Rebirth in an Age of Polarization According to Carl Jung

Art by Ruysen Flores Venancino

by Paul Levy

At the present moment our country—and our world—are insanely polarized. If humanity is seen as a single macro-organism, it is as if there is a primordial dissociation—a split—deep within its very source. Our species is suffering from what the great doctor of the soul C. G. Jung calls a “sickness of dissociation,” which is a state of fragmentation deep within the collective unconscious itself that has seemingly spilled outside of our skulls and has taken the form of collective events playing themselves out en masse on the world stage. Jung writes, “And just as for the individual a time of dissociation is a time for sickness, so it is in the life of nations. We can hardly deny that ours is a time of dissociation and sickness.”[1] And yet, everything in our world has at least two sides, which is to say that our sickness of dissociation is not solely pathological. To quote Jung, “the sickness of dissociation in our world is at the same time a process of recovery, or rather, the climax of a period of pregnancy which heralds the throes of birth.”

A time of dissociation … is simultaneously an age of rebirth.[2]

Reflecting upon this deep process of dissociation that is playing out in our world through a psychological lens can be potentially illuminating. Dissociation, as Jung points out, is related to birth. We can deepen our understanding of dissociation by shedding light on the archetypal process of birth – i.e., The Incarnation. Contemplating the West’s prevailing myth of the birth of God—the Christ event—psychologically, which is to say symbolically (i.e., as if it is a dream of our species) might help us gain some deeper insights into the cure for our sickness of dissociation. Contemplating the Christ event symbolically, Jung writes, “Had he [God] only given an account of his action to himself, he would have seen what a fearful dissociation he had got into through his incarnation.”[3]

In contemplating the Incarnation of God symbolically, Jung points out that the opposites became totally and completely polarized—dissociated—in the figures of Christ and Satan. Speaking about the divine Incarnation, Jung writes that “the opposites in him [God] must fly apart: here good, there evil.”[4] In other words, as soon as Christ—the incarnation of God—shows up on the scene with, in Jung’s words, his “superabundance of light on one side,” it is no accident that Satan enters the scene with “an all the blacker darkness on the other.”[5] Just like shadows belong to light, it is as if these light and dark figures are inseparable, reciprocally co-arising together, inter-related aspects of a greater unity. Something deeper—of a higher order or dimension of our being—is being revealed to us through their interplay.

When the opposites materialize themselves in a totally polarized way in our world—be it during the time of the Christ event over two thousand years ago or as we see in the world today—this could be seen as an emergent phenomena, i.e., the revelation of a radically holistic unity that informs, contains, embraces and transcends both pairs of the opposites. This is to say that the polarization in today’s world can be likened to a shadow on the wall of Plato’s cave being cast by something beyond itself. We should keep our eyes open for this deeper unifying process that is announcing itself through the process of such extreme polarization evident in our world today.

Jung refers to the “transconscious character of the pair of opposites,”[6] by which he means that the opposites don’t belong to the ego, but are supraordinate to it, i.e., are an expression of what he calls the Self, the wholeness of our true nature. When unleashed—like unrestrained wild animals—“the opposites” can become, as Jung describes “the warring elements of primeval chaos.” This can be unconsciously and tragically lived out in a literal way – through endless war, for example. A new realization, however, can potentially be born out of the conflict of these primordial opposites, as Jung points out, “just because they are in conflict,” in which “what looked like death and destruction” is actually the labor pains of something completely novel coming into form. This is to say that lying within conflict is the potential for a new birth.

Christ on the cross can be seen as a living symbol of this very process, for as Jung points out, the crucifixion itself perfectly symbolizes consciously holding the tension of the opposites in such a way that something deeper—the resurrected body—emerges. Symbols, by their very nature synthesize what seem to be contradictory opposites into a higher unity. Seen symbolically, the crucifixion/resurrection (these two processes go together, i.e., are parts of a deeper process) is a revelation that depicts this relation between dissociation and the birth of something new. On the cross, God is seemingly abandoned by—dissociated from—himself, while at the same time, paradoxically, never being more himself. Seen symbolically, God’s state of being dissociated from himself literally becomes the doorway for his birth into, as and through our world.

It is an archetypal idea—found, for example, in the Kabbalah, that some form of conflict, destruction or dis-integration is a prerequisite for individuation, necessary for the birth of the Self. To quote Jung, “the self is made manifest in the opposites and in the conflict between them; it is a coincidentia oppositorum [coincidence of opposites]. Hence the way to the self begins with conflict.”[7] Opposites are intrinsic to the nature of the paradoxical Self, i.e., man’s totality. In Jung’s words, “All opposites are of God [analogous to the Self], therefore man must bend to this burden; and in so doing he finds that God in his ‘oppositeness’ has taken possession of him, incarnated himself in him. He becomes a vessel filled with divine conflict”[8]

Art by Ruysen Flores Venancino

Though archetypal in nature, the resulting conflict shows up within each of us individually in our own unique way, as our conscious personality is brought face to face with the counter-position of the unconscious. To the extent that this inner conflict is not dealt with consciously in a creative confrontation with the opposites via the process of individuation, it will be unconsciously acted out—via projection—destructively in the external world at large.

Speaking symbolically, Jung writes that the figure of Satan “represents the counterpole of the tremendous tension in the world psyche which Christ’s advent signified.”[9] In other words, Jung is interpreting these theological events as expressions of a process whose source is the collective unconscious of humanity. Similarly, the deep dissociation that is playing out on the world stage today can be seen as a reflection of the polarization that exists in the collective psyche, which is to say it is a collective expression of the polarization within each one of us.

Recognizing this correlation between the inner and outer can be incredibly helpful. Instead of pathologizing ourselves, identifying with and personalizing our inner conflict (which can lead to despair and depression), we can re-contextualize our experience of the conflict, re-cognizing that the inner tension many of us are feeling is a reflection of a deeper, archetypal process that pervades the field. Addressing “the apparently unendurable conflict” that someone was inwardly going through, Jung writes that this is “proof of the rightness of your life.”[10]

This realization: that when we are experiencing inner conflict we might be picking up something in the collective field – can also help us to recognize that instead of being separate from the world at large, we are plugged into it, i.e., deeply interconnected expressions of it. In another letter, Jung writes, “One shouldn’t evade this conflict by escaping into a premature and anticipated state of redemption, otherwise one provokes it in the outside world. And that is of the devil.”[11] Evading this conflict by identifying with one of the opposites and splitting off from, and hence, projecting out the other, we unconsciously “dream up” this inner conflict to get acted out in full-bodied form in the outside world. In channeling and then inwardly metabolizing the underlying conflict that pervades the greater field, however, we become oracles and shamans for the world—in potential—depending upon whether we are able to creatively and constructively express what is moving in and through us.

