Through a Jungian Lens

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The Observing Ego – And A Light Turns On

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Emerging light

Emerging light

Shadows and light, it’s another way to view awareness and insight – out of darkness emerges awareness; out of awareness comes insight into the depths of the human psyche. As I sat enjoying my morning coffee, the sun began to emerge from behind the dark clouds on the horizon. It reminded me of how one “turns on the light” in order to see. The scene became one of my “ah-ha” moments that needed to be captured as an image.

I often wonder about what I am doing here in Belize. Most of my time is spent doing very little. I read a bit and most of that reading is fiction that doesn’t stretch me in any way at all. I surf the net a bit, and even resort to playing cards on the computer as a means of filling time. Hours are spent each day sitting in the sunshine “working on a tan.” If anyone was watching and making notes of the way I am spending my time, it would tell as story of an uneventful and likely boring existence. But, that would be an untrue representation.

I am stewing in the rays of the sun, ripening, or as they say in Jungian terms, I am holding the tension waiting for something to emerge from the fires and forge, something transformed. This imagery is vital to understand what is happening to me this winter in the tropics. I appear to be doing almost nothing, but I am wide awake, watching, observing, weighing, filtering . . .

The Magician energy is the archetype of awareness and of insight, primarily, but also of knowledge of anything that is not immediately apparent or commonsensical. It is the archetype that governs what is called in psychology, “the observing Ego.” [Moore & Gillette, King, Warrior, Magician, Lover, p. 106]

Hmm? Magician energy, a masculine energy. I need to read more.

The observing Ego is detached from the ordinary flow of daily events, feelings and experiences. In a sense, it doesn’t live life. It watches life, and it pushes the right buttons at the right times to access the energy flows when they are needed.” [p. 107]

This is a description of myself that my wife often comments on, a version of myself that speaks of distance rather than engagement. Now, I am understanding that I was, and am, often wrapped up in the observing Ego, as much an apprentice to the psyche as a shaman, as a magician, as a psychotherapist, as I am a participant in life as a husband and father. Yes, the light did turn on this morning, somewhere between the appearance of the sun and the reading of these few words from King, Warrior, Magician, Lover.


3 Responses

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  1. I often wonder about what I am doing here in Belize’

    I hope my dear Robert the answer is “enjoying myself”. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and sometimes a journey is no more than mindless happy wanderings without need of process. Turn off the mind and let things be!


    February 23, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    • 🙂 I agree with you, good doctor. Sometimes it is what it appears to be and no more. 🙂 Thanks.


      February 23, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    • But that said, dear doctor, there is more to it than simply “being.” There is definitely an alchemical process that is at work, working on both my good wife as well as me.


      February 24, 2013 at 7:46 am

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