Zombie Apocalypse: a symbol of collective transformation

 Gajda, Tegning af en Zombi. US Public Domain via Wikimedia
Gajda, Tegning af en Zombi. US Public Domain via Wikimedia

What cannot be worked through at the conscious level is often worked through at the unconscious level, in dreams and fantasy. cf. Carl Jung  (CW 5, para 4-45). When encountering that which we cannot dream, we confront the limits of sense.

Film and art may present an unconscious attempts to work through collective transformation at the limits of reason and sense. In zombie movies and the growing zombie apocalypse movement, we may be seeing an attempt to dream ‘apocalyptic’ change.

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Breaking Dawn: the soul in the Aurora Consurgens

An illustration of a hermaphrodite from the Aurora consurgens-- 15th century. Thomas Aquinas; Marie-Louise von Franz (1966) Aurora Consurgens; A Document Attributed to Thomas Aquinas on the Problem of Opposites in US Public Domain wikimedia.
An illustration of a hermaphrodite from the Aurora consurgens– 15th century. Thomas Aquinas; Marie-Louise von Franz (1966) Aurora Consurgens; A Document Attributed to Thomas Aquinas on the Problem of Opposites in US Public Domain wikimedia.

This image is from the Aurora Consurgens. The Aurora Consurgens is an alchemical manuscript from the 15th century. The work has been attributed to Thomas Aquinas, although the true author is yet unknown. Aurora Consurgens is a Latin name which translates to “rising dawn.”

According to Carl Jung the hermaphrodite represents the union of opposites.  Jung says that the hermaphrodite “has become a symbol of the creative union of opposites, a ‘uniting symbol’ in the literal sense.” (CW 9i, para. 292-4)

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Philosophical views on spirit

Illuminated page from the Waldenburg Prayer Book- 1486 US Public Domain via wikimedia.
Illuminated page from the Waldenburg Prayer Book- 1486 US Public Domain via wikimedia.

In the image above we see God as “Father”.

The Father God is an archetypal representation of spirit in its highest form. Carl Jung makes this clear when he says that spirit is the “immaterial substance or form of existence which on the highest and most universal level is called ‘God'” (para. 385).

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Unicorn: representation of spirit

Wissembourg_St-Jean_44
Alsace , Bas-Rhin , Wissembourg, Protestant Church St. John, St. Catherine Chapel , Fresco ” Lady and the Unicorn ” (XIV ) US Public domain via wikimedia

Carl Jung tells us that the unicorn is an image of spirit (CW 14, para. 3).

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Water as ‘spirit that has become unconscious’

(Water) Dragon, Katsushika Hokusai, 17th Century, Japanese, US Public Domain vua Wiki.
(Water) Dragon, Katsushika Hokusai, 17th Century, Japanese, US Public Domain vua Wiki.

Carl Jung tells us that “water is the commonest symbol for the unconscious” CW 9i, para 40).

“The lake in the valley is the unconscious, which lies, as it were, underneath consciousness, so that it is often referred to as the ‘subconscious,’ usually with the pejorative connotation of an inferior consciousness. Water is the ‘valley spirit,’ the water dragon of Tao, whose nature resembles water- a yang in the yin, therefore, water means spirit that has become unconscious.” (Carl Jung, )

Reference:

  1. The Archetypes and The Collective Unconscious (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol.9 Part 1)