Through a Jungian Lens

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Trust and Betrayal – Relationships with Self and Other

with 4 comments

Today’s photo has little, if anything to do with the topic.  I caught this fellow on this morning’s walk with my wife through the streets of Playa Jacó.  Why?  There isn’t an element of trust involved in the momentary meeting between the two of us, a meeting that lasted for quite some time as I gently got in his face in order to a number of photos from different angles, all done without scaring him off into the bushes.  There definitely was a sense of alertness on his part and my part, an alertness that took nothing for granted.

Trust takes safety for granted.  One can only be betrayed if one is involved in a relationship of trust.  And then, betrayal can take many forms, not simply the age-old betrayal of sexual transgressions, cheating on one’s partner.  Betrayal is found in the smallest things, sometimes so small as to not even be realised when it happens to either or both parties.  The first betrayal in all relationships, is when we realise that the person with whom we have committed ourselves in a relationship, is not the same person we find ourselves with when projections vanish allowing us to see the stranger behind the projections.  From that point on, trust is hard to recover and exists on shaky ground until life provides enough time for the relationship to become full based on more conscious approaches, based on engaging together to navigate real life.

A quote from Chapter Five of Sharp’s book features the words of James Hillman:

We can be truly betrayed only where we truly trust – by brothers, lovers, wives, husbands, not by enemies, not by strangers.  The greater the love and loyalty, the involvement and commitment, the greater the betrayal.  … Wherever there is trust in a union, the risk of betrayal becomes a real possibility. And the betrayal, as a continual possibility to be lived with, belongs to trust just as doubt belongs to a living faith. (cited in Sharp, Jung Uncorked:  Book One, pp 58-59)

It’s no wonder that we suffer so many broken hearts, so many small arrows that test our commitment to relationship.  To hold trust fully and completely requires one to be a perfect being.  And I, for one, have never met any such being.  To avoid all betrayals requires both in the relationship to be fully conscious and perfect.  Knowing that each of us, especially myself, exist as a bundle of complexes and struggle with slowly advancing our level of consciousness, of awareness as we move through life and relationships; we know that we will betray not only those whom we love and trust, but also our personal “self.”   Who said it was supposed to be easy?

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4 Responses

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  1. One has to feel safe before we can start to trust. Once trust is removed for whatever reason then we start to feel insecure. Safety is taken for granted if we have trust. If we have safety and trust the “self” is permitted to surface, now we can self separate at this stage we can grow and enjoy the interaction that others offer. Live takes on a whole new meaning, we are at peace with ourselves. Now we are whole.

    Carl

    January 17, 2010 at 4:46 am

    • I fully agree with you, Carl. When one learns to trust the self, one can find some peace and thus be able to better interact with other. Thanks for joining the conversations here. I look forward to more.

      Robert G. Longpré

      January 17, 2010 at 7:11 am

  2. Wow, I am so deepened by this. Thank you. I thought for sure I was alone in the world with my feelings and thoughts on this subject. Really amazing. Maybe I am not mental after all. I have been betrayed because for the first time in my life I trusted someone, and now there is nothing. Again, thank you. I will keep reading your post.

    Winnie

    January 17, 2010 at 6:55 am

    • I am glad that you found this post of value to you. As I read through my many books on Jungian psychology, I find myself resonating with so many ideas I just had to find a way to give them form. This blog site is the result. I look forward to your return with more comments.

      Robert G. Longpré

      January 17, 2010 at 7:13 am


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