Archive for the ‘living the questions’ tag
I had a difficult time choosing today’s photo, and it isn’t about there not being enough interesting photos to choose from. As I went through the recent photos this photo kept coming to my attention and I continually rejected it because it was a poor photo in my opinion as there is a lack of focus in the flowers. Yet, in spite of my opinion, the photo kept reappearing. And so, I listened. So here it is. I did a bit of “fixing” in an attempt to make it a better photo using photo-editing software. The process only frustrated me as I tried to “rescue” the photo. It then dawned on me, that the photo didn’t need rescuing. It was at that moment that I realised that the task became to highlight the “weakness” and so this is the result.
Sometimes this is what life does look like. It isn’t always an experience in “LivingTechnicolor” as one would expect. There is a lot of fuzziness that is experienced, at least by me. Sometimes I want “clear” choices when presented with a dizzying array of possibilities where those possibilities are hinted at rather than presented as certainties. Hmmmn? There is something critically important in this, a need to hold to tension to allow ambiguity to play its role.
I think that this is the key bit of direction that I get from reading Jung’s words. He doesn’t come forward with answers, he simply allows his words to inform, to create a tapestry of threads that detail his journey – not my journey. I can see that it would be so easy to become an orthodox Jungian as thought Jungianism was a religion with the analysts as the priests and the Collected Works as the printed “Word.” But in doing this, I would miss my journey, my resonances and my truths.
As I sit back and let these words and accompanying thoughts swirl around within me, I begin to realise why I never did follow up on the notion to go to Zurich and study with the intention of being a Jungian analyst. I just didn’t have the “faith.” I am too much an individual to follow lock-step any thread. Everything needs to “accord” with my centre. Jung’s words constantly remind me to do just this. His words don’t ask me to “believe.” I must carve out my own understanding. And that is what it is all about, this journey of individuation.
A recent photo taken near our town shows an American Widgeon male and female. The male is blurred however I decided to keep the photo rather than trashing is, something I typically do with blurred photos. Though blurred, the photo has meaning.
I guess the meaning for me is that life is often blurred. In almost all situations, there is little that is crystal clear – black or white. I get tired of listening to the certainty and clarity that many pronounce their “knowledge” their “truths.” I get wary when hearing simplistic black versus white statements. Yes, there is good and evil in the world. Yet, that good and evil is in all aspects of the world and in all humans. The more I try to live as a saint, the more pressure the sinner within exerts on me unconsciously. Knowing this, it stops being “us” versus “them” for me.
I get tired of hearing of someone having all the answers which are available if one studies this particular book or buys into that particular belief system. The answers aren’t out there. What is an answer for me can never be an answer for you. We each must carve our our own set of answers by “living the questions” that arise within us. I don’t trust gurus or their followers. Any real “individuated” person would be much too humble to take on a mana-personality to be a guru.
Continuing on with my earlier post, I have to admit that there are still tan lines. I didn’t dare as much as I could have in order to cook completely in this alchemical stew. The fire of the sun was hidden from aspects of my psyche, stuff that I still bury deep within. Without the sun’s transformational heat which draws out the pale ghosts, I am left incomplete. Parts of my self are not yet turned into gold, an act of transubstatiation. I cling to the raw unfinished material as though to a life raft.
Why do I not yet dare to stand fully exposed to the transformational fires? Fear. Fear that what I have will be lost, fear that relationship with self and other will be forever changed. Is this bad? Not really, but it is about loss, and I don’t know if I am ready to lose the old in order to embrace the new. Change and loss.
Yet, out of the ashes of the burning a new way of being will emerge, new ways of relation will emerge. I worry that perhaps this alchemical process will reduce my self so much that there remains only ash. I worry that I will only be left with loss and be alone, removed from sanity, self and other. Yet, I know this isn’t true at the deepest level of my being. Will I be the coward and step off this path of individuation and say “enough is enough” returning to the patterns of habit and relationship that have been the fruit of all efforts so far in this journey? Can I stop even if I want to? Or, have the losses and gains already taken place and are only waiting to be acted out in the outer world? As Rainer Marie Rilke once said in his “Letters To A Young Poet”:
Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.