Rennaisance Shadow

I came across a line in Wikipedia that so surprised me I wrote it down,

”The sociological causes of the witch-hunts have long been debated in scholarship.” wiki

The sociological causes…


lets see…

Narcissistically inflated, gargantuan megabody, driven to dribbling insanity by its own self-importance seeps all its underlying aggression and unresolved sadism onto anyone who..


had the courage to live on their own terms…

job done.

The idea that the evolution of consciousness through time is a macrocosm of individual human development suggests that we are at the cutting edge of the human race..

oh dear… so it does…

where you might want to be a bit cloudy about sociological factors..

given that killing people for their own good

isn’t very nice

but still

waaay more evolved in consciousness than even those of a few hundred years ago.


Actually this ‘more evolved’ that we’re supposed to be than even our recent ancestors feels like the same kind of prejudice we have against ‘primitive people’.

not a microwave between them…

Freud even suggested that the primitive mind ‘corresponded’ to neurotic states . (Totem and Taboo)

I wonder if  Western Civilisation hasn’t all been a bit of a detour, a hiccup in the plan,

instead of all the noble questing through history up to the glorious present that kids are still sold in school.

The chronic inflation of Monotheism and its kings is just not the same as ego development. In fact it prevents it because the belief in our own rightness…

…..requires splitting off and projecting the dark brother.

And so we’re eternally divided.

buuut… with permission to behave like toddlers..

with a three scoop cone…

and a box of matches….

The number of people burned at the stake by the Church for heresy is hotly (sorry) contested, with wide ranging estimates. Whatever the figure is, its genocidal.

but what can you do wiv anyone wot got their own ways but burn them?

Yeah, so they get purified…


Leaving the fold is the sin qua non of the individuation process. If you just swallow what you’re spooned, the limit of your potential is set at being a law abiding citizen. Part and parcel of this is to be on the side of ‘good’, wherein the dark brother is projected and growth grinds to a halt.

The hieght of persecution against heretics is given by Wiki as 1560 – 1630, curiously tucked into the same time period as the Rennaissance. Would it be too much to suggest, given all the puzzling over ‘sociological factors’, that in order for the golden era to flourish the shadow had to be projected onto, well, millions of others, who were summarily tortured and put to gruesome deaths?

Individuation was forced underground as alchemy, hermeticism and gnostisism, all of which could get you into rather a lot of trouble.

Bellini for the few and the Inquisition for the many.

For those not moulding salt cellars out of silver or painting the Cistine Chapel, life was short nasty and brutish, not to mention full of fear at the possibility that some untoward remark might be overheard in the street.

Or someone just don’ like you maybe..

Simply refusing the Pope’s authority over your spiritual life could get you burned at the stake and having the priest as ‘intercessor’ effectively put a barrier between common people and religious experience. Anyone claiming to have had their own insight into spiritual life would be liable to a late night visit from horrible men with clanking bags.

Ah, the Golden Age…

of chivalrous kings!

an’, an’, an’,… Richard the Lionheart!

Most noble of them all!

Wot nobley executed 3000 hogtied prisoners, men women and children in cold blood at Acre in 1200 AD!


yeah, but only cos the Sarascens didn’t give him what he wanted.

The True Cross

that’s it!

Which they didn’t have..

and a ton of gold

yeah, gold, loads of gold

which they didn’t have…

well that wasn’t his fault was it..?

And so the insignificant and paltry details of what actually happened and how people actually behave is lost in a blaze of archetypal glory and proudly beating hearts where one party takes the ermined route of least resistance, generally strewn with corpses, whilst the other party line the same streets waving flags.

Narcissistic collusion.

Mind your step now.


The lonesome pine.

What does it mean for consciousness to evolve?

To know more stuff?

And how do you know if you are evolved?

Does it come with a chart?

Or an evolvomometer?

there’s no such thing..

no, but if there was that’s what it would be called.

Let’s say it did exist. What would it measure?

I knew a woman who  had married her more spiritual side in the form of a genteel analyst rather than develop that side of herself and so despite the art, philosophy and culture in evidence on the surface of their lives she was possessed by that with which she was unconsciously identified, matter.

Regardless of her exquisite house in pristine wilderness, with lakes and endless garden, she was unhappy. And she couldn’t resolve her dissatisfaction because it seemed to stem from outside her.

‘Look at that veiw’, she indicated up the majestic valley with its mighty forests and breath taking craggs. ‘Perfect, except for the eyesore’.

I searched about for the offending item.

‘There!’, she gestured impatiently at a distant tree. ‘That Scots Pine…’ and clucked further disapproval.

Waaay up onna faar hillside…

Despite the sophistication, or, actually because of it, there was a deep split in the woman that wouldn’t permit her to drink in the Spirit of Nature even when her priviledged circumstances handed it to her on a plate.

The next time I visited the tree had vanished.. but you may be sure the eyesore had not and was busy materialising elsewhere.

This kind of behaviour is typical of uninitiated puer energy and is the unhappy lot of anyone who feels that they are special. You can’t take in what you need.

To do so entails feeling the need..

which isnaa very special…

but whether you like it or not..

You become enlightened, not by imagining beings of light, but by going down into the dark. CG Jung

And so, paradoxically, being evolved means knowing you’re not, discovering your own darkness and diversity..

and being a bit chaotic in the process…

that, or the chilling madness of sneaking out with a chainsaw before dawn one day….

How much more truly evolved might it have been to notice the antipathy to that scots pine, wondered about its significance, meditated on it as a symbol or dressed its roots with wild flowers in curiosity and un-knowing?

The pine, by the way that it grated on her nerves, gave this woman a niggling shard of her story and the implicit challenge to discern its meaning in her life as that piece of Nature which spoiled itself.

Hacking down the tree was just one more stitch in a whole crochette work of compulsive repetitions and going around in circles in lieu of being able to participate in something greater than her own wants or babyish demanding.

She robbed herself of learning about herself from that tree, why it bothered her so much, what it represented, what the inevitability of ‘imperfection’ might signify and if it were to have a voice what it might communicate.

And whatever the content of those musings might amount to, they all rest on a premise..

that I can talk to me..

that i can reflect on stuff..

from different points of veiw

and not get bogged down in any one corner of the psyche..

till eventually you have to ask yourself…

who is this that moves so enthusiastically about the psyche….

finding value in diversity?