Archive for April 3rd, 2010
It is not very often I bother to keep a blurry photo. A few days ago I was attempting to capture this little fellow with the camera. After a number of shots, I did get a few decent photos. Yet somehow, I didn’t delete this one like I usually do. I have a large number of hummingbird photos taken here in Costa Rica, different species in different locations and in different states of being. Yet this recent one defied the odds and remained in the photos folder.
And now as I wrestle with Jung’s essay regarding spirituality, I find that this image deserves to be here. Spirituality is a theme that is far from clear. If anything, it is numinous, just that faint presence that hints of something more than what is sensed out the side of one’s vision. It’s a theme that is so difficult that one is often reduced to comments such as “this is as clear as mud.”
One knows it is there, one has a fuzzy sense of what it might be like or where it might be located or how it might be reached. But in the end, it is still “fuzzy.” And that is a problem in today’s world of science and facts and things. We demand clarity, we demand proofs. If one is to truly believe then the answers should be easily located through an Internet search. Life is hard enough without having to try to muddle through something the best minds in the history of human kind have yet to answer to our simple satisfaction.
“Spiritually the Western world is in a precarious situation, and the danger is greater the more we blind ourselves to the merciless truth with illusion about our beauty of soul. Western man lives in a thick cloud of incense which he burns to himself so that his own countenance may be veiled from him in the smoke. But how do we strike men of another colour? What do China and India think of us? What feelings do we arouse in the black man? And what about all those whom we rob of their lands and exterminate with rum and venereal disease?” (Jung, The Spiritual Problem of Modern Man, Modern Man in Search of Soul, 1933)
From my limited experience after two years in China, one month in China and several years in remote areas living and working with Canada’s First Nations People, I would not be able to come close to answering Jung’s vital question. How can one answer what others think of us when we can’t fully grasp what we think of ourselves. And they have the same limitations of consciousness even if a different orientation. There is no magical, mystical super knowledge being held by these ancient cultures that is being withheld from us ready to transform us. That is the problem of growing awareness, the ability to see that the fuzziness and blur extends everywhere. For me, there is little doubt that if there is to be any clarity, I must begin and end with “self.”