The Suffering Of The World Soul

The Suffering Of The World Soul

Weeping Woman, by Vincent Van Gogh

Too many people have been analyzing their pasts, their childhoods, their memories, their parents, and realizing that it doesn’t do anything-or that it doesn’t do enough (James Hillman).

For many years, we who have wanted more of life than football games and the latest reality TV show have been focused on our own, for want of a better nomenclative, “spiritual development.” Certainly, there is a place for that in life, but there comes a time when our focus must be shifted to a higher priority. Our world is in dire straits. Our people, the people of our planet, are aching for a new paradigm. The higher priority of which I speak is caring for the Soul of the planet, the Anima Mundi.

We have seen the end result of a positivistic, myth-denying, sacrilegious mindset that allows bankers to run roughshod over those less fortunate; that encourages corporations to advertise to the point of brainwashing people into endless buying of nonsensical products; that influences people to bring assault rifles to public places in the hope of massacring as many as possible. Our society has become psychotic. Our culture should be uprooted and plowed under, so that a new one can take its place, albeit gradually. Of course, we should not hope for a Utopia, for that will never come to pass. We must not be naive. With the eyes of Imagination, however, we can see a time when better lives and a better planet is possible.

Robert Sardello wrote:

The individual presented himself in the therapy room of the nineteenth century, and during the twentieth the patient suffering breakdown is the world itself . . . The new symptoms are fragmentation, specialization, expertise, depression, inflation, loss of energy, jargoneze, and violence. Our buildings are anorexic, our business paranoid, our technology manic.

Since the advent of modern depth psychology, individuals have been focusing mostly on their own journey of the Soul, which is perfectly fine, as long as one remembers there is a greater good, i.e. the psychic health of the World Soul. Of course, caring for one’s individual Soul contributes to the health of the World Soul. We simply must be cognizant of this fact and not fall under the illusion that our own well-being is primary. Remember the words of alchemist and philosopher Michael Sendivogius:

Maior autem animae pars extra corpus est ( The greater part of Soul is outside the body)

The evil and ugliness we see in our world are psychopathologizations of the Anima Mundi, symptoms that provide clues as to Her psychic state of affairs. Traditionally, patients were treated with forms of inter-subjective therapies, and even group-related therapies, but the world remained external to these. Many patients have made tremendous progress. Millions are in better shape today than possibly anytime in history. Certainly, there are many troubled people out there, and many who purposely choose to follow evil. For the most part, however, humans have achieved astounding and wonderful things in the past few hundred years. It is now time to shift our focus to healing our world. In this, we heal ourselves. The separateness of objective and subjective notions will fall by the wayside. Dualistic ideas like the so-called mind/body split will vanish as we begin to see that our Universe is interconnected and interrelational.


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3 thoughts on “The Suffering Of The World Soul

  1. Interesting in the Sardello quote how he lists specialization & expertise as pathological symptoms… An apt description of insects who, if we're not careful, will soon be running things…

  2. The contradiction of contemporary Western society, particuarly Amercian society, is that, while we have achieved an unimaginable amount of worldly prosperity and knowledge, the inevitable contradictions of soul and being have become totally repressed and, in so doing, embedded themselves in our general physcological dispositions. The abyss of real meaning at the heart of modern culture is what generates the epidemic of mental anguish and anxiety that characteritzes our modern mind. We are hamsters running on a wheel of consumer-generated desire; eventually you tire out, but see no alternative but to keep running.

    Though this was all necessary for soul to grow and for freedom to expand, it's slowly reaching its breaking point as human consciousness is ever more forced to confront itself via modern technologies. We must not have a reactionary attitude toward the world to solve the problem; instead, we must have a develepmental one. We must deflate the power of consumer society not by rejecting it in fear, but overcoming it through understanding. The only way out is through. There is no alternative, as anxiety will have out.

    The traditional religious systems of the world used to extinguish these anxieties through existential engagement with myth and meaning. Religions ask us to confront ourselves outside of any social heirarchy, outside of any aspect of the world, even outside ourselves, insofar as the idea is intelligble. But, the price paid for the confrotation in the past was the loss of freedom. The shackles of duty grounded man in his being, as these shackles connected him to what he believed was the truth of who he was and what the world IS. But freedom is good and too will have out. And so the world went from meaning to freedom, but now it feels the tug of meaning again, though it does not know its name. It longs to feel the determination that meaning gives, the abscene of freedom it implies. The dialetic must achieve a systhesis soon, but what form this new meaning/freedom psychology will take is at present unknown to us. But, it will come. For there is quiet despair in the heart of modern man, so quiet in fact that most can't see it for what it is. Instead, they label it a “disease” give it a clinical name and figure out how to further suppress it with pharmacetical intervention, a placebo which gives the illusion that someone, somewhere, understands what is happening to your mind and furthermore knows the cure. But, in this case, the cure is part of the disease.

    We have all fooled ourselves into thinking that the world is what it seems to be, and this leaves us empty, for it denies the fullness of self and the abyss of truth. The virtues which shall save us all – tolerance, duty, charity, justice, and, above all, love – are supressed in modern culture for the simple reason that they cannot be marketed. Love cannot become a brand for its truth negates any attempt at commdification.

    Tension in a fault will eventually cause an earthquake. The earthquake of soul will soon be upon us. Either that, or our ever growing freedom will not be grounded by the very thing that makes us long for it in the first place.

  3. Wow! Some excellent comments here!

    Steve, good observation. It's amazing how specialized everything has become. Are there no more so-called Renaissance men (or women)?

    Anonymous, you make some excellent points with which I agree. Consumer society has our world in its evil clutches. We must end this madness!

    Thanks for the comments!

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