|Photo by David Shankbone|
Ecology movements, futurism, feminism, urbanism, protest and disarmament, personal individuation cannot alone save the world from the catastrophe inherent in our very idea of the world. They require a cosmological vision that saves the phenomenon ‘world’ itself, a move in soul that goes beyond measures of expediency to the archetypal source of our world’s continuing peril: the fateful neglect, the repression, of the anima mundi.”(James Hillman, Anima Mundi: The Return of the Soul to the World).
The same calamities that have assaulted the human psyche since the decline of the Renaissance and since the rise of scientism have nearly laid waste to the anima mundi, the Soul of the World. The Western myths of “free market” capitalism and corporate “personhood” are some of the most insidious evils to ever arise against the World Soul. It appears as if we are nearing the nadir of Western man.
How did we get here? There is one simple explanation: humans turned their back on Soul in favor of literalness; so-called “facts” came to mean more than Soul. Since we turned the corner some three hundred years ago or so, the mass of Western humanity has devolved psychologically to a place where reality TV shows, fortified with multitudes of ads, have taken the place of myths, stories, and religion. We sit dumbfounded in front of the television, while cascades of mind-numbing nonsense is spewed from the one-eyed monstrosity. Human technological achievement has been astounding, certainly, but at what price? With the overemphasis on technology and science, we have lost our way.
This message is nothing new, by any means. Many have proclaimed it. We, however, are further down the road, now, and it is our problem to deal with.
The Occupy Wall Street movement entered our consciousness last September. It is certainly a reaction to what I’ve just stated. Since Soul is ubiquitous, even the evils perpetrated against it, the Occupy movement, in my opinion, is an effort by the anima mundi (Occupy is a worldwide movement) to manifest itself in our lives and in our cultures. It is compensatory in the fact that it reveals lies that have been spoon-fed to the masses for so long about how they can succeed in life, if only they participate in the capitalistic culture constructed by a group of plutocrats for their own self-aggrandizement. The Occupy movement is bringing about a change in consciousness, at the behest of the anima mundi.
Having said all of that, and in agreement with James Hillman, movements alone cannot save the world. This is a utopian ideal, which can never come to fruition. What can save the world, or our idea of the world, is a return to Soul.
There are those who have not forgotten about Soul. These are some of the folks you saw out on the streets last fall protesting and being arrested by corporate police forces all over the globe. These have hope for tomorrow. They have dreamed a big dream, having been nudged by Soul to act. If enough people heed that still, small voice, the world will change. Utopia is a pipe-dream; we will always live with evil. But the world can change. The pendulum can swing.
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