Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lotus and Clarity


I took this lotus photo not too long ago in the village of XueJia which is part of Changzhou.  The photo has so many sharply defined elements, yet the lotus flower itself is "fuzzy."  However, rather than throw out the photo, I saw potential in it for an idea, the idea of "numen."  Somewhere within our depths, there is an urge to transcendence.  We can sense this urge, but we can't wrap our minds around it in order to claim this wholeness, this holiness, as being "self."

This lotus flower is obviously there, but it is refusing to be seen fully even though all around it is in crystal clear focus.  Within the psyche, one senses the existence of a self that is bigger and better than the self that we claim as "I."  Refusing to believe that this presence is part of the self, humans have invented external gods and goddesses to account for the presence.  With the creation of external divinity, one then claims an omniscient power of this deity to wander at will into our very being, either to torture our soul or to bestow grace.

But, there are a few, perhaps too few, who examine the evidence of nature and arrive at the realisation that religions, with their various faces of gods and goddesses,  are exercises in burying one's head in the sand refusing to accept that the seat of spirit is within in the individual psyche.  With that dawning awareness, there comes an obligation to then live accordingly with that spirit.  To deny the spirit within is self-destructive when one chooses to return to a meaningless existence.
"The unconscious has a thousand ways of snuffing out a meaningless existence." (Jung, CW 14, par. 675)


  1. To claim that the spirit lives within the psyche leaves the individual open to isolation. To follow the spirit within the psyche means that you have to be true to it, and that means to take an active role in choices, growth, development etc. This seems to some as selfish, ego-driven and arrogant. To accept the external gods and goddesses and to live by the rules their followers promulgate means that one lives nicely inside society, not challenging, not making waves by independent thought or actions that may eb considered contrary.

    A hard ask for many people.

    Love the title! :)

  2. Hi Lotus, it is about choices. Even if one rejects the individual path and clings to the collective, that is a choice. In the end, one can never blame an "other" for the choices made. One is always an individual. One can either accept that or not but it doesn't alter the fact of being an individual and making choices. "Selfishness" has way too many faces.