Imperishable stars, sail thou with the Unwearied Stars.
Similar imagery occurs in Christian symbolism in which the righteous after resurrection will ascend to heaven; thus Paul writes:
I will tell you something that has been secret: that we are not all going to die, but we shall all be changed. This will be instantaneous, in the twinkling of an eye, when the last trumpet sounds. It will sound, and the dead will be raised, imperishable, and we shall be changed as well, because our present perishable nature must put on immortality. (I Cor. 15:51-53; Jerusalem Bible)
The figure of the apocalyptic Christ makes a similar promise in Revelation:
He who is victorious -- I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; he shall never leave it. And I will write the name of my God upon him, and the name of the city of my God, that new Jerusalem which is coming down out of heaven from my God, and my own name. (Rev. 3:12; New English Bible)
Understood psychologically, these texts refer to a transfer or translation from the temporal, personal life of the ego to the eternal, archetypal realm. Presumably the essential accomplishments of egohood, its total of accumulated consciousness, is deposited by means of a final sublimatio in the collective, archetypal treasury of humanity. Jung seems to be saying the same thing in describing the visions he had when on the verge of death:
I had the feeling that everything was being sloughed away. . . . Nevertheless something remained; it was as if I now carried along with me everything I had ever experienced or done, everything that had happened around me. . . . I consisted of my own history, and I felt with great certainty: this is what I am.
A man's dream shortly before his death presents a similar idea:
I have been set a task nearly too difficult for me. A log of hard and heavy wood lies covered in the forest. I must uncover it, saw or hew from it a circular piece, and then carve through the piece a design. The result is to be preserved at all cost, as representing something no longer recurring and in danger of being lost. At the same time a tape recording is to be made describing in detail what it is, what it represents, its whole meaning. At the end, the thing itself and the tape are to be given to the public library. Someone says that only the library will know how to prevent the tape from deteriorating within five years.
The dream was accompanied by a drawing of the circular piece that looked like this:
I understand the dream as referring to the deposit of an individual's life-effort into a collective or transpersonal treasury (the library). The carved object and the tape recording can be considered equivalent since the drawing of the object looks exactly like a reel of recording tape. This would suggest that the difficult task involves the transformation of wood into word, i.e., matter into spirit.
Based on the "Communion of Saints," Catholic theology has elaborated the idea of a "treasure of merits" which have been accumulated by the lives of Christ and the saints. A Catholic theologian writes:
If merit properly so called is not directly communicable between members of the Christian society, at least satisfaction can be transferred, almost as a man can pay a friend's debt. The infinite satisfaction of our Lord and the superabundant satisfaction of the Virgin Mary and the saints form a treasure which the Church guards and administers, drawing upon it for the payment of the debts remitted to the faithful by indulgences.
This theological myth can now be understood as an early formulation, marred by concretistic misapplications (indulgences) of the historical process whereby the psychic accomplishments of individuals are transferred to the collective archetypal psyche. The new myth postulates that no authentic consciousness achieved by the individual is lost. Each increment augments the collective treasury. This will be the modern, more modest version of the idea of having an immortal soul.
Milton seems to be dealing with the same idea in this passage from Lycidas (lines 70-84):
Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise
(That last infirmity of noble mind)
To scorn delights, and live laborious days;
But the fair guerdon when we hope to find
And think to burst out into sudden blaze,
Comes the blind Fury with th' abhorréd shears
And slits the thin-spun life. But not the praise,
Phoebus repli'd, and touch't my trembling ears
Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil,
Nor in the glistering foil
Set off to th' world, nor in broad rumour lies,
But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes
And perfect witness of all-judging Jove
As He pronounces lastly on each deed,
Of so much fame in Heav'n expect thy meed.
"Fame" as here used by Milton corresponds to those fruits of the ego-life which are translated to the eternal realm and are deposited in the collective soul. Such a fame does not "grow on mortal soil," i.e., does not depend on being known by men, but exists in heaven, the archetypal realm. Fame of this sort corresponds to Milton's description of a good book, "the precious life-blood of a master spirit, imbalm'd and treasur'd up on purpose to a life beyond life."
The fact that our age is a time of death and rebirth for a central myth is indicated by the dreams and upheavals from the unconscious of many individuals. Depth psychotherapists who work with the products of the unconscious are in a unique position to observe the turmoil of the collective psyche. Apocalyptic imagery is not uncommon. Here is one remarkable example of such a dream:
I am walking along what appears to be the Palisades, overlooking all of New York City. I am walking with a woman who is unknown to me personally, we are both being led by a man who is our guide. NYC is in a rubble -- the world in fact has been destroyed as we know it, All of NYC is just one heap of rubble, there are fires everywhere, thousands of people are running in every direction frantically, the Hudson river has overflowed many areas of the city, smoke is billowing up everywhere. As far as I can see the land has been levelled. It was twilight; fireballs were in the sky, heading for the earth. It was the end of the world, total destruction of everything that man and his civilization had built up.
The cause of this great destruction was a race of great giants -- giants who had come from outer space -- from the far reaches of the universe. In the middle of the rubble I could see two of them sitting; they were casually scooping up people by the handful and eating them. All this was done with the same nonchalance that we have when we sit down at the table and eat grapes by the handful. The sight was awesome. The giants were not all the same size or quite the same structure. Our guide explained that the giants were from different planets and live harmoniously and peacefully together. The guide also explained that the giants landed in flying saucers (the fireballs were other landings). In fact the earth as we know it was conceived by this race of giants in the beginning of time as we know it. They cultivated our civilization, like we cultivate vegetables in a hot house. The earth was their hot house, so to speak, and now they have returned to reap the fruits they had sown, but there was a special occasion for all this which I wasn't to become aware of till later.
I was saved because I had slightly high blood pressure. If I had normal blood pressure or if my blood pressure was too high I would have been eaten like almost all the others. Because I have slightly high blood pressure (hypertension) I am chosen to go through this ordeal, and if I pass the ordeal I would become like my guide, "a saver of souls." We walked for an extraordinary long time, witnessing all the cataclysmic destruction. Then before me I saw a huge golden throne, it was as brilliant as the sun, impossible to view straight on. On the throne sat a king and his queen of the race of giants. They were the intelligences behind the destruction of our planet as I know it. There was something special or extraordinary about them which I didn't become aware of till later.
The ordeal or task I had to perform, in addition to witnessing the world's destruction, was to climb up this staircase until I was at their level -- "face to face" with them. This was probably in stages. I started climbing, it was long and very difficult, my heart was pounding very hard. I felt frightened but knew I had to accomplish this task, the world and humanity were at stake. I woke up from this dream perspiring heavily.
Later I realized that the destruction of the earth by the race of giants was a wedding feast for the newly united king and queen, this was the special occasion and the extraordinary feeling I had about the king and queen.
Dreams of this sort will go to make up the scriptures of the new myth. This is not a personal dream and must not be interpreted personalistically. It is a collective dream expressing the state of the collective psyche. Eight days before his death, Jung spoke of having had a vision in which a large part of the world was destroyed, but, he added, "Thank God not all of it." Years before he had written of the
mood of universal destruction and renewal that has set its mark on our age. This mood makes itself felt everywhere, politically, socially, and philosophically. We are living in what the Greeks called the kairos -- the right moment -- for a "metamorphosis of the gods," of the fundamental principles and symbols.
The dream I have presented portrays this mood of "universal destruction and renewal." Strikingly, it uses the same image of harvest as appears in Revelation where one angel says to another, "`Put your sickle in and reap: harvest time has come and the harvest of the earth is ripe.' Then the one sitting in the cloud set his sickle to work on the earth, and the earth's harvest was reaped." (Rev. 14:14-16; Jerusalem Bible)
What does it mean to be eaten by giants or to be harvested by angels? It means that one has been swallowed up by archetypal, non-human dynamisms. The autonomous ego, whose separate stance over and against instinct and archetype is the sine qua non of consciousness, has fallen into a fatal identification with the archetypes. For the individual this means either psychosis or criminal psychopathy. For a society it means a structural disintegration and general collective demoralization brought about by loss of the central myth which had supported and justified the burdensome task of being human. In Yeats's words, "The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity." So it was in the declining days of the Roman Empire to which Revelation refers, and so it threatens to be today.
The dreamer was saved from this fate because he had "slightly high blood pressure." This was not an external fact and there were no personal associations, so we are left with general symbolism. Blood is the life-essence, but in particular it refers to the affect-life -- desirousness, passion, violence. Passionate intensity is dangerous, as Yeats implies in his phrase "the blood-dimmed tide is loosed." Too high a blood pressure would perhaps indicate a greater intensity of primitive affect than can be assimilated by the ego. Such a person would be "consumed" by the primitive archetypal energies (giants) on contact with them. Normal blood pressure, on the other hand, suggests a bland lack of reaction to the abnormal times. It is "correct" for modern man to be disturbed, to have slightly high blood pressure. It indicates his inner alarm system is still intact and there is some chance for him. His anxiety will spur him to reflection and effort that may be life-saving. A complacent attitude, on the contrary, lulls one into a false sense of security so one is quite unprepared for the encounter with the activated collective unconscious (invasion of the giants).
Climbing up the staircase belongs to the alchemical symbolism of sublimatio. This operation involves the transfer of material from the bottom of the flask to the top through volatilization. Psychologically it refers to the process whereby personal, particular problems, conflicts and happenings are understood from a height, from a larger perspective as aspects of a greater process, under the aspect of eternity. Once the staircase has been climbed the dreamer will meet the enthroned king and queen face to face. This is a profound image of the process of encountering and enduring the union of opposites. It is a laborious task, as the dream makes clear, but it is the only way to avoid being consumed by the activated archetypes.
The opposites are initially experienced as painful and paralyzing conflicts, but enduring and working on such conflicts promote the creation of consciousness and may lead to a glimpse of the Self as a coniunctio. As Jung says, "All opposites are of God, therefore man must bend to this burden; and in so doing he finds that God in his `oppositeness' has taken possession of him, incarnated himself in him. He becomes a vessel filled with divine conflict." This is precisely the "divine service . . . which man can render to God" and which, according to this dream, is what is required for salvation.
Another product of the sublimatio process has come to my attention. It is a woman's vision showing how the history of humanity might look from an immense height and distance.
I saw the earth covered by a single great Tree whose multiple roots fed on the Inner Sun of gold, the lumen naturae. It was a tree whose limbs were made of light and the branches were lovingly entangled so that it made of itself a network of beauteous love.
And it seemed as if it were lifting itself out of the broken seeds of many, countless egos who had now allowed the One Self to break forth. And when one beheld this, the sun and the moon and the planets turned out to be something quite, quite other than one had thought.
From what I could make out, the Lord Himself was the Alchemist, and out of collective swarming and suffering, ignorance and pollution, He was "trying" the gold."
A notable feature of the new myth is its capacity to unify the various current religions of the world. By seeing all functioning religions as living expressions of individuation symbolism, i.e., the process of creating consciousness, an authentic basis is laid for a true ecumenical attitude. The new myth will not be one more religious myth in competition with all the others for man's allegiance; rather, it will elucidate and verify every functioning religion by giving more conscious and comprehensive expression to its essential meaning. The new myth can be understood and lived within one of the great religious communities such as Catholic Christianity, Protestant Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, etc., or in some new community yet to be created, or by individuals without specific community connections. This universal application gives it a genuine claim to the term "catholic."
