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Garibaldi and the unconscious!

A reflection on Consciousness

I have a cat that I named Garibaldi. He does not respond to me calling his name; he just looks at me with a blank stare. He does seem to like my company, though, and often comes to me to receive some love. Despite our growing friendship, he is in his own world, in his own consciousness, which is his very own “Cat consciousness”. He knows what he wants and has his daily rhythm, which is not all about food but also about enjoying his life. He likes to lay in the sun, check out the smells in my backyard and play with his mouse toys or get warm and cozy in front of the fireplace. I grew up Catholic and with the understanding that “Mankind” (off course it had to be gendered!) was superior to the animal world and even more so to the world of plants. It was all a part of “God’s plan” that we should rule the world. This had the fatal result that we are now destroying our own environment and leaving it uninhabitable for both animals, plants, and humans. No animals have had this power, and as I understand Carl Jung, it is the destructive curse we humans carry with us until we are no longer here. To be more precise, it is both a curse but also, in some way, a blessing because we can reflect on our behavior, although it does not look like it to have any impact on our actions. Humans still kill each other because of political fanaticism, as they have done as long as we have had written history about our own behavior. We do not seem to have enough of anything, so when we can, we overspend and overuse to the point of depleting the sources which were supposed to sustain us. The Amazon trucks run more frequently than the mail carrier ever did. Jared Diamond writes so pointedly about the disasters we bring unto ourselves in his book “Collapse.” He looks at the many cultures which have failed because they depleted what was to sustain them. A beautiful example he mentions is the first colonization of Greenland by the Vikings and why it failed. I’m, of course, disappointed about my inability to change humankind, and eventually, I must embrace the curse as well as the blessing. In my everyday life with Garibaldi, I hold on to my blessing. I keep my awareness, my human consciousness-curse on the backburner, not to get injured by its heat.

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