Water Man Spouts

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"Yung & Easily Freudened"

"Bernard Shaw says in Man and Superman: ‘This creature Man, who in his own selfish affairs is a coward to the backbone, will fight for an idea like a hero.’ Of course, we would not call Fascism or Hitlerism ideas. They are archetypes, and so we would say: Give an archetype to the people and the whole crowd moves like one man, there is no resisting it." – C. G. Jung

One of my best friends called me today, and we discussed the attempts by certain interests in this country to manipulate the public by the use of images. Before the invasion of Iraq, this group used the images of 9/11 and mushroom clouds, over and over, and connected these with messages about the threat that Saddam’s Iraq posed to our safety.

Today we are seeing those same interests attempting to connect the image of the fellow from Iran, and to send mixed messages about how the surge is working, but Iran is threatening, over and over and over again.

On October 4, 1935, C.G. Jung delivered the 5th in a series of lectures to the Institute of Medical Psychology at the Tavistock Clinic in London. In it, he spoke about the insights he had in the period before WW1. This was the period where his friendship with Sigmund Freud became strained. Henri Ellenberger called it Jung’s period of creative illness.

"I take the archetypal images and a suitable form of their projection seriously," Jung told his audience, "because the collective unconscious is really a serious factor in the human psyche. All those personal things like incestuous tendencies and other childish tunes are mere surface; what the unconscious really contains are the great collective events of the time. In the collective unconscious of the individual, history prepares itself; and when the archetypes are activated in a number of individuals and come to the surface, we are in the midst of history, as we are at present. The archetypal image which the moment requires gets into life, and everybody is seized by it. That is what we see today. I saw it coming, I said in 1918 that the ‘blond beast’ is stirring in its sleep and something will happen in Germany. No psychologist then understood at all what I meant, because people had simply no idea that our personal psychology is just a thin skin, a ripple on the collective psychology. The powerful factor, the factor which changes our whole life, which changes the surface of our known world, which makes history, is collective psychology, and collective psychology moves to laws entirely different from those of our consciousness. The archetypes are the great decisive forces, they bring about real events, and not our personal reasoning and practical intellect. Before the Great War all intelligent people said: ‘We shall not have any more war, we are far too reasonable to let it happen, and our commerce and finance are so interlaced internationally that war is absolutely out of the question.’ And then we produced the most gorgeous war ever seen."

Our country has been involved in two wars since 9/11, and recent reports document what many of us already knew: that Vice President Cheney and friends are hoping to create the tensions needed to justify a war with Iran.

Our nation was tricked by the threats of mushroom clouds and yellow cake because, to borrow a line from James Joyce, we were "yung and easily freudened." Today, we should know better. Be awake. Be aware. Do not let this happen again.


Post a Comment

<< Home