There is a quote of the great Carl Jung that I have been turning over, in ethos, in my mind for the past few days. Mostly because – and somewhat to my surprise – I happen to disagree with it utterly. And it turned up within my midst just as I was working upon further material for a forthcoming series of articles on Divine Language for Arya Akasha. Why that is relevant, shall become more than readily apparent soon enough.
Anyway, the quote:
“As scientific understanding has grown, so our world has become dehumanized.
Man feels himself isolated in the cosmos, because he is no longer involved in nature and has lost his emotional “unconscious identity ” with natural phenomena. Thunder is no longer the voice of an angry god, nor is lightning his avenging missile. No river contains a spirit, no tree is the life principle of a man, no snake the embodiment of wisdom, no mountain cave the home of a great demon. No voices now speak to man from stones, plants, and animals, nor does he speak to them believing they can hear. His contact with nature has gone, and with it has gone the profound emotional energy that this symbolic connection supplied. This enormous loss is compensated for by the symbols of our dreams.
There are no longer any gods whom we can invoke to help us. “
Now, it is not that the condition of “scientific understanding” has somehow ‘humanized’ the world. Indeed, Jung is quite apt in his observation that this has, if anything, been the converse. And in this, he is joined by the similarly named Junger – whose eminent solution to such a situation, that of the *restoration* of Theology to its rightful position as the “Queen of the Sciences” [by which I mean both ‘master’ and ‘progenitor’ … mother and nation], I have briefly spoken about in an earlier piece.
No, what I take issue with in Jung’s otherwise rather excellent quote, is quite different.
You see, the issue here is both one of ‘causation’ and of ‘consequence’. For I do not for a second believe that Mankind has, in its own ongoing process of ‘dehumanization’, somehow *actually* managed to give altogether literal salience to Nietzsche’s much-misunderstood aphorism around the ‘Death of God’. [Although it can rather strongly be argued that even though we haven’t “Killed” Gods literally, that we’ve certainly *tried very hard* to rob the concept of pretty much all actual salience, impact, influence, and meaning … as something other than mere ecclesiastical furniture, at best, in many cases – which is, in effect, if not in impetus, also somewhat what Jung was implicitly getting at with the observation contained within his quote]
Nor even, for that matter, have we managed to seriously *drive out*, *drive away*, turn into refugees off into the outer realms of the cosmos, the Gods, the nature-spirits, Landsvaetter, and all the other such entities and beings through sheer, pure force of non-belief in their existence; frank, utter, insensitivity to their significance.
Now, as applies the matter of environmental degradation observably despoiling if not outright destroying the habitats of such beings, that is another matter. And a most pressing one for immediate consideration, at that. Not least because, in the manner of Bears and other animals attempting to ‘adapt’ themselves to the encroaching urbanism which inflicts itself upon their natural environs, we may indeed see similar disruptive and indeed outright *dangerous* circumstances travailing as a fairly direct consequence of such reckless ‘development’ and encroachment upon their previously eminent domain.
But we shall leave all of that aside, for the moment.
Instead, there is one part of his overarching metaphor which we shall briefly explore via a fine Sanskrit comparative … and in so doing, hopefully illustrate just why it is that I have found his whole thrust of thesis here to be so excruciatingly troubling.
“Thunder is no longer the voice of an angry god”, remarks Jung. And immediately upon reading that, I was hit like a smack upon the head, with the immanent resonance of such a phrasing, with a key concept from the works of a much older Vedic Theologian [and political agonist, as it happens: Sayana of the Vijayanagara Empire], that has become something of a foundation-stone for the altar of my mind’s pehwr in recent times, as I have sailed ever further and deeper into the most excellent realms of Lady Vac – the Vedic Goddess and Concept of (Divine) Speech.
In Sanskrit, we would say ‘Vacam Garjit Lakshanam’. And I have a much more full-length explication upon just what this seemingly-simple three-world phrase *actually* means, that takes up many pages and many more words indeed. But for now, we shall go for the rough, brief translation:
“Vac”, means ‘Speech’. “Garjit”, “Roaring”, “Thundering”, but also – and this is vitally important – “Indistinct Speech” [in much the same way that at a certain level of shouting through the storm, only the ‘volume’ of one’s voice [etymologically related to ‘Vak’, is ‘Voice’, is ‘Vox’] actually carries through, often]. “Lakshanam” – again, a complex word, but simple renderings would be “With the characteristics of”, “Signifying”.
So “Vacam Garjit Lakshanam” effectively gives us something like “Thunder having the characteristics of [Divine] Speech” – or, somewhat more figuratively, “Indistinct [to mere mortal ears] Divine Speech”.
Now, like I say, there is *far* more going on with this deceptively simple [‘indistinctly’ simple, you might say, as a communicative-tool of the Divine – a phrase, therefore, ‘shaped like itself’, even when *not* shouted amidst lightning-fueled pyrotechnics … which you are more than free to imagine in your own mind as you read my writing, should it help you to remain engaged and awe-struck by its potency] three-word phrase than I am unpacking here. And you’ll just have to wait for the extended monograph to see what I mean. It’s going to be breathtaking.