For the first time in history we now have an understanding of man so comprehensive and fundamental that it can be the basis for a unification of the world -- first religiously and culturally and, in time, politically. When enough individuals are carriers of the "consciousness of wholeness," the world itself will become whole.
In summary, I have traced the outlines of a new myth which I believe is emerging from the life and work of Jung. This myth is not a faith but an hypothesis, based on empirical data and consistent with the scientific conscience. The new myth tells us that each individual ego is a crucible for the creation of consciousness and a vessel to serve as a carrier of that consciousness, i.e., a vessel for the incarnation of the Holy Spirit.
The individual psyche is the Holy Grail, made holy by what it contains. Consciousness is a psychic substance which is produced by the experience of the opposites suffered, not blindly, but in living awareness. This experience is the coniunctio, the mysterium coniunctionis that generates the Philosophers' Stone which symbolizes consciousness. Each individual is, to a greater or lesser extent, a participant in cosmic creation, one of the buckets in the great Manichaean wheel of light, who contributes his "widow's mite" to the cumulative treasury of the archetypal psyche realized.
Every human experience, to the extent that it is lived in awareness, augments the sum total of consciousness in the universe. This fact provides the meaning for every experience and gives each individual a role in the on-going world-drama of creation.
- W. B. Yeats, The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats (New York: Macmillan Co., 1956), p. 184.
- Max Zeller, "The Task of the Analyst," Psychological Perspectives, 6 (Spring 1975), p. 75.
- The first English edition appeared in 1916. This was later revised and published as Symbols of Transformation, CW 5. [CW -- The Collected Works of C.G. Jung (Bollingen Series XX). Trans. R. F. C. Hull. Ed. H. Read, M. Fordham, G. Adler, Win. McGuire (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1953-1979).]
- C.G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (New York: Pantheon Books, 1963), p. 171.
- Ibid., p. 192.
- Ibid., pp. 175-181.
- William James, Essays of Faith and Morals (New York: Longmans Green & Co., 1947), pp. 311 ff.
- Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, pp. 289-298.
- Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and Work (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1976), p. 284.
- Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, pp. 251-252.
- Ibid., pp. 255-256.
- C.G. Jung, Psychology and Religion: West and East, CW 11, par. 575.
- Ibid., par. 617.
- Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p. 326.
- Ibid., p. 338.
- Marie-Louise von Franz, ed., Aurora Consurgens, Bollingen Series LXXVII (New York: Pantheon Books, 1966), p. 143.
- C.G. Jung, The Symbolic Life, CW 18, par. 1703.
- Hans Jonas, The Gnostic Religion (Boston: Beacon Press, 1958), p. 225.
- Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (New York: Schocken Books, 1954), p. 265.
- M. Esther Harding, Psychic Energy: Its Source and Goal, Bollingen Series X (New York: Pantheon Books, 1947), p. 450.
- A. E. Waite, ed., The Turba Philosophorum (London: William Rider and Son, Ltd., 1914), Dictum 42, p 134.
- Quoted in C.G. Jung, Mysterium Coniunctionis, CW 14, par. 25, note 176.
- See Jung's essay, "A Psychological Approach to the Trinity," in Psychology and Religion, CW 11, pars. 277-279.
- Jung, Psychology and Religion, CW 11, par. 693.
- For further discussion of this idea, see Edward F. Edinger, Ego and Archetype (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1972), p. 243.
- C.G. Jung, The Practice of Psychotherapy, CW 16, par. 449.
- James Breasted, A History of Egypt (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1937), p. 64.
- James Breasted, Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt (New York: Harper Torch Books, 1959), p. 136.
- Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, pp. 290-291.
- Edinger, Ego and Archetype, pp. 218-219.
- A. Boudinon, "Indulgences," Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, ed. James Hastings (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1922), VII, pp. 253-254.
- John Milton, "Areopagitica," Complete Poems and Major Prose, ed. Merritt Y. Hughes (New York: Odyssey Press, 1957), p. 720.
- Hannah, Jung: His Life and Work, p. 347.
- Jung, Civilization in Transition, CW 10, par. 585.
- Jung, Psychology and Religion, CW 11, par. 659.
- Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p. 338.
- I am indebted to A.0. Howell for permission to quote this vision.
On the basis of our emerging knowledge of the unconscious the
traditional image of God has been enlarged. Traditionally God
has been pictured as all-powerful and all-knowing. Divine
Providence was seen as guiding all things according to the
inscrutable but benevolent divine purpose. The extent of divine
awareness did not receive much attention. The new myth
enlarges the God-image by introducing explicitly the additional
feature of the unconsciousness of God. His omnipotence,
omniscience and divine purpose are not always known to
Him. He needs man's capacity to know Him in order to know
Himself. In one sense this indicates a renewed awareness of the
reality of the less differentiated, jealous and wrathful God of
the Old Testament, with whom man must remonstrate. The divine
opposites that were separated by Christianity into the eternal
antagonists, Christ and Satan, are now beginning to be reunited
consciously in the vessel of the modem psyche.
--Edward Edinger, The Creation of Consciousness, pp.23-4
The idea of the unconsciousness of God is something many have probably not encountered before. That "His omnipotence, omniscience and divine purpose are not always known to Him" and that "He needs man's capacity to know Him in order to know Himself" connects with a deeper meaning in the Book of Revelation. As Laurens points out in the Matter of Heart film:
Calvin fought very desperately to have the book of Revelation removed from the Bible because he called it a dark and dangerously obscure book. But it really is very meaningful because it's the one book which suggests that the revelation of God doesn't end with the coming of Christ. There is more to come; that religion is a process of continuing revelation and experiencing of revelation, and being obedient to your greater awareness ...
In this light, "being obedient to your greater awareness" calls each to fulfill the imperative to create more conscious awareness: of our selves, of our actions, of our relationship to all outside our self within uni verse. As quoted above, Jung experienced this when he saw the cosmic meaning of consciousness on the Athi Plains in Africa:
that man is indispensable for the completion of creation; that, in fact, he himself is the second creator of the world, who alone has given to the world its objective existence -- without which, unheard, unseen, silently eating, giving birth, dying, heads nodding through the millions of years, it would have gone on in the profoundest night of non-being down to its unknown end. Human consciousness created objective existence and meaning, and man found his indispensable place in the great process of being.
Yet in "modern" times the message of both Buddhism and Christianity has undergone the same transformation away from what Buddha and Christ themselves spoke to. Buddha saw that the self -- which "stands above all gods" -- incarnates both inherent being and being known. Christ saw that his destiny was to sacrifice himself and that this suffering was imposed from within as a means of achieving wholeness. But as Jung points out below, historical trends in both Buddhism and Christianity led to the devout imitation of Buddha, resulting in a weakening of his idea, and of Christ, resulting in the individual forsaking his own "destined road to wholeness."
When I visited the stupas of Sanchi, where Buddha delivered his fire sermon, I was overcome by a strong emotion of the kind that frequently develops in me when I encounter a thing, person, or idea of whose significance I am still unconscious. . . .
The intensity of my emotion showed that the hill of Sanchi meant something central to me. A new side of Buddhism was revealed to me there. I grasped the life of the Buddha as the reality of the self which had broken through and laid claim to a personal life. For Buddha, the self stands above all gods, a unus mundus which represents the essence of human existence and of the world as a whole. The self embodies both the aspect of intrinsic being and the aspect of its being known, without which no world exists, Buddha saw and grasped the cosmogonic dignity of human consciousness; for that reason he saw clearly that if a man succeeded in extinguishing this light, the world would sink into nothingness. Schopenhauer's great achievement lay in his also recognizing this, or rediscovering it independently.
Christ -- like Buddha -- is an embodiment of the self, but in an altogether different sense. Both stood for an overcoming of the world: Buddha out of rational insight; Christ as a foredoomed sacrifice. In Christianity more is suffered, in Buddhism more is seen and done. Both paths are right, but in the Indian sense Buddha is the more complete human being. He is a historical personality, and therefore easier for men to understand. Christ is at once a historical man and God, and therefore much more difficult to comprehend. At bottom he was not comprehensible even to himself; he knew only that he had to sacrifice himself, that this course was imposed upon him from within. His sacrifice happened to him like an act of destiny. Buddha lived out his life and died at an advanced age, whereas Christ's activity as Christ probably lasted no more than a year.
Later, Buddhism underwent the same transformation as Christianity: Buddha became, as it were, the image of the development of the self; he became a model for men to imitate, whereas actually he bad preached that by overcoming the Nidana-chain every human being could become an illuminate, a buddha. Similarly, in Christianity, Christ is an exemplar who dwells in every Christian as his integral personality. But historical trends led to the imitatio Christi, whereby the individual does not pursue his own destined road to wholeness, but attempts to imitate the way taken by Christ. Similarly in the East, historical trends led to a devout imitation of the Buddha. That Buddha should have become a model to be imitated was in itself a weakening of his idea, just as the imitatio Christi was a forerunner of the fateful stasis in the evolution of the Christian idea. As Buddha, by virtue of his insight, was far in advance of the Brahma gods, so Christ cried out to the Jews, "You are gods" (John 10:34); but men were incapable of understanding what he meant. Instead we find that the so-called Christian West, far from creating a new world, is moving with giant strides toward the possibility of destroying the world we have. (On the problem of the imitatio, cf. Psychology and Alchemy, Part I, "Introduction to the Religious and Psychological Problems of Alchemy" (CW 12).)Memories, Dreams, Reflections, pp. 278, 279-80
Years ago I recall Daniel Sheehan describing the latin root of the word `religion' -- religare -- as being re-, back + ligare, link; meaning to link back to the universe, to be reconnected to the source of one's own genesis and of all creation. Webster's defines ligare as bind, (to tie together) which is close to the meaning of link (to connect or tie). In either sense, seen in this way, living one's life with such a "religious attitude" expresses the urge to manifest more of the wholeness of one's totality. Seeking such meaning in one's experience of being does not necessarily relate to any specific creed.
For Jung religion was an attitude to life and had absolutely nothing whatever to do with any kind of creed. He was actually ambivalent about creeds because, on the one hand he said, a creed will stop you from having an experience and since he believed that religion was not only an attitude but had to do with personal experience, if you block it by a creed, obviously you can't have an experience. But, at the same time, he also thought that a creed might be a tremendously important framework for someone whose ego was too weak to stand the horror, the void, of complete loneliness.--Baroness Vera von der Heydt, Matter of Heart
I have been increasingly drawn to Laurens' call to re-engage the journey within to wholeness by making Christ's "example truly modern in ourselves and be individual and specific in terms of the totality of our own natures, as he was" [emphasis added]. Only in this way, can we truly participate in lifting "this moment in time, in which we are all imprisoned, back again onto a level where the great act of creation is going on."
I have often felt that it is as if there has been only one modern man and we crucified him two thousand years ago. We still have to make his example truly modern in ourselves and be individual and specific in terms of the totality of our own natures, as he was. This is the way we have to go. But we now have to do our own leading. We have not to wait on masters; we do not have to wait for foolproof spiritual exercises; we can go to people and seek what they seek, but we cannot do it wholly their way and be stereotypes of one another. Like the leaves on the trees, we are compelled to be each our own way, again and again. We have, for this, to turn inwards -- to look into ourselves; look in this container which is our soul; look and listen in to it and all its hunches -- incredible, silly, stupid as they may appear to be. It might tell us to make fools of ourselves in the eyes of our established selves but, however improbable, just listen, just give it a chance in yourself, particularly at this moment when everything is increasingly impersonal. Until you have listened in to that thing which is dreaming through you, in other words answered the knock on the door in the dark, and discovered your estranged self, you will not be able to lift this moment in time, in which we are all imprisoned, back again onto a level where the great act of creation is going on, whether we heed it or not. We can join in with increased awareness, thanks to the creator's evolution, or stay out. If we stay out we perish; if we join in, we live for ever.
