Each year for the past five years, The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture has sponsored the James Hillman Symposium. Speakers from all over the country, as well as from Mexico and Brazil come together to celebrate the life and work of James Hillman, one of the truly great depth psychologists of this time. He originated Archetypal Psychology, a mode of psychology intimately related to the depth psychology of C.G. Jung.
The theme of this year’s symposium is Mythic Figures, based on the volume of his writing that concentrates on Greek mythology in his work in psychology. Archetypal and depth psychology work with images from Greek mythology based on an understanding that these myths are central to Western culture (As you will hear, I have questions about that assumption). Each speaker works intimately with one chapter of the volume and seeks to expand the vision of Archetypal Psychology.
I am speaking on his chapter “Good Mother Earth: Imaginal or Literal”. A preliminary version of the talk is included here as an audio recording.
The writings in this blog, ten so far, are all influenced by the work of James Hillman, who I worked with closely for the five years he lived in Dallas and we worked together at the Dallas Institue. It may be helpful to say just a bit about Archetypal Psychology.
A central question, as yet unposed, for the writings you have read in this blog is — what Earth is being spoken of? It is inevitable, as you will hear about in the audio, that Earth is being taken literally — in our time. The In Dios did not take Earth literally — as dirt, soil, planet, the mere ‘place’ where we are and are here to use Earth, which has come to mean use and destroy. The In Dios live ceremonially and ritually, that is, within the images of the beings, the spirits that pattern their actual behavior. Our question through these blogs is — as we become aware that the unconsciousness of our destructive actions toward Earth, aware of them as symptoms, as pathologies, how do we, in this time enter images, true images that bring relief — not only to us but to the imaginal/literal Earth?
The stories told thus far of this land in the writings on this blog are all BOTH literal and imaginal — simultaneously. That is what this audio recording goes into in some depth.
The audio is about 25 minutes long. You might want to listen in sections. You might want to listen more than once. Again, I apologize for the quality of the recording — it is a clear recording but there are some distracting things that occur — like my coughing, which could easily be edited out — if I knew how.
“Columbus had called the Indians In Dios not because he thought he was in India but because he found them to be as religious as children…”
Elsna Freeland, in “Sub Rosa America
And the Fall of the New Atlantis”, book 1
Where we are going in these writings:
The first set of writings – Blogs 1-10 (this one) focus on one aspect of the true archetypal imagination of this land, that this land is inherently the land of the heart.
Since the time of the conquistadors, the heart – the very soul of America was torn out. This began with the initiation rites of the Aztecs, under the dark spiritual direction of a spiritual being, Taotl, a name with strong resonance with Tao; it is the dark aspect of the Tao, indicating that it has the force, and the intent to make this land completely materialistic. The intent began with the ritual of tearing out the heart and stomach of prisoners in the land of the Aztecs, offering the heart to the sun, with the intent of turning all the sun shines upon into mass materialism. The rites influenced the Conquistadors, whose desires were completely oriented toward finding all the gold of the new land, gold as the materialization of the spirit-heart.
Many were initiated into the mysteries of Taotl. But the initiation was certainly one that bore the character of materialization of soul and spirit. Its goal was to rigidify, to mechanize all earthly life, even that of human beings, to the greatest extent possible. We could say that an earthly kingdom of death was envisioned, one that was directed from within toward smothering of all independence, and stirring of the soul. In the mysteries of Taotl, forces were supposed to be acquired that would enable human beings to create a completely mechanized civilization on earth.
— Rudolf Steiner
The second and third wave of the desecration of this land came with the so-called ‘discovery’ of this land by Columbus. The gold he found here – and even called them ‘gold’ was the enslavement of the indigenous people, capturing them and taking them back to be servants. It is the continuance of being infected by greed, already present, certainly, but here given free reign – so much so that now we see greed everywhere extolled; that is, it is not even hidden. It is recommended. And it has become mechanized through:
The way this archetypal picture now plays out in America:
Absence of and misunderstanding of community
Individual Spirituality Practices for our ‘own’ development, the privatisation of
The turning of human beings into robots – which we see now with the computerization of humanity, about to turn on full force with the creation of robots, which can only happen (is happening) when hu-mans (from humus—from the earth) lose any inner sense of individual, creative capacities:
…….When that day comes, Anthony Levandowski will be firmly on the side of the machines. In September 2015, the multi-millionaire engineer at the heart of the trade secrets lawsuit between Uber and Waymo, Google’s self-driving car company, founded a religious organization called Way of the Future. Its purpose, according to previously unreported state filings, is nothing less than to “develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence.”
– News article
The enslavement of the very heart of this land continues even today, as is shown in the film “Holy Man: The U.S. Government vs Douglas White. As the elder in the film says though, to all of us “Welcome to the reservation.”
The results of the pathological archetypal imagination of greed are now with us
In full force. It takes the form of:
Desecration of the land for all she has to give – minerals, metals, wood, soil, water, clean air, warmth, coolness, oil ….. and most of all the land itself turned into property. The first draft of the Constitution, the part that says everyone has the right to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ did not have the word ‘happiness’, but rather the right to the pursuit of property. This seeing that the land itself is ‘good as gold’ really begins with the Puritans, which we will work with next to try to see the furtherance of the archetype of greed that now runs this country.
