Through a Jungian Lens

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Longing For the Unconscious Communion With Life

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I decided to add one more “snow” photo in honour of experiencing two distinct snow storms yesterday here on the Canadian prairies.  This morning the snow is all gone and there are small patches of blue sky that promise a return to warm weather.  Temperatures are beginning to creep up with a high of +12 C. for tomorrow under sunny skies.  Perhaps I will get to go golfing.

Snow is interesting and enjoyable when it is experienced with reasonable temperatures rather than extreme cold.  With the wind carving shapes, snow is sculpted into all manner of designs, constantly shifting.  If this was a person, it would be similar to one who is constantly changing their wardrobe, hair styles or lifestyles.  One gets to see something that dresses up, that hints at something deeper within.

Snow is also fascinating because it doesn’t sit very still for very long.  Wind allows the snow to shift shapes as well as to find a new home for a brief moment.  The sun calls the snow to change shape and relocate as well.  It is as if the snow is a gypsy.

Perhaps when a man discovers more of his inner self, becomes more elemental, the same thing happens.  The need to go on journeys, the need to discover and uncover pulls one to explore.  With a pull toward consciousness, one finds oneself caught up in heroic journeys in quest of treasures of the spirit and soul, in search of truths, especially the truth of “self.”

“The heroes are usually wanderers, and wandering is a symbol of longing, of the restless urge which never finds its object, of nostalgia for the lost mother.  The sun comparison can easily be taken in this sense:  the heroes are like the wandering sun, from which it is concluded that the myth of the hero is a solar myth.  It seems to us, rather, that he is first and foremost a self-representation of the longing for the unconscious, of its unquenched and unquenchable desire for the light of consciousness.  But consciousness, continually in danger of being led astray by its own light and of becoming a rootless will o’ the wisp, longs for the healing power of nature, for the deep wells of being and for unconscious communion with life in all its countless forms.”  (Jung, CW Vol. 5, Symbols of Transformation, par. 251; cited in Aspects of the Masculine, p. 6)

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Delicious Flavour, Robert Longpre. Robert Longpre said: [Blog – Through a Jungian Lens] http://bit.ly/aI0tHI The sun longs for the moon #cgjung #psych #sol #luna #gypsy #hero #individuation […]

  2. Hopefully I can play golf tomorrow with a clear blue sky! Interesting how this ‘arm’ of snow on the roof!

    • Hi Nelson. I visited your site and was blessed with some wonderful viewing of your photos. Yes, there is a connection between golf and the arm of snow. Happily the snow is gone and it is beginning to warm up. I look forward to your comments here in the future.

      Robert G. Longpré

      May 7, 2010 at 10:14 am

  3. I think Giegerich makes a most incisive point which would otherwise get watered down by the stoicism of Zen Buddhism: the search of meaning is the opposite of itself; it is precisely this search, which presupposes the lack of what is sought, that makes people neurotic later in life. So Giegerich writes:

    “1. The self-contradiction inherent in the search for meaning
    One might think that the diagnosed loss of meaning is the cause, the search for meaning the result; further,
    that the loss of meaning is the “illness” while the sought-for meaning would be the cure. But “loss of meaning” and “search for meaning” have to be seen as rather the two sides of the same coin. Just as it is the sense of loss of meaning that creates a craving for meaning, so it is the idea of the dire need of a higher meaning that makes real life appear as intolerably banal and “nothing but,” merely “maya compared with
    that one thing, that your life is meaningful” (CW 18 § 630). The more you long for meaning, the more banal life gets; the
    more banal you feel life to be, the more you will say with Jung: “My whole being was seeking for something still unknown which might confer meaning upon the banality of life.” There are not two phenomena here but only one. The search for meaning is the opposite of itself. It is what turns reality into that very senselessness that it intends to overcome; it is itself that symptom or illness the cure of which it claims to be. The longing for meaning is deluded about itself.”

    Norland Tellez

    May 7, 2010 at 11:22 am

    • Is not a search for meaning also a search for self? Loss of meaning becomes loss of “self” or “soul.” Jourard has an interesting discussion of this in his book THE TRANSPARENT SELF. This is good stuff, Norland. Thanks. I can tell there is a lot more to say on this topic. I am debating a series of posts on THE END OF MEANING & THE BIRTH OF MAN by Giergrich or THE TRANSPARENT SELF by Jourard – all with the same objective.

      Robert G. Longpré

      May 7, 2010 at 11:30 am


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