reclaiming land from the sea
The true work of man in the latter part of his life is the cultural process of bringing up some of the contents of the unconscious and integrating them into consciousness. This is the process symbolized by reclaiming land from the sea
Faust asks Mephistopheles for a piece of coastline. Water, particularly the ocean, is a universal symbol of the unconscious, and Faust is asking for eternal connection with the depths …
Misusing his power over Mephistopheles, Faust founds himself responsible for burning down a little cottage (with old couple Baucis and Philemon) that obstructs the view on his newly acquired land. Growing old, preoccupied with reclaiming land from the sea, he fails to see four gray sisters (Want, Debt, Need, and Care) approach, these dark forces are the power of necessity. Immune to three but not Dame Care, refusing to take this dark force seriously, he is blinded by her. The blinding was more an inner exchange of sight for insight, a transformation of every man as he grows old.