For the first time in history we now have an understanding of man so comprehensive and fundamental that it can be the basis for a unification of the world -- first religiously and culturally and, in time, politically. When enough individuals are carriers of the "consciousness of wholeness," the world itself will become whole.
--Edward Edinger, The Creation of Consciousness, p.31
In terms of actively participating in the on-going act of creation -- which previously has been largely thought of as belonging to the exclusive domain of God -- and of the conscious awareness such being manifests, I'd like to enumerate seven instances of the creation of consciousness in specific experiences and expressions of people exploring the intrinsic wholeness bestowed upon each of us at birth and manifesting within the life of our time.
Maewan Ho's vision of holistic ecological science and her work, as part of the Institute of Science in Society, heralds the emerging shift in the basic paradigm of science (and thus, of universe) from the metaphor of the machine to the metaphor of the self-organizing living organism.
A highly prolific author, her 1998 book The Rainbow and the Worm, The Physics of Organisms, communicates "the message from quantum theory that we are intimately entangled with one another and with all nature, which we participate in co-creating." She extends the metaphor of universe as organism with her understanding of the many parallels between the development of the psyche and that of the organism, thus making the organism the most universal archetype.
The Jungian ideal of the whole person is one whose cell and psyche, body and mind, inner and outer, are fully integrated, and hence completely in tune with nature. Jung's ideas on psychical development show many parallels to those relating to the organism. Similarly, Laszlo's theory of the quantum holographic universe views the universe effectively as a kind of superorganism, constantly becoming, being created through the activities of its constituent organisms at every level. The organism is thus the most universal archetype. I describe a theory of the organism, based on quantum coherence, which is, in some respects, a microcosm of Laszlo's universe. It involves key notions of the maximization of local autonomy and global cohesion, of universal participation, of sensitivity and responsiveness, which have profound implications for our global future.Mae-Wan Ho, Organism and Psyche in a Participatory Universe
Maewan's soaring vision encompasses a richly grounded self awareness manifesting an immensely creative conscious collaboration between the scientific pursuit of knowledge and the religious search for meaning. Thus, her life is an expression of Edinger's perception that the age now dawning seeks linked knowledge. The message she conveys articulates the new biology's unconditional devotion to honoring and serving life's needs by acknowledging our intrinsic organistic embeddedness in life and the cosmos. Her experience of participation -- as a "truly free individual [and] a coherent being that lives life fully and spontaneously without fragmentation or hesitation, who is at peace with herself and at ease with the universe as she participates in creating, from moment to moment, its possible futures" -- invites us all to further discover and explore our own coherence and living wholeness, made possible by the conscious awareness of our coherent `self' and all it implies.
I am making a case for organicist science. It is not yet a conscious movement but a Zeitgeist I personally embrace, so I really mean to persuade you to do likewise by giving it a more tangible shape. The new organicism, like the old, is dedicated to the knowledge of the organic whole, hence, it does not recognize any discipline boundaries. It is to be found between all disciplines. Ultimately, it is an unfragmented knowledge system by which one lives. There is no escape clause allowing one to plead knowledge `pure' or `objective', and hence having nothing to do with life. As with the old organicism, the knowing being participates in knowing as much as in living. Participation implies responsibility, which is consistent with the truism that there can be no freedom without responsibility, and conversely, no responsibility without freedom. There is no placing mind outside nature as Descartes has done, the knowing being is wholeheartedly within nature: heart and mind, intellect and feeling (Ho, 1994a). It is non-dualist and holistic. In all those respects, its affinities are with the participatory knowledge systems of traditional indigenous cultures all over the world.
From a thorough-going organicist perspective, one does not ask, "What is life?" but, "What is it to be alive?". Indeed, the best way to know life is to live it fully. It must be said that we do not yet have a fully fledged organicist science. But I shall describe some new images of the organism, starting from the more familiar and working up, perhaps to the most sublime, from which a picture of the organism as a free, spontaneous being will begin to emerge. I shall show how the organism succeeds in freeing itself from the `laws' of physics, from mechanical determinism and mechanistic control, thereby becoming a sentient, coherent being that, from moment to moment, freely explores and creates its possible futures. . . .
The organism maximizes both local freedom and global intercommunication. One comes to the startling discovery that the coherent organism is in a very real sense completely free. Nothing is in control, and yet everything is in control. Thus, it is the failure to transcend the mechanistic framework that makes people persist in enquiring which parts are in control, or issuing instructions; or whether free will exists, and who choreographs the dance of molecules. Does "consciousness" control matter or vice versa? These questions are meaningless when one understands what it is to be a coherent, organic whole. An organic whole is an entangled whole, where part and whole, global and local are so thoroughly implicated as to be indistinguishable, and each part is as much in control as it is sensitive and responsive. Choreographer and dancer are one and the same. The `self' is a domain of coherent activities, in the ideal, a pure state that permeates the whole of our being with no definite localizations or boundaries, as Bergson has described. . . .
Freedom in the present context means being true to `self', in other words, being coherent. A free act is a coherent act. Of course not all acts are free, as one is seldom fully coherent. Yet the mere possibility of being unfree affirms the opposite, that freedom is real,
". . . we are free when our acts spring from our whole personality, when they express it, when they have that indefinable resemblance to it which one sometimes finds between the artist and his work."
The coherent `self' is distributed and nonlocal -- being implicated in a community of other entities with which one is entangled (Whitehead, 1925; see also Ho, 1993). Thus, being true to self does not imply acting against others. On the contrary, sustaining others sustains the self, so being true to others is also being true to self. It is only within a mechanistic Darwinian perspective that freedom becomes perverted into acts against others (see Ho, 1996e). The coherent `self' can also couple coherently to the environment so that one becomes as much in control of the environment as one is responsive. The organism thereby participates in creating its own possible futures as well as those of the entire community of organisms in the universe, much as Whitehead (1925) has envisaged.
I venture to suggest, therefore, that a truly free individual is a coherent being that lives life fully and spontaneously, without fragmentation or hesitation, who is at peace with herself and at ease with the universe as she participates in creating, from moment to moment, its possible futures.Mae-Wan Ho, "The Biology of Free Will," 1996
The coherent entanglement of all organisms provides a magnificent rubber-meets-the-road model of the organic whole as an ideal democracy of distributed, non-centralized control operating not by hierarchies of authority but by intercommunication. It is difficult to exaggerate the significance and relevance this life- partnering and honoring alternative future poses to the current, ominous, globally centralizing economic system based on concentrated privilege in the hands of an ever-shrinking few. Be evermore conscious in this extraordinary time, that: "Thine life is a miracle, think again".
Th[e] amazing capture of energy by coherent entanglement is what organisms do for a living, day in and day out. Think of coherent entanglement in terms of partners dancing together, perfectly in step, but each doing different movements.
As we face the threats of genetic engineering in the midst of the climate change catastrophe, poet Wendell Berry reminds us, "Thine life is a miracle, think again". Think again, for it is imperative to replace the destructive, mechanistic and instrumental view of life with the truly organic and miraculous. . . .
These images also show that how we observe determines what we observe. As someone said, if your only tool is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail. Mechanistic biology is like a hammer, so everything looks dead as nails, or as Brian Goodwin said, like nuts and bolts. If we observe with the sensitivity of organisms, however, we see them as organisms. Our imaging technique is non-destructive, if not non-invasive. You can put the organisms back into the aquarium afterwards.
I would like to draw out some of the main lessons the organism teaches us about the organic whole as opposed to the mechanistic whole. The organic whole is an ideal democracy of distributed control. It does not work in terms of a hierarchy of controller versus the controlled, but by intercommunication. Ultimately, each is as much in control as it is sensitive and responsive. In the ideal coherent system, local freedom (or autonomy) and global cohesion are both maximised. That is impossible within a mechanical system where public and private, local and global, are always in conflict.
Most important of all, the organic whole is quintessentially diverse and pluralistic. The organism is the antithesis of uniformity and homogeneity. We have some 30 000 genes and 300 000 proteins, astronomical numbers of metabolites, cofactors, inorganic ions, in numerous kinds of cells, tissues and organs that make up our body, all of which are necessary for sustaining the whole. In the same way, populations are naturally diverse, and thriving ecosystems are rich in species.Mae-Wan Ho, "Thinking again of life's miracle," Apr 2001
Notwithstanding the obstacles and barriers posed by conventional thought and the present-day corrupted systems of economic and political power, Maewan is constructively activist in the most live-affirming and religious way. She lives and expresses the courage of her convictions in a unambiguous, conscious manner both deeply inspirational and personally accountable.
In 1999, I co-founded the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) of which I am Director. I-SIS is a not-for-profit organisation, promoting socially and ecologically accountable science and the integration of science in society. I-SIS also represent a group of scientists around the world (currently 364 from some 40 countries [457 scientists from 56 countries as of Sept 2001]) who have co-signed a World Scientists Statement and Open Letter to All Governments, calling for a moratorium on environmental releases of GMOs on grounds that they are unsafe, and to revoke and ban patents on life-forms and living processes, on grounds that they are unethical.--Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, 26 Oct 2000 Witness Statement at the Chardon LL
(a GM "line" [Aventis -- T25 Maize], approved for animal feed) Hearing in London.
I devoted a good portion of August to creating additional files to mirror on ratical from the ISIS site to manifest more exposure to Maewan's extraordinarily wide-ranging wisdom, intelligence, and conscious awareness for people geographically closer to San Francisco than to London. The message conveyed throughout these works is one being expressed by "carriers of the `consciousness of wholeness'". Such awareness serves as a beacon, lighting the way to a future where the world itself will manifest the wholeness being expressed today by individuals like Maewan Ho and her colleagues at the Institute of Science in Society.
Many remarkable individuals and local communities are indeed changing their own lives and the world around them for the better. They all do so by learning from nature and recognizing that it is the symbiotic, mutualistic relationships which sustain ecosystems and make all life prosper, including the human beings who are active, sensitive participants in the ecosystem as a whole.
The same organic revolution has been happening in western science over the past thirty years. Jim Lovelock's Gaia theory, for example, invites us to see the earth as one super-organism. Even more remarkable is the message from quantum theory: that we are inseparably entangled with one another and with all nature, which we participate in co-creating. It is this holistic, organic perspective that can enable us to negotiate our path out of the moral maze of genetic engineering biotechnology. It provides the basis of a new ethic of science that can reshape society and transform the very texture and meaning of our lives. Seattle has shown us that things can be different. Society does not have to be ruled by the dominant culture. Science can transcend the dominant status quo to reshape society for the public good, which is also the private good. We begin to appreciate how the purpose of each organism and species is entangled with that of every other. Our humanity is a function of this entangled whole, and we cannot do arbitrary violence to one another, nor to the nature of other species without violating our own. The ethic of science is no different from that of being human.
