A few years ago, I learned about HR Giger. He was a guy born in 1940, and he died in 2014. He\’s responsible for designing the xenomorph from Alien. This dude had his finger on the dark pulse of the collective unconscious. When he was younger he had constant nightmares. When he got older, he became a professional artist. And at some point, he underwent a process called art therapy. I\’m almost certain that he had a Jungian therapist consider the fact that he spent much of his life in or near Zurich, which is near where CG Jung operated. Anyway, so during art therapy, Giger started drawing some really dark shit. His work is marked by the state referred to as Negredo, which symbolizes the burning away of impurities from the soul.
Long post. (TL;DR at bottom)
A miracle happened.
My hot take is that Giger\’s soul/self/personality/etc grew beyond the first stage in the Jungian process of development. But what happened was that he had the capacity to channel the Zeitgeist of the time. And the Zeitgeist was carrying a really thick (German: trächtig) shadow.
Another hot take—it was around this time—starting no later than the 1960\’s—that it became really obvious that we were damaging the human soul with quickly advancing technology. We haven\’t been able to keep up with our changing world; we lack the wisdom to safely use the tools at our disposal. And I think Giger\’s artwork illustrates that danger on a visceral level. It shows us a world in which our soul has become horribly entangled with the machine.
Anyway, so after watching a documentary on Giger, Dark Star (2014), I ordered two posters for my room. However, of the two, only one of them was the correct order. The other poster was a painting by Alphonse Mucha titled The Moon (1902).
I fell in love with The Moon. I messaged the company that I bought the poster from, telling them that they sent the incorrect order but that I was actually really happy with their mistake; I figured it would be important for them to correct their inventory. And they refunded me for the incorrect order! So, in my room I had the two posters: Li and The Moon on opposite sides of my room; I figured I was caught between these two images—the light and dark aspects of my soul (see: anima).
Not long ago, I got rid of those posters, but I kept their meaning close to heart. Posters just don\’t survive moving apartments very well, and those posters are easily replaced.
Then, a little over a week ago, I had a random impulse. I bought an artbook with HR Giger\’s work. The package arrived at an interesting time. I was sitting on my couch, when I was overcome by a massive wave of dark depression. I felt the need to walk, so I walked around the corner and went to the store for a pint of ice cream. When I came back, my order had arrived.
I thought to myself, \”Ah that must be why I feel so depressed. That book is coming into my life, and it has a heavy shadow. Very well. Come in.\”
But when I opened the book they messed up my order! Taschen sent me a massive book of pictures of the architectural works by Antoni Gaudi. The first thought that went through my slow brain was, \”Gaudi?—more like gaudy.\”
I disliked the book cover because it looked cartoonish and gnome-like, and I was upset about the mistake until I realized that Antoni Gaudi is the architect of the famous Sagrada Familia—which I believe is the most interesting and beautiful cathedral. Moreover, this book was priced at FOUR times as much as the Giger book, which is wild! When I emailed Taschen, they said that they will be sending me the Giger book, and they will let me keep the Gaudi book free of charge!
This is symbolically significant.
Giger represents darkness. And instead of only receiving a dark book, I was given something else—something that will take me time to understand; afterall, it took me a few years to understand what Mucha symbolized to me, thought I haven\’t put that into words either.
Were these two events accidents or a miracles?—mu—the question is so wrong that I cannot answer it truthfully, nor can I give a false answer.
But what I see is that darkness can turn into light—they are related, as if by magic.
According to entropy, order will devolve into chaos.
But there is an order that arises from that same chaos, and it is totally independent of us, and it operates according to principles that are beyond my ability to rationalize or understand. I don\’t have a name for it. It is like an emergent order, an organizing principle of the universe in which we are able to find personal meaning.
A long time ago, I bought two posters that looked a dark and scary, but the seller was mistaken and sent me the wrong poster, which I fell in love with.
Now several years later, I ordered a dark and scary art book by the same artist, and I was sent the wrong book which looks particularly interesting.
And I find this very meaningful.