Yearning for the Beloved

Everything, everything, seems to ride on this thing called love. We love nature, we make love, we fall into and out of it, we pursue love and ask it to save us.

Yearning for the Beloved

On a boat going upriver on the Mekong, I came across this young couple who were also making their way upriver in their small boat which serves as both home and workplace.  Millions of people live on the Mekong River as it traverses through Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.  Most are small family units, nuclear family units for the most part.  Most of them are also in their first half of life.  Their journeys on the river are about searching for a home, a place of stability, a journey that will lead them to solid ground.

For myself as someone fairly typical in the western world sense of the world, the search for home has been a search for love.

“Everything, everything, seems to ride on this thing called love. We love nature, we make love, we fall into and out of it, we pursue love and ask it to save us.  Romantic love, by which we mean that élan, that heightened ardor, that intense yearning for the Beloved, that frantic grappling, that profound sorrow when the Beloved is lost, that anxious uncertainty about the fixity of the Other – all this and more is both the greatest source of energy and the chief narcotic of our time. Given the erosion of tribal myths which once helped connect our ancestors to the gods, to nature, to the tribe and to themselves, romantic love may prove to be the primary region of existential hunger in our century.  One may even suggest that romantic love has replaced institutional religion as the greatest motive power and influence in our lives.” (Hollis, The Eden Project, pp 41-42)

There is no question that whether one is searching for land, searching for a home, searching for family or searching for that one person that will be soulmate, all of us are living with yearning.  And it doesn’t matter that we find land, find a home, build a family or get married to the one we have fallen in love with, head over heels; the yearning continues.  What we yearn for, what I yearn for, is not to be found in the outer world, in things, activities, or other people.


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 24th, 2011 at 11:00 am

Posted in James Hollis,Jungian Psychology
Tagged with collective unconscious, individuation, James Hollis, Jungian Psychology, Mekong River, psyche, relationship, self, Sony A550 DSLR, soul, soulmate, symbol, The Eden Project, unconscious, Vietnam, water

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