FINALE: 7th Response to Catafalque

As the last chapter says, many thoughtful commentators are pointing to the root cause of our impending end of humanity in terms of the devastating consequences of “the split”.[1]This split is thought in so many ways, depending on the discipline speaking (e.g. spirit/matter; inner/outer; mind/body; man/nature; the Cartesian split; mind/brain; culture/nature; fiction/reality, empirical/archetypal, and of course, the subject/object split, which gave rise to science.) Along with all these conceptions, there seems to be unanimity about the “cure”—to bring the split to an end! One of the latest efforts in this regard, for example, is called “quantum sentience”. We keep coming up with ever more sophisticated concepts to help us “bridge” the gap—except that none do!

The split produced by western civilization has caused untold suffering across scale for over two thousand years, as Peter Kingsley’s book shows. The root cause of this incalculable suffering lies with the destruction of the mystical foundations of our culture—the very foundations that gave rise to our civilization in the first place, and the only possible source of renewal.

We cannot possibly know how to heal the split, unless we, or at least some of us, individually descend into the wound and take on the suffering of an entire civilization. This descent is in accord with Grail wisdom that states: “the wound is only healed by the lance that made it,” and constitutes an initiation of course—the kind of initiation that C. G. Jung endured, as recorded in the Red Book.[2]

Jung discovered the gift of the goddess, the same goddess who destroyed him, melted him down, placed him on the cross, dismembered him, and then finally, reconstituted him. The gift of the goddess is a new Being, and possibly a new culture that could flower from that Being. Kingsley describes the gift that is the initiate Jung, in great detail.[3]To put it as simply as possible, Kingsley describes the gift this way:

To live an archetypic life is no reason for inflation as it is the ordinary life of man … for [Jung] the totally extraordinary has become the utterly ordinary which, what’s more, was the normal state of humanity from the start.

Kingsley goes on to add that “the apparent ordinariness of people [as they] go about their disconnectedly meaningless lives is the most extraordinary violation of what we humans are meant to be.” Human Beings were meant to be, in the first place, both ordinary and divine, in one:

Whatever we think of as personal is in fact profoundly inhuman, while it’s only in the utter objectivity of the impersonal that we find our humanity.

Now we are close to what “end of humanity” means. We are human when our humanness is grounded in archetypal reality, divinity, or “the profoundly inhuman”, and likewise, when the divine is ordinary. Returning to our source via initiation is to discover this truth, as Jung did. This truth is the gift of the goddess. The end of humanity, therefore, is the complete sundering of the divine from the ordinary. We lose our human-ness and that is the catastrophe before us today!

In my essay, Jung and the Posthuman[4], I draw out the “intention” of archetypal reality, i.e. the background source from which we emerge—to bring ordinary reality and divine reality together, as one. The Holy Grail of our culture! I focus on language—achieved language and living language and the possibility of perceiving living language (archetypal reality) within prosaic language (ordinary reality). Jung’s descent into the Mothers, or the abyss, gave him the eyes to see this new reality and he spent his life teaching others to see it too, as best he could. Emma Jung complained that he was only interested in people if an archetype presented itself through their ordinariness: “you are not interested in anybody unless they exhibit archetypes”.[5]The capacity to perceive the archetype in or as the divinity of any ordinary object is to end the split that is destroying our culture. Jung’s initiatory descent gave him that capacity.

Recently I had this dream:

I am walking in public and learning for the first time that I have two heads, learning through the responses of others to me, as they looked at me. My ordinary consciousness was “located” more in one head but the ego-alien head was also seeing the world its peculiar way.

This dream opened my eyes to the work of Dali, and I wrote an essay.[6]In the essay I said:

Dali is showing his version of an entirely new set of real appearances that correlate with a new style of consciousness—one that can simultaneously perceive ordinary, hardened, empirical reality and the reality of another dimension altogether, as this dimension unfolds into empirical reality.

And several years before this, I had this impactful dream:

I am wandering the streets, alone. I find myself in a hall where some ritual is going on, conducted by an older man. The participants are each undergoing a perfunctory ritual, i.e. they are just going through the motions. It has a Masonic-Christian feel to it. We are all sitting on our knees on carpet. When he sees me, he suddenly becomes interested, more alive, and asks me to go through the ritual, which now comes alive. There is a line on the floor. I am to touch my head on that line, i.e. submit. I do so as he intones the ritual of confessions. As I touch the floor with my head, he smiles and says warmly you are forgiven, everything. Then he comes over to me and crouches, whispering in my right ear for some time. As I listen I hear the voice of the “other”, a higher pitch, unearthly, i.e. the angel is speaking to me though him. I have trouble understanding most of it but the angel talks for some time. When finished I get up but have trouble speaking. My right hand begins to write autonomously. I scribble “interlocutor”.[7]

And so my capacity to “perceive”, within ordinary language, archetypal reality, or living language began to become conscious.

Response to Catafalque in its Entirety (7 Chapters)

Richard Noll’s (“The Jung Cult”) Review of Catafalque 

(my comment follows his review)

[1]See also, for example, my essay “The Gap”:

[2]See my essay Transformation Through the Enraged Mother:

[3]Catafalque 143ff.

[4]Jung’s Red Book for Our Time: Searching for the Soul under Postmodern Conditions Edited by Murray Stein & Thomas Arzt Chiron Publications, 2017

[5]Catafalque, 530


[7]This dream and my discussion appear in John Woodcock, “An Example of the New Art Form” in The Coming Guest and the New Art Form, (Bloomington: iUniverse, 2014), 48.