Jung On Our Apocalyptic Time: Another Interpretation of Our Current Reality

“Transitions between the aeons always seem to have been melancholy and despairing times, as for instance the collapse of the Old Kingdom in Egypt… between Taurus and Aries, or the melancholy of the Augustinian age between Aries and Pisces. And now we are moving into Aquarius, of which the Sibylline Books say: Luciferi vires accendit Aquarius acres (Aquarius inflames the savage forces of Lucifer). And we are only at the beginning of this apocalyptic development! Already I am a grandfather twice over and see those distant generations growing up who long after we are gone will spend their lives in that darkness….”[1]


Jung wrote the above in a letter to a friend nearly 58 years before this blog essay will appear on the Web site of The Jungian Center. Knowing the depths of human nature, and aware of how so much hangs on the willingness of individuals to look within, hold the tension of opposites and create more consciousness in the world, Jung was not sanguine about our prospects. Transitional times such as ours are always difficult, made more so when there is widespread ignorance of the meaning of key terms. One of these is the term “apocalyptic.” This essay seeks to clarify the meaning and nature of Jung’s adjective—“apocalyptic”—toward a fuller understanding of the nature of our time.


The Meaning of “Apocalyptic”


Jung’s letter, and most of the recent appearances of “apocalypse” in the media[2] reflect an interpretation of the term based on the final book of the New Testament, in which John describes his vision of what he felt was the “end time,” the end of the world[3]—a time of earthquakes, floods, widespread plagues, wars, fires and destruction, or, in Jung’s words, a time of Luciferian savagery and darkness.

We certainly have seen widespread wildfires, severe droughts, destructive floods and earthquakes, as well as wars and epidemics in recent years, but we have also seen the more basic etymological meaning of “apocalypse” too—a meaning we need to know about, a meaning that can help us keep our cool and not get sucked into the alarmist rhetoric of the news and entertainment media.

Our English adjective “apocalyptic,” and its related noun “apocalypse” come from the Greek: the prefix apo (“from” or “away from”) and the verb kalyptein (“to cover or conceal”). The noun linked to kalypteinkalyx—gives us our English botanical word “calyx,” the covering of a flower bud.[4] So “apocalypse” literally means an “uncovering” or “the process of revealing what had previously been hidden.” An “apocalyptic” time would be a time when we would expect to see revelations of hidden things or the exposing of secrets. Have we any evidence of this more basic meaning of “apocalypse”?


Apocalypse Now: So Many Revelations


Where to begin? There are so many examples of leaks being made, secrets being revealed, spy covers being blown, whistleblowers coming forward that the evidence is overwhelming that ours is truly a time of hidden things coming to light. Perhaps the most notable of this evidence is the myriad activities of the Wikileaks group,[5] launched as a Web site in 2006, which within one year had collected 1.2 million documents from news sources, news leaks and whistleblowers. For the first few years of their operation, the Wikileaks crew brought to light hidden details of the Iraqi and Afghan wars, revealing the deaths of Iraqi journalists by U.S. Apache helicopters, and exposing 79,000 documents about the Afghan campaign. They also exposed the illegal treatment of prisoners held at Guantanamo by the U.S. government, and corrupt activities in Kenya, Switzerland, Peru, the Ivory Coast, and Iceland. Wikileaks began to make major headlines early in 2010, when they posted material allegedly sent to them by Private Bradley Manning. Before Manning was arrested in June of 2010, he was accused of giving Wikileaks hundreds of thousands of secret cables and other documents.

But Wikileaks is not the only source for revelations in this apocalyptic time. Paolo Gabriele, the butler of Pope Benedict XVI, leaked documents about cronyism and corruption in Vatican contracts.[6] Gregory Smith, a widely respected executive and recruiter at Goldman Sachs, revealed the “toxic and destructive” environment in that investment bank in an op-ed column in The New York Times.[7] Robert Novak revealed the identity of Valerie Plame as an officer in the CIA in a column in the Washington Post, via information leaked to him by Richard Armitage.[8] The Vermont senator Bernie Sanders recently exposed 26 millionaires who are manipulating the 2012 federal elections.[9] These are just a few of the more noteworthy examples of secrets being uncovered: If you Google “recent leaks of secret information” Google produces over 56,400,000 results!

