Most practical book on Jung I've read! Read it if you are restless sometimes or most times.
We want simplicity. We are suffering, in our cities, from a need of simple things. We would like to see our great... terminals deserted, the streets deserted, a great peace descend upon us.
Dreams are pure nature to which must be added human reflection and discernment. We now know that the dreaming function in mammals is approximately 140,000,000 years old and does have a survival function.
Jung's advice for remedying the loss of contact with Nature, within or without:
- live in small communities
- work a shorter day and week
- have a plot of land to cultivate so the instincts come back to life
- to make the sparest use of radio, TV, newspapers and technological gadgetry
The purpose of doing these things, however, is not to repair Nature, but rather to let Nature affect us
I chop the wood and cook the food. These simple acts make man simple; and how difficult it is to be simple!
All time saving devices, amongst which we must count easier means of communications and other conveniences, do not, paradoxically enough, save us time but merely cram our time so full that we have not time for anything. Hence, the breathless haste, superficial-craving for stimulation, impatience, irritability, vacillation, etc. Such a state may lead to all sorts of other things, but never to any increased culture of the mind and heart.
I detest noise and flee it whenever and wherever possible, because it not only disturbs the concentration needed for my work but forces me to make the additional psychic effort of shutting it out. You may get habituated to it as to over-indulgence in alcohol, but just as you pay for this with a cirrhosis of the liver, so in the end you pay for nervous stress with a premature depletion of your vital substance. [...] Noise protects us from painful reflection, it scatters our anxious dreams, it assures us that we are all in the same boat and creating such a racket that nobody will dare to attack us. [...] The real fear is what might come up from one's own depths - all the things that have been held at bay by noise. [...] Modern noise is an integral component of modern "civilization," which is predominantly extroverted and abhors all inwardness.
Jung's list of how civilization makes Modern Man sick (causes and symtoms):
- effort to set records
- urge towards conformity
- desire for material possessions
- we keep forgetting we are primates
- atrophy of instinct, age-old forgotten wisdom stored up inus
- hypermasculine, linear, causal, goal-oriented orientation toward the visible outer world
- condescension toward whatever seems "irrational"
- overstrained from boundless activity
- the disease of knowing everything
- extraverted as hell
- lack of introspection
- greed, restlessness, uneasiness, superficiality, nervous exhaustion
- craving stimulation, impatience, irritability
- usual remedies such as diets, exercise, studying inspirational literature
- can't seem to find a way to live meaningful life
- ridiculous clothes, meanness, vanity, mendacity, egotism
- always seeking something
- too much head, too much will, too much walking about, and nothing rooted
- objective existence and meaning
- exaggerrated self-esteem
- inferiority complex
- intellect, rationalism
- loss of moral and spiritual values
- despiritualization of nature through objective knowledge of matter
- learned to control ourselves, disciplined, organized
- for all his outward succes, modern man stays the same inwardly
- time-saving devices cram our time so full that we have no time for anyting
- loss of soul
- social welfare
- constant noise thatprotects us from painful reflection, scatters our anxious dreams and the fear of what might come up from one's own depths
- thinking we are not nature
- people will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls
- modern education is too one-sided and only enables a young person to adapt himself outwardly to the world but gives no thought to the necessity of adapting to the self
- domination of nature
- define convention, not ethics
Jung's list of solutions to prevent disease/diminish effect:
- turn back too simple things
- realize that things being sought are irrelevant to a happy life
- listen to and analyze your dreams
- live in small communities
- work a shorter day and week
- have a plot of land to cultivate
- make spare use of radio, TV, newspaper, technological gadgets
- high mountains, rivers, lakes, trees, flowers, animals
- mystery, symbols, belief, age-old customs and convictions
- living here and now
- spiritual welfare
- compensate intellectual work with philosophical interest
- self-expression and seeing the fruit of your own labour to nourish psyche
- ask yourself whether by any chance your unconscious might know something to help you
- look deeply into the eyes of an animal
- healing contact with Nature from the outside and from the inside (through experiences of the unconscious and dreams)
- cooperation with nature
- make contact with the archetypal functions
- "Go to bed. Think on your problem. See what you dream. Perhaps the great man, the 2,000,000 year old man, will speak."
- define ethics, convention
Nature is an incomparable guide if you know how to follow her. She is like the needle of the compass pointing to the North, which is most useful when you have a good man-made ship and when you know how to navigate. That's about the position. If you the river, you surely come to the sea finally. But if you take it literally you soon get stuck in an impassable gorge and you complain of being misguided. The unconscious is useless without the human mind. It always seeks its collective purposes and never your individual destiny. Your destiny is the result of the collaboration between the conscious and the unconscious.
Reduction to the natural condition is neither an ideal state nor a panacea. If the natural state were really the ideal, then the primitive would be leading an enviable existence. But that is by no means so for aside from all other sorrows and hardships of human life, the primitive is tormented by superstitions, fears, and compulsions to such a degree that, if he lived in our civilization, he could not be described as other than profoundly neurotic if not mad.