Monday, April 12, 2010


An astute reader has suggested that two drawings by local crab artists are very reminiscent of Stone-Henge.

Here are the two drawings:

The reader is quite right. There is a remarkable resemblance at least in terms of a circle of plinths. In addition to Stone-Henge, this circle can be found in other architectural structures in cluding the Great Stupa of Sanchi.

One question becomes whether the Neolithic builders of Stone-Henge could have visualized being above the structure, thus visualizing the circle. I think we must assume that they did given the existence of the Peruvian geoglyphs, "The Monkey" being the most famous.

These drawing are of truly giant scale with the largest being 600 meters across (two football fields). One of the theories for their purpose is that they were drawn by the Nazca for their gods who were in the sky. The conclusion here is that they could picture themselves as if they were the gods looking down. This is actually quite an accomplishment since I doubt our closest animal relatives have this ability.

Back to Stone-Henge. What should we make of this desire to make an interrupted circle? 

The thinker who came to mind was Carl Jung. As you will recall this was a psychologist who was a student with Freud but then eventually developed his own school. (Carl Jung appears on the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band album cover in the top row between Poe and W.C. Fields.)

While it has been years since I have read Jung (and not much then) I seem to remember his study of archetypes and how it was felt that they were buried in the unconscious. From here:
In Jung's psychology an archetype is an inherited pattern of thought or symbolic imagery derived from the past collective experience and present in the individual unconscious.
This is an absolutely delicious tidbit of information. It proposes for evolutionary psychology a mode of inheritance that would be Lamarckian in biological evolution. However, for whatever reason, I do think that humans have conceptual archetypes that help us in our understanding of the world. And, I suspect, one of them is a circle (safety, defense, etc.) Why the plinths should appear in the circle I don't know. Kids do tend to draw circles when they scribble.


Montag said...

I think you're right on this.
If I remember correctly, Jung wrote a lot on the circular mandala.

Dr. C said...

Thanks for stopping by, Montag.

Montag said...

You're welcome.

I miss visiting the Chesapeake area.