Through a Jungian Lens

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Reaching Out To An Other

with 6 comments

Vietnamese grandmother, January 2011

This is another photo from my journey through IndoChina.  The photos I took were a mixture of the typical scenes shown to tourists, people photos, nature photos and photos taken ‘just because.’  Of the many ‘people’ photos, of which this is one, I am surprised at the number that were of women.

And, that other is really me, that which I deny as myself, my opposite, my shadow, my soul.

“. . . she says she is drifting on a boat and doesn’t know where she’s drifting, she is no longer in control.  Let it drift, on the black sea, she and you, no, there is only her, she’s not really afraid but she feels terribly empty, she wants to die, death is seductive, she wants to fall into the sea, let the black sea drown her, she needs you, the warmth of your body, even your oppressiveness gives her a sense of security, she asks if you’re aware of it, that she desperately needs! (Gao XingJian, Soul Mountain, p.129)

She is me.  I want to be secure, I want you to love me, I want me to love you, I want us to be one.  But, my mind only finds thin threads that connect me to you, threads of intuition, not threads of time and space and matter. So, I look outside for a surrogate you, I look into the eyes of others in hopes of finding you, finding me. Though I am standing in the sunshine, I know that you are hidden in the dark corners, in the shadows where my eyes can’t reach, where my hands cannot feel.  And so I look at others, touch others, claim others, hoping that the ache is anesthetized so that I don’t feel so alone.


6 Responses

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  1. These lines appeared in the most recent online Parabola newsletter:

    “We cannot live only for ourselves.
    A thousand fibers connect us
    with our fellow men;
    and among those fibers,
    as sympathetic threads,
    our actions run as causes,
    and they come back
    to us as effects.”

    (Herman Melville)

    Don’t lose heart…


    May 9, 2011 at 3:16 am

  2. Robert,

    The honesty and vulnerability you reveal in this piece speaks with great dignity and eloquence. I share your longing for the inner Beloved which I see as a blend of the masculine and feminine. Aspects of both share the light with my ego; the remainders hide in shadows. We make love to this Mystery by allowing the opposites our egos deny — whether they be joy or pain, beauty or ugliness, hardness or softness, strength or vulnearbility, masculinity or femininity, thought or feeling — conscious expression in our everyday lives. This post shines with love. Bravo.


    Jean Raffa

    May 9, 2011 at 5:37 am

    • Thanks for your encouragement Jeanie. It is much appreciated.


      May 9, 2011 at 10:45 am

  3. that was very tender; thank you for sharing it with us all.


    May 9, 2011 at 12:20 pm

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