Through a Jungian Lens

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Hubris and Deleterious Consequences

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Winter showing signs of thawing out

Yes, there are signs that the winter freeze is lifting as water begins to appear on the surface of ice as temperatures dance near the freezing point. I took this photo yesterday as I took another walk through a different section of Fish Creek Provincial Park which is found within the city of Calgary. I was fortunate to have good light conditions with sunshine and clear blue skies for most of the long walk which lasted about two hours, conditions that led to taking quite a few photos.

Needless to say, the photo is symbolic of what is happening within my own psyche as I begin to “thaw out” the stuff frozen and boxed and hidden deep and far away as if buried on some asteroid or forgotten and abandoned moon. Yes, I am making reference to the dream posted here a few days ago. There is no doubt that the dream, the synchronistic events and the images I am seeing in nature are all trying to tell me something important. All of these are telling me to get off my high horse and get real, get down to earth. Like many, I have an ego that is often imposing and perhaps a bit intimidating to others. My use of words, philosophical words, psychological words or any kind of über-intellectual words are my pathetic attempt to stand above the crowd and proclaim my uniqueness. It’s all about hubris.

“Hubris is the failure to recognize the distinction between what is human and what is divine, between what is permitted to human consciousness and what remains the proper province of the gods. Hubris may arise either from flawed judgment of from inflated vanity that arrogates to itself capacities it does not posses; in either case there are deleterious consequences.” (Hollis, Tracking the Gods, p. 31)

Most of my inflation is buried deep in fantasies. I have to admit that fantasy has me being something of a superman in some form or other. In dreams I fly above the world able to fly through mountains and other objects. In fantasies I see myself in various roles of saving the world, or the country, or becoming a world famous writer or musician or photographer. I know that this is all about fantasy as I don’t work near hard enough with anything, perhaps other than with my blog writing and photography, but even then reality slaps me up the side of the head when I look at the statistics for the blog site which now bounces between 150 to 200 visits per day. This is the best it has ever been, but nothing near the tens or hundreds of thousands of visits that “famous” sites receive each day. The numbers quickly give me a lesson in reality.  Still, the fantasies are there though I know that they are just fantasies now.

But when I look at our political leaders either American or Canadian, whether they are the parties in power or in opposition, hubris is rampant and there is no arguing with the sense of entitlement and power, the sense of being supermen that these leaders exhibit. Rules are for the rest of us, our self-proclaimed über-men, supermen, believe they make the rules and as such stand outside the rules as if they are the modern world version of super-heroes and mythological warriors. And therein we find the roots of “deleterious consequences‘” that we are now facing in the modern western world.


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