Through a Jungian Lens

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Wholeness Includes Darkness As Well As Light

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Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.”  (Albert Einstein, 1954)

I found this quote from Einstein that”fits” so well with how I am coming to understand the world. For me, it is all about wholeness, a state that I have come to accept is as close as one can get to holiness. Holiness isn’t necessarily found in a church or a religion though holiness must include the churches as well as the lowest human hovels as sacred places. To be able to find sacredness in the places we build whether they are palaces, cathedrals, mosques, temples, churches or square-box buildings, we must first find that sacredness in ourselves and in others.

It is hard to find sacredness in so many places in our modern world. Sipping a latté at Starbucks seems about as far away from sacredness as one could probably find oneself with the exception of a prison or perhaps a strip bar. Yet, even these places can and must hold some part of our human spirituality – the shadow faces of the divine. After all, it takes everything and everyone to make the whole. Nothing is excluded. No one is excluded.

I find myself troubled by so much that passes itself off as spiritual and religious. Those who dedicate their time and energy to “save” others have set themselves apart from those “others.” As Einstein says it, that separateness from others becomes a prison, a state where the essence of being whole is denied. The same idea of setting oneself apart is found in the “me versus you” or “us versus them” belief systems that marks our modern world of politics, religion, and economics of grasping for power and control. It’s as though we believe we will find ourselves starving and condemned if we fail to “win” these wars of power and control.

I don’t have any answers for these things that trouble me. I do recognise that this darkness within the universe is also a part of the whole as much as is the light. The only hope I find for myself is to accept that it all comes down to either black or white, good or evil. Only then can I begin to approach the reflection of that universe of darkness and light that swirls within my own psyche. Every time I have tried to deny one aspect of that cosmos, I have crashed flat onto my face and found myself wanting to disappear in order to stop the extreme pain of attempted amputation without anesthesia, an amputation of psyche.

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Written by Robert G. Longpré

February 3, 2014 at 9:28 am

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