Jung In Conversation With A Native American Chief: Only The Mad Think With Their Heads

Because we are told that God is found both in the silence as well as in our hearts, when we block our painful feelings, we have set up a difficult situation for ourselves. In order to get to our hearts, we must begin to deal with our pain and all its resulting addictions. When we live in our minds, we have created yet another impediment to our connection with God.

The problem of the “busy mind” seems to be largely a product of our Western culture. Not all peoples everywhere live so much in their heads. The following excerpt, taken from a book about the heart, quotes words of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung that describe his encounter with the Native American Chief Ochwiay Biano  (‘Mountain Lake’), of the Taos pueblos in New Mexico in 1932.

‘I was able to talk with him as I have rarely been able to talk with a European,’ Jung recalls…

Chief Ochwiay Biano, which means Mountain Lake, must have sensed a kindred spirit in the Swiss doctor, because he was devastatingly candid with him.

Chief Mountain Lake: See how cruel the whites look, their lips are thin, their noses sharp, their faces furrowed and distorted by folds. Their eyes have a staring expression; they are always seeking something. What are they seeking? The whites always want something. They are always uneasy and restless. We do not know what they want. We do not understand them. We think that they are all mad.’

When Jung asks why he thinks they are all mad, Mountain Lake replies, ‘They say they think with their heads.’

’Why of course, says Jung, ‘What do you think with?’

’We think here,’ says Chief Mountain Lake, indicating his heart.

After this exchange, Jung fell into a deep meditation. The Pueblo Chief had struck a vulnerable spot. Jung saw image upon image of cruelties wreaked by his forebears: the Roman eagle on the North Sea and the White Nile, the keenly incised features of Julius Caesar,…Charlemagne’s most glorious forced conversions of the heathen… the peoples of the Pacific islands decimated by firewater, syphilis and scarlet fever carried in the clothes the missionaries forced on them.

Chief Mountain Lake had shown Jung the other face of his own civilization: it was ‘the face of a bird of prey seeking with cruel intentness for distant quarry…’


∼If you like our article, give Conscious Reminder a thumbs up, and help us spread LOVE & LIGHT!∼

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here