Through a Jungian Lens

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The Urge to Create and Fill in the Void

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As I took this photo, I saw that I was going to be in the photo as well.  Usually when this happens, I am not aware of my presence in the photo unless someone points it out to me later.  In a way, the act of choosing to take a photo of a particular object or scene or person says more about the person taking the photo.  We definitely don’t all see the same things.  Give a crowd a camera and have them take photos of an event or an object and there will be a range of results that would not be expected.  Just look at the results of a wedding party where each guest is given a disposable camera and asked to record the event as they see it.  Beyond question, our lens, our view upon the world influences what we see and how we see it and what value we give it.

While walking on the beach this morning, a foursome stopped me so that I could use their camera to take their group photo.  It was a slim point-and-shoot camera and I quickly took three photos, the first one more candid then two posed photos.  When the owner of the camera saw the results, she was surprised and commented that she was usually hesitant to have others take photos as more often than not, the photos were not pleasing to her.  She was very happy with these results.  But then again, I was looking behind the scene and seeing these people and seeing their wonder and their positive excitement – and that is what I photographed.

So where does this come from, this urge to photograph, this urge to write and to bridge the photograph, the words and my inner world?

The unborn work in the psyche of the artist is a force of nature that achieves its end either with tyrannical might or with the subtle cunning of nature itself, quite regardless of the personal fate of the man who is its vehicle.  The creative urge lives and grows in him like a tree in the earth from which it draws its nourishment.  We would do well, therefore, to think of the creative process as a living thing implanted in the human psyche. (Jung, CW 17, par 115)

Am I an artist?  In my mind, yes.  Does the world see me as an artist?  Well, to be honest, I don’t know and it isn’t all that important.  The voice of the collective can’t inform the belief of self – by that I mean that if others didn’t see me as an artist, that doesn’t undo the fact of my understanding of myself as an artist, as someone driven by forces to create images and words that attempt to satisfy the urges within.


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