That’s not a typo: Google can cite millions of examples of secrets revealed. So it is not surprising to find the U.S. government now obsessed with the issue of leaks. The Justice Department has appointed two top prosecutors to lead investigations into recent leaks of classified information.[10] Congressional lawmakers propose strengthening secrecy laws,[11] while reporters champion freedom of the press[12] and the Federation of American Scientists set up a “Project on Government Secrecy” as part of their Strategic Security Program, out of concern that government cover-ups not threaten our safety.[13]

Government secrets, corrupt activities and whistleblowers’ revelations of corporate misdeeds are only some of what is coming to light that has been long hidden. Intrepid researchers—braving both officials’ resistance and the scorn of the skeptical public—have uncovered the true origins of crop circles (No: they are not hoaxes but clearly some supersensible phenomenon meant to help open us to a wider reality).[14] Likewise, investigators like John Mack have courageously taken up the reports of UFO abductees,[15] in the face of numerous government attempts to cover up the UFO phenomenon (something Jung found completely wrong-headed, for it fosters precisely the opposite of what the government hoped to squash: suspicion and mistrust of the government).[16] Scientists working on the frontiers of science have revealed cures for cancer, the power of sound in healing physical maladies,[17] and the possibilities of limitless free energy[18]—all of these very threatening to the “powers that be” and the entrenched interests in the scientific, pharmaceutical and technology communities. Until recently, all these breakthroughs were kept under wraps. Not any more!

Thanks to the work of people like David Wilcock[19] and Foster Gamble[20] the public is being given all sorts of solid evidence these days for the reality of Atlantis,[21] the presence of extra-terrestrial beings in our midst,[22] and the activity of the “Illuminati” in global government, finance and society.[23] Clearly, we have not been given the whole picture by most of the major institutions of our society. Still wedded to scientism,[24] the degenerate form of science, our leaders fail to recognize the emerging new realities. But these realities, and their secrets, are emerging, and will continue to do so.


Why This Matters


Jung would have us get wise to our projections.[25] In the context of our collective reality, most people project power and control on to societal, political and economic leaders. But all the revelations now coming to light are meant to help us to wake up and take back these projections, to recognize that blind faith in politicians is unwise, that things are not always as they seem, that our current cultural paradigm is far too limited and, in some ways, flat out wrong and outdated. More than just full of errors, it is destroying the planet.[26]

Paradigms—those unconscious habits of interpreting reality that form the foundation of culture[27]—don’t change easily or painlessly. Jung recognized that “There is no change from darkness to light or from inertia to movement without emotion.”[28] In throwing light on so many aspects of our current reality, the leakers and revealers are stirring up strong reactions in many quarters. In uncovering esoteric truths, revealing malfeasance, and exposing corruption, people like David Wilcock, Gregory Smith and Steven Aftergood[29] are both reflecting and manifesting the nature of our apocalyptic time. While their work may not make us feel more comfortable or at ease, they are helping to open our minds to new ways of thinking—including the recognition that the meaning of “apocalypse” is not only “the end of the world.” If friends or family come to you expressing fear or anxiety about the years ahead, you can remind them of the true meaning of “apocalypse.”




Barker, Joel ((1992), Paradigms: The Business of Discovering the Future. New York: Harper Collins.

Ehrman, Bart (1999), Jesus Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium. New York: Oxford University Press.

Feuer, Alan (2012), “Building a Better Apocalypse,” The New York Times (March 18, 2012), 25.

Gamble, Foster (2011), “Thrive;” www.thrive.com

Gore, Al (1992), Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

________ (2009), Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis. Emmaus PA: Rodale Books.

Jung, C.G. (1959), ”The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious,” CW 9i. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

________ (1970), “Civilization in Transition,” CW 10. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

________ (1976), ”The Symbolic Life,” CW 18. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

________ (1975), Letters, ed. Gerhard Adler & Aniela Jaffé. 2 vols. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Kuhn, Thomas (1962), The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Leeds, Joshua (2010), The Power of Sound. Rochester VT: Healing Arts Press.

Liddell & Scott (1978), An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford: The Clarendon Press.

Liptak, Adam (2012), “A High-Tech War on Leaks,” The New York Times (February 12, 2012).

Mack, John (1994), Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

________ (1999), Passport to the Cosmos. New York: Three Rivers Press.

McKusick, Eileen (2012), “Exploring the Effects of Audible Sound on the Body and Its Biofield,” Unpublished thesis submitted to the Department of Education of Johnson State College in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Education.

Rafferty, Terrence (2012), “This Is the Way the World Ends,” The New York Times (June 17, 2012), AR 10.

Rampell, Catherine (2012), “Making Sure Your Exit Music Is Loud and Clear,” The New York Times (March 18, 2012), BU 6.

Reuters (2012), “Pope’s Butler Formally Charged with Leaks,” The New York Times (May 27, 2012), 8.

