Through a Jungian Lens

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Shadow Country

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Returning to Canada - things aren't as expected.

Returning to Canada – expected the unexpected.

I took this photo, yesterday morning, the day after this rocker, my summer rocking chair on our deck where I often enjoy a morning coffee in sunshine, was brought out of storage. Two days ago, I was sitting outside in the sunshine without a need for a jacket. Yesterday, the unexpected paid a visit and now I find myself waiting – waiting for something else to emerge, something unexpected.

Last night, I picked up a book that I bought two years ago but have never opened. I don’t know why it took so long as I am not known for setting new books aside. Regardless, this book caught my attention and I opened it and began reading. The book, Why Good People Do Bad Things, by James Hollis, immediately gripped me and I knew that I was going to take the things that began stirring within me, here where I could reflect with the resonances and perhaps understand myself and the Shadow, more.

The general consensus among most of those who know me is that I am a good person, a nice guy in spite of my quietness. I am aware of the existence of shadows and ghosts within me, and usually I am quite successful at keeping them quiet so that I can live among others as a nice guy. I am well aware that there are depths that contain not only secrets that I want kept that way, but also a Robert that is not such a nice guy. I sense the dark Robert’s presence and tread carefully. If I simply ignore this aspect, there is usually hell to pay and I am left picking up the mess he leaves behind.

However, it isn’t about my Shadow that I want to bring here. I have done that many times already in the past. There is something more important that must be dealt with at this time. I want to bring words here as much for you as for myself. The current situation in our world is not good. I won’t go into a long list of bad things happening to us as individuals, or the environment, or to us in our communities and cultures. So, I want to begin these reflections with this opening statement from Hollis in his book:

“Those who do not consider the implications of the divided human soul remain unconscious and are therefore dangerous to self and others. Those who do bother to stop and look and ask why, become more and more attuned to the complexity of their own psychological processes; their lives grow more interesting to them; and they become less dangerous to themselves and others.” [p. xiii]


Written by Robert G. Longpré

April 17, 2014 at 10:03 am

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