Death As The End of Being Separate

All relationships begin, and end, in separation.

Death As The End of Being Separate

When I came home yesterday afternoon from teaching at the university, I noticed a lot of activity at the entrance to my housing compound.  I immediately rushed up to the apartment in order to get my camera as I knew it was an event that was about religious rites following death.  I was woken about 4:00 am with the sounds of evenly paced fireworks explosions, sounds that I have come to associate with a death in the neighbourhood.  The neighbourhood is a place for the wealthy and many of these wealthy people are old.  Death and funerals are frequent occurrences.  The difference this time was striking as I kept busy with the camera – the white arm and headbands were missing.  The event was quieter and when there was sound, it was more musical than noise.

Death, the ending of all earthly relationships, the final separation of self from other as we know it.  As James Hollis puts it:

“All relationships begin, and end, in separation.”

But, I wonder.  Does death which ends our connections with other humans mean the end of separation? Fire is symbolic of renaissance for rebirth.  The transformation for isolated individual into a state of union with the source from which human life emerged, a pre-conception starting point is an idea that haunts me, that makes me wonder.  Something to think about.


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."

April 29th, 2011 at 8:40 am

Posted in James Hollis,Jungian Psychology

Tagged with alchemy, Changzhou, China, death, fire, James Hollis, Jungian Psychology, relationship, rites, Sony A550 DSLR, The Eden Project, transformation, Yang Guang Hua Yuan

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