Savage, Charlie (2012), “Finding Sources of Leaked Secrets Is Hard; Bringing a Case Is Harder,” The New York Times (June 10, 2012), 22.

Silva, Freddy (2002), Secrets in the Fields: The Science and Mysticism of Crop Circles. Charlottesville VA: Hampton Roads Pub.

Smith, Gregory (2012), “Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs,” The New York Times (March 14, 2012).

Stevens, Jose (2012), “The Mayan Calendar, 2012: A Vision for a New World,” http://www.thepowerpath.com/index.php/power-path-home/the…

Stone, Alex (2012), “Why Waiting is Torture,” The New York Times (August 19, 2012), SR 12.

Tart, Charles (2009), The End of Materialism. Oakland CA: New Harbinger Publications.

Wilcock, David (2011), The Source Field Investigations. New York: Dutton.








[1] “Letter to Adolf Keller,” 25 February 1955; Letters, II, 229-30.

[2] E.g. recent movies like “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,” “Melancholia,” and “4:44 Last Day on Earth,” described in Rafferty (2012), AR 10; the New York Times article on Chris Hackett and his preparations for surviving the apocalypse (he’s stocking up on car batteries and Drano!); Feuer (2012, 25; and Alex Stone’s op-ed piece in the New York Times, with its reference to “… an old man stocking up on provisions for the Mayan apocalypse.” (Stone, 2012, SR 12). To set the record straight, the Mayan do not predict an apocalypse on December 21, 2012; cf. Barrios (2009) and Stevens (URL: http://www.thepowerpath.com/index.php/power-path-home/the… )

[3] For Jesus and his followers as apocalypticists—believers that the end of the world was near—see Ehrman (1999). Such beliefs are common in the transitional times between ages. Jesus and his disciples were living during the transition from the Age of Aries to the Age of Pisces, Pisces being the age we are now in the process of leaving. See the essay “Jung’s Platonic Month and the Age of Aquarius,” posted to this blog site last month.

[4] Liddell & Scott (1978), 397.

[5] For the full list of Wikileaks’ leaks, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WikiLeaks

[6] Reuters (2012), 8.

[7] Smith (2012) and Rampell (2012), 6.

[8] For a full account of the “Plame affair,” go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plame_affair

[9] The article describing Sanders’ revelation, by Jason Easley in Politics USA, can be accessed at http://the 2012scenario.com/2012/07/us-senator-bernie-sanders…

[10] Savage (2012), 22; cf. Liptak (2012).

[11] Ibid. Such a law was passed in 2000 but vetoed by President Clinton. Savage (2012), 22.

[12] Liptak (2012).

[13] For more on the Project on Government Secrecy, go to www.fas.org/programs/ssp/govsec/index.html

[14] The best account of the crop circle phenomenon is by Freddy Silva (2002).

[15] See Mack (1994) and (1999).

[16] CW 18, ¶1434.

[17] Cf. Leeds (2010) and McKusick (2012).

[18] These revelations were provided by Foster Gamble in his 2011 movie “Thrive.” To watch this movie, go to www.thrive.com

[19] Wilcock reveals many esoteric secrets (like how Tibetan monks use coherent sound to levitate huge boulders) in his book The Source Field Investigations (Wilcock, 2011) and continues his revelations on his Web site: www.divinecosmos

[20] Gamble is an heir to the Proctor & Gamble fortune; given the high production values of his movie, “Thrive,” it would seem that he expended a lot of his fortune on the movie.

[21] See http://divinecosmos.com/contact-us/privacy-policy/70-the-shift-of-the-ages-chapter-14-the-great-cycle-global-grid-and-hd…

[22] Mack (1994) and (1999) make a good case for the reality of abductees’ experience; cf. the description by the French farmer, Robert L., who claims to have spent the year 1969 living at a subterranean ET base in the Himalayas; he was told not to say anything of his experience for 40 years. For Robert’s story and an interview with him, go to www.ufodigest.com/article/year-long-stay-et-base-part-one

[23] Gamble provides information on the activities of the Illuminati in “Thrive;” see note 17 above.

[24] Tart (2009), 24-5.

[25] Cf. CW 9i, ¶160 and CW 10, ¶577.

[26] E.g. in species’ extinctions, resource depletion and climate change, among many other indicators; see Gore (1992) and (2009).

[27]Cf. Kuhn (1962) and Barker (1992).

[28] CW 9i, ¶179.

[29] Aftergood is the director of the Project on Government Secrecy of the Federation of American Scientists. Google “Federation of American Scientists” to bring up their Web site.