Through a Jungian Lens

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Down a Dirt Road

with 5 comments

Behind the blue metal wall is a new housing project called Chianti.  Why Chianti?  I could only guess.  The images on the main wall suggest that the housing project will evoke an Italian and Spanish location.  The main entrance has a strikingly beautiful pale yellow building with clock tower that is “European” in look and feel.

However on this side of the blue metal barrier is a different world, one that is decidedly not indicative of wealth, one that is rural and Chinese.  The artifice has been stripped away and all that is left is bare bones simplicity.

Why is it that I took this photo and passed on the European style of beauty that lay on the other side of the wall?  Good question that remains to be answered.  Strange how I get pulled into attention with contradictions and the tension between those contradictions.

There is by definition a natural conflict between ego and shadow, but when one has made a commitment to live out as much of one’s potential as possible, then the integration of the shadow – including the inferior attitude and functions – evolves from being merely theoretically desirable to becoming a practical necessity.  Hence the process of assimilating the shadow requires the capacity to live with some psychological tension.”  (Sharp, Jungian Psychology Unplugged, p. 30)

I should have guessed that it was not just an attraction to dirt roads as opposed to paved highways.  It is about staying alert to the tension between the conscious and the unconscious; between ego and shadow.  In thinking about it, the terrain between my dominant function of intuition and the weaker functions is not much different that the differences between the dirt road country and the world on the other side of the blue wall.  One is well constructed with all manner of comforts while the opposite side is mostly abandoned, undeveloped.  The image is clear in what it asks of me – “Please pay attention to me; please bring me some of your energy.”


5 Responses

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  1. I believe many of us would find this side of the fence a more appealing spot to photograph, it is Real, it is life. On the other side it is a facade.
    I like the “feel” of the photo.


    September 14, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    • I wonder, Michael . . . It is hard to determine what isn’t facade at times. Thanks 🙂

      Robert G. Longpré

      September 15, 2010 at 10:25 am

  2. it reminds me of when you wrote about organizing your garage and then spoke of the chaotic ‘rightness’ of nature…
    this side of the fence is certainly more fertile in terms of curiosity and possibility in creative chaotic force
    my first though was similar to the above “that it is more real”… but as soon as i had thought it, i question that assumption: facades, masks etc they are all ‘real’ too in their own way, in their own necessity…
    shadow has more grit, but i don’t think it is more real… it too is only part of the totality of possibility


    September 14, 2010 at 8:58 pm

  3. I agree with themichaellamcollection. This is more typical, especially to me when I live in China. The beauty behind the blue fence is an imported beauty, imposed on the landscape, only available for the select few. There will be guards at the main entrance and walls around this enclave, preventing anyone who does not ‘belong’ from entering to enjoy any of the constructed comfort.

    Forests are as real as pig stys, and both have their place within our lives… and both should be accessible to us. Masks play their role in protecting us from the ‘reality’ of the internal and external worlds, but if we forget that it is only a mask, then we lose the chance to move from that constructed and beautiful world into a more real world.

    Lotus Light

    September 15, 2010 at 6:58 am

    • from an astrological perspective the ascendant has the role of the mask… it is seen as how we interface with the world.
      its roll is to both protect, but also to mediate and communicate in a unified manner the multiplicity of the other various aspects that create our beings…

      as with all things, masks can be helpful or hindering. from an even broader perspective one could also say that the dirt road and all the things along it are also ‘imported’, also ‘imposed’ upon the landscape…
      i know the guarded communities you speak of – they are found in every country, in every people… and i myself prefer the forests and even the pig stys, but
      my question is more of whether or not one mask is any more ‘real’ than another…. the idea that something ‘should’ be other than what it is, itself is a form of guarding don’t you think?


      September 15, 2010 at 9:47 am

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