Last Updated on Sunday, 27 October 2013 20:37
Written by William Van Dusen Wishard
...as we look towards the coming decades, we cannot escape the fact that some great phase of the human experience is dying, while some new stage seeks to take shape....
Navigating a Breakpoint in History
William Van Dusen Wishard
WorldTrends Research (www.worldtrendsresearch.com)
Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise
From outward things, whatere you may believe.
There is an inmost center in us all,
Where truth abides in fullness; and around,
Wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in,
This perfect, clear perception which is truth.
A battling and perverting carnal mesh
Binds it, and makes all error: and, to KNOW,
Rather consists in opening out a way
Whence the imprisoned splendor may escape,
Than in effecting an entry for a light
Supposed to be without
New hopes should animate the world, new light
Should dawn from new revealings
Robert Brownings words describe a process that has repeated itself numerous times throughout the ages. This essay will suggest that once again, the world is in the midst of a similar unfolding.
Such a development is at the heart of much of the public anxiety in America today; a concern caused by our inability to understand the seismic upheaval the world is experiencing. The media daily pummels us with the effects of multiple tectonic plate shifts taking place: from a relatively slow pace of technical change, to an exponential rate; from ultimate destructive power held only by states, to such power held by individuals; from economic development solely a national endeavor, to such development as part of a global system; from the masculine/patriarchal epoch, to the feminine instinct playing an increasing role in shaping collective attitudes.
Those who have even a minimal acquaintance with Analytical Psychology and the life of C.G. Jung, however, are privileged to have a broader context within which to understand the inherent meaning of these shifts. For one of Jungs great gifts to the world was the development of understanding how the collective soul expresses its worldview, as well as how the psyche develops and matures over time. History has seen several such shifts in orientation, periods of a broadening out of the collective soul. Such psychological reorientations have been times of uncertainty and upheaval, times when the psychological subsoil out of which emerges all value and meaning is ploughed up, ultimately leading to the emergence of a completely new historical epoch. We are in the midst of another such reorientationa heightened activation of the Self (the regulating center f the psyche), which brings with it a new worldview, a broadening out of the human personality. It is a time, as Walter Truett Anderson has written, of rebuilding all the foundations of civilization. One of Jungs most succinct encapsulations of this process at work in our time was offered in 1956 when he noted that there is a mood of universal destruction and renewal that has set its mark on our age. This mood makes itself felt everywhere, politically, socially, and philosophically. We are living in what the Greeks called the kairosthe right momentfor a metamorphosis of the gods, of the fundamental principles and symbols.
This essay will consider three aspects of the contemporary psychological reorientationglobalization, the human-technology interface, and the worldwide spiritual upheaval. But first, a brief glance at earlier periods of reorientation, which offer perspective on the contemporary process.
Breakpoints of History
When we look back over past millennia, distinctly different worldviews, expressions of the soul, stand out. These worldviews were considerably different than ours today. The Mythic Age (circa 1200 BCE), for example, clearly exhibited a pre-conscious mind. Consciousness as we know it had not yet evolved. Indeed, as Thomas Cahill has written, the story of the Hebrew Bible is the story of an evolving consciousness, a consciousness that went through many states of development. One thinks of Moses experiencing a flame of fire coming from the bush, his staff becoming a serpent, Yahweh as a pillar of fire, the waters of Egypt turning into blood, and the parting of the Red Sea. Such symbolic descriptions are expressions of an elemental psychology in an earlier stage of development, and still bound to a certain extent by its identification with its environment and surroundings.
At roughly the same time, the battle of Troy (12th century BCE) when, as Homer described four centuries later, Greek gods roamed the battlefield instructing Achilles, Hector or Odysseus to take this or that particular action. That was not a literary construct to enliven Homers Iliad; it was the way the Greek psyche viewed reality. Again, an earlier psyche somewhat identified with its surroundings, and which saw gods as living presences.
Several centuries of psychic reorientation and maturation brought forth the Axial Age (700-400 BCE). The defining characteristic of the Axial Age, according to the German philosopher Karl Jaspers who coined the term Axial Age, was the move out of the Mythic Age, into an era when man becomes conscious of Being as a whole, of himself and his limitations. Consciousness, Jaspers wrote, became conscious of itself. This was the age of the birth of Buddhism, Taoism, and Zoroasterism. The great symbolic Hebrew stories and traditions of earlier centuries were collected together in the Pentateuch. Confucius became the first person to articulate the Golden Rule as a social ethic. Science, philosophy, astronomy, cosmology were born, as were the very concepts of nature, truth, opinion, mind and consciousness. Historys first scientific questions were asked, questions such as, what are the basic elements of existence? Water? Fire? No one had ever before asked such questions. Pythagoras articulated the concept of opposites, an expression of the prime attribute of a developed consciousnessthe power of discernment and discrimination. By the end of the Axial Age, a new orientation had emerged.
Several centuries later a further reorientation brought a disruptive shift when the multiple Greco-Roman gods, which had provided meaning for the Greco-Roman world for a millennium, lost their hold on the imagination and soul of the Greco-Roman world, and, eventually, monotheistic Christianity became the official religion. More on this in a moment.
Closer to our own time came another shift in worldviewthe psychological shift from the Middle Ages of Dante and the building of Chartres and the great cathedrals of Europe, to the worldview of Petrarch and the Renaissance. It was a monumental shift from emphasis on the vertical perspectivemans relation to a God in heavento a horizontal perspectivemans relationship to the natural phenomena of Earth. The historian Will Durant summarized this shift saying, the Renaissance replaced the supernatural with the natural as the focus of human concern
Edward F. Edinger noted that the God-image (Self) was withdrawn from metaphysical projection, and became available for direct conscious experience. As Jung saw it, Consciousness ceased to grow upward, and grew instead in breadth of view, both philosophically and geographically. The age of explorationboth of earth and of the human bodybegan. Meaning was found less through spirit, as a metaphysics of matter and material causation grew in authority. It is perhaps symptomatic of this shift that this was when the Faust legendrepresenting an enantiodromiawas born in the Western psyche. Jung described this whole period as an unexampled revolution in mans outlook.
