Sunday, 22 May 2022

I Read Jung (With Dog)

Having finished Ulysses, I've gained the confidence to read other books that have been tapping me on the shoulder for years. One such is Jung's Memories, Dreams and Reflections, recommended to me by  Anne. It's as if, having climbed Everest, I can consider K2 (though I'd like to make clear this is a metaphor - I have attempted neither, and if I did, I would need to be carried or air-lifted down at some point).

I'm currently dog-sitting a beautiful lurcher, and she and I take long walks together. Sometimes, on these walks, I listen to the birdsong in the woods, or the lambs bleating in the fields, and sometimes, I plug myself into my phone and listen to a book. And this is how I've read Jung. 

It's not an easy read - though parts of it are. That would be my review if asked for a line for the back cover. 

As Jaffa was trotting about, this is what I heard the other morning, and it illustrates my summary: 

"I never think that I am the one who must see to it that cherries grow on stalks. I stand and behold, admiring what nature can do." Carl Jung - Memories, Dreams and Reflections. 

When I heard this, I stopped and typed it into my phone to remember the wisdom.  

I called Jaffa to me, and she came up, looking hopeful. I read out Jung's words to her and she looked at me with her deep, kind eyes, hoping for a more edible treat, or perhaps something on the interpretation of dreams, then trotted off, ears flopping gently with each step. She urinated on some bracken. 

Jaffa understands life as the stream passing by, as Jung describes it, into which she occasionally makes a contribution, or dips her paw, her tongue, her whole body. I have a tendency to try to make cherries grow on stalks. Jaffa doesn't. When she offers her contribution to the undergrowth, she does it because she is a dog, not because she hopes to make cherries grow in a pine forest. 


I finished Jung's book on that walk, and, as with Ulysses, I'll read it again one day, and perhaps understand a little more. In the meantime, I understood enough to know that my life is much richer for having read the book.

Jaffa is asleep as I write this, maybe dreaming of rabbits.  

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