May 28, 2007

The Predator-Prey Bargain

Filed under: Uncategorized — hipbone @ 1:49 pm


Both in Derrick Jensen’s inflammatory Endgame and in the beautiful story from Grinnell’s Blackfoot Lodge Tales we see the notion of a continuing exchange between ourselves as humans and those beings we eat…

Joseph Campbell pointed out that our reciprocating part in this exchange is not with actual animals but with a platonic Representative of the species — here, salmon and buffalo — on which we predate. I believe the Hopi eagle cult and Ainu bear cult contain equivalent premises.

My question:

if the Platonic / Jungian sense that there are ideal / archetypal entities with whom we can interact is lost in the “advance” of civilization, what do we have by way of alternative to this kind of narrative, for assuaging our conscious and in some ways terrifying awareness that our own lives are lived at the expense of those of others?


1 Comment »

  1. My personal answer is: we have environmentalism, which makes better sense than placating archetypes does, at least so long as species continue to be destroyed wholesale by a humanity run amok.

    Once some version of environmentalism manages to bring our species back into general balance with the rest of the planet, it may well make sense to uphold that balance in part by means of Jungian interactions.

    But right now, it doesn’t appear to me that Jungian interactions will reach the majority of those who are doing the active destroying.

    Would you agree? Or if not, why not?

    Comment by Marshall Massey — May 31, 2007 @ 4:53 am

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