Through a Jungian Lens

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Lost in the Clouds

with 4 comments

I took this photo late yesterday afternoon from the same location as my last photo posted here.   The sun is hidden behind clouds, clouds not in this scene.  As I took the photo, I slipped back into childhood memories of lying on the grass and staring at clouds, searching for something there in the patterns.  I particularly found peace in the contrast between the dark clouds and white clouds and the bright blue skies that served as background.  That blue sky was reassuring somehow, a proof that there was a warmth in the light of a sun not seen.  I just “knew” that the sun was there, a knowing that didn’t need any “belief” in spite of what my eyes didn’t see.

. . . it is not always the contradiction between subjective assumptions and external facts that gives rise to problems; it may just as often be inner, psychic difficulties.  They may exist even when things run smoothly in the outside world.    Very often it is the disturbance of psychic equilibrium caused by the sexual instinct; equally as often it is the feeling of inferiority which springs from an unbearable sensitivity.  These inner conflicts may exist even when adaptation to the outer world has been achieved without apparent effort.”  (Jung, CW Volume 8, par. 762)

Yes, subjective assumptions and external facts.  The external facts tell me that the sun is there, even when I am in a space where I can’t feel, see its presence, a space where all I can see is the darkness.   In the photo, the focus in on the blue sky, a key to understanding my feeling and attitude at this moment.

The focus could just as easily shifted to only the dark clouds.  This is a detail from the original photo.  This scene exists at the same time as the one above.  Where one is bright and light, the other is heavy and dark.  The power of the subjective assumptions stands in sharp contrast.

I know that I shift from one attitude to the other, from one mood to the other.  I realise that others are often confused when the outer reality contradicts my attitude and mood.  And when my mood is light and bright, it becomes harder to understand others who appear stuck in the dark and heavy.

Ah, Jung points out the “sexual instinct” – I must add here that the quote is part of the focus on “Aspects of the Masculine.”  The “sexual instinct” is something powerful and primal in man, and within myself.  How that sexual instinct is honoured quickly and powerfully influences the attitude and mood expressed in the outer world regardless of the “external facts” of that outer world.

It is as if when one’s subjective assumptions are dark in contrast to the external facts, that one is lost in a narrow and deep tunnel; one is almost blind within “tunnel vision.”

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4 Responses

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  1. “equally as often it is the feeling of inferiority which springs from an unbearable sensitivity2
    hmmmm, that’s me.

    Viv

    June 7, 2010 at 10:29 am

    • The same could be said for me, Viv. I plead guilty to crying during sad movies.

      Robert G. Longpré

      June 7, 2010 at 2:59 pm

  2. This one is interesting for me, in that the subjective assumptions about female sexuality do not always match the reality, and this mismatch often leads to inner conflicts and outer misunderstandings. Resolving those satisfactorily may take a long time and much angst, with questioning of morality, of concerns about ‘normality’ etc. I hope I have given my daughters a more relaxed approach to their sexuality.

    Lotus Light

    June 7, 2010 at 10:50 am

    • “This one is interesting for me, in that the subjective assumptions about female sexuality do not always match the reality, and this mismatch often leads to inner conflicts and outer misunderstandings.”

      I realise that generalisations are just that, generalisations. That said, I am writing from a masculine perspective with the intent of better understanding my own masculinity. I hope that in doing this, I don’t discount the feminine. I write what resonates and what accords to my experience of lived life as a male and the experience I have with the feminine which is limited.

      “Resolving those satisfactorily may take a long time and much angst, with questioning of morality, of concerns about ‘normality’ etc.”

      That is a long term task, finding resolution. If this was somethings simple there wouldn’t be so much angst and social dysfunction. So many questions and so few answers.

      Robert G. Longpré

      June 7, 2010 at 3:06 pm


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