Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Red Book – The Intoxication with Myth, and the Red Tailed Hawk

Each day this week I will discuss topics from C. G. Jung’s The Red Book, along with my perspective and then continue the nature series with individual birds of prey that I have observed here on Turk’s Mountain.

The Red Book – The Intoxication with Myth
Jung had a deep fascination with mythology, its interpretation and meaning. He was influenced by Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Dante’s Commedia. This was during a time when the world was interested in both comparative religion and the psychological basis of symbolism. Jung was focused on answering “what is the myth you are living?”

Jung began interpreting his and other’s dreams. There are a number of dreams presented concerning his relationship with other people including Freud and prophecies about the apocalypse, which were a common discussion topic during this time period. He began trying “to get to know my myth” only to find “I was not living with a myth”. He was interested in the myth of the hero which was to “free himself from the mother” and then the incest myth as the “attempt to return to the mother to be reborn”.

While his intentions were/are unclear, this now completed work is derived from several of Jung’s finished and unfinished works. There is evidence that at some point Jung did intend to publish the work. However, due to its intensely personal nature, it is also possible that he did not intend for it to be published. This only adds to its mystique.

My Perspective
This work is a deeply personal journey to find true nature. It is written in another time and perspective of the world and society. It is so deeply personal, I am not sure it is for anybody other than the dedicated student of Jung or spirituality. I feel almost a voyeur in reading it.

Although it is early in my review, this book may reveal several lessons to us – 1.) Perhaps society has advanced, to no longer create this level of pain and suffering, 2.) Perhaps religion has evolved from shame and guilt to become more of a path to the spiritual life, or 3.) Perhaps Jung’s choice of profession indicates a felt need to understand his own unique problems. I will read on and report more tomorrow.

Tomorrow – Review of Liber Primus

Today’s Nature topic
And, now on to today’s nature topic - the birds of prey, a reminder to us that life lives off of life. Each of these creatures have informed me and made my life fuller. I salute each of them and show my deep respect with this small recognition.

Monday – American Kestrel (Sparrow Hawk)
Today - Red-Tailed Hawk
Wednesday - Osprey (Fish Hawk)
Thursday - Eastern Screech Owl
Friday - Great Blue Heron Crane and Belted Kingfisher

Red-Tailed Hawk

The Red-tailed Hawk is a familiar resident around my area. They are a very large bird – I have seen one that is more than 2 feet long. I called Roxy (one of my Jack Russell’s) in the other day when there was one dropping in a slow circle not more than 50 feet away. My brother’s neighbor lost a Chihuahua to a hawk a few years ago.

There are several active pairs I have witnessed raising and training their young. My impression was that after the courtship and nest building there was only one parent raising the young. Farmers with free-range chickens must be vigilant as the Red-tailed Hawk has been known to carry off a full grown chicken. I have a fenced ceiling in my chicken run, and in spite of their relative safety, hear the chickens scream when ever the hawks visit nearby.

Its flight is performed at a great height, sailing across a wide berth. A few days ago I saw three hawks chasing each other, rising very high into the sky then diving at each other. It is more common to see a mockingbird or crow chasing a hawk away as they seem to be able to turn and dodge faster than the larger bird. Their flight can be accompanied by a prolonged mournful cry, which sounds like kkkkaaaaeeeerrrr.

According to Dancing Otters and Clever Coyotes by Gary Buffalo Horn Man and Sherry Firedancer, the Red-tailed Hawk has a special connection with the Sun. If we see a Red-tailed Hawk circling over us it symbolizes the need to “embrace the power of our inner fire”. This is from their intriguing and colorful book that has been reviewed with my own.

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