Friday, December 14, 2007

Myth and myth-management

These cranes aren't really in the snow but I feel as if they are. It's an embroidery I photographed in China, turned out frequently enough to be a cliche, but still graceful and pretty. The snows have not arrived here yet. Possibly they won't. I feel for the people in the Midwest and am glad to be here.

The Christmas cards are coming in. Wendy from Toronto, who was on the Czech trip last August sent a clipping from a local newspaper wherein the journalist who visited Krakow not only was deeply impressed by the salt mines, but recounted that she had discovered that there is a "chakra spot" at Krakow castle. Furthermore she listed six other "chakra spots" ranging geographically from Central Europe to the Middle East. The only "power place" that made anything like intuitive sense to me was Jerusalem. I was astonished that an Indian mystic idea should be promulgated in a part of the world where knowledge of chakras is as generally unknown as it was in the US fifty years ago. I'm reminded of Jung writing that it's not important if UFOs are real, people needed them and invented them.

Also I found a note in last Sunday's paper about a woman artist/performance artist who believes a piece of Moldovite gives her special powers. I had never heard of it until in the Czech Republic where guide, Thomas, said it was a local gem and we went looking for it in jewelry shops one day. Although we found some, no one one purchased any. it is a green "gem" which, in fact is debris from a meteorite that fell in that area possibly prehistorically. Ah, well, many people give special properties to all kinds of gems - far beyond their monetary value.

When I first went to Tibet my guide, Ken, had a book from the hippy 1960s about the "power places" in the HImalayas. That made more sense to me than this chakra stuff does. Although I can't help thinking we find the power where we look for it -- as Jung said, we invent it when we need it. The journalist says she felt a powerful jolt of energy at the spot at the edge of the courtyard of Karkow castle. May she long enjoy the memory of that jolt - just as she will long be amazed, as was I, at the complexity of the salt mines. Perhaps I am either devoid of imagination or lucky to have little neediness for such reassurances, but these myths are psychological longings that I can only count up intellectually but feel no longing to experience.

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