Through a Jungian Lens

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Running Water

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When one lives on the prairies, the sound of running water is not a frequent occurrence.  Springtime offers us more of these opportunities.  Later in the year, small streams such as this one dry up and all that remains are very small ponds of standing water.  When I took this photo on the week-end, the sound was like a doorway into a different level of consciousness.  Standing still with my camera quiet, it became a moment of meditation, a soothing balm for the tiny wounds that accumulate unnoticed.  With enough of these moments, the wounds are healed.

Water is not only symbol for the unconscious, it is also symbol for life.  Running water serves as symbol for continuity.   Life is constantly refreshed.  Though it always appears to be the same, its flow lets us know that it is never the same.   First Nations people new this intuitively.

The cycles of nature, the cycles of water have a lot to teach us if we would only listen and observe without the need to measure and quantify in order to prove to ourselves what we experience.   Sometimes we don’t need to intellectually understand.   Sometimes we need to allow the instinctual human to experience and let that experience speak quietly to the soul.  We lose too much when we try to analyze these meditative moments.

There will be time enough for analysis, for questions.  The greatest gift we can give ourselves is the opportunity to allow for the questioning mind to rest in the moments of meditation as they allow a communion between consciousness and the unconscious – transcendent moments.


7 Responses

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  1. The ocean makes me sane. Just walking beside the ocean fills me with peace and strength. Add swimming in it, or even better scuba diving, and the merging of the body with the water changes perspective totally.

    Some days, just knowing the ocean exists is enough.

    Lotus Light

    May 19, 2010 at 9:45 am

    • When I find a winter home when I truly retire, it will be beside the ocean.

      Robert G. Longpré

      May 19, 2010 at 11:28 pm

  2. I find the sound of running water soothes me beyond measure.
    I have a tiny water pump that I set up sometimes in a big bowl of water and rocks and have it like a mini spring in my living room; not done it for years now. It’s for special occasions.
    The most wonderful running water sound was at the Chapel of the Wellspring at Taize in southern France; a little open air wooden chapel had been built over a real spring that was now channelled into a stone trough. It was so slow that the trough stayed full but never overflowing because of evaporation in the heat. If there’s somewhere in my travels I’d like to go back to, it’s there.


    May 19, 2010 at 10:07 am

    • It might be time to bring out that water pump.

      Robert G. Longpré

      May 19, 2010 at 11:29 pm

  3. Wonderful Robert – your words alone are meditation, with gorgeous pictures too.

    Have you seen the Buddhist symbol of the Vajra? Does it speak to you of the relationship between the conscious and unconscious?

    Much respect,


    May 19, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    • The thunderbolt? Yes, but I think that there is more than one version of the Vajra; the peaceful Vajra and the wrathful Varjra. But other than a bit of information I am basically uninformed of this and many other Buddhist symbols. I am here to learn more.

      Robert G. Longpré

      May 19, 2010 at 11:35 pm

  4. The feeling of water running over the back of my hands triggers some sort of weird contentment laced with a little euphoria. I can’t understand it, I wish I could explain it, it is so deep down it’s like it’s at my core.

    Bill Scott

    January 8, 2015 at 11:51 pm

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