Through a Jungian Lens

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Beyond the Barriers of Barbed Wire

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Sometimes light allows for interesting images – well, I have to restate that – always, light allows us to have interesting images.  Light is the what allows the dark stuff to take shape and become “interesting” and useful.  For example, if one came upon the barbed wire in the darkness, then the barbed wire would become an evil force that would either pierce or trip one – a foe.  Yet, if one came upon the same barbed wire in the daytime, the sharp points become warnings rather than threats.  Light changes one’s perspective.

Consciousness does the same thing.  As children we are told about bogeymen, and all manner of things that are meant to keep us in check, to keep us somewhat safer in a world that is perceived as unsafe.  As we become more aware of the dangers, more aware of the nature of the world, we let go of the projections.  Yet knowing that this is a natural way to move from unconsciousness towards consciousness, we don’t seem to learn from our own lessons.  We continue to hold to projections that don’t stand up to scrutiny.  We hold to partisan politics, to fundamentalism, to enemies that are almost faceless and deny evidence that would tell us that our projections are not in fact reality.  We build barbed wire enclosures to keep out the adult bogeymen only to find that we have not kept out the darkness, but that we have imprisoned ourselves with the very protective barriers that we have built.


8 Responses

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  1. A stunning shot and thought-provoking post.


    August 23, 2010 at 6:32 am

    • … and i for one am often curious if the grass that is on the otherside of the barbed wire fence that the cows are inevitably straining their necks to try and eat, really does taste differently…
      (do the cows do that in Canada too?)
      perhaps that idea of the greener grass – that we “can’t” get to – or “need” to get to – is in large part what holds those barbed barriers in place.


      August 23, 2010 at 6:44 am

      • Cows do the same here. 🙂

        Robert G. Longpré

        August 23, 2010 at 8:06 am

    • 🙂

      Robert G. Longpré

      August 23, 2010 at 8:05 am

      • i’be been thinking about this more throughout the day and it really does seem to me that often “enemies” however more or less one chooses to define the word… comes more as a side effect of trying to create a verbal or psychological construct to define ourselves… – so the thought of “self” arrises first thereby creating the thought of “other”
        for instance to say “i am muslim” would then by its nature create that which is not “muslim” or not “i”, … and so in just a few breathes we have created other, add a dash of fear (borne perhaps from the secret inner knowing in our guts that “something” is not quite right here – that we have strayed from the Path) and now very easily we have “enemy”…

        i am thinking of small children before such verbal and mental constructs of “self” have gotten in the way… so perhaps even the initial idea of the fence is there to protect us is just another ploy to rationalize an even greater illusion – that of “self”.


        August 23, 2010 at 1:21 pm

      • Yes, we define “self” in relation to other. Developmental psychology helps us understand that, especially at how we first discover self as separate from other. If we rest with ego as the definition of self, then we are lost. Self is much more than what we can envision – we continue to approach knowing self as we become aware of the separateness of others which occurs as we withdraw projections. Eventually we arrive at a fuller awareness of self.

        Robert G. Longpré

        August 23, 2010 at 6:05 pm

  2. Even when we know that we have imprisoned ourselves behind barriers (nationally or individually) we still seek their protection. The fear of the external or internal bogeyman still has us looking for any form of protection, even if that means destruction of other humans.

    Breaking down barriers within ourselves and externally is a huge task.

    Lotus Light

    August 23, 2010 at 9:53 am

    • Wise words, Lotus. Thanks.

      Robert G. Longpré

      August 23, 2010 at 12:11 pm

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