Through a Jungian Lens

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Emerging Out of Darkness

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Emerging out of darkness

I have to admit that I haven’t been doing as well as I thought since the day my mother died.  I had thought that I was prepared for her death knowing that it was coming and having had a week-long visit with her in order to say our good-byes.  It took four days for the tears to finally come and allow the pressure to ease up.

I descended into a darkness.  I felt an intense guilt about still being alive even though it seemed a part of me had died; it was almost as if the creative inner force within me, my very soul had died.  I wanted to disappear, forever, into that darkness.  I was forgetting to breathe.  A vise had seized my lower stomach and was squeezing for all it was worth and all I wanted was for it to stop, for stop to the pressure and pain.

But, I was not alone through this.  My good wife was there as well.  It is not easy being with one who is often not in this world. That we were on holidays, whose dates were of our choosing more than a month ago, when my mother died was yet another blessing though it tainted the idea of this being a holiday.  I didn’t have to bury feeling even more while I would have gone through the motions of teaching.  I had a time, space and place to go through this process.

Meditation in a small cave near the sea

Meditating at least twice a day while here in the Philippines, having adopted this routine of a morning meditation on the balcony and an afternoon meditation in a secluded beach location where the sound of the waves add to the meditative experience, has provided me no small measure of additional release.  Now, with this post, it feels as though there has been a shift and I am now emerging out of the darkness.

Today’s photos were taken by my wife.  The scene is a cliff-side cave quite a distance south from where we are staying.  The rock was hard and sharp, but for some reason, this was okay.  At least it let me know that once again, I can feel.


6 Responses

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  1. Dear Robert,
    Thank you for sharing your experiences.
    I am happy to read that you can Feel again !
    In his last letter to me, shortly before he passed away, my brother wrote these wise words to me :
    “always try to count your blessings, not your troubles !”
    I hope that in your sorrow and your recovery, you are able to experience these lights.

    Opa Bear

    November 17, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    • Yes I can feel again . . . and breathe again. Thank you for sharing your brother’s words here.


      November 20, 2011 at 5:38 pm

  2. So sorry to read that you had such a profound and unanticipated reaction to your mother’s passing. Some hidden shadows that surfaced when the time was appropriate it seems.

    It sounds, despite the obvious discomfort, that it was also cathartic.

    There is no doubt that having that amazing, strong, and grounded partner by your side has been crucial over the years.

    With feelings renewed and the fog of depression lifted, I hope that you can look out with refreshed optimism.

    Syzygy Xanadu

    November 17, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    • You are right, it was a cathartic event. Such events force us to confront not only the reality of our own mortality and the mortality of those we love, they also force us to be more honest with ourselves at a level of depth that frightens. Thank you, good friend.


      November 20, 2011 at 5:41 pm

  3. Looking at this remarkable image, I can’t help but think the death of your mother has in some way begun a rebirth in you. Even your words speak to me of a birthing experience:

    “A vise had seized my lower stomach and was squeezing for all it was worth and all I wanted was for it to stop, for stop to the pressure and pain.”

    The vagina-like rock formation in the photo would make for a precarious birth but when the Being is ready nothing can stop the force of Nature.

    After my father died, it took me years before the unexpected sadness stopped overtaking me. It would happen at the strangest times and I could not control it. It felt like someone was ripping out my heart. All I could do was go with it. It was too strong to do anything else.

    To feel is such a gift. Call it to you and it will come..


    November 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    • Jane, these are powerful words in response to the image and the words of my post.. Thank you for the gift of these words.


      November 20, 2011 at 5:46 pm

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