Thursday, December 03, 2009

Carl G. Jung- We Need a Relationship With Nature

Like Liberty Hyde Bailey, Swiss Psychiatrist, Carl Gustav Jung, lived in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. This quote taken from a new collection of his work, The Earth Has A Soul, Jung reflects on how the changes wrought in the twentieth century had unmoored man from his instincts. His reflection strongly compliments Bailey's beliefs on land ownership and the value of the farmer.

Every man should have his own plot of land so that the instincts can come to life again. To own land is important psychologically, and there is no substitute for it. We keep forgetting that we are primates and that we have to make allowances for these primitive layers in our psyche. The farmer is still closer to these layers. In tilling the earth he moves around within a very narrow radius, but he moves on his own land.
The industrial worker is a pathetic, rootless, being, and his remuneration in money is not tangible but abstract. In earlier times, when the crafts flourished, he derived satisfaction from seeing the fruit of his labor. He found adequate self-expression in such work. But this is no longer the case. First of all, he is responsible for only a small part of the finished product. Secondly, the product is sold, it disappears, and he has no further stake in it. Because the psychological reward in inadequate, the worker rebels against his employer and against “capitalism” as a whole. We all need nourishment for our psyche. It is impossible to find such nourishment in urban tenements without a patch of green or blossoming tree. We need a relationship with nature. I am just a culture-coolie myself, but I derived a great deal of pleasure from growing my own potatoes. - Carl Jung: The Earth Has a Soul: The Nature Writings of C.G. Jung, p. 154-155

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