Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Reading Dali's "Poetry of America" picture dream

One more point while I am on this on how a representative painting - one that stays beyond its generation or place - can be understood as a dream or a collective dream; a dream relevant to the Collective Unconscious. I've read a lot of comments about the tower in the picture "Poetry in America" and the Africa map hanging beneath it but nothing systematic. The Surrealist group especially DeCirico was preoccupied with towers - white and red towers suggesting the US and the USSR. The long sequence and the ancient qualities would suggest something rising from the Unconscious much as the sacred primal phallus that Jung talked about in Memories, Dreams, Reflections.

Looking at Dali's pictures over several decades they appear to present something rising from the Unconscious over a long period of time and coming into consciousness in the year 1943 in the heat of WW II when he painted Poetry in America and Geopoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man. The technology today gives the opportunity to isolate elements in these pictures to see the procession rising from the Unconscious over time. The Knight "from the Unconscious" changes over time until he becomes a man in 1943. The Tower changes as well and in the same 1943 picture there is a clock - the Knight from the Unconscious has entered "time" - reality as we daily experience it, so we are ready for the "birth" of the "new man." It would work better if I had the dates of these older Knights but I don't have the time to go through them all right now.

These details match the paintings above. In this first, the Knight sees the Tower emerging, but it is still behind a natural veil: I have seen dreams like this with a natural veil of trees dividing magic animals from a group of people eating in a restaurant (dividing the Unconscious from the conscious).

In the next period, years later (as I recall), the Knight is more defined and less ancient. Light is dawning in the picture. The Tower is coming into focus; coming closer to "time."

In 1943, the Knight is now a naked man entered "time." He has arrived in the world. The Tower is completely "real" - come into time. The "old Christ" - dark figure dancing with candle in head will yield to the new "white dancer" and a new "Eggman" will be born.

I would say the tower represents here the journey of consciousness via the Knight of the Unconscious out of the long and ancient journey of ancient evolutionary consciousness, now entering a new phase. Thus the clock, representing the awakening of the new day and the "new man" - the "new Christ" if the wound and the fresh drip from the Egg is indication.

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