Through a Jungian Lens

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Digging for Gold in Water

with 6 comments

Another photo of the sun, this time, the sun was caught resting on the surface of this puddle.  As I work more with the gathered images for the SoFoBoMo project, I am more and more surprised at what I find hiding in the images.  The content stays the same, but as I play with “light” I move from ordinary to a different place.  That both ordinary and extra-ordinary co-exist within the same space is an eye-opening discovery.

This image, a puddle, is all about the dark and moist world, an unconscious world.  One often thinks of oneself as drowning in depression, as suffocating with the realisation that a life lived in the first half has lost meaning in the second half of life.  Midlife crisis tumbles one into a panic and darkness where one begins a journey to find the light of meaning.  Most tend to look outside of the darkness, outside of self, for the escape hatch.  Reinvestment in religion, reinvestment in tried and tested activity, grasping at drugs and alcohol, or getting lost in sex – all these and more are simply acts of denial, acts of a person who is terrified of the dark stuff that is threatening to spill out into one’s outer life.

But, as I found out in playing with light, by sticking with the image, there is gold to be found in the darkness.  That is what alchemists of old believed as they searched through working with the darkness, the shadows and the shit floating in the unconscious waters.  If one could only dare to hold with the darkness long enough, acknowledge the truth of all life being light and darkness, evil and good – polarities – then something new appears, something golden, a deepening consciousness and peace with “self.”

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6 Responses

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  1. The puddle also shows us that there is more light than darkness. There is the light, then the reflection of it that we see. When we move into that darkness we are frightened, and want to escape so fast. We find it hard just to stay with it, and I think for me this is because we don’t see the light, we lose the knowledge that it is there, and that there is more light than darkness. The darkness provides us with a chance for growth, understanding and change – as long as we work through it, and as long as we don’t believe that the darkness is all that there is.

    Lotus Light

    June 29, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    • That is a key point, Lotus, “as long as we don’t believe that the darkness is all that there is” . . . This is what the image gives as reassurance. The crisis of faith/soul does give each of us a thread of light to follow, even during the darkest of times. Thanks, Lotus.

      Robert G. Longpré

      June 30, 2010 at 8:33 am

  2. Powerful photo Robert. I like your intention to stick with the image, see where it goes…. Seams real to me.

    Ron

    June 29, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    • Thanks, Ron. I have been working at “sticking with the image”. You will find that the next post does somewhat the same.

      Robert G. Longpré

      June 30, 2010 at 8:24 am

  3. This reminds me of a series of emotions I had yesterday. Upon dropping my daughter at her job in a wealthy neighborhood, I began to feel rage at the fact that I am an apparent loser. My home (1200 sf) is too small for the six children I share with my husband. Our grass is patchy, entirely bare im some places. I still, after five years, have not finished my degree. On and on. As I drove closer and closer to home I felt the rage growing and as it often does, searching for a target of blame. Then, at some point, it all broke, and I realized I am happy. I thrive on the struggle of my existence. I do better as I have a reason to strive and I would not be any happier were I more financially stable. I have all I asked for in life, which was not much, but enough. My children struggle, but not enough to be discourage, only enough to exhilarate. They have a drive and purpose. My purpose is to see them to their own. By the time I rounded the corner to my street I exhaled with relief at seeing the many others on our street, in our neighborhood that are in a similar place. I don’t see them as losers. They are people, as valuable as any other human. That means I am as well. I am tempted to believe I am excusing myself from further hard work, but at some point, we must make peace with our lives and this was one time I was able to do that.

    js

    July 1, 2010 at 8:11 am

    • Hi JS – It’s good to have at least initials with which to address you 🙂 – Feelings of unworthiness are healthy. There is something to be said, as well, for struggling and suffering in the outer world. What do we teach ourselves or our children when the suffering and the struggles are avoided? The journey of individuation in the second half of life demands a lot of strength and perseverance. Hard won gains are true gold, and not fool’s gold.

      Robert G. Longpré

      July 2, 2010 at 3:46 pm


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