Friday, 18 September 2015

The Palaeolithic artist: part 16

"In view of the dazzling versatility of Picasso, one hardly dares to hazard a guess, so for the present I would rather speak of what I have found in my patients’ material. The Nekyia is no aimless and purely destructive fall into the abyss, but a meaningful katabasis eis antron, a descent into the cave of initiation and secret knowledge. The journey through the psychic history of mankind has as its object the restoration of the whole man, by awakening the memories in the blood. ... In Picasso’s latest paintings, the motif of the union of opposites is seen very clearly in their direct juxtaposition. One painting (although traversed by numerous lines of fracture) even contains the conjunction of the light and dark anima. The strident, uncompromising, even brutal colours of the latest period reflect the tendency of the unconscious to master the conflict by violence (colour = feeling)."
C.G. Jung,  Picasso, First published in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, CLIII : 2 (Nov. 13, 1932); reprinted in Wirklichkeit der Seele (Zurich, 1934). Previously translated by Alda F. Oertly for the Papers of the Analytical Psychology Club of New York City (1940); another translation, by Ivo Jarosy, appeared in Nimbus (London), II : 2 (autumn, 1953). Both versions have been consulted in the present translation. Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 15: Spirit in Man, Art, And Literature: 015 (pp. 139-140). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition. 

Picasso, The Harlequin's Family, 1905

And just as Faust is embroiled in murderous
happenings and reappears in changed form, so
Picasso changes shape and reappears in the
underworld form of the tragic Harlequin— a motif
that runs through numerous paintings. It may be
remarked in passing that Harlequin is an ancient
chthonic god. Jung, Picasso, p. 139.

Harlequin is a tragically ambiguous figure,
even though— as the initiated may discern— he
already bears on his costume the symbols of the
next stage of development. He is indeed the hero
who must pass through the perils of Hades, but
will he succeed? ... he is too reminiscent of that
“motley fellow, like a buffoon” in Zarathustra,
who jumped over the unsuspecting rope-dancer
(another Pagliacci) and thereby brought about his
death. Zarathustra then spoke the words that were
to prove so horrifyingly true of Nietzsche himself:
“Your soul will be dead even sooner than your
body: fear nothing more!” ibid, p. 140f.
"Fittingly enough, it expresses its meaning in the opinion and voice of a wise magician, who goes back in direct line to the figure of the medicine man in primitive society. He is, like the anima, an immortal daemon that pierces the chaotic darknesses of brute life with the light of meaning. He is the enlightener, the master and teacher, a psychopomp whose personification even Nietzsche, that breaker of tablets, could not escape— for he had called up his reincarnation in Zarathustra, the lofty spirit of an almost Homeric age, as the carrier and mouthpiece of his own “Dionysian” enlightenment and ecstasy."

C.G. Jung, Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 9 (Part 1): Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious: 009 (Kindle Locations 889-894). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

“… what did Dionysus mean to Nietzsche? What he says about it must be taken seriously; what it did to him still more so. There can be no doubt that he knew in the preliminary stages of his fatal illness, that the dismal fate of Zagreus was reserved for him. Dionysus is the abyss of impassioned dissolution, where all human distinctions are merged in the animal divinity of the primordial psyche – a blissful and terrible experience. Humanity, huddling behind the walls of its culture, believes it has escaped this experience, until it succeeds in letting loose another orgy of bloodshed. All well-meaning people are amazed when this happens and blame high finance, the armaments industry, the Jews, or the Freemasons.” [Jung notes (44): "I wrote this passage in spring, 1935"]

C.G. Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, p.89f.
First Princeton / Bollingen Paperback printing, 1980.

Photo: Jean Housen
For the uninitiated (see para. 2 in the caption above), The lozenges on the Harlequin's costume can be seen on this stone outside of Newgrange. Above the lozenges is the triple spiral that indicates endless cycles of the years, each of which starts at dawn of the winter solstice when the first rays of the sun enter the temple through the roof box to illuminate the triple spiral in the chamber within. But it also represents the endless life (Greek, zoë) of the people who enter and leave, and also the nineteen year cycle (with its intercalation of seven months) of the stars, above, which can be seen represented on the back corbel stone of the roof-box, which has six radiate lines, or four plus a broken baseline, and omits the circle, leaving only the central pellet. Nineteen pellets are arranged in two semi-circular rows around this symbol. For a diagram (uninterpreted) see: Michael J. O'Kelly and Claire O'Kelly, Newgrange - Archaeology, Art and Legend, 1982.

Diodorus, quoting the sixth century B.C. historian, Hecataeus, says:
"Opposite to the coast of Celtic Gaul there is an island in the ocean, not smaller than Sicily, lying to the north, which is inhabited by Hyperboreans...Apollo visits the island once in the course of nineteen years in which period the stars complete their revolutions."

Coriosolite billon stater of my Series Y, Group M
early 56 BC, mint site west of R. Rance, Côtes-d'Armor, Brittany. 

see, John Hooker, An Art Historical Analysis of Coriosolite Coins,
British Archaeological Reports (BAR) International Series 1092
Archaeopress, Oxford, 2002
 The obverse head of the coin to the left shows the Armorican version of Hermes as psychopomp. The three locks of hair meet in the triple spiral at the left of the face. On the reverse side, the "lash" is another version of the Newgrange and Harlequin lozenges and terminates in a "Union Jack style" motif, which is one of several types on Coriosolite coins where the top half mirrors the bottom half. This motif means:
"as above, so below". Another example of the variety shown here can be found on a stone in the Subsidiary Chamber of Dowth: R.A.S. Macalister, The Archaeology of Ireland, 2nd edition (revised and rewritten), 1949, fig 14. Armorican coins, in addition to La Tène motifs and Greek themes also depict Megalithic motifs as about half of the population at the time of this coin were descended from the much earlier Megalithic populations. See, Pierre-Roland Giot, Brittany, London, 1960. Three Provincial lunulae (the type originates in Megalithic Ireland) were discovered in Kerivoa, Brittany (Kerivoa-en-Bourbriac, Côtes-d'Armor) in the remains of a box with some sheet gold and a rod of gold.

