empty rituals

empty white bowl with spoon

Some more quotes from Jungian analyst Marion Woodman, from an interview with Heartwood journal:

Q: What do you think is the most undermining issue in our culture?

MW: Confusion between personal and transpersonal energies. Identifying with archetypal energy instead of relating to it and, therefore, failing to live our individual lives. Television and movies and sports – all the projections people put out. They can’t tell the difference between an archetypal image and their own life. All these big pop singers carry the projection and kids think, “Oh, if I could just be like that,” or “I’m nothing and they’re everythg.” Therapists get this projection too. It’s a terrific power game if you play it. Differentiation is essential.

Q: A clue to this kind of power dynamic seems to be a vacuous look in the eyes and a powerless sound in the voice – nobody home.

MW: Nobody home. A hundred years ago Nietzsche said God was dead. It’s true. The projection came off that bearded God in the sky, the Great Father. That energy is no longer in the church for most people. But where did the energy go? People now have no idea what to do with it so they put it on rock stars, on alcohol, on muffins, on healers. In our extraverted society it’s all projected out and we’re left with the black hole.

Q: We worship something or somebody.

MW: Yes, and the individual life is not lived. People will go to great lengths not to hear their inner voices. Even when they’re jogging they’ve got music in their ears. They’re terrified of silence because in silence they experience inner nothingness. The imagination’s dead or at least dormant. Here we are back to the missing feminine principle. Words like “process” – not interested; “presence” – nobody there; “paradox” – makes no sense. Things are either black or white. “Receiving, ” trust,” “surrender” – they’re just sissy words. All or nothing.

Still, if there’s nobody home you have to hang on for dear life. It’s only when there is presence that you can let go.

From the book Conscious Femininity, a collection of interviews with Marion Woodman.