Robert G. Longpré's Posts (4)

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The Gods Have Become Diseases

“We think we can congratulate ourselves on having already reached such a pinnacle of clarity, imagining that we have left all these phantasmal gods far behind.  But what we have left behind are only verbal spectres, not the psychic facts that were responsible for the birth of the gods.  We are still as much possessed by autonomous as if they were Olympians.  Today they are called phobias, obsessions, and so forth; in a word, neurotic symptoms.  The gods have become diseases; Zeus no longer rules Olympus but rather the solar plexus, and produces curious specimens for the doctor’s consulting room, or disorders of the brains of politicians and journalists who unwillingly let loose psychic epidemics on the world.” (Jung, Cw 13, par. 54)

“The gods have become diseases” . . . I guess that about sums it up.  These words were written quite some time ago, yet it is as if C.G. Jung is looking at today’s world and events with these words.  These words trigger a series of thoughts within me.  What a statement to make, “the gods have become diseases”!

Or, could one say that those who re-discover the gods are themselves suffering from disease (dis-ease)?  What it took for me to find a place for the idea of the gods, a recognition of the spiritual centre within “self” was a”breakdown” that allowed me to take “sick leave” for “treatment.”  I had to be broken before I would allow myself time to think and feel again.  Strange how midlife crises have become a dividing line between life externalised and life that includes “Self.”  How many, like myself, have embraced a spiritual centre with the crisis of midlife bringing them to a halt in the outer world?  I know that many have ignored the call to an inner self and respond to the crisis of midlife with affairs, new toys, fundamentalist adherence to some religion or political belief.

These words of Jung’s open up a huge world of questions for me.  I will need to take time to think about these words a lot more if I am ever to find a way to express my response to them in some meaningful way.

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An Archetypal Dream

The following is my dream from last night, the shift from July 11th to July 12th, 2010.  As readers here are already know, I don’t post my dreams as this place isn’t a place of analysis.  However, the dream will presented because of a need I feel with regards to the dream, what I feel is perhaps an “archetypal” dream.  Now typically I don’t remember dreams anymore, in fact I deliberately leave them alone in order to see what stays and what disappears as wakefulness takes over from sleep.  Today, I remembered this dream upon waking.  Since I was travelling to my home from the U.S.A., a ten-hour drive, I allowed the dream an opportunity to slip away.  Yet now, twelve hours after waking, the images are still burnt into my brain, demanding that I pay attention.  So in order to honour this, I will allow the dream to speak.

. . . I am with my partner and it seems/feels like we are going to play golf.  However, the scene is unexpected and I don’t have the necessary equipment for the game.  I turn back, leaving my partner in order to get the equipment needed.  As I retrace my steps finding myself somehow in unfamiliar territory, I am met by two men,  I know that these men have evil in mind.  As they hold me, I see a woman appear before my eyes, a woman who doesn’t have natural flesh tones.  Rather, she appears to be injured, damaged.  I come to know that she is dis-spirited – libido is almost fully absent.  She is laying on her side on the road without clothing, a blue-ghost of a woman.  From the left side, a young female child approaches on hands and knees.  She looks at the blue woman as though talking to her but no words are spoken or heard.  I knew what the child was asking for in her silence, she was asking for the blue woman to open her legs and expose her vulva.  The girl-child crawls to her and begins to place a kiss on the blue woman’s nether lips . . . and immediately the scene shifts and I feel the men’s grip tightening on my, holding me down so that the blue woman can rape me . . . I know I have been raped, but not by the blue woman . . . now, I am broken, as dis-spirited as the blue woman . . . I make my way to what appears to be the banquet following the golf game.  My partner is with another man.  She knows that I was with the blue woman and now she is angry with me as though I was a traitor.  Her appearance is hard and stone-like.  I can go no closer, there is no going back to the way things were . . .

