Through a Jungian Lens

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Cyberspace – A Land of Disembodied Spirit

with 6 comments

Kingfisher watching a Vietnamese gardener near HoiAn

This isn’t really a good photo but made the cut because of the clarity of the Kingfisher that was sitting on the power post.  I must admit that the whole point of the photo was to get a good photo of the bird which I was quietly stalking in the garden area of a village not too far from Hoi An, Vietnam.  In truth, I had no idea of background as I took the photo while I was slowly creeping up.  I never did get too close to the bird, but now in looking at the photo and seeing the man, the gardener, out of focus, I find so much more than the bird, my intended subject.

This little bird is a close as I can get to capturing a sense of ego-self.  I see myself sitting on top of the pole observing the world around me.  I see others doing things of worth while I watch.  In a practical world, I am not very practical.  I am distant, unsure of myself around people and not confident that anyone would actually see something of worth in me.  I know that I have a high IQ and that I have abilities to perform useful paid tasks for the collective.  But that isn’t really of value in terms of interpersonal relationships.  I get stuck in my head, get stuck in “teaching” or as could be said in a different manner, taking care of others’ needs.

People looking at me, working around me, being my students or acquaintances find me a quiet and kind type of person, good adjectives but when placed alongside of distant and cool, it doesn’t enable many friendships.  As one who is nearest to me comments, I am a man without friends, a man who doesn’t need friends, a solitary man.  And these words, are actually truthful words.  I don’t have friends.  There is no one in the face-to-face world with whom I talk about psychology or other topics with freedom and abandon.  When I do dare to approach any topic that has depth, I carefully choose my words as experience has shown me that otherwise people tune me out as though I am a visitor from an alien species.

At times I forget and in my excitement the words flow and I dare to challenge, to debate, to argue only to leave wreckage  in terms of relationship.  The friendships I am able to maintain are those in which I serve as a good listener, confirming the ego of the other and in doing this leave the other feeling valued.  I manage relationships rather than engage authentically in relationship.  One of the hazards in keeping my own counsel is that my quiet, kind, listening self feeds a silence within.  I catch myself managing the inner world, keeping things within my head where they can be more easily controlled.  I am certain that this shows up here in how I post, how few feelings are evident in the hundreds of thousands of words here.  Though you, my readers, see these words and photos, you only get to see the persona that I dare to present.  Even here I censor or limit my expression.

I have been told that my only friends are the people I meet here in cyberspace.  These friends are also disembodied and as such, not real people.  Real people are messier.  Are you real?  Am I real here in cyberspace?  Or are we just blurry shapes like this gardener in the photo, in a land of spirit where bodies don’t exist?


6 Responses

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  1. This is outstanding. Definitely my favorite post, as I have felt these same feelings identically. I will write you more later because I just can’t put it out there, but you’ve touched on so many thoughts here. A+ teacher.


    June 4, 2011 at 6:43 am

  2. What is real? and how real is cyberspace? Our collective doesn’t have any experience with this yet to ‘know’. But intuition tells me this is real; you are real; and I know you so well. I can not imagine this is mere cyberspace Personae. This is an element of your Self, and cyberspace is an element of the collective.
    So there it is.


    June 4, 2011 at 11:51 am

    • I do know that we are real. I don’t understand how others don’t see people in cyberspace as real people regardless of the use of pseudonyms and the telling of lies about themselves (no different than in f2f encounters to tell the truth). I am glad that you “know” me and that I get to “know” you as well thanks to this medium.


      June 4, 2011 at 11:02 pm

  3. Dear Robert,
    Thank you for this Post.
    I agree with Doctor Urspo and then I read your response, so the essence of your Post is more clear to me.
    But about “the reality”, I personally have a doubt – because in truth for me (in the state of development that I am in now) there is no absolute reality or truth, because everything is changing (developing) constantly (even when we are not aware of it).
    So for me the real truth is that I am not able to become aware of the truth – for the present (this moment) I accept the truth and reality as it is, but it is a ongoing process for me, so maybe in the future the truth and reality might differ or change altogether – at least that’s the way of what I experience.
    Like you said in one of your former’s Post – “ the Robert of 30 years ago is a different Robert of today” – and this is only one example of the millions and millions of forms of reality and truth that we are able to experience.
    In this whole perspective for me it is interesting to experience the development of mankind (as man has broken the ties with Nature a long time ago – at least that is the present truth and reality, and mankind is moving on a separate path).
    It leaves the question whether or not mankind is able to keep up with his “blessings”, because every (human made) blessing is imperfect and has to be moderated/repaired and “speed” is essential and crucial.
    To engage the collective in the thought and some of us who are a little bit conscious of their Self – that is the picture of what I experience of today’s reality and truth – and so and then, I believe the nuclear tread of the sixties is nothing to compare with the scenario of what lays ahead of us.
    For me this is not a doom scenario, but as I said interesting to experience.

    Opa Bear

    June 5, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    • Hi Opa. I want to begin my response to your comment with my growing understanding, as imperfect as it may be, that what is real is more than what we think is real. Cyberspace, cyberspace relationships are real, the people behind the disembodied presences are real; the characters in our dreams have a “reality” that challenges our limited consciousness. The lies and stories we tell contain reality and truths that we can hardly imagine.

      I agree with you about what is coming, about our need and responsibilities to be authentic and to act authentically in service to the collective, even when the collective wants to resist that which we have to offer as being too foreign for the collective consciousness, too much of a threat for the real power of the collective unconscious.

      I remain overwhelmed that you have found value in words that I put out here. I know that I am a singular person with no temporal power in the collective. I know that I doubt almost everything that I think and challenge the few things I cling to as beliefs. I don’t have wealth or fame or a legacy for the generations to follow. But what I do have is a willingness to dare to be my “self.” Thank you for listening and for responding.

      In “real” friendship though we have never met face-to-face.


      June 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm

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