Archive for the ‘ruins’ tag
I took a lot of photos when I was at Angkor Wat in Cambodia like any good camera-toting tourist. But I was looking for more that the classical scenes of ruins, I was looking for portals, doorways into another way to being in this world, doorways into other dimensions of time and place. This photo captures something of this sense of otherness for me, capturing the water which hints of depths while mirroring the presence in a manner that says, it really isn’t as it seems to our limited vision. hinting that reality is perhaps a figment of imagination. With the presence of the stones which try to hint of human efforts to tame the world, yet serve as evidence that human efforts are subject to a greater power, that of time and nature and the sun. And then there was this tree, larger than other trees with roots descending deep into the earth as if suckling at the breast of the Mother, roots feeding on the water buried in darkness below the surface – a Tree of Life that reaches up as if in prayer to the sun and the spirit of the Father.
I’ve chosen another image from Angkor Wat to bring here, this one being away from the temples, as the collection of broken pieces has its own story to tell. It’s interesting to me how we work so hard to dig up the past and try to reconstruct the stories that are embedded in rubble and detritus. While in Angkor Wat I got to hear of the usual excesses of power from the past that had been part of what it took to construct the temples which dwarfed humans. Deep within we respond to these excesses and their manifestations as though we are moths caught in the light, unable to shift our focus and attention.
When we take the journey within our inner dark spaces, a process we call psychotherapy or psychoanalysis, we carefully pick up each remnant from the past, almost reverently in order to learn the stories that lie hidden in the darkness and shadows. Our guides in this process are aware of a fuller story but can only guide us to our small truths as we are ready, as we recognize them. Until one is ready, the rubble within is just rubble. When one is ready, images begin to emerge and it becomes a work to fit the small pieces together in order to bring to consciousness that which has been lost.
As I wrote these last words, I thought of the movie, What Dreams May Come, particularly the images of the main actor [Robin Williams] wandering through hell in search of his wife – so much wreckage, so much in ruins. I like to think that C.G. Jung was the inspiration of this film, but I must give the credit to Shakespeare who wrote:
“For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause.” (Shakespeare, Hamlet)
Picking through the pieces, one finds a path back into life in the outer world, a life that is more vibrant, more animated. One is reborn into a more conscious life, a feeling that suggests a rising from the dead and ascending into heaven.