chapter  1
16 Pages

A traditional approach to Hawthorne and the problem of materialism in Eiseley

A statement that Jung makes in his Zarathustra Seminar resonates meaningfully with the plight of Hawthorne’s Goodman Brown:

You know, to the late Christian you can convey the idea that one ought to be interested in oneself in the way, say, of a schoolmaster or a doctor. They understand that one needs some education of the soul, some loving care of one’s own spiritual welfare, provided that the body is excluded. The thing people are most afraid of is not so much the soul, which to them is practically non-existent, but the body. That is what they don’t want to see, the animal or the evil spirit that is waiting to say something to them when they are alone. That is exceedingly disagreeable. So even if they agree that one could be a bit more careful with oneself, it is only with the guarantee that the body is excluded and has nothing to do with it. The body is the darkness, and very dangerous things could be called up. It is better to play the piano in order not to hear what the body says.1