Through a Jungian Lens

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Opacity – Straining To See Clearly

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Today’s photo was taken while I was on a walk.  Though it is deep into autumn, there are still a lot of flowers appearing on bushes, trees and on the ground.  Most of these blossoms are very short lived and soon wilt at the edges as though they are born almost super ripe.  Appearances, for a moment, suggest spring.  But, appearances are often deceptive.

When looking at the world, the people and the things in this world, it is almost as if I see this world through a skewed and opaque glass.  Nothing is as it appears.  There are so many inner things that cloud the picture of the outer world.

We are naturally inclined to believe the world is as we see it, that people are who we imagine them to be.  However, we soon learn that this is not so, because other people frequently turn out to be completely different from the way we thought they were.  If they are not particularly close, we think no more about it.  If this experience involves one of our intimates, we are devastated.” (Sharp, Jungian Psychology Unplugged, p. 59)

In reading these words of Daryl Sharp, the first thing I think about parent, mother, father.  It is only over time and a lot of heartache that one comes to know the truth about one’s parents, that they are ordinary and fallible people.  To shift from a position of childhood wonder and awe to one of awareness of their not being perfect leads to a sense of loss that takes seemingly forever to overcome.

Yet, it hasn’t been the parents who have changed.  They have always been flawed and worn by life.  What has changed is the “self” who has withdrawn projections, unwillingly.  Life forces us to grow up and see the world more as it really is, rather than to continue to live in a cloud.  So, we grow up and become adults, jaded by the losses of innocence.  And as we grow, we begin to see others in our world.  And we again project the unknown aspects of ourselves onto these new people – both the dark and the light aspects of ourselves.  And, this is good.

No one can escape this.  It is quite normal for unconscious contents to be projected.  That is life.  Projection has generally had bad press, but in its positive sense it creates an agreeable bridge between people, facilitating friendship and communication.  Like the persona, projection greases the wheels of social intercourse.  And as with complexes, life would be a whole lot duller without projection.” (Sharp, Jungian Psychology Unplugged, p. 59)

I’ll accept this idea.  Now, to continue my walk and see what other things I can discover with my camera and be grateful for projections that allow me to see the world in a magical way.


4 Responses

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  1. at present time, there is too much projection going on; I think the world could use a bit less.


    October 12, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    • Good doctor, good friend – I think that there is always too much projection going on and very little desire for interacting with others and the world consciously.

      Robert G. Longpré

      October 13, 2010 at 7:20 am

  2. Thank you Robert for this Post and picture,
    Symbolically your Post could refer to the Veils of Isis and Maya in the Hindu religion.
    It is interesting to read about the status that children have of their parents and that this status is brought to proportions later in live.
    I have noticed that some adults still have the same status symbol of their parents of their childhood – it seems to me (from my point of viuew) that the Denial seem to play a big issue in their life’s.
    I am sure that in this Post and in your thoughts, you also included the “changing” of the parents during the years.
    Personally : Although we as family never had a family life, as a child I indeed have this “high” status of my parents.
    Then I experienced the blame and the anger as I grew up, and this was confirmed by their actions and behavior.
    And then when I got older, when more veils were removed from me, I finally became aware that everything in my life have had a purpose and were there to give me a change to develop myself and become the person that I am now.
    So, now, I have returned to the status that I gave my parents when I was a child, but this status is enriched with all the good things that I have experienced from them in my life – and I am gratefu and feel blessed !
    As I have experienced and still can become conscious every day of Denial (Blind Spot) in myself – I think that the status that I have of my parents now, is not one of Denial – I have become at peace with them.
    By the way, just to spend a word on your former Post and my comment about the image – I know that you were right – it was my failure that I did not express myself more clearly.

    Opa Bear

    October 12, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    • Thank you, Opa, for your comment and for the reference to the Veils of Isis.

      Robert G. Longpré

      October 13, 2010 at 7:22 am

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