As we enter the world we are infinite. We have no boundary. We are also zero. At three months, or so, we begin to distinguish that there is an “other” – the breast as part object. By 6 months old the boundary between us and the other (usually mother) is clear; and often frightening. Warmth, food, security and affection can be withdrawn as well as present. Our world is strait, though we do not know it. As we age and explore we push the boundary back; and back. If we are fortunate, and conquer our fear, we realise once more that there is no boundary. We are existence and all of existence is us. Death is an illusion. When we leave the world we can then fade to white and lose the loneliness and fear that haunts life, to experience all that is directly once more.
We comprise dynamic balance. Yin, Yang – or Jung’s concept of Anima and Animus.
“Animus .. the male aspect of the female psyche, as the Anima is the female aspect of male psyche”
I like the concept of conjugation in relation to establishing this balance, as in Buber’s “I & Thou” – moving onward to an existential “We”.
Perhaps then, Animo, Animas.. Animamus. (Anim-am-us).
Feminism is a conjugating force rebalancing centuries of dominance of male. The work though is inside each of us, balancing our Anima and Animus to release our true self. Can someone tell Donald Trump & Daish.
[And yes the attached sound-thought-expressions (I don’t want to call them music) owe something both to Bach’s Siciliano transcribed by Wilhelm Kempf]
Carl Jung first wrote about the “collective unconscious”. This lies below and as a foundation of our own individual unconscious. It is a pooling between us, now and in the past. It is also one gateway (I believe) to the shared life beyond the fragility of our mind in the life – our material consciousness – the Brahman of Hinduism or Nirvana of Buddhism, that can be glimpsed through meditation.
The collective unconscious speaks in a language both of archetypes and mandalas. Archetypes are the powerful shared images which make so many movies effective for instance the monster in the dark of horror films and the ecstasy of union and community of Avatar. Mandalas reflect perfection in images and seem, at least to me to be linked to the beautiful fractals of chaos theory that underlay existence. (look at free fractal apps on your iPhone for a direct view of reality!).
It is only our mind, this particular consciousness that dies, this is anyway an illusion. If we can connect to the shared stream of unconsciousness now , then we already experience our immortality. Through prayer, meditation, connection with our loved ones or nature – even the cinema. After all, the movies are right, forget what people call it – Avatar is what awaits. May the Force be with us.
It is not heroic to feel injustice as it affects you personally. It is understandable, but not noble. A woman confronted by the pervasive but subtle continued tilt of the rules against her; a black in a white dominated society. The feeling of being apart, and made less human because of it – and the righteous anger that it provokes.
But not heroic.
What then is the journey of the Hero? What is the dragon that she must slay? It is fighting for the other. Nobility is reserved for those few who feel and bleed for their neighbour. The man who is a feminist, the white who fights for justice with his black brother, for the woman who refuses to participate in the projection of society’s shadow onto another “nation”.
Best summed up as – loving your neighbour. As yourself.
Oh boy, I find it tough. Personally. Love my neighbour, as myself? For most of my life I’ve believed – with my mind – in equality. Indisputable unless you believe we are only material. BUT. That’s not the same as – loving my neighbour as myself. Loving requires empathy. You don’t love an empty ideal. You need to be with, to sense, feel and bleed for – your neighbour. Specifically – the “other”. Love flows in the language of compassion, rather than intellect..
The journey of the Heroine requires us to share feeling with our neighbour. Seeing them – as ourself. (Namaste). To love them – as ourself. To fight for them with the same passion and intensity with which we fight the injustice practiced on – ourself.
Neighbourhood feminism. One of the two great commandments given to us (men) by Christ.
(I spoke and thus saved my soul)
Wolgang Pauli in a letter to a fellow physicist, on pressure to comply with the atheistic positivism of his god-father Max Born:
“Many physicists and historians have of course advised me to break the connection between my Kepler essay and C.G. Jung… I am indifferent to the astral cult of Jung’s circle, but that, i.e., this dream symbolism, makes an impact! The book itself is a fateful “synchronicity” and must remain one. I am sure that defiance would have unhappy consquences as far as I am concerned. Dixi et salvavi animam meam!”
Wolgang Pauli, Nobel prize for discovery of the exclusion principle, discoverer of the neutrino and father of supersymmetry.
Pauli was – with Bohr, Planck, Heinsenberg, Dirac et al – a pioneer of quantum mechanics and Nobel Prize winner for Physics for discovery of the exclusion principle. He could equally have won the prize for his discovery of the Neutrino or of PCT Symmetry.
He is less known for his work on the philosophy of knowledge and for his work with Carl Jung on the links between physics and the psyche. They wrote papers together (in some of which Einstein participated) , which were only discovered and published in the 1970’s and also co-authored the book “The Interpretation of Nature and the Psyche”.
In 1955 he gave a lecture at the University of Hamburg, “Science and Western Thought”, which he later described in analysis to Jung and to Niels Bohr. His interest throughout his life was to reconcile the “rational-critical” (Western Science) with the “mystical-irrational” (Eastern thought), to try to create a single framework of the physical and psychical.
“it is precisely by these means, that the scientist can more or less consciously tread a path of inner salvation. Slowly then develop inner images, fantasies or ideas, compensatory to the external situation”.
His belief in complementarity was fundamental; not just in physics but in general. For him and Jung the conscious and unconscious are mirrors of each other, and an understanding built solely out of one or the other is necessarily incomplete. (What Pauli sometimes referred to – witheringly – as “not even wrong”). This extended to his views on wider existence. He had an abiding interest in the views of Kepler and Newton – scientists working out of the alchemy tradition – “as above, so below” whose physical discoveries were incidental (to them) in their pursuit of the truth of God.
