Through a Jungian Lens

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Mysterium Tremendum

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Ta Promh has gifted me with more photos than I can ever use, as well as a life experience that I will never forget as long as I remain a conscious being.   In this photo, a tree rises from the ruins of Ta Promh.  The seed that became this tree belonged to the world of possibility.  The possibility of life is the greatest mystery.  Mystery is one way that I sense the spiritual, the existence of something that humans have given the name, God.  As I look at this expression of mystery, I see two faces, one of creation and one of destruction, one of light and one of shadow.

“When we speak of “the gods” we are speaking metaphorically, as befits any approach to the mysterium tremendum, the great mystery.  The gods are our personifications, please recall, the constructs of our limited intellects, which point toward the energies which run the cosmos and course through our being. So if one is “depressed,” then our being is not consonant with the intention of the gods.  The gods may very well take us anywhere they damn well wish, of course, including depression as a steady state.  But when we examine the psychodynamics, that is, the dynamics of the soul, we discern that depression is the expression of an energy transcendent to the ego’s choices, albeit felt as an oppression.” (Hollis, Mythologems, p. 104)

What is is that resonates for me and others in the presence of mysterium tremendum?  Well it is that aspect of self that is the soul.  I know the soul is there. here and in all that is me.  I am a biological being, but the body is just the container, not the essence of who I am.  Whatever it is that is the self is more that the body.  Yet, the body has its role, its purpose in the life of the soul.  As I come to realise this, I begin to understand better my purpose.

This understanding isn’t an intellectual understanding.  My mind resists the fuzziness of soul, of this mysterium tremendum.  My mind wants it all to be straightforward, provable to mind analytical mind, verifiable by my physical senses.  As I resist the shadow and run into obstacles, my mind is taught a lesson and is reminded that I need to attend to ALL that floods my consciousness, even the stuff that only appears at the edge of consciousness, the numinous stuff.  I resist too hard and find out that I don’t really have all the self-control that I think I have.  The message is clear.  I am not in this alone and I am part of a whole.



Written by Robert G. Longpré

March 1, 2011 at 4:44 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Ta Prohm moved me deeply. So many different levels that this site could be interpreted by both the logical outer consciousness and the deeper more mystical consciousness.

    Deborah Howard

    March 3, 2011 at 9:47 am

    • And that is the power of an image, the numinous power that moves between inner and outer realities, between the individual and the whole that can best be termed God.


      March 3, 2011 at 12:50 pm

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