Through a Jungian Lens

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Points of View In the Swamplands

with 2 comments

Another day with Michael and I have another photo of him for you.  This is his reflection in the water of a large puddle near my home.  It rained last night and as a result there are a lot of puddles to be found.  I had to rotate the photo 180 degrees in order to get this result as though it was a person looking at themselves in a puddle.  In the original, he was on the opposite side of the puddle so he was inverted for me, the viewer.

This teaches me about perspective.  Where one stands gives one a unique viewpoint in which one sees the world and how one sees one’s self.

The self is not only the centre, but also the whole circumference which embraces both conscious and unconscious; it is the centre of this totality, just as the ego is in the centre of consciousness.”  (Jung, CW 12, par 44)

One stands in the centre; I stand in the centre.  Why do I say this?  Well, that is where “I” am.  What I know about myself and others and the world is – my consciousness – is located in the ego.  “Ego” equals “I.”  As I move forward or backward or sideways, I remain in the centre with the universe unfolding all around “me.”  With that said, and as I study Michael, I see that one can never escape this fact of being in the centre and never being able to step outside of it regardless of one’s conscious capabilities.

Understanding and awareness of the world and others is always being forced through the lens of the ego.   And when that lens becomes blurry as it does for those suffering a loss of self-awareness, one finds one’s self struggling through a haze more lost than found.

Does it matter if one finds themselves lost because of an organic disease, or addictions or trauma?  The result is the same – being lost in the swamplands.


2 Responses

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  1. “Does it matter if one finds themselves lost because of an organic disease, or addictions or trauma? The result is the same – being lost in the swamplands.”
    I think so, but many patients/people do not agree. How a person got lost in the swamplands is a charged topic; being lost from substance abuse is often seen as ‘their fault’ and therefore not on par with Alzheimer’s or trauma. A lot of Medicine – even psychology – is going more towards value judgments on how one is lost in the swamplands; ironically most of the time this is done by very unconscious people ‘quite lost’ in the swamplands !


    July 25, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    • I had to read through your comment twice in order to find which were your words as they could easily have been all of my words. I agree completely with your assessment of the collective value judgments. That said, from the point of view of the “self” it is a different story.

      Robert G. Longpré

      July 26, 2010 at 8:49 am

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