Pauli, with many great creative scientists, was a polymath. His scientific credentials are impeccable. His god-father was Ernst Mach and he was mentored by Arnold Sommerfeld. Albert Einstein proposed him for his Nobel Prize. He was a lifelong friend and collaborator of Bohr, Heisenberg and Dirac. All of his inquiring brought him to a concrete sense of the motive force and nature that lies beyond the physical or material world. He had a strong sense of humanity and humour, dealing gently with those of other or non-belief. For instance in response to Paul Dirac (who famously could not tolerate the religions and their politics) he quipped – “Well, I’d say that also our friend Dirac has got a religion and the first commandment of this religion is ‘God does not exist and Paul Dirac is his prophet'”.
Here he is on the nature of knowledge itself:
“the natural laws are of such a kind that every bit of knowledge gained from a measurement must be paid for by the loss of other, complementary items of knowledge.. the process of knowing is connected with the religious experience of transmutation undergone by him who acquires knowledge. This connection can only be comprehended through symbols which both imaginatively express the emotional aspect of the experience and stand in vital relationship to the sum total of contemporary knowledge and the actual process of cognition. Just because in our times the possibility of such symbolism has become an alien idea, it may be considered especially interesting to examine another age to which the concepts of what is now called classical scientific mechanics were foreign but which permits us to prove the existence of a symbol that had, simultaneously, a religious and a scientific function.”
Walter Heisenberg wrote of Pauli’s beliefs (in his book – “Across the Frontiers”)
“Pauli.. points out that even Kepler’s conversion to the Copernican theory, which marks the beginning of modern natural science, was decisively affected by certain primeval images or archetypes. He cites this passage from Kepler’s Mysterium Cosmographicum: “The image of the triune God is in the sphere, namely of the Father in the centre, of the Son in the outer surface and of the Holy Ghost in the uniformity of connection between point and intervening space or surroundings”.
“Pauli considers, moreover, that Kepler’s symbol illustrates quite generally the attitude from which contemporary science has arisen. “From an inner centre, the mind seems to move outward in a sort of extraversion into the physical world, in which all happenings are assumed to be automatic, so that the spirit serenely encompasses this physical world , as it were, with its Ideas.” Thus the natural science of the modern era involves a Christian elaboration of the “lucid mysticism” of Plato, in which the unitary ground of spirit and matter is sought in the primeval images, and in which understanding has found its place in its various degrees and kinds, even to knowledge of the word of God.”
“All manner of thing shall be well/When the tongues of flame are in-folded/Into the crowned knot of fire/And the fire and the rose are one” TS Elliot
I think that Elliot was pointing to a fundamental symmetry between the material (fire) and spiritual (rose) world. We have to think outside physics to find the answer to the apparent material asymmetry introduced by the dimension of time.
Time is the only thing that we know that is not symmetrical. We can travel backward and forward through space, but only forward in time. This flows from the second law of thermodynamics, where disorder (entropy, chaos), always increases. That in turn flows from the initial conditions of the Universe, which was highly organised.
There must, I believe, actually be a symmetrical partner to time. If you like – something that is running backward, creating order from disorder, which matches and balances the movement toward chaos that we observe in the material Universe.
Everything in the world is dual. Without boundary we could not know existence. Boundary defines by breaking one into two. Forces balance, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. When singular differentiates into dual (when one becomes two) it creates symmetry. Everything is symmetrical, and in a state either of differentiation or integration, separation or unification. This appears to me to be a fundamental truth – equally so in psychology (see all the writings of Carl Jung) and physics. Except for time. Time is different. It’s asymmetrical. It flows only forward. There is an arrow of time.
Why is that? After all – ever since Einstein’s special and general relativity was proved, we know that time is only the fourth dimension of space-time. We should in theory be able to travel forward and back in time, just as we can in space. But we can’t and don’t. We are all travelling forward at the speed of light through space-time. (Which is why there is time-dilation. If we travel rapidly through space, we use up some of the time component of that speed and therefore we travel more slowly through time). Since we’re in motion in space-time and with a direction – forward– we have momentum. Our momentum in time is simply mass multiplied by the speed of light. mc (massxspeed of light). We also know that E=mc2 (energy is mass multiplied by the square of the speed of light). That means that “we can consider energy to be momentum in the time direction” (Andrew Thomas). In turn that implies that it is the existence of time (and a time direction) that creates energy – and therefore mass and the material world.
Haven’t we heard this all before, but in a different language – long before the discoveries of physics. “Let there be light” – spoken by “God, the word existing beyond time” . Doesn’t this translate into – let there be a universal speed of light (168,000 miles/second) and time. From this energy and mass flows, and therefore the material Universe.
I believe that the flow of time in the material world – creating disorder from order, is matched by a flow in the spiritual world, where order is being created from disorder. I also believe that this creation of order can be observed in the evolution of consciousness. Ideas are not material. I believe, with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, that at some point (his Omega point) we will evolve to a Universal consciousness of God. I believe that God, existing beyond time, is made manifest in this material Universe by Christ; and that manifestation is perfect Love.
That, I believe, is the answer to the apparent time asymmetry. Spirit is the symmetrical partner of Energy (=matter). This makes sense for me of that great Christian poet – TS Elliot’s final lines from The Four Quartets. The fire is the material world (energy) and the rose the spiritual (love) and it is in their integration through the loving unifying sacrifice of Christ through (the crowned knot of fire), that all manner of things shall be well.
Or perhaps more simply – as Derek Walcott puts it:
“Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than the love that took its symmetry for granted when it was whole”.