But what it means, here, and for our more immediate purposes, is that the Divine Speaks – just not always in ways that you can immediately hear, understand, and recognize as actually being Speech. Just because you are unable to do these things, does not, in point of fact, render it suddenly a non-occurrence. To reference me something probably not actually said by Nietzsche – those who were dancing were thought insane by those who could not hear the music.
In some of my previous work, upon the Role of Priests in Indo-European society, I have tried to point out that it is not just upon them – or us, as the case may be – to Speak, to Call, to Pour .. to be the VOICE of the Purusha Model of Man [‘Hotr’, somewhat figuratively, but eminently justifiably rendered]. But ALSO to be the EARS upon that mighty head. After all, the very *concept* of Shruti – That Which Is Heard – shows the apex-semi-literal-apotheosis of just such a ‘thought’. The ‘Revelation’ of a supreme category of Scripture by listening very hard to the Word(s) of God(s), and the implicit, literally immanent SOUND OF THE UNIVERSE.
SO, where I am going with this, is quite simple.
Jung is absolutely correct when he suggests that Man now feels ever more ‘alone’ in the cosmos. And that this has been ‘accomplished’ via an escalating process of ‘dehumanization’. Interesting, isn’t it, that “Dehumanization” in fact appears to mean, implicit within the realms of Jung’s work, the “De-Mythologization” of Man. I have often had cause to enthusiastically support Terry Pratchett’s thought upon Man actually being a creature, a being of Stories … but that is, as they say in Conan, another story for another time. [And included within that anthology, I shall rather strongly suspect – for I shall, of course, Gods-willing, and They Are – shall also be the rather particular tale which illustrated to me the way in which such ‘De-Mythologization’, ‘De-Sacralization’, in a very real way, therefore, ‘De-Humanization’, *especially* that bound up in this ultra-modern, pus-modern [for such is the upswelling of miasma about a gaping, open wound] … is effectively a seriously clever demonic plot to make a serious stab at winning the War Against Heaven; but I digress, for the moment!]
Yet it has often been remarked, that even a mirror shall not show you your own face if you are insistent upon not seeing it there. And this is – to my mind, anyway – *exactly* the case with the world around us; both now, and in the past and perhaps even into the far future. Grim Darkness-shrouded, or otherwise.
The opposite-of-plain-fact of the matter is that the Voice of the Divine has not stopped Speaking. The Damaru has not stopped beating out the underlying Rhythm of the Ages. The Dance At The Heart Of Creation has not ceased, just because some of the audience have turned away to look at their smartphones!
No! All of this yet still goes on. Whether or not you care to listen to it, or to actively move in congruence with it, rather than tripping over your own, or others’ more salient feet.
The serious business of the Religious Man in the 21st Century, therefore, is often far less about learning how to Call … and still *very* much far less, about learning how to shout at people in order to attempt to enhance their own oft-largely-illusory eminence and prestige … and far *more* to do with learning how to ‘shut up’, especially with the preconditions and prejudicial sticking of fingers in ears which demands that Divinity manifest *only* and exclusively in a pretty simplistic, even two-dimensional way that is obviously, immediately, and ‘lazily’/conveniently apparent to the doubter so strenuously concerned with *denying* the very reality of something no matter *how* otherwise-clearly-apparent it is to others, even when standing right in front of his or her face …
… and, fundamentally, re-Learning to Listen.
Now, oddly enough – Jung did not actually disagree with a certain proportion of the above, meant in a certain sense of these terms. He, too, with his quotation that has set the tone for this piece in its rejection, was enjoining people to learn how to ‘listen’ – in his cases, to the ‘subconscious’, collective and/or otherwise, and what it was trying to tell people through symbolic means, in dreams, in nightmares, in psychosis, and elsewhere, even in everyday, ordinary, and seemingly-undisturbed normal life. Insofar as there ever actually *can* or should be such a thing.
What we are saying is, therefore, not entirely different in ‘mechanism’ – but *hugely* different in both ultimate ‘inputs’ and hoped-for ‘outputs’ and results.
For we are talking about listening not to what are ultimately creations of the human psyche. But rather, to Gods – and, as applies concepts like Rta, like Orlog, like AdiParaShakti-as-Brahman … to even more ‘subtly expressed’ sig-nifers still.
There’s a quote from a film, that I have not seen, yet which I heard utilized as the key sample in a track – “Listen. Can you hear it? The music. I can hear it everywhere. In the wind, in the air, in the light. It’s all around us. All you have to do is open yourself up. All you have to do is listen.” This gets, I think, to the heart of the matter. Or at least, to somewhere approaching both a foundational, and a skin-deep illustration of the concept I am getting at.
So if you are, yourself, feeling “Isolated in the Cosmos” … if you are feeling yourself fundamentally adrift, meaningless and purposeless amidst a “Dehumanized World” … then you are most certainly not alone. There are un-organized *legions* of fellow-seekers, Soul-Seekers, blind and adrift, and walking hand-over-shoulder, or attempting to sail the empyrean waves, some of them even, like the Raft of the Medusa, managing somehow to catch brief glimpses of what they, on some deep(a), underlying, and subconscious level, know is *actually still yet out there*, waiting to be found. Or, I should say, to be Heard, still more rarely to be *Seen* [for Sight is, as ever, one of the ‘basest’ of the Senses, when you and we get right down to it. Hence its exaltation, needfully so given the singular *blunting* of seemingly every other sense else, amidst the neon-confectioned and confetti’d and con-fettered increasing detritus of the Modern Age].
