Bumping Into Others In Search of Self

In spite of relationships, past, present or future – I am alone as is this man, spinning as I somehow go forward in search of consciousness of my self, searching for answers to my questions. In spite of being alone, I am forever bouncing off of others, engaging at some level with these others – some deeply, some superficially – and in the process of engagement I grow more into my own answers.

Bumping Into Others In Search of Self

I went back into my archives for this photo.  The scene is not far from CanTho, Vietnam.  I did try my hand at paddling one of these coracles but only ended up making very little progress while frequently making spinning motions with the little boat.  Going forward is a lot harder than it appears.

Going forward is about leaving something behind.  I did finally reach a short destination with the coracle, and I left a small wake that faded away that had indicated where I had been in spite of the many lateral movements .  This is how I came to understand how I achieved a basic level of consciousness that I now have as my sense of self.  The spinning of my wheels taking me on side trails where I bumped into others who taught me the difference between myself and them served a vital purpose.

Each bump along the way served to redirect me.  I met an other, engaged in a relationship that made a difference even if I didn’t know what that difference was, even if I didn’t recognize the existence of some of the relationships.  And in gaining some meagre bits of awareness, I left behind that moment, that bit of darkness of the unknown.

And in leaving a bit of darkness that had me in a relation with an other I lost that relationship only to begin a new relationship, perhaps even with the same person – well not really the same person as we had both changed and had become different people.

In spite of relationships, past, present or future – I am alone as is this man, spinning as I somehow go forward in search of consciousness of my self, searching for answers to my questions.  In spite of being alone, I am forever bouncing off of others, engaging at some level with these others – some deeply, some superficially – and in the process of engagement I grow more into my own answers.

“we seek our identity in the mirror of the Other, as we once did in Mom and Dad.  With all the wounds of this perilous condition we seek a safe harbor in that Other who, alas is seeking the same in us.  With the thousand adaptive strategies derived from the fortuities of fated time, fated place, fated Others, we contaminate the frail present with the germs of the past.” (Hollis, The Eden Project, p. 32)

 

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 7th, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Posted in James Hollis,Jungian Psychology

Tagged with coracle, James Hollis, Jungian Psychology, other relationship, self, Sony A550 DSLR, The Eden Project, Vietnam, water


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