Consciousness should defend its reason and protect itself, and the chaotic life of the unconscious should be given the chance of having its way too – as much of it as we can stand. This means open conflict and open collaboration at once. That, evidently, is the way human life should be. It is the old game of hammer and anvil: between them the patient iron is forged into an indestructible whole, an ‘individual.’Carl Jung
It is embarrassing to have a logical premise dismantled in a dream; but that is exactly what happened over the holidays. My previous column, published on 23 December, was titled “Left and Right as Cosmological Systems.” My premise was that left and right symbolize good and evil respectively.
Four times during the past week I dreamt my left hand became detached from my wrist. (Don’t laugh, it’s not funny.) Naturally I would reattach the hand in the hope it would remain in place. No such luck. In this morning’s dream the hand went missing. Turns out I was lying on it. When reattached I had very little feeling in the fingers. — I was very glad it was only a dream.
Whatever doubts you might entertain about depth psychology, Carl Jung was right about the unconscious. It is real, as my dreams clearly indicate. The interpretation of my dream is obvious. Of course, my left hand is a good thing. Yes, it’s inferior to my right hand; but sometimes you just need two hands — like when you are typing a blogpost.
I apologize for slandering my left hand. It has a proper function. I also apologize for slandering the left — even if the proper function of the left is now being perverted.
After an internet search I found the following brief lecture given by the late Joseph Campbell: (see https://youtu.be/uyOFOgE9758 ). Campbell is an expert on symbols and myths. He says there are two kinds of mythology: The right-hand mythology — the mythology of the village — “which fixes you in the world”; and the left-hand mythology, which stems from feelings of “incongruity,” in which you “follow the path of your own bliss — [into] a life of danger and creativity.” This is what Campbell calls “the journey of the hero.”
According to Campbell a person may choose the way of the village (the right) and reap the rewards of conforming to the village’s moral norms; or a person can set aside respectability and live dangerously on the left.
Supposing Campbell is correct in his interpretation of the left/right symbolism, we nonetheless have a problem; for presently the mythology of the village (the right-hand path) is being eliminated altogether. Now we are given a new myth that is against the village. It is a global myth, and its validity is forfeited because it is self-negating.
What Campbell calls the “right” is being eliminated and replaced by something we associate with the left. But the left has nothing to do with replacing our village mythos with a globalist mythos. Here is a new conformist non-conformism — a false left and a false right; an enlightenment without the benefit of myths or symbols; without the benefit of corrective dreams or unconscious processes. There is, in this, a deeper question. It is the question of political order.
For next week, see Eric Voegelin’s New Science of Politics.