Through a Jungian Lens

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Playa Jaco

A different kind of scene today, one that I captured in Costa Rica in early 2010 along the shoreline of Jaco Bay. For some reason this image pulls at me. I am undecided about whether the water is pulling me into it or if it is about being tossed out of the waves to stand on the shore in the light like this stump. Perhaps it is both at the same time.

In a few days I fly off to Moalboal on Cebu in the Philippines for nine days of engagement with the Pacific Ocean. I am taking my snorkel gear in anticipation of spending some of the time beneath the surface of the sea, noting the life to be found in the water. I am also anticipating long walks along the beach or through forest and mountain paths with my camera in tow hoping that images appear before my camera lens. And in between these times, I want to spend a lot of meditative moments in the sun, still and attentive to my own breath and the breath of the land and the sea.

The anticipation of the break from teaching and China leaves me unsettled and less present, a feeling which I imagine will intensify until it is time for the flight from Shanghai. Added to this current feeling of detachment from my current reality is the decision to finally retire from teaching at a university regardless of location in the world. I am left wondering what will follow when I fly out of China for the last time in the late spring. The truth is, with the decision made, my spirit has already left leaving me standing in my body in China going through the motions of fulfilling a contract. With 35 years of teaching experience, my students and colleagues are unaware of my disengagement of spirit. The practice of quality teaching remains in spite of the flight of my spirit and soul.

And now I understand the image – I am the trunk left stranded, abandoned on the shore, at least the ego part of who I am. My soul and spirit have returned to the sea where they wait for that time when we reunite to engage in the next part of my journey.


Written by Robert G. Longpré

November 7, 2011 at 10:44 am

4 Responses

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  1. Dear Friend,
    My respect that you don’t cease to try to climb the slippery muddy slope of the hill, although you are in a weakened condition !
    I truly hope that the Philippines Gods will smile upon you and supply you with everything that you need for your recovery !
    Courage mon ami.

    Opa Bear

    November 7, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    • Merci, mon vieux. It is good to have you as a friend.


      November 7, 2011 at 9:16 pm

  2. I send my respect as well. It is a wise and mature ego which, having attained a meaningful connection with its source, can tolerate the tension of being separated from it for a time without undue anxiety or dread. I’m looking forward to hearing about the next phase of your ebbing and flowing cycle. Your posts always inspire.


    Jean Raffa

    November 8, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    • Thank you Jean. Your words have value and meaning for me. I look forward to hearing more from you as I continue this journey.


      November 15, 2011 at 6:37 pm

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