Joe American Horse's expression of the Oglala Lakota people's commitment on the Pine Ridge Reservation to cultivation of industrial hemp encourages all to consciously manifest our own life-supporting visions of wholeness.
When I spoke with Joe he likened the cultivation of hemp to his people's historical relationship with the buffalo. Each provided a source of shelter, food, and clothing as well as meaning in being part of the circle of life. Joe's expression of his people's commitment "to find creative ways to reinvigorate the land" and the vision that their "hemp initiative is a struggle by the Oglala Lakota traditional tiospayes to be productive on our own lands" is an expression of a carrier of consciousness, pursuing a path of wholeness that manifests in the physical and psychological well-being of all who participate. Recall Edinger's statement:
Experiences of inner or outer conflict which are resolved creatively and are accompanied by a sense of satisfaction and life enhancement are examples of the creation of consciousness.
In closing, Joe indicates the determination and commitment of his community -- in the face of significant obstacles posed by the unconsciousness of "drug warriors" following an archaic, worn-out hierarchical system of authority -- to maintain their vision and consciousness: "Remember us as we are making our stand; we are in it for the long run."
The inauguration of The Living Economies Program signals a new level of active collaboration by the The People-Centered Development Forum to augment its vision of human societies in which three values -- justice, inclusiveness, and sustainability -- serve as organizing principles of public policy.
Having reached the limits of an Era of Empire, humanity is compelled to accept responsibility for the consequences of its presence on a finite planet, make a conscious collective choice to leave behind the excesses of its adolescence, and take the step to species maturity. It is the most exciting moment of opportunity in the history of the species.Introduction, "Living Economies for a Living Planet"
Reading David Korten's The Post-Corporate World, Life After Capitalism two years ago provided a "wider lens" from which to view and better apprehend the nature of capitalism and the era of corporate governance, currently in its end-state. The imperative of the original thirteen "Crown Colonies," sanctioned by the divine right of kings, was to extract the wealth of the "new world" and concentrate it in the hands of those who owned the likes of the Hudson's Bay and East India Trading Companies. A primary impetus of the American Revolution sought to throw off the yoke of these concentrations of private ownership of property and economic power. Transnational corporations spanning the globe are the modern-day descendents of the 13 Crown Colonies.
The present-day era of public governance by private corporations operating within the economic system of capitalism is in an end-state because capitalism's prime directive is to extract greater and greater amounts of the living wealth of the world and concentrate it in fewer and fewer human hands. Such a system is phenomenologically unsustainable to the extreme and cannot long endure because of the overwhelming costs borne by extraction of the earth's living wealth without returning anything in kind to our "gaian treasure house."
The intent of the people directing the Living Economies Program is to facilitate transforming humanity's course from living by the archetype of scarcity to living the archetype of abundance. Shifting humanity's world-view paradigm from universe as machine to universe as self-organizing living system is also integral to such a metamorphosis of self-reflecting awareness. (The following is quoted from the main page with links going to specific subsections of the PCDF site. It (and the links) will no doubt change over time as most of the materials posted there are preliminary working documents.)
People the world over are awakening to the reality that a global suicide economy is unraveling the social fabric of human civilization and depleting the life support system of the planet. If there is to be a human future, humanity must make a conscious collective choice to live into being the culture and institutions of a planetary system life-serving living economies. . . .
The PCDF Living Economies Program supports this process of living the new economy into being by reflecting back to its own participants its nature and underlying strategic logic. Several ideas frame the Program's work.
- Transformational Change: The culture and institutions of living economies are virtually mirror opposites of the culture and institutions of the suicide economy. Far more than a course correction, the changes ahead involve a deep cultural and institutional transformation.
- A Succession Strategy: Reform strategies seek incremental changes in the culture and institutions of the suicide economy. A succession strategy centers on living into being the web of mutually supportive living relationships of a new economy comprised of living fair-profit and nonprofit living enterprises that will ultimately displace and succeed the pathological institutions of the suicide economy.
- Institutional Pathology: Most of the dysfunctions of the suicide economy can be traced to the pathological institutional structures of the publicly traded, limited liability corporations that presently dominate the economic, political, and cultural life of societies virtually everywhere. To restore healthful social function this pathogenic institutional form must be purged from human society so that millions of existing and prospective locally-based, community oriented, fair-profit/nonprofit living enterprises can flourish.
- Awakening Consciousness: The evolutionary awakening of a new cultural and planetary consciousness is preparing the way for the changes ahead. Nurturing the awakening process is a key to change.
The PCDF Living Economies Program currently centers on two initiatives.
- Strategic Framework Initiative. The current focus of this initiative is a web essay titled Living Economies for a Living Planet devoted to articulating language and conceptual frameworks to guide action toward the living into being of a planetary system of living economies. Under the primary editorial responsibility of David C. Korten, it includes contributions, including supporting essays and critical commentary, from a variety of participating colleagues. It is a living document of many parts subject to regular revision and extension.
- Documentation Initiative. This initiative seeks to make visible the reality that countless locally rooted living enterprises serving the livelihood needs of their communities are already in place, many for generations, and that in some places the living web of relationships that knit individual living enterprises into a living economy already exist or are at least in early stages of formation. Under the editorial and research direction of retired business consultant and turnaround specialist Victor Bremson, the initial focus is on the Seattle area.
The intentions articulated above hold seeds of great potential and are deserving of exploration and close scrutiny by all who experience a resonance with what is being expressed. Such a fundamental change of course can only manifest if the majority of people participating are actively engaged in consciously facing and exploring their own selves (such change transpires culturally and even collectively when it is being lived by many individuals). I know some of the people involved in this project and am grateful they are committing their energies to express and articulate the common cause shared by all who feel concern for their children's children's children and all life exploring it self here at this time in gaia's life.
John Judge's expressions regarding some of the unique unconscious contents of the U.S. psyche provide a bearing and means of perceiving how, what the group mind labelled "America" claim as comprising many of its principles and ideals, have in fact, by its collective actions, been betrayed while many unconsciously choose to ignore this fact -- especially those now occupying positions of economic and even political power.
John's perspective is needed to compensate aspects of the cultural shadow of the United States that unconsciously chooses to ignore the consequences of choices made in the name of "the American People", while being projected and carried out by those in unaccountable, privileged positions of concentrated private power. Two recent papers are especially noteworthy in this regard.
John's proposal for Real Democracy provides a succinct summary of what some of the primary elements of actual democracy will include here inside the U.S. The following comprise some of the recommendations submitted to amend our current system of the corporation becoming more and more the state and the state becoming more and more the corporation:John's just-completed "A New War or a New World?" is also, tremendously relevant to the issues we now must consciously address and re-commit our whole selves to resolving. The following highlight a few of its incisive insights:
- Design this system so that it cannot be corrupted by the existing privileged few, including universal voting registration, automatic referendum rights, rotating citizen councils to poll for monthly issue debates and decisions, and a limit on advertising.
- End the corporate monopoly stranglehold on the commonwealth of the electronic means of communication. These are now just as important to control as the means of production, if not more so. Begin by taxing the corporate licensees in air time to allow full and open debate on the local, national and international issues to be decided.
- Do not allow new means of communication to be controlled by entrepreneurs or corporations.
- Educate the young in real democracy, and open the educational institutions to a full flow of ideas and information. Hold referendum in schools and other community places and include the young in decisions that affect their lives. Build models of participatory democracy and informed decision-making to create new citizens for the democratic future.
- Teach human values and living skills before teaching corporate skills or science without conscience.
- Disenfranchise the false "people" called corporations by limiting their lifespans, ending their legal immunity, making their dealings transparent, and putting them under popular control instead of private. Do not accord them the rights of persons or citizens, for they are not.
- Address the cancer of militarism that has gouged social services, health, education and general welfare for decades, and that continues to assign the vast majority of taxed dollars to past, present and future wars and preparations for war. Standing armies do not stand.
Militarization of all social functions continues apace, including police, education, social services, and even humanitarian efforts abroad. Instead of humanizing the military, this serves to militarize humanity. The military must become a transparent and democratic organization whose purpose, size, presence, operational limits, and personnel matters are decided by open and participatory debate by GI's and citizens alike, not behind the closed doors of the Pentagon and the national security state. Honor veterans -- no more wars. Stop arming, funding, researching and facilitating genocide worldwide.
- Open the secrets of the society by declassifying the millions of existing records and ending further classifications or records and all electronic intelligence gathered by satellite or other means. . . .
- Put an end to decisions made in secret by "experts" with "clearances" to privileged information. There can be no democracy without a free flow of information. Jefferson said that given a choice between a government without a newspaper and a newspaper without a government, he would always choose the latter. . . .
- Change the tax structure to focus on profit-making corporations, not on the people underemployed by them. Charge a small percentage of corporate gross income annually instead, which would far outstrip the amount now taxed from the menial salaries and wages offered to the labor that made the profit possible. Whether or not people are taxed, they should have a direct say in how those taxes are spent.
- Allow direct, participatory allocation of all taxes collected by polling the people themselves annually and creating budgets based on their decisions. This would be taxation with real representation. . . .
- Move away from money as the motivator of human interaction to systems that seek and support the real talents and dreams of community members shared for the common good in a rational and informed system of operation that takes into account real needs, real resources, the environment and ecology, the long-range impact locally and otherwise, and the support that the activity provides for the community as a whole.
Our choice now seems to be between a "new war" and a new world. As always, the forces of reaction and wealth are telling us we have no choice but war, and no right or power to decide. They are calling for a secret investigation, a secret conviction, a secret method of execution, and a totally secret war abroad. The American people as a whole are the only ones in the world who have the right to decide on a national response to this tragedy, and it must be one that takes into account the rights of all the other peoples and nations of the world. . . .
We are challenged now to make or influence a national response. But the real issues are local and decentralized in their solutions. Justice here also leads to peace; it is all that ever can. Democracy lets all those affected by decisions make them, and excludes those not affected save by advantage or greed. Privilege is the real violence in any society, local or global. Any market that disrupts ecologies, economies, resources, quality of life, human and civil rights, and equitable distribution of the created wealth, is not free. . . .
It's up to us. Thomas Jefferson said it best long ago, "I know of no safe depository for the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves. And if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion." He also noted that, "If you do not believe that people cannot be trusted to govern themselves, then can they be trusted to govern others?" . . .
If the United States wishes to effectively prevent such tragedies in the future, it must choose the moral high ground and refuse to retaliate with more violence. By standing for real justice, legal as well as social, this country can rise above the practice and experience of the hundreds of other nations trapped into this same nightmare of hate, fear and terror. That decision, more than any other can disarm Osama bin Laden and his counterparts in other countries. If America offers justice and hope to the disenfranchised of the world, it can easily command more loyalty than the purveyors of violence. . . .
Through non-violent movements British rule ended, America changed. Gandhi was once asked what he thought of Western civilization, and replied, "I think it would be a good idea." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. saw that America as "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world". He said that the choice facing America was not between non-violence and war, but between non-violence and non-existence.
John Todd expresses the consciousness of a devout awareness, highly attuned to the sacred nature of all life and our responsibility as sentient beings to serve it with all our love and sensitivity. I am especially struck by John's profound acknowledgment of the necessity to re-establish an utterly contemporary and genuine partnership with nature.
In the late 1960s there was a strong sense of revulsion against science. . . . It was our feeling, very strongly, that the revulsion was legitimate, but that science needed to be seen in a much more exquisitely whole light, as a science of assembly, where knowledge could be reintegrated around a whole theme of reverse stewardship.
