Archive for August 7th, 2010
Sunsets in Saskatchewan are incredible sites. Most of the time the range of colour and the presence of scattered thin clouds create a canvas that defies definition. One is left wanting if one tries to capture the experience with words alone. There is something numinous in a sunset, something that points beyond the mere scene of sky, horizon and colours. Yet, sadly, this is getting to be a rare experience regardless of the fact that the earth and the heavens continue to gift us with sunsets.
“. . . the danger that faces us today is that the whole of reality will be replaced by words. This accounts for the terrible lack of instinct in modern man, particularly by the city-dweller. He lacks all contact with the life and breath of nature. He knows a rabbit or a cow only from the illustrated pater, the dictionary, or the movies, and thinks he knows what it is really like – and is amazed that cowsheds “smell,” because the dictionary didn’t say so.” (Jung, CW 10, par 882)
Ive been listening lately to on-going conversations at Jung-Fire, an on-line discussion group that somehow has remained while others have disappeared. Part of the current dialogue is an old dialogue that focuses on “words.” By this, I mean that there is a constant challenge to all ideas, especially quotes from Jung. I do understand how some want to desperately cognitively understand, to be able to justify, objectively, borrowing any thought of any “other.” Most responses are critiqued for definitions of words being used as if the full power of any idea is to be found in the words. And where words fail, the idea must also fail. In spite of the focus on words, Jung-Fire does offer another portal for those interested in joining a community that often has Jung at the centre of the discussions.
In today’s even more modern world, “virtual” experience is joining words” as a substitute for “reality.” I am seeing this with the visit of my grandchildren to our house. Games on the computer, the Blackberry and the iPod are part of the “normal” experience of today’s world. Rather than deny the use of these portals of experience, their parents (thankfully) show them that “balance” is important. Time at the lake, playing “real” games with “real” people in “real” environments, time hiking in the hills – become a way to find a balance in the modern world. I hope that they don’t get trapped in wanting to “prove” the world by words alone and that they learn to trust intuition, the senses, their thinking and their feelings as they help one arrive at a “fuller” understanding.