These shifts in orientation are offered simply as examples of what were experiencing today. The contemporary psychological reorientation is perhaps divided into two overlapping phases. On the one hand, disintegration, psychic rupture, and destruction have become not only cultural motifs, but an inherent and essential part of the process a culture and civilization must experience if the birth of a new worldview is to take place. This is in keeping with the progression of the four symbolic phases of the Apocalypse archetype, which manifests itself in the Revelation of new truth about lifes origin, development and potential; Judgment of existing beliefs and institutions against the background of the new truth; Destruction of existing beliefs and institutions that are no longer functionally an expression of the new truth; and Rebirth of belief, culture and civilized order in accord with the archetypal expression of the new truth. This sequence is a process embedded in the nature of the archetypal psyche.
Such disintegration is simultaneous with a new and greater integration seeking expression. Humanity is seeking a more common and complete manifestation of our relationship to our individual self, to each other, to the planet, and to the universe. In essence, the embryonic form of something approaching a global consciousness is evolving. As Lewis Mumford wrote in 1956, Nothing less than a concept of the whole manand of man achieving a consciousness of the cosmic and historic wholeis capable of doing justice to every type of personality, every mode of culture, and every human potential. Mumford was talking of the creation of unified personalities, at home with every part of themselves, and so equally at home with the whole family of man, in all its magnificent diversity. Such a perspective is at the very core of the new orientation seeking birth.
In the 1940s, Sir Fred Hoyle, the eminent British astronomer, noted: Once a photograph of Earth, taken from the outside, is available, a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose. Increasingly, the defining reality of our time has been learning how to cope with this new ideathe awareness of the human community as a single entity. As Brian Swimme has written, we are incorporating the planetary dimensions of life into the fabric of our economics, politics, culture and international relations. For the first time in human history, we are forging an awareness of our existence that embraces humanity as a whole. What is emerging is a new context for discussion of value, meaning, purpose or ultimacy of any sort. The shorthand for this process is globalization.
Mention globalization and we immediately think of global economic and financial integration, currency valuations, job displacement/creation, intellectual property rights, and much more. Such acronyms as IMF, NAFTA, WTO, as well as the World Bank come to mind. The economic dimension of globalization is what most occupies the attention of business leaders and government policy-makers.
But the essence of globalizationits very coreis the Selfs intensified activation, which is expressed in an expansion of individual awareness of other peoples, cultures and religions, greatly facilitated by technological advances in communications and easy travel. This process began very slowly in the 16th century when, as noted in Jungs comment above, consciousness ceased to grow upward, and grew in breadth of view, thus increasing the energy available to the individual ego. This led to European exploration and colonialization of Africa, South America and Asia. In the nineteenth century this process was accelerated with the technical shift from wind to steam driven trans-Atlantic ships, as well as with the invention of the telegraph and telephone, the first components of what is now the world's electronic information communication system. Clearly, in the 20th century globalization moved at an exponential pace. Across the globe, as people become more familiar with other modes of thought and belief, and with other cultures and religions, their allegiance to earlier forms of identity begins evolving into an appreciation for, and identity with, a larger cultural and political realm.
This process of a widening identity is not new to Americans. Before 1776, Americans didnt find their identity in relationship to the United States (there was no United States), but in relationship to the state in which they livedVirginia, Massachusetts or Georgia. After the establishment of the United States, people slowly grounded their identity in a wider context, a new entity called the United States of America. This widening process took time. Indeed, the historian Daniel Borstin tells us it wasnt until nearly ninety years later, at the end of the Civil War that a distinctly American identity emerged. Even today, sectionalism still vies with a sense of national identity, which is fragmenting under the pressures of information technology.
In essence, all people are going through this same process, albeit on a far wider and more diverse dimension. The pace of this process varies depending on numerous factors such as depth of culture and tradition, the degree of technological development, linkages with the rest of the world, etc. But it is happening to all peoples, if for no other reason than a nation can no longer develop economically on its own; economic development requires a nation to be linked to the globalized economic and financial system.
For many in the Muslim world, globalization, and the modernization it brings with it, confronts them with an excruciating choice. On the one hand, they want the economic and technologicaleven some of the social and culturalbenefits globalization brings. On the other hand, they are asking themselves, Will globalization, based on the Western, rationalistic, consumerist, hedonistic ethos, ultimately mean the end of Islam? Yet, how can we modernize without globalization? Such unknowns form a significant part of the psychological dynamic fueling terrorism.
Globalization means that, whether were Parisian or New York sophisticate, African Bushmen or Alaskan Inuit, we are all being forced into the same global, technological, postmodern, digitalized context of life. Some African chiefs jump a century of telephonic development dependent on wire, as they advance from drum or messenger, to the cell phone. The tribal leader in Papua stands with his shield and spear in a TV store bewildered as he stares at a scene from Baywatch projecting images of he knows not what. Time, place and historic contexts of life are disappearing as the instruments of globalization force us into some unfamiliar frame of reference.
Its not only the Papuan or African whose identity and context of life are being jumbled by globalization. Profound questions arise for all people as globalization collapses the national, racial and religious barriers that heretofore protectedand even definedidentity. Who am I? Who is my group? Do I even have a group any more? Is national allegiance still primary in a globalized era? What does race mean in a world where people of all shades of skin color are increasingly inter-marrying? What is my sense of who I am when computerized global information systems merge all religions, philosophies, social theories and cultures into a pick-and-mix smorgasbord of identity? The whole human racewhether pre-modern, modern, or postmodernis involved in a vast learning process.
Over time, many people find their own sense of identity widening as they travel to other nations, meet people of unfamiliar cultures, and daily scan the world on the Internet. As cultures and religions interpenetrate, the broadening out process enlarges peoples horizons. Yet an inherent part of any archetypal expression of this maturing process is psychic reaction, in this case expressed in what can only be called a national fundamentalism. As David Ignatius of The Washington Post notes, in some ways the current reassertion of nationalism is a kind of geopolitical fundamentalismin which people cleave to old identities as a way of coping with the new stresses of globalization.
The Human-Technological Interface
At least since Francis Bacon in the seventeenth century we have viewed the purpose of science and technology as being to improve the human condition. As Bacon put it, the "true and lawful end of the sciences is that human life be enriched by new discoveries and powers." Four centuries later, Einstein echoed Bacon in a speech at Cal Tech: Concern for man himself and his fate must form the chief interest of all technical endeavors.
Human life has indeed been enriched. Take America. During the last century, the real GDP, in constant dollars, increased by $48 trillion, much of this wealth built on the marvels of technology.
But along with technological wonders, uncertainties arise. The question today is whether were creating certain technologies not to improve the human condition, but for purposes that appear to be to replace human meaning and significance altogether. Consider the following comments from some of the worlds leading scientists and technologists.
