Reply To: What’s In a Name?” with Stephen Gerringer”
Shaheda; this is the central question that drives the whole “individuation” process Jung proposes: “What is my (personal) myth?” Dennis quotes Jung when asking: “What am I about?” Both Joseph and Dennis start off by referencing Jung’s statement from “Memories, Dreams and Reflections”. In the book: “The Hero’s Journey”, on pages 81-82; Joseph mentions this:
“And Jung asked himself by what mythology he was living and he found he did not know. And so he said, “I made it the task of tasks of my life to find out by what mythology I was living.”
He had been talking about Adolf Bastion’s distinctions between 2 separate definitions of myth; desi; which is the folk; and Marga; which is the universal or elementary idea. He then says: “So the desi, the folk, guide you into life, and marga, the elementary, guide you to your own inward life. Mythology serves two purposes that way.”
There is more describing this within the text; but for our purposes of naming things it might be helpful to refer back Dennis’s statement in the other thread about the difference between an Archetype and an Archetypal Image where the first informs the other:
” Steve. I think we might speak about an archetype and an archetypal image. The former is universal and constant, but the image it is birthed in is organic and dynamic. I believe Jung writes that archetypes are shaped and formed into an image depending on the cultural pressures that work on it as it comes into being. So, paradoxically, the archetype is unchanging and changeable, shaped by the particular cultural impressions that work on it.”
Joseph’s friend; writer: “John Steinbeck” named his pickup truck: “Roscinate”; which was the name of Don Quixote’s horse. That represents more than just an animal; that symbolized something to him just like the name: “Gander” did to Joseph’s little VW bug. (Although not previously knowing this I had also named my pickup “Roscinate” as well because it symbolized the musical Quest I was on). Don Quixote was this crazy old fool who was on a mission from God to restore chivalry to save the world; and Roscinate; this old nag; was his mount. Quixote’s spiritual quest was the symbol that informed the image of the vehicle one just named so to speak. So we name things that represent some kind of of symbolic representation in various situations. These things can evoke something; whether meaningful or not is up to the person that names it.
So back to the “personal myth” aspect where I will try to connect the two. The last few days weeks I’ve been going through various stages of personal reflections related to this pandemic and feeling rather frustrated. So yesterday I put together a few thoughts together with a copied article concerning different mental states and added a separate link to something that always picked me up when I view it that lifted my mood considerably; yet there was still melancholy afterwards because I learned of the passing of the character. Then later in the evening I came across a clip of rather recent rendition of the movie: “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote”; when after viewing it I went to sleep and woke up seeing the connections between humor, depression, and my Quest; (symbolized by Don Quixote). This may seem a rather disjointed configuration of ideas but it’s all related to the mental process of assimilation concerning my personal myth.
“Extistential Angst, Enni, Weltscmerz and Henri”
Below I’am going to leave to two items that may or may not counter-balance each other concerning today’s mental and emotional state and the ability to change one’s perception on how they see themselves within their inner life and how they navigate the current Covid Pandemic. One is an article from 2016 posted on mentalfloss.com and the other is a video clip from Will Braden’s – Henri the Extistential Cat series. One describes the various mental states that are often confused and the other uses humor to adjust one’s perspective.
How to Tell Whether You’ve Got Angst, Ennui, or Weltschmerz
BY ARIKA OKRENT AUGUST 3, 2016
English has many words for the feelings that can arise when a good, hard look at the state of the world seems to reveal only negatives. Hopelessness, despair, depression, discouragement, melancholy, sorrow, worry, disconsolation, distress, anxiety …there are so many that it would hardly seem necessary to borrow any more from other languages. But English never hesitates to borrow words that would lose certain subtleties in translation, and angst, ennui, and weltschmerz have made their way into English by offering a little something extra. Have you got a case of one of these imported maladies? Here’s a little guide to help you diagnose.
Angst is the word for fear in German, Dutch, and Danish. It comes from the same Indo-European root (meaning tight, constricted, painful) that gave us anguish, anxiety, and anger. In the mid 19th century it became associated with a specific kind of existential dread through the work of the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. He talked about a type of anxiety that arises in response to nothing in particular, or the sense of nothingness itself. It’s not exactly fear, and not the same as worry, but a simple fact of the human condition, a feeling that disrupts peace and contentment for no definable reason. The word was adopted into English after Freud used it as a term for generalized anxiety. Now it carries shades of philosophical brooding mixed with a dash of psychoanalytic, clinical turmoil. While anxiety and angst are often interchangeable, anxiety foregrounds a feeling of suffering (also present in angst), while angst foregrounds dissatisfaction, a complaint about the way the world is.
Are you dissatisfied and worried in an introspective, overthinking German way? You’ve got angst.
Ennui is the French word for boredom. The English word “annoy” comes from an early, 13th century borrowing of the word, but it was borrowed again during the height of 18th century European romanticism, when it stood for a particular, fashionable kind of boredom brought on by weariness with the world. Young people at that time, feeling that the promises of the French Revolution had gone unfulfilled, took on an attitude of lethargic disappointment, a preoccupation with the fundamental emptiness of existence. Nothing mattered, so nothing roused the passions. By the middle of the 19th century, ennui became associated with the alienation of industrialization and modern life. Artists and poets suffered from it, and soon a claim to ennui was a mark of spiritual depth and sensitivity. It implied feelings of superiority and self-regard, the idea being that only bourgeois people too deluded or stupid to see the basic futility of any action could be happy. Now, in English, though it is defined as “a feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction,” ennui also has connotations of self-indulgent posturing and European decadence. Are you tired, so tired of everything about the world and the way it is? Do you proclaim this, with a long, slow sigh, to everyone around you? You’ve got ennui.
Weltschmerz, German for “world pain,” was also coined during the Romantic Era and is in many ways the German version of ennui. It describes a world weariness felt from a perceived mismatch between the ideal image of how the world should be with how it really is. In German philosophy it was distinguished from pessimism, the idea that there is more bad than good in the world, because while pessimism was the logical conclusion of cool, rational philosophical pondering, weltschmerz was an emotional response. Though weltschmerz and ennui are pretty close synonyms, ennui foregrounds the listlessness brought on by world weariness (it can also be a term for more simple boredom), and weltschmerz foregrounds the pain or sadness. There is perhaps a greater sense of yearning in weltschmerz (part of the pain is that the sufferer really wants the world to be otherwise). Also, as an English word, weltschmerz is not as common as ennui, so there are fewer connotations about the type of person that comes down with it. Its very German sound (that “schm”!) makes it seem more serious and grim than ennui.
Do you have sadness in your heart for the world that can never be and sensible shoes? You’ve got weltschmerz.
I am leaving a link that contains two clips out of the dozens that exist along with a short article concerning Henri’s recent passing. Henri was loved the world over for his wisdom and his world-weary detachment. If you are not familiar with Henri’s celebrity you will soon fall under his spell that will make you laugh and give you a sense that life is still worth living no matter how depressing things may seem. His millions of fans have for years shared videos and will miss him terribly.