Carl Jung's observation on why people create "stone idols with human features"

"Easter Island Monolith comes to Baltimore"
Sarah Doherty, an artist in Baltimore, created and installed a large replica of one of the monoliths
erected on Easter Island. Shown above is a picture I took of her and her work on the day of its installation.

Undamaged Side of Easter Island Monolith
Here is another shot of the monolith, with an interesting mural juxtaposed in the background.

Here is a quote from Carl Jung on why people create "stone idols with human features":

“Very early in history men began trying to express what they felt to be the soul or spirit of a rock by working it into a recognizable form. In many cases, the form was a more or less definite approximation to the human figure – for instance, the ancient menhirs with their crude outlines of faces, or the hermae that developed out of boundary stones in ancient Greece, or the many primitive stone idols with human features. The animation of stone must be explained as the projection of a more or less distinct content of the unconscious into the stone .” Carl Jung in "Man and his Symbols"

It's my opinion that whatever thoughts and feelings were present in the collective unconscious of the members of the community that erected these monoliths are unknown to us modern people. But the aesthetic beauty of the statues of the Greco-Roman era we can relate to and appreciate. I don't think that the same can be asserted about these Easter Island monoliths and of the people that created them. The expression of the black man in the background mural, who appears to be gazing at and reacting to the presence of this monolith, seems to be conveying my assertion or observation. As a point of interest, the mural on that wall was painted on AFTER the Easter Island monolith was installed in this vacant lot.

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Comment by J.D.Stephen Flynn on January 29, 2015 at 1:50pm
Nice one Willian! The essence of art expressed by Sarah. And even this struggle to express culture can become a possession to defend.. Today's icon is tomorrow's art collection. Thus the material force implodes and becomes 'soul set in stone' except it happens within!
Comment by William Angel on January 28, 2015 at 1:40am

As a point of interest, here is a link to a video in which the sculptor Sarah Doherty explains why she created this "stone idol with human features" http://youtu.be/VNC2oc1aV7k

Comment by William Angel on January 27, 2015 at 5:37pm

"The trouble arises when this basic material [stone] can dominate man and s/he can be prepared to defend it to the point of death."
That's a good point.Your observation brings to mind the battles that break out at the sites of religious shrines, temples, and of course the famous "Wailing Wall" in Jerusalem. People erect buildings and monuments in stone because they think that they are permanent. But they just take longer to erode and decay than does our human body.

Comment by J.D.Stephen Flynn on January 27, 2015 at 3:46pm
Agreed, interesting the use of stone we humans seem to be attracted to or use to express feelings.
The stone in the ring, broach, necklace and even metal is the extraction from stone. Ok! That is pushing it!
Then there is the use of stone to signify death, the headstone that seems to be used throughout the world and in distant time past. The milestone, stone circles, obelisk, cornerstone let alone the use of stone in building, all indicate the primal use of this essential resource.
Walls are deeply symbolic too as a symbol of boundary, reflecting both the internal and external boundaries.
So, to conclude, stone sculpture, be it of clay, of marble, granit etc., remain servile to the needs of mankind. The trouble arises when this basic material can dominate man and s/he can be prepared to defend it to the point of death.
We are all affected be stone whatever form it takes.
Our first step along the journey of self realisation is to become aware of the degree of affect stone has upon the self. We cannot live without it, but to what degree does the material level affect us individually? Sure! Just thoughts.....


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