Why Jung?

Why depth psychology?

Why am I here?

Arcade Fire answer these questions in a fantastic song that sets out the modern human condition for so many.

Creature comfort – we look for comfort from the pain we feel. We look for that comfort, or making it painless, in all the band-aids of modern civilization. Distractions from the pain of living are what we seek. Carl Jung and depth psychology recognize that these creature comforts are no solution. And show what can be done to deal with the pain.

This is a song that at its heart is very sad and painful, yet it’s defiant and ultimately hopeful. The visuals are all about the stark contrast between light and dark. Brilliant.

But it leads to hard questions that can’t be ignored.

 

 

Creature Comfort
Some boys hate themselves
Spend their lives resenting their fathers
Some girls hate their bodies
Stand in the mirror and wait for the feedback
Saying God, make me famous
If you can’t just make it painless
Just make it painless
Assisted suicide
She dreams about dying all the time
She told me she came so close
Filled up the bathtub and put on our first record
Saying God, make me famous
If you can’t just make it painless
Just make it painless
It goes on and on, I don’t know what I want
On and on, I don’t know if I want it
On and on, I don’t know what I want
On and on, I don’t know if I want it
(On and on I don’t know what I want)
(On and on I don’t know if I want it)
(On and on I don’t know what I want)
(On and on I don’t know if I want it)
Some girls hate themselves
Hide under the covers with sleeping pills and
Some girls cut themselves
Stand in the mirror and wait for the feedback
Some boys get too much, too much love, too much touch
Some boys starve themselves
Stand in the mirror and wait for the feedback
Creature comfort makes it painless
Bury me penniless and nameless
Born in a diamond mine
It’s all around you but you can’t see it
Born in a diamond mine
It’s all around you but you can’t touch it
Saying God, make me famous
If you can’t just make it painless
Just make it painless
It’s not painless
She was a friend of mine, a friend of mine
And we’re not nameless, oh
It goes on and on, I don’t know what I want
On and on, I don’t know if I want it
On and on, I don’t know what I want
On and on, I don’t know if I want it
(On and on I don’t know what I want)
(On and on I don’t know if I want it)
(On and on I don’t know what I want)
Well if you’re not sure, better safe than sorry
Creature comfort, make it painless
Creature comfort, make it painless
We’re the bones under your feet
The white lie of American prosperity
We wanna dance but we can’t feel the beat
I’m a liar, don’t doubt my sincerity
Just make it painless
Creature comfort, make it painless
Na-na-na-na
Na-na-na na-na-na-na
(Na-na-na-na na-na-na)
(Na-na-na-na na-na-na)
Na-na-na na-na-na-na
Na-na-na na-na-na-na
(Na-na-na-na na-na-na)
Creature comfort, make it painless
Songwriters: Jeremy Gara / Regine Chassagne / Richard R Parry / Tim Kingsbury / William Butler / Win Butler
Creature Comfort lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

This song is all about the pain of living and the drive to escape from that pain.

“Some boys hate themselves
Spend their lives resenting their fathers
Some girls hate their bodies
Stand in the mirror and wait for the feedback”

– Men and woman both face the same pain. The pain comes from a deep place and so will the relief. That’s why Jung and depth psychology is such a powerful force. The relief cannot come from those band-aids just trying to cover up the pain in distractions.

“Saying God, make me famous
If you can’t just make it painless”

– The ultimate escape would seem to become famous – adored by millions. How couldn’t that lead to happiness or at least the pain would go away? Or would it? Many famous people are obviously in great pain, yet many people look to fame to soothe their souls.

– And if I can’t be famous, at least take away the pain.

“It goes on and on, I don’t know what I want
On and on, I don’t know if I want it”

– Life goes on and on, but why? I don’t know what I am here for? More pain?

“The white lie of American prosperity”

– We hope that the creature comforts of modern life will make it painless. We’re better off than ever before in material terms, yet the pain remains.

“Born in a diamond mine
It’s all around you but you can’t see it
Born in a diamond mine
It’s all around you but you can’t touch it”

– We’re born into a world that has the potential for diamonds – the diamond is a symbol of the whole self. For Carl Jung, individuation is the process to make the self whole – become that diamond.

– Can we make life painless?

“Saying God, make me famous
If you can’t just make it painless
Just make it painless

It’s not painless”

– I don’t think painless can be the goal of life. Pain cries out for meaning. And when we find that personal meaning and continue to live with that meaning in exploration, the pain recedes and becomes a source of evolution and growth. Pain that makes sense is not so painful.

Art continues to be a path pointing to our personal evolution. This song is deep, painful, joyful, and meaningful. I love it.