REVOLUTION: the way of radical renewal

Dec 8, 2022

Photo Credit: Joseph Chan via Unsplash

We tend to think of revolution as a people’s push-back against perceived oppression—a reaction to rulership that has rejected fairness, change, and accessibility. When a rigid power structure reigns supreme—often presenting as idealism, spirituality, or cultural integrity—it can generate opposing force as an effort to restore rightness and realize renewal.

For Jung, revolution “is not conversion into the opposite but conservation of previous values together with recognition of their opposites.” He adds that to quite a “terrifying degree, we are threatened by wars and revolutions which are nothing other than psychic epidemics…modern man is battered by the elemental forces of his own psyche.” For revolution to be more than warring between opposites requires the capacity to mediate conflicts within ourselves and establish a new internal order. 

You say you’ll change the constitution

Well, you know

We’d all love to change your head
You tell me it’s the institution
Well, you know
You better free your mind instead

The Beatles: Revolution

Here’s the dream we analyze:

“I am in some sort of tech office. Someone is here who is trying to steal data. My goal is to discover their identity, get the disc they are trying to smuggle and get out. At one point, a female friend from church is standing across the room from me. She has a sniper rifle with a scope on it, trained on me. I think maybe I can try to duck or run quickly behind something, but I know that I won’t get there in time, and she will shoot me. I am not sure what is going to happen. I also sense that she is friendly toward me, she may even be smiling, but she still has the sniper rifle trained on me. Then she is right in front of me. I take the barrel of the rifle and hold it up to my forehead and tell her it is okay; she can shoot me if she needs to. I close my eyes and am genuinely unsure of what is going to happen. Time passes. She decides not to shoot me after all. I am vaguely aware that there is a studio audience watching all of this like it is a reality show or a game show of some kind, and I’ve won “sympathy points” by doing this. The church friend has disappeared, and I continue looking for the infiltrator. I see a guy I noticed earlier, and I think it can’t possibly be him; that would be too easy. But then I see he has a CD under the cushion of his seat–it is him. When he is not looking, I retrieve the CD. I am very nervous to do this, but I do not get caught. Now I need to get out of the building with the CD. But the sense of terror is gone. I am sure he is not going to catch me, and I can probably leave as I please. I am weirdly sad that the sense of apprehension is gone.” 


Joseph Henderson and Dyane Sherwood. Transformation of the Psyche: The Symbolic Alchemy of the Splendor Solis. https://a.co/d/3D98biA


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