What can you do about it? Learn to *Hear*. Learn to open your Ears, and your Ears-which-are-not-literally-Ears(-necessarily – sometimes, they are), to the Sound. To the Echolation. Perhaps even develop some ‘Echolocation’ yourself, via the ‘Calling’ process I have capaciously aforementioned both in this piece, and in others prior to it.
More than likely, you can do something far easier and far more necessary – and that is, seek out somebody: a Pandit, an Acharya, a Gothi, a wise figure attested by those around him and about him, and even his surrounds and surroundings themselves, to be more ‘in-touch’, more able to Hear … and then Listen, Too, to what HE [or She – there is quite a prominent and righteous tradition of Wise Women in Indo-European mythoreligious thought and record, too, let us not forget. Indeed, there is a *VEERY GOOD REASON* why Vac is a *GODDESS*, as well, and perhaps even as Archetypal Ex(h)al(t)ation, Mightiest, Primarch-Primogenitor and FirstBorn of the concept!] … listen to what that figure has to say.
But there are, to mix metaphors in a kind of tactical synasthaesia … none so blind as those who will not Hear. And I have no doubt that the response to this piece will include the usual miscreant caste of ne’er-hear-wells, who will angrily deny even the very concept, at that same time as they semi-openly or only-secretly profess their yearning to actually *be able* to hear in the first place. Their misotheism, their atheism, and their aggressive posturing against the notion that their Ancestors *were* actually so immesurably, markedly superior to themselves in this key, core, concept as well as so many others besides … being an exercise in the ‘distraction’ of mostly others but also occasionally even themselves, from this ‘hole-in- their-soul’ that they cannot bear to openly acknowledge and then rectify.
This matters not.
It does not stop Thundering, simply because you are ignorant of the realities of atmospheric physics.
And ‘Thunder’, in both the figurative sense implied by ‘Garjit’ – as well as occasionally the more *active* sense that we see in many of this or that really cool mythological occurrance/appearance – does not *stop* containing within It an Implicit [‘Indistinct’] Voice of the Divine, simply because you have forgotten (how) to Hear; or because you insistently stick fingers in ears [both metaphysical and real] or hide your head under the sheets in a bid to pretend that it does not yet still EXIST!
The Lightning, mytho-metaphorical and otherwise [and I really must write up a whole series upon the Storm-Speech(-Signifer) concepts within the Vedas, because there’s a most *excellent* ‘Flashing Smile of Lightning’ metaphor I’m also thinking of here!] shall not kill you any less dead [and not just ‘inside, I mean], simply because you believe that it can *only* have been caused by purely atheistic and intent-less phenomena.
The previous ‘mythological’ understandings of the World and of our place Within It … they have not actually, in a hugely meaningful sense, altered much of the underlying nature of the world. Not *yet*, anyway (although, as I have alluded to above, I harbour my own suspicions that if left completely unopposed, then they would *indeed* lead to what Churchill coined as a “new dark age” of far more terrifying scope thanks to “the lights of perverted science”. “Dark Age” here meant … not in terms of the historical period, but rather that far more resonant, figurative meaning implied by such evocative terms as the ‘Current Yuga’, you know?]).
But what they *have* done – and done fundamental, perhaps even immediately *irreversible* epistemic damage and ontological violence towards, lies *within* Man.
The Retreat of Myth, therefore, has not taken place out (t)here in the External World .. but rather *within* our own Internal Worlds. And, in its own way, is far more *insidious* and perhaps even implacable, precisely because this renders it that much harder to convince those who are suffering from it , who are afflicted with the malady, the maladaptation, of being internally Myth-less, Song-less, Story-less except in the most mundane, banal, and 9-5 kinda way … that there is actually anything wrong with them, or any fundamental dysjunct or dysjoinment between the way they feel inside and the actual, overarching ,external Reality above, beyond, and all around them. Which can even suffuse through them despite their stubborn refusal to recognize, acknowledge, and actually *feel* it, all the same.
SO – if you are in this miserably myopic modernist condition, of failing to hear the Voice of Myth – the Vacam Garjit Lakshanam of which we have earlier spoken – it *may* indeed be sorely tempting to conclude that it’s not because there’s anything *wrong* with you or your (subtle or literal) sense of Hearing … but rather, because this is, actually the fundamentally ordinary, normal, and indeed “natural” state of reality all up.
Nothing could be further from the Truth.
Instead, first consider the much more immediately relevant question:
What attempts have *you* made, to actually open yourself up and Listen; or to properly engage with Those who Already Hear with little to no trouble at all.
‘Vacam Garjit Lakshanam’. Just because it is, to you, seemingly “indistinct” – does not at all mean that it is *not* Divine Speech!