Archive for July 27th, 2009
I guess it must be my time for revisiting older photos. Here is one from May, 2008. It was actually the May Day festival in China. I was visiting at the home of one of my education students as part of the celebrations for both the May Day festival and her birthday. One of the events planned for the day was to ride in a motorcycle taxi to visit a park just outside of the village about an hour’s drive from my apartment in the city. The photo shows a blurred reflection of my wife in the motorcycle’s mirror.
Just how well can we know our significant others? I wonder as I struggle to come to grips with who I am, how one can ever claim to know anyone all that well. It seems that the closer one gets, the more the other becomes a mystery. I think this even gets more confusing when projections begin to be withdrawn. Long years of being together has given a person some sort of idea who this significant other is. Yet, as one or both begin the quest for self discovery, then the image of the other shifts like some shapechanger.
Who is this stranger? Are you ready for your eyes to be wide open, to risk seeing more clearly, to risk the relationship? Or, will you retreat into past patterns, will you choose to get stuck?
Wheresoever patterns are found, there are complexes at work. Wheresoever complexes are found, history prevails over the present. Wheresoever history prevails over the present, we are stuck. (James Hollis, On This Journey We Call Life, 2003, p.31)
Again, I include another photo from April, 2008, taken during that same time which could be considered as stealing from the conference in China. For me, this walk in the rain was a magical time, where the world took on a numinous quality, where I entered into a larger place which once part of a childhood that knew the world was infinite and that it was bigger and fuller than could possibly be imagined. For a moment, I felt free, filled with possibilities that had been both consciously and unconsciously denied.
What had I been denying myself? I don’t know, really. I do know that I was (and still remain) more focused on pleasing other(s). I had looked outside myself for approval, an action that was and remains doomed to failure because without self-approval, the accolades from outside become just more tinsel. Of course this is points to being dominated by complexes.
For example, a mother complex or a father complex. Not getting one’s needs filled in childhood by one’s opposite parent usually results in one entering into a relationship with someone who either will fulfil the need or one who reinforces the devaluation by the parent (see James Hollis for more on this theme in both the book quoted above and in his book, The Eden Project). The person becomes stuck in the relationship. And in being stuck, it becomes that person’s task to confront himself or herself with the reality of the complex and the nature of the relationship. Not willing to risk the relationship only dooms the quality of the relationship. Worse, it dooms one’s soul.