Through a Jungian Lens

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A Meditation on Relationship

with 4 comments

As most of my readers know, I take time in my life for meditation. A few of you also know that I am a naturist at heart. So, it is my preferred habit to combine both. Why did I choose this photo for today’s post? Well, for one thing, I want to share this excellent photo with you, a photo taken by my wife. She saw something in the way that the light was falling on me while I meditated and she tried to capture what she saw. She didn’t see nakedness, nor meditation. Rather, she saw a deeper meaning, one that said something about who I am in this modern world. She saw something and respected what she saw.

Relationships are difficult things. With two individuals who fall in love the initial image is one of projection. One sees an archetypal image that is bigger than any one person can ever hope to fill. As time passes and one begins to see this person without the archetype clouding vision, one must learn to respond to the reality of this person. Often we exclaim that this wasn’t the person we married. The truth is that this statement is a true statement. One marries a real person but one thinks one is marrying a different person, one that is created within one’s own psyche.

As the years pass, we begin the process of discovering the real person we have taken as a mate. As we note the reality and adjust, we change ourselves to fit with the other in an attempt to continue the relationship. Sometimes the changes are too much or go against the fundamental beliefs we hold of ourselves. When this happens the relationship enters stormy waters. We are forced to re-examine these fundamental beliefs and weigh them against the positives, and there are always positives, in the relationship.

If one is honest, then a relationship will always enter stormy waters. We must be honest with ourselves and with our partners. That honesty will point out the differences between each other and the differences we hold about the other than are causing personal discord. This honesty isn’t spoken with the intent of changing the other person as that can’t be realised and have the other person be true to their own nature. With honest there is an opportunity to see each other in a new light and consider how that resonates or complements what one honestly knows about oneself.

Attempts to change the other, demand change in the other, or force change on oneself for the other always ends in fracturing. Accepting the differences allows a relationship to continue and to grow. As the relationship grows, the strength of the individuals in the relationship also grows. The relationship becomes a sacred container within which both partners feel safe, the relationship becomes a holy marriage.


4 Responses

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  1. alas many marry for the hope the other will fill in them deficits they have. Then they realize the deficits are not going to be filled (for only you can do that), then the marriage falls apart
    Ironically, they reject the spouse on the characteristics that attracted them in the first place.


    October 19, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    • Ah, but they didn’t know (consciously) what it was that attracted them – it shifts from attraction to complex-activation and unconscious demands and a sense of betrayal at the conscious level. Very messy stuff, relationships.


      October 22, 2011 at 7:27 am

  2. Even outside of intimate relationships there is this sense of projection, and of expectation that the archetype you seemed to manifest will be completely realised in the physical world.
    The rage when you fails to live up to these expectations can be devastating when it happens; you were not what they thought you werehow dare you not be the all-powerful figure they wanted you to be.
    It reduces adults to small children, and the unwitting instigator of that rage is baffled by how a friend or a loved one seems to have turned on them with such savagery.


    October 22, 2011 at 12:11 am

    • Thank you, Viv, for bringing these sharp images here. The unconscious person does see him or herself as a victim, not as a co-creator of relationship. The evil done to others who are viewed as perpetrators of the felt victimization is mind-staggering.


      October 22, 2011 at 7:31 am

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