Through a Jungian Lens

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The Self Behind the Symbols

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A collection of Canada and Snow Geese on a local lake – Saskatchewan, October 2012

It seems all the small and larger local lakes are busy places as geese prepare for their annual trip to warmer climes in the southern parts of North America. The sheer number of geese gathering on the lakes and feeding on the nearby fields staggers the imagination. If one could say that there exists too much of a good thing, the geese become a vivid visual example. As busy as hunters are, they have no hope of reducing the numbers to a point where there could be said to be a good ecological balance. But, nature has its own way of dealing with the problem when the balance becomes too skewed. Of course, when this happens, nature has a tendency to go a bit overboard resulting in severely diminished numbers. It all becomes a pattern of feast and famine, an eternally repeating cycle.

Animated Yin Yang by Dookie

When I consider the human psyche, I am reminded that there is a continual circling of the psyche within each human. I am continually reminded of my own cycle of approach and withdrawal to the feminine within and the feminine without. I am reminded of the cycle of the day and how I respond to both the moon and to the sun, the two celestial bodies that hold fascination in spite of their constant familiarity. And I am reminded of how I live my life in cycles of conscious living with intention, and unconscious living where the intention seems to come from somewhere other than my ego self.

At times I try hard to resist the natural cycles, wanting to hold tight to one particular way of being. I attempt to build a container that would hold out the changes that the cycles demand. I want to be in charge, in control. After all, I am a man and like most men, I need to sense that I am in control, at least to appear to others to be in control. Yet, that control is elusive. What I am left holding when convincing myself that I have it all under control, is no more than a mirage.

As a result, I end up doing as other men do – building external structures that serve as symbols of my control, my power – symbols that are more about wishful thinking than they are about the reality of who I am behind the symbols.

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