Archive for the ‘silence’ tag
I took this photo in Hong Mei Gong Yuan, or Red Plum Park in ChangZhou, two days ago. Of course, it didn’t actually look like this, so cold almost lifeless. As I was cropping and trying to have the lanterns stand out with a bit of toggling of various editing options this version of reality appeared. As I played with the editing features, I realised that what was appearing before my eyes was also reality through a different lens, but reality none-the-less. Readers here might remember that I have commented about this idea of what is seen, in my August 24, 2010 post which talked about the lens through which we see the world. This post is about dreaming, a different world or reality.
I have been dreaming a lot recently. The trip to IndoChina in January and early February seems to have awakened something within that continues to give voice as well as images to the unconscious. The outer world seems to be mimicking the inner world as small voices are protesting their enforced silence. Even in Canada, the effort going into “silencing” has taken on an autocratic tone as if to deny the very existence of another way of knowing, another point of view.
Leaders are heroes to someone – and that part is sometimes hard to understand, especially when some of these leaders distort, lie, and manufacture realities that even a bit of consciousness would immediately recognise as false. How does the world ever allow a Hitler, a Gadhafi, a bin Laden, a Bush or minor league leaders such as Harper to have leadership? Fear is the first reason. These men all prey on the fears of the unwashed, the fear of the others who are the carriers of both personal and collective shadow. Here, I want to add Jung’s words to my post in hopes that you will understand what I am thinking/feeling at this time:
“Apart from the moral difficulty there is another danger which is not inconsiderable and may lead to complications, particularly with individuals who are pathologically inclined. This is the fact that the contents of the personal unconscious (i.e. the shadow) are indistinguishably merged with the archetypal contents of the collective unconscious and drag the latter with them when the shadow is brought into consciousness. This may exert an uncanny influence on the conscious mind; for activated archetypes have a disagreeable effect even – or should I say, particularly – on the most cold-blooded rationalist.” (Jung, CW 12, par. 38)
As I look at what is occurring around the world, where many ordinary people have somehow fallen out of the webs woven to keep them silent to the point of of refusing to hear their own conscience, their own souls, I see my own culpability. I see that I have also been a leader acting out of shadow – the leader of a classroom, the leader of a sports team, the leader of a family, the leader of a school – I see that rather than leading, I was being lead and that I believed I was a hero. Yes, there is a question of degree, but when one goes into the mind of each of those we now label as infamous, each of these men see themselves as heroes. At what point does one “wake up” from the delusions and reclaim “self” from the shadow?
This is what this image today is asking me. When will I wake up and acknowledge the shadow that is being denied? Of course, I don’t consciously know what I am denying, but at least I now have an idea that something is being blocked, something is feeling banished to an inner Dachau. Yes, this photo evokes the same response as when I watched Schindler’s List. Will I deny and watch the small signs of life be silenced? I hope not. It’s time for me to listen to the inner voice of self. It’s time for all of us to listen to the inner voice within each of us that is self and wake up and leave the power of the collective shadow, the belief in a leader that will save us, that will be our hero.
I have to admit that I find old Chinese architecture very interesting. This is a detail from a traditional roofline found on most older buildings still found in China. As I wander the city of Changzhou, I see frequent examples of this style still remaining. Most are in some state of disrepair though functional. Some, such as this one, have been carefully restored using original materials. I chose this photo because of the simplicity of colour – just black and white against a “whitish” sky.
Then after choosing the photo and cropping it so that it seemed to be right for inclusion here, I saw more, the layering of the tiles as though I was seeing the layering of shadow. I also saw in greater detail, the white flower which appeared to be growing out of a tree. And then I saw the tree and was struck by the image that emerged, a symbol of man, potent man. Out of the darkness, the light grows upwards.
I find my mind caught is a number of contradictions here, just as I find my mind caught in the contradictions of relationship. The key to a good relationship is communication. However, from what I said yesterday, the key to a good relationship is keeping one’s stuff to one’s self. Sharp sums it up nicely:
“Those who think that talking about a relationship will help it get better put the cart before the horse. Work on yourself and a good relationship will follow. You can either accept who you are and find a relationship that fits, or twist yourself out of shape and get what you deserve.
The endless blather that takes place between two complexed people solves nothing. It is a waste of time and energy and as often as not actually makes the situation worse.” (Sharp, Jungian Psychology Unplugged, p. 72)
Communication is served by silence, and consciousness is arrived at through darkness, through the unconscious. How can I sense any truth to these paradoxes? The image helps me. I see the swollen member bursting forth with life and I think how that swollen member gives life only in the darkness of the mysterious, dark and moist inner world. And in giving up the essence of self, there is a unity that allows the self to disappear into a wholeness in which there are no separations between darkness and light, between masculine and feminine, between self and other.
The first snows of winter on the Dene First Nations reserve of Fond du Lac. It is amazing how the land changes its complete aspect when blanketed by fresh snow in early winter. The land becomes a fantasy land, a fairy land. The reality of cold temperatures can’t compete with the vision which beckons us to enter. The silence becomes deeper and softer in comparison with the silence of the bush that existed in spring, summer and fall; a more muted silence. This is a place of magic, not a place of messy humans. It is a place of promise.
The promise one is given when beginning the journey, the inner journey into darkness, is real. There is magic and mystery that will serve to protect and guide one in search of healing one’s soul. Let the journey begin.
I have just returned from a trip to a neighbouring province, Alberta, where I enjoyed several rounds of golf with extended family and a day on the side of a mountain where I picked huckleberries which look like a cousin of the blueberry. I took this photo on the side of that mountain. I spent quite a few hours on the side of Castle Mountain listening to the silence as I hugged the earth while searching for these berries.
In case you don’t already know it, I have a huge fear of heights. The silence was incredible and almost overpowering. Of course, the silence wasn’t so silent at all. Even with my diminished sense of hearing, I heard different sounds that were foreign to daily life in community.
Silence is not an absence of sound but rather a shifting of attention toward sounds that speak to the soul. (Thomas Moore, The Re-Enchantment of Everday Life, 1996, p. 104)
Eventually, I filled my pail with berries and returned down the side of the mountain, very carefully, often balancing on my rear-end so that the berries wouldn’t spill. Arriving at the vehicle parked on the rugged trail already two-thirds up the mountain, ahead of the others, I wandered back onto the hill to take a few photos. I didn’t take the mountain vista photos as I had been here before and I wanted to focus on life up close. The tiny wildflowers and assorted berries and wild plants were my subjects. I was captured by the colours of approaching autumn though the temperature was a rare 30+ Celsius. Then, with the approach of clouds and the booming of distant thunder, it was time to leave and return to the city.