Marriage and Consciousness

Each of us falls in love at some point. If we are lucky, the someone with whom we fall in love, reciprocates the same feeling thus allowing a relationship based on this initial impulse to love.

Marriage and Consciousness

Today I have another rose photo, this time taken in Hong Mei Park yesterday.  As I mentioned yesterday, the rose has a special significance to me because of my wife.  While taking many rose photos yesterday, a good number of the photos had her in company with them.  As much as I talk about the central relationship being with the self, it is impossible to come to grips with that primal and primary relationship without first engaging in relationship with an “other.”  I don’t want to limit this “other” to a contrasexual definition as it isn’t so simple.  Human psychology is never simple.

Each of us falls in love at some point.  If we are lucky, the someone with whom we fall in love, reciprocates the same feeling thus allowing a relationship based on this initial impulse to love.  In my case, it was love at first sight for both of us.  If one only thinks about it for even a small moment, this doesn’t make any rational sense.  How can two complete strangers fall in love simply by seeing the other person?  What does one see in this circumstance?  Certainly not the person.  Jung calls it projection.  Some others call it magic or fate.   Regardless of what one calls it, the result is a marriage of two individuals.  And by marriage, I mean a consensual agreement to live in a loving relationship with this significant other person, not necessarily legal arrangement.  Whether or not the two lovers sign documents, the consensual agreement gives birth to a marriage.

It doesn’t take long to discover that this person with whom you have fallen in love and with whom you have engaged in marriage is a stranger, a mystery person.  Reality has a way of forcing one to question who this “other” person really is.  At that moment, a moment of psychic separation, one becomes a bit more conscious, not only of the other, but of one’s self.  Interactions with this significant other leads to a constantly shifting sense of self, a deepening of self-awareness.  Where this gaining of self-awareness is stalled, in situations where one remains entranced with the myth of the other not allowing the other to be human.  Each gain is achieved only through the loss of an aspect of the original fiction – yet that loss doesn’t necessarily mean a loss of the other person, just a loss of a projection.  A marriage can survive becoming conscious with the creation of a new relationship.  Again, I want to bring a few words from James Hollis:

“the quality of all of our relationships is a direct function of our relationship to ourselves.” (Hollis, Eden Project, p. 13)

Know thyself and one can get to know the real person that one loves.  It comes back to our desire to love, to be loved – especially for who we are, who we really are, warts and all.  And when the passion dies, life seems to somehow shrivel and we shrivel within ourselves.  And now, for a few final words for today’s post from Gao XingJian:

“you regret not chasing after her, you regret your lack of courage . . you regret losing the opportunity. . . You don’t even know how to go about starting a romance, you’re so weak you’ve lost your manliness, you’ve lost the ability to take the initiative.  Afterwards, however, you decide to go to the riverside to try your luck.

. . .

Only you are left sitting in the pavilion, like an idiot, pretending to wait for an appointment which wasn’t made, with a woman who came and vanished, just as if you’re daydreaming.  Could it be that you’re bored, that you’re fed up with your monotonous life devoid of passion and excitement and that you want to live again, to experience life itself again?” (Gao XingJian, Soul Mountain, p. 41)


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 2nd, 2011 at 9:52 am

Posted in James Hollis,Jungian Psychology

Tagged with Changzhou, China, consciousness, Hong Mei Park, individuation, James Hollis, Jungian Psychology, love at first sight, marriage, other, projection, psyche, relationship, romantic love, self, separation, Sony A550 DSLR, soul, The Eden Project

You are here: Home Psychology Through a Jungian Lens Marriage and Consciousness