Ray Kurzweil, recipient of ten honorary Doctorates, honors from three U.S. presidents, and is one of the worlds foremost authorities on artificial intelligence, predicts that by mid-century you may be talking to someone who is of biological origin, but whose mental processes are a hybrid of the persons biological thinking process and the electronic process embedded in their brainthe two processes working intimately together. Adds Kurzweil, When machines are derived from human intelligence but are a million times more capable, there wont be a clear distinction between human and machine intelligencetheres going to be a merger. After that, he says, we will enhance our own intelligence by putting small computers in our brains and introducing calculating machines into the blood stream
nanobots will go to the brain and interact with biological neurons.
In Kurzweils view, what we are dealing with is not a constant rate of technological change, but an exponential rate, the acceleration of acceleration. The rate of technological change doubles every decade. At todays rate, Kurzweil says, the world will experience one thousand times more technological change in the 21st century than took place in the 20th century.
Computer speeds will be increased millions of times in the next three decades, Kurzweil predicts, thus taking us to a point where everything is ratcheted up so fast that the totality of life changes, and some new context of existence emerges that we cant even begin to imagine at this point. This will bring the world, he says, to a rupture in the fabric of history, to what he terms the Omega Point.
Kurzweils use of Omega Point emits familiar echoes of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who coined the term well over half a century ago. For Teilhard, the Omega Point is that point in the future when time, space and energy converge. Its a time of super connectivity, organization and complexity when a new context of existence for man will emerge. For Teilhard, however, the Omega Point would introduce an era of the spiritualization of matter as well as the creative union of all humanity.
Whatever the differences between Kurzweils and Teilhards use of the term Omega Point, its fair to ask whether both men have been influenced by an archetype of transcendence. Indeed, is the entire post human movement (see following commentary) a projection of what Edinger called the transformation fantasy?
Kurzweil is by no means alone in his pursuit of the post human future. Marvin Minsky, co-founder of MITs Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, writes, Suppose that the robot had all the virtues of people and was smarter and understood things better. Then why would we want to prefer those grubby, old people? I dont see anything wrong with human life being devalued if we have something better.
Gregory Stock, Director of the Program on Medicine, Technology and Society at UCLA School of Medicine; his latest book: Redesigning Humans: Our Inevitable Genetic Future, suggests, Within a few years, traditional reproduction may begin to seem antiquated, if not downright irresponsible. Stock sees a time soon emerging when humans no longer exist . . . Progressive self-transformation could change our descendents into something sufficiently different from our present selves to not be human in the sense we use the term now.
British Telecoms Ian Pearson predicts that the completed human genome project will enable a combination of man and computer search to identify the genes needed to produce a people of any chosen characteristics. Someone, somewhere, Pearson says, will produce an elite race of people, smart, agile and disease resistant. Pearson calls such an optimized human Homo Optimus.
MITs Sherry Turkel sees the reconfiguration of machines as psychological objects and the reconfiguration of people as living machines. James Hughes sees the right to a custom made child as merely the natural extension of our current discourse of productive rights. Hughes contends that women should be allowed the right to choose the characteristics [of their child] from a catalog.
Perhaps Jaron Lanier, the person who coined the term virtual reality and founder of the worlds first virtual reality company, best assesses whats happening when he says, Medical science, neuroscience, computer science, genetics, biologyseparately and together, seem to be on the verge of abandoning the human realm altogether . . . it grows harder to imagine human beings remaining at the center of the process of science. Instead, science appears to be in charge of its own process, probing and changing people in order to further its own course, independent of human agency.
Concludes Kevin Kelly, former editor of Wired magazine and author of Out of Control, In the great vacuum of meaning, in the silence of unspoken values, in the vacancy of something large to stand for, something bigger than oneself, technologyfor better or worsewill shape our society. Because values and meaning are scarce today, technology will make our decisions for us.
Thus arrives what some scientific intellectuals call the Post-human Age.
If this scenario materializes, it wont happen in the next decade; it is something being developed for our grandchildrens time.
A few voices are being raised regarding the dangers of an uncontrolled rush to technological bliss. Writes Bill Joy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and who The Economist magazine describes as the Edison of the Internet, I think it no exaggeration to say we are on the cusp of the further perfection of extreme evil, an evil whose possibility spreads well beyond that which weapons of mass destruction bequeathed to the nation-states. Ray Kurzweil himself suggests we only have a better than even chance of making it through the technological changes he sees coming.
Sir Martin Rees, Englands Astronomer Royal, a Professor at Cambridge University and one of the worlds foremost theoretical physicists, surveys current scientific experiments and writes, The downside from twenty-first century technology could be graver and more intractable than the threat of nuclear devastation that we have faced for decades
I think the odds are no better than fifty-fifty that our present civilization on Earth will survive to the end of the present century. Such risks, Rees contends, are the price that must be paid for personal freedoms and the pursuit of scientific knowledge.
While a full discussion of technology is beyond the scope of any one essay, it is worth commenting on the worlds first global electronic information system. Electronic information systems have a fragmenting effect, thus shattering the cohesion of national myths, political philosophies, social theories, cultural styles, as well as religious beliefs. Its this fragmenting effect that has helped create the whole dissonance of our postmodern world in all its forms. One result is that we no longer collectively agree what truths are self-evident, or even what constitutes truth. Thus we can no longer define the world in terms of what we are, but only in terms of what we have ceased to bepostindustrial, post-Enlightenment, post-ideological, postnational or postmodern.
Yet still we must try to understand what has happened to humanity that we stand at the point of potential self-annihilation. Vaclav Havel suggests an imbalance in our underlying concept of a technological society. Writes Havel: Science as the basis of the modern conception of the world is missing something
It fails to connect with the most intrinsic nature of reality, and with natural human experience. It is now more a source of disintegration and doubt than a source of integration and meaning. It produces what amounts to a state of schizophrenia: Man as an observer is becoming completely alienated from himself as a being
The abyss between the rational and the spiritual, the external and the internal, the objective and the subjective, the technical and the moral, the universal and the unique constantly grows deeper
There appear to be no integrating forces, no unified meaning, no true inner understanding of phenomena in our experience of the world
Or, as Houston Smith writes, technology, and its scientific source, are honored for what they can tell us about nature, but as that is not all that exists, science and technology cannot provide us with a valid worldview. The most it can show us is half of the world, the half where normative and intrinsic values, existential and ultimate meanings, teleologies, qualities, immaterial realities, and beings that are superior to us do not appear. Where, then, do we now turn for an inclusive worldview?