From the very outset, we saw all of science as a kind of pigment in this great canvas we hoped to be able to paint. This canvas had to do with reintegrating society into a genuine partnership with nature. . . .
At the time, Nancy Todd, who co-founded New Alchemy Institute with me, and Bill McLarney, a third co-founder, and I, were very taken with the notion that most of the way society goes to try and improve a bad situation is basically to work on the coefficient's structure of the system alone. . . .
New Alchemy was really begun to go back to first principles. There is another underlying theme, which was borrowed from the teachings of Taoist science, of which I was a student, that is that science not practiced out of a context of sacredness or responsibility was a devil's bargain. If you think about it from that point of view, if science were practiced in that context, nuclear power wouldn't have developed the way it developed. I don't think modern society would have developed the way it has developed. So we had to change the rules. There were all kinds of great minds floating around to which one could turn for inspirations.
John is President of Ocean Arks International, "a non-profit ecological research, education, and technological development organization founded in 1981 by John and Nancy Todd. Our mission is to purify the waters of the earth, develop strategies for living more lightly on the planet, and foster the emergence of a lasting planetary culture." His awareness of "ecological design and ecological engineering [being] about as radical a discipline as you can get" speaks to his life's journey as an expression of a carrier of consciousness, pursuing a path of wholeness manifesting the physical and psychological well-being of all.
From where I stand, ecological design and ecological engineering are about as radical a discipline as you can get. Because what they say at the very outset is that human beings are going to be partners with other life forms. Now your average designer in a studio, or your average architect, or your average engineer isn't going to think much of that. But what I am proposing is that ecological engineering has the potential to transform how we run our society.
John Gofman augments the sum total of consciousness as a living embodiment of a true doctor and teacher who cites "a prime rule for physicians [is] `First, do no harm.'"
Living life with a passionate interest in performing significant and truly independent research of the highest caliber and competence, John was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 1992 "for his pioneering work in exposing the health effects of low-level radiation" and "for vision and work forming an essential contribution to making life more whole, healing our planet, and uplifting humanity." John's life as doctor expresses enormous empathy for people afflicted by disease and passion to champion their plight in the face of greed and lust for power and control exercised by unconscious individuals who endeavor to benefit themselves at the cost and suffering of all else.
John was hired by the Atomic Energy Commission to study the health affects of radiation. But after publishing initial findings in 1969 -- that there is no safe threshold below which one does not increase the risk of contracting cancer or inheritable genetic diseases -- the biomedical research lab he founded and was directing at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory lost all its funding, resulting in government-directed suppression of the information he had participated in researching and developing.
That sort of information suppression is a violation of human rights and health! I've taken care of a lot of cancer and leukemia patients and know -- from personal observation -- what a miserable disease cancer is. And realizing that millions of people may get that illness, and lose an average of 15 years from their lives, as the result of an activity that's sponsored by government and for which the government is prepared to buy prostituted information makes me damned angry.--The Plowboy Interview: Dr. John W. Gofman,
Nuclear And Antinuclear Scientist
Having worked tirelessly for over 30 years to offset the dangerous and tainted information being promoted by advocates of nuclear power, John speaks clearly and intelligibly to the layperson's level of understanding this issue and the true magnitude of what is at stake.
There are two possible ways to describe the motives of the promoters of nuclear power, yet either way makes them indictable for crimes against humanity.
First, let us assume that they really are ignorant about existing knowledge of the effects of "low" doses of radiation when they say, "We don't really know yet about the effects of `low' doses of radiation." In that case, these promoters of nuclear power are saying in effect, "Expose people first; learn the effects later." There is only one description for such planned mass experimentation on humans -- moral depravity. And such experimentation with "low" doses of radiation can produce irreversible effects not only on this generation, but upon countless future generations of humans who have no voice, no choice. If that is not a crime against humanity, what is?
Alternatively, let us assume that they truly do know the facts about fatal injury from "low" doses of radiation, and yet they are still willing to promote nuclear power. In this case, the charge is not experimentation upon humans, but rather it is planned, random murder. The crime of murder is perhaps worse than the crime of experimentation.--John W. Gofman, M.D., Poisoned Power, The Case Against
Nuclear Power Plants Before and After Three Mile Island,
1979 Foreward, pp.X-XI
John's inclination is towards listening; no doubt a rich source of his wisdom and intelligence. Compassionately and unconditionally dedicated to helping people by employing his gifts and unique skills to the best of his abilities and unwilling to compromise his principals regardless of such costs as loss of professional acknowledgment, prestige or financial benefits, John's life is similarly an expression of a carrier of consciousness, pursuing a path of wholeness manifesting the physical and psychological well-being of all.
Elisabet Sahtouris illuminates much through her understanding of the genius of living systems that design to be self-organizing and self-maintaining and her appreciation of how life on all levels -- from the community within a single living cell outwards to the gaian self we are all cells in and beyond -- is nothing but one big single conversation.
The consciousness Elisabet experiences and expresses speaks to the miraculous dawning awareness, being seen by more and more carriers of consciousness, that in essence each of us is fundamentally a unique aspect of the universe inventing itself -- that as co-creators we manifest the creative edge of God.
As we recognize the universe to be conscious, intelligent, alive, and all of us co-creators, what is our role? Are we not the creative edge of God? We are the universe inventing itself. And that intelligent Cosmos, or God -- whatever you call it; doesn't matter which word you use as long as we agreed that it's alive, intelligent, conscious, and creative -- that is looking through your eyes, working through your hands, walking on your feet. Isn't that exciting? How does the universe get to know itself? Through all of us and what we're doing.--Elisabet Sahtouris, The Big Picture, Strategies for Transforming
the Global Economy, 1999
As a visionary evolution biologist, Elisabet sees the ever-present possibility for humanity to mature as a species beyond its current, wildly chaotic adolescent period through "the fact that life is resilient and that the greatest catastrophes in our planet's life history have spawned the greatest creativity." "When we humans, after all a very new species, drop our adolescent arrogance of thinking we know it all and read the wisdom in our parent planet's accumulated experience, we too will mature as a species, to our own benefit and that of all other species, as well as the planet itself." "I'm banking on our own rapid creative response to the crises we have created in order to turn the disaster around. The re-growth of Fascism right now is the old system trying to shore itself up against its own collapse and "replacement" by those of us learning to do things differently -- in a more mature and humane way."
Elisabet's appreciation that the greatest catastrophes in the life of our earth has spawned the greatest creativity reflects Joseph Chilton Pearce's insightful perception concerning "Ilya Prigogine's comments that so long as a system is stable, or at an equilibrium, you can't change it, but as it moves toward disequilibrium and falls into chaos then the slightest bit of coherent energy can bring it into a new structure." Her coherent grasp of the limits to what science can "prove" clarify what she sees as "the most profound sea-change in western culture" in the 20th century.
Philosophers of science explained decades ago that science was not in the business of proving truths, that all theories were testable stories, and could only be tested for their
usefulness,not for their truth. I thought that was the most profound sea-change in western culture for this century. Bigger than the bomb. Bigger than the Internet. That we knew that no one person and no one culture has a corner on the truth.
I am especially struck by Elisabet's apprehension of the fact that the basis and purpose of science is to prove a given theory's usefulness. This constraint on the domain of what science legitimates can be appreciated in a different light from an insight of Laurens' about how the meaning of life can only be experienced and measured when one seeks the answers one must find with the totality, with the wholeness, of one's being. Unless one recognizes -- through one's senses and actions, as well as one's thoughts and feelings -- the "precious gift of being an individual who is specific for the sake of the whole", one falls into the terribly separative, isolating trap of seeing life and uni verse partially and "only talk[ing] about things that are useful".
As I thought of the first man's instinctive sense for the meaning of life, I seemed to be more aware than ever of the loneliness creeping into the heart of modern man because he no longer sought the answers of life with the totality of his being. He was in danger of going back precisely to those discredited collective concepts and surrendering this precious gift of being an individual who is specific for the sake of the whole, an individual who believes that a union of conformity is weakness but that a union of diversities, of individuals who are different and specific, is truly strength. A grey, abstract, impersonal organization of a materialistic civilization seemed to be pressing in on us everywhere and eliminating these life-giving individual differences and sources of enrichment in us. Everywhere men were seeking to govern according to purely materialistic principles that make us interesting only in so far as we have uses. It was true even in Zululand, let alone Paris and London.
I was speaking once to an old Zulu prophet who, when I asked him about their First Spirit, Unkulunkulu, said to me: `But why are you interested in Unkulunkulu? People no longer talk about him. His praise names are forgotten. They only talk about things that are useful to them.'
This is not to denigrate the contributions science has made to our understanding of uni verse and our selves. The enormous increase in human awareness made possible through the practice of science is not in doubt. It is simply when science pretends to understand life and is presented as the sole, or even primary, key to understanding and illumination about our human place in the cosmos that things start to fall apart, replete with the disequilibrium and chaos Joseph Chilton Pearce mentions.
DNA is usually pictured for us in books as this neat, static double helix, along which we can map its chemical components in a linear chain. First of all, consider the sheer amount of it in you own body. If you could take the DNA in each of your cells, and stretch these bits out end to end -- about six inches per cell -- guess how long it would take a jet plane flying a thousand kilometers an hour (I'll do it in kilometers because that makes the zeros easy to work with), to get to the end of your own DNA? Anybody want to hazard a guess? Twenty -- what? Twenty hours? Would you believe several centuries, flying day and night? We are talking about a serious amount of DNA in every one of us. Do it with the zeros, you have 30 to 50 trillion cells in your body. . . .
By the way, the only part of the DNA that scientists know anything about is the protein-coding part, and that's about three to five percent. The other ninety-five to ninety-seven percent, they don't talk about, or if they do, they often call it garbage, or junk DNA. Now, as far as I know, junk is a human invention. If you look very carefully at nature, you will not find any junk. So it likely has a lot to do with the organization and maintenance of this highly intelligent system of cells in a body. And we don't know anything about it yet....
We're still at the stage where we can't even understand how individual molecules work, much less entire bacteria, or their complex city-state colonies, which we've only been able to look at without destroying them in the past decade. And yet we pretend to understand life.--Elisabet Sahtouris, "Living Systems,
the Internet and the Human Future"
Maewan Ho's conscious awareness that "coherent entanglement is what organisms do for a living" links closely to Elisabet's appreciation of what a magnificent economic model living system's genius for self-organizing provides us to consciously assist in our species' process of collectively coming of age:
Janine Benyus, author of a wonderful book called Biomimicry, pointed out that humans assigned one group of people called biologists to study how other species make a living, while a totally separate group of people called economists were to figure out how humans make a living. Now we have the opportunity to look at economics in terms of biology -- to look at the experience of four-and-half billion years of self-organization, to see how young species are acquisitive and territorial and grabby, and mature species co-operate, as in a rainforest. Where is the leadership? Distributed leadership. Everything shared and recycled. What a great economic model!
While we have much to consciously apprehend and learn about to ennable us to "get there from here," this is all part of the process of increasing our conscious self-reflection and awareness of our embedded, intimate inter- relatedness with and dependence upon every other being-thing we share our joint experience of uni verse with. An essential point-of-departure for such living, expanding, conscious awareness starts "here at home" with all those we live with locally and "continentally."