Jung is not alone in pointing out the cosmic dissociative disorder from which God seems to be suffering. Sci-Fi author Philip K. Dick writes, “the Godhead is ipso facto divided and pitted against itself; it assumes an antithetical interaction with itself…. Hence the Godhead is in infinite crisis…. And this ur-paradox in the macrocosm has mirrored effects in every microform down throughout creation.”[12] In a situation where the macrocosm mirrors the microcosm and vice versa, this dissociation in the Godhead is reflected in every microform (each one of us). The dialectical tensions of the cosmos are mirrored in the psyche of each individual.

Our state of dissociation can be likened to a primordial rupture, which is a form of existential trauma on a cosmic scale that has become the in-forming force behind human history itself, conditioning the experience of each individual, as well as our species as a whole. It is as if the universe itself has been subject to a cosmic “dissociative reaction,” in which the underlying unity of the universe has been fragmented into a multiplicity of seemingly compartmentalized selves. Seen as a whole person, it is as if the undivided wholeness of the universe has split into multiple sub-personalities who are dissociated from and seemingly separate from each other, desperately in need of recognizing their inter-connection so as to come together and reintegrate.

From the Kabbalistic point of view, this cosmic dissociation, a seeming crisis in creation itself, is no accident, but is built into the very design of the universe. It is as if the ground of being had to become estranged from itself in order to become more fully itself so as to arrive at a new degree of self-knowledge and inner coherence. Without a break in its symmetry, the true nature of Being would have no way to encounter and become aware of itself. In other words, there is—potentially—a divine method to the madness that is playing out.

Dick comments, “Thus the rupture in the Godhead was necessary, given its (the Godhead’s) drive to complete itself as kosmos. It was driven inexorably to this schism; hence the one became two, and the dialectic came into existence, as it became increasingly aware.”[13] Dick is pointing out the deeper teleology encoded within the process of God’s dissociation: the very split in the Godhead is the way, through a constantly evolving dialectic, that God is becoming “increasingly aware,” i.e., conscious. And we find ourselves implicated—i.e., playing a key role—in this cosmic process.

Where did this sickness of dissociation come from? To quote Jung, “When man became conscious, the germ of the sickness of dissociation was planted in his soul.”[14] The process of becoming conscious is symbolized in our sacred texts by the eating of the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden that gave us knowledge of the opposites – i.e., good and evil. This awareness shattered the primal state of unconscious identification and fusion with the world. This is the moment when, in Dick’s words, “one became two” and self-consciousness was born – we become aware of ourselves in such a way so as to not be one with ourselves. This process, however, is an integral part of, reflects—and initiates—the evolution of human consciousness. Because the origin of this impersonal, universal and archetypal process is in consciousness itself, the cure for our sickness of dissociation is to be found—and can only ever be found—in the realm of consciousness as well.

Speaking about God (i.e., the Self) and “the birth of a savior,” Jung writes, “Although he is already born in the pleroma [the fullness of the collective unconscious], his birth in time can only be accomplished when it is perceived, recognized and declared by man.”[15] Jung is pointing at that atemporally—from the dimension outside of linear time—the birth of the Self has already happened (and is thus already the case), and now simply needs to be “perceived, recognized and declared” by humanity to make it real in time. Becoming conscious of this deeper process of birth that is revealing itself through the state of extreme polarization in our world is, as if by magic, the very act which—abracadabra—creates the womb for the Self to be born. Once we have this realization, there’s then plenty of work to do in the world, but recognizing this deeper process changes everything, including ourselves.

Assuming our true mission, we then find ourselves—remembering who we arein the process. We discover that we play the crucial role—a role seemingly prepared for us since beginningless time—in what is the most archetypally creative process imaginable – how amazing is that!

A pioneer in the field of spiritual emergence, Paul Levy is a wounded healer in private practice, assisting others who are also awakening to the dreamlike nature of reality. He is the author of Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil (North Atlantic Books, 2013) and The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis. An artist, he is deeply steeped in the work of C. G. Jung, and has been a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner for over thirty years. Please visit Paul’s website You can contact Paul at; he looks forward to your reflections. Though he reads every email, he regrets that he is not able to personally respond to all of them.

The Alchemy Of The Feminine Energy

Art by WERC
Art by WERC

via Awakened

The alchemical process of ‘being the change you wish to see in the world’ has a yin and yang (passive and active) component to it. In order to collectively elevate earth we must understand how vital the role of the feminine is in this play.

The presence of the feminine energy has been largely absent from the equation here on earth for some time now. Her power is that of the circle — all encompassing. She is chaos and order, form and formless, both at once. She is non-linear and for this, she can be feared or seen as magic. She is the stillness that births motion and the static from which the ecstatic springs into life.

The feminine energy is here to activate our heart and rise up in balance with the masculine energy to form heart-centered unity consciousness.

The masculine energy is: logic, action, will power, focus, boundaries, intellect, linear.

The feminine energy is: intuition, nurture, compassion, emotions, receptivity, sentience, non-linear.

There must be harmony created between these two forces on an individual level first, in order for it to be available as a living reality on Earth and we are headed in this direction.

We have seen the extent of what a world that is out of balance with its habitat looks like and we have felt the extent of what action without heart can do. When the masculine and feminine forces inside us synthesize together they create heart-centered consciousness, this is where we become the living heart in action.

A mind rooted in the 3rd dimension may perceive turning inward as betrayal to the outside world because our society is heavily production and productivity oriented across the board in all areas of life. We have been trained to intrinsically value what is on the outside while paying little attention to the power that gives birth to the world of form. We go forward on our journey as far as the outside can take us until we realize that the external is an emanation of the condition of our collective psyche and that to place our sole emphasis on changing the outside will only rearrange different versions of the same circumstances we face on all scales of reality.

If our intent is to transmute Earth we will have to become the change we wish to see in all respects of being and not only the outward action based respects. Without internal change we cannot complete the transformation of the individual, thus, the collective. The inner change is where the magic happens.

We are less accustomed to the yin energy. It can be difficult for us to trust in its power as well as uncomfortable to become receptive, open and soft when we have learned to be shutdown and reactionary. When we come from a mind frame of reactivity, we are energetically braced in a stalemate with the state of the world. Our ability to transform the outside is weakened when we become a slave to reacting to it. What is needed is an energy alteration. This alteration comes first through the inner transmutation of the individual.

The feminine force allows us to go inward and open up to receive ourselves at a deeper level. When we travel inward and learn how to nourish ourselves with our own unconditional presence we begin the metamorphosis.

