March 10, 2013

"The World And Society In 1913"

By French painter and poet Francis Picabia.

Below is an excerpt from Tom Cheetham's book, "All The World An Icon: Henry Corbin And The Angelic Function of Beings." 2012. North Atlantic Books: Berkeley, California. Pg. 162-163.
"It is important to put Jung's experiment in depth psychology and Imagination into historical context. Shamdasani reminds us of the extraordinary state of European culture in the early years of the twentieth century. It was a time of tremendous experimentation in the arts and revolution in the sciences. Shamdasani writes, "Clear demarcations among literature, art, and psychology had not yet been set; writers and artists borrowed from psychologists and vice versa."  Visual artists and poets were fascinated with dreams and abnormal psychology, and psychologists wrote dramatic and fictional works. New forms for communicating inner experience were breaking out all over. It was a time of experimentation and fluidity in the arts as a reaction to the rigidities of contemporary culture. Everything was about to explode. The master of dada, Hugo Ball, wrote:
The world and society in 1913 looked like this: life is completely confined and shackled. A kind of economic fatalism prevails, each individual, whether he resists it or not, is assigned specific role and with it his interests and his character. The Church is regarded as a "redemption factory" of little importance, literature as a safety valve. . . . The most burning question day and night is: is there anywhere a force that is strong enough to put an end to this state of affairs? And if not, how can one escape it?
When Jung began his own descent to Hell working with the images of destruction and catastrophe that flooded his conscious mind in 1913, he was embarking on a self-experiment that was perhaps unique, but not without precedent. The process of Active Imagination was to provide a means of confronting and containing the chaos of energies that were about to bring the civilization of Europe as people knew it to a violent and catastrophic end."
An excerpt from Hugo Ball's 'Flight Out of Time: A Dada Diary':
"A thousand-year-old culture disintegrates. There are no columns and no supports, no foundations anymore--they have all been blown up ... The meaning of the world has disappeared." [Source: Dadahead].