Through a Jungian Lens

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You Can’t Really Change Yourself – Just Discover the Fullness of Yourself

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Found on a temple wall in Saigon, Vietnam

Walking through an older area of Saigon, near the Cho Binh Tay, a market place, I came across a couple of Buddhist temples that were Chinese rather than Vietnamese. On the outer wall of the temple I saw this T’ai Chi symbol, otherwise known as yin yang, surrounded by leaves. It made me think of how the union of masculine and feminine in the real world is an act of creation, a union from which new life springs forth.

I am amazed at how experiencing different cultures in different parts of the world has been so powerful in affecting change within my psyche. It is as though the small discoveries which are more often more about numinous image than about analytical thought, seep into the unconscious soup and find resonance and become part of the soup out of which I continue to grow as a person.

In a way, it is like this image which takes on a mandala like power. I grow larger consciously while the centre holds. The more conscious I become is akin to adding yet another corresponding symbol on the mandala that represents that consciousness, numinous symbols that also point back to the centre and back to the unconscious core that remains to be discover. As I go through this process, the centre doesn’t shrink, doesn’t empty. Rather, that centre becomes a portal to something beyond containment.

Experiencing countries such as India, Vietnam, China, Laos, Cambodia in the far east has taken me to the exotic and turned that exotic into something that is natural, something that becomes integrated into the new me, a transformed me. And, as I find out about the process of self-change, that change is not about adding something new, but more about discovering what has always been there.


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