Ever I hear folks arguing vociferously about the ascent of man I think about fathers coming out of the bleachers at little league games.  Ridiculous irrationality.  Give me a break.

  On the one hand you have folks who believe that an old dude of their own race awaits them in the hereafter.  A scary throwback to Old Testament literalism.  On the other, well, scientist Stephen Jay Gould once wrote: “Most important scientific revolutions involve the dethronement of human arrogance”.  How many times have thinkers of one stripe or another claimed to have reached the end?

  Myself?  I think that the middle ground, if you want to call it that, will be found in relation to consciousness.  Significantly, it’s origin and nature have not yet been discovered.  Sure, correlates of mental phenomena have been observed through brain imaging, but there is no consensus about how thoughts actually arise or what constitutes mind (as opposed to a brain).

  Some respected thinkers believe that consciousness might be another force – like gravity say – and similarly permeate all existence.  As I’ve mentioned before, approximately 75% of the universe, that has been calculated to exist, has not yet been found.  I think it works out something like this: Consciousness x Bell’s Theorem* = that 75%.

  Dial in the richness of Jung’s observations and there you have it.  In the September 20, 2009 New York Times Magazine there was an article about his long hidden “Red Book” titled The Holy Grail Of The Unconscious.  The book is said to stem from his mid-career “confrontation with his unconscious” during which lucid and florid dreams and visions came in “incessant streams”.  It is spectacularly illustrated by his own hand.

Jung Red Book

  He believed that we are all linked by a collective unconscious holding the whole of our history pretty much all the way back to stardust.  It manifests in each of us through the myths and archetypes that are made to constellate differently in an individual life by the forces borne upon them. 

  “Together, the patient and I address ourselves to the 2,000,000 year old man that is in all of us.  In the last analysis most of our difficulties come from losing contact with our instincts, with the age-old unforgotten wisdom stored up in us.  And where do we make contact with this old man?  In our dreams.”***

  There are many today skeptical, to say the least, of the utility of dream interpretation or any aspect of the “talking cure” for that matter.  I’d first refer them to the Gould’s words above and then simply say that once aware of Jung’s perspective it is incredible to follow him through a particular set of memories, dreams, and reflections – especially his own. 

  Herefrom echos my approach (only offered nearly seventy-five years ago). “I have been convinced that at least a part of our psychic existence is characterized by a relativity of space and time.  This relativity seems to increase, in proportion to the distance from consciousness, to an absolute condition of timelessness and spacelessness”.***

  Read some of his stuff, I’ll bet you’ll find resonance.

* Bell’s Theorem proves the non-local nature of reality.  cf July 18, 2008 below.

** From his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, and Reflections.

***NYT October 4, 1936

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