Clarke, Robert B. 1942-
CLARKE, Robert B. 1942-
PERSONAL: Born August 9, 1942, in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, England; son of Frederick Leonard (a potter) and Doris (a homemaker; maiden name, Bruce) Clarke. Ethnicity: "English." Education: Attended secondary school in England. Religion: "Jungian Christian."
ADDRESSES: Home—Stoke-on-Trent, England. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Hampton Roads Publishing Co., 1125 Stoney Ridge Rd., Charlottesville, VA 22902. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Writer. Worked as "office clerk, assistant manager, shop assistant, printer, at stacking pottery vessels, peeling and frying potato chips, tipping buckets of tar into a mixer, shoveling basalt rock into a furnace, and sundry other meaningful, well-paid careers, covering a lot of years. Finally I became a caregiver to my parents and brother, who suffered debilitating illnesses."
MEMBER: Burslem History Club.
The Four Gold Keys (nonfiction), Hampton Roads Publishing (Charlottesville, VA), 2002.
WORK IN PROGRESS: An Order outside Time; research on psychology, Middle Eastern mythology, the Bible, the Holy Grail, and Nietzsche.
SIDELIGHTS: Robert B. Clarke told CA: "For long years I was lost and depressed, unable to find any real meaning beyond mundane, everyday existence. My life had become a search for that deeper meaning as some kind of permanent truth; failing to find it, I tumbled ever deeper into a meaningless morass. Then one night I happened to see a television program on the great psychologist Carl Jung, and lightning flashed and bells rang. I knew I had at last found my way. Writer Colin Wilson once compared my first encounter with Jung to St. Paul struck down by his vision of Christ on his way to Damascus, and that just about describes it.
"I immediately began studying Jung's works and fairly soon the ghostly head of Jung himself appeared in a dream, instructing me to follow him. He led me to a workshop where everything was made of living stone, and I was told that 'there is no such thing as death, only change.' That was the beginning and I never looked back. I spent the next few years on a quest through the unconscious, experiencing the many symbolic contents of spirit and soul reality, which I had never before dared hope existed, but which now became the extension of material reality into eternity. I discovered that we mortals are all attached to an immortal figure through the unconscious, which Jung called the higher Self, a term he borrowed from Eastern philosophy, and that the saviors and culture-heroes of the world are expressions of this figure. Later, Jung appeared again in a dream to hand me four gold keys on a gold key ring, which, as well as forming the ancient symbol of the squaring of the circle, also meant that I was to continue the work of the evolution of the spirit through the unconscious. I was to learn that these things are real, though of another reality counter-matching the material, but that the quest is above all a moral one, and exceedingly dangerous if all of the virtues are not held high as guides.
"In time I came to realize that my 'individuation process' and its symbolism match material found in the world's myths and religions, and that many initiates the world over must have made similar quests in the past, producing all of the magical and meaningful symbolism. My own material turned out to be a mixture of Christian, medieval alchemical, biblical, ancient Egyptian, and some even from the Holy Grail legends. It was quite obvious that layers descend through the collective unconscious to the distant past, and that the ancient symbolism, having become constellated, is still very much alive and is, in fact, used by spirit/soul reality to convey to us its archetypal messages.
"My book The Four Gold Keys is the record of my inner journey through the unconscious and the transformation it brought about of both myself and full reality. It is imperative that modern man learns to live in harmony with these eternal forces, as man once did through his religions, for the floods of chaos eventually destroy cultures that are split off from them. We think we are the clever ones because we have explored and conquered the world of matter, or have done so to an extreme degree, but the positive effects of the spirit turn negative when neglected or denied.
"The book I am currently working on, which I call An Order outside Time, traces instances of the higher Self phenomenon in Western tradition from early Egypt, through the Bible and up to the Holy Grail. This constitutes a 'royal line' of mediators between man and God, forming that 'order outside time.' It is our task in the modern world to further develop and continue this line; literally nothing else is so important and urgent. Christ was the symbol of the higher Self for Western man for up to 2,000 years, though mostly as an outer projection rather than as a fact of inner knowledge, but the symbol is still alive in the collective unconscious, as my own processes show. We must now learn what this means to each of us as psychic reality, and indeed, to culture as a whole, for it is no small thing for us to know that we are all connected to an immortal figure existing behind and beyond the world of matter. Jung termed the learning of this deeper knowledge the evolution of the religious spirit. My own works explore the phenomenon on both the personal and universal levels."