Beautifully articulated Gabrielle. And indeed, you addressed many of the nuances that seem to plague not only public discourse and human relationships, but today’s social relevance. We are now living in an extremely complex time where there are so many varied influences people have to assimilate and digest it’s become very difficult to navigate the world around them and get a sense of being connected, and Covid exacerbated this. And when Joseph talked about everyone having to live within a system and still know who they are I think this issue in particular speaks profoundly to the human spirit.
“What is reality?”; some might ask, and indeed one’s perception of their own ability to make sense of their world I think is a major question for people today; and one that often gets tangled up in not only self-identity, but their sense of the larger universe in which everything is in-framed or enclosed. Science as a means to interpret reality is one thing, and indeed for many this is a major definitive lens through which many people look for answers, but without what some might call the “mystical” dimension: one that Joseph was emphatic about in dealing with what he called “The Wasteland”; life has no meaning other than just mere existence.
Yet at the same time the idea of a personal God, one that is dominated by the idea of “Faith”; takes reason and the ability to think “outside the box”, (as it were), completely out of the equation. Now we can say as Joseph did, that the world has now become more secularized, and that as world and cultural boundaries are dissolving more and more, especially with the constant evolving technologies like the internet, the mapping of the Human Genome, the ability to access information in unprecedented ways, the human condition is now faced with an overwhelming rate of rapid change never before experienced. And I think it’s no wonder people feel lost and confused and that the world has lost its’ moorings and are much more vulnerable to disorientation and are scared and want something to hold to. Yet as you pointed out the idea of a “mythical” sense of one’s own life completely changes the lenses we might look through to see the world and ourselves in it in a completely different way and context. The metaphor is no longer just a figure of speech but becomes a symbolic tool of reference or navigational device to unlock or transform our inner world by only changing the lenses we perceive through. The ability to find meaning in a seemingly meaningless existence becomes accessible. And when Joseph points out by saying: “Thou Art That”; he is not saying that from a literal or concretized perspective; he is saying its’ metaphorical.
Your responses to these concerns I think really speak to these issues; (especially concerning Jung’s understanding of one’s Shadow and how it affects our ability to break through these barriers to finding one’s own destiny). And this was part of what I was hoping would be part of the discussion. The Shadow is a huge deal, and one that many people are not aware of. It’s also something we all have to grapple with, and it has positive aspects as well that are not often realized. Seeing one’s otherness is difficult stuff, and not only is not always pleasant, but can be painful as well as transformative.
You said this quite well I think:
“I love this exploration of the Jungian discussion to be had around lie vs. metaphor. I absolutely agree that there will be shades of disagreement around the details of truth, but my main concerns in this piece are the facts that are subverted because they are uncomfortable. I want to tread lightly with respect to COHO’s rules around discussion of current/political events, but I will say this: Turning away from the challenge of facing our shadow self creates the rifts between us, but when this rift serves the minority in power and maintains the status quo, there’s a concerted effort to keep the general population from recognizing (and realizing) their power over their own fate.”
(It’s the “personal” side for all of us I think is the hard part, and I’m hoping we can get into this a little deeper because I think it’s very relevant to this topic.)
Again, thank you so much for such a great response to my query, and a very warm welcome back.