Saturday, February 2, 2013

Jungian Images Haunt My Dreams

CC byJean Stimmell 2/2/13

Jung had many profound insights that were far ahead of his time...or even today's time. One such insight is that "Science must recognize the as yet incalculable catastrophe which its advances have brought... [to the] still infantile man of today." (The Symbolic Life, Colume 18 of Jung's Collected Works, par 1367)

Here's what Jung wrote in 1912:

“You see, America does not see that it is in any danger. It does not understand that it is facing its most tragic moment: a moment in which it must make a choice to master its machines or to be devoured by them ...” (PP. 17-18 1912 C. G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters. Ed., Wm .McGuire and R.F.C. Hull. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 1977)

Since then, the evidence keeps accumulating that Jung was right:
1) machines have multiplied at an exponential rate, taking over not only our work but our thinking;
2) increasing  machine-like regimentation and bureaucracy have deprived us of our human need for sense of place and uprooted us from community;
3) unimaginable new weapons of mass destruction proliferate in an increasingly unstabile world;
4) and, worst of all, technology-driven, human-caused climate change now threatens our very survival as a species – along with the extinction of many other of our fellow living beings on spaceship Earth.

As Jung wrote 19 years later in 1931:

“The machines which we have invented, for instance, are now our master. Machines are running away with us, they are demons; they are like those huge old saurians that existed when man was a sort of lizard-monkey and deadly afraid of their hooting and tooting. By his will man has invented a Mesozoic world again, monsters that crush thousands by their voice and their weight.”
(P.502 1931 Interpretation of Visions.Claire Douglass. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997. 2 volumes)

* I took these quotes from a wonderful book edited by Meredih Sabini, The Earth has a Soul: C. G. Jung on Nature, Technology and Modern Life.
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