Richard Tarnas, professor of psychology and philosophy at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and author of the highly acclaimed The Passion of the Western Mind and the soon-to-be-released Cosmos and Psyche, suggests that as scientists and technologists pursue their vision of technological transcendence, unconscious factors are ignored. Its just these unconscious factors that will eventually disrupt the developmental trajectory so confidently predicted by technologists. Tarnas then offers a thoughtful comment about the psychology behind the quest for technological transcendence: "Purveyors of such future scenarios are blissfully--and often manically--unaware of the deeper psychological impulses driving their quest, the shadow side of their aspirations, and the superficiality of their understanding of either evolution or consciousness. When one is unconscious of so much, one can be certain that one's plans will not go according to schedule. A deeper knowledge of history would tell them that, but historical myopia is a self-affirming attribute. This does not mean that their visions are harmless, only that they are distorted and, in that sense, likely to be highly inaccurate--though not without consequences."
What Tarnas suggests is illustrated in the career of Steven Shafer, formerly a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. According to The Washington Post, Microsoft hired Shafer as a researcher. It seems that Professor Shafer was unhappy at Carnegie Mellon, as he complained that teaching steals from research time. At Microsoft, however, Shafer appears happier. To me, he confided to the Post, this corporation is my power tool. Its the tool I wield to allow my ideas to shape the world. My power tool. What better example of the inflated power drive. It brings to mind one of Jungs most profound insights; that the opposite of love is not hate, but power. Where love stops, he wrote in 1957, power begins, and violence and horror. Thus the archetype may not be so much a love-hate as a love-power archetype.
Freeman Dyson, one of Americas foremost theoretical physicists, and present at the first test of a nuclear bomb, gives a graphic example of how power can inflate the ego. Speaking in the documentary film The Day After Trinity, Dyson said, The glitter of nuclear weapons. Its irresistible if you come to them as a scientist. To feel its there in your hands, to release this energy that fuels the stars, to let it do your bidding. To perform these miracles, to lift up millions of tons of rock into the sky. It is something that gives people an illusion of illimitable power, and it is, in some ways, responsible for all our troublesthis, what you might call technical arrogance that overcomes people when they see what they can do with their minds.
One effect of the computer and Internet, says Stephen Talbott, editor of the online NetFuture, is that it represents a disembodied rationality, which tends to be abstracted form with little depth of humanly felt content. In this sense, he says, the computer is not neutral. It expresses primarily one side of the human character. It tends to express surface, but not interior.
Is it possible that Kurzweil and the scientists/technologists quoted above have developed a theory, a belief system based on what they are skilled at doing, and what captures their minds? This then becomes a kind of technological determinism, which, at best, is only a partial view of reality, and which may turn out to be even more misleading than Marxs economic determinism.
Jung, of course, was always leery of the proliferation of technology and what harm it might eventually cause. In the abstract, he saw technology as neither good nor bad, neither harmful nor harmless. The danger, Jung wrote, lies not in technology but in the possibilities awaiting discovery. Those possibilities are now here and are leading to what some scientists term the Post-human era.
While Jung didnt live to see the possibilities awaiting discovery, Edward Edinger, who died in 1998, did. On the one hand, Edinger saw the World Wide Web as a material reflection of the growing collective individuation in the world that is taking place. There is a worldwide impetus to a new individuation. All the cultures will eventually be assimilated into this new individuation. Edinger knew, however, that eventually could be an extremely long time.
On the other hand, he thought man has decided to subordinate himself to his machine. He has abdicated his own center of being, and hes handed it over to his machine. Edinger felt the modern ego is infatuated with its tools. Were totally preoccupied with means, and ends has been completely lost. Its the ego dissociated from any transpersonal dimension. As to the Post-human impetus, Edinger had a clear view: The impulse to succeed ourselves through technology reflects the collective unconscious goal of destruction. Thus Edinger believed the vital question for everyone is Do I have a relationship with that life-giving source in my unconscious?
In the long sweep of time, we must ask whether weve created a scientific culture that is an immense complex of technique and specialization devoid of any guiding ethical framework. The highest standard appears to be efficiency; the defining ethic, If it can be done, it will be done. It is as Kevin Kelly suggests: We have become as gods, and we might as well get good at it.
What does it mean to be a god?
In the Introduction to the Penguin Classic edition of the Iliad, Bernard Knox offers a description of what being a god entails: To be a god is to be totally absorbed in the exercise of one's own power, the fulfillment of one's own nature, unchecked by any thought of others except as obstacles to be overcome; it is to be incapable of self-questioning or self-criticism. But there are human beings who are like this. Pre-eminent in their particular sphere of power, they impose their will on others with the confidence, the unquestioning certainty of their own right and worth that is characteristic of gods.
Is this a description of that miniscule percentage of the human race, the scientists and technologists, who accelerate the pace and character of change for everyone else on earth, and who are altering the basics of human existence, while pursuing the technological imperative regardless of the human cost?
Its not as if we havent been warnedincluding by some of our most prophetic voicesabout the consequences of overreaching. In a prescient comment, Herman Kahn and Anthony Weiner concluded their 1967 magnum opus by observing that in the final decades of the twentieth century, we shall have the technological and economic power to change the world radically, but probably not get very much ability to restrain our strivings, let alone understand or control the results of the changes we will be making. Alvin Toffler noted in 1970 that by blindly stepping up the rate of change, the level of novelty, and the extent of choice, we are thoughtlessly tampering with the environmental preconditions of rationality. (Emphases added.)
Centuries earlier, however, everything in human myth and religion warned about trying to become as the gods. (See Icarus and Frankenstein.) These myths and stories caution that there are limits to both human knowledge and endeavor; that to go beyond those limits is self-destructive. No one knows exactly where such limits might be. But if they dont include the effort to create some technical/human life form supposedly superior to human beings, if they dont include the capacity to genetically reconfigure human nature, if they dont include the attempt to introduce a post-human civilization, then its hard to imagine where such limits would be drawn.