Unconditional presence is the starting point to building unconditional love. If we reach too far too soon, we will overlook true love and mistake it for an endorphin rush. True love is being able to be present with ourselves at our darkest hour. It is about learning how to sit within ourselves no matter what we are going through and fully embrace ourselves in that state consistently and unwaveringly without conditions. When we surrender to ourselves fully, we are sending signals to our heart that we are its keeper, we are safe to be with and that it can stay open.

This daily practice expands our hearts electromagnetic field, which sets off an energetic chain-reaction in our surrounding environment. We begin to generate and share a new coding with the world, one of self-love, connection and care. This love has to be created from within first and not bargained from the outside. This energy emanates stronger in us the more we cultivate unconditional presence and spend more of our time uplifting ourselves and our environment than we are spending in the fear vibration of survival, competition and scarcity where we are energetically overburdened by the weight of the worlds pain and crippled from its frequency rather than altering it.

An illustration of this is similar to a person swimming out in the ocean with the intention of saving someone who is drowning, only to become caught in the same tide and begin drowning next to the very person they were attempting to save. The world needs people who can uplift it without being crushed by its suffering. We elevate humanity by becoming the conscious witness of it and then altering the energy — not spiraling in.

This doesn’t mean that people who are protesting or informing others against the injustices in the world have to stop, what this means is we pay attention to attuning ourselves as an instrument of healing by bringing heart-centered consciousness into our words, actions, and intentions so that we become living portals into a new way of life. Perfection does not need to be reached in order to start making an impact on our environment, in heart-centered consciousness perfection isn’t even a part of the equation, only a willingness to give your heart the respect and attention you have always been worthy of.

Being the change you wish to see in the world has many forms of expression, sometimes it can be as simple as giving someone else the very act of kindness you have yet to receive yourself. Instead of waiting for the world to always meet us where we are at, this reverses the order and allows us to meet the world where it’s at by consciously choosing to bring in a quality that has yet to be experienced, but can still be offered.

The feminine energy is not one of frivolous escapism. She is the essential element—the fundamental puzzle piece inside each of us to birthing a conscious world.

By: Sarah Elkhaldy

The Artist as the Healer of the World

Joshua Mays
Joshua Mays

By Paul Levy

In my last two articles The Wounded Healer, Part 1 and Part 2, I point out the importance of consciously stepping into the archetypal figure of the “wounded healer” for the healing of our planetary situation. The wounded healer receives the gifts encoded in their ordeal when they are able to alchemically transform the seemingly obscuring energies of their wound into fuel for their fire of realization. Wounded healers access their gifts when they realize that their wound is itself the source of divine creativity, as well as the portal through which the highest, most individualized form of this creativity can manifest. The archetype of the wounded healer is intimately related to the archetypal figure of the artist, as both are able to creatively express and thereby be in-formed by, while simultaneously transforming, the deeper archetypal energies operating within both their own psyche, as well as the collective unconscious of humanity at large.

In alignment with their mythic identity as would-be hero or heroine, the artist (arche)typically has to wrestle with their inner “demons.” The artist’s inner demons are internalized, personalized reflections of the very same “demons” that are being played out collectively on the world stage. Like all of us, the artist suffers from the spirit of the age. Having permeable boundaries and being by nature highly empathic, sensitive and intuitive, an artist is able to introject into themselves and creatively “out-picture” and express what is happening both within themselves and the world in which they live. The artist’s inner process, like that of all of us, is a manifestation of the field around them, in which they are inseparably contained and of which they are an expression.

The “daemonic” is an archetypal, transpersonal energy, greater than the merely personal, which nonlocally pervades the entire field and can literally take us over, compelling us to unconsciously act it out so as to give shape and form to itself. The daemonic is a reflection of the part of ourselves that is split-off from itself, which is to say separated from our unity with all things. This dissociated part of ourselves develops a seemingly quasi-independent, autonomous life and will of its own, appearing as an alien “other,” not under the control of the ego. In having it out with and coming to terms with the daemonic within themselves, the artist is able to translate these energies into something useful, both for themselves and the world around them. Encoded in the daemonic is everything we need for our self-realization, as if the daemonic is a compensation of the deeper unified and unifying field, offering us exactly what is required for us to wake up.

Anything we are not in conscious relationship with “possesses” us from behind, affecting us beneath our conscious awareness. If we don’t consciously relate with these split-off parts of ourselves, they constellate negatively and become “demonic,” in that they manifest, whether it be inwardly or outwardly, in a destructive manner. If in our avoidance of consciously relating with these energies we allow ourselves to become unconsciously possessed by them, we become their unwitting minion, their agent of incarnation into our three dimensional world, creating destruction in life, whether individually, in our personal lives, or collectively, on the world stage. The artist, on the other hand, by creatively expressing and thereby liberating their experience, is able to extract from the daemonic a blessing which imbues their work with a corresponding numinous power, which in-fluences (and “in-flows” into) others.

The “daemonic,” like any archetypal energy, has both a positive or negative potentiality. Etymologically speaking, the word “daemon” is related to our inner voice and guiding spirit, an “entity” called by various names such as our genius, jinn (or genie), and guardian angel. Speaking of this animated and animating being, Jung said, “This living spirit is eternally renewed and pursues its goal in manifold and inconceivable ways throughout the history of mankind. Measured against it, the names and forms which men have given it mean very little; they are only the changing leaves and blossoms on the stem of the eternal tree.” The daemonic energy that is in-forming events in our world is an archetypal recurrence of an atemporal, eternal pattern which has been irrupting into our world since the beginning of human history.

Jung pointed out that, “the tragedy is that the daemon of the inner voice is at once our greatest danger and an indispensable help. It is tragic, but logical, for it is the nature of things to be so.” Paradoxically, encoded in the daemonic is “our greatest danger” as well as “an indispensable help,” as the daemonic, being a non-dual power, contains both of these opposites inseparably co-joined as one. Alchemists express this same idea: their “God” is Hermes-Mercury, who symbolizes the highest divinity as well as the deepest evil combined in one being. This is expressing the realization that the opposites are ultimately not in opposition to each other, but rather are intimately and inseparably co-related to each other. The opposites always appear together, mutually relativizing and conditioning each other, turning into each other so as to ultimately appear indistinguishable from each other.

