In 2010, I had the great fortune (and it was a wonderful synchronicity that would have delighted Jung) to receive from a complete stranger a ticket to the full day symposium about Carl Jung’s works, compiled into what is called, “The Red Book”. Historian Sonu Shamdasani spent years painstakingly piecing together a vast horde of raw notes, journals, and paintings that the family had secreted away in a vault until 2001.
Much was revealed that day that many dedicated Jungian scholars had not been aware of; circumstances about his life, his mental health, and imagery he painted to capture the powerful images that surfaced in his waking visions and dreams.
My mission here is to reclaim what was one of Jung’s most important archetypes, which he came to call “Z”. This mysterious woman “Z” kept revealing herself to Jung in dreams, and was a source of both consternation and inspiration for him. Mr. Shamdasani spoke at the event, and he was very careful about not analyzing so much as presenting the material in a detached light so the public could begin to draw its own conclusions. His presentation of “Z” was ambiguous; she seemed to defy any clear definition from Jung himself. As the circumstances and dreams were described, I was powerfully drawn to her. She seemed to embody vanquished parts of my own psyche. At one point, Shamdasani discussed the polarities of her nature; “attributes of both high and low qualities”, I seem to remember him saying.
Regardless whether I came to value her as important, she was clearly important to Carl Jung, and as such, deserves to be retrieved from the land of shadows to resolve a current global, human crisis of conscience.
I had been aggrieved by how I personally have been treated as a woman both by men and women when my story came under the eye of the technological and media world some years ago. It seems that, with the new technology, there was a separation in the ranks of human beings, a new world order; i.e., a new fascism was emerging. The first signs of the schism revealed itself as a separation between the ranks of the technologically proficient, the wealthy elite, the successful celebrities and corporate upper echelon, the wall street elite, and the rest of humanity. Put simply, it was the “Hackers” vs. “The Slackers”. The story was that those who were technically proficient work-aholics, many who had been derided as geeks, those highly productive and financially beneficial for their corporate masters were given a sort of glamour on a par to those in celebrity culture who physically conformed to certain parameters of beauty, or had a certain track record in Hollywood or in the music industry.
Others were led to believe that, if they bullied and harassed people that were not insiders, they could vicariously belong to the new “elite”.
Eventually, cracks appeared in this new fascism, as the enlightenment and holistic health movement swept into global awareness. Suddenly, all this information surfaced about what makes people happy and healthy (and what doesn’t), and it turned out the spiritually-minded, peace-loving, environment-loving “slackers” were actually happier and healthier than 90 % of the corporate set that had been brain washed into becoming slave work-aholics for the to 3%. Never-the-less, the damage had been done, and a new solidifying oligarchy had now taken hold of the world’s population. Bankers, oil barons and other resource depleting, multi-national corporations have developed a choke hold over the world, and these ruling fiefdoms often have greater influence over continents than the local governments. Hollywood began narrowing its focus and became close bedfellows with the militarized state, producing one apocalyptic war film after another; a juggernaut of escalating violence, destruction, fear, noise, and desecration of all kinds in a rush to brainwash the masses into feeding the ever hungrier quazi-media/military empire.
Then the inevitable happened. Even the God Father of Sci-fi movie legend predicted it, and seemed relieved by it: the age of the blockbuster was coming to an end. Brain washed though we all were, the multitude was growing weary of the never-ending line up bad formulaic plots, mere scaffolding for huge gut-churning war video games. In the summer of 2013, the industry tanked.
In this final greedy glut fest (at the expense of the summer weekend movie go-ers), a war-porn/ apocalyptic gestalt of all that had gone wrong in the film industry surfaced: “World War Z”, directed by Marc Forster, and starring dear, sweet Brad Pitt. If Brad had been given an opportunity (and agreed) to be cast as the Zombie commander, I would have so loved him for that. But I don’t think that role was written into the movie. It didn’t serve the “us vs. them” paradigm. But it was in service to the always-in-your-face paradigm, alive and well in modern gestalt that there’s the perfect people like Brad and Angelina and then there’s you. And, there will never be a connection between you, the flawed and unclean, and the perfect “successful” people and their servants/sycophants.
