Through a Jungian Lens

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A Journey of Cycles

with 6 comments

This is more new life emerging with approach of warmer weather.  I took this photo a few days ago.  Looking out the window this morning, I see a totally different scene.  It looks as though winter has returned as there is a layer of white snow covering the world, a thin layer which is more like lace than like wool.  It is snow that won’t stay long.  That is one of the more amazing things about spring on the Canadian prairie – the only constant is change,  The joke around here is, “If you don’t like the weather, wait fifteen minutes.”

The appearance of more snow this morning fits yesterday’s posts about how we put on layers and layers of protection only to then work hard at midlife to remove these layers upon layers in order to “find ourselves.”  While we engage in this journey of self-discovery, we have a tendency to fall back and cover ourselves up with another layer as we feel exposed, too exposed, and therefore at risk.  Much like a late spring snowfall, this new layer won’t have a long life-span.

I think of how I retreat for short periods of time behind a layer or mask in community, take on a layer that looks like one I used to wear so that those around me can then recognise me.  The layer is temporary.  Sometimes I retreat into a revised layer in order to give myself a rest from the journey.  Going from retirement back into teaching at a university in China is a good example of this.  I retreat into an older persona and invest energy and time and avoid the journey as if it was the plague.  Yet, beneath that revised layer, I know the truth and can’t still the voices I am coming to recognise only too well.  As a result, the persona shifts to accommodate a more conscious self-awareness.  I am now a different kind of teacher as I re-emerge.

The journey is cyclical, one retreats into dormancy like a plant into winter, only to re-emerge in the spring with a newer version of self – one that will also retreat into dormancy and then re-emerge.  This isn’t a new idea.  The changes aren’t always positive, sometimes they are regressive.  Sometimes one chooses to not do the work of enlarging one’s narrow slice of consciousness.  Rather, the retreat into darkness and shadow as if a victim.  For myself, I will fight the darkness and strive towards the light even as the sun sets on span of my life.


6 Responses

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  1. lovely post Robert. I almost felt like I was there on the prairie. How marvellous to have snow again. I liked what you say about the layers we put on…so true. Enjoy and thanks for a lovely article


    April 26, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    • And already, by afternoon, it is gone.

      Robert G. Longpré

      April 26, 2010 at 5:52 pm

  2. Wonderful Robert. Beautiful words once again. Thanks for enriching my own narrow slice. 😀



    April 26, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    • You are welcome, Arjuna. I am glad that we have this opportunity, here.

      Robert G. Longpré

      April 26, 2010 at 5:52 pm

  3. I love this.


    April 26, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    • Thanks.

      Robert G. Longpré

      April 29, 2010 at 9:00 am

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