Bringing the opposites together is to access and activate symbolic awareness. When we recognize the inseparability and interpenetration of all things, we recognize that our universe is a living oracle, a continually unfolding revelation that, just like a dream, is constantly speaking to us symbolically. Tapping into symbolic awareness, we can’t help but to naturally express our experience symbolically, as we ourselves have become a living, embodied symbol of our realization. Being able to “symbolize” our experience to ourselves and by extension the outside world, we ourselves step into the role of the creative artist.

sleepThe inner voice of the daemon is making itself known to us, which is to say that a living, creative spirit, with both destructive and constructive potentiality, is revealing itself to us. This spirit will continue to manifest “demonically” and destructively, however, as long as we lack the courage to engage with it. The inner voice of the daemon can potentially become our ally, however, if we get into conscious relationship with what it triggers in ourselves. If we do not become “touched” by the daemon, to quote Jung, “no regeneration or healing can take place‚Ķif by self-assertion the ego can save itself from being completely swallowed, then it can assimilate the voice [of the daemon], and we realize that the evil was, after all, only a semblance of evil, but in reality a bringer of healing and illumination. In fact, the inner voice is a ‘Lucifer’ in the strictest and most unequivocal sense of the word.” Lucifer, the morning star, is the “bringer of the light.” If we have a strongly enough developed sense of self, we are able to objectify and enter into conscious relationship with the daemon, thereby saving ourselves from being swallowed and possessed by it. Paradoxically, relating to our daemon as a separate, autonomous “other” – an actual living being – is the very way we integrate the daemon into ourselves. We are then able to metabolize and assimilate the daemon so as to receive its blessing in support of our spiritual unfoldment. When consciously embraced and related to, instead of manifesting as a destructive demon or devil obscuring our path, our daemon introduces us to our calling and helps us find our true vocation, which is what we are here to do. Thus, hidden in the daemonic is our creative genius. This is why Jung said, “the daemonic is the not yet realized creative.”

The word diabolical, etymologically speaking, means that which separates and divides. The antonym and antidote to the diabolic is the symbolic, which means that which brings together and unites. As the artist wrestles with their “demons,” they are able to “symbolize” their experience in the form of their creative art. Symbols bring together conflicting energies in a way where something new is created. A symbol partakes of both sides of the conflict at the same time that it transcends and reconciles the underlying polarity. Symbols, which are the language of dreams, are a revelation of the deeper unified and unifying field, simultaneously reflecting and effecting an expansion of consciousness. In wrestling with their demons, an artist is like a sorcerer and magician in that they are able to constructively channel, transmute and express these “demons” in a form which takes away their spell-binding power over themselves, while at the same time helps to dis-spell the collective enchantment which pervades the entire field of consciousness.


Art-making is a process in which the artist is continually articulating, refining, and creating an ever-evolving form of symbolic language. In being a conduit for the formation of a new language, the artist is shedding light on and participating in the creation of language itself. How language gets created invariably leads us right back to the psyche, which is simultaneously the subject and the object of the new language. The psyche is both source and recipient of the creatively emerging new form of language, just like in a dream the psyche might produce a written text for another part of itself to read. In its crafting of a new symbolic language, the psyche is literally building a bridge so as to telepathically communicate with itself. The shaping and re-shaping of ever-new forms of expression is the psyche’s continually evolving way of knowing itself and deepening its – and our – realization.

As the newly created language clothes and animates itself in its novel forms, it is as if the “Word” becomes flesh. Interestingly, we make a word by “spell”-ing it. Discovering novel iterations of language is itself a “spell-casting” activity, in that it serves to dis-spell the veil of illusion which seemingly obstructs us from our own experience. In unveiling novel forms of language, the artist conjures up a more coherent state of consciousness within themselves as a result of their creative act. Because we are all connected, their state of integration instantaneously, in no time whatsoever, gets registered in the collective unconscious of each one of us, where it nonlocally impacts the entire field.

Joshua Mays
Joshua Mays

The very act of verbally or nonverbally language-ing our experience, of giving creative shape and form to what is happening both inside and outside of us is itself the process through which we, as artists, deepen our realization of what we are trying to express. The fact that our realization of what we are expressing deepens through the act of creatively expressing it is the litmus test which certifies our act of creation to be worthy of the name “art.” In creating a new form of communication, the work of art is both an expression of a more expanded consciousness, as well as being its initiator, which is to say that the act of artistic creation is simultaneously a means to an end and the end itself, both journey and goal.

To quote Jung, an artist is “a vehicle and moulder of the unconscious psychic life of mankind.” The archetypal figure of the artist is a deeper role that each of us is being asked by the universe to consciously incarnate in our personal lives as a way of being of service to both ourselves and the world around us. When I use the term “artist,” I am not using it in a traditional, limited way of meaning someone who is solely painting, drawing, or using some other particular-ized medium; this is too circumscribed and flat-land of a conception of what an artist is. When I use the term “artist” I am alluding to the fact that we are all creative, multi-dimensional visionary artists (and dreamers) whose canvas is life itself.

As more of us wake up to our true nature as creative beings, we can connect with each other and co-operatively create what I call an “Art-Happening Called Global Awakening“. In this work of collaborative, visionary, living art, we can put our lucid awareness together and “conspire to co-inspire” to wake ourselves up and activate our collective genius so as to dream a more grace-filled universe into materialization. This is nothing less than an exponential quantum leap in human consciousness. We are being invited by the universe to actively participate in our own evolution.

Jung had great insight into the primary role that the human psyche plays in the creative process (or lack thereof) of humankind, both in individuals and collectively as a species. As Jung reminds us, “the human psyche is the womb of all the arts.” He recognized the significance of the creative artist as an archetypal figure existing within the collective unconscious of humanity which literally is the conduit for and revelation of the creative spirit existing within all of us. Being an archetypal figure, the artist is a role that exists outside of time while simultaneously continuing to re-present itself in infinitely creative guises and unique iterations in, through, and over time. Talking about how a new idea, a creative way of looking at the world comes into existence, Jung says “Although they come into being at a definite time, they are and have always been timeless. They arise from that realm of creative psychic life out of which the ephemeral mind of the single human being grows like a plant that blossoms, bears fruit and seed, and then withers and dies.” Human beings are the conduits through which the timeless creative process that underlies and in-forms the human psyche as well as the world at large becomes actualized in linear time. The inner, archetypal figure of the artist facilitates and is the vehicle for the continual unfoldment of our psychological and spiritual self-realization, as in this figure the creative spirit realizes itself through us, while at the same time we reciprocally realize ourselves through it.

