Planetary emergency

One the central themes of the 2019 Gebser-Jung Conference will be planetary emergency. I thought I would provide a few quotes from Jung that pertain to collective emergencies:

“… the modern ‘cultural’ mind … shows an alarming degree of dissociation and psychological confusion. We believe exclusively in consciousness and free will, and are no longer aware of the powers that control us to an infinite degree, outside the narrow domain where we can be reasonable and exercise a certain amount of free choice and self-control. In our time of general disorientation, it is necessary to know about the true state of human affairs… if we are to see things in their right perspective, we need to understand the past of man as well as his present. That is why a correct understanding of myths and symbols is of essential importance.”
CW 18, par. 559

“… 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.”
CW 10, par. 293

We see from these two quotes that Jung felt we are in a state of collective dissociation that requires an understanding of our mythic and magical past. He also argues that this dissociation often foreshadows the birth of the new. These two quotes provide a bridge between Jung’s views and those of Gebser regarding our current state of emergenc(e/y).

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  1. Here are a few words of Gebser, excerpted from The Invisible Origin [1970], to help with the bridge: /// “We live, who wouldn’t know that, in decisive years. In view of the horrible events occurring all over the world we must not fall into depression and despair. That would strengthen only the position of the representatatives of decline which can only be held in an atmosphere of despair. It is easy to talk about visible matters, since they can be materially grasped and comprehended. To talk about the other, i.e., the invisible realities or processes, is a thankless task, since to do this is not appropriate to present scientific fashion.” ///
    Jean Gebser, The Invisible Origin [1970]

  2. In The Ever-Present Origin, Gebser urges that we
    /// “….make the leap at the crucial moment from the three-dimensional world … into the four-dimensional reality of our day… the new world reality. /// We must… attain a new attitude toward the actualities of the new reality which are crystallizing in a new perception of the world. … Whatever happens on the earth—man must share the responsibility. /// Our epoch is one of suffering … Each of us, whether as individuals or as a species, suffers in accord with its measure. Our freedom is not to evade this measure, but to not let it overwhelm us. If we fulfill its demands, the future each of us carries within…will be decided. A cheerful seriousness, able to “ware” in truth the primordial spiritual element, befits our generation. Like all ages, our generation too has its task.* ///

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