Archive for the ‘Garden of Eden’ tag
When out with the camera I sometimes get lucky. For example, I was out to a site where I was helping with some shovelling work preparing some ground for a cement pad. Across the way was a squatter’s home with bit of a yard surrounded by barbed wire in which a little boy was playing. Soon afterwards his sister came out to run around with him. Neither of them wore clothing. There was no shame, there was simply two children with only the intent of enjoying the moment.
It makes for good photography but one has to take care not to intrude or to present such innocence in a manner that would be taken as an improper and immoral act.
It was with this eye to being careful that I made sure that “sexual” overtones were excluded. And so what is left is thus closer to perhaps and original Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Only in this case, Eve would be the older of the two. I know, this goes against the grain of everything we hold as sacred in the Christian world. But, perhaps this is necessary. Perhaps it is time to challenge the status quo and to point to something deeper and fuller, something more inclusive and balanced for all of humanity.
“And now we must ask a final question. Is what I have said of modern man really true, or is it perhaps an illusion? There can be no doubt whatever that to millions of Westerners the facts I have adduced are wholly irrelevant and fortuitous, and regrettable aberrations to a large number of educated persons. But – did a cultivated Roman think any differently when he saw Christianity spreading among the lower classes? Today the God of the West is still a living person for vast numbers of people, just as Allah is beyond the Mediterranean, and the one believer holds the other as an inferior heretic, to be pitied and tolerated failing all else. To make matters worse, the enlightened European is of the opinion that religion and such things are good enough for the masses and for women, but of little consequence compared with immediate economic and political questions.” (Jung, The Spiritual Problem of Modern Man, Modern Man in Search of Soul, 1933)
It has been seventy-seven years since Jung published this essay. Yet in all of that time, the picture he has presented here has not changed very much. The Christian God is still in charge in the bastion of the Western world; and, Allah is still invoked in the Middle East in living prayers. If anything, today the fundamentalists on both sides are at worse odds with each other with the Jewish fact of Israel tucked in between them. The “European” attitude, is now the cultured western-world attitude that stands outside of national politics in favour of fat bank accounts to allow them cultured lives of conspicuous consumption.
And modern man? Is there such a thing as modern man as envisioned by C.G. Jung? Is perhaps the hope and wish of those who find an attraction to Jung’s version of psychology simply a way to rationalize their own situation of being out of sync with the world? I know that for myself, it isn’t -as far as I can understand it- a way to explain my own strangeness in this world, my dis-ease with the world. For myself, the words of Jung have resonated with some deep interior aspect of self that is not yet fully conscious within my psyche. Because of that resonance, I accept the validity of these words and see that I do have a part, albeit a small one, to play in this ongoing story of humanity.
And because of all of this, I can forgive myself for following a different drummer, going against the grain of this modern world.
A beautiful wildflower in a ditch along the side of a highway in southern Saskatchewan, near a town called Rouleau … In the background you can see the blue flowers of flax plants. I had stopped originally to take a photo of my wife surrounded by the blue flowers, so finding this extra photo was a bonus. Taking photos of my wife with flowers has been standard operating procedure no matter where in the world we find ourselves. She is definitely in tune with Gaia, mother earth.
I’m going to continue following the idea of relationship, an idea that is at the heart of Hollis’ book, The Eden Project. This is probably the hardest topic to approach, for like all ideas, all that can be said often points back to the speaker rather than to the ideas themselves. It’s a risk, trying to uncover ideas, but so is getting up in the morning (poor attempt at humour, I know). Why do I even attempt this? Perhaps in the process of digging out ideas and listening for resonances, both you, my reader, and I will be able to come to know “self” a little better. If not,at least the thinking exercise will have been worth the time spent.
I have to admit that this topic has been of interest for as long as I can remember. Every Jungian analyst and writer that I can think of spends a lot of energy in dealing with the topic. All agree with one basic notion, that every relationship in which a person becomes engaged, is based on projections. Within each of us, images are buried deep within, images which act as templates, so to speak. As we meet people, especially people who trigger the templates, we sense that we know something about them. Some we “instinctively” know are good, are evil, are … the list goes on. When no template is triggered, we bypass the person in question, or if circumstances allow, engage them in polite conversation before taking our leave. This momentary meeting doesn’t have a “charged” feeling tone, and as such in a meeting in which projections are not present.
A bit about projections are in order, I think. First, we NEVER know that we are casting projections as they are from the unconscious. If we knew, then there would be no projection for “knowing” is consciousness. Perhaps in quoting Hollis, it can be better understoond:
All projection occurs unconsciously, of course, for the moment one observes, “I have made a projection,” one is already in the process of taking it back. More commonly, we only begin to reclaim our purchase on consciousness when the Other fails to catch, hold, our projection. If there is a central law of the psyche, it is that what is unconscious will be projected. (Hollis, page 35)
Hollis goes on to talk about two basic and universal fantasies held by humans, that of immortality and of the Magical Other. The Magical Other is a belief in the idea that there is some special someone out there that “completes” us, heals us, holds us, protects us. In a way, the magical other is about an unconscious pull back into the Garden of Eden or the womb, the time before consciousness, the time before pain and separation. Our internal template image of this Magical Other has been formed around a parental image constructed by each of us in infancy and early childhood. Of course, since there was very little conscious activity involved based on each of us at that stage having little in the way of consciousness, the templates are charged with feelings of survival.
“Nothing has greater power over our lives than the hint, the promise, the intimation, of the recovery of Eden through that Magical Other.” (Hollis, p. 50)
This is what is enacted when one “falls in love.” Think about all that is said about love and falling in love. How is it how, after years of being in a relationship, one wakes up one day and says, “Who is this stranger beside me?”