Through a Jungian Lens

See new site URL –

Images As Metaphors of the Ineffable – the Numinous

with 2 comments

In search of the numinous in images

As I take photos with my camera, more often than not I am trying to capture more than the scene that presents itself in front of the lens. I want more than a simple, factual recording of place or event. This is a task that finds me taking more photos than are necessary, taking photos that will either be deleted or else lost in the archives. I almost feel sorry for any one who would try to sort through the tens of thousands of photos in hopes of trying to figure out what I was hoping to accomplish with the photos.

Most of the photos are decent, some even beautiful. However, not many succeed in accomplishing what I want to accomplish, to capture the face of God, to show the world that there is a God in the soil, the trees, the rocks, the sky, the faces of people I meet along the way and in the creations of humans. I don’t believe in a “God” in the sense of a being of some sort who sits watching humans and evaluates them in order to decide who goes to heaven or hell. God isn’t a he or a she; God isn’t outside of life but is the fullness of life as I understand it. Gods and goddesses are minor characters that take some kind of form so as to allow us as humans to possibly hold onto a bit of the essence and meaning of God.

Whatever the gods are, they are inevitably experienced intrapsychically, as all our experiences occur, whether they derive from outer or inner causation.” (Hollis, Mythologems, p. 138)

Perhaps this is what I am trying to say, that God is experienced, and can only be experienced, within the psyche. Yet saying that, I know that God is not only within, but also without as I can only envision a God that encompasses all that is, all that has been, and all that will be. Of course this means that everything I see as well as my experience of seeing these things – the things and the experience – are all aspects of God. This is what I try to capture with the camera lens, try to capture in an image.

“. . . image is meant to point beyond itself toward the ineffable. The symbol points toward the godly, but it is not the god.”  (Hollis, Mythologems, p. 139)

Yes, this is what I am trying to do, use my photos to point toward that presence of God, capture an image that is alive with, pregnant with a deeper and fuller image. I am searching for images that act as metaphors for the spirit and soul, the psyche’s proof of whatever it is that is God.

Psychology no more knows what the psyche is than the theologian knows what God is. Anyone who thinks otherwise, and proclaims otherwise, is deluded, inflated, or psychotic. “God” is a metaphor for what wholly transcends our capacity to comprehend, expressed through primal forces which we nonetheless experience. The word psyche is a metaphor for what wholly transcends our capacity to comprehend, forces at work within each of us.” (ibid)


2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. The last paragraph hints toward Taoism, doesn’t it…that Everything that even eludes definition, yet is there and can be known in its tangible essence? The physicality of raw nature and everything therein?


    February 21, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    • Thanks for the comment, Scott. Yes it does point and hint toward Taoism, towards an non-theist/deist concept of spiritual oneness.


      February 22, 2012 at 8:38 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: