Through a Jungian Lens

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Out of Reach?

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I took this photo of the moon two days ago.  I had hoped to get another photo yesterday, one of the full moon, the harvest moon; but the weather wasn’t cooperative.  I guess the intuitive side of me wanted me to be prepared and so “moved” me to take the photos of the moon a day early.  I did take quite a few images using different settings.  Just as I was ready to say “enough” this image came into my view.  I knew I had to take this one, that this one was the important one.

“Identification with a social role is a frequent source of midlife crisis, because it inhibits our adaptation to a given situation beyond what is collectively prescribed.  Who am I without the mask?  Is there anybody home?  I am a prominent and respected member of the community.  Why, then, is my wife more interested in somebody else?

We cannot get rid of ourselves in favor of a collective identity without some consequences:  we lose sight of who we are without our protective covering; our reactions are predetermined by collective expectations (we do and think and feel what our persona “should” do, think and feel); those close to us complain of our emotional distance; and worst of all, we cannot imagine life without it.

Many married people have a joint persona as a “happy couple.”  Whatever may be happening between them, they greet the world with a united front.  They are perfectly matched, the envy of their friends.  What is going on behind the curtains is anybody’s guess.”  (Sharp, Jungian Psychology Unplugged, p. 43)

So much to think about here.  The image seems to reinforce this idea of being trapped in a collective identity leaving me looking for my “centre” which is a hazy light, the image of a soul I know is there but seems so distant, so ephemeral.  Unconsciously I reach out to grasp my soul, a soul projected on an other.  Does one only recover access to the soul when one withdraws the projection of anima/animus?  With the loss of the holder of one’s  projections, , there is no guarantee that one will turn within to find the soul.  More often than not, one feels the loss of the projected anima/animus and thus seeks to find a different other to hold the projections.  For, the community is about relationship with others, not with the self.  Relationship after relationship in search of connection to anima/animus only to continually find that the soul remains out of reach.

Withdrawal of projections without rejecting the other who has held the projections opens the doorway to soul recovery, a reunion of self and soul.  The door opens, but does one dare to enter that doorway, or does one cling to the old myth though it no longer exists?

Somehow I wonder if there is coherence in these words.


7 Responses

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  1. Love the image! There is so much I can interpret through my lens!

    The curved gate – clearly two people – but held together only by an external bond, the ‘post’. Facing away from each other, not looking to support each other. A weakness apparent where the ‘petals’ join the main curve – for me, the grafting of the ‘pretty mask’ onto the inner core. The light calling from the centre, but fuzzy and diffused – so hard to follow.

    Lotus Light

    September 23, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    • I love the resonance, the melding into the photo that you have given us here. Thank you, Lotus.

      Robert G. Longpré

      September 24, 2010 at 6:52 am

  2. Hi Robert. There is coherence, not only in these words, but in the pattern of the last many posts.
    i do not have a long history of sucessful love to draw from, but my instincts tell me that Love is wide, permeable and magic enough to allow the other freedom to shape themselves in whatever way is necessary for their present. This Love, and i mean it to have the grand L, cannot stop or start at the other. it is a continuous spiral with the self at the center and must by definition flow with the same willingness and courage and faith in possibility.
    the image of a labyrinth comes to mind? have you ever walked one in meditation?
    and i suspect that by the simple law of osmosis, that if the steps have been taken to open the doorway, and the myth no longer exists as you say, then one (by grace) have already moved past the threshold.
    faith need only be a tiny seed, and it can be of any variety – all seeds grow. any manner of seed, from science to god to the rising moon or the dawn’s new day holds that power.remember, true compassion for yourself in all things, that is what makes it sprout.


    September 23, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    • Sprouting Crow, you said:

      my instincts tell me that Love is wide, permeable and magic enough to allow the other freedom to shape themselves in whatever way is necessary for their present.

      Exactly! Your words say is so well. That freedom includes the option of loss of other if that is part of the shaping of themselves. Many thanks.

      Robert G. Longpré

      September 24, 2010 at 6:55 am

  3. Maybe this is a dumb question, but is there a “wrongness” or rightness about this picture? Or does that matter?


    September 24, 2010 at 6:52 am

  4. Very nice shot and post!


    September 25, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    • Thank you, Michael.

      Robert G. Longpré

      September 25, 2010 at 10:00 pm

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