A few nights ago, I was lying in bed reading Miguel Serrano’s book, C.G. Jung and Hermann Hesse. The book includes a letter that startled me in which Dr. Jung writes that, “…the world we live in is full of darkness…” Dr. Jung continued writing, “The very thought that mankind ought to make a step forward and extend and refine consciousness of the human being seems to be so difficult that nobody can understand it, or so abhorrent that nobody can take up his courage. All steps forward in the human psyche have been paid for in blood.” As I was contemplating this statement made very late in Jung’s life, I thought about the price we are paying in blood right now and I was wondering if our psyche has begun to take a step forward. Then I fell asleep.
Sometime later, shortly after midnight, I dreamed I was in bed turning away from my wife, a dream wife, not my real wife, in an effort not to arouse her. Suddenly she hits me hard waking me up in the dream. Then she exclaims, “You can’t get away from me. You are full of rage.” I sit up and we begin to talk. Another presence becomes apparent in the room. He is a fellow analyst whose identity isn’t clear in the dream but he is a friend. He says, “We always marry our enemy.”
This dream is so compelling I had to ask myself: what am I asleep to? What is feminine in me forcing me to wake up to that feminine, that anima, or that part of my unconscious I was trying not to arouse? What enemy have I married perhaps in love and passion without knowing it? Be careful, I remind myself. None of this is literal. This is a woman I don’t recognize in my day world.
My writings since 2016 have been my effort to wake up. Events have struck a note in my own being calling forth ideas about our collective psyche that I had dimly conceived, but which I had not formulated. They have also called forth feelings, whose truth I cannot deny. I began my writing with my short book The Rage and the Shame which began to express these feelings and the psychology behind them. To my surprise the title scared people away from the book. I had thought it would help them recognize the depths of their own feelings and in some cases it did. But I wanted to touch more people so I rewrote the book and retitled it America Now in my efforts to make it more socially acceptable. Then as my thinking and clarity progressed, I rewrote it again as The Midnight Hour: A Jungian Perspective on America’s Pivotal Moment. I hoped that by looking deeper into my experiences, clarifying for myself at least our core social and political problems and our suffering hearts, I could help inspire us to reclaim some of the better spirits of our history. But I remained deeply concerned. I wondered if I was out of touch with reality, or how deeply asleep we are collectively. Then came the pandemic.
Now I have finished another short book that gives permanence to my feelings of how desperate our reality that we are not waking up to is. The truth of feelings tells us the most about the reality we are experiencing and opens the doors to how we should respond. They are scary and hard to want to accept. No wonder my wife in my dream is hitting me, and well I know the reality I don’t want to wake up to often seems like an enemy. Now we have published Facing the Apocalypse: A Call for Outrageous Courage, Love, and Compassion. I have realized that we are paying in blood and grief on a major scale for not changing, not moving our social consciousness forward — not transforming the heart of our social character. Of course, our social consciousness reflects our own as we come together. To change our society, we must change ourselves first, freeing and developing outrageous courage, love and compassion within ourselves as my book is a guide for doing.
My rage comes from our resistance to this transformation as Dr. Jung noted (the quote I opened the book with) and for our and my choice of naïve ignorance for decades. Perhaps the analyst friend in my dream is Dr. Edward Edinger, the great Jungian scholar who saw us in an apocalypse in the nineteen nineties and published his book, The Archetype of the Apocalypse. I am humbled that it took me another twenty years to personally understand his work. I am enraged there is so much resistance by otherwise good people to seek out reality, take it seriously, and have the boldness to step onto the paths of courage, love, and compassion. I am frightened at how so many protect their denial by accepting lies and defending them with furious aggression.
Yet I also understand them because as I continued my reflections on the dream, I realized the rage I have just share with you is also my defense against the profound sorrow I am experiencing in my personal life, and in the world I am being forced to awaken to and participate in. And my rage is and has been a defense against my fear, my fear that we all, including my children and grandchildren, will pay a heavy price in blood and grief if our resistance to waking up continues.
I would have loved to have gone back to sleep in the dream. Back into the soft, comforting darkness, but not too dark. A resting place unhaunted by the specter of reality, the tension between having a good life and at the same time feeling like we are approaching a precipice. But I can’t sleep. I know if I am really alive, I must strive to be awake and aware. Facing the Apocalypse is part of my continuing effort to wake up, transform and help us find a new foundation for our lives and our future. Like it or not, the future is in our hands. Or perhaps it is better to say whether we have a future or not is in our hands.
What does it really mean to face a crisis of biblical proportions, the apocalypse we are currently in?
Dr. Bud Harris, Jungian analyst, prolific writer, teacher, and healer of souls brings us face to face with this challenging question. Through his decades of experience and the teachings of Carl Jung he guides us into understanding the structure of the apocalypse we are experiencing and the destructive course it is taking as we continue down the road of self-deception. Focusing on the essential quote from Jung, ”Where love stops, power begins and violence, and terror,” he shows us the personal and collective darkness that is being unveiled. Then he leads us onto the healing path to restore love in a power-driven world and to change our fate—the path of outrageous courage, love, and compassion.
Articles by Drs. Bud and Massimilla Harris, Book Excerpts and Resources
, dreams, Elder Wisdom, fear, living authentically, Personal Transformation, responsibility, struggles, suffering
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