Archive for January 27th, 2013

Cosmic Affinities

“… wholeness … has always been characterized by certain cosmic affinities: the individual soul was thought to be of ‘heavenly’ origin, a particle of the world soul, and hence a microcosm, a reflection of the macrocosm. … The macrocosm is the starry world around us …”

C.G. Jung (CW 10, par. 635)

Sometimes a simple news story awakens wonder within you. This week there was an article on how the dung beetle uses the light of the Milky Way galaxy as a compass. The beetle creates a ball of dung by rolling it to a larger and larger size. The ball serves as a sustained source of food. Studies show that the beetle has an uncanny ability to roll the dung ball in a straight line, which ensures the ball is far away from competing insects. Now scientists have performed ingenious experiments to show that the beetle uses the galaxy to guide it. This study adds to others findings of how many life forms use the Sun, the Moon, Earth’s magnetic field and now the Milky Way galaxy as a compass for their local to global journeys.

Jung was fascinated by the ancient idea of how the macrocosm (the heavens) is reflected in the microcosm (humans). This idea appears in the Hermetic adage of “As above, so below,” an idea that fascinated Isaac Newton.  Jung speculated that the reflection of the outer universe within us was an original archetypal image of wholeness. Jung (CW 13, par. 372) says that, “Because the microcosm is identical with the macrocosm, it attracts the latter and thus brings about … a restoration … to the original wholeness.”

If the humble dung beetle sees the heavens above, then what of our connections to the macrocosm? Ultimate wholeness would be seeing our place in the cosmos, not just in our local environment. We are a part of the universe integrally connected to it in ways  yet to be discovered. Let us marvel at the dung beetle’s ability to see deeply into the macrocosm. Tonight I will stare into the heavens and wonder how the macrocosm lives in me.

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