The book is finished. I had until July 30th to finish it, but it didn’t take that long since the photos were easy to find and the topic of individuation one that I know well because of my background in psychology. I didn’t take any more photos of myself nude while working on the project. In fact, I avoided being nude as much as possible as I didn’t want to deal with nudity at all.
Somehow, once the book was finished, I found myself with too much time on my hands and my wife sent me out to the hills. She knew that the sunshine and nudity had become my therapy. As long as the nudity didn’t intrude into her life, there was no issue. So, I went out to the hills two days ago and then again early this afternoon. Today is my birthday. I turned sixty-two.
I want to add a bit here from my book, the part where I talked about being in the second half of life. There is no question that I am well into the second half of my life, likely into the final quarter of my life.
“Our outer world lives seem to lose meaning. We find ourselves wondering about our relationships, our careers, our purpose in life. We look at those with whom we have filled our lives and wonder at how they have become strangers. We struggle with our careers wondering what we ever saw in them as now, they leave us feeling hollow. We even question our selves. Who am I?”
I am back. I wasn’t sure that I would be back, yet somehow the book project is keeping me above water. Like a few days ago, I got to take another trip into the countryside just so that I could be nude in the hills south of town. My wife is glad that I am taking some private time for myself rather than have me being frustrated at home. There is no secret that I spend my time naked in nature. She sees the photos I take and that tells her everything.
This afternoon I spent extra time in the hills near a very small lake of sorts though most people here would call it a slough. It is a place that is alive. I saw one deer and several varieties of birds. And, I found time to meditate. And as a result, I am able to share a few more words written for the photo book:
“We deceive ourselves about the mystery and claim that we are consciously choosing and fully in control. And that, the failure to admit the hidden shadows in full daylight, results in confusion as relationships shatter and are left in ruins.”
Yes, I know that I am failing to admit what is hidden in the shadows. My ego is aware that there is something brewing within, but it doesn’t know what is hidden. At least I am aware of it. I know that I am not in control and that whatever it is that is hidden will emerge when it is ready to emerge … whether I like it or not.
This is a surprise. I don’t remember having back-to-back posts before. This morning I wandered again down the railway track, and as the past few times, I did so while nude. I wait until the track has turned a bend and the house to the north of the tracks is hidden behind a copse of trees. There was something shifting within me once again, a glimpse of the shadow that I had thought I had buried for good the past year in China. Yet, in this image, it showed its face.
I found these words in the latest entry for the photo book:
“The only mysteries remaining are those of relationship, of love. In spite of our belief in reason, we are pulled into a different mystery. We accept this pull and even revel in it as long as we feel we are in control, that we are fully aware.”
“As long as we feel we are in control.” Ouch! It is hard to believe that I wrote those words earlier today for the book. There is definitely no “feeling of control” being experienced by me despite the fact that I have control for the most part. Where I don’t have control lays deep within my unconscious. My nudity is a reflection of that “shadow” oozing out of the depths.
I am back. Today’s image wasn’t taken by a railway track. I took this image early this afternoon. I went on a second outing to visit an abandoned farm yard about two kilometres from town as the crow flies. Though I didn’t realise it when I took this photo, it is about consciousness which is the whole objective of individuation. As I wrote early this morning for the book project:
“Shadows serve as contrast to the glaring light of new found consciousness. Shadow frames this new sense of self and the world. As we move forward into life, into the day, we shift our focus from the framed light to a world that appears to be all light. The world of things, people, activity and function take away our sense of the world being a magical place. The way forward seems straight forward with relatively easily managed shifts as we grow to adulthood.”
Carl Gustav Jung has this to say about consciousness:
“Consciousness grows out of an unconscious psyche which is older than it and which goes on functioning together with it or even in spite of it.”
We’ve been back in Canada for less than a month. This was our third full year at the university in Changzhou. I have to admit that keeping busy has helped me cope with the shadows that don’t quite go away.
Now that I am back in Canada, I am taking advantage of the new timing for the thirty photos in thirty days for a complete book. The past years photo book challenges have been done while I was retired.
This year’s theme, like the other books, focuses on Jungian psychology making a series I call “Through a Jungian Lens.” I intend on using railway tracks to tell a story. There are no nude images in any of the books though I have to admit that I was nude on more than one occasion taking some of the photos. This is the case today. I took this image as well as a few other “safe” images for the opening section of the book. Today is day three for the project. Here are a few words of the book as it is developing:
Part One – Dawn “Before the hint of light appears, there is only darkness, and in the darkness there is no sense of anything but the darkness. There is no awareness, just an all encompassing darkness. Out of the darkness, a thin sliver of light begins to bring shape and form. And with that thin sliver of light, there begins to be a separation from the darkness.
Within the womb of a mother, a promise of life is present though that life has yet to be born, yet to be possessed by a soul which will merge with the body. The foetus floats in darkness, waiting. The soul is part of the darkness, waiting. Both wait for that moment of time when light will become present signalling the beginning of life, the beginning of consciousness.”
My hope is to complete this book which is a serious attempt to describe the process of individuation as a journey.