maps are my new theme for the next few weeks… maybe months… however long it takes.
i blame jetlag, and first day back at work exhaustion, but this video of an interview with A.S. Byatt made me weep. I think it was this line:
‘The kind of map of the world that was provided by Christian belief, or other forms of religious belief… has for most people in the society I live in gone. And this means, how you say who you are has become very, very difficult.’
Mark Vernon wrote about it beautifully:
It’s an insight that I keep noticing at the moment, the sense that our own lives are too small for us, and we need something more than ourselves to be ourselves. Jung described it as the two parts of the individual – the ego, which makes our particular place in the world; and the self which is our connection to the human collective. Individuation is a synthesis of the two.
It seems that Byatt senses we live in a world that has lots of ego, in Jung’s sense, but with the loss of religion, has lost its self, again in Jung’s sense. As yet, we don’t otherwise know how to connect to it. As a substitute, we look for mirrors that play the ego back to us as if that were ‘a tune beyond us, yet ourselves.’ Though it’s not, of course.