Through a Jungian Lens

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Knowing Versus Living From the Soul

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Peeling back layers of knowing to finally understand

Peeling back layers of knowing to finally understand

I have spent most of my life in pursuit of knowledge. When midlife came, that quest for knowing shifted to getting to know myself – self understanding. Maybe it is because of the fact that I am a man that I need to know and so analyze as many things as I can in order to arrive at what I think of as full understanding. Working with others as a counsellor, the task was the same, analyze all the bits to be found – thoughts, desires, dreams, and behaviours. That work was rewarding as there definitely was a shift in awareness that led to a shift in behaviours and attitudes. But, there was always something missing, something that led to a return to my office, or my return to the office of my own analyst. Knowing seemed to stop and get stuck at the surface of life.

“Some ways of knowing do not require understanding. You don’t need to understand a play or a movie to enjoy it. You may know your spouse very well, but as years go by you understand this person less and less. Yet you are profoundly involved in the drama of the marriage. You may know your dog, but you may understand nothing of his experience or nature. You may understand less and less about the world, and yet you may feel more a part of it than ever. [Moore, Original Self, pp 73-74]

Yes, this is what I was finally coming to realise – that I knew so much but understood much less. I am learning that I don’t have to understand, but simply just live. This is the gift of all those experiences that led me to realise that I only find myself knowing less and less the more that I add bits and pieces of data and information into my brain cells. This is the gift of time spent on a meditation cushion simply being. Life is becoming more magical and less frustrating in the process.


Written by Robert G. Longpré

September 28, 2013 at 10:58 am

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