Jung said, “The unborn work in the psyche of the artist is a force of nature‚ĶWe would do well, therefore, to think of the creative process as a living thing implanted in the human psyche.” This “living thing implanted in the human psyche” is a creative and creating spirit, an inspiring wind that blows where it wills. Speaking of this living spirit, Jung commented that, “it freely chooses the men [and women] who proclaim it and in whom it lives.” This is to say that the creative spirit is autonomous and not under the control of our ego. To quote Jung, this spirit is like “a hush that follows the storm, a reconciling light in the darkness of man’s mind, secretly bringing order into the chaos of his soul.” The creative spirit is a holy and whole-making spirit, a living spiritual being that literally animates and potentially, depending upon how we relate to it, either destroys or heals us. Speaking of this same sacred spirit, Christ said in the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

As if a living oracle, the figure of the artist is a mouthpiece for the time in which they live. Like a psychic scribe, they are able to outwardly express and explicate the emerging zeitgeist, the implicate spirit of the age, while simultaneously giving shape to the deeper, archetypal, time-less, and unconscious process which in-forms all ages. For Jung, the artist “‚Ķlifts the idea he is seeking to express out of the occasional and the transitory into the realm of the ever-enduring. He transmutes our personal destiny into the destiny of mankind, and evokes in us all those beneficent forces that ever and anon have enabled humanity to find a refuge from every peril and to outlive the longest night.”

The artist allows themselves to get “dreamed up” by the field to become the “medium” through which the spirit of the age moves and inspires them to creatively express itself. Speaking about this process, Jung said, “At such moments we are no longer individuals, but the race; the voice of all mankind resounds in us.” The artist is an open, receptive instrument through which a living creative spirit gives shape to and reveals itself. In this process, the artist becomes an ongoing revelation to themselves, while at the same time their art is a revelation of the creative spirit to the world. Their art is both a manifestation of, as well as a gateway through which we become introduced to the creative spirit which lives within all of us.

Continue Reading…

A pioneer in the field of spiritual emergence, Paul Levy is a wounded healer in private practice, assisting others who are also awakening to the dreamlike nature of reality. He is the author of Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil (North Atlantic Books, 2013) and The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis. An artist, he is deeply steeped in the work of C. G. Jung, and has been a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner for over thirty years. Please visit Paul’s website You can contact Paul; he looks forward to your reflections. Though he reads every email, he regrets that he is not able to personally respond to all of them.

Shadows & Light: Our Archetypal Nature

carl-jungby Gary S. Bobroff via Archetypal Nature

“I thought of Jung as a noetic archeologist, [he] provided maps of the unconscious.” – Terence McKenna

Most of us imagine that we know ourselves pretty well. But like a periscope that thinks it’s the whole submarine, our self-image makes no accommodation for the fact of the unconscious. Yet there are maps that can help us. If we are honest, we can come to discover how to orient ourselves in the tidal pathways of the unconscious; we may come to see that our shadows and strengths fall into archetypal patterns. If we are lucky, these maps may help us to come into possession of the greatest possible treasure–our inner gold.

In the 1920’s, after they had finished developing their ideas on Psychological Type – the root of today Myers-Briggs Type Indicator™ – Antonia “Toni” Wolff and Carl Gustav Jung discovered that they felt like something was still missing. Not fully satisfied, Toni soon identified larger psychological structures that were evident, yet hitherto unnamed. Calling them Structural Forms of the Feminine Psyche, she initiated the process of identifying the primordial forms of the human psyche, forms which we know today by the singular term, archetype. archetypes

She observed two poles, two axes, in our internal world. On the first, she saw displayed a natural split in how our energy flowed toward people: for some it moved toward people in a collective sense, toward the group, the family, the team, the tribe, society and the social group; for others it moved toward people in the one-on-one sense, with thought and concern primarily flowing toward individuals, friends and lovers. Toni saw this difference in what we were fascinated by and drawn to; what compelled us forward in life; in the differing pathways our libido took toward our fellow humankind. In her observations, she brought consciousness to an inherent dialectic tension in human nature.

This characteristic tension is highlighted in bright psychedelic neon in the last fifty years of American history. It is the divide between belonging and freedom from belonging; between a value system that is group-oriented and one that is individual-oriented; one emphasizes escape from society and other connection to it. It has provided us with two opposing views of goodness in American life: the redemption in community of Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life versus the redemption in breaking away from community of Kerouac’s On The Road and Kesey’s Acid Test and Cuckoo’s Nest. Of course, this split goes back to our earliest days: we can see it in our ancient mythologies and philosophies. It is evident in perhaps the greatest of Shakespeare’s plays, Hamlet, wherein ‘to be or not be’ also has a lot to do with ‘to belong or not to belong.’

Our culture has many names for the first kind, the group-oriented, society-aware folks: patriarch or matriarch, father and mother type. This is the Queen or King archetype and the King can be a ‘my way or the highway’ kind of guy (and notice the pressurized conflict between belonging and freedom from belonging in his motto). However we lack names for the second kind, the non-group-oriented, individual-focused folks. Defined by their freedom from belonging this type has no positive definition in our language, but many negative ones: he or she is the Slacker who has failed to adapt to society; a Rolling Stone, a Peter Pan, an Eternal Boy, in the 1920’s they called him a Gadabout. Here a lack of language reveals the unconscious tension between these two forms and our hidden value judgments.

loversYet Toni Wolff saw a universal home for the man and woman of this type in the combination of the Lover and the Eternal Child (puella/puer). He or she is about becoming, about furthering the process of becoming in themselves and others. The archetypal Child brings forward the new into consciousness, and these folks both gravitate to, and create, the original, novel, new quality that’s needed by the culture. The Lover is that part of us that is gifted at seeing and valuing the others around us for who they are and enjoying sexuality and love regardless of societal expectations. They find endless enjoyment in doing with others. At their best, the Seeker’s question of ‘Who am I?’ can flower into beautiful mystic-religious poetry in a thousand forms. It is this energy in us that seeks the ‘road less travelled’, invites us to ‘follow our bliss’ and knows reminds us to “all: to thine own self be true.” As one might expect, these folks tend to resist being categorized (they’re too original / special / pathologically anti-authoritarian for that!). And that’s why it’s partially their fault that our culture has no words for their archetype – they refuse to be put in a box and their rebelliousness is part of their strength and part of their shadow.

Each end of this spectrum becomes cartoony when we fall into identification with it. Being too much of a Seeker too long may mean never putting down roots and never settling into a community: ‘I took the road less travelled and now I don’t know where the hell I am.’ Jumping off the cliff and hoping for wings to form on the way down once too often, they can find themselves to have drifted too far from shore. The group-oriented person’s shadow can be equally unsatisfactory (none of these paths are inherently better than any other) and is equally well known to us. Seen in cartoon-like form in TV shows (King of the Hill, That 70’s Show, Archie Bunker), he is the Father who carries forward the values of the past (often unconsciously) and who may be resentful of those who break out of the mold. Finding genuine satisfaction in doing for others, a shadow quality in them may be desire for power over others. When unconsciously identified with the King, their right to power is taken for granted. This is vividly illustrated in the Frost-Nixon interviews, when Frost asks Nixon if it is sometimes okay for the President to do something illegal, he responds “when the President does it that means it’s not illegal.” However, at their best the archetypal King or Queen “can deal with your gold without hating you for it. They can see you’re shining and not envy you” – Robert L. Moore. The King or Queen can bless us, knight us, and make us feel seen, valued and a part of the whole in a way that no other archetype can.

