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jung-carlgustavCarl G. Jung, the pipe smoking, stone chipping, doctor, was a man of the Swiss mountains.He felt elephants were the highest order of creation the wisest beings. While reading Jung I looked deep into the elephant.  The elephant has been a kindred spirit of mine for years–longer than I have lived on Terrible Mountain. I first connected to elephants through some sandalwood figurines my father brought back from India for me. Since that time my life has filled with elephant trinkets and lore of all sorts. I have yet to meet an elephant outside of the zoo and have long held a Buried Life List that includes logging with elephants in Asia.  Reading of Jung’s respect for the elephant and all warm blooded beings felt strangely familiar to me.  I found the familiarity of this book startling. As I read I instinctually felt, I know exactly what Jung is saying.  Out of the primordial, connections were made, the matrix was revealed a little more.
THE OLD MASTERS USED TO SAY
Omni festinatio ex parte diaboli est.
(All haste is of the devil.)
I’m in an electric mood now, literally.  Lightening is flashing all around.  The clouds are socked in. Bella asks, “Daddy look at all that foggy. Why is it there?”
“Well we’re sittin’ right in the clouds.  Clouds are backed up right on Terrible Mountain.” I say feeling the lowering clouds stir across the porch.  Eeeeeee, Bella screeches and spins inside. I run into the rain, to the shop, to the office.

Through the glass on the western wall I see the lightening flashing, dancing among the clouds, among the trees. The thunder is circling above. I feel uplifted, lighter from the charge in the air. I can tell I am on the edge of something big. Really the radar shows lots of red south and west, and to the south and west I see deep gray with darker grays moving on over head to the north and the west.  Lightening flashes freeze these hulking manifestations, a brief pause on their way.  This is a perfect atmosphere to weave together some thoughts around Meredith Sabini’s collection of Jung’s work. This book, The Earth Has a Soul, The nature Writings Of C.G. Jung, explores the place of nature in Jung’s thought and in his life. Sabini’s assembly puts nature at the center of Jung’s work.  How Jung speaks through Meredith Sabini is uncanny.  Deeply this is Sabini’s book!  A masterful weaving that made me check at times to see how the various excerpts flowed.  Yet this is also truly Jung’s book.  In it collected, a tremendous wisdom and vision.

Lumen naturae-the natural spirit is the soul of the Earth, we too, as humans, are part of lumen naturae.  This spirit is the collective unconscious.  “Our collective unconscious is simply nature-beyond truth and error.” (Sabini 84) Too many of us humans have become dissociated with the forces-the spirits-the gods, of nature.  “Advance toward the Logos was a great achievement, but we must pay for it with a loss of instinct and a loss of reality to the degree that we remain in primitive dependence on mere words…” (Sabini 72)  This rationalizing of nature has caused and is causing great damage to both our individual psyche and the collective unconscious.

Through scientific understanding, our world has become dehumanized.  Man feels himself isolated in the cosmos.  He is no longer involved in nature and has lost his emotional participation in natural events, which hitherto had a symbolic meaning for him. Thunder is not the voice of a god, nor is lightening his avenging missle. No river contains a spirit, no tree means a man’s life, no snake is the embodiment of wisdom, and no mountain still harbors a great demon.  Neither do things speak to him nor can he speak to things, like stones, springs, plants, and animals.  He no longer has a bush soul identifying him with a wild animal.  His immediate communication with nature is gone forever, and the emotional energy it generated has sunk into the unconscious.  C.G. Jung (Sabini 80)

This may be so, but what is unfolding before my eyes is captivating, terrifying, and mysterious.  Bella & Gabe are most certain that there is a monster on the mountain behind the house a terrible monster.  And snakes…
What can be done?  Just what we are doing. Further, sit with nature, in nature.  Sit and allow the instinctual in and then out.  Address your individual relationship with all that is nature and with yourself, your own nature.  Being so simple to understand means that it will be tremendously difficult to accomplish.  Yes Carl I would say that is all so.  We must put ourselves right insists Jung.  We must put ourselves right in order to save our earth and thereby save ourselves.
I’ll end here for now with some photos of two snakes that appeared to us one morning.  These snakes appeared and darted around remaining visible allowing me to take many pictures despite the excitement of the kids and Nathalie. They had heard (I figure) that I was setting up Terrible Mountain Blog, clearly they wanted their voices out.  I will leave you 6,000 words from some spirits of Terrible Mountain.
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Other VoicesI have lived on these soggy, stoney slopes for the past 30 years.  This blog chronicles my adventure as it continues!  Mine is an adventure in local living, in working close to the land to address the economic question.  Mine is also an adventure in creative livelihood, in family, in fatherhood.  The rocks of this land I attend have served to strengthen me, to challenge me, to tire me, to inspire me.  This blog is an extension of this work & of this mountain.

Terrible Mountain Blog will also serve for me to speak to issues I engage with as I work my way through a graduate degree in business management from Marlboro Graduate School. This learning is centered by the sustainability evolution, a state of mind seeking economic, social, & environmental justice from nature’s inspiration.  This management perspective, this management practice, is taught in Brattleboro, VT, & it is a hub of uncommon learning.  It is an inspiration for me to be among pioneers in this enterprise.

Now a glimpse on a current dust up.  The times are demanding more. Is more, is less, more or less, even when it is more with less.  I’m confusing myself!  That’s the point.  There has been much talk of ethics in business recently.  Even more there has been talk of ethics and  CSR/Sustainability reporting.  The award winning CSR reports are the longest.  Leading Business School graduates have to pledge to be ethical. Peter Senge is claiming sustainability is a poor term to express our collective efforts.  So the dust is up and in this dry place of vision obscured I am being hit with a flashback to bioregionalism.  Thanks to  Richard Seireeni, and The Gort Cloud, Salmon Nation jogged my memory.  I have no answer here, but I appeal to all to stop the search for the ultimate tag for our efforts.  Each place will have individual needs for language to capture its sustainable essence. The challenge is to suss the essence from “sustainability” and put it and us in place.   For me this place, and this story, come from the lower reaches of Terrible Mountain in central Vermont.  Where is your place and where from comes your story?

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