Through a Jungian Lens

See new site URL –

Trying To Silence The Psyche

with 9 comments

I took this photo in Hong Mei Gong Yuan, or Red Plum Park in ChangZhou, two days ago.  Of course, it didn’t actually look like this, so cold almost lifeless.  As I was cropping and trying to have the lanterns stand out with a bit of toggling of various editing options this version of reality appeared.  As I played with the editing features, I realised that what was appearing before my eyes was also reality through a different lens, but reality none-the-less.  Readers here might remember that I have commented about this idea of what is seen, in my August 24, 2010 post which talked about the lens through which we see the world.  This post is about dreaming, a different world or reality.

I have been dreaming a lot recently.  The trip to IndoChina in January and early February seems to have awakened something within that continues to give voice as well as images to the unconscious.  The outer world seems to be mimicking the inner world as small voices are protesting their enforced silence.  Even in Canada, the effort going into “silencing” has taken on an autocratic tone as if to deny the very existence of another way of knowing, another point of view.

Leaders are heroes to someone – and that part is sometimes hard to understand, especially when some of these leaders distort, lie, and manufacture realities that even a bit of consciousness would immediately recognise as false.  How does the world ever allow a Hitler, a Gadhafi, a bin Laden, a Bush or minor league leaders such as Harper to have leadership?  Fear is the first reason.  These men all prey on the fears of the unwashed, the fear of the others who are the carriers of both personal and collective shadow.  Here, I want to add Jung’s words to my post in hopes that you will understand what I am thinking/feeling at this time:

“Apart from the moral difficulty there is another danger which is not inconsiderable and may lead to complications, particularly with individuals who are pathologically inclined.  This is the fact that the contents of the personal unconscious (i.e. the shadow) are indistinguishably merged with the archetypal contents of the collective unconscious and drag the latter with them when the shadow is brought into consciousness.  This may exert an uncanny influence on the conscious mind; for activated archetypes have a disagreeable effect even – or should I say, particularly – on the most cold-blooded rationalist.” (Jung, CW 12, par. 38)

As I look at what is occurring around the world, where many ordinary people have somehow fallen out of the webs woven to keep them silent to the point of of refusing to hear their own conscience, their own souls, I see my own culpability.  I see that I have also been a leader acting out of shadow – the leader of a classroom, the leader of a sports team, the leader of a family, the leader of a school – I see that rather than leading, I was being lead and that I believed I was a hero.  Yes, there is a question of degree, but when one goes into the mind of each of those we now label as infamous, each of these men see themselves as heroes.   At what point does one “wake up” from the delusions and reclaim “self” from the shadow?

This is what this image today is asking me.  When will I wake up and acknowledge the shadow that is being denied?  Of course, I don’t consciously know what I am denying, but at least I now have an idea that something is being blocked, something is feeling banished to an inner Dachau. Yes, this photo evokes the same response as when I watched Schindler’s List.  Will I deny and watch the small signs of life be silenced?  I hope not.   It’s time for me to listen to the inner voice of self.  It’s time for all of us to listen to the inner voice within each of us that is self and wake up and leave the power of the collective shadow, the belief in a leader that will save us, that will be our hero.


9 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. que bella reflección, gracias por estar ahí, un abrazo

    walkiria ribeiro

    March 6, 2011 at 11:30 am

    • Bienvenido a este blog. Espero que visite de nuevo. 🙂 un abrazo


      March 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm

  2. Robert,
    I do not know how to format this to make it into a link, so you will have to “copy and paste.” This is from “The Undiscovered Self”:

    John Ferric

    March 6, 2011 at 11:01 pm

  3. Hey it did the link all by itself!!!!!

    John Ferric

    March 6, 2011 at 11:02 pm

  4. Robert, What a beautiful piece of writing, so eloquent, so peaceful and I love the photograoh. You have such a gift!


    March 6, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    • Thanks, Richard. I would like to encourage all of my readers to visit your site and read your thoughtful posts.


      March 13, 2011 at 8:59 am

  5. A very thought-provoking image and commentary. Thank you.


    March 7, 2011 at 4:02 am

    • I appreciate your kind words as I appreciate your taking the time to read my blog posts. Thank you.


      March 13, 2011 at 8:58 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: