Through a Jungian Lens

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It really isn't black and white, it just looks that way.

I have no wish to be more than I am for to wish to be more, is to wish to be other than myself. To believe that I am more than I am is hubris.

I have no wish to be less than I am for to wish to be less, is to wish to be other than myself. To believe that I am less than I am is hubris.

Hubris is defined as overconfident pride and arrogance. Immediately most of our political leaders, corporate leaders, social leaders come to mind. But o course, these are the people in the spotlight. Within each of us, hubris rears its ugly head. The moment we think ourselves “better than” an other or others, we are under the spell of hubris. We are in a state where we can’t see the other or others with any clarity at all, for to see them and ourselves as we really are would dispel the attitude of hubris. Understanding this, one is then led to acknowledge that adopting the opposite belief, that of being “less than” an other or others is also an act of hubris. How many of us cherish our wounds, savour the pain as we come to believe that we have the greatest wounds, take the most pills, suffer the most, have the heaviest load to carry? We wear our negated worth with pride demanding that all take note of our “greatness.”

That said, I do want to “be.” But what is it that I want to be? It might sound quite simplistic, but the truth is, I just want to be me whatever and whoever that might be. I want to know me, not just the leftover edges of various shadows and actions and projections and distorted memories that have collected in my cerebral data banks called my brain. Each of the facts as I know them of who I am are not much more than subjective illusions. I know that I am not a hero or a saint. I also know that I am not a demon or a coward – but I don’t know the essence of who or what I am. Perhaps it is because I am not as singular as I have been lead to believe. Perhaps I am only an temporary presence in a temporary form of something that is timeless and formless.

Now if I could rid myself of these vague thoughts and intimations I might just be able to be someone  special perhaps a real saint or a real intellectual or a real artist. But even looking into a mirror tells me the lie of who and what I am for the eyes and face staring back are constantly shifting as time passes, if time passes. I just keep shape-shifting. So I learn silence and drop pretense an disguises and leave the hoarding of fame, fortune and infamy to others. And as for me, breathing is enough.


Written by Robert G. Longpré

April 22, 2012 at 5:08 pm

7 Responses

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  1. My Protestant ancestors were very suspicious of any sign of hubris, which was often their interpretation of anyone trying to evolve a separate Self from the Tribe.

    My archaic roots still feel guilt whenever I start to shine – this is pride and hubris!

    True hubris gets struck down by the Jungian axiom the universe likes balance – get too haughty and you get struck down.


    April 23, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    • Good old Catholic guilt adds to the existential and collective, tribal guilt that comes with daring to ask “What do I think? What do I want? What do I need?” We have yet to learn that answering these questions actually nourishes the tribe.


      May 3, 2012 at 6:15 pm

  2. What are the “rules” for measuring the distance between me and “others?” Whenever I find myself imagining I am “better.” I mentally change the term and define myself as simply “different,” paradigm changes. This is for my benefit, not the “others’.”

    John Ferric

    April 24, 2012 at 8:52 am

  3. As my dear friend Alice Howell (95 years of age) of Jung Fire would message :

    I andThou

    Here’s a thought:

    A man gives a lecture to 100 people.
    In fact, he gives 100 lectures because each listener hears/interprets his or hers uniquely.

    Thus the Thou I meet in you will be different from the Thou that you meet.

    Vive la difference!

    With every encounter we may or may not enter the other and the other may or may not enter me as an individual.

    Thus though the encounters may be the same, the results are always different. This postulates that encounters are alike only in the encountering, the results will render a choice – meaningful or not?

    Love always,

    Virgo Prunefiddle


    Opa Bear

    April 25, 2012 at 2:40 am

    • Opa, Thank you for bringing Alice Howell’s words here. 🙂


      May 3, 2012 at 6:16 pm

  4. Good morning, Robert…and thank you for your words this morning. I have work to do today and will miss my Sunday worship service of being out and hiking in the mountains and canyons near my home…but I have found a compelling message in your words this morning. We have exchanged comments about searching for who we/I might be beneath all of the expectations and facades of my real self…and this post fits properly within that conversation. Thank you again for sharing of yourself and for providing yet another opening through which I might learn more of myself.



    April 29, 2012 at 7:07 am

    • Thanks again for taking the time to share your words, here, Scott. 🙂


      May 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm

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