Sunday, May 6, 2012

Jung on seeing

In his last years Jung said:

"My subjective view of the world... is not a product of rational thinking. It is rather a vision such as will come to one who undertakes, deliberately, with half-closed eyes and somewhat closed ears, to see and hear the form and voice of being. If our impressions are too distinct, we are held to the hour and minute of the present and have no way of knowing how our ancestral psyches listen to and understand the present - in other words, how our unconscious is responding to it.

Thus we remain ignorant of whether our ancestral components find an elementary gratification in our lives, or whether they are repelled. Inner peace and contentment depend in large measure upon whether or not the historical family which is inherent in the individual can be harmonized with the ephemeral conditions of the present."

Raising chickens, knitting, sewing, growing strawberries, chopping wood, building fires - all of my friends crave these things as hobbies. We don't have to do any of this any more, but we choose to do them for fun. Something inside us remembers. Seems like Jung would say it is our ancestors.

He believed "Our souls as well as our bodies are composed of individual elements which were all already present in the ranks of our ancestors." A day before I read this, I had a dream in which I was holding a baby, crying, saying 'I want to be in Wisconsin,' and my ancestors were all around me. Wisconsin is to me what Norway probably used to be to them - the land of happy rememberances and roots. I took a pilgrimage back there a few weeks ago to do English folk dancing for a weekend. I became obsessed with my Norweigan heritage and learned all about where my great-great-grandmothers were born in Norway. I have a vision forming of a Norweigan Bunad (traditional dress) to sew and embroider with the patterns of my people. On my last class of the semester at Belmont, I recalled that the teacher's assistant was from Norway, and asked him about Halingdal and Sogn, the places in Norway where my people came from. He was born in Halingdal.