Through a Jungian Lens

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Can You See Me?

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This is an Eastern Kingbird, a fairly common bird around this area of the country.  The distinctive white band on his tail makes him easy to spot and recognise.  The scene, a typical Canadian prairie farmland scene where the only trees to be found are those that mark someone’s farmyard or serve as planted windbreaks.  In a way, this is a “plain Jane” kind of scene on the prairies, one that easily gets lost and overlooked because of its “commonness.”

I know that I am guilt of frequently overlooking that which is right in front of my face.  This is a common occurrence in all of us.  We tend not to notice things until the moment they do something extra-ordinary to catch our attention.  A simple example:  a crude oil pipeline can sit still in a field near a stream for decades so that it blends in and becomes part of the scenery until the day it springs a leak and becomes headline news on all the media; a telephone wire cuts the view from balcony for so long that one learns to focus passed the wire except when the wire holds a chirping bird that catches our eyes and ears.  And I know that I have done this with people, made them disappear from my conscious presence.  And, I think that this is a common happening.  So many humans being overlooked until the moment that do something extra-ordinary.  Unfortunately, most of those extra-ordinary acts make the news in shocking ways.

We need more understanding of human nature, because the only real danger that exists is man himself.  He is the greatest danger, and we are pitifully unaware of it.  We know nothing of man, far too little.  His psyche should be studied, because we are the origin of all coming evil.”  (Jung in a BBC interview with John Freeman in 1959)

I don’t blame the devil, Satan, the great deceiver for what is dark in the human psyche.  I know that the darkness of my own self is not always contained.  I have my little secrets of darker deeds from childhood years and life since then.  I wish that I could have “believed” in a Lucifer who tricked me so that I could blame him, go to confession, say a few prayers of penance and in the process be totally absolved from those dark deeds.  But that is the easy way out, and as I have found out many years later, there is no absolution to be had from an “other” when the “self” knows about the presence of that inner darkness.

Jung was right, we need to know more of men and women and their human psyche.  I need to know more of my own psyche so that I can get a clearer view of who I am deep down inside, the “me” that is lost in commonness.


6 Responses

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  1. You don’t have to answer this , but I am intrigued to know what part of your psyche you don’t know. You impress me as a man very in touch with his psyche and its many parts. I wish more people were even a fraction as conscious as you!
    So what is left?

    Perhaps some of your future discoveries will be shared here?


    August 2, 2010 at 7:04 am

    • Well, Urspo, it seems the more I uncover, the deeper the layers of unknown seem to go. I truly feel that I have become an explorer of the inner realms as much as I wander through cultures and countries in the outer realm. That said, China is only four weeks away 🙂 (return engagement for another year teaching history at a university there)

      Robert G. Longpré

      August 2, 2010 at 3:19 pm

  2. I agree – I think that at least here in Finland many of the people do concentrate on the outer forms of life (so I used to do, too!)although the essence of the life and it’s meaning can be found from Your unconciouss mind. For me the individuation process progressed a big step in my dialectic play of active imagination with my different ego states and my unconciouss mind. The life becomes much more simple, when You find your a source of joy from your own soul.
    After that, you seldom get bored! Are You familiar with Henryk Skolimowsky and his inner theater? I try to reflect at the moment his ideas about the theatre of the mind with my inner theater. I try to do it in english at the moment – it would be nice to get some feedback, if the text is readable – my english is quite bad.


    August 2, 2010 at 7:16 am

  3. Bored?It can’t happen 🙂 The truth is, I find it difficult to sit still with so much clammering for my attention. There is never enough time in a day and I end up exhausted yet ready for a new day to continue the journeys of the inner and outer worlds.

    Robert G. Longpré

    August 2, 2010 at 3:22 pm

  4. Boredom has never been a problem. Being seen can be a problem. Part of the time I don’t want to be seen – what if my dark side, my smallness of soul is seen by others? They might hate me, reject me?

    Other times, I am seen – but only for what I bring to the relationship, not for who I am.

    Maybe being so embedded in the landscape no-one sees us is a protection?

    Lotus Eater

    August 2, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    • I know that I often act like any good wild animal in nature as I try to blend in – like a chameleon. The less I am seen, the less chance the gods will notice me and trip me up as I try to steal the precious treasure called consciousness. But, every once and again, I stand outside and speak what I must because I must.

      Bored? I can’t say that I get bored. I treasure my moments of peace as long as I can before I am pulled back into the fray.

      Robert G. Longpré

      August 5, 2010 at 6:57 am

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