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That shows, as Jung explained, that symbols of the Self, collective symbols of the Self, wear out. Religions, convictions, truths, they all age. Everything that has been talked about too much and which has for a while ruled human society is deficient in the sense that it ages. It becomes mechanical, too well known, a possession of consciousness. People feel that by knowing about it they have it. And this affects the highest values most because smaller things do vary after a while and it doesn’t matter. But if the highest values wear out, if they lose their shattering numinous quality, then naturally there is a great danger. And that’s why, for instance, keeping taboos degenerates into simply keeping formalities without seeing any meaning in them. One is no longer moved by the myth which is behind every taboo. “Oh, that damn old story again, I’ve heard it twenty times. So what!” That again comes from this negative quality of human consciousness in that it becomes blasé; it becomes the owner of truth, and if you can own a truth, if the truth does not own you but you own the truth, then the situation is the wrong way round. That is partly a deficiency of human consciousness and another part is naturally that human situations change. That is the inner reason for the renewal of the kingdom, of the need for the renewal of the kingship. (…)

Generally, first there is this period of depression, of emptiness, of nothing going on, and the longer this lasts, the more you can reckon that an enormous amount of energy accumulates in the unconscious. For something important to come up, you need this period of nothing happening, so to speak, in consciousness.

Marie-Louise Von Franz, The Cat

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