Through a Jungian Lens

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Getting Passed the Barriers of the Unconscious

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Sea Urchin

This is just one of a huge variety of sea urchins that I found and photographed while in the Philippines in early November. Why was I drawn to take these photographs can’t be answered other than to say that I saw them and was intrigued. Some were rather plain looking and others, like this one, were rather colourful and vibrant.  Of course, in choosing this photo for this blog post, I assumed that something would emerge as I began to write. And, as always is the case, something began to arise from my own depths.

I can almost see this sea urchin as a self-portrait, a portrait of my persona doing it’s best to protect the inner core of who I am, disguise the fact of that inner core. And then on another level I see this sea urchin as my unconscious self that has barricaded itself from the prying of my ego. I will take you further into this analogy so that you can see what I mean.

Like many others, I stumbled upon philosophy and psychology and spirituality in order to fill a hole in myself. A childhood that has yet to be fully re-discovered had enough trauma to have the inner psyche begin to build defense walls, burying the trauma so that life could go one with some semblance of sanity. When the ego stumbles upon the repressed contents, or should I say stumbles upon the barricades which could well be thorny, the ego is dissuaded from going deeper and retreats back to what it perceives to be safer territory. In this process, holes – black holes – are all that the ego has left of events in the past.

Under the cover of darkness, the guards are let down and bits and pieces of the repressed contents begin to ooze out leaving an affect, a depression and sense of loss. The work of therapy is to dare to consciously do the work of re-discovery and bringing light to the darkness so that one can feel whole, that one can cease blaming oneself for being wounded. This is not a work of forgiveness, but a work of understanding who one is so that one is free to move forward without constantly looking at life through a rear-view mirror and with holes in one’s lens. This is not a work of laying blame upon those who wounded either. In uncovering the wounds, and understanding how the wounding resulted in our unconscious responses to situation in our current lives, we begin to gain control of our responses rather than to continue to be a victim of the unknown, the darkness and the fear.


Written by Robert G. Longpré

December 20, 2011 at 9:06 pm

2 Responses

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  1. For My Young Friends Who Are Afraid

    There is a country to cross you will
    find in the corner of your eye, in
    the quick slip of your foot–air far
    down, a snap that might have caught.
    And maybe for you, for me, a high, passing
    voice that finds its way by being
    afraid. That country is there, for us,
    carried as it is crossed. What you fear
    will not go away: it will take you into
    yourself and bless you and keep you.
    That’s the world, and we all live there.
    – – – William Stafford

    John Ferric

    December 24, 2011 at 9:16 am

    • This is beautiful! Thank you dear friend.


      December 24, 2011 at 2:43 pm

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