Saturday, June 11, 2005

rising and falling

The moon rose high and I sunk very low.

My love sobered up, and I got still more drunk.

My life and soul, from now on please don't hold

Against me what is out of my control.

#1357: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Search words: rose

As I prepared to search today I glanced at the horizon. The dawn was rosey red and so I chose a rose to lead the way.

This quatrain seems to express Rumi's experience of enantiodromia, a word popular with Jung and referring to a phenomenon he frequently observed in himself and in those around him in which a psychological state would change into its opposite. Especially with his patients to whose dreams he had access, he could observe how an opposite trend would develop in the unconscious, in the background of the mind, and then gradually come forward into view and into conscious thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Since Rumi is a male, the unconscious is often represented by a feminine being associated with the moon. Ego and unconscious are often characterised by alchemists as sol et luna, sun and moon. So when the unconscious rises or holds most of the psychic energy or libido, then the ego feels down and depleted. Rumi also characterises the unconscious as the beloved so when it - or his love - is on an even keel, unagitated and unmotivated, then Rumi feels ever more intoxicated as the psychic libido pours into consciousness.

Rumi understands this as a natural process that is quite out of his - that is, the ego's - control. He is not responsible for these mood swings. This is close to the current law's insanity defense: where a person is insane, where the ego is out of control, then the person is not deemed responsible and need not answer for his or her actions. Whether Rumi would have gone as far as that is hard to say. It seems more likely here that he is simply pleading with his own internal superego or conscience, asking that the blame be lifted from him. The responsibility for what is happening inside him lies with both the ego and the unconscious, both with his human self and his divine.

This verse would seem to come soon after yesterday's (since #1357 follows close on #1355) and would seem to be a restatement of the albedo which was represented yesterday as a white horse but today is expressed as a natural innocence in the face of a natural process. At times like these, I wish I had a better access to the original material for I'm sure there is a process there that is described both lucidly and eloquently and that would help considerably in making sense of one's own states of mind.


Post a Comment

<< Home