Tag Archives: metaphysics

Modern Man in search of a soul by Carl Jung

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Modern Man in Search of a Soul is a great introduction to Carl Jung’s theories of analytical psychology. The book is broken down into eleven essays dealing with topics of dream analysis, Freudian psychology, spirituality, and religion. Some consider Jung’s ideas radical because they take into account the soul. While many people believe that the soul exists, it’s impossible to prove it either way and thus begin the arguments. Taking this stance introduces an element of metaphysics into treating mental illness. Eighty years later, the school of psychiatry is still hesitant about treading in the dark forest of spirituality. Jung goes deep inside this forbidden territory and brings to light the nature of our darkness.

Much of this book deals with the subterranean part of our mind, the subconscious. The subconscious is a total mystery because it has either been ignored as irrelevant or purposefully avoided for being an ultimate source of our knowable. But it can only be ignored at the price of damaging our soul. This is reflected in the ever growing number of people seeking out psychiatric help, suicides committed, wars waged, and other forms of violence. Until we can bring a balance between the two half of our minds, the dark and light, we’ll suffer the spiritual decay that has become a cornerstone of modernity.

Jung keeps a complicated subject as straightforward as possible. The humility of this book is commendable. It invites conflicting points of views and inspires exploration into the unconscious for the good of humanity. Modern Man in Search of a Soul combines elements of psychology, philosophy, religion, spirituality, and metaphysics. Looking at today’s world, approximately eighty years after this book was written, Jung’s theories take on a prophetic tone which urges us to embrace the shadow part of our mind, for that is where the healing light will be found.

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“Hard boiled wonderland and the end of the world” Japanese cyberpunk with a noir twist

Prepare to trip balls.

Murakami Haruki’s Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is imagination dynamite. The story opens up with a sci-fi, noir attitude told from a Japanese perspective. My immediate impression was, “This is gonna cool,” and it was. Haruki throws a bit of everything into the pot: surrealism, mystery, metaphysics, magical realism, to name a few. The story itself is one of the most strangely unique I have ever read. I think Haruki enjoys messing with our heads. He’s aware of the tired-out clichés and sets you up to believe you know exactly where the book is heading, then busts your bubble and blows your mind. For a book that was written back in 1985, it reads like a bestseller hot off the press. If Franz Kafka was into cyberpunk, occasionally took hard drugs, and reincarnated as a Japanese man, he’d probably write something like this.

The story is such a bizarre odyssey that I wouldn’t dare spoil any of it for you. I can’t even tell you the general plot–it’ll ruin the surprise. I’ve read some reviews of this book, and all I can say is that I’m glad I read the book first and avoided the spoilers. It does have some hardcore cyberpunk elements and Johnny Mnemonic did come to mind–but was much more than that. The book has an amazing sense of duality. When you first come across this, you’ll wonder what the hell is going on. As the story progresses, Murakami weaves a dangerously magical world that breaks the spine of traditional modern writing. It’s a gritty fairy tale that you’ll fall into like a deep well. His use of Gutter Surrealism is masterful. This review is vague, and I apologize. But once you begin Hard boiled Wonderland and the End of the Word, you will see my intentions were sincere. Murakami drives his imagination like a stolen car in this book. I suggest you get in and enjoy the ride.

The end of this book stunned me. It was the type of conclusion that sort of breaks your heart and leaves you with the feeling that a longtime friend and lover had disappeared from the planet. I’ve taken reconciliation in the fact that Murakami’s other works contain the same magical nature I was introduced to in Hard Boiled Wonderland. I loved this book and I hope this review inspires you to read it too. Despite Murakami’s international acclaim, he remains largely unknown to American readers. This I cannot accept. Magic Realism of this caliber should be shared to everyone. Let’s all trip out together.

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