Through a Jungian Lens

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Inter-relatedness of Human Psyche and Planet Earth

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Build on a foundation of water

The city of Changzhou is on the south shore of the Yangtze River not all that far from the ocean and Shanghai. As a result, one doesn’t have to dig very deep in order to hit ground water. This photo was taken not too far from where I live in an area undergoing intensive development with new high rise apartments. Some fields such as this one sit for the most part undisturbed, for the moment when the tall cranes migrate across the busy street to begin another set of housing and apartments that promise paradise. And all of it is being built in what I could best describe as swampland.

Interesting how the outer world often serves as a metaphor of our inner psyche’s landscapes – or is it the other way around? As I capture so many images of the world and see, through active imagination, so much that touches on the core being of self that lies buried under our skin, I wonder if there is meaningful design and with that design, integral linkages between the human collective psyche and nature. Does the collective shadow impact nature to such an extent as to serve as a foundational cause for the earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, etc.? Intuition is telling me that a single creative designer must lie behind and within the universe, that the bits and pieces of that design are all linked.

We learn in our elementary science classes that every biome, every ecosystem depends on the health and presence of all of its constituent parts. If one part is hurting, all of it hurts. I think of the environmental hurt in Louisiana due to hurricanes and the relatively recent BP oil disaster as I write this, and how that hurt flows through the rest of the planet sending its shock waves which reverberate through other systems and through the human psyches touching each of these ecosystems. I wonder which came first, the hurt within us as humans, a hurt that about our own darkness, our collective shadow. Does our collective shadow feed the physical world causing disruption and disharmony? When I read the words of Richard Chachere, a Jungian analyst from Louisiana, in his “Tears for Louisiana” there is little doubt that we humans stress the planet with our psychic upheavals as much as the planet stresses humans with its physical upheavals.

I admit that I am troubled by the darkness of the human spirit and the restlessness that is buffeting the earth.


Written by Robert G. Longpré

October 26, 2011 at 5:14 pm

2 Responses

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  1. indeed
    I feel this way too.


    October 27, 2011 at 12:24 pm

  2. Dear Robert,
    Thank you for this very wise Post of today – with so many elements to think about.
    You are right – we only can assume such by our intuition and to be aware – as we have no empiric research result.
    And so, after reading your last line, I want to add :……. there is little doubt that we humans stress the planet with our psychic upheavals as much as the planet stresses humans with its physical upheavals – IN RETURN.

    Opa Bear

    October 27, 2011 at 7:40 pm

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