|Oil painting by Gerard Prent: “Zonder titel (tuin)”|
It was once thought the so-called Copernican Revolution ended the Western obsession with the centrality of the Earth. But why did Western thinkers believe the Earth was the center of the universe in the first place? It was because they believed that, since God was incarnated in human form, the Earth must necessarily be the center of the Universe. Giordano Bruno tried to inform them there was no center at all, but they were not willing to kill their sacred cow. Instead, they killed the messenger.
The predominant Western mindset has never broken free of this false idea of centrality, since they have never recognized it as the result of enthroning an overinflated Ego as the center of their universe. It is even more obvious today that Ego controls most of humanity. It sits on the throne of most of the world’s material powers, as it has for millenia.
It is said, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” The origin of this perverted love is the overinflated Ego. We must be brutally honest here: The World Soul has a Shadow, just as we do individually. The overinflated World Ego is part of this collective Shadow of the Anima Mundi. This collective Shadow must be dealt with somehow. I am of the belief that as we avoid isolation from one another, and unite in Soul and in love, our collective beneficence will mitigate the collective Shadow.
James Hillman did not advocate the Jungian idea of integrating the archetypes into a teleological image called The Self. On the contrary, he believed the Archetypes should be thought of as separate Persons altogether. He viewed the attempted integration of these Persons to be destructive to Soul. Instead, his idea was one of interaction. This flowing-together of the various archetypes creates the atmosphere conducive for Soul-making, of which he was so fond of referring to.
The collective Shadow, manifesting itself through the overinflated collective Ego, is getting very much out of hand these days, as it has many times throughout history. The European Dark Age, which is also called the Medieval period, is one example of a time when ideas that previously created magnificent cultures had been lost to the general knowledge of the populous. The Church very efficiently saw to that, centralizing their control in Rome, and using the Inquisition to handle anyone who attempted to bring enlightenment to the people. Giordano Bruno was one such victim. Read his story in The Tragedy of Giordano Bruno.
The end of the so-called Dark Ages, and the beginning of the European Renaissance occurred after translations by Marsilio Ficino of ancient documents, including the Emerald Tablet and the works of Plato. Gradually, there was a resurgence in knowledge and wisdom of Soul. This gnosis manifested itself in art, philosophy, literature, and other areas of human creativity, and, in turn, brought about one of the greatest flowerings of Nature in the history of the Earth. An increased knowledge of Soul led to the construction of a grand Soul-House in those days, which gifted humanity with much beauty and benefit.
Needless to say, with what we are experiencing on the Internet these days, another time of renaissance is imminent. I have called this current period The Epoch of Soul. It is here now, even though we are at the threshold. One day, the alchemical marriage will take place and we will all be swept into a glorious era that humanity has never before experienced, a time that will overshadow the European Renaissance.
In conclusion, there is really no center at all. We are not the center of anything and there is no center to our individual Being. All creatures of the Universe are intertwined with what we call Soul. The overinflated Ego tries to be the center of everything and is at the root of all attempts at centralization in all areas of human endeavor. This Herculean strongman must be dethroned in order for our world to, once again, unfold it’s beauty.
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