Through a Jungian Lens

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Energy and the Tension of Opposites

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Life can flow forward only along the path of the gradient.  But there is no energy unless there is a tension of opposites; hence it is necessary to discover the opposite to the attitude of the conscious mind … The conscious mind is on top, the shadow underneath, and just as high always longs for the low and hot for cold, so all consciousness, perhaps without being aware of it, seeks its unconscious opposite., lacking which it is doomed to stagnation, congestion, and ossification.  Life is born only at the spark of opposites. (Jung, CW 7, par. 78 – cited in Sharp, Jung Uncorked:  Book One, p. 43)

Today’s photo was taken just moments before writing this post.  In a way, before seeing this scene from the small patio in front of our casita, I had little intention or energy for doing a post.  Truth be told, I was feeling conflicted and low in a way, but not really depressed, just a bit lost and empty.  Life does that to a person.  I sometimes get so into my head, so into the sky, that I lose sight of what lies beneath the sky.

And, in being lost in the sky, I fail to notice that I have begun to operate unconsciously, not my usual somewhat aware self.  And in doing so, conflict finds its way back into the picture as I rail against this incursion of shadow into my “self.”  It took this photo to remind me that I, too, need balance.  I can’t stay all in the sky, in my ego-aware head.  I can’t wander unconsciously acting in ways that spill out either, something that happens when I get too caught up in my head.  Remembering, I can juggle both a bit and hope for the best with a sense of balance.  And in juggling, I find again the energy to do.


2 Responses

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  1. Thank you for this Robert. It has served as a reminder that I need to take a step out of my head and restore some kind of balance.


    January 15, 2010 at 11:05 am

    • I am glad that these words found some use for you. This is one of the “extra” benefits in writing aloud to myself, being able to connect thoughts with others.

      Robert G. Longpré

      January 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

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