Recently I was ruminating on Carl Jung’s ideas that groundbreaking thinkers (and, one can presume, also artists, musicians, plumbers etc.) are not appreciated in their own time. Their ideas/paintings/sounds/plumbing techniques are too new for the common man to appreciate. The success stories (here I’m defining success in terms of fame and money) are the people that come after and employ these groundbreaking ideas once they’ve been accepted by the masses. These people’s ideas still seem new, but not too new.
I was just having an email conversation with a friend about Bob Dylan. Some people may know that Dylan became a born again Christian around 1980 and released a couple albums of Christian music. While he’s quieted on the topic of his beliefs since then it seems reasonable to presume that he’s still a Christian. This seems curious. Why would a guy who could presumably live a rather shameless life of hedonism shackle himself to the strict rules of religion. In an email I proposed the following:
Let’s say you’re Dylan in the 60s-70s. You can pretty much tap any ass you want. Everyone treats you as some kind of god, you know? You can’t order a ham sandwich without the waiter telling you that some song that you don’t even remember writing changed their life. And you’re thinking, “This can’t be it. I can’t be this great. There’s got to be something greater.” And that’s when you find Jesus. Because you need to find something better than you.
In short, Dylan was treated like a god, but knew he wasn’t one. So he had to find a God for himself, someone to provide rules and order. Dylan was not a groundbreaker of Jung’s ilk, rather of the next generation. He knew where his ideas came from and understood they were not the result of godlike abilities but study of the masters.
If I were to achieve Dylan’s success I would have no problem enjoying it because I would know I was fully deserving. I am a God. WORSHIP ME!