Archive for the ‘artifice’ tag
Behind the blue metal wall is a new housing project called Chianti. Why Chianti? I could only guess. The images on the main wall suggest that the housing project will evoke an Italian and Spanish location. The main entrance has a strikingly beautiful pale yellow building with clock tower that is “European” in look and feel.
However on this side of the blue metal barrier is a different world, one that is decidedly not indicative of wealth, one that is rural and Chinese. The artifice has been stripped away and all that is left is bare bones simplicity.
Why is it that I took this photo and passed on the European style of beauty that lay on the other side of the wall? Good question that remains to be answered. Strange how I get pulled into attention with contradictions and the tension between those contradictions.
“There is by definition a natural conflict between ego and shadow, but when one has made a commitment to live out as much of one’s potential as possible, then the integration of the shadow – including the inferior attitude and functions – evolves from being merely theoretically desirable to becoming a practical necessity. Hence the process of assimilating the shadow requires the capacity to live with some psychological tension.” (Sharp, Jungian Psychology Unplugged, p. 30)
I should have guessed that it was not just an attraction to dirt roads as opposed to paved highways. It is about staying alert to the tension between the conscious and the unconscious; between ego and shadow. In thinking about it, the terrain between my dominant function of intuition and the weaker functions is not much different that the differences between the dirt road country and the world on the other side of the blue wall. One is well constructed with all manner of comforts while the opposite side is mostly abandoned, undeveloped. The image is clear in what it asks of me – “Please pay attention to me; please bring me some of your energy.”
Above the entrance to the main temple near the top of the Magician’s Pyramid in Uxmal, the representation of Chaac, the rain god, includes this detail of two naked bodies with their backsides together. One is obviously a male while the second figure, the one on the left is not in good enough shape to distinguish gender. Since rain is about life, it would be my guess that the second figure was female. The Chaac figure is found on almost every building at Uxmal. Some of them with the pendulous nose pointed towards the heavens as though to catch the rain and some of them have the nose pointing downwards as though to feed the earth with the life-giving waters. Nude figures in Mayan ruins are often depicting slaves and humans that are sacrificial. The theme of sacrifice is strong in Mayan religion.
Mayans acted out the collective unconscious at a basic level believing that the gods could be reached only with knowledge, ritual and prayer that was beyond the normal conscious state. Sacrifice was essential to make this mythological journey to the gods. Today, we still must make the journey into the the collective unconscious through our own rituals, sacrificing skepticism and the dogmatic belief in only one rational world. This kind of sacrifice is risky for most people, too risky. In a way, one needs to become trustingly submissive and stripped of all artifice, the price for the journey through the underworld that is dark and moist and pregnant with life giving awareness.