...says Jung, who, in this slender volume, describes a world of mass politics and trash culture which in its attempt to cater for everyone finds it sustains no-one, leaving masses of people denuded of any genuine individual experience of either themselves or their environment.
Jung focuses his energies here on two of the most pervasive modern institutions, the State and Organised Religion. He sketches how the State itself denies insight and reflection to its citizens by making us all dependent on it to some degree, as it tugs on our religious heartstrings with promises of a heavenly freedom from cares if only we work and work today. And so, as the State subverts our physical needs, the Church provides moral cover for our massive Western ego-trip, which denies that violence and darkness could ever be a part of our reality, our innate human capacity (phew, what a get-out).
All this goes on unnoticed as Modern Man suffers under a collective neurosis. The valid needs of our unconscious psyche are consistently starved of expression by a culture obsessed with ego-consciousness. It must confirm its own existence, its own narrative, and bombards us daily with advertisements, political dogma, and moral creeds to ensure we don't for a second start reflecting on the absurdity of the world and our place in it. Jung asks us to simply stop, reflect that "man is an enigma to himself", and consider how we might engage in a truly self-nourishing and self-renewing relationship with a world that is no longer a mere illusion.
A great little book, this. A positive call to arms for all those who feel disenchanted with the Western world. Five stars all the way.