Entangled in the Magical Other

Many reasons are given for marrying in our modern times – love, wealth, power, duty, loneliness – but whatever the initial impulse the two entering into a marriage begin to change because of the marriage, because of the intimate contact with an other person. Two people choose to be together in a contractual arrangement that is best described as a marriage. Yet, it isn’t too long before both parties of the contract have changed. Intimacy evokes a response as much as dropping a stone into a still pond affects change in an environment.

Entangled in the Magical Other

On the Tonle Sap River in Cambodia near Kampong Chhnang, I came across these children who live on the river.  These children are a proof that there is a beauty and vitality and hope for life.  These children are the product of the human instinct for survival as a species and a deeper instinct for the preservation of the self as an immortal being.  One doesn’t think of any of this when one meets the other with whom mating and giving birth and child-rearing becomes a life-consuming task.

Many reasons are given for marrying in our modern times – love, wealth, power, duty, loneliness – but whatever the initial impulse the two entering into a marriage begin to change because of the marriage, because of the intimate contact with an other person.  Two people choose to be together in a contractual arrangement that is best described as a marriage.  Yet, it isn’t too long before both parties of the contract have changed.  Intimacy evokes a response as much as dropping a stone into a still pond affects change in an environment.

“Many marriages simply evolve  beyond the implicit terms of the invisible contract.  Whatever complexes or programmed ideas of self and Other may have inspired the marriage the psyche has moved to another place.  It is not so much that people fall out o love, but that the original controlling ideas have waned in favor of others – or the complex has decided that the Other cannot meet the expectations of the original agenda. (Hollis, The Eden Project, p 44)

Imagine if the two in a marriage became stuck in the initial human psychological developmental stage (it happens).  Two

who become forever adolescent; two who never move past that initial Magical Other; the result is tragic from the view of individuation as individuals, and perhaps even more tragic if these become parents who are so fixated on each other that the children are basically orphans in a psychological sense.

The binds and blindfolds of the Magical Other deny the growth of self.  One is frozen in place and in time.  One never does find the person behind the projections. And, one never does find the depths of one’s self.

Robert G. Longpré is well known among people interested in Jungian Psychology because of his excellent site, Through a Jungian Lens, parts of which are reproduced here by permission.  He says the following about himself:

"I am wearing a backpack in the photo because that is often how anyone would see me at this point in my life.  I am on a journey of soul, a journey in search of meaning and in search of self.  I am a retired school teacher and school administrator having taught in various schools in Saskatchewan, Canada.  I was a principal for a number of years as well.  Intermingled with my career in education was a second career as a psychotherapist.  Needing to take care of students with issues and later, teachers with issues, I took a number of university and certificate courses to allow me to work more effectively and safely with those whose care I was entrusted.  My counselling focus eventually shifted to include others and to include some “depth” work.  The depth work had a foundation in Jungian psychology.

"Now that I am retired, I am currently in Calgary, Canada working on my writing, my journey through a personal “Dark Night of the Soul” with my wife of forty-one years sharing most of my days and dreams.  Our children and grandchildren have their own homes in both Canada and the U.S.A.  For those interested in these things, I have three children and six grandchildren.

"Since retirement, we have travelled to a number of countries with some becoming places of part-time residence over the past five years. We lived in Changzhou, China for the better parts of four years.  Three months in Costa Rica during one winter, and three months in the Yucatan, Mexico during another winter were other longer stays during this time.  Added to this was a month in Rajasthan, India, a month in Thailand, and a month in IndoChina with most of that time spent in Vietnam.  This past winter break, I spent a a break of ten days in the Philippines.  Of course, if you are a reader here, you are already aware of these things as the selection of photos talk about my response to being in all of these places.  In travelling with a camera, I discover myself through images of both the known and the unknown."

May 25th, 2011 at 8:55 am
Posted in Jungian Psychology
Tagged with Cambodia, complexes, consciousness, James Hollis, Jungian Pychology, Kampong Chhnang, Magical Other, marriage, other, projections, self, Sony A550 DSLR, The Eden Project, unconscious

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