Wolfgang Giegerich has an essay – The Burial of the Soul in Technological Civilization. It is on the C G Jung Page, but only in German. I snipped a bit an searched for it in Google, found the page and then clicked the Translate this Page link. Back came a translated version of the article. Here is a sample:
Certainly, if I give the title to my lecture: Funeral of the soul into the technical civilization, then would like to seem it, as if I also into the same long-known horn of the dissatisfied ones to push and over the Seelenlosigkeit of the technology, which wanted to complain uneasiness in the culture. But so simply it does not stand around the word funeral of the soul. It does not have simply a negative, devaluing meaning, as we are bent today’s ones however to assume, because we do not have relationship to grave and funeral. That was for example with the old Egyptians completely different. These created the products of their entire culture activity to a large extent for the only purpose to let it disappear to buried and on Nimmerviedersehen in the grave.
“Interesting” English. The machine gave up about half way through as if from fatigue.
I am not sure what Giegerich is saying exactly – but it seem to fit that technology has taken the soul out of his essay – all very appropriate. Fun!
Funny that the machine could not translate “Seelenlosigkeit of the technology” – perhaps it was just too offended by the phrase!
In paragraph above I hear him saying something like this:
Technology has ripped the soul out of the world. We would be having a funeral for the loss of soul in the world if funerals were not part of that very soulfulness we have lost. The machines have won. We lost and we don’t even know it.
I don’t think like that myself. The soul has jet lag perhaps. But no, I think it is actually faster than all of our speed of light wonders. When it comes to technology the soul is like the planet Mercury – fast – and invisible a lot of the time. It takes a while for us to see it. Old technology shows off its soul but with new stuff the soul is shy, hiding behind glitz. We can see the soul now in an old ZX81 – I wish I still had ours. I think he might be saying that too, somewhere in the essay, but about wrought iron.
Here is an interesting bit, I think he is saying what i just said:
Could the winter not its own yardstick have and its own language speak, and couldn’t it not us be demanded to go along and the movement of immersing into the hellignuechterne water supportless follow the course of the yearly, so that we are with our heart in it and from it, with its measure, the world to see?
So should we learn to appreciate the soul in the new world?
He proposes the idea that we give up our disdain for technology and dive into the holy water of our sober culture…
To dive into the hellignuechterne water would mean to learn by patient hearing of the cold and speechless things of the technology a new language with its own rules and its own idioms a language, which is not our native language, but the foreign language of the concrete walls, airplanes, moon rockets, television sets, computers, atom bombs, in addition, the language of the advertisement, the statistics and the modern economy coined/shaped by multinational companies.
OK, he proposes it but does he advocate it? I am not sure about Giegerich, but it would seem William Gibson does just that in Pattern Recognition where we are steeped in the foreign language of our familiar iconised world.
I am doing Giegerich an injustice by not grasping the essay but just playing with it all. I don’t have a clue what he is saying, but I love the topic. I love some of the words: hellignuechterne which is in the opening poem: In the holy-sober water and Seelenlosigkeit I love the idea of the romantic world being the summer and us now being in the winter of the soul – just not sure if that is his idea or not!