It’s been a while since I pondered Jungian theory, or indeed anything psychoanalytical. The need to dissect my psyche has diminished somewhat with the birth of more settled times. However, today I have found myself pondering carelessly over my self-development, particularly the changes within me that have come about with age, or god forbid even wisdom. I was reminded of the revelation I had when I discovered the Jungian theory of the archetype, in particular the shadow, which supposedly hides within the depths of us all. I could finally name that dark energy that I have carried with me since I left the innocence of childhood; the rebel and the risk taker that was intent on following the path to self-destruction; with no stop button might I add.
I have a lot to thank for my shadow though. It is a part of me after all. In all its chaotic splendour it has made me take the kind of risks that has made me the person I am today; all the mistakes and all the journeys. The shadow is most evident in teenage rebellion and the choices I made during those times have shaped my friend groups, my passions and my callings. It has fuelled my transgressive artwork, surfaced the fears that I have to face and has damn well partied hard with me too!
Today’s revelation however is a freeing one. I have realised how detached I am from my shadow, that dark side of my psyche. Yes I do still have fleeting moments of the want for rebellion, whether it’s to get another piercing, make an anarchic statement about the state of society or drink my own bodyweight in rum. But that’s all those moments are; fleeting.
My shadow will always be with me, its need for individuality is intrinsically engrained. But I’m finding it so much easier to listen to what it says and make calculated decisions whether to listen.
Mother: “You need to stop psychoanalysing everything!?”
Why? Because it has taught me that my issues stem from my sheltered childhood and my disjointed relationship to those held dearest to me? It helps me to realise the reasons for the issues that entertain my conscious. If do not know myself/my selves, how can I make sense of this nonsense that is my mind? If I am not aware of what I should not entertain how am I to know what I should? And how would I make a distinction between what is reality and what is the lie that we live, conditioned and consuming.
I believe in true happiness, that which is pure and not sought through materiality. This is something that you will never understand, and a view that you will never accept.
So wish me happiness and peace. Bless my journey; every right and wrong turn that will be the making of me. Be thankful that I know the truth and don’t question that which I know. It is better that I question everything than live I life not lived.
I have recently created an animation from a quirky little extract recorded at the first “Meeting of Minds” get together. These meetings bring together some of my dearest friends with an array of different viewpoints and specialisms to discuss theories and concepts to do with our internal and external worlds. This particular conversation was about the non-linearity of time.
It is currently being displayed in the pop up art space that used to be Republic, in Basingstoke Festival Place as part of the Basingstoke Festival 2014. See my Events page for more on this and check out the other talented artists showing in the space Here!
I have recently had an epiphany that I have set unrealistic expectations for most things in my life. This in turn makes me frustrated when things don’t play out. I think sometimes our views can be polluted by external sources such as media and history and these views are not in keeping with reality and the times that we live in. Sometimes panic washes over me that I am now well into my thirties and I haven’t got a mortgage or 2.4 children, but if I did I wouldn’t be well on my way to an art degree or have freedom or choice. It may have suited the average Joe back in the 20th century, but we are not there and I am not him.
Even the smaller things in life can be tainted by expectations, from how a film should be enjoyed or how a night out should pan out. I find myself striving for idealisms that just don’t exist and things that I think will make me happy don’t. It’s then that I miss out on true happiness, because if you are always striving for this unattainable reality then you are never going to be satisfied. Although it’s simple enough to say “lay back and enjoy the ride” of course it’s easier said than done. But maybe it’s a useful affirmation to remind ourselves when life seems to be getting out of control.
I have been particularly interested in Buddhism for a while. As part of my studies into the human condition with the hope of escaping it’s ailments I have found insight in its teachings. I have been looking in more details recently as Buddhism also seem to support the notion of the ego; a subject I am exploring for my next essay, and I have come across a particularly interesting concept. One that seem to ring true to my woes. This is the six realms. The realms are the possibilities of the residence of the soul in its next life, but there are cross overs. Souls in the Realm of Humanity can experience other realms. One realm that I feel particularly familiar with, and I think a lot of people in this modern world would relate to it – The Realm of the Hungry Ghost. This realms inhabitants experience hunger, cravings and dissatisfaction. This sounds eerily like the consumerism and addiction suffered in the world today. If Buddhism can teach us to be less of a consumer, I think a lot of our discomfort would disappear. I myself find that I am unable to enjoy the simple pleasures in life because my mind is always wandering to what I can eat, drink or buy next. I think a meditation is in order tonight.
I feel today I need to talk you about some really deep issues. I feel like I need to touch the depths of your souls and open up mine. Will you be my therapist?
I have been meandering along the path of disillusionment for some time now, under the misguided belief that I have something to offer mankind. And although I knew at the back of my mind that my calling wouldn’t just come to me without any effort on my part, I was a nice idealism and a complete time waster at that.
I have proved to myself I am strong, I can do whatever I set out to do and I haven’t given myself enough credit for the large obstacles I have overcome. This is a lesson learned; this is the proof I need to achieve anything I want. So this is the plan; I have so many opportunities to develop myself, and I am going to grasp those opportunities in both hands. Because once I am in a situation where I have the contacts and resources to help, maybe I can make that difference. I won’t bore you with a schedule of events, I have strong mental notes and this part would be uninteresting to you. The results; those are the interesting bits to come.
It’s a wonderful thing to discover that you are no longer overwhelmed by your ego. For once I want to succeed for the greater good (maybe with the occasional ego stroking, just to remind myself I am still human)
I have spent a long time focusing on fear. It has been very productive and taught me a lot about myself. One of the big revelations that have come from the learning curve however, is that I no longer live in fear. Amen.