Through a Jungian Lens

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Blurred Boundaries Between Consciousness and the Unconscious

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A real flower heavily edited becoming almost surreal

I saw this photo taken last week and wondered about how a photo is representative of an object, but not the real object. Of course that led me to thinking of how my different cameras would have seen this real flower. How we see things influences what we see. We operate in life through a web of filters, some of them conscious, most of our filters operate via a subconsciousness (personal unconscious) and a few of the filters buried deep in the unconscious. Not a single one of us is able to see what is actually present yet we “know” that it is present. I imagine that the insects that are necessary to the life cycle of flowers see something yet again different.

This is what dreams are like. There is something familiar even though there is much that is beyond our level of “knowing” in terms of our experience of an outer world reality. Flowers, people, places, sex, money, violence, passion, fear, sadness, confusion,cars, trains, plains – and a self that doesn’t have to obey any of the rules that we assume to govern us including laws of time, of physics and of nature. I fly through the skies and mountains, I swim without tanks or snorkel equipment or goggles through seas without any signals of stress. Yet, to my sleeping mind, it works and works well.

In waking life I can’t do nearly anything that isn’t mundane in terms of strength and power, nor can most people. Yet, we can in waking life be able to move well beyond our normal strengths and powers and perform almost superhuman feats of strength and courage. What is fact and what is fiction becomes blurred. Reality is much more that we can “know,” something that has more dimension than we could or would ever admit. And dreams are part of that reality. It’s all there if only we could somehow find a way to access all this information and in the process arrive at a fuller awareness. Buddhists call this enlightenment, and Jungians call it a state of individuation in which consciousness and unconsciousness become one – mysterium coniuntionis – the holy marriage.


2 Responses

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  1. Another ‘perk’ of Jungian psychology is not seeing a need for clear boundaries between reality and psychosis.


    June 10, 2012 at 9:00 pm

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