In our heady and non-reflective love affair with our technology, we seriously and disastrously disrespected life. Most of us are from North America, which was colonized by Europeans with almost complete disrespect for its indigenous populations, with a holocaust that almost wiped them all out and destroyed many of their cultures, including their languages and sciences. Even to this day I find very few Americans who understand this holocaust legacy. We want to save the Tibetans, for example, from the terrible things the Chinese did and do to them. Yet if you list the worst crimes of the Chinese against the Tibetans, every one of them and more was and is done to our own indigenous people by our own government -- destroying their cultures and economies, torturing, starving, infecting and murdering them, forbidding the practice of their religions and forms of government, punishing the speaking of their languages and indoctrinating them with conquest culture. But we don't want to look at that situation here at home.
One of the greatest insights I have gained from Elisabet is her description of holarchy, attributing the elegant word to Arthur Koestler and explaining its meaning as "the embeddedness of natural entities." "Holarchy is nestedness, distinguishing it from pyramidal hierarchy, which implies superiority at the top and is the metaphor for command-and-control systems. You, as a body, are this kind of holarchy -- cells within organs within organ systems within bodies." (If you take in just one item on ratical by Elisabet, read "Living Systems, the Internet and the Human Future".)
Another way of seeing holarchy starts with the individual, which is a holarchy in its own right, as we just saw. This one is individual within family within community within nation within world. You can cut these different ways using ecosystems, using galaxies, whatever. But always there is this embeddedness and interdependence. Seeing holarchically has interesting consequences. Consider evolution theory. Darwin held that evolution proceeds by competition among individuals. Others noticed a lot of altruism within species and came up with a theory that it was really competition among different species for ecological niches that drove evolution. Then Dawkins came along and said, "No, you're both all wrong, it's the individual gene, it's the competition among selfish genes seeking expression to maximize their presence in the gene pool."
Elisabet says they're all right, but only together! When you have selfishness at every level of holarchy, what happens? If each person is looking out for their own interest within, say, a family, how does family integrity happen? There have to be negotiations that recognize family integrity as having its own self-interest at its own level of holarchy. Couplehood is a simple, two-level holarchy where the individuals are not only negotiating with each other, but with their couplehood, that second level of the holarchy. . . . These negotiations must continue as long as couplehood survives. And it goes on as long as life goes on because we are always in some holarchy and this tension, as I said earlier, is the fundamental source of all creativity.
So how do we run a world? Can we run a world without considering the other levels? The World Trade Organization tried doing that. But what happened? The self-interest of people came up and they went to Seattle in droves."Ibid."
Following from the fact that "we are always in some holarchy and this tension is the fundamental source of all creativity," Elisabet describes in the Main Features and Principles of Living Systems,
how things always move from unity to diversity, which sets up conflicts, and then eventually there are negotiations leading to co-operation that brings unity at a new, higher level. . . . When you have self-interest expressed at every level of embedded systems, that's when the negotiations must take place. That's when the co-operation starts to happen in a healthy system.
One might to argue that the current living system of humanity is not "healthy" and that the above doesn't apply and therefore ____________ -- fill in the blank: "we are doomed," "it's hopeless," "this [apparent] impass cannot be solved in time before we go past the biospheric point-of-no return" . . . Apprehended psychologically, this sort of rationalizing is actually unconscious resistance to consciously accepting the power of our individual, cultural, and collective response ability to face honestly, wholly, and steadily the questions life has placed us here to explore and address. It is the creation of more consciousness we are each of us now being called upon to express and manifest, that will -- and already is beginning to -- "healthfully" address our present conflict.
Such tension as humanity is now being wracked by is in fact sparking fundamentally transformative sources of creativity to address even this crisis of the 9-11 disaster. What is required of each of us is our willingness, with a beginner's mind as Laurens reminds, to grope, fumble and "look in this container which is our soul; look and listen in to it and all its hunches -- incredible, silly, stupid as they may appear to be. It might tell us to make fools of ourselves in the eyes of our established selves but, however improbable, just listen, just give it a chance in yourself." Think of all who currently are acting individually as a `spy of God', spying out the new land we are not yet consciously aware of in collectively. Such perambulations will be expressed only fleetingly in the corporate mainstream culture since that venue is not wired to look for or to perceive such explorations of discovery. Yet it is occurring, from a lesser, mostly unconscious degree, to a greater, more conscious form in each one of us.
All this may seem as remote from the Bushmen and Stone-age culture as to be irrelevant. Yet in reality it has an a priori significance not only for understanding the nature of primitive being but for preventing the contraction of individual consciousness which is such an alarming symptom of our collectivist day and promoting the enlargement of individual consciousness into an expanding awareness on which the renewal of our societies depends. The collectivist and intellectual turned `intellectualist', the promoter of `isms' of the intellect that are to the sanity of being and spirit what viruses are to the body, will no doubt find it absurd but it is precisely because the Bushman has been a scout and frontier guide to me from infancy in the same dark labyrinthine underworld of human nature which Shakespeare entered precipitately with Hamlet, that I have been compelled to tell the world about him. From time to time during my life I try to reappraise what the Bushman has done for me and here I do so probably for the last time. I cannot disguise that for many years I lost conscious sight of him as I went my own wilful way but instinctively he was always there and bound never to mislead or fail. He could not fail, as I realized looking back on to the vortex of the movement which he started in my imagination, because I recognized with the clarity and precision of instinct of the child that he was still charged with magic and wonder. He was an example of a `spy of God', to follow beyond the well-dug trenches of the aggressive Calvinist consciousness of our community into some no-man's land of the spirit where he had taken upon him the mystery of things. He, too, was from the beginning `such stuff as dreams are made on' and had soldiered on in the field where the prophetic soul of the wide world also dreamed of things to come.
Of course, there are many, many other human beings throughout our world who are likewise exploring their unique personal expressions of consciousness with equal intent and finding in the process "how the pattern of the individual in service of a self that is the manifestation of the divine in man was built into life at the beginning and will not leave him and the earth alone until it is fulfilled." Elisabet's journey, like that of the others above, contributes its unique expression of consciousness pointing to where we are to go, as a species, to fulfill the "primary condition written into the contract of life with the creator."
First man, as I knew him and his history, was a remarkably gentle being, fierce only in defence of himself and the life of those in his keeping. He had no legends or stories of great wars among his own kind and regarded the killing of another human being except in self-defence as the ultimate depravity of his spirit. I was told a most moving story of how a skirmish between two clans in which just one man was killed on a long forgotten day of dust and heat and sulphur sun, caused them to renounce armed conflict forever. He was living proof to me of how the pattern of the individual in service of a self that is the manifestation of the divine in man was built into life at the beginning and will not leave him and the earth alone until it is fulfilled. It is no mere intellectual or ideological concept, however much that, too, may be needed, but a primary condition written into the contract of life with the creator.
To "grow up" as an individual, to mature in the best sense of that word, means to accept the awesome powers of one's response ability -- the ability to respond with the totality of one's self to whatever life presents one with -- for the consequences of the choices one makes. Initially we learn how to relate first-and-foremost inwardly to our own self. It is on this basis of inner awareness that we learn what it is to relate to other beings external to us as well as to the world we are wholly embedded in, including air, sky, water, stars, wind, earth, trees and plants, sun and moon. Most of us first learn to relate inwardly in a partial manner. Maturity provides the experience of being conscious of this partiality of unlived awareness and thus of finding ways to more fully express one's living wholeness. After reaching physical maturity, one who unconsciously or consciously chooses to ignore this partial basis of first relating inwardly and then outwardly, creates the ground for all forms of tyranny, oppression, prejudice and intolerance to manifest whereby the partial masquerades as the whole.
Obedience to one's greater awareness, and living it out accordingly to the rhythm of the law of time implicit in it, was the only way. Unlived awareness was another characteristic evil of our time, so full of thinkers who did not do and doers who did not think. Lack of awareness and disobedience to such awareness as there was meant that modern man was increasingly a partial, provisional version instead of a whole, committed version of himself. That was where tyranny, oppression, prejudice and intolerance began. Tyranny was partial being; a part of the whole of man masquerading as his full self and suppressing the rest. All started within before it manifested itself without and tyranny began within partial concepts of ourselves and our role in life. Hence the imperative of obedience, obedience to our greatest awareness and the call always to heighten it still.--Laurens van der Post, A Far Off Place, p.111
Edinger begins the first chapter of The Creation of Consciousness with Jung's observation of the indispensable need to be engaged in creative confrontation with the essential opposites we find in every aspect of life.
The myth of the necessary incarnation of God . . . can be understood as man's creative confrontation with the opposites and their synthesis in the self, the wholeness of his personality. . . . That is the goal . . . which fits man meaningfully into the scheme of creation and at the same time confers meaning upon it.
There is much to creatively confront here in the United States with partial awareness masquerading as the whole, where the seeds of the 9-11 disaster have been sown for a long time by the policies of this corporate-government complex. Consider the current situation in Iraq. From the sanctions imposed on 6 August 1990, and which the U.S. has obdurately maintained in the face of growing broad-based international opposition, at least one million civilians have died. For over eleven years, a country of more than 23 million people (WHO figures), has experienced daily death on a terrible scale. This killing of enormous numbers of civilians is a crime against humanity just as the 9-11 attacks were. One does not see mention of the Iraqi tragedy, inflicted by the policies of the past three U.S. administrations, in corporate media.
The deaths of thousands of people on 9-11 have their antecedents in the millions killed from unwarranted wars, attacks and policies previously mounted by U.S. corporate economic interests representing institutions of private power. For a summary of some of these events, see the lists of "US Foreign Interventions and Invasions since Vietnam" and "US involvement in Foreign assassinations or attempts" starting three-quarters of the way down in "Why are we despised? Boulder examines the conscience of a country", (Boulder Weekly, 9/13/01).
While such past activities do not by any means justify a further escalation of violent counter-response as occurred on 9-11, people in the U.S. are being strenuously encouraged to believe that further wide-scale violence is now the only appropriate and "legitimate" response to address this latest expression of the tragedy and disaster human kind has labored so long and painfully to escape. The U.S. engaged in quantifiable "terrorist acts" (which, accurately pointed out below, are in fact "crimes against humanity") when it caused the murder of thousands of civilians during the Persian Gulf War.
If we do not live by the same laws we now charge others with violating, what does this say about our cultural humanity as well as our unconscious rejection of our own prior acts of collective participation in this world? It appears that, on a terrible scale, unredeemed, unrecognized, misunderstood history may be about to tragically re-enact itself. This unconscious avoidance of looking honestly, wholly and steadily into the face of our collective inadequacies urges restatement of the following:
Since the two World Wars that have occurred in my own lifetime, disorder and violence have become increasingly common on the world scene. Surely these things are rooted in some undiscovered breach of cosmic law or they would be eminently resistible and would not be allowed to occur? Where indeed does one propose to find an explanation for the long history of human failure? How can one hope to understand this aspect of man and his societies, and comprehend a scene littered with ruins and piled high with dunes of time which mark the places where countless cultures have vanished because men would not look honestly, wholly and steadily into the face of their inadequacies? The answers to none of these questions are available unless one is prepared through profound self-knowledge to re-learn the grammar of a forgotten language of self-betrayal, and in so doing the meaning of tragedy and disaster.
