Through a Jungian Lens

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The Numinous That Underlies Experience

with 4 comments

I am currently in Jamestown, North Dakota where I am visiting three of my grandchildren and their parents.  Since this place is further south than my home in Saskatchewan, nature is found further along its journey toward summer.  These sand cherry blossoms remind me of time spent in China.  I used early morning sunshine to accent the emergence of these blossoms.  There is something special about light in the early morning and the very late afternoon.  I imagine that for me, it is about transitions, about emerging into new realities, new ways of being.

But, when I see these images and live the experiences of discovering these images, I get a sense that it about much more than uncovering hidden aspects of my own developing “self,”  I “know” that the experience and the image points to something “more.”  Perhaps I invest so much in these images because they take me deeper and allow me to connect with that numinous “more.”  Some would call this a religious experience, or a meeting with the god-head.  But, I hesitate to go there.  I find it too hard to separate my “self” from the image and the experience.  Whatever it is that I touch includes “self.”  CG Jung knew this as well and expressed the idea much better than I ever could.  His quest for understanding led to a word that encompasses that religious feeling, that wholeness and holiness while at the same time including the individual – through the self, one meets the SELF.

Okay, I can sense that there is a protest that this is nothing more than a playing with a word using capital letters.  I can sense that the protest says that nothing really has changed simply because of the use of capital letters.  But I ask you to consider what that means.  In our various books of religion we are continually pointed inward in order to discover that essence of “God” regardless of the name given by each religion.  If God is truly found within, then “self” is not strong enough to encompass that god.  We need to shout it out, to exclaim and wonder about that with which we connect.  With this approach to understanding that which we might call God, we can use the One, or as CG Jung puts it, Self.

The God-image is the expression of an underlying experience of something which I cannot attain to by intellectual means.”  (Carl Gustav Jung)

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4 Responses

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  1. I recently began blogging and have been searching for
    blogs for my blogroll. What A treat to find yours. Seja

    Seja Rachael

    April 30, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    • Welcome, Seja. I see that you bring a lot of life experience as a psychotherapist to this blog site. I am wondering about where you are located. I am looking forward to hearing more from you in response to the ideas of the posts. Thank you for adding my site to your blogroll.

      Robert G. Longpré

      April 30, 2010 at 6:18 pm

  2. This is such a wonderful photo. The way you take photos always evokes something in me, the one of the crab apple tree comes to mind, among others.

    abha iyengar

    April 30, 2010 at 11:11 pm

  3. I think we need a way to differentiate between the inner and outer ‘selves’.The ‘self’ the external world sees I believe is so much less than the “SELF’ we have within. “SELF’ then needs to be writ large! I think each of us may have our own name for that inner being – I call it ‘the Universal Spirit’ because I see it as the essential spirit within me that connects me to the rest of the universe, that makes me more whole. When my spirit is diminished, then my connections to the numinous are diminished. When I have been able to grow by spirit a little, then my connections are clearer.

    Not sure if any of that makes sense.

    Lotus Light

    April 30, 2010 at 11:21 pm


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