I’ve been reading tarot cards for 21 years. Wow! That makes me feel old. I never thought I could do anything continuously for 20 years. Tarot, meditation and other spiritual matters/musings help you focus on the world differently. You begin to see signs in everyday life, synchronicities and serendipities that are like magic! You see Jung’s collective unconscious on TV, in books and in national events, even words spoken by friends. For the last few months I’ve seen a lot of zombie symbols and decided to talk a little about them. Maybe I’m exercising the zombie in me?

What is the collective unconscious?

The collective unconscious, originally defined by Carl Jung, refers to a segment of the deepest unconscious mind. As opposed to the personal unconscious, which is composed of long-forgotten memories and experiences, the collective unconscious consists of archetypes that represent an inherited set of beliefs and understandings. These archetypes exist to varying degrees in all humans. Many believe that over time, the collective unconscious evolves and changes to incorporate new information that is globally recognized and accepted. Some believe that their may be a genetic memory that collective unconscious that ties into and it helps our evolution and our survival as a species.

Zombies are a product of our modern collective conscience. This archetype is so prevalent currently, with the popular AMC series Walking Dead. (I love that gory show, although I am behind in viewing the second season.) We even have an example of the myth coming to life and the 6 o’clock news with the Miami man who viciously attacked and chewed on the face of an older homeless man. Tests showed that he only had marijuana in his system. Was he operating on a mental level that allowed the zombie archetype to express itself through him? We will probably never know why he preformed such a horrific crime.

Originally zombies came from an ancient African voodoo belief that a corpse could be put under the spell of a sorcerer who reanimate it and control it like a mindless automation. many say the practice still goes on it Haiti today. George Romero gave Zombies a scarier twist in “Night of the Living Dead” (1968) by retaining the “rising from the grave” element but losing the idea of the controlling sorcerer. Romero also introduced the idea of a “bite” turning people into zombies and that there was no controlling force or reason/explanation for their existence. That gave the archetype a modern twist and power.

So we have to ask ourselves what are zombies trying to tell us? What is our “collective unconscious” trying to tell us, with so many zombie examples around us? It seems to me that zombies are a symbol for the great indifference of our population, to our politics, to our gas prices, to our wars, to our everyday automaton 9 to 5 life. We are the protagonists but we are also the zombies. Our deepest unconscious minds are telling us to “wake up.”


4 thoughts on “Zombies

  1. Had not considered this twist on the Zombies and our collective unconscious.
    Don’t you think also that we somehow identify with the Zombies with our “cubical mentality”? That by being a cubical dweller we are part of being unconscious even at work? Scary stuff.Don’t we all feel a need to escape from that mindlessness that is corporate America even for a little while?
    This is awesome stuff. Thanks for bringing it up.

    • Yes! We even worked in a cubical environment together! The thing is that we operate in layers upon layers of unconscious everyday. I think the zombie archetype is just a symbol for our era right now. Thanks so much for posting!

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