now lives in Maleny, Queensland, amidst the shelter and majesty of many wondrous trees.
Notes on recent talks to the Jung Society by Pam Bouma
The Archetype of the Apocalypse and the Psychology of Now
Reflections on the Presentation by Jeremiah Abrams 23 October 2009 (With thanks to Janeil Smith for her notes)
It seems to me that we have become recently, much more aware of the apocalyptic nature of Jung‟s thought and work (the word “apocalyptic” meaning “unveiling or revealing”). We have always known that the Individuation Process requires the individual to uncover and own Shadow material within, but increasingly we are confronted with humanity‟s collective need to do this – to struggle with the archetype of the apocalypse in order to rebirth itself.
The reason is, according to Abrams, that we are going through a transitional period. Just as ancient Greece experienced a time of barbarism (approx. 800 – 700 B.C.) before the flowering of its civilization from 500 – 400 B.C., so we are experiencing this barbaric phase now before we adapt to an evolutionary shift in human consciousness. Jung‟s writing, particularly the newly published “The Red Book” underscored this idea. He wrote about a world scorched by fire and the species just squeaking by, thus emphasizing the urgency of the times. Abrams cited many changes that are happening now on different levels and are making the world an exciting yet frightening place. Internet and the vast array of technological advances are exacerbating these effects.
What will a New Consciousness Entail?
The new kind of consciousness will involve the unveiling and recovery of hidden opposites individually, racially, globally. For example, Jung applauded the recognition of Mary by the Catholic Church as an important movement in his time and a step towards balancing the feminine and masculine in our lives.
One of the most devastating world Shadows is environmental degradation. For too long we have denied nature its life, soul and importance to us. We are required now to animate the soul of the living earth – to encourage re-enchantment of the world lest it die along with us. Also, we need the genius of every culture, not just a few “special” ones. For example, when the Aborigines bring forth their culture they will help us with the re-enchanting.
According to Abrams, Jung said that we were “all working on bringing forth the new edifice.” We have acquired great depths and are on our way, but we must change more. Possibilities are being revealed (involving the Shadow materials mentioned), latent powers are being activated. Abrams cites other thinkers along these lines including:-
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who envisaged a world soul.
Norman Doidge, who wrote in his book The Brain that Changes Itself that the brain renews its circuits every time it thinks, that neuroplasticity is a fact.
James Hillman, who gave an address to the Bioneers Conference called Taking Back the Country from the Nation. Finding the Light in the Shadows (Bioneers: Revolution from the Heart of Nature – “to re-imagine how to live on Earth and with each other in a way that honors the web of life.”)