Archive for the ‘immortality’ tag
This is the Red-Crowned Crane which is a rare bird that makes its home nearby in the Yancheng area. I took the photo in the Yancheng area not knowing that the bird is on the protected species list as the second rarest crane in the world. I took the photo because the Red-Crowned Crane is featured in the mythology of China in a significant manner. In Chinese, the bird is called Xian He, or fairy crane.
In trying to do a search for the myths that surround this large bird, I kept coming up short with only a few lines that were repeated and repeated endlessly about how this bird was “a symbol of longevity and immortality” and of “nobility.” The myths themselves eluded my search. Perhaps they are yet to be translated into English and so I am left with all the images that are abundant here in China, images that feature the crane.
“While the world as it is is infinitely more complex than we can imagine, we are provided with the helpful tools of metaphor and symbol to move from the knowable world to the unknowable. If the poet compares the beloved to a flower, or analogizes the human life cycle with the seasons, we know full well what is intended. From this capacity for metaphor, symbol, analogy, we have the possibility through imagination of creating a partnership with mystery.” (Hollis,Mythologems, p. 31)
I am learning something here. I wonder about how there are things that are knowable – known – to some, such as the myths surrounding this crane, and those things that are a mystery to all. We sense/intuit something numinous but we can’t move from the fuzzy edges of contact into conscious awareness. What comes after death is the best analogy that I can think of – do we become immortal? The crane suggests that we do, a noble immortality that demands a transcendence from a corporal form. There is not “truths” to be had here, just the fuzzy edges of mystery.
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?”