A piece by my friend Robert Clarke, author of The Four Gold Keys, who lives in Stoke-on-Trent, England.
It was recently the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, who had connections with the area where I live, being married to one of the Wedgwoods.
Darwin is universally renowned of course for his theory of evolution, first propounded in his groundbreaking work, The Origin of Species. And he is not only renowned, but almost revered as a ‘wise old man’ figure, like Socrates and Plato – he even looked like them. Darwin opened up and made possible new understanding of the processes of life in matter, of how species grow and change and adapt, though others were doing pioneer work in this field even before him. But with knowledge of evolution and other great discoveries of science that were to follow, not only life on earth but man’s opinion of the whole universe, of eternal truth itself, was radically and drastically altered.
Yet although this was a very necessary step in the development of knowledge, it has had, at the same time, a huge downside, an extreme negative effect on the human individual and culture as a whole. God has been dethroned as the authority over eternal reality and Science Almighty set up in his place; whatever science now decrees is law and the only truth.
The fact is, we have become one-sidedly trapped in matter. Science has influenced us to believe there is no other aspect to reality, that matter is everything, or that everything is material. With God, mankind looked up and out for ultimate meaning and noble purpose; now we look only down and in, and who today speaks of noble purpose to the life system?
Even when we study the stars, we see them in the same limited way, because a clamp has been strapped around our whole way of thinking that does not allow any wider perspective. Where it was formerly believed that if salvation could be attained at all it would be with the higher spirit, it became the doctrine that only ‘science can free us all’. With control gained over nature and the material world we would create paradise on earth; happiness would be the future lot of mankind.
Unfortunately, it has not worked out that way. We do not live in paradise; people are basically unhappier than formerly and even downright depressed, so that sensation must be sought to fill the empty void created by the loss of deeper meaning. Hence the drink, drugs, sex satiation, trashy television, violent movies etc. that form the staple diet of the young – and many of the older ones – in modern so-called culture. (The editor of a British national newspaper stated there are so many murders committed in Britain every day they would literally fill the whole paper were they all put in.)
It is no coincidence that beauty is no longer produced in the modern world, not with paintings, or books, or architecture, or music – and certainly not spiritual beauty – because we and our world have been desouled; beauty ultimately comes from the soul. The great psychologist Carl Jung said that this dissociation from the spirit, and the consequent drowning in matter, was always the potential catastrophic threat to mankind.
So what answer is there, if any, to this most dangerous of conditions, of mythless man lost and desouled in an ultimately meaningless, matter-only universe? Well, Jung himself was hopeful at times, commenting that man may not tolerate indefinitely this nullification of his soul, and indeed, that the spirit itself will take measures to redress the balance, to move man to a central position between the eternal opposites of matter and spirit, in order to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”, as Christ put it.
When a culture is in harmony with the spirit through an accepted religious system the spirit is quietened because its symbolic truths are being accepted. But when the harmony is lost the spirit becomes reactivated and people start having powerful dreams, full of strange happenings that are not easy to understand. This is the symbolic language the unconscious/spirit uses to try and get its messages across to us. Being spirit, it has no physical forms and so what are hopefully appropriate forms are used from worldly reality.
Much of this symbolism became constellated in the collective unconscious thousands of years ago and is now coming through to us in our dreams today. Jung found much of the symbolism in the dreams of his patients (as well as in his own) and I personally have been experiencing it for thirty years.
In fact, quite regularly, when people learn of my studies in this field they start telling me their own strange dreams. One woman told me of a dream where a great Mother-Fish gave birth to seven crocodile sons, while another woman dreamt of two spiritual cows that came to look at her through a window (a window is the dividing line between the two realities in dreams). Both dreams display symbolism of the Great Mother from ancient Egypt – Neith very early was the Mother-Fish while Hathor had the symbolic form of Meri the Cow, and both were in different myths mother of the divine Son, Horus. Christ has the same meaning as Horus, of course, and the name of his mother, “Mary”, can actually be traced back to “Meri”. In terms of depth psychology today we would speak of the Higher Self rather than the divine Son, but it is the same phenomenon.
Just last night I watched a documentary in which a scientist spoke of Christianity being redundant, by which he meant all religions. He spoke glowingly of evolution but completely failed to realise that each stage of this opens up new possibilities – actualities – that hitherto could not have been suspected, and this is so with the whole on-going process.
Gradually a creature was produced, man as it turned out, that had sufficient conscious awareness to experience higher spirit, and more, to know that he was experiencing it. Certain individuals have gone so far with inner spiritualising processes as to experience the Higher Self, and even God (and it must be said, Goddess), and so we could call evolution the ascending journey to God.
The discoveries of Darwin and those of other scientists represent a stage that needed to be reached and integrated to man’s knowledge, and indeed, to that of developing life itself. But we must now move on to a new and further stage, one of re-spiritualisation. As I say, the activity of spirit and soul through the unconscious, coming through symbolically in the dreams of many people, is moving us into this.
The discoveries of Jung in depth psychology are vital to our understanding of just what is happening, and are even more important than those of Darwin. Darwin shows us how physical life evolves in matter, Jung shows us the deeper meaning of the human soul, through the psyche, in connection with the spirit and God.