Jonathan Marshall—Depth Psychology, Disorder and Climate Change

Lorraine Shannon—Quotes for March

As those of us who survived the fires with homes and families intact start to settle back into so-called normal life, it is impossible to ignore the impact the fires have had on communities, local businesses, the tourism industry and so on. Now is the time, not to return to ‘business as usual’ but to face into a future that will very possibly not be ‘business as usual.’ How we go about this is of paramount importance.

For this reason I have chosen a book edited by Jonathan Marshall, Depth Psychology, Disorder and Climate Change, Jung Downunder Books, 2009, as it places an emphasis on the psychological aspects of climate change. It is also pertinent to responses to the coronavirus which has brought incipient racism to the fore along with an attitude of ‘me first’ exhibited in the panic buying from supermarkets by those who can afford to do so and who disregard those, such as Newstart recipients, who can only afford to buy on a weekly basis.

Wild Mountain Collective Seminar—New Shoots: Climate Change and Culture

Featuring Sally Gillespie and Jonathan Marshall

Blue Mountains Cultural Centre Seminar Room—Katoomba

Saturday 18 April from 2pm.

Quote 1: Jonathon Marshall

 If we are not prepared and practised at listening to ‘the other’ then, when faced with a perception of overwhelming danger, it is easy for our efforts to be unconsciously directed at maintaining our own purity, our virtue and our group boundaries; and in finding scapegoats we can exile and sacrifice to the gods (p. xix).

Quote 2: Jonathon Marshall

Symbols and myths … are not hiding something, but elucidating a problem or communicating something, even if that something cannot be communicated easily. They deal with existential mysteries. They are giving us the tools to think with, and are acting as foci, or guides, for our life energy or libido. As such, the newly arising symbol can seem disruptive of the order of the ego and threatening to us, even if it paves the way to a new life. There is thus the possibility that we will shut down this process unless as have encouragement, support or some degree of bravery. We may prefer our living death to the peril of new life. Such a preference, or turning away, marks the origin of personal and social failure (p. 202).

Quote 3: Jonathon Marshall

Moving beyond dualisms: Despite the ease of making oppositions, allowing uncertainty can be an entirely ‘natural’ move. We normally behave as if logic had more than two values. Thus, if the relevant oppositions are ‘true’ and ‘false’, there are a whole lot of propositions which fall somewhere in between; being not known yet, or uncertain, or having varying degrees of possibility (p. 346).

Quote 4: Jonathon Marshall

Recognising that disorder is natural and important, we can also recognise that disruption is not necessarily a failing. Sometimes life appears to be disordered because we cannot perceive it in its full complexity. The appearance of disorder may, indeed, arise from an order breaking down, and disruptions to the systems we are part of may well disrupt us; however, disorder can also arise as parts of the system begin interacting with other systems, and this may herald change – in a mercurial manner, Hermes being the God of thieves as well as of intellect.

We can probably assume that the change in consciousness in some people will be perceived to be a disruption by others who will attempt to enforce the old stabilities. This in itself will probably mean that the change in consciousness cannot emerge without struggle and further disruption and we should expect this (p. 422).