The Dark Side of Time

I recently dreamt What is the dark side of time? My immediate association was to Carl Jung’s Shadowthe dark side of personality, which has been discussed in my class. After a morning cup of coffee, I went the bookshelf and retrieved Stephen Hawking’s book A brief history of time and opened it directly to chapter six on Black Holes. The understanding of Black Holes was first advanced with Albert Einstein’s 1905 paper on General Relativity giving us the iconic equation E = MC2. Charlene Burns (2011) in the acausal connecting principle writes that Jung’s interest in physics began between 1909 and 1912 as a result of dinners Albert and he had. “It was Einstein,” Jung later wrote, “who first started me thinking about a relativity of time as well as space, and their psychic conditionality…years later this stimulus led to my relation with the physicist Professor W. Pauli and to my thesis of psychic synchronicity.” Burns goes on that Jung’

“…first public mention of the concept occurred 1928 during a seminar on the interpretation of dreams. Jung noted then that, in addition to the frequent appearance of common mythic motifs, dreams are often connected to coincidences in people’s lives. Taking a phenomenological stance, he said that while it would be “absurd” to consider the conjunction of dream material and life events to be causal, “it is wise to consider the fact that [these coincidences] do happen…The East…considers coincidences as the reliable basis of the world rather than causality. Synchronism is the prejudice of the East; causality is the modern prejudice of the West.”

I had previously read that Albert and Carl had met, wondering what those meetings were like. I recalled the bar scene in the movie Beautiful Mind Bar Scene where John Nash is relaxing with four fellow students.  In walk five coeds, one especially attractive blonde, the guys are goggling. In an intuitive creative flash, Nash realizes that Adam Smith needs revision – “one needs to do what is best for oneself and for one’s group.” Nash reasons, “if we all go for the good looking blonde, we will block each other and then when we turn to her friends, they will feel snubbed resulting in none of us getting laid. However, if each goes for one of the girls, we are not block and all get the prize.” The question before us, “How does one do what is best for oneself and for one’s group?” Not only is this a central issue in the family and the team, it is the central issue in globalization! Jung’s concept of individuation in which dreams and synchronicity play important roles – might it offer a way?

A Carl Jung Mandala Painting
mandula 018 3x5 19We need to add Pauli to a bar scene with Einstein and Jung or let’s ask Steve Allen to host a Meeting of Minds to discuss the unified field theory of physics and psychology. Might the conversation around the table on a unified field theory be to integrate Einstein’s general relativity equation E = MC2 and Jung’s analytical psychology equation E = SD2, where E is nuclear fission and imaginative creativity, M is mass and S is the Archetypal Self, C2 is the speed of light squared and D2 is dialogue squared, dialectical thinking. Both MC2 and SD2 processes release tremendous energy and I suspect this would be at the center of their dialogues.  Not being able to arrange such a meeting, the best we can do is listen to Professor Günter Ewald’s lecture on Synchronicity and Quantum Entanglement – On the trail of the dialogue by Pauli and Jung to give us insight into what these very creative minds were probably discussing and what Ewald suggests is “a new vision of the reality of nature, with the synchronicity of causally unconnected events as a central concept.” (See The mathematics of faith for preliminary equation development.)

Steve Allen did not produce a show with these three, however, he did produce this one with Aristotle, Niccole Machiavelli, Elizabeth Barret Browning, and Sun Yat-sen all creative individuals and reflecting the realities of our current times. There is a second hour after this one.

Analytical psychologist Erich Neumann’s book Art and the Creative Unconscious begins with the chapter Leonardo da Vinci and the Mother Archetype. Neumann critically critics Freud’s psychoanalysis of Leonardo and then presents his Jungian analysis emphasizing the influence of the Mother Archetype. This is a fascinating study that demonstrates the analytical analysis of Leonardo’s creativeness. We are not going follow this analysis here but it is recommended reading. The second chapter is titled Art and Time and uses the same analytical framework to examine changing Archetypal influences on art through time. “Our present inquiry,” Neumann writes, “lies within the psychology of culture; it aims at an understanding of art as a psychological phenomenon of central importance to the collectivity as well as the individual” (81). Neumann (1959:82) goes on to elaborate:

The archetypes of the collective unconscious are intrinsically formless psychic structures which become visible in art. The archetypes are varied by the media through which they pass – that is, their form changes according to the time, the place, and the psychological constellation of the individual in whom they are manifested. Thus, for example, the mother archetype, as a dynamic entity in the psychic substratum, always retains its identity, but it takes on different styles – different aspects of emotional color – depending on whether it is manifested in Egypt, Mexico, or Spain, or in ancient, medieval, or modern times. The paradoxical multiplicity of its eternal presence, which makes possible an infinite variety of forms of expression, is crystallized in its realization by man in time; its archetypal eternity enters into a unique synthesis with a specific historical situation.”

As an example, Neumann suggests that we compare a Gothic, a Renaissance, and a modern painting of Madonna to see a “revolutionary transformation of this archetypal figure.” Or compare Byzantine Christ-Pantocrator with Grunewald’s Christ on the Cross and see that they emanate from different “worlds of God and man” (93). Then consider the realism in Renaissance painting, besides changes in figure, perspective, color, etc., Neumann suggests, is the ascendance of the Earth Archetype, “in opposition to the Heaven Archetype of the Middle Ages.” The naturalism of Renaissance art is “the symbolic expression of a revolution in the archetypal structure of the unconscious” (95).

Examine for a moment Hieronymus Bosch’s painting Christ Bearing the Cross and describe what you see and then what larger meaning comes to you?

Hieronymus Bosch – Christ Bearing the Cross
Christ Carrying CrossNow, compare your reflection to Neumann’s (1959: 96) description of Bosch’s painting.

In his (Bosch) attempt to represent the demon-infested earth in the earthly colors of his unique palette, the earth magnificently triumphed over his medieval conception. Consequently, for example his Christ Bearing the Cross (Pl.VI), and the Veronica in this painting, disclose nothing medieval but on the contrary point to one of the most modern problems of future generations: the Great Individual with soul, alone in the mass of men.

In reflecting on the painting one’s attention is drawn to the figure of Christ, bearing his cross clearly knowing what this means for Man and God. This Christian canon is at the center of Western civilization and in Jung’s analytical framework. Christ is seen as representing the Archetypal Self, which is central in one’s personality in the processes of individuation. Understanding the dynamic life of Archetypes is Neumann’s project and his analysis of Leonardo’s Mother Archetype gives us the framework for the work presented in his book Depth Psychology and a New Ethic. This new ethic was addressed in the blog entry Deep Jesus, Us? and addresses this fundamental teaching of Jesus , Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye with never a thought for the great plank in your own eye?  In order to Love thy neighbor as thy self, one has to learn how to love thy Self. Loving one’s enemy and turning the other cheek follow on actualizing Self-love and removing the dark shadow plank in our eye is the first analytical step. Edinger in his interesting book, Ego and Archetype, suggests that these teaching clearly indicate that Jesus was the first depth psychologist nineteen hundred years before the unconscious was empirically established. (See full blog entry Deep Jesus, Us?)

Neumann’s third chapter in Art and the Creative Unconscious is A note on Marc Chagall, that analyzes Chagall’s individuation in his art, another excellent case study. The last chapter is Creative Man and Transformation, which further develops the Jungian analytical framework we will apply to the topic of Transformational Leadership the challenge now facing globalization.

The relevance of this entry to international management we see in the Science of Cities.

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