Using Active Imagination and Jungian Archetypes in My Work



Auschwitz Dancer’s Symbolic Art



Dear Subscriber,

I have, rather shrewdly, I must admit, made minor changes to the poem I wrote and changed its author, to become the infamous “Angel of Death” of Auschwitz in my current chapter:
Chapter Seven: Dr. Mengele’s Twin Menagerie
I found this poem written by Dr. Mengele posted on the laboratory door of his special genetic research study of twins. The camp prisoners had given him the nickname of “The Angel of Death” because he would personally choose his “patients” from the incoming trains that brought the newest collection of Gypsies, Jews, homosexuals, and other outcasts into Auschwitz-Birkenau. It was the doctor’s “pick of the litter,” so to speak, so he could select the identical and non-identical twins from the herds of humans being walked into the camps.
Of course, many who didn’t pass health inspections were immediately sent to the gas chambers, so it was perhaps not a completely ironic title for the doctor. Life, even the life of a lab rat, is better than no life at all. So, when the doctor, his dark, militant bearing focused on his quarry, his touch on their bodies was not cruel or painful.
He smiled and told them, “Science does not make judgements. You can serve the world and improve mankind for the future!”
But when my spirit floated up to the personal labs of Dr. Josef Mengele, I was fascinated that he had written a poem, which featured a very esoteric and philosophically profound verse about a concept attributed to Chinese Zen master Ch’ing yuan Wei-hsin of the T’ang Dynasty. This poem was affixed on the door to the laboratory:
Patterns across the lake.
The smallest gnat signals meaning
Across the universal One.
A woman smiles, in Poland,
An idea grows from the furrowed brow,
The dances of lights, the human forms in candle wax,
Twisting lovers aching for eternity
Suffering physical death.
Patterns in the games being played.
While seeming to die, we cause rebirth,
The flip-flop of light/dark, life/death, terror/peace.
It all forms patterns, forever connected
Like the ugly tangles under the ornate beauty
Of an Asian rug.
Like the spaces between the notes of Chopin.
The emptiness between the stars above.
The eyeful wonders of connected eternity.
Beauty/ugliness matching their weight.
Sinful and saintly painting the sunsets’ delights.
Lose your focused attention and realize the jijimuge.
Your heart will beat on its own.
Your love will constantly come into view,
Your entrancing pattern will dance on graves,
Sing in the dark, and cry at the rising sun.
Alone, with billions, with nothing.
All connected.
All one.
Transfigured by you.
–Dr. Josef Mengele, S.S. Captain, Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Genetics, and Eugenics (KWI-A).
Read Chapter One for free online at MetaStellar.
If you follow my serial, please consider using Dr. Carl G. Jung’s archetypes to analyze the symbolic representations of my characters. In fact, I created this series using my “Active Imagination,” the characters rose spontaneously from my subconscious. If you want to learn how to use yours in your creative endeavors, then read my post on this topic.
The literary goal of my serial is to show how the Jungian psychological concepts of the Animus and the Anima can be integrated to become a self-actualized character. The frozen-in-time setting of Auschwitz-Berkinau symbolizes any prison that attempts to keep the individual from realizing his or her actualization over what Jung calls the Shadow aspect of the unconscious.
For example my free story Cousins shows this Shadow aspect in the form of a story that “writes itself,” as the historical character of Edgar Allan Poe attempts to confront his depression while sheltered inside his cottage on Fordham Road in the Bronx. Fellow author Louise Blackwick, who uses Jungian symbols in her own work, with great success, wrote this about my story:
Cousins makes use of intersubjectivity to draw parallels between Poe, his characters and their various subjective states. Some of these fictional characters inhabit worlds that are far removed from their creator. There is a strong blend of historical elements and futuristic elements at work. The running theme seems to be “forbidden love” – with “grief” and “despair” coming in second.—Louise Blackwick, internationally best-selling author of the Vivian Amberville Fantasy Series.

Please feel free to respond to my website blog posts and/or respond to this email with your insights into the symbolism used in my serial or any of my work. When I was a student, the most interesting literary analysis I made from my research and analysis for my trauma were to respond to many novels, poems and short fiction by using the Jungian archetypes and other collective unconscious symbolism that Jung discussed in his work.

Have a nice weekend, and keep reading to maintain our democratic republic by becoming self-aware.

James Musgrave

EMRE Publishing, San Diego

Liked it? Take a second to support on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

This Post Has One Comment

Leave a Reply

Popular Post