Quote for Contemplation
from The Earth Has A Soul: The Nature Writings of C.G. Jung, edited by Meredith Sabini
Recently, I’ve been delving back into the nature writings of Swiss psychoanalyst C.G. Jung (1875-1961).
In addition to being a prime shaping force of modern psychology, as we know it, Jung was a mystic, a (psychological) alchemist, and a deep-diving “psychonaut”, prone to long swaths of solitary time. He was, we might say, a cartographer of the initiatory processes and creative journey of the soul — at least, his.
Never far from any of these explorations for Jung was the life of Nature.
In his own words:
Sometimes a tree can tell you more than can be read in a book…The earth has a spirit of her own, a beauty of her own. Nature is not matter only; she is also spirit.
This, of course, is a sentiment shared by all of the Wayfaring poets of old.
For example, let’s take Bashō — Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694), the Japanese Wayfarer who truly made the poetic path of haiku a viable spiritual practice.
Go to the pine if you want to learn about the pine, or to the bamboo if you want to learn about the bamboo. And in doing so, you must leave your subjective preoccupation with yourself. Otherwise, you impose yourself on the object and do not learn.
In both of these cases, an invitation is extended to us to “step beyond” — not only the entrenched patterns of egoic perception (which are always conditioned to some degree by personal history, family upbringing, and the assumptions of society at large) but also the usual constructs of reality. Whether we take the hint from Jung or Bashō, the pointing-out instruction is the same:
Connect with the more-than-human world.
Touch Nature to “clean” the doors of perception.
QUESTION FOR THE ROAD
As we enter the threshold of time that represents the transition from Winter into Spring, what lessons are being offered to you from the Spirit of Nature, within, and around you? When is the last time you consulted a tree?
THE EARTH HAS A SOUL, edited by Meredith Sabini
SOUNDWORLD OF POST