The sea is like music; it has all the dreams of the soul within itself and sounds them over. The beauty and grandeur of the sea consists in our being forced down into the fruitful bottomlands of our psyches, where we confront and recreate ourselves in the animation of the mournful wasteland of the sea.
So wrote C. G. Jung in 1909, aboard a steamer crossing the Atlantic, in a letter to his wife. He was undoubtedly looking upon the ocean when he wrote it. This letter and other fantastic comments on nature from Jung appear in a fantastic collection called The Earth Has a Soul. It was one of the most revelatory books I've read in a long time.
I often write looking upon the ocean, mostly letters, and the practice never fails to elicit interesting thoughts and rhythms. Is it really possible to think or write a banality while looking upon the ocean? The idea seems wildly implausible. I think even Justin Bieber could write a decent song staring at the sea. Or at least his handlers could.
Speaking of banality, my mind now unfortunately turns to the current Republican Party campaign for President. I don't have cable television or a high speed Internet connection, therefore I haven't watched any of the debates. But I have read the news accounts and transcripts.
(Expletive deleted) incredible is about all I can say. A very, very long way from the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and I'm not talking years. This may smack of hubris, but I pretty much feel I would make a far better president than most of the Republican candidates, and I say that primarily because I look upon the ocean daily and visit the fruitful bottomland of my psyche in order to recreate myself in a better way to teach, write, think, love, and make decisions. Furthermore, I also happen to believe in gravity and things like the Bill of Rights and writing love haikus in the sand.
I want to offer a modest yet novel suggestion to improve the quality of thinking and oratory from the candidates the next time they get on stage: Why not hold a future debate on a beach that affords candidates a grand view of an ocean? Surely something interesting for democracy will result. Ratings might even go up.
Continuing with this quasi-Jungian approach, I also suggest that after the debate all candidates walk together down to the beach, to the water's edge. They would stand there with their backs to the audience and cameras and look upon the ocean silently for one minute. Then, by some random means of selection, each candidate would turn around and tell us something, anything, not from the script written by a consultant who took his cues from polling.
Who knows what we'd hear. What we would know ? instantly and assuredly ? is if any of the candidates possess much of a psyche with a fruitful bottomland to visit. My gut reaction is that we'll find pavement and strip malls, but I do want to be proved wrong. We all do.