Myths emanate from the deepest realm of the psyche, that level which connects us to transcendent wisdom. The record of five thousand years of human experience suggests that at the heart of life is a great mystery that does not yield to rational interpretation. This eternal mystery induces a sense of wonder out of which all that humanity has of religion, art and science is born. The mystery is the giver of these gifts, and we only lose the gifts when we grasp at the mystery itself. Nature may not permit man to defy that mystery, that transcendent wisdom. In the words of Francis Bacon, God forbid that we should give out a dream of our own imagination for a pattern of the world
The subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of the [human] senses and understanding.
The Spiritual Reorientation
The third issue at the heart of the psychological reorientation mentioned at the outset is the spiritual turbulence taking place worldwide, albeit at differing rates of speed.
At the center of this turbulence is a staggering reality thats difficult to grasp: We are living through nothing less than a redefinition of the human relationship to God. Such a redefinition has happened several times before in history, and its always been a disruptive and disorienting period.
Such a thoughta change in the human relationship to Godor to be more precise, to the God-imageis by no means original with this essay. Throughout the twentieth century, thoughtful peopleThomas Hardy, W.B. Yeats, Oswald Spengler, Arnold Toynbee, C.G. Jung, Adlai Stevenson, Rollo May, Peter Drucker, Joseph Campbell to name just a fewhave, in one way or another, raised this possibility.
Most of the above-mentioned people spoke of this prospect in terms of Christianity and Western civilization. However, Joseph Campbell, who was possibly the worlds foremost authority on the psychological and symbolic meaning of myths, clearly believed this spiritual reorientation, this change in the God-image, is a worldwide phenomena. In a 1962 New York speech, he observed, The world is passing through perhaps the greatest spiritual metamorphosis in the history of the human race. Campbell referred to the change he saw taking place in the spiritual attitudes of the Moslem, Hindu, Jewish and Christian students he had been teaching at Sara Lawrence College over some four decades. Jung clearly shared Campbells views, and Jungs seminal book, Answer to Job, is probably the most authoritative exposition of the psychological phenomena underlying such a shift.
But as the spiritual/psychological reorientation were considering is clearly most pronounced in the Christian world, it is from that experience examples are drawn that may offer helpful perspective. If a change in the human relationship to the God-image is in fact taking place, it is by no means the first time such a change has occurred. Jung suggests we are, in fact, experiencing the sixth major change in the Western God-image.
A change in the God-image is a cataclysmic development. The God-image is the primary expression by which humans orient themselves to the basic questions and mysteries of lifeWhy am I here? What happens to me when I die? Does life have any meaning, and if so, how do I find it? How should I live my life? In this sense, the God-image should not be confused with the word God. They are totally different phenomena, and are not interchangeable. When the God-image changes, it brings with it a cultural transformation in worldview. For many people it literally is the end of their world as they have interpreted it.
Part of the last such shift was evident when the Greco-Roman multiple gods of antiquity ceased to resonate in the depths of the Greco-Roman soul. This was a time of prolonged disintegration and disorientation. The cry, Great Pan is dead was heard throughout the Greco-Roman world. The Roman poet Lucretius observed that in every home doubts arose which the mind was powerless to assuage. There was a loss of collective meaning; a disappearance of what had represented lifes highest value. The God-image that had informed the inner life and culture of the Greco-Roman world for a thousand years lost its compelling force, especially for the leadership class. This led to a breakdown of the historic psychic structures that had been the source and container of Greco-Roman morals and beliefs. A collapse of the ethical and social guidelines underlying civilized order took place.
This breakdown was followed by the collapse of lifes physical structuresthe Roman roads, aqueducts, farms, and even the Roman army, which required mercenaries to maintain the Roman military machine. Numerous cults, philosophies and religions vied for supremacy. Over time, spirit and matter were torn apart from the psychological unity they had enjoyed in both the Old Testament and in Greek mythology, and Christianity became all spirit. Finally, three centuries after Jesus, Emperor Constantine proclaimed Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. Even so, it was another five or six centuries before Christendom reigned throughout Europe. From Ireland to Italy, Europe underwent a wrenching transformation of basic symbols and meaning.
When this reorientation took place, the process was confined to a relatively small proportion of Earths population, basically to Europe, including Russia. If a similar process is in fact happening today, its taking place on a worldwide basis, and all the worlds major religions are affected.
One reason for suggesting that the terms God and the God-image are different phenomena is that even the Catholic Church has suggested that God is beyond the capacity of human comprehension. In 1215, at the Lateran Council in Rome, the Catholic Church stated that God is ineffable and unknowable. A few decades later, Thomas Aquinas was writing his magnum opus, Summa Theologica. Aquinas never finished Summa Theologica. He simply quit writing. He stopped, he said, because One can know God only when one knows that God far surpasses anything that can be said or thought about God. (Italics added.) In Aquinas view, God is beyond all thought, even beyond all categories of thought. In other words, hes saying the word God is a metaphor for the Mystery of Eternal Being, for that Unknowable Divine Immensity that created all life.
Jungs views about God are clear. In a 1955 interview with the London Daily Mail, he said, All that I have learned has led me step by step to an unshakable conviction of the existence of God. In a 1959 BBC interview, Jung was asked whether he believes in God. He replied, I know, I dont need to believe. I know. He subsequently outlined the psychological experiences, the soul experiences, on which that understanding was based. For Jung, it was not a matter of faith, but of experience.
If in fact God is unknowable in the cognitive sense, what is it were referring to when we talk about God? The Book of Genesis gives a clue when it says man is created in the image of God. The image of Godthe God-image. Its this God-image in the collective psyche that is the cohesive force of every religion, and its this God-image, in all its varying expressions, that has been changing. Jungs research suggests such a change is not only a cultural process, but is also an evolutionary process that includes both biological and psychological developments.
As to what is responsible for a change in the God-image, Edward Edinger suggests two factors: first, the God-image contains a latent dynamic tendency to evolve and develop; second, such development partially results from the feedback it receives from conscious egos. Thus Edinger posits that while the Self, the pivotal archetype of orientation and significance, is always manifested to one degree or another, there are times in the history of a cultural worldview when the Self becomes activated to a greater degree than normal. Such times represent the great spiritual/psychological transition points of history.
Historically, religion has been the central, life-forming, cohesive force of all great civilizations. It constituted the formative dynamic and informing source of all our institutions and moral precepts. Every culture has originally been the outward expression of some inner spiritual conviction. So it is not surprising that when a particular spiritual dispensation atrophies, the culture and institutions, as well as the moral conventions derived from that religious impulse, lose their cohesion and authority. This is an archetypal process that has played itself out several times in human history. This archetypal process is again working itself out as is suggested by the hollowing out of at least five of the foundational areas of Western civilization, i.e., religion, culture, the family, education and self-government.