Brutal, savage orgies of violence like the Persian Gulf War betrayed principles the United States was founded upon. Only through a profoundly conscious understanding and acknowledgement of what we collectively bear the response ability for as tax-paying members of this economic-nation-state can there be a genuine opening to awareness of the meaning of tragedy and disaster. From such conscious awareness comes psychic liberation providing life-loving, healing release from the psychological imprisonment we have unconsciously consigned our selves to. Laurens understood well the fact that "The most awful form of corrupting is the human spirit which hides behind its suffering and makes it an excuse for all forms of indulgences and violence and mere blind reaction."
While the governmental representatives of the economic authorities of the United States are urging war as the only solution to the 9-11 violence and seeking to pursue "a secret investigation, a secret conviction, a secret method of execution, and a totally secret war abroad", John Judge articulates the essential truth of where the only power and authority to address this conflict lie: "The American people as a whole are the only ones in the world who have the right to decide on a national response to this tragedy, and it must be one that takes into account the rights of all the other peoples and nations of the world."
Benjamin B. Ferencz, former prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, particularly Chief Prosecutor of Einsatzgruppen (22 defendants charged with murdering over a million people, called by the Associated Press the biggest murder trial in history) clarifies and corrects the terribly unconscious, mis-informed ignorance, confusion, and/or intentionally misleading drum-beating-for-war statements issuing forth daily from corporate media sources.
I prefer law to war under all circumstances. . . . We shouldn't let them kill our principles at the same time they kill our people. And our principles are respect for the rule of law. Not charging in blindly and killing people because we are blinded by our tears and our rage.
What has happened here is not war in its traditional sense. This is clearly a crime against humanity. War crimes are crimes which happen in war time. There is a confusion there. This is a crime against humanity because it is deliberate and intentional killing of large numbers of civilians for political or other purposes. That is not tolerable under the international systems. And it should be prosecuted pursuant to the existing laws.
We have to apply the existing rules. To call them "terrorists" is also a misleading term. There's no agreement on what terrorism is. One man's terrorism is another man's heroism. I'm sure that bin Laden considers himself a saint and so do many of his followers. We try them for mass murder. That's a crime under every jurisdiction and that's what's happened here and that is a crime against humanity.Benjamin B. Ferencz Interview, 19 September 2001
In the above interview Ferencz is asked if he thinks "the talk of retaliation is not a legitimate response to the death of 5,000 people?" Approaching all of 82 years young, he remains sharp as a tack and immediately counters the unconscious, unaware corrupting desire to hide behind suffering and making "it an excuse for all forms of indulgences and violence and mere blind reaction":
It is never a legitimate response to punish people who are not responsible for the wrong done. . . . We must make a distinction between punishing the guilty and punishing others. If you simply retaliate en masse by bombing Afghanistan, let us say, or the Taliban, you will kill many people who don't believe in what has happened, who don't approve of what has happened.
Poet and teacher Anne Waldman has shared her perceptions on where we stand and what we are facing in this evolutionary species-life-on-earth moment with supremely conscious, life-sensitive awareness and caring for all who are/that is deeply involved and intimately related with what course the United States now sets and pursues.
Pray for and keep in mind those innocent US citizens recently killed as a result of terrorist attacks, but also those innocents who have died in Israel/Palestine and in other parts of the world in unwarranted wars/attacks of all kinds, caused by US "interests" as well. Consider the suffering that others outside the USA have experienced for centuries. . . .
Avoid any action that creates further suffering which would include the White House & Pentagon's "systematic war on terrorism" which is already in motion as we breathe. Avoid WAR at all costs.
Find the perpetrators of the recent crimes against the USA and bring them to an International Tribunal. Urge "discriminating awareness wisdom". . . .
Analyze the issues -- the history, the karma (cause & effect) -- that has lead to such resentment and hatred of the USA (its power, hegemony, cultural imperialism, exploitation of other peoples & resources, environmental degradation etc). See the webs of suffering that cause such catastrophic events.
Consider who will gain most from a War. Think of the agenda of the current USA political administration and how a War promotes this agenda. Consider that the USA already spends more on military arms & other forms of "national security" than the rest of the world combined (although, as we see, this security is not infallible or ironclad). We have over half a million troops world wide in several hundred countries, scores of military bases & installations . . . A fleet larger in tonnage & firepower than all the navies of the world combined -- missile cruisers, nuclear submarines, nuclear aircraft carriers, destroyers, spy ships that sail every ocean. US bomber squadrons & long range missiles that can reach any target . . . heat-seeking missiles with million dollar computers, "monster bombs", armour-piercing antitank projectiles made from radioactive nuclear waste (thousands were used in the Gulf War which contaminated ground water & soil in Iraq & Kuwait with uranium depletion that caused cancer in civilians) . . . We can wreak terrible destruction if our military power is unleashed.
Consider how a War will bolster the Missile Shield-Star Wars mentality, weapons in space etc. Uncompassionate globalization, & ongoing environmental neglect will have the upper hand . . .
Check out USA's complicated history in Afghanistan, backing reactionary tribal chieftains & opium traffickers during the war with the Soviet Union. Understand the horrific suffering -- poverty, disease, famine of the Afghani people. . . .
Speak with friends, communities, children. Circulate information and "strategies" for peace. Stay in touch internationally. Stay informed. Be vigilant. Artists should be most vocal at this time and show that there are alternative ways to pursue a saner, wiser world.Anne Waldman Statement & Petition, 18 September 2001
There has never been and can never be a peaceful resolution to manifestations of violence now demanded as a result of the reality primarily being represented through corporate media communications. Such representations of reality are geared to appeal to the unconscious "fateful evasions in the human spirit [that] have been responsible for most of the major tragedies of recorded life and time and are increasingly so in the tragedies that confront us in the world today."
I myself was utterly opposed to any form of war trials. I refused to collaborate with the officers of the various war crimes tribunals that were set up in the Far East. There seemed to me something unreal, if not utterly false, about a process that made men, like war crimes investigators from Europe, who had not suffered under the Japanese more bitter and vengeful about our suffering than we were ourselves. There seemed in this the seeds of the great, classic and fateful evasions in the human spirit which, I believe, both in the collective and in the individual sense, have been responsible for most of the major tragedies of recorded life and time and are increasingly so in the tragedies that confront us in the world today. I refer to the tendencies in men to blame their own misfortunes and those of their cultures on others; to exercise judgement they need for themselves in the lives of others; to search for a villain to explain everything that goes wrong on their private and collective courses. It was easy to be high-minded always in the life of others and afterwards to feel one had been high-minded in one's own. The whole of history, it seemed to me, had been bedevilled by this unconscious and instant mechanism of duplicity in the mind of man. As I saw it, we had no moral surplus in our own lives for the lives of others. We needed all our moral energies for ourselves and our own societies.
Life in the human dimension is a continuity of being, encompassing all of us and all here that is our world home stretching back over untold generations of our ancestors that lived before us. Understanding what our forebearers sought helps us understand our selves. Failure to be conscious of this continuity robs the individual of her roots and instincts, collectively turning us away from our inter-relatedness as a conscious congregation of awareness and towards an unconscious, blindly reacting mob.
A man is not complete when he lives in the world of statistical truth. He must live in the world of his biological truth. Man has always lived in the myth and we think we are able to be born today and to live in no myth -- without history. That is a disease. That is absolutely abnormal. Because man is not born everyday. He is once born in a specific historical setting with those specific historical qualities and therefore he is only complete when he has a relation to these things. It is just as if you are born without eyes and ears when you are growing up with no connection with the past. From the standpoint of natural science, you need no connection with the past -- we can wipe it out. That is a mutilation of the human being.--Carl Jung, Matter of Heart
Carl Jung's exploration of consciousness and empirical discovery of the collective unconscious has forever changed our species understanding of life and being. Since first reading Memories, Dreams, Reflections more than 20 years ago, I have experienced a deep resonance with his observations and perceptions.
Our souls as well as our bodies are composed of individual elements which were all already present in the ranks of our ancestors. The "newness" in the individual psyche is an endlessly varied recombination of age-old components. Body and soul therefore have an intensely historical character and find no proper place in what is new, in things that have just come into being. That is to say, our ancestral components are only partly at home in such things. We are very far from having finished completely with the Middle Ages, classical antiquity, and primitivity, as our modern psyches pretend. Nevertheless, we have plunged down a cataract of progress which sweeps us on into the future with ever wilder violence the farther it takes us from our roots. Once the past has been breached, it is usually annihilated, and there is no stopping the forward motion. But it is precisely the loss of connection with the past, our uprootedness, which has given rise to the "discontents" of civilization and to such a flurry and haste that we live more in the future and its chimerical promises of a golden age than in the present, with which our whole evolutionary background has not yet caught up. We rush impetuously into novelty, driven by a mounting sense of insufficiency, dissatisfaction, and restlessness. We no longer live on what we have, but on promises, no longer in the light of the present day, but in the darkness of the future, which, we expect, will at last bring the proper sunrise. We refuse to recognize that everything better is purchased at the price of something worse; that, for example, the hope of greater freedom is canceled out by increased enslavement to the state, not to speak of the terrible perils to which the most brilliant discoveries of science expose us. The less we understand of what our fathers and forefathers sought, the less we understand ourselves, and thus we help with all our might to rob the individual of his roots and his guiding instincts, so that he becomes a particle in the mass, ruled only by what Nietzsche called the spirit of gravity.
Reforms by advances, that is, by new methods or gadgets, are of course impressive at first, but in the long run they are dubious and in any case dearly paid for. They by no means increase the contentment or happiness of people on the whole. Mostly, they are deceptive sweetenings of existence, like speedier communications which unpleasantly accelerate the tempo of life and leave us with less time than ever before. Omnis festinatio ex parte diaboli est -- all haste is of the devil, as the old masters used to say.
Reforms by retrogressions, on the other hand, are as a rule less expensive and in addition more lasting, for they return to the simpler, tried and tested ways of the past and make the sparsest use of newspapers, radio, television, and all supposedly timesaving innovations.
In this book I have devoted considerable space to my subjective view of the world, which, however, is not a product of rational thinking. It is rather a vision such as will come to one who undertakes, deliberately, with half-closed eyes and somewhat closed ears, to see and hear the form and voice of being. If our impressions are too distinct, we are held to the hour and minute of the present and have no way of knowing how our ancestral psyches listen to and understand the present -- in other words, how our unconscious is responding to it. Thus we remain ignorant of whether our ancestral components find an elementary gratification in our lives, or whether they are repelled. Inner peace and contentment depend in large measure upon whether or not the historical family which is inherent in the individual can be harmonized with the ephemeral conditions of the present.
In the Tower at Bollingen it is as if one lived in many centuries simultaneously. The place will outlive me, and in its location and style it points backward to things of long ago. There is very little about it to suggest the present. If a man of the sixteenth century were to move into the house, only the kerosene lamp and the matches would be new to him; otherwise, he would know his way about without difficulty. There is nothing to disturb the dead, neither electric light nor telephone. Moreover, my ancestors' souls are sustained by the atmosphere of the house, since I answer for them the questions that their lives once left behind. I carve out rough answers as best I can. I have even drawn them on the walls. It is as if a silent, greater family, stretching down the centuries, were peopling the house. There I live in my second personality and see life in the round, as something forever coming into being and passing on.--Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, pp.235-237
What processes do we engage in today to endeavor answering the questions that our ancestors lives once left behind? What images and symbols do we express today that anticipate the future, first manifesting in our psyches before such expressions flow outwardly to take material form? The increase in the conscious awareness each of us expresses inwardly towards our self and outwardly towards others will serve to illuminate the path of healing prior experiences and consequences of unconscious self, cultural, and collective -betrayal and thus promote the furtherance of wholeness expressed in single individuals and in time, throughout our species. The choice is for each of us now to make, reflecting the fact that the only thing one can actually and truly change is one's own self.
