The Collective Unconscious as a Wilderness

Came across this quote today. It got me thinking about what happens if we treat the collective unconscious the same way we as a culture have been treating the wilderness--specifically how it will respond to us in that kind of relationship. It makes me think of that statement Jung made about how the Unconscious turns toward us a reflection of the face we turn toward it:

"Deep inside us is a wilderness. We call it the unconscious because we can't control it fully, so we can't will to create what we want from it. The collective unconsicous is a great wild region where we can get in touch with the sources of life" (Carl Jung, quoted by Dolores LaChapelle, Sacred Land, Sacred Sex (Durango: Kivaki Press, 1988), p. 74.

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  • Gustafson says the wilderness inside is the "indigenous self".  He goes on to say in Dancing Between Two Worlds is that if "one thing could be associated with the indigenous perspective of life, it is the keen awareness that one is related to all things in the universe."  He also states that there is no ecological movement, but a deep spiritual knowing that all things are related that will heal the splintered self, and thus the earth's distress.  David Tacey in his recent article in The Spring Journal also says that psychic splitting and projection is at the root of our destructive acts toward others, ourselves, and earth.

  • Holly: Your sharing and your painting blow me away! I can hardly articulate how much I am touched by the story of your wolf encounter and how it impacted your life. And the painting is amazing!

    Your narrative and your work truly represent what I feel about Depth Psychology at a very core level: that examining and understanding how we are in the world--and inquiring into what it means to live life through conscious awareness of the symbols and experiences that Psyche sends to meet us--is what will ultimately make meaning in this lifetime, both for ourselves and for those with whom we come in contact----just as in this case. You have affected me in a very deep way, and I'm sure many others will feel the same. Thank you so much!

    • Yes, I have recently had to call upon that "wolf energy" again in my life and it is incredible how powerful an image it has become for me. I like what you say about Psyche sending us symbols and experiences to meet us...I find that when I am able to greet these "gifts"' or "messages" by embodying them rather than thinking about them (which I tend to do) they become much more alive in my life and pull me to the places and people that I need to be with...and if I am able to let the image transmute itself through alchemical magic happens! I loved your quote by last show was entitled the "Wilderness Within" as this wilderness is a source of much life! Thanks for this Bonnie.

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