Archive for the ‘ghosts’ tag
As I was walking along the sidewalk upon the return from a longer walk in the countryside, this little bird was huddling in the protection of the tree, closer to the calm centre. Often, we do the same thing, we retreat from the buffeting winds of the outer world for the presumed safety of the shadows. Do we necessarily know what we are really doing when we do this, or is it just an instinctual respone?
Robert Johnson has an interesting point of view:
When we experience inexplicable conflicts that we can’t resolve; when we become aware of urges in ourselves that seem irrational, primitive or destructive; when a neurosis afflicts us because of our conscious attitudes are at odds with our instinctual selves – then we begin to realize that the unconscious is playing a role in our lives and we need to face it. (Johnson, Inner Work, 1986, p. 5)
I found this quote which I had highlighted in my copy of this book this morning, the first thing that caught my eye. Synchronicity? Perhaps. Why do I suggest synchronicity? Well, if you have been following the posts and the comments, you will have found that some of my posts are in response to the comments. I had no intention of deliberately responding to one of the latest comments through a post, but it somehow began to emerge. First, the photo. Retreat into a safe place, an assumed safe place. Only, it isn’t so safe at all as in this shadow zone, one is not alone at all. The ghosts, shadows and memories crowd into this safe place making it seem more a prison than a safe container.
Waking up to the unconscious is something can disable the psyche, especially if one is not also strong in the outer world. The best strategy when in this position is to find a guide. Of course, I am biased and would suggest that one find a qualified, certified Jungian analyst. Why? Well, this allows one to remain in charge and not become an obedient follower. In my opinion, this is the best and safest route to take when attempting to become a whole person, a healed person with a healed soul.
This photo was taken on the evening of the Lantern Festival, the last event of the Spring Festival in China. Since the event is tied to the full moon, that date shifts every year. That evening, I watched as many sent off paper lanterns into the sky from the Buddhist temple that stood at the side of the park in which I was standing to take this photo. The lanterns were like small hotair ballons which were powered by a flame in a small box which made the lantern glow in the dark night sky. Each lantern is sent to the heavens with a prayer written within. The year before this photo, I stood on the edge of the South China Sea and sent a lantern free into the night sky.
I guess I could say that this sending of a prayer into the night during a full moon is symbolic. For me, the moon is representative of anima, that distant feminine aspect that is found within the deep and dark underworld of unconsciousness, in shadow country. I choose to enter into this region of shadows, ghosts and relics in hope of finding hope and meaning. I know that there is something deeper within, something deeper without that is waiting to be born, to be reborn in consciousness.
Something in us knows much more than the ego does, and in time the ego may learn to enlarge its frame to include this other wisdom. This is how one benefits from the compensatory power of the unconscious as it seeks to enlarge the narrow frame of consciousness. (James Hollis, On This Journey We Call Life, 2003, p. 54)
Now that the “el norte” has passed, the seashore is littered with millions of new shells. In search of new shells for our collection I noticed that all the shells were empty. I got to thinking about how the sea managed to find the empty shells and toss them out onto shores as though trying to clean house. Knowing that the sea is symbolic for the unconscious had me begin to associate how the inner storms that work within us basically ends up doing somewhat the same type of thing. We are forced to come to grips with aspects of self which we have abandoned or disowned. Those which we recognise and accept are integrated into our sense of conscious self. Those that we realise are simply relics and detrius are then set free from the depths of the unconscious and let go. Ghosts that are not banished, but released.