I have recently been reading a most enjoyable novel called The Dream Illuminati by Wayne Saalman (Falcon Press, Santa Monica, 1988). Mr. Saalman has found an epic theme – dreams of flight, and the achievement of flight.
Historically, dreams of flying appeared in the collective unconscious before the reality of flight existed in technology, and it seems plausible that if we understood our dreams better we would use our technology more wisely. Our machines manifest our dreams in matter crafted to coherence, and a psychoanalysis of our culture could easily derive from an examination of how we use science to materialize our fantasies and nightmares.
Mr. Saalman’s science-fantasy made me wonder: Why have we always dreamed of flying, and why have we built flying machines? This question seems “eminently” worth pondering in a world where 200,000,000 people pass through Kennedy International Airport every year, flying the Atlantic in one direction or the other.
To understand the profound, it often appears helpful to begin with clues that seem trivial. I suggest that we contemplate what our children look at every Saturday morning on TV. One of the most popular jokes in animated cartoons shows the protagonist walking off a cliff, without noticing what he has done. Sublimely ignorant, he continues to walk-on air-until he notices that he has been doing the “impossible,” and then he falls. I doubt very much that there will be any reader of Magical Blend who has not seen that routine at least onec; most of us have seen it a few hundred times.
It might seem pretentious to see a Jungian archetype adumbrated in crude form in this Hollywood cliché, but follow me for a moment.
When Hollywood wishes to offer us the overtly mythic, it presents Superman, who can “leap over tall buildings in a single bound,” and a more recent hero named Luke Skywalker. Continue reading
“…Generally speaking, we are as eager to banish consideration of the relationship between personality and “objective,” scientific accomplishment as we are to include it in dealing with the “subjective” work of artists. One may consider the connections between Dostoevski’s attitude toward his father and The Brothers Karamazov, but Einstein’s relationship with his father presumably has nothing to do with the theory of relativity. This attitude in part reflects our idealization of “emotion-free” science. One does not look for impure things in dealing with the cleanliness of “pure research.” When, as in the case of Reich, a relationship between personality and scientific work is proposed, it is usually for the purpose of ridicule. Reich, the scientist, becomes a movie Frankenstein, a madman with a delusionary system involving the “creation of life” in his laboratory. Reich’s capacity to cross scientific boundaries and to see common elements in apparently disparate realms is itself seen as a symptom of insanity; anyone who claims to work as a psychiatrist, cancer researcher, biologist, and physicist must be mad…”
Myron R. Sharaf, Fury On Earth: A Biography Of Wilhelm Reich.
“…You ask when your life will be good and secure, Little Man? The answer is alien to your way of being: Your life will be good and secure when aliveness will mean more to you than security and money; your freedom more than party line or public opinion; when the mood of Beethoven or Bach will be the mood of your total existence (you have it in you, Little Man, buried deeply in a corner of your existence); when your thinking will be in harmony, and no longer at variance, with your feelings; when you will be able to comprehend your gifts in time and to recognize your ageing in time; when you will live the thoughts of great men instead of the misdeeds of great warriors; when the teachers of your children will be better paid than the politicians; when you will have more respect for the love between man and woman than for a marriage license; when you will recognize errors in thinking in time, and not too late, as today; when you will feel elevation in hearing truths, and feel horror of formalities; when you will have intercourse with your work comrades directly, and not through diplomats; when your adolescent daughter’s happiness in love will delight instead of enraging you; when you will only shake your head at the times when one punished little children for touching their love organs; when human faces on the street will express freedom, animation and joy and no longer sadness and misery; when people no longer will walk on this earth with retracted and rigid pelvises and deadened sexual organs. You want guidance and advice, Little Man. You have had guidance and advice, good and bad, through thousands of years. It is not because of poor advice that you are still in your misery, but because of your pettiness. I could give you good advice, but, as you think and are, you would not be capable of putting it into action in the interest of all…”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
Read the whole speech here.
“I want you to stop being subhuman and become ‘yourself’. ‘Yourself,’ I say. Not the newspaper you read, not your vicious neighbor’s opinion, but ‘yourself.’ I know, and you don’t, what you really are deep down. Deep down, you are what a deer, your God, your poet, or your philosopher is. But you think you’re a member of the VFW, your bowling club, or the Ku Klux Klan, and because you think so, you behave as you do. This too was told you long ago, by Heinrich Mann in Germany, by Upton Sinclair and John Dos Passos in the United States. But you recognized neither Mann nor Sinclair. You recognize only the heavyweight champion and Al Capone. If given your choice between a library and a fight, you’ll undoubtedly go to the fight.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
(Read Robert Anton Wilson‘s Wilhelm Reich In Hell Here).