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Medieval Poetry of the Troubadours

The Eyes are the Scouts of the Soul.
The Eyes are the Scouts of the Soul.

Giraut de Bornelh (Troubadour, 1138 – 1215)


So through the eyes love attains the heart:
For the eyes are the scouts of the heart,
And the eyes go reconnoitering
For what it would please the heart to possess.
And when they are in full accord
And firm, all three, in one resolve,
At that time, perfect love is born
From what the eyes have made welcome to the heart.
For as all true lovers know,
love is perfect kindness,
Which is born, there is no doubt
from the heart and eyes

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Violence of the Collective Shadow

Projecting the Shadow

One of the most dangerous aspects of human society is the rampant tendency to project one’s own shadow onto “the other,” onto other states, cultures, individuals, groups or societies, rendering onto them all of the worst, most vile characteristics that lie hidden in one’s own shadow. While this certainly happens at an individual level, it has created horrific consequences when it involves the projection of the collective shadow: wars, genocides, torture, rape and more are the consequences of shadow projection.

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What is Consciousness?

Edward Edinger, in his seminal work, The Creation of Consciousness: Jung’s Myth for Modern Man, notes that Dr. Jung felt that “the experience of consciousness is made up of two factors, “knowing” and “withness,” i.e., knowing in the presence of an “other,” in a setting of twoness.” Essentially, Jung is saying that consciousness emerges from the experiencing of opposites.

Using the language of psychology and psychoanalysis, he further defines the concept of individuation as the “process whereby a series of psychic contents – complexes and archetypal images – make connection with an ego and thereby generate the psychic substance of consciousness.”

Consciousness is our awareness of our existence within this realm of duality. The degree of our awareness is of key importance as it allows us to transcend our more base needs and behaviors and eventually allows us to operate from the heart and soul.

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Knowing the Shadow

Our Persona is how we wish to be seen by the world, the so-called psychological clothes we adopt that mediate between our true selves and what we show to the world. That part of us that we fail to see or know, that which hasn’t entered into our consciousness adequately, is called the Shadow, a term coined by the eminent psychoanalyst Dr. Carl Jung.

How the Shadow Originates

Jungian Analyst and author Robert A. Johnson shows that, while we are all born whole, we enter into the world of duality and so we begin to divide our lives into culturally acceptable and unacceptable parts. The refused and unaccepted parts don’t go away; instead, they take on a life of their own. If they go unacknowledged, they can accumulate and erupt with terrible effect.