The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for January 8th, 2014

scented waters

with 4 comments

Solitude and the solemnity of my beloved Creek.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It has officially been three weeks since I laid eyes upon Newtown Creek and it is official, I miss her. The sense of desolating isolation, the abandonment of hope, the loneliness of it all. Often have I wished that there were more people who could appreciate her for what she is, but most of those who encounter the Newtown Creek have an immediate desire to somehow alter her. Me, I try to appreciate her for what she is and leave behind only a set of footprints.

from wikipedia

A loner is a person who avoids or does not actively seek human interaction or prefers to be alone. There are many reasons for solitude, intentional or otherwise, and “loner” does not imply a specific cause. Intentional reasons include spiritual and religious considerations or personal philosophies. Unintentional reasons involve temperament, being highly sensitive, having more extreme forms of shyness, or various mental disorders, being introverted or prefer quiet over commotion.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Most of these people are carpetbaggers from out of state think tanks, Albany bureaucrats, or do gooder types who moved to hipster Brooklyn in order to catechize the unwashed. They’re not bad folks, in fact they’re well intentioned, but seriously- leave the old girl to herself. She’s got enough problems with the Feds crawling over the place, and neither of us like too much in the way of company.

from wikipedia

Loneliness is a complex and usually unpleasant emotional response to isolation or lack of companionship. Loneliness typically includes anxious feelings about a lack of connectedness or communality with other beings, both in the present and extending into the future. As such, loneliness can be felt even when surrounded by other people. The causes of loneliness are varied and include social, mental or emotional factors.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Most New Yorkers couldn’t find her on a map of the 5 boroughs, despite Newtown Creek’s position at the center of it. She’s like some ancestral specter, lurking at the flickering edges of a candle’s light, and only seen by those who truly wish to. Disregard her story, and her dangers, at your own peril, for until you accept what she is and what’s happened here over the centuries…

from wikipedia

The encounter with the shadow plays a central part in the process of individuation. Jung considered that ‘the course of individuation…exhibits a certain formal regularity. Its signposts and milestones are various archetypal symbols’ marking its stages; and of these ‘the first stage leads to the experience of the SHADOW’. If ‘the breakdown of the persona constitutes the typical Jungian moment both in therapy and in development’, it is this which opens the road to the shadow within, coming about when ‘Beneath the surface a person is suffering from a deadly boredom that makes everything seem meaningless and empty … as if the initial encounter with the Self casts a dark shadow ahead of time’. Jung considered as a perennial danger in life that ‘the more consciousness gains in clarity, the more monarchic becomes its content…the king constantly needs the renewal that begins with a descent into his own darkness’ — his shadow – which the ‘dissolution of the persona’ sets in motion.

“The shadow personifies everything that the subject refuses to acknowledge about himself” and represents “a tight passage, a narrow door, whose painful constriction no one is spared who goes down to the deep well”. If and when ‘an individual makes an attempt to see his shadow, he becomes aware of (and often ashamed of) those qualities and impulses he denies in himself but can plainly see in others — such things as egotism, mental laziness, and sloppiness; unreal fantasies, schemes, and plots; carelessness and cowardice; inordinate love of money and possessions — …[a] painful and lengthy work of self-education”.

The dissolution of the persona and the launch of the individuation process also brings with it ‘the danger of falling victim to the shadow … the black shadow which everybody carries with him, the inferior and therefore hidden aspect of the personality’ — of a merger with the shadow.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

January 8, 2014 at 9:54 am

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