Through a Jungian Lens

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Light and Shadow and Projections

with 3 comments

Light and shadow in a winter garden

When I woke up this morning I looked out the window and saw a new snowfall in the weak morning light and I saw this winterized head of some flowering plant gone to seed. I saw that the sky was cloudy and I worried that light would not be kind enough to catch the crystals that I knew were embedded in the cap of snow. After a morning coffee and checking of e-mails I noticed a break in the clouds and that sunshine was creating the scene I had imagined in my mind. I quickly grabbed my camera and took a number of photos from different perspectives until I thought I had the image that pre-existed in my mind, the image you see here. By the time I had finished eating my breakfast the sunshine was gone and cloud had returned. I was blessed by grace and for that am thankful to whatever gods were listening to my imaginal dream.

But now, back to the image itself, I wanted to catch the purity of new snow, the crystals gleaming like diamonds and at the same time, I wanted to catch the sense of darkness, of shadow. There is no contrast possible if light isn’t balanced by the presence of shadow. All white or all black renders the scene empty, lifeless. Yet even in winter when one finds contrast one knows that regardless of appearances, there is life within. I prayed for light and was rewarded with both light and shadow.

“The shadow represents that which is excluded from consciousness because it is threatening, painful, embarrassing or destabilizing. The shadow may be experienced individually or collectively; it represents a wider, richer range of energy that often operates autonomously and invades conscious life in disturbing ways, but which is ultimately necessary for the expansion and completion of consciousness. The shadow has too often been split off in Western thinking and we know, psychologically, that whatever is split off reinsinuates itself through behavioral eruptions or projections onto others.” (Hollis, Tracking the Gods, p. 33)

I have to admit that I have worked hard at excluding as much as possible, denying the shadow. And as a result, I have had to pay the price. Finally, at this stage of my life, I am admitting that I have a shadow that has depth and breadth, and that I have acted and related in the outer world under the unconscious influence of shadow. With that realisation, I can better see/sense/feel how our collective is in full denial of shadow, excluding any sense of responsibility as it projects that shadow on others such as climate scientists, environmentalists, other religions, other cultures, other skin colours, other ideologies and anything or anyone that gets in the way of the collective’s sense and belief in their entitlement to be the masters of the universe.



3 Responses

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  1. Dear Robert,
    Another great Post with accompanying photograph.
    The Universal Oneness is there indeed, when we allow Light to fall on the shadowy part we can see that the snow on the shadowy part also consist of the same glistering crystals, but hidden because of the shadow – it is only when we try to bring the Light into our Shadow that we are rewarded by becoming conscious of the phenomenon of Transformation.
    So good to read that you are progressing and are successful in removing the cloaks.

    Opa Bear

    March 6, 2012 at 12:49 am

    • I realise that when I talk about Universal Oneness, I am talking about a journey and not a destination achievable while one is breathing and engaged in life, regardless of what those vested in New Age beliefs, or those who believe in living Buddhas would have us believe. After all, we are humans, not gods, and that is as it should be. Thank you, dear friend for your concern with regard to the process of analysis.


      March 6, 2012 at 7:17 pm

  2. Dear Robert,
    Thank you for the comment on my answer of your Post.

    Once again I am confronted with the fact that my thinking in a symbolic way has to be interpreted more properly by me in words – I am sorry and thank you !

    When reading your Post, my comment and your response on my comment I came to a learning point.

    My Lesson :
    My comment on your Post should have been written as – “Great Post, I fully agree with you – and received some interesting issues to learn from”.

    Instead, (after reading your Post), I tried to fix all the images that came to my mind together in the words that I wrote in my comment – and now, when I read them again, they showed me a distorted comment with tendencies of lecturing – strange.

    So, even when I like to blame my Anima for this, LOL ! – again I learned a lesson that I should not write when I am in haste (no excuse), but instead forget about writing at that moment and wait to let all the images calm down and then carefully study them piece by piece – and after that try to put my experiences into words.
    Probably no guarantee that my next comment is to the clue – but at least this old boy has tried to learn, smile !

    Opa Bear

    March 7, 2012 at 6:57 am

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