Through a Jungian Lens

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Dawn’s Early Light

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I have chosen a different photo this morning, one that I just finished taking.  As usual, I was up at 5:30 am just before sunrise.  Believe it or not, others are up earlier as I can hear them on the street outside my window.  For a change, there are no clouds in the sky and there is a definite shade of blue in the sky as the sun’s rays catch the edges of the tall buildings.  There is something about dawn that brings a warm glow that travels deep within me.

As the light and the warmth make the journey inward, I get a better sense of who I am.  Each ray seeks to illiminate, to make known what lies in the shadows.  And I see my self exposed.  This “self” is not the full self that I am, just the self that I know, my ego’s vision of self.  Most of that knowledge of self is placed into a holder, the persona.  Of course we all have a sense of “person.”  We see ourselves as individuals with personality and identity that is unique.  We tell ourselves that we are complete beings, basically understood by others.  Yet, we rarely admit that we are still mysteries to ourselves.  Persona is our sense of being a person, one among many.

“Jung describes the persona as an aspect of the collective psyche, which means there is nothing individual about it.  It may feel individual – quite special and unique, in fact – but such designations as “struggling writer,” “father,” “teacher,” “doctor” and so on are on the one hand simply social identities, and on the other ideal images.  They do not describe a particular person; they do not distinguish on doctor or father or teacher or writer from any other.”  (Sharp,Jungian Psychology Unplugged, p. 41)

These words make me think about how I see myself, how I even describe myself.  On Sunday I met a new classroom full of students for the first time. As always, I introduced myself to them before having them do the same in return.  I used the words, father, teacher, writer, photographer, grandfather, husband and so on.  I was deliberately using these words because of the universal images they invoke so that the differences between myself as an English-speaking Canadian, would be bridged by these images into their collective and individual consciousness as Chinese students.  I thought I was telling them about myself as an individual when in truth I was placing myself in the collective, defining myself in collective terms.

Thankfully I can hear these words and realise that I have a long way to travel yet before I can truly say I know myself.  For now, it is enough that I wake and again seek to become more conscious of the stuff within, the stuff of “self.”  This morning’s early light makes me think of how each day there is an opportunity for me to become a bit more conscious as a human being.  With “grace” I might be able to bring a little more light into the darkness within, to bring the hidden shadows forward to be recognised.  It isn’t a one-day project for me, it is one that will last until my mind loses sense of “self.”


8 Responses

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  1. Beautiful light! A touch of evidence that China is getting a little less polluted.

    We ascribe so many good things to light – lighting our path, a light into the soul, casting light on the issue etc. Light seems to be a growth medium in all senses of the word.

    Within our consciousness light not only illuminates areas of darkness, but changes us. once an area of darkness is lightened, we grow and we change in response to this information. So each new illumination creates a different ‘self’.

    A process I hope we never reach the end of!

    Lotus Eater

    September 21, 2010 at 9:29 am

    • Thanks, Lotus. Yes the light was beautiful but now the gray skies have returned. I don’t know if the gives us a different self so much as it shows us a fuller self. The process is additive in a way that is more 1 + 1 = 3 🙂

      Robert G. Longpré

      September 22, 2010 at 4:57 pm

  2. Thank you again Robert for this “deep insight lecture”.
    Yes, I know that feeling just before sunrise, I experience it as a secret that The Lord of the Morning shares with me. – and collective everybody can share this secret, for free
    With each lecture about yourself, you invite me and give me the opportunity to discover more about myself – and I experience that as a great gift.
    You don’t have to share, but you do, so you are living up to the principle and high standard to use the tools of communication with other humans and everything around you to learn more of yourself.
    Thanks to you and your method, I and so many others with me can be enriched.
    Strange man, …..forgetting your house keys and your bicycle, but never forgetting, day in and out to work on yourself – quite a discipline !

    Opa Bear

    September 21, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    • Yes, I am a strange man – and I am learning to appreciate that strangeness. 🙂

      Robert G. Longpré

      September 22, 2010 at 5:00 pm

  3. I am sorry, the word “lecture” in my former mail is not properly chosen – I now think that the word “Discovery”, is more to the point.
    Fascinating, when one is clear sighted, one would see a classroom filled with different personal images of Chinese fathers, grandfathers, professors etc. – and the connection with the Akasha Archives, but that is a other story.

    Opa Bear

    September 21, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    • This knowledge that there are so many ways to look at the image, so many “correct” visions, is exciting to experience. For me, it is as though I have been released from a small dark closet and given the freedom to wander through the whole house.

      Robert G. Longpré

      September 22, 2010 at 5:13 pm

  4. photographic evidence of “China on the rise”, I see that the image or “self” of the nation is changing on a more rapid basis these days.
    Nice shot!


    September 23, 2010 at 2:54 am

    • Yes, China Rising . . . and faster than one really knows or understands.

      Robert G. Longpré

      September 23, 2010 at 7:36 am

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