I am too like Carl Jung to go and sit through the entire predictable onslaught risking further damage to my part of the universal hologram. However, I was unendingly subjected to trailers for the film, both on the internet and whenever I went to the movies. I read the plot line at wikipedia which seemed quite comprehensive. The twist at the end was that the “clean people” had to inject themselves with fatal illnesses, and then they wouldn’t be selected as fodder for the “unclean”, virus-infected, undead.
Talk about a Hollywood ending !
I found this final “solution” to be ironic. All the latest neuro-science research clearly indicates that how we create our universe, and how we move into the future as a species, has everything to do with what we expose our subconscious psyches to; as the saying goes: “Garbage in = garbage out.” And everything about “World War Z” is “garbage in” when taken from a social/neuro-biological evolution and planetary consciousness.
There is no better way to dictate the reality of human consciousness than to sit someone in a dark room and overwhelm them with all the state-of-the-art visual and sonic technology. Create conditions where you are doing this to a large % of the population and keep inundating this population with very convincing (to the subconscious mind) images of war, violence, man against man, man against woman and planetary melt down, and this scenario will come to pass in conscious reality.
It is not all grim news, however ! The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are drawing to a close. All these wounded warriors are now coming home. They have deep disfiguring wounds on their bodies and faces. Their souls and their psyches are scarred. Many have been sexually abused, which makes any human have to contend with beliefs about permanent damage and worthlessness. It is also coming to light in this age, just how large a percentage of the world’s population is in bondage, enslaved, and forced into sex trade.
It is much, much easier to just stay asleep, and take on the lesson that has been deeply implanted by movies like “World War Z”; which is: there are the few ruling people who are perfect and deserve our servitude and most of our resources, and as such, they get to decide what happens to the world’s resources, and then there is the majority of humankind who are the “throw-aways”.
It is time to reclaim the lost paradigm; time for the rise of the Archetype “Z”. It is my belief that she was Carl Jung’s gift to the future. You see, there have been too many of us who have been so damaged on some level that we feel ourselves to be unclean, and worthless. A woman who has been beaten and bullied, or sexually abused is so often seen as “damaged goods”, and permanently stained by her society. The “Scarlett Letter” is alive and well in our world today.
To Jung, “Z” was very powerful, she was his muse, and yet she did not allow him to cast her as pure and stainless, there was always the tantalizing, the irreconcilable pure and impure, low and high, clean and unclean about her nature. And here too, we have a sort of Persephone archetype, who spends half her life in hell. We also have a hint of Rhiannon, the Celtic Goddess, who takes the wounded heroes to heaven.
She is a bridge to lead us out of the nightmare that we have created by denying our own humanity, for staying benighted, greedy children, for turning our backs on our brothers and sisters that are wounded and dying in mind, body and soul. She is not the distant wraith on the cloud. She is real, right here, imperfect and tangible, like all of us. And, it doesn’t matter how dirty or diseased your hand is, she will take it, and guide you out of your own shadows, whatever they are.
I want to thank Director Marc Forster, and Brad Pitt for surfacing the human gestalt in such a clear and compact vehicle, as this film “World War Z”. If I weren’t aware of the darkness of this film, who knows if I would ever have received my epiphany about “Z”?
Our “Z”: she is the mother, the sister, or the daughter who says you are lovable no matter what has happened to you – to the woman who has been bullied, beaten or raped. She is Mother Mary to the immigrant that works in our homes and fields. She is the light that leads a family to an internment camp at the edge of Siria and says, “Your life matters no matter what happens to your country”.
She is the mother, sister or daughter of the soldier who has killed and maimed others, who has had his body butchered and his mind misplaced for the war machine he had to become. She is the beloved who takes the hand of the man whether he be a young boy, a homosexual, or a marine that has been raped and she says, “You are still beautiful and worthy of love.” She is the crushed and denied feminine aspect that needs to be reunited within, for us to be human, to love, to forgive and have compassion for one another.
She is there waiting in the heart of the most powerful, who have committed the worst crimes of humanity, ready to guide one back to oneself, the heroic self, and away from the mirage of purity and success that is causing so much damage to the individual, to the family legacy, and to others.
Our world – our biosphere – is dying. We have to come back from the dead, not as soulless, ever consuming things (which is what the majority of us have become) but as newly evolved beings, closer to light than matter, that will rebirth the world. We can only do this by committing to evolution, by having the wisdom and maturity to embrace our shadows, so that they can become the archetype that leads us out of the grave and back into wholeness.
We need “Z”; she is us, our polarities resolved: shadow dancing in light.