Archive for the ‘tree’ tag
Another magnolia flower that I caught with my camera on April 1st shows a more feminine aspect. In a recent post I featured a magnolia blossom before it had opened or “flowered,” an image that evoked a sense of the masculine. As one of my readers noted in response to that post, the magnolia has both a masculine and feminine aspect. It is amazing to me how quickly the shift from a faint bud on a tree to petals fading, aging and falling off the same tree, occurs. In a way, it is a strong statement about how transitory we are in the big picture. Each of us, in turn, flowers only to fade. This isn’t something that should give rise to despair, but rather give us reason to jump fully into life with the opportunity and time given to us.
So, what is the fullness of life for any of us, for all of us? Well, that is not so easily defined as each of us has a unique journey. What makes the definition harder is the possibility that who we are, the unique self is not fully contained in a biological body. There appears to be too much evidence that we are more than the sum of our physical aspects. The word soul adds a dimension that suggests that the body is a host, an opportunity for “SELF” to be made manifest. Soul appears to be something that is not bound in the constraints of time, but timeless in the sense that there is no beginning or end to its being.
In looking at the magnolia tree and the rest of nature, watching the birth and rebirth repeated endlessly on one tree, and then seeing a new tree replacing an old tree as a statement that only the container has changed and not the essence, I get a powerful affirmation of my own being. In watching the magnolia blossom, I get a message that I too can risk putting my full self out there chasing dreams. Fear of aging and death recede as the essence of who I am does not die. To refuse the chasing of dreams leads me into dark holes that swallow me up, nightmares of darkness.
Though I am passed the mid-point of my life, I am vitalized and reveling in the sunshine and more tolerant of the gloomy cloudy days that in turn give me food for the next sunny day. I have dared to follow my bliss and feel fully alive as a result. Dare to follow your dreams rather than let them fester so that they become your nightmares.
Ta Promh has gifted me with more photos than I can ever use, as well as a life experience that I will never forget as long as I remain a conscious being. In this photo, a tree rises from the ruins of Ta Promh. The seed that became this tree belonged to the world of possibility. The possibility of life is the greatest mystery. Mystery is one way that I sense the spiritual, the existence of something that humans have given the name, God. As I look at this expression of mystery, I see two faces, one of creation and one of destruction, one of light and one of shadow.
“When we speak of “the gods” we are speaking metaphorically, as befits any approach to the mysterium tremendum, the great mystery. The gods are our personifications, please recall, the constructs of our limited intellects, which point toward the energies which run the cosmos and course through our being. So if one is “depressed,” then our being is not consonant with the intention of the gods. The gods may very well take us anywhere they damn well wish, of course, including depression as a steady state. But when we examine the psychodynamics, that is, the dynamics of the soul, we discern that depression is the expression of an energy transcendent to the ego’s choices, albeit felt as an oppression.” (Hollis, Mythologems, p. 104)
What is is that resonates for me and others in the presence of mysterium tremendum? Well it is that aspect of self that is the soul. I know the soul is there. here and in all that is me. I am a biological being, but the body is just the container, not the essence of who I am. Whatever it is that is the self is more that the body. Yet, the body has its role, its purpose in the life of the soul. As I come to realise this, I begin to understand better my purpose.
This understanding isn’t an intellectual understanding. My mind resists the fuzziness of soul, of this mysterium tremendum. My mind wants it all to be straightforward, provable to mind analytical mind, verifiable by my physical senses. As I resist the shadow and run into obstacles, my mind is taught a lesson and is reminded that I need to attend to ALL that floods my consciousness, even the stuff that only appears at the edge of consciousness, the numinous stuff. I resist too hard and find out that I don’t really have all the self-control that I think I have. The message is clear. I am not in this alone and I am part of a whole.
The west coast photo series continues with this photo taken in Stanley Park in central Vancouver. With a lot of rain over the previous two weeks, Vancouver was soaked to the saturation point. A lack of sunshine meant that drying out when the rain had stopped was problematical. The stoppage of rain was welcome as it meant a long walk was possible.
That I made the decision to go for a walk because of a break in the rain, I demonstrated a moment of extraverted attitude. Though I am introverted to a significant level, I am also to some degree extroverted. I am drawn to objects as well as to ideas.
Now, when orientation by the object predominates in such a way that decisions and actions are determined not by subjective views but by objective conditions, we speak of an extraverted attitude. (Jung, CW vol. 6, par. 563)
This is the key, whether one’s actions are based more on objective conditions or on subjective views. Most of those around me are decidedly extraverted in attitude. And because of this, I am viewed as a curious puzzle as what I do is often out of sync with what the conditions suggest I should be doing. I lack a down to earth way of being, a collective common sense in their eyes. Of course, since they know me, this isn’t really a problem in relationship terms.
Still, that said, there are occasions of confusion and conflict based on the differing attitudes.