Through a Jungian Lens

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Is The Ego Really In Charge?

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Walking down an unfamiliar path

Yesterday’s walk to me to a new part of the city, the northeastern outskirts of the city proper. It was a surprise to find such a quiet and undeveloped space only two kilometres from the apartment. Needless to say, that meant a lot of new photo scenes were captured. As most of my walks go, I didn’t walk alone but with my wife who is seen walking down an unfamiliar path. Off to the right is a canal and off to the left is swampland that has a series of small vegetable gardens, evidence that there is no such thing as wasted land, useless land. There is little doubt that this area will be visited a few more times this fall and winter.

This Chinese city is similar to the typical human psyche. I will explain that it a moment but first, a bit more about this city. The core of the city has a population of just under two million with the population of the governance area of just over four and a half million. Though it is given one name, Changzhou is really a series of old cities, towns and villages. Today, the city is divided into five districts (each with its own administrative centres, towns and villages) and two sub-city administrative departments. Changzhou has a mayor as one would expect as well as five vice-mayors, one for each of the administrative districts, and two sub-city mayors. Within this administrative nightmare are the small towns and villages with each having their own administrative structures which are under the umbrella of the district government which is under the umbrella of the Changzhou prefecture-level government. That is a lot of government for what could say is a single entity.

As I said above, the city makes me think of the human psyche where ego serves as the “mayor” thinking that ego is actually the boss. But under the conscious governance of the ego, there are a a host of competing power structures.  Some of these structures come out of the experiences of ego with the world, structures called complexes. Some of these structures come out of the collective human unconscious, structures called archetypes.  Underlying complexes and archetypes there appears to be a undefinable presence that permeates everything, unifies everything.

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