Saturday, May 29, 2010

Totem


Jung tells us that “The ancestral spirits play an important part in primitive rites of renewal. . . . This atavistic identification with human and animal ancestors can be interpreted psychologically as an integration of the unconscious, a veritable bath of renewal in the life-source . . . .” *

The Dream: Near the door of the house is a totem, going from the top of the entry way to its floor. The entry way is very tall; the style of the house a combination of Spanish hacienda and 20th c. contemporary. The totem is a bas relief. The shape near the door first appears to be a tear-drop, but part of it morphs into something like the head of a bull. Other shapes flow from this to the ceiling where the totem wraps overhead. Colors are rich: reds, greens, ochres: a painted wood look. One shape is an antique looking sun. It’s modernist and old-fashioned (primitive?) at the same time.

I don’t like it and wonder if Clark put it there without consulting me. Then I realize it came with the house and is the work of a famous architect. I try to like it.

Interpretation:
I come out of my house (myself) through a door (changing from one state of awareness to another) and see this very ancient complex representation of myself: a totem. I am an expression of my genetic history:  a carrier in time and space of the life force of my ancestors. I try to dissociate from this unfamiliar way of seeing myself (I blame my other half for putting up the totem) but soon realize it came with the house (it’s who I am). Reconnecting with the archaic part of my psyche will result in a kind of rebirth. Jung again: “The case before us proves that even if the conscious mind is miles away from the ancient conceptions of the rites of renewal, the unconscious still strives to bring them closer in dreams.”**

*C.G. Jung, Dreams, translation by R.F.C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX from The Collected Works of C.G. Jung Volumes 4,8,12 16 (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1974) 205
**C. G. Jung, op. cit., 211

2 comments:

sparker said...

I applaud your commitment to drawing your dreams.
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Perhaps you are familiar with the International Association for the Study of Dreams? They sponsor a yearly exhibit of art associated with dreams...http://www.asdreams.org/subidxshowart.htm.... You should consider entering your art work.....
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A blog focusing on The Red Book right now: www.jungcurrents.com....
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and one on dreams:
www.dreamcurrents.com
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I will be following your blog and your art work.. sparker

Carla Young said...

Hi Sparker,
Thanks for your encouragement and your suggestions. I am familiar with the IASD; my work was featured on the cover and inside their Winter 2007 issue (under a different name: this being the internet I use a pseudonym here.) I haven't entered recent shows because they are too far from home for me to hand deliver my work, which is a requirement.
I'm looking forward to checking out the websites you have recommended, and I thank you again for your interest.

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