Through a Jungian Lens

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Fractured Rainbows

with 7 comments

A double rainbow appeared in the sky a couple of days ago.  Of course, being me, I had to fool around with the image and this is what emerged.  Purists might be disappointed that I didn’t just let the rainbow be represented as it appeared in the camera.  Regardless, this isn’t an exercise in pleasing others, it is all about “discovery” of what is behind the obvious in front of my eyes.  I want to know what lies beneath the surface, what appears if one looks deeply enough.  I want to return to Jung’s Mysterium Coniunctionis, (CW Volume 14) here as it talks to me about the shift happening within myself, and the shift that I know the collective must go through in order to arrive at a better, higher state of consciousness.

“Any renewal not deeply rooted in the best spiritual tradition is ephemeral; but the dominant that grows from historical roots act like a living being within the ego-bound man.  He does not possess it, it possesses him . . .” (Jung, CW 14, par 521)

Now I understand why I am so vested in all that is “spiritual” at this time.  It is actually amazing how many years I have been reading Jung’s works and that of others who reflect deeply on Jung’s understandings and how different parts of his works come to have their turn at resonance within me.  I guess I am a lot like a stone being worked in an alchemists workshop.  It is necessary for the psyche to proceed through the whole process in order to arrive at the proper place and at the proper time for each unique and individual psyche.

I know that I have been conscious since an early age and I have watched as I have shifted and transformed through a number of changes, mostly due to the natural rhythms of developing as a human.  At each stage of transformation I have had to let go of what I “knew” as certainties in order to expand the sphere of my personal consciousness.  Jung compares these transformation points to the death of an old king (consciousness) so that a new king (expanded field of consciousness) can ascend to the throne.  I knew this concept in educational terms as that is how learning is planned based on a spiral curriculum.  Now, a bit more from Jung:

Although the renewed king corresponds to a renewed consciousness, this consciousness is as different from its former state as the filius regius differs from the enfeebled old king.  Just as the old king must forgo his power and make way for the little upstart ego, so the ego, when the renewed king returns, must step into the background.  It still remains the sine qua non of consciousness, but it no longer imagines that it can settle everything and do everything by the force of its will.  It no longer asserts that where there’s a will there’s a way.  When lucky ideas come to it, it does not take credit for them, but begins to realize how dangerously close it had been to an inflation.  The scope of its willing and doing become commensurate with reality . . .” (Jung, CW 14, par 522)

Now, I can consider myself told.  There is no need for “anger” and feelings of “powerlessness” in response to all that needs fixing in the world.  It is enough (as a number of you have told me through comments and messages) to do the work of becoming as conscious as possible and daring to bring my self here and into the world of “others” in order to effect change at the collective level.    Thus, I arrive at my own ray of “hope” like a rainbow in a muddy sky.


7 Responses

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  1. Yes. Yes.


    July 23, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    • Thank you, thank you 🙂

      Robert G. Longpré

      July 23, 2010 at 8:14 pm

  2. Very deep – I write this without reading the commentary as a little test of impressions.

    To me it smacks of shadow, projection and mirroring, Plato’s cave. Let’s see what you wrote…

    In a muddy sky! Magnificent. There’s aonly awakening Robert – with the rest of us a shadow play in aid of that.

    I came by your blog again because I have been reading an outstanding book by William Tarnas: Cosmos & Psyche. He’s taking some of the threads of Jung’s later work on astrology and it certainly is opening cognitive worlds for me.

    It’s incredibly challenging to read an intellectual dicourse that somehow embraces the absolute, or at least allows you to wipe your feet on its doormat.

    It occurs to me that Jung created a language for this to happen, and so I’m understanding the stature of the man, having hitherto been underexposed.

    There are some ideas that open themselves out again and embrace totality, allow us an escape from atomisation. What relief!

    Delighted to hear of your transformation Robert and thanks again for your thoughtful words and striking pictures. Simon / Arjuna


    July 23, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    • Again, Arjun, your comments add to the dynamic of the post, a very welcome dynamic. Thanks.

      Robert G. Longpré

      July 24, 2010 at 2:41 pm

  3. I remember from physics class there are always two rainbows – I forget the math that support this – but it is a fun way of showing off when you can point out the 2nd/fainter rainbow to others who only see the first one.

    I also remember one of my teachers using the 2nd rainbow as a simile for looking past the manifest for other things most people can not see.


    July 23, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    • Exactly! Falling for the end of the world scenarios is a lot like taking a “Chicken Little” position (the sky is falling). The end has been predicted as imminent for the 7000+ years of recorded human history. 🙂

      Robert G. Longpré

      July 24, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    • I don’t remember much of my physics class other than getting in trouble at times for breaking things out of curiosity and taking risks. Thanks for the comment 🙂

      Robert G. Longpré

      July 24, 2010 at 2:39 pm

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