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Reply To: The King Who Saved Himself From Being Saved” with Bradley Olson, Ph.D.”


I’d like to add something to the point about understanding who a hero is and how one becomes a hero in their own life; (which I also think has a great deal to do with: “The King who saved himself from being saved”); which in the larger sense is: “making the unconscious conscious”, a central theme in Jung’s cosmology.

Now I think there are two aspects at play here that might be helpful to examine. One is the social idea or image; and two, is the individual psyche which is looking inward as well as outward in its’ response. For example, when on page xiii; in the “Power of Myth”, Bill Moyers mentions Joseph talking about seeing the latest incarnation of Oedipus, the continued romance of “Beauty and the Beast” standing on the corner of Times Square on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, waiting for the light to change; or, as he mentions later Luke Skywalker overcoming his Shadow impulse of the Dark Side by not killing Darth Vader; (his father); and being willing to die for that and becoming who he was meant to be. (That is to say his “true” self), not the societal image of someone wearing a mask or living a role inappropriate to who that is, and he has won the “internal battle” which is the most important one and the one that myth continually informs us about of making the unconscious conscious.

As Joseph continually reminds us, these mythic images and themes live in us, and we are to “awaken” to this dimension that lies deep within and to bring it to life by becoming aware of it. Individuation is “all” about this process; but at the same time recognizing our dragons and integrating them; (not necessarily destroying them but embracing that “otherness” that lies within); that aspect that tells you that: “you and the other are one”; no matter who they are. In other words: “loving your enemy as yourself” doesn’t necessarily mean accepting evil; but understanding it’s the other side of the duality that lives in all of us. It’s a war and you have to choose a side, but you do it with discrimination within the choices you make and (how) you “participate” in the game or Grand Opera that hurts.

Putin is really who is causing all this death and destruction, not the Russian people. And like Donald Trump in our country is attempting to manipulate this situation because he has been seduced by the Dark Side, which is what “The Emperor” in Star Wars represents which is total power not accountable to anyone but himself. As the old saying goes: “Power corrupts, total or absolute power corrupts absolutely”. So, in this instance perhaps a more proper question might be: “How can I awaken this dimension within myself?” Thereby, like in fairy tales like: “Sleeping Beauty”, Arthurian romances like: “Persival”; Epics like Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”; or any number of other ones Joseph mentions; by awakening the landscape in which I am enclosed and attempting to turn a nightmare into something not only that I can live with; but joyfully participating in by helping to relieve some of the suffering of others as well as oneself. Of course, I’m not saying everybody should get in a circle and sing “Kumbaya”, but the central issue; (at least to me); seems to be that of transformation of consciousness; that is to say the internal darkness within your own participation in that landscape. This is a rather clumsy attempt at what I’m trying to get at; but hopefully makes some sense in getting my point across.


(I want to add a short addendum about what I’m attempting to clarify concerning my posts. Jung said: “the world hangs on a thread”. And Putin has his finger on nuclear hardware that can bring about the destruction of the entire planet. So, the forces contained within the human psyche are not “abstract”. They may not be visible; but they have been driving human consciousness throughout man’s earliest beginnings; and we must be able to learn what they are within each individual and how to control them or civilization as we know it is lost to oblivion along with the world of which we are a part.)

Here is a post from this morning’s newfeeds from the President of Ukraine.