Through a Jungian Lens

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The Truth and Nothing But the Truth

with 10 comments

“In light of Jung’s understanding of the psyche, any claim to exhaustive possession of a saving truth constricts personal development and is currently a, if not the, major threat to human survival.”  (Dourley, A Strategy for a Loss of Faith, p. 63)

Today’s photo was taken close to our village on the Canadian prairie.  It is an idyllic scene that belies the fact of a planet in trouble.  In a way, the photo can be seen as a fact and a proof that the planet is not really in trouble at all.  Yet, what the photo doesn’t show is the odour of foul waste that is being contained in this water, the village sewage lagoon.  That said, it is too easy for us as humans to be misdirected away from what the “self” being fully present would discover.

The danger is in accepting anything as truth, as the truth.  I was spending a few days with my brother who is often a reader here.  He works in law enforcement, a place where there is an established right and wrong, a world of black and white.  Of course since he has been working in this field for a long time and is nearing retirement, he has discovered that there are rare instances of black and white.  In spite of what is said and written by the organization reality tells both him and the administration that truth is relative.

We all learn this as we experience life.  However, in spite of what we experience and what we intuitively know, we have a hard time when it comes to “religion.”  We are only too willing to deny “self” and accept a scripted black and white vision of both world and soul.  We are taught that doubt is merely blackness oozing into the soul rendering the soul in jeopardy.  Only blind acceptance without question to the “WORD” is acceptable.  We follow this WORD and its priesthood into all manner of dark corners, doing all manner of dark deeds while at the same time being wracked with guilt for what we do and say as it contradicts the screams of our inner self and the agonies suffered by our soul.  The guilt is forced back by renewed efforts to be pure.  We inflict our own penances by becoming zealots, by marching in the vanguard to chase the heresies of competing WORDS which we are led to believe are really faces of evil.  We deny and deny, even while our actions provide evidence to our senses of the wrongness.  We send armies, join these very armies in order to wage war against the faces of evil.

And we embrace the mantra, “The truth and nothing but the truth.”

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10 Responses

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  1. So help me God!
    That’s a lovely photograph, and the post is very poignant. Truth is seldom absolute in the world we live in as many of us interpret things differently. Ones actions are usually said to be definitive, but our actions mean one thing to us and are interpreted as something else by those witnessing it. I may stop a gentleman from stepping into the puddle as he looks aloft instead of ahead and thereby save his shoes from a wetting, someone else may see it as stopping him from splashing the water onto my shoes., it’s all about perception.

    Keep shooting and keep writing!

    themichaellamcollection

    August 23, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    • Thanks for the positive support and for your contributing to the understanding about “truths.”

      Robert G. Longpré

      August 23, 2010 at 6:18 pm

  2. this post reinforces my thoughts from this afternoon (my second reply on the previous post)…

    in light of all the present day violence/fear/confusion it does seem ever more needful that we do our best to remain aware of the illusions of self and other…
    i am thinking of the power of in the words of the poem by Thich Nhat Hahn “Please Call Me by My True Names”

    sproutingcrow@hotmail.com

    August 23, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    • A beautiful poem. I do want to clarify that “self” is not an illusion. We hold illusory ideas of self and other, but both self and other are very real indeed.

      Robert G. Longpré

      August 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm

      • explain a bit more of your thoughts if you are so inclined, for it is a concept that i wrestle with…

        each voice in the head one of the blind men describing an elephant… an another wondering what the elephant is imagining…

        having seen the placid pachaderm in the zoo chewing grass and farting up a storm and having been charged by a bull in benin after his “wife” picked up a tree and shook it at the group i was with…
        well it seems that there are always so many layers that it strikes me one can never “KNOW”.

        sproutingcrow

        August 24, 2010 at 5:48 am

      • Oh, I will – that is what I attempt to do here on an almost daily basis. Each post digs a little bit more into my “self” and lays bare more and more about that “self” – an act of transparency, bringing some light into the inner darkness.

        Robert G. Longpré

        August 24, 2010 at 2:35 pm

  3. Our visions and our actions will often be re-interpreted by others – from their vision and their action. So even though we are trying to be open and aware of our illusions/delusions we will still not be able to communicate clearly. Those with a set ‘truth’ feel they can communicate clearly because of the shared rigidity of that truth. And the barriers from yesterday’s post keep them together in that communicated ‘truth’. Those of the outside, feeling no black and white, have difficulty in communicating.

    Lotus Light

    August 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    • Yes, we can only interpret – there is no way out of it. We are limited by our filters and our experience which can never match another person’s. All we can do is negotiate in dialogue what we understand and think of in relation to the words of others. One has to be willing to define their truths in a way that will allow for dialogue that enlarges the original understanding. In the process, both parties in the dialogue change, and with them, their perceptions of truth. And, like you say, where one refuses or is unable to stand at the polarity that is demanded by a truth, one is left outside of the group.

      Robert G. Longpré

      August 23, 2010 at 6:14 pm

  4. All I can say is wow. This post stunned me. Completely.

    As in, it felt as if you’d traversed the avenues of my mind six months ago and kept it a secret from me. I truly believe the Universe knows itself.

    365

    August 23, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    • Maybe I have . . .

      Robert G. Longpré

      August 24, 2010 at 2:36 pm


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