Through a Jungian Lens

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Face of the Collective Unconscious

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Stephen Harper - architect of current chaos in Canada

Today’s image was borrowed from Top News. This is a relatively recent photo of Canada’s Prime Minister. My intention is using this photo is to attempt to capture the attitude of contempt.  This is a Prime Minister who has no trouble lying to anyone and everyone in public while promoting a vision of taking down other political parties and destroying the social fabric of Canada in favour of vested economic interests which are not necessarily aligned with any particular nation. In my opinion, he is not much different from many other leaders, acting out of a collective shadow in the attempt to gain and keep power.  And, I am sure, that inside of all of this darkness, there is a man who is as lost as the rest of us, a good man, who search for meaning in a world that has descended into meaningless chaos.

Perhaps it is because I spent a fair number of my youth in Ottawa, but I have a passion for political engagement and find myself very worried about the state of Democracy in the modern world, the U.S.A. and Canada in particular. In Ottawa, our present government appears to have obtained its majority government power through the use of dirty tricks and outright fraud – actions which had they been done by ordinary citizens, would result in jail terms. What we get instead of justice is a sneering contempt of the citizens and vitriolic attacks on anyone and everyone that dares point fingers or ask questions. As far as questioning the current government, media is limited in the number of questions they may ask, questions which are provided by the current government, and then having the government choose which journalist from Main Stream Media is permitted to ask these questions. To all appearances, democracy is being dismantled in favour of corporate power, a power that has no geopolitical boundaries. I don’t want to make this post a political rant, but I do want to set the current situation in the spotlight for the purposes of looking at the current myth.

“The crises of the world are not just “out there” in the geopolitical sphere but “in here” in the individual soul. The questions, explanations and great rhythms that once guided the soul by way of living myth are still within us, still guiding our lives. And we are obliged to render this process more conscious lest we live blindly, false to ourselves and false to nature. . . . we must more consciously create our own myth or be enslaved to the myth of another. (Hollis, Tracking the Gods, p. 29)

And important reminder – the darkness and chaos we sense in our communities and countries are a reflection of the darkness and chaos within us. As I listen to the strident voices ranting, condemning, preaching, threatening and pleading – all the energy directed outwards in an effort to refashion the world into a different world of which there is no common vision – I become more and more certain that the real work to be done is to first get one’s own house in order; take care of one’s inner world, the inner darkness and chaos. I do have hope, but that hope isn’t for a quick turn around on the collective level.  I get the feeling that there is a lot of hurt to come for as Carl G. Jung once said:  “What is not brought to consciousnesscomes to us as fate.” And to my mind, there is little evidence of collective consciousness governing our world. We push out the darkness, our personal and collective inner darkness, onto others and as a collective we then find that inner darkness running amok in our outer world.


4 Responses

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  1. I suppose I take comfort knowing Canadians have the same psychology – and issues as those of us down here in the States. Robertson Davies wrote Canadians have two Myths; the Myth of Difference, and the Myth of Innocence.
    I wonder if politicians have these psyches before or as a consequence of being in office?
    BTW – our pooch is named Harper (no relation to the PM). Our Canadian neighbors find it funny to hear us telling Harper to sit and heel and behave.


    March 3, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    • I feel sadness that we have to have to put up with the rampant collective unconscious that shows its face in our collective leadership in the western world. As for Harper, the dog, I hope that you treat him well as he cuddles near during his night slumbers. 🙂


      March 6, 2012 at 7:22 pm

  2. Just love that quote about consciousness and fate, so it got me searching for its textual source. Do you know? I’m wondering if it was not in fact Marion Woodman, in The Forsaken Garden, who paraphrased Jung’s ideas?


    March 5, 2012 at 8:38 am

    • Hi, Leo. The quote is directly attributed to CG Jung who wrote it in his Collected Works, volume 9ii, called Aion, and found in paragraph 126.


      March 6, 2012 at 7:18 pm

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