A Different Context
To help gain perspective on why a change in the God-image has been taking place, consider what life was like for the average person between two and three thousand years ago, when our religions came into being. The average person never traveled more than perhaps thirty miles from their home in their lifetime; they thought the earth was flat; they lived in an agricultural society, which means they had an organic relationship to earth and natural phenomena; their only source of education or intellectual stimulation was the priest; there were no books, newspapers or news of the day; they had no idea of what was going on in the rest of the worldindeed they didnt even know there was a rest of the world; the population of the entire world was smaller than todays U.S. population, so there were none of the population pressures we experience; they knew nothing about the universe or the beginnings of life on earth; and on and on one could go.
Contrast that with the context within which we live today. We can see billions of miles into space, and in so doing, weve made contact with radiation left over from the big bang some 14 billion years ago; religions which were born and flourished in total isolation from each other are now intermingling, thus offering everyone sort of a do-it-yourself potpourri of religious mix; anyone with a computer has access to all knowledge, philosophies, religions, political theories, and cultural expressions; we have become as gods ourselves with the power to destroy the earth, and perhaps even knock the solar system out of balance; we shall soon have the capability to create designer babies, and perhaps eventually eliminate the requirement for the male sperm in the creation of human life; and television, the Internet, the cell phone and easy plane travel have virtually eliminated time and space, giving us all an instantaneous electronic global reach. One could go on, but the point is clear.
We live in an age that in every way is totally different than those times when our spiritual expressions were given us. Our psychological orientation is vastly different. We possess abilities and face circumstances that were simply unimaginable even five hundred years ago, to say nothing of two thousand or more years ago. So it would be unnatural if there were not some change taking place in how man relates to the God-image, and to Transcendent Reality. As Joseph Campbell put it, Nothing really means anything because the images of all our religions refer to millennia past. Everyone on earthfrom the indigenous people of the Amazon basin, to the sophisticates of Paris and New York, are being forced into a new global, electronic, instant information, technological context of life, which bears no relationship to that context of life when our religions evolved.
Thus the religious life across the world is in turmoil. In India, the passive belief that one must accept the circumstances of this incarnation of life in order to find greater peace and happiness in the next incarnation, this belief is giving way to the realization that one can indeed change ones circumstances in this life. Thus the age-old pattern of adapting to ones proper role, as defined by dharma, need no longer apply. And so Bangalore is crammed with young techiesmaking salaries their parents could only dream ofproviding back room services for American companies via computer. In Israel, secularism and Judaic fundamentalism vie for political supremacy, while Islam could eventually become Israels major religion if Israels Arab population continues its present growth rate. In China, where Confucianism and ancestor worship have been such a significant underpinning of culture and spiritual heritage, the whole structure of family, family authority, and the moral discipline of Confucianism, as well as acceptance of the wisdom of ones elders, has been atrophying under the influence of, first Communism, and more recently, modernization, affluence and globalization. And while the Tao (or the Way) tickles the spiritual fancy of many Westerners, the influence of the Tao has long been waning in China as people search for some more modern meaning to life as the country ascends to the peaks of world economic and military power.
In Europe, secular fundamentalism reigns, and a major concern of the Catholic Church is whether Islam will ultimately become Europes dominant religion. In sub-Sahara Africa, they long ago lost their instinctual native ways of relating to the Divine Unknown as Europeans imposed Christianity and Western rationalized modes of administration and education on a people who instinctively operated on a more non-rational decision-making basis. Right now, Christianity is growing rapidly in Africa, but it remains to be seen how deeply this foreign religion becomes embedded in the African psyche. And in virtually every Muslim country, significant debate of Islam, democracy, modernity and globalization is under way.
A Copernican Revolution
But Jung has pointed to something even deeper going on. The evidence indicates we are in the midst of a Copernican revolution of the psyche/soul, and its generating the same disorientation, bewilderment and conflict that followed the original Copernican revolution in the sixteenth century.
At its deepest level, religion is the language of the soul, the center of which is the Self, the archetype that functions as the God-image. What the world is confronted with in the so-called clash of civilizations is, at a deeper level, the conflict of different God-images, or, in psychological terms, different expressions of the Self. That is the heart of every religious conflict. It is a split in humanitys God-image.
At the center of this split is the psychological reality that, as one analyst puts it, what we perceive as God-phenomena are in point of fact Self-phenomena. Behind such a statement is a totally new fact of history: for the first time, as a result of Jungs discoveries, we have come to understand some of the psychological reality of the human interpretation of the Divinity; a reality based not on the actual existence of the Divine Unknowable Creator of the universe, but on our perception of that Unknowable. That perception, by definition, is not the Unknowable Creator itself, but is the God-image as rendered by the Self. The split in the God-image is, psychologically, a split in humanitys collective Self. Historically, this split has been caused by many factors, including geography and environment, varying human characteristics, cultural and religious development, as well as the nature of evolution and emergence. But over the past two or three centuries, the split has been intensified by activation of the Apocalypse archetype mentioned earlier.
What we may be facing now is the effort of this split Self, this divided God-image, to seek a greater degree of unity and wholeness, even while the destructive phase of the Apocalypse archetype continues. Given the unfolding of some sort of global stage in human affairs which has been emerging over the past several centuries, such a move towards a greater unity in the Self, in the God-image, would not only be natural, but is essential if humanity is successfully to realize the vital new life this unfolding offers. This does not necessarily mean any particular God-image must be lost; rather that as cultures and individuals, we must move to a higher level of consciousness at the same time as the differing God-images mature and are reinterpreted to express themselves in a broader, deeper and more organic unity. In this sense, a God-image need not be static; it is responsive to the demands of evolution of the human condition, new circumstances, and the evolving needs of the human soul.
Part of the maturation of the God-image is the need for reinterpretation of spiritual scripture. Scripture is the expression of an earlier consciousness just as it emerged from the mists of the Mythic Age. In this sense, besides its spiritual significance that is an expression of the transcendent dimension, scripture is as well a psychological manifestation. As was said above, religion is the language of the soul, and as the soul (psyche) seeks a greater maturity of expression, traditional scripture must be reinterpreted in terms that resonate in the depths of the contemporary human spirit. This reinterpretation is far more than a matter of language, of just re-writing the scripture in modern language. It involves taking the original scriptural expressions, breaking them out of the archaic, pre-modern context in which they are embedded, and expressing them in terms that resonate with the contemporary psyche.