Our age has shifted all emphasis to the here and now, and thus brought about a daemonization of man and his world. The phenomenon of dictators and all the misery they have wrought springs from the fact that man has been robbed of transcendence by the shortsightedness of the super-intellectuals. Like them, he has fallen a victim to unconsciousness. But man's task is the exact opposite: to become conscious of the contents that press upward from the unconscious. Neither should he persist in his unconsciousness, nor remain identical with the unconscious elements of his being, thus evading his destiny, which is to create more and more consciousness. As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being. It may even be assumed that just as the unconscious affects us, so the increase in our consciousness affects the unconscious.Ibid., p.326
- The Creation of Consciousness, Jung's Myth for Modern Man, Edward F. Edinger, Inner City Books, Toronto, 1984.
- archetype, n., the original pattern, or model, from which all other things of the same kind are made; prototype.
From the Glossary of Memories, Dreams, Reflections:
Archetype. C.G. JUNG: "The concept of the archetype . . . is derived from the repeated observation that, for instance, the myths and fairy-tales of world literature contain definite motifs which crop up everywhere. We meet these same motifs in the fantasies, dreams, deliria, and delusions of individuals living today. These typical images and associations are what I call archetypal ideas. The more vivid they are, the more they will be coloured by particularly strong feeling-tones . . . They impress, influence, and fascinate us. They have their origin in the archetype, which in itself is an irrepresentable, unconscious, pre-existent form that seems to be part of the inherited structure of the psyche and can therefore manifest itself spontaneously anywhere, at any time. Because of its instinctual nature, the archetype underlies the feeling-toned complexes [q.v.] and shares their autonomy."(Civilization in Transition, CW 10, par. 847)"Again and again I encounter the mistaken notion that an archetype is determined in regard to its content, in other words that it is a kind of unconscious idea (if such an expression be admissible). It is necessary to point out once more that archetypes are not determined as regards their content, but only as regards their form and then only to a very limited degree. A primordial image [q.v.] is determined as to its content only when it has become conscious and is therefore filled out with the material of conscious experience. Its form, however, . . . might perhaps be compared to the axial system of a crystal, which, as it were, preforms the crystalline structure in the mother liquid, although it has no material existence of its own. This first appears according to the specific way in which the ions and molecules aggregate. The archetype in itself is empty and purely formal, nothing but a facultas praeformandi, a possibility of representation which is given a priori. The representations themselves are not inherited, only the forms, and in that respect they correspond in every way to the instincts, which are also determined in form only. The existence of the instincts can no more be proved than the existence of the archetypes, so long as they do not manifest themselves concretely."(The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, CW 9, i, pp. 79 f.)". . . it seems to me probable that the real nature of the archetype is not capable of being made conscious, that it is transcendent, on which account I call it psychoid [q.v.]."(The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, CW 8, p. 213)
- From the Glossary of Memories, Dreams, Reflections:
Shadow. The inferior part of the personality; sum of all personal and collective psychic elements which, because of their incompatibility with the chosen conscious attitude, are denied expression in life and therefore coalesce into a relatively autonomous "splinter personality" with contrary tendencies in the unconscious. The shadow behaves compensatorily to consciousness; hence its effects can be positive as well as negative. In dreams, the shadow figure is always of the same sex as the dreamer.
C.G. JUNG: "The shadow personifies everything that the subject refuses to acknowledge about himself and yet is always thrusting itself upon him directly or indirectly -- for instance, inferior traits of character and other incompatible tendencies."(The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, CW 9, i, pp. 284 f.)". . . the shadow [is] that hidden, repressed, for the most part inferior and guilt-laden personality whose ultimate ramifications reach back into the realm of our animal ancestors and so comprise the whole historical aspect of the unconscious. . . . If it has been believed hitherto that the human shadow was the source of an evil, it can now be ascertained on closer investigation that the unconscious man, that is, his shadow, does not consist only of morally reprehensible tendencies, but also displays a number of good qualities, such as normal instincts, appropriate reactions, realistic insights, creative impulses, etc."(Aion, CW 9, ii, p. 266)
- From the Glossary of Memories, Dreams, Reflections:
Unconscious, the. C.G. JUNG: "Theoretically no limits can be set to the field of consciousness, since it is capable of indefinite extension. Empirically, however, it always finds its limit when it comes up against the unknown. This consists of everything we do not know, which, therefore, is not related to the ego as the centre of the field of consciousness. The unknown falls into two groups of objects: those which are outside and can be experienced by the senses, and those which are inside and are experienced immediately. The first group comprises the unknown in the outer world; the second the unknown in the inner world. We call this latter territory the unconscious."(Aion, CW 9, ii, p. 3)". . . everything of which I know, but of which I am not at the moment thinking; everything of which I was once conscious but have now forgotten; everything perceived by my senses, but not noted by my conscious mind; everything which, involuntarily and without paying attention to it, I feel, think, remember, want, and do; all the future things that are taking shape in me and will sometime come to consciousness: all this is the content of the unconscious."(The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, CW 8, p. 185)"Besides these we must include all more or less intentional repressions of painful thoughts and feelings. I call the sum of all these contents the `personal unconscious.' But, over and above that, we also find in the unconscious qualities that are not individually acquired but are inherited, e.g., instincts as impulses to carry out actions from necessity, without conscious motivation. In this `deeper' stratum we also find the . . . archetypes . . . The instincts and archetypes together form the `collective unconscious.' I call it `collective' because, unlike the personal unconscious, it is not made up of individual and more or less unique contents but of those which are universal and of regular occurrence."(Ibid., pp. 133 f.)"The first group comprises contents which are integral components of the individual personality and therefore could just as well be conscious; the second group forms, as it were, an omnipresent, unchanging, and everywhere identical quality or substrate of the psyche per se."(Aion, CW 9, ii, p. 7)"The deeper `layers' of the psyche lose their individual uniqueness as they retreat farther and farther into darkness. `Lower down' that is to say as they approach the autonomous functional systems, they become increasingly collective until they are universalized and extinguished in the body's materiality, i.e., in chemical substances. The body's carbon is simply carbon. Hence `at bottom' the psyche is simply `world.'"(The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, CW 9, i, p. 173)
- Matter of Heart, The extraordinary journey of C.G. Jung into the soul of man, C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles, 1985.
- Description quoted from "Turning the Tide on the Brave New World", Mae-Wan Ho, 2000, p. 14.
- Elisabet Sahtouris, "Living Economies, Lessons from Biology, August 15, 2001, Living Economies For A Living Planet
- Elisabet Sahtouris, Globalization as a Natural Evolutionary Process", Journal of Futures Studies, May 2001, 5(4):141-163.
- Elisabet Sahtouris, Re: Ernie Lowe's Critique", July 27, 2001
- Joseph Chilton Pearce 1998 Interview
- See the section on "The Principles of Living Systems", in Elisabet's The Biology of Globalization, 1998.
- From the Iraq Water Project (a national project of Veterans for Peace) section on Effects of Sanctions:
"What we are doing is destroying an entire society. It is as simple and terrifying as that." -- Denis Halliday (former UN coordinator of the Oil-for-Food Program and Nobel Peace Prize nominee)
The lack of clean water is the single biggest killer of children, the sick, and the elderly. The majority of patients in Iraq's hospitals are stricken with amoebic dysentery, gastroenteritis and other waterborne diseases. The effect of the 1990 Persian Gulf War was the destruction of much of the water delivery and sewage treatment infrastructure. Now, raw sewage often flows through the streets, and access to potable water is only 50% of 1990 levels in urban areas and 33% in rural areas, according to the UN World Food Program.
As an effect of the Sanctions, every six minutes an Iraqi dies, many before they know that they are Iraqi. Perhaps the most tragic cause has been the decrease in clean water supply and contaminated water treatment. This alone is responsible for an enormous percentage of the additional monthly "death toll" of 5,000-7,500 civilians, mostly the elderly, women infected during childbirth and children, especially those under the age of 5 years old. The ten year total is one million civilians. These deaths are neither morally nor legally acceptable.
The Secret Behind the Sanctions - How the U.S. Intentionally Destroyed Iraq's Water Supply, by Thomas J. Nagy, The Progressive, September 2001
"At a House hearing on June 6, Representative Cynthia McKinney, Democrat of Georgia, referred to the document "Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities" and said: "Attacking the Iraqi public drinking water supply flagrantly targets civilians and is a violation of the Geneva Convention and of the fundamental laws of civilized nations." . . . For more than ten years, the United States has deliberately pursued a policy of destroying the water treatment system of Iraq, knowing full well the cost in Iraqi lives. The United Nations has estimated that more than 500,000 Iraqi children have died as a result of sanctions, and that 5,000 Iraqi children continue to die every month for this reason. No one can say that the United States didn't know what it was doing."
Iraq is being collectively tortured for its defiance of American and Israeli domination plans for the region. Even official U.N. reports document that nearly 1 million Iraqis -- mostly the young and the elderly -- have died in the past eight years as a direct result of American policies. Other expert estimates put the number at somewhere between 1.5 and 2 million -- half under the age of 5. When compared to the American population, this would be the equivalent of some 12 to 20+ million Americans killed since 1990!
- The Iraq Resource Information Site contains an exceedingly informative subsection on the Persian Gulf War. Many articles are archived on this site including the following excerpted here:
Like McVeigh, U.S. Guilty of Terrorist Attacks
by Robert Jensen
June 19, 2001
Full article: http://www.geocities.com/iraqinfo/sanctions/sarticles9/tim.htm
Timothy McVeigh killed twice in his life. For one of those acts, he was sentenced to die. For the other, he was awarded a Bronze Star. To make that observation is not to equate McVeigh's bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City with the Persian Gulf war in which he fought nor to minimize the horror of the deaths of 168 innocents. Though his comments in the media have been unapologetic, even McVeigh seems to understand that he lost his humanity when he parked that truck and walked away as the fuse burned.
But what of the collective humanity of the people of the United States after the gulf war? Certainly Iraq's illegal invasion of Kuwait in 1990 demanded an international response. But rather than pursue diplomacy, the first Bush administration pushed for war and carried out a grotesque and gratuitously violent attack that killed thousands of civilians.
The United States has yet to come to terms with the fact the gulf war and Oklahoma City having one thing in common. Whatever the justification for each act, the method was the same: Killing civilians.
We rightly condemn McVeigh, but as a nation we congratulate ourselves for our "victory" in the gulf war. Yet in that victory, we indiscriminately bombed civilian areas, hitting residential neighborhoods and hospitals. We targeted power, water and sewage-treatment facilities, knowing that the result would be civilian death from disease and malnutrition. Pentagon planners after the war acknowledged such targets were bombed to give the United States "postwar leverage" in Iraq.
That is a way of saying the U.S. bombings were terrorist acts, the deliberate killing of civilians to achieve a political goal. That violates one of the central rules of international law: "The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack," according to the Geneva Conventions.