Through a Jungian Lens

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Respect or Worship?

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This little fellow was kind enough to sit for a number of different photos while I was out with the camera on one of my “railroad” photo excursions.  I like how it shows an almost human attitude, almost one of humility and deference.  Of course, to say that it acts or thinks human is a stretch.  To believe it would just be projecting something of one’s self onto the little bird.

I sort of feel a  bit more humble and connected after spending five days with all of my grandchildren and their parents in our home.  As of this afternoon, all have headed off to their various homes in different parts of North America.  I will get to see all of them again in their individual family units before I head back to China.  But for now, the house is again quiet and I will return to a more active and deeper presence here knowing that in doing so I am actually giving them something special, a digital record for them about who their father and grandfather is.  My children read this blog site and occasionally post comments and I am thankful for that.  It helps keep me honest, helps keep me humble.

It is too easy to get “full of oneself” to become inflated with one’s importance.  It is even worse to become convinced that what one taps into in the work of individuation, association with the gods and goddesses (or archetypes) can lead one to identify with one of these figures and in the process lose the self.  This is the route of gurus, of self-proclaimed prophets or shamans.  Jung wrote about the dangers of a mana complex or a messiah complex and leaves little room for these gurus as authentic figures.  Unlike this little bird, I won’t bow to any authority that demands obeisance.  I can only offer a smile and look that acknowledges others as being a “thou” to my “I.”



4 Responses

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  1. I remember this from school: at first the ego doesn’t know there is anything else, then it believes it is everything else. Later, the ego learns it is part of something else.
    some folks never get the on stage two!


    July 18, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    • I would suggest that most don’t get passed stage one, Urspo. The only connection is with family and that is always filtered through the “I” ego filter.


      July 21, 2011 at 3:11 pm

  2. In the sixties I grew “sideburns” and when they were grown I looked in the mirror and proudly said to myself : “Yes, now I finally am somebody”.
    Looking back, I am amazed to realize how a few hairs can have such a “big” influence in one’s life, smile !
    But that’s not all, even today I can smile and laugh of the foolish tricks that I played on myself in 2011, when I become aware of them and I hope that this healthy humor will stays with me until my last day.

    Opa Bear

    July 19, 2011 at 3:42 am

    • I grew a goatee in the sixties as well as a mustache. Later I grew my hair long, very long. The hair overtly affected my life because of the reaction of others to that hair. Like yourself, Opa, I still trick myself, or should I say the trickster within me acts out when I least expect it causing frustration, hilarity and humility. Thanks 🙂


      July 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm

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