Edward Edinger has in fact done this to a certain extent, and his collected works on this subject mark a historic beginning of a monumental task. Take, for example, Edingers reinterpretation of the biblical passage we know of as the Lords Prayer. He notes that it is divided into seven petitions, and is a formula for maintaining a connection between the ego and the Self. He suggests that the phrase Hallowed be thy name, means I must remember the transpersonal sacred dimension of life. That is what the ego is reminding itselfto remember that life is not just secular, it has a transpersonal dimension, writes Edinger. The phrase, Thy kingdom come, suggests that the ego is announcing that it recognizes that the rule of the Self should prevail. Forgive us our trespasses, emphasizes the nature of the egos sin against the Self.
We began this essay with a glance at earlier seminal shifts in human perception and orientation that involved a heightened constellation of the Self. We are once again experiencing an accelerated activation of the Self that is seen in a broadening out of the human personality, and in a widening individual identity. Given that religion is the language of the soul, the psyche, one is hard pressed to remember any time in the past half century when there has been as much public discussion in the world about religion as there is today. From a psychological standpoint, what were witnessing is the Self searching for a greater maturation and wholeness.
The Fundamentalist Phenomenon
An inherent aspect of any archetypal expression of the maturing process is reaction, in this case expressed in the more rigid manifestation of religious fundamentalisms resistance to such a new maturation. Various people are inclined to equate fundamentalism with radicalism, even terrorism. This is a distinction that can be both false and harmful. For many people, fundamentalism simply means adhering to the fundamentals, the basics, of a given religious expression, whether Hindu, Muslim, Jewish or Christian.
Whether moderate or fanatical, however, fundamentalism poses different reactions to the psychological reorientation under way. This is due to the numinous nature of the archetypal experience, which yields a variety of expressions. If the numinous experience is consciously integrated, then individuation takes place, strengthening the ego-Self axis. If, however, ones ego identifies with the numinosity of the experience, then inflation takes place and the chance for individuation is minimized. The ego then expresses itself in a certain dogmatic rigidity. It identifies with a psychologically archaic belief system residing in the collective unconscious, rather than moving forward and engaging individuation and its process of increasing consciousness. The individual then feels he has assumed the spiritual high ground. Thus, all fundamentalisms tend to divide the world between us and them, between the saved and damned, between those who are with us and those who are against us. For inflation has diminished the room for acceptance of the other.
One characteristic of fundamentalism is the literal interpretation of scripture, whether the Bible, the Koran, or Bhagavad-Gita, rather than a symbolic interpretation, which, for example, is how St. Augustine interpreted scripture such as the book of Revelation and its description of the Apocalypse. This is a critical distinction, as many people are inclined to interpret the book of Revelation literally. This difference between literalism and symbolism is one element at the core of the difference between fundamentalists and traditionalists.
A basic psychological law says every psychic condition exists simultaneously with its opposite. So the maturation and broadening out, the evolution towards a more whole and complete God-image taking place in the collective psyche, brings with it a regressive movement towards an archaic reaching back for a more familiar expression of the God-image. Essentially, religious fundamentalism reaches back for thought-patterns that originated at least two thousand years ago, that were expressed in a manner relevant to the psychological need and development of that time, but which fail to resonate with much of contemporary societyespecially in the creative minority which sets the tone and culture of any society. Indeed, the present-day psyche is actually seeking to reformulate such thought-patterns as it seeks maturation and a higher state of consciousness.
But the more energy acquired by the embodiment of the new, the more fiercely its opposite clutches to the safer and more familiar old. In other words, the maturation to a new and more complete God-image, and the fundamentalist reaction are two sides of the same coin. As he desperately strives to keep the old faith, the fundamentalist clings to the certainty of the very spiritual symbols that have lost their collective numinosity and are thus in need of reinterpretation.
That the whole world should be experiencing this spiritual/psychological reorientation simultaneouslyeven if at differing ratesis not surprising, as Analytical Psychology suggests that the structure of the psyche is the same for all people everywhere, even though the psyche has manifested itself in different cultural and spiritual inflections over the millennia. In this sense, the psyche is comparable to the human body, which has evolved into different sizes, features and colors, but in its essential attributes is basically the same everywhere.
The Terrorism/Religion Relationship
Part of the contemporary psychological reorientation is the question of why there appear to be two completely different ways in which Muslims react to their perception of America, globalization and Western civilization? All Muslims, generally speaking, appear to share a similar assessment of what they perceive to be the materialism, secularism and general spiritual disintegration of Europe and the United States. One section of Muslim societya minorityreacts to this perception by being prepared to sacrifice their lives in order to kill as many of the infidel as possible. These are the so-called terrorists. Another section of Muslim society, which perhaps could be described as traditionalists, and which shares the same assessments of the West as held by the terrorists, responds by diplomacy, cultural interchange, political action, editorial commentary, and dialogue. Why this completely different response to shared or similar assessments? Are we asking this question, and do we evaluate the significance it implies?
One hypothesis in answer to this question could be that the terrorist processes his reaction to perceived ills directly from the unconscious portion of his psyche. It is an instinctual reaction. Analytical Psychology has helped us realize that the unconscious is raw nature, and as such, it has no moral structure. The traditionalist, on the other hand, processes his reaction through his consciousness, and consciousness does contain a moral structure. As is pointed out in Edingers book, Archetype of the Apocalypse, The psychological root of terrorism is a fanatical resentment a quasi-psychotic hatred originating in the depths of the archetypal psyche and therefore carried by religious (archetypal) energies
. Articulate terrorists generally express themselves in religious (archetypal) terminology. The enemy is seen as the Principle of Objective Evil (Devil) and the terrorist perceives himself as the heroic agent of divine or Objective Justice (God). This is an archetypal inflation of demonic proportions, which temporarily grants the individual almost superhuman energy and effectiveness. (For a graphic example of this, see Time magazine, Inside the Mind of an Iraqi Suicide Bomber. July 4, 2005)
Edinger then goes on to say, We need a new category to understand this new phenomenon. These individuals are not criminals and are not madmen although they have some qualities of both. Let's call them zealots. Zealots are possessed by transpersonal, archetypal dynamisms deriving from the collective unconscious. Their goal is a collective one, not a personal one. The criminal seeks his own personal gain; not so the zealot. In the name of a transpersonal, collective value a religion, an ethnic or national identity, a patriotic vision, etc. they sacrifice their personal life in the service of their god. Although idiosyncratic and perverse, this is fundamentally a religious phenomenon that derives from the archetypal, collective unconscious.