The other axis that Wolff observed shows the direction of our impersonal energy, our responses to the world: some people’s energy flows into the search for insight, answers, understanding and comprehension; for others their energy flows outward into action, prowess, achievement and autonomy. Where the Warrior seizes the day, is always up for a challenge (is in fact energized by competition), the Sage finds satisfaction in comprehension and pleasure in problem solving. Many Warriors knew their identity the first time they laced up their skates, paddled out on their boards, put on their ballet slippers or picked up a guitar. A Sage’s self-understanding can also come early in a passion for the world of knowledge and ideas and a wonder for how things work. Additionally, for those folks for whom knowledge comes through the unconscious, Toni saw the ancient tradition of the medial woman. This path was given it’s place in nearly every culture in human history except ours (we’re hooked on ‘rational’ reduction and the illusion that in our measuring of the world, we’ve mastered it). Toni gave the name Mediatrix to this archetype. By including it in her structure she not only honored her own path, she made a place for all women (and men) who recognize that they sometimes possess knowledge non-causally (through the unconscious). Despite our cultural prejudice against this way of knowing, the Mediatrix archetype reflects Nature’s deeper truth: right understanding can sometimes arrive in ways that can’t quite be explained rationally or directly.

goddessAgain, there is shadow in these archetypes too. The Warrior sometimes carries the burden of not understanding, of ‘knowing not what he does,’ but at least he or she know the truth of action–right or wrong. In contrast, the Sage sometimes fails to act, because conscience sometimes does make ‘cowards of us all.’ There is also an inherent tension between the two axes, between our need for other people and between the calling of action or insight; the personal axis pulls into relationship and the impersonal axis away from them. As master Sage Nikola Tesla describes: “originality thrives in seclusion . . . Be alone, that is the secret of invention; that is when ideas are born.” The genius is quick to serve his muse, but sometimes slow to respond to the warm heart beating right beside him. The Warrior might unconsciously avoid those spaces that make him or her feel vulnerable? Does our compulsive ingenuity or armored hardness keep us safely separated from the love reaching out for us?

Yet there is reassurance in understanding these qualities exist in human nature because they exist in Nature–throughout Nature: in army ants and nurse bees, even at biological and cellular levels. They are at play in the world, but most conspicuously displayed in our mythologies, philosophies and cosmologies (including and especially astrology – which is not a causal system of explanation, but a reflection of the way that all things in Nature are meaningfully intertwined); these archetypal energies have a life of their own!

“Called or uncalled the Gods are present.” – C. G. Jung

Most of us fall all too easily into the simplifying projection of imagining that everyone wants the same things out of life that we do. But seeing the reality of these other Gods in the psyche helps us to withdraw our projections from each other and accept that different folks are coming from different places and truly do want different things from the world and from us. By understanding this we become better able to see those around us for who they are and it offers us a route to better see ourselves.

Seeing ourselves in our archetypal nature and recognizing our timeless parts, allows us to both gain sight of some of our shadow and to better own our inner gold. In the compulsive ways that we overdo things, we see the shadow of our archetypal selves; we see a rabbit hole that we’re in danger of falling into. Many of us plunge headlong into tragedy throughout our lives because we fail to recognize the story that is playing out through our actions. Having a mythic sensibility about ourselves offers a clue to how we might be unconsciously acting out archetypal patterns and shadows and possession of that awareness is at least half the battle: ‘’knowledge is power, knowledge is safety and knowledge is happiness” – Thomas Jefferson.

But just as importantly, an archetypal self-understanding allows us to own our gifts. Your archetype is the thing that you find ‘flow’ in doing, that thing through which you live an experience of the timeless. How powerful it is to recognize “Hey! This is me giving my gold to the world right now!” Just remember that there are profoundly different paths of expression for that gold.

“There’s nothing you can do that’s more important than being fulfilled. You become a sign, you become a signal, transparent to transcendence; in this way, you will find, live, and become a realization of your own personal myth.” – Joseph Campbell

The moral challenge in the existence of the unconscious lies in the fact that it is unconscious. In other words, we don’t know that we don’t know, we’re missing qualities in the world and in ourselves and we have absolutely no idea that we are missing them. And so we are left to wonder: to which Gods do I never make a sacrifice? Which temples do I pray at and which do I avoid? In asking, you may find that you have begun a journey toward home.

Gary S. Bobroff, is featured in the film ‘Time is Art’ and is the primary developer and facilitator of the Archetypal Nature workshop He delivers the depth of Jungian approaches in an accessible, engaging, and visual-oriented form. He has an M.A. in Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and his first book, Crop Circles, Jung & the Reemergence of the Archetypal Feminine, was published in August 2014 by North Atlantic Books.

Five Ways Jung Led Us to the “Inner Life”

carl jung

by Gary S. Bobroff via The Mind Unleashed

Lying behind much of the way we talk about the inner life today is the work of the Swiss psychologist C. G. Jung. He revolutionized how we discuss dreams and archetypes and gave us our words “introvert,” “extravert” and “synchronicity.” However, what made him a true psychological pioneer was that he looked inside himself in a way that is still unique today.

#1) Dreams

From earliest beginnings of human civilization, we have considered dreams a doorway to the soul. Jung saw that they showed us parts of ourselves that were being rejected by our waking consciousness: strengths unexpressed and shadow figures run amok; qualities that we were missing about ourselves; and desires that we’d rather not acknowledge. The mission of dreams was to balance us, to compensate for our often one-sided attitude toward life and lead us to integrate what we need for health and growth. We know today that dreams can have messages for us that are not only psychologically relevant, but even biologically urgent, relaying information about illness. Jung introduced the term “wholeness” to describe the aim of the unconscious: the further filling out of ourselves; an increasing completeness in the unique being that we are.

#2) Personality Types

Jung saw the differing pathways in our personalities. He observed that some people got energy from interacting with people, while others were drained by it. Introvert or extravert, intuitive or sensate, thinking or feeling; he described these differing forms as Psychological Types and they led to today’s MBTI categories. In normalizing different kinds of personality, Jung helped us to get over our natural biases against other types.

While he recognized variety in human personality, Jung believed that there was no one-size-fits-all approach to therapy. He saw each individual as having a unique blueprint for growth, an untold inner story, and he knew – from his own experience – that one man’s medicine is another’s poison.

