Archive for August 8th, 2010
There is nothing more regal than the eagle flying free in the sky. I take a lot of bird photos as you, my readers here, have probably long guessed. For me the eagle is like a king, a symbol of high consciousness. I was relatively pleased with this photo given the limitations of my camera. I know that there is an opportunity for better photos if only I would invest in a better camera. Watching my eldest daughter learn the craft of photography this past week as we wandered through both natural landscapes and people landscapes, I began to envy her much better camera. What is stopping me? Well, the only thing really stopping me, is myself. I am reticent on spending on myself whereas it it quite easy to spend on family. Still those old issues of self-value that keep creeping in.
Consciousness and eagles – that’s an easy symbol to grasp. But what about a lack of consciousness? Most accept that darkness, the inner realms of caves and underground are apt descriptors. Balancing the realms of consciousness and the unconscious is the task I set for myself and I still have a long way to go to feel that I would truly be in a state of balance. But what if there is no consciousness or very weak consciousness?
“With no human consciousness to reflect themselves in, good and evil simply happen, or rather, there is no good and evil, but only a sequence of neutral events, or what the Buddhists call the Nidhanachain, the uninterrupted causal concatenation leading to suffering, old age, sickness, and death.” (Jung)
The key is human consciousness. But, what does that exactly mean? I think I have to answer this as best I can so that you can understand what I am talking about, what I think. Of course, this isn’t necessarily what Jung meant, as I don’t exactly know what he meant or thought. It is hard to begin as I want to make a distinction in “knowing” stuff and being conscious.
Obviously, almost every human is aware that he or she exists and that there are other people, the environment and things around the self. Most get some education, some of that education being quite detailed and documented with degrees of all sorts. There is proof of “knowing” stuff in this. Yet for all of the education and the information that comes from the senses, there is not necessarily a high level of “consciousness.” Jung calls this “knowing” an “immediate consciousness.”
My long-time friend, Robert Heyward, had published a serious examination of “consciousness” at the Jung Page that is worth the time and effort to absorb. With that said, I return to consciousness as a different awareness of self that comes not out of the experienced outer world, but from bringing the unconscious contents of the self into one’s awareness. Consciousness, for me, is about becoming more aware of why I act, feel, think and relate as I do with the world and the people in it. I become more conscious in taking back projections that I have foisted on others unconsciously. I become more conscious in facing my own shadows. Becoming conscious is about finding what it is within that makes me feel angry, abandoned, jealous, envious or any number of other “affects.” This is a lifetime task, a task that is never completed, but one that is more rewarding than one could ever believe possible.