Through a Jungian Lens

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Shadow and Grief

with 4 comments

As I prepare to write this post, I am listening to Robert Bly read his book “Iron Man” which is found on YouTube using the same name “Iron John.”  The book is read over twenty clips.  I want to thank one of my readers, John Ferric, for alerting me to Robert Bly being on YouTube.  John told me about a different series called “A Gathering of Men.” There are about a dozen clips for this series.  John Ferric brought the 9th episode to my attention as it deals with the topic of grief and about shadow.  It has been about fifteen years since I have read Robert Bly’s book, “Iron Man.”

Shadow and grief – they do belong together.  Grief comes with loss.  As one works with one’s shadow, one becomes more aware.  But, at the same time, there is a lot of loss experienced in the process.  Most times we, men, are so busy with doing, going forward, that we just let the losses pile up, deferring grief.  Thank goodness that for some of us midlife crisis comes along, throws us to the ground and pummels us allowing the dam to break.  And, in the process, we begin to grieve all of our losses.  I think, that for me, to grieve is part of doing the work of becoming unstuck.  In my counselling practice, I was able to tell when the work together was beginning to go forward as the person in counselling would begin to allow tears to come, would begin to grieve.

When I think of the work that lies in waiting for me and for others when trying to become a more conscious being, I think of darkness, fear, tears and a beckoning light that promises a new life.  In this moist darkness, there appears something that one takes as nourishment for the soul, something that gives hope.   This mushroom is nourishment.  It is born in the dark and damp shadows.

I think back to the whole act of creation where life emerged out of darkness, a life that is both symbolic of light and the fruit of light.


4 Responses

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  1. Thank you for your helping hand in this Post, Robert so we can indulge the metaphor of this Post into our own personal dicoveries and become a little bit more aware of our personal mysteries – if we dare to do so.
    Is it right to assume that by an outbreak of Grief, the Anima (feminine) of a male person is playing a major part ?

    Opa Bear

    October 8, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    • Yes, the anima is an active part of this process. Bringing the anima (feminine aspect of soul) into the process allows for a sense of wholeness and healing.

      Robert G. Longpré

      October 8, 2010 at 7:28 pm

  2. Love the photo!


    October 18, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    • Thank you, Michael.

      Robert G. Longpré

      October 19, 2010 at 9:23 pm

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