 “The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.” – C. G. Jung

#3) Archetypes

Jung also saw that the unconscious sometimes conveys information beyond the personal. He saw that the dreams of his patients sometimes echoed mythological motifs from far-flung foreign cultures. He saw the action of peoples’ lives following forms depicted in Greek tragedy. He discovered ancient, even timeless, pathways that energy flowed into: toward some things and away from others, attracted to some things, repulsed by others. This level of the psyche is beyond the personal and Jung called it the collective unconscious.

“I thought of Jung as a noetic archeologist, [he] provided maps of the unconscious.” – Terence McKenna

The collective unconscious shows us eternal, dynamic qualities in our nature: they are alive and timeless. One of these archetypes is our inner opposite sex figure and soul guide–what Jung called the Anima or Animus. We encounter it both in our dreams and when just the right person walks up to us and we fall in love at first sight. Even though we experience this figure through others, but it is ultimately up to us to integrate it for ourselves.

Once we’ve learned to recognize these archetypes, we see them throughout classic literature and film and even in modern sitcoms. However, we may not really discover them for ourselves until we’ve been battered and bruised and are wondering how we got into this mess (again). Usually we need a little help to gain sight of these figures in our own lives.

“You don’t see something until you have the right metaphor to let you perceive it.” – Robert Stetson Shaw

#4) Synchronicity

Jung’s psychology is only really understood when it is a lived experience, and nothing exemplifies this more than the mystery of synchronicity. Jung coined the term synchronicity to refer to extraordinary moments when outer happenings reflect inner states. What we see in such a coincidence of events is a meaningful interplay alive in our reality. The notion that there’s a deeper principle actually operating in the world can be frightening to people from a culture that believes that it’s the only conscious force in the universe. Yet at the same time, discovering that there’s more going on can be experienced as a profound relief. In order to get through our resistance to such experiences, it helps to hear others’ stories and share our own (and you can do so here). Incorporating the meaning of these experiences for ourselves requires something authentic from us – a real inner change, the genuine achievement of a new attitude.

It is addressing life in the present that cleanses and heals a festering wound.  Jung never tired of saying this.  After the past is explored, additional inquiry into yesterday does not lead to further healing.  A change of attitude into the present does, and this change of attitude is exactly the business of a synchronicity.” – J. Gary Sparks, At The Heart of Matter

#5) Our Inner Life is Real

Tending to the unconscious, to dreams and to the inner voice are the acts that define Jungian psychology, but it’s not just the act that’s definitive, it’s the attitude. Jungian psychology recognizes that we’re more than just our ego and that there is more to the psyche than just the conscious mind. With this in mind, engagement with the inner voice is pursued not as a form of inner housekeeping, but rather in the humble service of the development of a relationship with an intelligence present within us but greater than our own. Committing to that service means relating more deeply to our inner nature; its only end-goal is the whole-bodied, whole-hearted, full blossoming of who we really are.

Jung, Crop Circles & the Re-Emergence of the Archetypal Feminine

gary s bobroff Excerpt of Jung, Crop Circles & the Re-Emergence of the Archetypal Feminine

From the Preface & Introduction by Gary S. Bobroff 

Sparked by their curiosity, thousands of people have contributed to the study of Crop Circles around the world.  Individuals throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan, the United States and elsewhere have given their time freely to the documentation of this phenomenon.  They have measured, marked, photographed and taken the samples that constitute an abundant archive of data from which we may now seek to draw our own conclusions.  As a researcher, I have been delighted to discover the wealth of materials on the physical science and mythological context of the Crop Circle phenomenon that they have collected.   This book is consequently built upon the product of their efforts.

Amongst the many who have contributed to the investigation of this phenomenon there are very few who claim to have found the answer to its mystery.  I am proud to count myself among them, among those who continue to wonder and ask why.  This work is an attempt to sketch a framework for deeper consideration of the question of Crop Circles.  If you are looking for an answer or a solution to this phenomenon’s riddle, best look elsewhere.  At best, I hope to offer a direction—a route by which to begin tracking something very elusive (yet that seemingly wants us to follow it).   For those who have engaged with this phenomenon for some time, it is a source of deepening wonder and it is to that experience that you are invited.

In historical documents dating from 16th century England to 1970’s Saskatchewan, Canada, people have recorded their observations of Crop Circles.  Throughout this time, prior to the explosion of this phenomenon in the last twenty-five years, people’s reports have chronicled their efforts to witness what they saw.  Those who have encountered the phenomenon and followed their curiosity have chosen to study it, honoring their own inner compulsion they have become engaged with the phenomenon.

A particularly dedicated group of Crop Circle enthusiasts have produced a number of outstanding publications and on-line resources on this subject.  Their efforts have made my attempt to come to grips with this phenomenon possible.  It should be mentioned that, with only the rarest exceptions, even those who have produced the most brilliant and popular of these works have given more to the study of this subject than they are ever likely to recover financially.[i]   Nonetheless, they persist in their efforts of their own free choice.  I would like to recommend your use of their media as an additional support for your own investigation of Crop Circles.   A selection of recommended choices follows at the end of this chapter.

Keeping in mind the obligation that the study of this phenomenon has to the thousands of people whose spare time has been given to its research, this book has been written to be accessible to the general reader.  It is meant to serve as an introduction to both Crop Circles and Jungian psychology, and no familiarity with the concepts or jargon of either subject is assumed.  I strongly believe that the significance of this phenomenon is available to all of us, and that engagement with it should not be reserved for experts, academics or only those with the financial resources to travel abroad   I believe that it’s meaning, whatever that may be, is as within reach or hard to grasp for the intellectual as it is for the farmer in whose fields these formations arrive.  It challenges us all equally and its mystery is open to us all.   However, this subject does introduce readers to ideas that may be new to them. It brings up wide categories of thought and poses broad questions—questions that stretch the imagination and our preconceptions.  Answering these questions necessitates a labor on the part of the reader, but the argument made here is intended to appeal to common sense.  

 I believe that this subject asks of its investigators (of which you now are one) a more actively engaged participation—not a simple reading, but a ‘dance for two’.  Each of us responds differently to new things and whether we bring to this topic a skeptical brow or a wide-eyed enthusiasm, we do not come to it empty-handed.  It is in the nature of how we engage with our own first responses to this phenomenon that the burden of our work in response to it lays.  Meeting this task involves a willingness to play with our own responses—to be in process with them, rather than attaching and identifying with our own initial reaction.  I have yet to meet two people who feel exactly the same way about Crop Circles.  I have also found that, over time, our engagement with the facts and theories that surround them changes and deepens.  Given time, this labor yields its own fruit for each of us.  Tending to this harvest begins by resisting identification with our first reactions to this material.  This task is only possible, if you accompany your reading by observing and according value to your own thoughts in response to it.  Write down your own responses as you read this book or look at Crop Circle images.  Your first responses are often the most valuable here.  Flashes of response, no matter how brief, offer the possibility of glimpsing something within us that is truly fresh and genuinely new.  Participation in this engagement hosts what is evoked in us by the phenomenon and thereby brings a mirror to the new possibilities that are inherent within us.

