by Wayness Tamm-Clattuc
In the writing about the Mankato curse there is the very interesting theme of applied Active Imagination.
It was something that Dr. Jung first came upon during WW I, when he along with everyone else was shut up in Switzerland and couldn’t travel. Although obviously he also had an introverted side of his own, so it wasn’t only “escapism.”
I just think it is interesting to notice the congruence of the outer situation, and would only point out that people who know something of the method do do better in many ways, for example in the hospital or, indeed, in prison, and all the other settings where for whatever reason one has to “sweep one’s own doorstep,” as the Swiss say. I wonder of course if this means that it won’t prove to be of advantage to stroke victims, indeed, I suppose that it is doing so right now.
What a pity that AI isn’t more of a public property of aging baby boomers!
Anyway, it is a wonderful tool, one does have to have an ethical attitude and definitely not try to do “magic” just for what I would call competive ego-purposes. It is this last factor that marks the distinction between black and white magic, so to speak:
Black magic is that situation in which one throws up one’s hand and says “Oh, to Hell with everybody, I’m just going to look out for number one!”
Although even then it is not so critical, because sometimes as the American Indians say, “You must let the fire teach the child.” One simply cannot mind everyone elses’s business all of the time, but it only becomes black magic to back off from your society for a time if you try to give up on the others for good and all, a sort now-on-in attitude.
Here, underlying the writing in Bodwyn Wook about “participatory historianship” and the accompanying creative fantasy, about changing the past, it seems to be the proposal that, really, no one possibly can have anything they truly may desire, and not of any real value, unless the needs of all of the other creatures are likewise being met.
This goes not only for those living now, but for all who have lived and all to come as well.
In a projected form of course this is just socialism, and so one wonders therefore if Dr. Jung wouldn’t be rather critical?
He did not think much of the idea of the panacea of “universal welfare” in outer life anyway, but, I suppose now that we can all just ask him — using AI!
At least those in the know can do that, based especially on Barbara Hannah’s book which you can look up on Amazon. And, as a matter of fact, one senses that today publicly something is needed just as far as analytical psychology itself is concerned. Jung’s ideas went through a period of popularization because of the “New Age” movement in the 1970’s and now it has all dropped right back into the sea. Some jungians themselves were pretty aghast then, as I am sure they would be at the ideas now, in Bodwyn Wook, for dealing in novel ways with the historical facts of something like the Mankato curse or, more seriously, Auschwitz and Hiroshima and so on.
This is because in so many ways now, going on forty-seven years after the death of C. G. Jung, “his” psychology can be a pretty airless affair.
So there, I’ve said it! the whole business can seem to outsiders to be a very Swiss-Germany sort of business after all, a matter of cognescenti to an excessive degree, it is ingrown and inbred, and altogether the Jung institution now has, I think, the same problem as that of black magic and the sort of Buddhists who turn their backs and do not come back as boddhisattvi, to rescue suffering creation. Naturally, this criticism reflects the facts of my own personality as I am a feeling type — this is a far different matter, however, than simply getting emotional about everything while gunning down the prisoners in the trenches in Russia in the shtetl and then singing Silent Night! — and, as I am also an introvert, I will only add that I also have no doubt that many jungians, as many as in any other layer of the population anyway, probably very privately are doing the mental work on these lines, also.
It just seems very clear to me in light of what the world is that the more the merrier, and that all the help is needed that can be gotten! It all is so very different when one becomes a grandparent you know, and so here I am being out-and-out emotional myself, I expect….
[Emmett R Smith all rights reserved 27 July 2008]