Pearls from artists* #561

Mai 31, 2023
“The Mentalist,” Soft Pastel on Sandpaper, 26” x 20” Image, 35” x 28.5” Framed
“The Mentalist,” Soft Pastel on Sandpaper, 26” x 20” Image, 35” x 28.5” Framed

*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.

The most powerful symbols draw profound reactions from us. The symbolic images in great art attract and fascinate us; they stir our souls and move us beyond what can be easily expressed; ‘their pregnant language cries out to us that they mean more than they say.’

The unconscious produces symbols as part of a natural process within us. These images emerge out of the context of our lived experience… Jung saw the meaning-making process as one that not only requires attendance to the real context of our lives and history, but also involves profound inner listening. It asks us to use our rational capacities, but also our feeling and imaginal ones.

Symbolic images redirect our psychic energy, bringing together conscious and unconscious material and producing the lessening of conflict. In this way, they activate a transcendent function within the psyche. We experience this as the discovery of personal meaning and healing. This transformation is not the result of formulaic operations, but rather is a dynamic process that requires our authentic and vulnerable participation. The process challenges the whole of who we are and requires deep moral effort. That the unconscious would produce moving, powerful compensatory symbols inside us at all points to a fact that our culture may not have fully grasped – that there is a force working within us which is always driving us towards healing growth and greater consciousness… Despite our suffering, the psyche is always ultimately seeking both a healthy homeostatic balance and our ever-unfolding growth and unique development.

Gary Bobroff in Carl Jung: Knowledge in a Nutshell

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