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The body lays claim to equal recognition;

Carl Jung Depth Psychology Facebook Group


Civilization in Transition CW 10

I must plead guilty, however, to the charge of one-sidedness, for I have passed over in silence the spirit of the times, about which everyone has so much to say because it is so clearly apparent to us all.

It shows itself in the ideal of internationalism and supernationalism, embodied in the League of Nations and the like; we see it also in sport and, significantly, in cinema and jazz.

These are characteristic symptoms of our time, which has extended the humanistic ideal even to the body.

Sport puts an exceptional valuation on the body, and this tendency is emphasized still further in modern dancing.

The cinema, like the detective story, enables us to experience without danger to ourselves all the excitements, passions, and fantasies which have to be repressed in a humanistic age.

It is not difficult to see how these symptoms link up with our psychological situation.

The fascination of the psyche brings about a new self-appraisal, a reassessment of our fundamental human nature.

We can hardly be surprised if this leads to a rediscovery of the body after its long subjection to the spirit—we are even tempted to say that the flesh is getting its own back.

When Keyserling sarcastically singles out the chauffeur as the culture-hero of our time, he has struck, as he often does, close to the mark.

The body lays claim to equal recognition; it exerts the same fascination as the psyche.

If we are still caught in the old idea of an antithesis between mind and matter, this state of affairs must seem like an unbearable contradiction.

But if we can reconcile ourselves to the mysterious truth that the spirit is the life of the body seen from within, and the body the outward manifestation of the life of the spirit—the two being really one—then we can understand why the striving to transcend the present level of consciousness through acceptance of the unconscious must give the body its due, and why recognition of the body cannot tolerate a philosophy that denies it in the name of the spirit.

These claims of physical and psychic life, incomparably stronger than they were in the pa st, may seem a sign of decadence, but they may also signify a rejuvenation, for as Holderlin says: Where danger is, Arises salvation also.  ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 195