Cultured Wednesday: Carus’ Vollmond bei Pillnitz

Atmosphere. It bypasses cerebral knowledge and speaks instead to different levels within Man.

I remember this painting from way back when.  There is nothing more moody or enchanting than predominantly blue paintings with a little yellow…

Vollmond bei Pillnitz

Carl Gustav Carus (3 January 1789 – 28 July 1869), German painter of the Romantic era from Leipzig, Germany, was a friend of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe‘s and, much like Goethe, a many-sided man: a doctor, a naturalist, a scientist, a psychologist, and a landscape painter who studied under Caspar David Friedrich.  In the latter capacity, we meet him today.  Many of his works are well worth attention, so the ones presented here are just meant as examples and incentives to look at Carus further.  I’ll add another one that I particularly like for its atmosphere.  It speaks of the Cistercians and reminds me of a place close to where I grew up, the Kloster Hude:


According to the Wiki, Uncle Carl credited Carus with pointing to the unconscious as the essential basis of the psyche.  It reflects in his paintings, I dare say.

Although various philosophers, among them Leibniz, Kant, and Schelling, had already pointed very clearly to the problem of the dark side of the psyche, it was a physician who felt impelled, from his scientific and medical experience, to point to the unconscious as the essential basis of the psyche. This was C. G. Carus, the authority whom Eduard von Hartmann followed.

~ C.G. Jung


Featured:  Crop of Carus’ painting of a Stone Age Mound.

Quote: Jung on RetroCulture

“…long ago in the quiet of the world, when there was less noise and more green…”

Thus says the LORD: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

The featured image is that of Bollingen Tower, Jung’s well known and somewhat mysterious “confession of faith in stone,””maternal hearth,” and place of “repose and renewal” located on the shores of Lake Zurich.  It was from the chapter in MDR entitled “The Tower” that I gleaned the following quote, for your consideration.

Reforms by advances, that is, by new methods or gadgets, are of course impressive at first, but in the long run they are dubious and in any case dearly paid for.  They by no means increase the contentment or happiness of people on the whole.  Mostly, they are deceptive sweetenings of existence, like speedier communications which unpleasantly accelerate the tempo of life and leave us with less time than ever before.  Omnis festinatio ex parte diaboli est – all haste is of the devil, as the old masters used to say.

Reforms by retrogressions, on the other hand, are as a rule less expensive and in addition more lasting, for they return to the simpler, tried and tested ways of the past and make the sparest use of newspapers, radio, television, and all supposedly timesaving innovations.

Carl Gustav Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, 1962

What worked Before Can Work Again.

“I’m sure you’ve been told, ‘You can’t go back,’” Mr. Kraft went on. “Like most of what you are told these days, it’s a lie. The one thing we know we can do is what we’ve already done. We can live in the good, wholesome, upright ways our forefathers followed.”


QUOTE: Jung, on Two Kinds of Thinking

It would be a ridiculous and unwarranted presumption on our part if we imagined that we were more energetic or more intelligent than the men of the past- our material knowledge has increased, but not our intelligence.  This means that we are just as bigoted in regard to new ideas, and just as impervious to them, as people were in the darkest days of antiquity.  We have become rich in knowledge, but poor in wisdom.  The center of gravity of our interest has switched over to the materialistic side, whereas the ancients preferred a mode of thought nearer to the fantastic type.  To the classical mind everything was still saturated with mythology, even though classical philosophy and the beginning of natural science undeniably prepared the way for the work of ‘enlightenment.’

~Carl Gustav Jung, Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido, 1912  Symbols of Transformation, 1956


QUOTE: Jung, on the Psychology of the Individual

The great problems of humanity were never yet solved by general laws, but only through regeneration of the attitudes of individuals

“The psychology of the individual is reflected in the psychology of the nation.  What the nation does is done also by each individual, and so long as the individual continues to do it, the nation will do likewise.  Only a change in the attitude of the individual can initiate a change in the psychology of the nation.  The great problems of humanity were never yet solved by general laws, but only through regeneration of the attitudes of individuals.  If ever there was a time when self-reflection was the absolutely necessary and only right thing, it is now, in our present catastrophic eopch.”

~C.G. Jung, preface to On the Psychology of the Unconscious, 1917

For they sow the wind…

… and they shall reap the whirlwind.

Here’s something to ponder.  I have heard this principle laid out by more than one author, Carl G. Jung and Thomas Merton among them.

Everything that takes place in subjective intimacy will one day become objective reality.  It is the magical law of history that the subjective at some time becomes objective, that the aspirations, thoughts and feelings of today become the events of history tomorrow. “For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind. ” (Hosea 8:7)

~ Valentin Tomberg

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