Friday, June 6, 2008
Carl Gustav Jung
Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) was the creator of a branch of Behavioral Science known as Analytical Psychology. The International Association for Analytical Psychology (IAAP) was established in 1955 to advance the understanding of Jung's research and theories. The Beatles paid tribute to Jung by including him on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, but he has fueled the creative minds of other musicians as well. The Police used Jungian terms like "Synchronicity" and "Ghost in the Machine" in their music.
Jung believed in the duality of the individual. We all have a persona, the part of ourselves that we show others in public. But, we also have a dark side, or shadow that exists in our unconscious. We would prefer that others not see it, (it is often hidden from ourselves) but we all know it is there. Jung was in agreement with Freud that our dark sides have a desire to express themselves. They believed that healthy individuals find constructive outlets where their negative impulses can be expressed in a controlled manner. But while Freud seemed to want to dig up those dark forces so they could be released safely in therapy, Jung suggested that we learn to live with them and find complementary ways to use our light and dark sides in harmony.
It is easy to take a Jungian view of the Beatles personalities. All four were loved by fans all over the world, but sometimes a dark side would appear. John's sharp tongue, creative anger and even occasional violent outbursts were expressions of his dark side. George Harrison could be quite nasty. Even some of his best friends have talked about how cynical he could be. Ringo is often perceived as the lovable clown, but many times he has shown his anger about not being taken seriously.
But Paul McCartney is the one who still keeps his cool and lays on the charm even when reporters are tough on him. The times that he has been accused of losing his temper (and there have been very few) were mild by most standards.
Unlike George who could sometimes be nasty and condescending during interviews, Paul would always allow people to do their jobs. He would always strike up conversations with various crew people. And if you saw him months later, he would be the type to remember your name and ask how your kid was doing. Speaking of kids, Paul was the one who would get down on the floor and play. Paul tells the story of one time when he was playing with Julian Lennon, John asked him, "How do you do that?" With the exception of last year's interview on the Larry King Show, when he made fun of King for referring to Ringo as George, Paul would always let interviewers slide when they got something wrong. [There was one exception in 1964 with interviewer Dave Hull, but some people think that is not the same Paul McCartney]
Because Paul's outside persona is so well crafted and so lovable, the implication is that Paul McCartney has the darkest shadow of all.
Iamaphoney's videos present this Paul McCartney as a phony who is "too good to be true" and because many of us instinctively believe in the tenets of Jungian theory, even those who have not studied it, we are suspicious of people like that. According to author Frieda Fordham, "Superstition holds that the man without a shadow (using the word in its ordinary sense) is the devil himself."
A key concept in Jungian Psychology is the Sanskrit term mandala or magic circle. Many times it is presented as a circle within a square. Often seen in visions, dreams and art, it has spiritual links dating back to the beginning of religious thought. The magic circle is a common feature of art in general, but it has been used extensively by the Beatles, particularly from 1967 until today.
Another magical drum head.
George Harrison had a fondness for this circle and sang, "Life goes round and round in Circles."
In the song "Clean Up Time" John sang, "The Center of the circle will always be our home." "Watching the Wheels" can also be interpreted as relating to mandalas.
The round LP in a square cover is tailor made for magic circle creations. The same is true for the round CD in the square jewel box or digipack. That may be the reason why cassettes and 8-tracks never quite felt like the right media to permanently store music. Jung was so taken by the mandala, that he spent a few years in seclusion drawing them. Every mandala has a central point and it is usually the most significant feature. This is where Christ usually is pictured in Christian mandalas.
Clearly there is a mandala on the cover of Ringo's "Time Takes Time."
Ringo's "Vertical Man" CD contains a traditional looking mandala.
And check out the background on Ringo's cover of "Choose Love."
Iamaphoney has several images of mandalas including this astrological chart, which is one of several in a row appearing in Rotten Apple 50.
The sun is a common central feature in mandalas.
Jojo of Nothing Is Real reported that this shot from the "Back To The Egg" inner sleeve is interior dome of the Chapel of the Shroud in Turin.
Paul sang, "I saw you sitting in the center of the circle."
McCartney in the center of the circle on "Ever Present Past."
Returning to the epicenter, Sgt. Pepper, we have this gem from the picture disc craze of the late 1970s.
This all leads me to believe that the Beatles knew what they were doing when they posed for this picture.
You can find many more examples of magic circles if you look around round look around round...