What does this dream mean to me?   First, it didn’t take me long to realize that this blue woman was Goddess the Mother, the consort of God the father.  This wasn’t a simple, personal inner image of anima. For some reason, God the Mother decided to talk with me.  For me, there is no doubt that in our modern world, the feminine has been raped to the point of near death.  As I listen to the voice of our planet as it expresses its pain, as I see the hurt in all sets of eyes that I meet, I know the truth of this.  I know that our time to make changes in order to save the planet, to save our souls is very limited.  The goddess allowed me to feel her pain, to suffer her rape.  And so I am left to somehow to do something.

I know the power of my shadow, the collective shadow, the hate, the anger, the control, the destructive tendencies of chaos.  I know the positive aspects of the masculine as well.  And this gives me hope that at least I can choose.  I know the faces of my personal anima, her beauty and softness and promise as well as her dark side within me and in the world.  And I can choose which aspects of the masculine and the feminine within myself are to be honoured.  But, so what!

Now what?  I guess it is time for me to do my part to save the world.  It is as simple as that.  I know, many will discount these words as babbling.  It has to start somewhere.  I know that I am not the only one who will be busy with this work of finding a new myth to replace the masculine myths of the three deities – Yahweh, God and Allah – with a new myth that includes the feminine, includes shadow and includes the earth.

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Quest For a God

“It would be a regrettable mistake if anybody should take my observations a a kind of proof for the existence of God.  They prove only the existence of an archetypal God-image, which to my mind is the most we can assert about God psychologically.  But as it is a very important and influential archetype, its relatively frequent occurrence seems to be a noteworthy fact of anytheologia naturalis. (Jung, CW 11, par. 102)

And yet, we do believe something no matter what we say or don’t say.  Most pay little attention to belief or the archetype.  Rather than think about it, most just let the churches and their priesthoods do the thinking for us.  We have other, more important things to worry about such as our families, our jobs, or the physical needs that often become matters of life and death.  It seems that the question of God only assaults us in youth, especially adolescence, and once we have turned the corner of midlife., and only then if we have done our “work” so as to have the time, energy and resources to tackle the question of God.

This quest for a God is as old as the human race.  We have looked for him or her in the stars, in the animated world, in the sun and the moon.  But rarely do we dare to look within for the presence of a God.  We want our God to be more than the frail and fallible beings that we find ourselves to be.  And so, we push God further and further from our centre of self.  We build the most magnificent structures imaginable so that they can point towards this God at distance.  We decorate our imaginings with the most precious of objects and materials we can find so that this God will not be associated with the baseness that we can see and feel of ourselves.  And in the process, we lose God.

I lost God and now I must begin to look downward and inward in search of the wellsprings of the spirit which I know must be where I will find this God.  This is my quest.

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Human Need For Improbability

I have often wondered at the efforts the western world has taken in its efforts to bring religion down to earth.  We have tried to abolish excessive ornamentation, the use of statues, and costumes that invoke spiritual imagery.  We have opted for common-sense plainness.  No frills and no idols and no distractions.  Just the words to cling to and even those are presented in the plainest language possible.  And out of all of this, one is supposed to “connect” with something that defies being contained by ordinary and plain words, defies being explained by common sense.

“”Exclusive appeals to faith are a hopeless petitio principii, for it is the manifest improbability of symbolical truth that prevents people from believing in it.  Instead of insisting so glibly on the necessity of faith, the theologians, it seems to me, should see what can be done to make this faith possible . . . .   And this can  only be achieved by reflecting how it came about in the first place that humanity needed the improbability of religious statements, and what it signifies when a totally different spiritual reality is superimposed on the sensuous and tangible actuality of this world.”  (Jung, CW 5, par. 336)

Looking at the actuality of the world, the places of grandeur, the places that invoke awe – this is where our spiritual roots are found.  It is within out attempts to use images and architecture that we have tried to “inspire” a sense of the spiritual, to create a sacred space, a place of temenos, that we have given birth to religions.  And all of this was done so that we can get a sense of the improbable, so that we can be taken outside of our prosaic simpleness to see the depths that dwell “within.”

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