What Edinger is highlighting applies to more than terrorism in the Middle East. It plays a part in many of the religious conflicts in the world todayChechen Muslims v. Orthodox Russians, Jews v. Muslims in Palestine, Orthodox Serbians v. Muslims in the Balkans, Hindus v. Muslims in Kashmir. In all of these conflicts, there is at least a significant element of what Edinger describes as transpersonal, archetypal dynamisms deriving from the collective unconscious. No assessment of the terrorist phenomenon is complete without including Edingers general analysis.
Critical to understanding the role the unconscious plays in all weve discussed is to study our shadow, both in its individual and collective expressions. One analyst suggested that if we want to know what our personal shadow looks like, just draw up a list of the characteristics we least like in other people. That list will represent our shadow, the repressed qualities our ego-defense mechanism denies in ourselves, and thus projects onto other people or nations. The psychiatrist Anthony Stevens writes that the shadow underlies all kinds of prejudice against those belonging to identifiable groups other than our own, and is at the bottom of all massacres, pogroms and wars. In this way, he says, we deny our own badness and project it on to others
The most heinous example of collective shadow projection in our time was Hitlers ability to induce a sizable portion of the German people to project its shadow onto the Jewish people. On a considerably less catastrophic basis, shadow projection was more recently represented by Irans use of the term Great Satan in describing the U.S., and the U.S. retort of Axis of evil, both of which locates the evil out there somewhere, and relieves Iran and the U.S. of considering their own evil. Stevens suggests that what makes phrases such as these so devastating is that they can activate the archetype of evil which then gets projected onto the enemy in addition to the projection of our personal shadow.
The question arises as to whether we Americans are capable of or are willing to confront our own shadow in an objective manner, with no value judgment reinforced by any emotional attachment. Seeing the American shadow, while not difficult, takes moral courage, as it means confronting the source of malevolence in ourselves, which is uncomfortable, to say the least. Just as the shadow is integral to individual existence, so its part of a nations collective personality. Examples abound: the brutality of Native American genocide, of slavery and modern day racism; the arrogance of the Ugly American abroad; an excessive power-lust for knowledge and the domination of natureexpressed in the amorality of the sciences, and in the unreflecting exploitation of technology by business; the selfishness of our maximization of growth and progress regardless of the cost; our unbalanced way of thinking reflected in environmental degradation; the greed and disregard of consequences that lead to our oil addiction; and the absence of love for our children that tolerates our daily TV menu of violence, sex and death, to offer but a few examples. These are all individual and shared shadow aspects that, in our collective denial, we refuse to confrontat our and the worlds peril. As Marie-Louise von Franz put it, I think that if more people do not make the effort to reflect and take back their [shadow] projections, and take the opposites within themselves, there will be a total destruction.
Edinger gives helpful insight on understanding ones shadow. We must ask ourselves, he writes, Whom do I hate? Which groups or factions do I fight against? Whoever or whatever they are, they are a part of me. I am bound to that which I hate, as surely as I am bound to that which I love. Psychologically, the important thing is where ones libido is lodged, not whether one is for or against a given thing. (Italics added)
Marie-Louise von Franz comments on Jungs reaction to the accumulation of collective shadow projection: Jung saw this present-day culmination of evil as typical of the historic catastrophes that tend to accompany the great transitions from one age to another
Jung also did not have a simple answer, but he was convinced that every individual who undertook to come to terms with the evil in himself would make a more effective contribution toward the salvation of the world than idealistic external machinations would. Here we are talking about more than just insight into ones personal shadow; we are speaking also of a struggle with the dark side of God, which the human being cannot face but must, as Job did. Perhaps Jungs most succinct prescription for confronting the shadow was, One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness [the shadow] conscious. That is the heart of individuation, Jungs term for achieving the most complete development of individual personality. That is certainly a task any individual can undertake.
To sum up, as we look towards the coming decades, we cannot escape the fact that some great phase of the human experience is dying, while some new stage seeks to take shape. We daily watch and experience the trauma of this historic shift expressing itself in cascading world events, in our changing institutions and human relationships, and in the ethos of destruction that has become such a cultural motif. At the deepest level, what were experiencing is a sign of humanitys collective soul passing through the throes of a reorientation, a death and rebirth. We shouldnt be surprised, as its happened before in history, albeit on a more limited geographical basis. But now the whole human family is experiencing such a critical moment. And although we have no map of the wider historical space into which the world is moving, the process itself reflects some new hope, some new context of life coming to birth. Like all births its painful.
We all are living between two ages. Theres a new epoch of broader and deeper meaning struggling to take shape for all humankind. What were experiencing is a broadening out of the human personality to a new orientation that brings with it a sense of the whole person, as well as that persons relationship to the whole of humanity. Its an enlargement of personality and perspective bringing with it a more inclusive and complete transcendent expression. This is the expansion of consciousness so urgently needed. Its a process of inner transformation and rebirth. Its that larger and greater personality maturing within us. With all our problems and possibilities, the future depends on how weeach in his or her own unique waytap into the eternal renewing dynamic that dwells in the deepest reaches of the human soul.
Such a moment of intense possibility is, as well, a moment of grave danger. The question that hangs over humanity is whether we shall wake to this process and engage it in time, or continue blindly down the road of past orientations and perspectives. It is unrealistic to expect what weve been discussing to come to fruition in the lifetime of anyone reading this essay, for history suggests changes in worldview and consciousness take time to grow and mature. But if enough peopleespecially in America and Europerealize whats happening, and internalize the symbolic meaning of the new orientation, then perhaps we might avoid the worst, and contribute to the new level of consciousness and moral maturity a new epoch of history is demanding.
© William Van Dusen Wishard 2005. All rights reserved.
WorldTrends Research: www.worldtrendsresearch.com
AUTHORS NOTE: I am not an analyst. Over the past thirty years, however, I have studied the works of C.G. Jung, Marie-Louise von Franz, Edward F. Edinger, as well as the writings of the more contemporary generation of analytical psychologists. Whatever truth the above essay may express, it is to Jung and those who followed, the credit goes, for they have pioneered what I believe to be the only realistic path to the new era now seeking birth. Any errors of fact or interpretation this essay may contain are strictly my own.