Image of artwork titled "Life is Never So Beautiful When Surrounded by Death" by Stephen Thorpe

Stephen Thorpe, Life is Never So Beautiful When Surrounded by Death, 2022
Oil on canvas
60 × 52 inches

“When you say, ‘yes’ you say at the same time ‘no.’ This principle may seem a hard one, but as a
matter of fact, there must be this split in the libido, or nothing works, and we remain inert. Life is
never so beautiful as when surrounded by death. Once I had a very wealthy patient who on coming
to me said: ‘I don’t know what you are going to do with me, but I hope you are going to give me
something that isn’t grey.’ And that is exactly what life would be if there were no opposites in it;
therefore the pairs of opposites are not to be understood as mistakes but as the origin of life. For the same thing holds in nature. If there is no difference in high and low, no water can come
down. Modern physics expresses the condition that would ensue were the opposites removed
from nature by the term entropy: that is, death in an equable tepidity. If you have all your wishes
fulfilled, you have what could be called psychological entropy. I found, then, that what I had thought to be a pathological phenomenon is in fact a rule of nature.” – Carl Jung, seminar from



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