Indigenous developments of the Megalithic iconography of the local culture (which Includes Ireland) mixes with the La Tène motifs and all can be subsumed within the Jungian paradigm in these staters of my Series X, winter of 57/6 BC, mint east side of the R. Rance, Côtes-d'Armor.

The 'S' motif is La Tène and means the single organism's (Greek, bios) journey between this world and the underworld. For the human being, this is represented by life in this world followed by the promise of an afterlife in the underworld in the obverse motifs. For vegetal motifs, the first leaf appears on the shoot on the obverse motifs and the other half is reversed to represent its prior underworld (underground) germination and growth prior to it breaking the surface (or its liminal horizon). This is a representation of the Greek myth of Persephone with Hades (Winter) and Persephone with her mother Demeter (Spring). The plant in question here, though, is the ivy which was syncretized from the dying and resurrected god Dionysos (Carl Kerényi, Dionysos: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life, Princeton University Press, 1976, pp. 61-64) who is syncretized to the Thracian Zagreus. The dissolution of bios into the "animal divinity of the primordial psyche" which so terrified Nietzsche whose personality and neuroses prevented him from the realization of the transformation (metempsychosis) of the bios mortal individual into the zoë of infinite life. Jung was unsure whether the personality of the individual survived this transformation:
 "1. Metempsychosis. The first of the five aspects of rebirth to which I should like to draw attention is that of metempsychosis, or transmigration of souls. According to this view, one’s life is prolonged in time by passing through different bodily existences; or, from another point of view, it is a life-sequence interrupted by different reincarnations. Even in Buddhism, where this doctrine is of particular importance— the Buddha himself experienced a very long sequence of such rebirths— it is by no means certain whether continuity of personality is guaranteed or not: there may be only a continuity of karma. The Buddha’s disciples put this question to him during his lifetime, but he never made any definite statement as to whether there is, or is not. a continuity of personality. 1 (Cf. the Samyutta-Nikaya (Book of the Kindred Sayings), Part II: The Nidana Book, pp. 150f.)
C.G. Jung, Concerning rebirth. [First published as a lecture, “Die verschiedenen Aspekte der Wiedergeburt,” in Eranos-Jahrbuch 1939 (Zurich, 1940). Revised and expanded as “Über Wiedergeburt,” Gestaltungen des Unbewussten (Zurich, 1950), from which the present translation is made.— EDITORS.], Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 9 (Part 1): Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious: 009 (Kindle Locations 2200-2206). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition. 

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
photo: Christopher Michel
The personality does not survive that transformation. What is immortal is known, by Tibetan Buddhists as the clear light:
" is always there. You can compare it with water. When water is muddy, the purity of the water is still there. But, because the water is mixed with dirty substances, you cannot identify it. If the pure water were not there, the muddy water could not exist. The existence of the dirty water itself proves that pure water is its basis. At this moment, the clear light is inactive, but it exists. Because clear light is there, the different states of consciousness and constituent factors can arise."
Tensin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, The Buddha Nature, Woodside, CA, 1996, pp. 30f. 

For me, the above is really the essence of the matter, but I highly recommend that you enlighten yourselves by reading The Buddha Nature and another book by His Holiness: Becoming Enlightened. These two, together, will alert you of many others things contained in the dirty water that are not an aspect of the clear light. For example, the thought that we, at death, pass through a cosmic consciousness. Be pleased by that fact, because, if it did happen, then the universe would cease to exist at that instant, and us with it. Personally, I really would not like to have to go through the universe all over again.

To return to our coin examples, whether the 'S' motif faces right or left, or is aligned up or down is subservient to the tenets of the composition that the artist had to obey. The obverse design represents the driving principles, such as the personification of spring issuing from the top of the nose on  28 and presenting a shoot with a single leaf. The triple spiral of the inner chamber at Stonehenge, is represented at the ear position of the head. The evolutionary design of the sun symbol at its centre is something I am still working on. But the reverse shows the stages and the nature of the transformation: The process starts in the underworld with the curl of the driver's/chariot "tail" (chariot horn) and the single leafed shoot facing backward. The trefoil-headed sun sceptre is reminiscent of the fleur-de-lis refers to an earlier time when the day was divided into three, but the usual pellet-in-annulet sun sceptre both precedes and follows it in the chronology. Below the ponies is the "dawn" lyre symbol which refers not just to the dawn of the day, but the dawn of the year, or even the nineteen year ""Metonic" cycle, but also the psychic transformation itself. It "rises" from the horizon line which is also the liminal division. It appears, in many earlier variations which might have specific meanings and are concentrated around the roof-box at Newgrange. Below this are a series of arcs or crescents that represents zoë or metempsychosis. The key, though is the riches symbolized by the two leaves of the shoots that face forward in front of the pony. It also shows the end result of the hero's battle, whether his body should survive or perish.

As this is a continuation of Friday's post, and took a long time to write, There will be an "intermission" tomorrow as I will have to do some things I had planned for today, and because I need the rest. Accordingly, I have changed what follows

On Tuesday, Picasso, Jung, and I will take you into the Altamira cave to meet the living psychopomp within. I hope you had a significant weekend, I certainly did!

No comments:

Post a Comment