Through a Jungian Lens

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The Second Coming

with 4 comments

I am posting another “Luna” photo because that is what is drawing me, calling to me.  I have a strong feeling of the “archetypal” dream continuing to work within me, trying desperately to tell me of her pain, her loss.  She is there but few are willing to see her, to listen to her voice echoing in the heartbeat of our world.  And with this collective refusal, chaos is again let loose on the the world.

THE SECOND COMING – W.B. Yeats (1919)

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: a waste of desert sand;
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
Wind 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?

Yeats paints a powerful image in this poem, one that “fits” well with the current state in which we find our world in which consciousness seems to have taken a back seat to an angry Gaia, an angry God the Mother – Luna.  Jung also has his own way of expressing this which follows.  I don’t want to say much with my own words at this point, but rather let Yeats and Jung sit with you for a while.  I am so frigging angry that I need a “time out” in order to gather my “self” together.

“Just as the decay of the conscious dominant is followed by an irruption of chaos in the individual, so also is the case of the masses … and the furious conflict of elements in the individual psyche is reflected in the unleashing of primeval blood-thirstiness and lust for murder on a collective scale.  . . .  The loss of external images is in truth no light matter for the man of discernment.  But since there are infinitely many more men of no discernment, nobody, apparently, notices that the truth expressed by the dogma has vanished in a cloud of fog, and nobody seems to miss anything.  The discerning person knows and feels that his psyche is disquieted by the loss of something that was the life-blood of his ancestors.  The undiscerning miss nothing, and only discover afterwards in the papers (much too late) the alarming symptoms that have now become “real” in the outside world because they were not perceived before inside, in oneself, just as the presence of the eternal images was not noticed.  If they had been, a threnody for the lost god would have arisen . . .. Instead, all well-meaning people assure us that one has only to believe he is still there – which merely adds stupidity to unconsciousness.  Once the symptoms are really outside in some form of sociopolitical insanity, it is impossible to convince anybody that the conflict is in the pysche of every individual, since he is now quite sure where his enemy is.  The,n the conflict which remains an intrapsychic phenomenon in the mind of the discerning person, takes on the plane of projection in the form of political tension and murderous violence.  To produce such consequences the individual must have been thoroughly indoctrinated with the insignificance and worthlessness of his psyche and of psychology in general.  One must preach at him from all the pulpits of authority that salvation always comes from outside and that the meaning of his existence lies in the “community.”  He can then be led docilely to the place where of his own natural accord he would rather go anyway: to the land of childhood, where one makes claims exclusively on others, and where, if wrong is done, it is always somebody else who has done it.  When he no longer knows by what his soul is sustained, the potential of the unconscious is increased and takes the lead.  Desirousness overpowers him, and illusory goals set up in the place of the eternal images excite his greed.  The beast of prey seizes hold of him and soon makes him forget that he is a human being.  His animal affects hamper any reflection that might stand in the way of his infantile wish-fulfilments, filling him  instead with a feeling of a new-won right to existence and intoxicating him with the lust for booty and blood.”  (Jung, CW 14, par 510)

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4 Responses

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  1. A million dollars to know what prompted this. I can only feel deep sadness. That is all.
    Deep.
    Pervading.
    Hollow.

    • The anger is about being unable to do more than I can. With all that needs doing and fixing on this planet, that our leaders and movers and shakers are more concerned about lining their pockets and padding bank accounts and staying one step ahead of their own laws, my “small” voice is not enough. I heard one man tell me that nature will take care of oil spills, “after all, oil is part of nature too!”

      Robert G. Longpré

      July 21, 2010 at 7:26 pm

  2. Oh dear! We are only ‘small voices’ but those voices can still have influence. Our votes have influence, our ‘one-man crusades’ may only change the ideas of one person – but that one person influences others.

    We cannot let on ‘the worst be full of passionate intensity’ – the best need to be as well.

    Work in your area with your tools. Your crop will grow and be seen by others.

    Lotus Eater

    July 22, 2010 at 7:15 am

    • Thanks, Lotus, for these words. Together with morning sunshine, life does seem to be full of promise and hope. 🙂

      Robert G. Longpré

      July 22, 2010 at 8:51 am


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