Relationships Begin in Separation

When I am honest with myself, I am alone, separate, distanced from everyone and everything. I am even separate from most of what I could consider to be myself. Awareness came slowly, awareness that I actually existed as a separate being. And when the awareness of my own being arrived, I found myself immediately alone in my head. At that moment, I began working to somehow reconnect, to go back to where I had come from before finding myself alone.

Relationships Begin in Separation

This photo taken in XiTang was meant to capture a sense of magic, a sense of the Garden of Eden, of romance and the mystery of an ancient culture.  I didn’t know at the time that it would find its way here, but most of my posted photos are taken for other reasons even if most of those reasons are unconscious.

With this photo and this post, I am returning to a theme I often visit, that of relationship.  I am not an expert in relationships though I am engaged in being in relationship to my wife, a relationship that is approaching its fortieth year.  I am approaching this theme through the work of James Hollis as explored in his book, The Eden Project: In Search of the Magical Other.  I make no promises on how long I will stick with this theme.  All I can tell you is that the “magical other” that I am in search of is one that is found within myself.  I hope that in wandering again through this book I find a few more trails within that will allow me to build a stronger relationship with my “Self” in order to be a better participant in my outer world relationships with others.

But of course, in searching within, I find that I must look at my “self” as expressed in the outer world, in the relationships with others – parents, friends, siblings, children, enemies, colleagues, students, and with my life partner.  It all starts with “me.”

When I am honest with myself, I am alone, separate, distanced from everyone and everything.  I am even separate from most of what I could consider to be myself.  Awareness came slowly, awareness that I actually existed as a separate being.  And when the awareness of my own being arrived, I found myself immediately alone in my head.  At that moment, I began working to somehow reconnect, to go back to where I had come from before finding myself alone.  But of course, before this moment of realisation, “I” didn’t really consciously.  In a manner, I was born “separated” from all others.

With time and effort I learned to connect tenuously with others, with a mother and father who were confused in their own roles as parents,  as lovers.  I knew early that these two individuals struggled with themselves and couldn’t be there for me – I was locked in my head and they were out of reach.  The dawn of consciousness within me caused a separation between parent and child.  And so a new relationship was born because of that separation.  The awareness of “self” and the existence of “other” and the separateness of both was the source of my first experience of relationship.

 

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 27th, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Posted in James Hollis,Jungian Psychology

Tagged with awareness, China, James Hollis, Jungian Psychology, other, relationship, self, separation, Sony A550 DSLR, The Eden Project, XiTang, ZheJiang


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