Sunday, April 22, is Earth Day 2012. Here’s an excerpt in honor of Earth Day and dreams. It’s an excerpt from the writing of Carl Jung, taken from the book “The Earth Has a Soul; The Nature Writings of C.G. Jung” edited by Meredith Sabini, 2002.
I’m leaving the language as Jung wrote, male-exclusive as it is.
“Through scientific understanding, our world has become dehumanized. Man feels himself isolated in the cosmos. He is no longer involved in nature and has lost his emotional participation in natural events, which hitherto had a symbolic meaning for him. Thunder is no longer the voice of a god, nor is lightening his avenging missile. No river contains a spirit, no tree means a man’s life, no snake is the embodiment of wisdom, and no mountain still harbors a great demon. Neither do things speak to him nor can he speak to things, like stones, springs, plants, and animals. He no longer has a bush-soul identifying him with a wild animal. His immediate communication with nature is gone forever, and the emotional energy it generated has sunk into the unconscious. … This enormous loss is compensated by the symbols of our dreams. They bring up our original nature, its instincts and its peculiar thinking. Unfortunately, one would say, they express their contents in the language of nature, which is strange and incomprehensible to us.”
Jung gives a basis from the perspective of psychology for the ecological mess we humans have gotten ourselves into. Lest it sound like I’ve “gone pagan,” let me offer this balancing piece, part of a poem by Sophie Churchill from the book “Dare to Dream” by Geoffrey Duncan, which I found referenced in Sam Hamilton-Poore’s “Earth Gospel.”
We believe in one God,
who gave birth to the cosmos and to us,
creating, out of nothing but his will,
a world of rocks, plants, and human longing;
whose eyes will not fail
to cry for it all.
Well, lots of connections between Earth Day, dreams & faith. May God’s Word in and through nature, and all the ways God speaks, touch you today.