By now, if you have followed the writings, you must be getting quite squeamish, holding off as long as possible from entering fully by feeling sad, very sad, for the plight of the Native Americans. The next and deeper level does not really involve some kind of usual action – social action, protesting, anything of that sort. If your life does involve that way of action, then it is your individual destiny – good!
However, in giving a foretaste of what is to eventually come in this writing, here is an image of where we are:
“Then Nebuchadnezzar the kind was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counselors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
Wrongfully imprisoned by US Government, given 29-year sentence
Died in Prison, November 24, 2009
Christopher Columbus, of course, did not ‘discover’ America. Native Americans were present and had discovered the land. Other groups, too, had been here, including black-colored people from the Caribbean and Norse and Celtic settlers. American captives were taken to Norway in ca. 1420.
When Columbus reached the West Indies, he found radically different people. He said of them:
“….they are generous with what they have, to such a degree as no one would believe but him who had seen it. Of anything they have, if it be asked for, they never say no, but do rather invite the person to accept it, and show as much lovingness as though they would give their hearts….And they know no sect nor idolatry; save that they all believe that power and goodness are in the sky…”
On his first voyage to this land, Columbus kidnapped twenty-seven Americans. He wrote:
“When your highnesses so command, they can all be carried off to Castille or held captive on the island itself, since with fifty men they would be all kept in subjection and forced to do whatever may be wished.”
“And they are fitted to be ruled and to be set to work, to cultivate the land and to do all else that may be necessary, and you may build towns and teach them to go clothed and to adopt our customs. Also: They would make good and industrious servants.”
“…it is possible, in the name of the Holy Trinity, to send all the slaves which it is possible to sell….of which, if the information which I have is correct, they tell me that one can sell 4,000….Here there are so many of these slaves, that it seems a living thing, but still gold….”
Miguel Cuneo, who accompanied Columbus on the second expedition to the Americas, reports:
“When our caravels….were to leave for Spain, we gathered one thousand six hundred male and female persons of those Indians, and of these we embarked in our caravels on February 17, 1495, five hundred and fifty souls among the healthiest…..for those who remained, we let it be known in the vicinity that anyone who wanted to take some could do so, to the amount desired, which was done.”
Tzvetan Todorov, in his study of Columbus, concludes,
“The sixteenth century perpetrated the greatest genocide in human history…. In 1500 the world population is approximately 400 million, of whom 80 million inhabit the Americas. By the middle of the sixteenth century, out of these 80 million, there remained ten million.”
These quotations are from the book, Columbus and Other Cannibals, by Jack D. Forbes.
The purpose of bringing them forth here is beyond that of trying to instill guilt. We want to ask: what forces, what psychic forces inhabit human beings when the land is not seen as living? What happens when land is separated from people as if the land is simply inert matter on top of which people live?
The author cited above has a most interesting answer to this question: such people become taken over by a spirit – the Wetiko, the spirit of cannibal psychosis (cannibal here means consuming another’s life –not literal, but real). In our time, and place, where we do not recognize such spirits, the name of this psychosis is greed.
The spirit-being now called greed inhabits, and, I will show in a later post, belongs to this land, but kept in check by the forces of harmony. It is of the land, though, and inhabits only those humans who have no sense of the Spiritual-Earth. It has no power as long as the people are the land and the people live in honor – of Sky, of Sun, of Moon, of Earth, of Animals, of Plants, of all creatures, view everything, everything, as living ….and all live as community.
“The Indians never hurt anything but the White people destroy all…How can the spirit of the earth like the White man?….Everywhere the White man has touched is sore.”
— Kate Luckie, of the Wintu Nation
We might regret, deeply, how ‘others’ treated Native Americans, and we might find ‘distance’ from the events, with a sigh, and a ‘that’s sad’. And in doing so, Wetiko has free reign.
To bring it all just a little closer. Since the beginning of the savage ‘conquering’ of Native Americans, projecting ‘savage’ on them, the tactic of making sure Native Americans would not rise again, besides confinement to reservations, the Holy Men, the Shamans of all Native American tribes, have and still are subjected to extinction. This tactic is meant to destroy the religious life of Native Americans and extinguish where the government knows the true leadership of tribes is located. The tactic is to cause internal conflict within a tribe, dividing a tribe, and getting one part to do things that discredit the Holy Man.
The purpose of my going into this is to expose some of the tactics of the Wetiko rather than enter into the social or political realms.
The demise of the Holy man of tribes still goes on. It happened in 2006, with the Holy man of the Oglala Sioux, Douglas White.
A remarkable documentary was made of his story and its outcome. Here is a link, first, of the trailer of this film, and a second link to where you can rent or purchase the film.
Trailer: Holy Man: The USA vs. Douglas White https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTXRP5aDgHc
2. Where the film can be rented or purchased: http://holymanfilm.com/