Living a Myth and Experiencing Yourself as Image

I have heard of the idea that man supposedly needs myths to feel connected to something bigger and be more psychologically rooted as a result – maybe it was Jung himself who talked about this, I cannot remember. This thought does not sit well with me. In reality, all myths ever told are neither man-made nor metaphysical, but concrete and autonomous creations of psyche’s fiction; they are “inside” stories about the complex material and evolving nature of man, seen through the eyes of the unconscious. The unconscious produces these tales all the time, it is something it naturally does. Psyche’s fiction is ongoing and always there whether you want it or not, and thus the idea of myths being a necessity is moot. It is not a matter of man needing stories to feel a deeper or wider sense of existence – it is a question of paying attention to what image the primal psyche has of man at any given point in time. What is happening in the material? What is going on in the contemporary physical and sensory body of man as perceived by deep instinct and the unconscious senses? This informs the storyline psyche’s fantasies are made of.   It is precisely that enlightening or illuminating activity of the psyche itself, which has such a healing effect – the assurance that whatever happens to the evolution of man, the primal force that is the unconscious bears witness to your story, keeping you real at every moment throughout time. The immensely regrettable fact that there is such a strong, and futile, reliance on old and effectively outdated myths is due to civilisation having become absentminded, complacent and disenchanted, i.e. turned psychologically cold. Instead of paying attention to what is happening on the level of psyche’s contemporary fantasies, and what they say about the nature of man, old myths are used to explain and cure current unconscious fiction and emotions that result. This is not helpful. Not helpful at all. In fact, this inability to move on, to progress psychologically, strikes me as the reason that civilisation has such poor instincts these days - the dire state of peoples’ widespread ability to rely on their gut in the face of uncertainty. It was a terrible disappointment when I first started to realise what the unconscious seemed to see in me. I felt ashamed and a bit sick to my stomach really when it dawned on me where this fantasy was going. I never had any interest in religion. Zero. Absolutely none. I still don’t. From what I have observed in religious people, I have found it absolutely surreal what they believe in, and how they derive a sense of morality and duty to mankind from these, experientially tenuous, convictions. The mind-numbingly one-sided (left-brained) story of father and son hurts my head and bores me to death, and I have been perpetually puzzled by the obsession with light, submissiveness, and goodness, as if this was somehow normal, healthy, or advisable. The insufferable daftness of the feminine in pretty much all religious teachings, and the sacred insistence on it as if it were a virtue, strikes me as rather painful to voluntarily endure. The idea that there are people who are entitled to be called spiritual, or even worse ‘enlightened’ teachers makes me anxious, it just reeks of unconsciousness, shadow overgrowth in the mind and psychological contamination. Moreover, to generally assume that there is some conscious or intelligent source behind the creation of the universe strikes me as unrealistic and completely unfounded. I have just never seen the point of any of it, let alone being able to relate from my own experience. God was never “my” father, that I knew in my gut for sure. An entity this unimaginative never had a place in my own imagination. As it happened, and in spite of perpetually feeling disconnected in some way, I have had a great fondness of life ever since I can remember, and it is possible that this was always related to an intuitive and imaginative relationship to existence since I was a child. I consciously fell in love with psyche’s imagination later on, it gradually grew on me, and it is the nature of this profoundly human instinct, with which I feel an inseparable bond today. Not that I was ever inclined before, however it is very much for this solidarity and the love of psyche’s divine imagery that I encountered later in my life that I just cannot read the Bible, I simply can’t. I tried, but the texts are so messy and inelegant, psychologically speaking, there is perpetual confusion between the literal and the imaginal, the factual and the poetic, the rational and the intuitive. There is no sense of the fundamental independence of psyche and matter and how they relate – the two forces are constantly colluding and identified with each other. The writing is so horridly unconscious of itself and there is no appreciation of imaginal complexity, no intuitive awareness of the different layers of the psyche. There are only very few instances where the psyche is allowed to express itself freely, where it is unspoilt and pure (like a raw diamond), unpolluted from conscious thought or interpretation. Those scenes are the ones that carry a tremendous force and potential, because they contain the essence of the nature of the psyche. Moses is such a figure who has the gift of preserving and maintaining the integrity of the unconscious, because he (literally) understands image and can speak its language fluently. I am not surprised at all that God treats him more equally and listens to him – it is not because he chose Moses as one of his favourites, but because it is in Moses’ nature to readily see God for what he is and is able to respond to it. He intuitively recognises and readily accepts God as an image, and as an instinct; it is for this reason that he is so close to God and why God allows him to speak to him the way he does. (God, like any image arising from the unconscious really, naturally favours human beings who are inherently “psychological”, i.e. those who can understand what their instincts are asking of them – what their inner voice is “calling” them to do those who can read their dreams and speak to the imaginal and those who suffer a form of mutism, unable to readily make themselves heard or understood). With all my disdain for the psychological inelegance and inexperience of “the Word”, there is something about Moses, and his relationship with God, that I adore, to a point where I feel the Moses’ poetic nature holding and heating my naturally more cold-blooded heart whenever I think about him. Maybe it is his almost inhuman imaginal ability coupled with his debilitating inability to speak that resonates with me. Maybe it is the raw instinctual beauty of understanding perfectly, intuitively, the mindboggling ambiguity of the primal psyche instructing that if you do not know what to say, simply tell them that I Am.   It is very moving to observe Moses talking to God, because there is something about him where I recognise my relationship with my own family. Unfortunately, these elements are far and few in the good book and there is not enough to counter and to balance the dreadful interference of cognitive thoughts and emotions colluding instinct. I can’t handle it – religion, the Bible, God - I never have been able to, and yet sacred fantasy is where my psychological life has taken me. It has to be me, intolerably, that has to cast an image in this peculiar type of fiction. I cannot say that I am keen to “turn out” the story, but there is something about me telling it that seems to please the psyche immensely. Maybe Robert Bly is right, and the Soul is purely here for its own joy, and I happily support it, if this is the case. I will gladly do it for them: for the images themselves and for the purpose of granting psyche just that little bit of exposure to the world “out there”. I have come to a stage in my life where I live with my psychological experience as a myth in its own right and where I accept the idea that, while I am a physical entity and social person in the world, I equally exist as an image of the psyche. Maybe this is what Christ meant when he said he had overcome the world – the insight hit him that he was not merely Jesus, the physical person, but an image of the unconscious, of which the biblical God was the imaginal father. Based on that insight you would indeed no longer be of this world while still existing in it, I suppose. I deeply regret that Jesus took God and the role of himself as the son so literally, that he trapped his own image in the literalisation of the Father-Son fantasy, and that he now has to endure the hellish burden of living in His shadow till this day. I wish he had realised more consciously that this aspect of his life was merely a beautiful piece of fiction while he was still alive. Ultimately, it is only those who can experience themselves as psyche’s primal images while being fully grounded in the material, conscious and contemporary world, that have the potential to keep the psychological instincts sustaining human nature alive by way of their unconscious imagination.