…they had to invite me and I would never find what to do with my hands. And that’s the big problem; the big problem of all timid people are the hands. You don’t know what to do with them. Then I still have that feeling and that’s why I always try not to be but with friends. Because with my friends I’m absolutely sure I don’t get sober. That’s why I never go to cocktails, I never go to openings, I don’t go to crowded parties: because I always feel like I’m sober.
— Gabriel Garcia Marquez
…Salome saw Jung and began to worship him. When Jung asked why she was worshiping him, she replied: “You are Christ.” As she uttered these words, a black serpent coiled its body around Jung’s, completely enveloping his heart. Suddenly, it dawned on Jung that he had assumed “the attitude of the Crucifixion.” He looked at the wise old man, who was in fact the Biblical Elijah. “Why, it’s just the same, above or below,” Elijah said. Then Jung’s face changed into the face of a lion.
The above may sound like a dream, but it wasn’t. It was a daydream, one Carl Jung experienced as part of what he later referred to as the “most difficult experiment” of his career…
… Carl Jung…In an effort to consciously observe the machinations of his unconscious mind… spent years conditioning himself to let his imagination run wild. He eventually compiled his observations into a red leather manuscript known as The Red Book: Liber Novus or New Book, which wouldn’t be officially published until 2009.
— Tim Brinkhof
We rely upon society’s structures to orient and stabilize us. We take those external structures for granted; we’re hardly aware of how dependent we are on them and how defended we are from our inner world. People with the courage to explore their own inner life are rare. It’s dangerous work. It’s playing with fire, because the deep mind has power and overwhelming magic at its disposal.
Instead of externally imposed social structures there are, however, ‘artistic’ structures and compositions that can propose themselves to an individual on this journey. The external rules of life are very little help in this situation, but ‘art’ can provide a forum for organizing what would otherwise be chaotic and destabilizing energies.