Rather than place value upon what you find written here and look at this interpretation for answers, please place as much or greater, value upon your own curiosity, insight and questions—note your responses, your feelings and your thoughts.  Make room for your own disagreement with what is written here.  It was engagement with my own dissension that produced some of what I believe are the most valuable arguments presented here.  In your own writing, try not to judge the process as it happens; simply record it as it comes.  After some time, you may want to write past your initial responses and notice what else comes to mind.  After following the open road of your own responses and writing down whatever comes up, watch throughout the rest of the day or night for new thoughts or feelings.  Noting these responses encourages an inner dialogue and works a muscle that most of us have forgotten how to exercise.

As the products of a culture that prizes certainty, in the act of inner dialogue, we re-engage that part of ourselves that remembers how to wonder and values sometimes not knowing.  Jung felt that following this voice led to the true growth of the personality, and that “the creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity.  The creative mind plays with the thing it loves.”[ii]   In pondering your own reactions as much as you ponder the text itself, you place yourself alongside the many individuals who chose to pursue their curiosity and lent their labor to engagement with this mystery.  Treated in this way, the material presented here offers itself as a framework for deepening your participation with the mystery of this phenomenon.

Etchilhampton, UK July 25th, 2011 formation ~ photos © Andrew Pyrka.(Etchilhampton, UK July 25th, 2011 formation ~ photos © Andrew Pyrka.)

Our modern awareness offers us the objectivity to participate with a symbol or symptom, without necessarily getting lost in our personal history, our society’s collective experience of it or losing it in other outside factors.  Today, we possess the steely separation of awareness necessary to view the symbols of our lives plainly in their own truth.  Benefiting both from the scientific method and from modern self-consciousness, today we can participate with the same living unconscious that was revered by our ancestors.  Yet, we can do so with less danger of falling victim to it and with a greater possibility of engaging with it constructively.  The strength of our modern self-awareness offers us the capability of relating to our unconscious contents objectively.  However, such participation requires a voluntary sacrifice of our ego’s certainty and a willingness to proceed into the unknown inside of us–a chosen release of the illusion of that we know what we’ll find there.  Through such voluntary ‘not-knowing,’ we make room for something new to pop up out of the fertile bed of the unconscious.  Through such participation, today we are able to combine the first strand of human impetus–the drive to know consciously, accurately and objectively—with the second strand of human impetus—the need to participate with the unknown depths in the world and in ourselves, which we find in myth and in the presentations of unconscious.

Because a symbol, active in our psyche, reaches across the barrier from consciousness to unconsciousness; because it exists for us simultaneously cognitively and emotionally, abstractly and concretely; because it dominates our conscious will and intention and affects us in ways often beyond our control; in its process, we witness the living truth that “a symbol holds the tension of a lot of things that would otherwise be opposite.”  Its paradoxical nature bridges across the entire plain of our psyche: rooted in the unconscious–in an archetypal base; budding in the “unspeakability” of the symptom and through our attendance to it; blooming forth as a new awareness.  Here something almost inexplicable happens.  What we once were completely unaware of becomes known to us and lived by us–a truth we once never knew, is suddenly a part of us.  Like a quantum jump, when something clicks, awareness leaps across from unconsciousness into consciousness within us, and we are no longer the same.

The possibility of such growth has, for the mystics of many cultures, pointed towards the realization of the transpersonal and unifying ground of the psyche.  In modern times, such questions are regarded philosophically and usually reduced to intellectual puzzles about the physical constitution of our world, or the relative merits of our perception of our relationship to it.  However, in this witnessing of the stunning capacity of psyche for transformation (not just cumulative growth), we can begin to realize why the inner world has often been regarded as pointing us towards a mystery that exceeds the grasp of the rational strand of consciousness and ultimately directing us towards age-old philosophical, religious and moral questions.

Like a snowflake or a fingerprint, each one being unique, a dream occurs only once.  Each night the world gives birth anew through us and our task begins with our attendance to its arrival.  Hosting this process requires both our linear, scientific-minded conscious discrimination and also something more difficult for us today.  If we are to allow the mythic amplification of a symbol to really impact us, we must allow ourselves to become subject to it.  As the poet Rilke wrote, “the continuity becomes everywhere apparent, and where some obscurity remains it is of the sort that demands not clearing up but subjection.”

“None of us asks to be confronted in the night with mysteries, oracles and conundrums, to have something barge into our inner lives that we did not invite. …A dream will help us if we are willing to dwell for a time within its ambiguities without resolving them, to sink into its depths without always knowing when–or where–we shall surface…” (Barasch, Healing Dreams, p. 361) 

Now–in this moment–we are presented with something new.  Crop Circles are a mystery in our response to which we continue to be able to draw upon the strands of both science and mythology–their form and image seems to point us towards both.   As is examined in Chapter One, the scientific study of its qualities enables us to feel grounded in the authenticity of its reality and genuine mystery.  Yet, the phenomenon also speaks profoundly to the second strand of our impetus.  By their very nature, Crop Circles speak to our imagination’s capacity for deepest wonder; their images and new appearance both delight us and bring us face-to-face with tremendous awe and perhaps even fear (or other challenging psychological states).  As a Jungian interpretation, this book examines the symbols associated with Crop Circles both within the universality of their imagery and within the context of those images being set into our modern moment.  It is only in this way that we can place their particular symbolic reference into a dynamic, meaningful arrangement.  Attendance to this setting enables our placing the world ‘dream’ of Crop Circles in the context of world reality.  In looking not only at the phenomenon but at its context too, we expand the framework of our consideration of its mystery to the appropriate scope, for Crop Circles do not arrive at some random time or place but before us now into our present moment.  When we engage with the whole of its qualities, we must necessarily place ourselves into context with it and in doing so we begin the process of making its meaning real for us.   In this way, in searching for its story, we may discover a story of our own that is not yet told.

Gary S. Bobroff, is featured in the film, Time is Art, and is an author, workshop leader and a Jungian and archetypal coach. He delivers the depth of Jungian approaches in a visual, accessible and engaging form. He is the developer and facilitator of Archetypal Nature and the founder of connecting clients with Jungian-oriented therapists worldwide (via phone or Skype). He has a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of British Columbia, Canada and Master’s degree in Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Andrew Harvey called his book, Crop Circles, Jung & the Reemergence of the Archetypal Feminine “an original masterpiece.“ –