Through a Jungian Lens

See new site URL –

Lack of Clarity

with 15 comments

I had a difficult time choosing today’s photo, and it isn’t about there not being enough interesting photos to choose from.  As I went through the recent photos this photo kept coming to my attention and I continually rejected it because it was a poor photo in my opinion as there is a lack of focus in the flowers.  Yet, in spite of my opinion, the photo kept reappearing.  And so, I listened.  So here it is.  I did a bit of “fixing” in an attempt to make it a better photo using photo-editing software.  The process only frustrated me as I tried to “rescue” the photo.  It then dawned on me, that the photo didn’t need rescuing.  It was at that moment that I realised that the task became to highlight the “weakness” and so this is the result.

Sometimes this is what life does look like.  It isn’t always an experience in “LivingTechnicolor” as one would expect.  There is a lot of fuzziness that is experienced, at least by me.  Sometimes I want “clear” choices when presented with a dizzying array of possibilities where those possibilities are hinted at rather than presented as certainties.  Hmmmn?  There is something critically important in this, a need to hold to tension to allow ambiguity to play its role.

I think that this is the key bit of direction that I get from reading Jung’s words.  He doesn’t come forward with answers, he simply allows his words to inform, to create a tapestry of threads that detail his journey – not my journey.  I can see that it would be so easy to become an orthodox Jungian as thought Jungianism was a religion with the analysts as the priests and the Collected Works as the printed “Word.”  But in doing this, I would miss my journey, my resonances and my truths.

As I sit back and let these words and accompanying thoughts swirl around within me, I begin to realise why I never did follow up on the notion to go to Zurich and study with the intention of being a Jungian analyst.  I just didn’t have the “faith.”  I am too much an individual to follow lock-step any thread.  Everything needs to “accord” with my centre.  Jung’s words constantly remind me to do just this.  His words don’t ask me to “believe.”  I must carve out my own understanding.  And that is what it is all about, this journey of individuation.


15 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. “Sometimes this is what life does look like.”

    Love this thought. Yes. And sometimes there is a lot to be said for actively deciding when to stop “touching up” life in the intellectualising which substitutes for the Photoshopping of the unconscious. 🙂


    August 1, 2010 at 8:22 am

    • 🙂 Thanks for the resonance.

      Robert G. Longpré

      August 2, 2010 at 3:22 pm

  2. If I wore socks, I’d have dropped them this morning when I read your post. I come here each day and each day you describe, explain your process, then share a photo relating to that process. And most days, I find an accord, a resonance with and from my own process. I’m not a photographer, I’m a writer. Yet, the process is so very similar, and yet, retains its own uniqueness.

    Yesterday, in responding to a prompt to write about a journey, I wrote about my process from blank paper to a poem. And that is a fuzziness that is very real. But, what happened was that those who came to read what I had written began to discuss their own process. And the discussion continues. If you like, here is the URL

    Have a wonderful day Robert, I am.



    August 1, 2010 at 8:30 am

    • Thanks Elizabeth. I do hope others drop in to visit and read at your site as well. It is well worth the time.

      Robert G. Longpré

      August 2, 2010 at 3:23 pm

  3. So good to hear you say this.

    • You are welcome, 🙂 Thanks.

      Robert G. Longpré

      August 2, 2010 at 3:26 pm

  4. Independent people can never really become ‘true believers’ of any philosophy, religion or thread. They will always see a divergent path, a tangent or an anomaly that does not accord with the reality around them, their own experience or the ideas they have.

    Independence is to be treasured!! Yes, it moves us away from the mainstream of any group, including Jungians, leaves us sitting wondering why we don’t quite belong. But – it is also the beginning of new ideas, new frameworks that we can pass on to others… and they can challenge our thinking, not follow our thread as well.

    And… as with nature, and life and photos that are ‘not quite perfect’ – wabi sabi is to be treasured and appreciated as well. There is beauty in the imperfect.

    Lotus Eater

    August 1, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    • When I look in the mirror, I find that I am forced to accept the “less than perfect”, the “wabi-sabi” in order to keep a sense of personal dignity. Being honest with one’s self is one vital task in being able to look in the mirror and allow the imperfections to appear. It doesn’t do my soul any good to deny the reality of my own imperfection.

      Robert G. Longpré

      August 2, 2010 at 3:28 pm

  5. PS – in this photo, the light has beauty and clarity – even if the flower (the focus) is a little ‘out’. So…..

    Lotus Eater

    August 1, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    • 🙂 Yes, it is about the light, isn’t it?

      Robert G. Longpré

      August 2, 2010 at 3:29 pm

  6. I must carve out my own understanding. And that is what it is all about, this journey of individuation.

    Amen !

    In the past, I would sometimes kick out patients from analysis telling them that they now have to do something on their own, without me to impede them.

    When I first went into analysis, I asked how long this would take.
    My professor/ analyst replied “with me, perhaps a year, if you are lucky, your whole life long.”


    August 1, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    • To finally leave the analysts office and become one’s own analyst and in the process have unconditional regard for one’s self is a key stage in the journey. It has been more than a dozen years since my last hour in an analyst’s office. It will take me a couple more dozen years before I finish the “homework” and returning for my next assignment. 🙂

      Robert G. Longpré

      August 2, 2010 at 3:32 pm

  7. I recently finally made myself go to the opticians, something I hate and as a result I have two pairs of glasses, one for distance(driving, tv) and one for close work(readin, computer). technically I can wear the distance ones all the time but I don’t; I prefer the option of things being a little fuzzy and unclear. It helps mute the onslaught of information that causes me overload and exhaustion.


    August 3, 2010 at 10:34 am

    • I have multipurpose bifocal glasses which means that I see everything and yet maintain a sense of fuzziness at the edges all the time. They fit my head space which naturally likes to journey to the fuzzy edges in hopes of catching the numinous.

      Robert G. Longpré

      August 3, 2010 at 10:51 am

  8. They wouldn’t give me bifocals because the variation between my eyes is too great.


    August 3, 2010 at 10:54 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: