Through a Jungian Lens

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Embracing the Journey of Self Discovery

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Buddha in a cave in Da Nang, Vietnam

I was looking for a photo for my wall as part of my sacred space and found this image which caught my attention. It isn’t the image I want for the wall but it was waiting for my attention here on the blog site. As I wandered through various countries in Asia over the past six years I am surprised at the number of photos taken of Buddha. The first image of Buddha that I can recall was one that was Chinese in appearance as compared to the Tibetan or Southeast Asian versions of Buddha. Wandering through Southeast Asia I got to see various representations of Buddha and began to realise that Buddha has been culturally personalized. It didn’t take me long to also realise that the practice of Buddhism is as varied as the physical presentations of Buddha.

The images point to something beyond the image.  Buddha is not a god.  Rather, Buddha images beg us to look beyond the image into something that is impossible to capture in an image, something numinous, something god-like.  As I dig carefully into this numinous idea called Buddhism I am beginning to see that same “kingdom within” that is spoken of in Christianity.  The digging quietly leads me deeper into my Self, not the small self of ego, but a larger version that tells me that I am more than my ego, that ego is a flawed, conflicted and complexed self that is haunted by shadows and darkness.

As I find light in the darkness I get to banish the shadows and learn that I am more than I know.  And so I take heart and continue the work of individuation, the work of enlightenment, the work of becoming more and more aware of Self.  I embrace the journey learning to love myself and others simply because there is no more choice.  Once begun, the journey can’t be stopped, one cannot go backward while the mind is still alive and functioning.

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