|Priests traveling across kealakekua bay for first contact rituals by John Webber|
PARTICIPATION MYSTIQUE is a term derived from Lévy-Bruhl. It denotes a peculiar kind of psychological connection with objects, and consists in the fact that the subject cannot clearly distinguish himself from the object but is bound to it by a direct relationship which amounts to partial identity. (Jung,  1971: paragraph 781). Psychological Types, Collected Works, Volume 6, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.Although Levy-Bruhl later went against his own logic and recanted his theory, Jung continued to affirm his theoretical suppositions.
He later retracted this term under pressure of adverse criticism, but I believe that his critics were wrong. It is a well-known psychological fact that an individual may have an unconscious identity with some other person or object (Jung et. al., 1964:24). Man and His Symbols, New York, N.Y.: Anchor Books, Doubleday.Jung quotes from Wikipedia article, "Participation mystique"
Related article, "Particpation mystique: mythological cosmologies are functions of dreams and visions" on Mythic Dreams
It is wildly fascinating when we apply the logic of "participation mystique" to the impact of the mythic 1492 first contact, as the beginning time when dream and reality were clearly delineated in global history. Dream being the riches of the orient and our pre-contact Eurocentric notions of the world and Reality being another continent inhabited by non-Christian and thriving societies. Both of these two separate European lenses through which the Americas were experienced illustrate the post-virginal spring of absolute earthly delusion, and thus our entire consensual knowledge base, commenced.
Indeed, our "unconscious identity with some other person or object" has moved from the unconscious to the subconscious of our collective national consciousness, and only fully bloomed in the mind of each individual of mindful conscience.
On a concert stage, a fantastically roomy floor for our world fusion quartet, my wife plays on the zheng, and our friend masters the Indian tabla drums, while I gather Middle Eastern style percussion and touches on woodwind. A guest to our homebound trio takes center stage. He is an expert percussionist on the Turkish davul.
|Odalisque with Slave by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres and Paul Flandrin|
When the music begins, he takes the lead rhythm by storm, without mind to our accompaniment. He is so overly animated in his egotistical inertia. I become exceedingly frustrated, so much so that I stop playing altogether, and it seems our other percussionist is contemplating the same. As I talk with my wife about the unseemly course of events, he stops playing as well and begins handing out gifts to the audience, smilingly captivating them with an open charisma that effectively portrays our music with underhanded nonsense. For me that’s the last straw. I grab a glass of milk and throw it at him as I walk out in disgust.
|Internal view of the O'Neil cylinder by Donal Davis|
On the street outside the concert hall, industrial trucking and convenience store culture intermingle in an altogether drab disarray of poverty and addiction. Over-the-hill men glare at me, wondering about their next fix with vampire teeth and screwy eyes. I silently glide past, entering the dismal folly of a culture affixed to the worthless distractions of fame and light personified in an attractive male with the maturity of an anxious adolescent. I won’t return, and the horizon is still empty.
_________Morose, pangs stir my subtle breath, walking up the nerves,
To break down with laughter and see ocean’s rise
From the abysmal core of first being,
The naked home of belief,
Cradling Lover’s net
As a down-pressed skeleton, chained with ire
...Coldly moving from place to place
Like numbers spit into the viral joke of God
Seeing white rice burn to blackish brown on the needy plate of the human universe
Believed so beautifully
In the back of a working man’s mind,
Stepping to the bold indecision of a wakeful conspiring
...Across pyramids, tunneled to the foot of known reason
Yet, to be detached from an able body
Now roasting at the offering spit and waiting for mass death
To plummet from our towers, piercing heaven with a sufferer’s torment
Across worlds, times and into the imagined memory of the once-respected
Human insanity behind the art of the worldly races
excerpts from "Art of the Worldly Races"