Monday, September 2, 2013

your shadow has a life of it's own

bizarre to contemplate: one of my art history profs obsessed by monsters. i've been to the first class of his course. to quote: "Monsters do not exist outside the human context." hmm, that means everything monstrous our creation, part of us. now, i have run across this before. here's a passage from c.g. jung:

  It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting 
  not just of little weaknesses- and foibles, but of a positively demonic 
  dynamism. The individual seldom knows anything of this; to him, as an 
  individual, it is incredible that he should ever in any circumstances go 
  beyond himself. But let these harmless creatures form a mass, and there 
  emerges a raging monster; and each individual is only one tiny cell in the 
  monster's body, so that for better or worse he must accompany it on its bloody 
  rampages and even assist it to the utmost. Having a dark suspicion of these 
  grim possibilities, man turns a blind eye to the shadow-side of human nature. 
  Blindly he strives against the salutary dogma of original sin, which is yet so 
  prodigiously true. Yes, he even hesitates to admit the conflict of which he is 
  so painfully aware.

having read 34 books about and by jung one summer, how could i forget!

what really interests me: jung maintains we must acknowledge and come to terms with our shadow side. ah-hah, i have written down those dastardly fantasies! no wonder i destroyed 125 diaries last spring. alas, dig a little deeper into what i've written and the art created, my shadow springs to life everywhere. 

long ago i realized friends have abandoned art for two reasons: one they don't want to spend so much time alone, and two they didn't want to reveal themselves. the opening of NIGHT TERRORS by my friend dennis palumbo springs to mind. that first chapter horrific. without the courage to expose himself to other therapists (he's one of them), he simply couldn't have told this sad and engrossing tale of a serial killer. i suppose, like me, he doesn't ever expect to get that kind of attention! 

this weekend i've gone through two assigned novels: FRANKENSTEIN and DRACULA, downloading the original versions on my tablet. what a shock to discover how the invention of frankenstein follows the exact path of a serial killer, with all the reasons for it. mary shelley  beat us all to the punch. and as for bram stoker, he showed the erotic nature of the vampire to a crowd of present day readers and writers. at the end i thought, "why not become a vampire, live forever, and have all those blatantly sexual adventures?" i do have a very dark theory: women like these guys cause they like the results of menstruation, unlike many ordinary men. 

where is all this taking me? i have a lot of questions:

does a monster have to look like a monster? 

did that refrain from a radio show "only the shadow knows" haunt my childhood, ears glued to the speaker? 

why do they call the sun 'the vampire of the night'?

and is 'time the biggest monster of all', as asa maintains? yes, happiness only exists where time does not. 

                   If you look into the abyss, the abyss will look back at you.

                                                                                      Friedrich Nietzsche 

that jungian summer i wrote these poems: