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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Encounter With A Shadow

August evenings are not always kind. In California, they often remain hot long after the sun has sizzled into the sea, long after the brain has quit under relentless glare. Here, the August sun is a ruthless roaring thing in the sky. Night falls, hope inquires and one looks up.

Geo.: Good Lord! Where'd you come from?

Ann:  Oh, I've always been here. And you, do you come here often?

Geo: Well, it's my back yard, so yes. What I want to know is who you are.

Ann:  I've been called many names in many languages: Astarte, Ishtar, Ashtoreth, Asherah, Uni-Astre or simply The Evening Star.

Geo.: You look like a lovely shadow freed from darkness, glowing, alive --more than alive.

Ann:  What does that mean to you?

Geo.: Carl Jung wrote: "The encounter with the shadow is the 'apprentice-piece' in the individual's development but Anima is the 'masterpiece.'"  May I call you Ann?

Ann: Sure. You're the expert.

Geo.: Expert? Surely not! I've never seen anything like you.

Ann:  I meant language. You're a man. Men invented language.

Geo.: Huh? Uh why?

Ann:  I was there, Geo. Human language emerged from mens' need to apologize for their mistakes.

Geo.: But don't we learn from our mistakes?

Ann: Yes, but it's a pretty stupid system --don't you think?

Geo.: Now that you mention it...say, is this a spiritual experience? Am I going to speak in tongues or anything?

Ann: Glossolalia? No, but your VW Bus will if you don't top the oil.

Geo: Write in tongues?

Ann: You mean graphalalia? No more than usual, but you will suffer ukulelea --the inability to accompany Hawaiian songs on a stringed instrument.

Geo.: Really?

Ann: No, I'm just messing with you. And that "shadow" thing in your head...is that what you think I am?

Geo.: A very pretty shadow.

Ann: Nonsense. We all have egos and illusions but what if everybody really was better-looking than everybody else? What would we have then?

Geo.: Hollywood?

Ann:  Bingo. When you see me, you see a sort of blue apparition in the night sky. What do you see behind and around me?

Geo: The darkness of the whole universe.

Ann:  That's my shadow, kid. G'night!

Geo: 'Night!





42 comments:

  1. And what a powerful shadow she has.

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    1. Indeed, a shadow that can't be exaggerated.

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  2. "Human language emerged from mens' need to apologize for their mistakes".
    That's an apt observation and I love it.

    By the way, I've heard that Ukulelea is rampant here on the Mainland.

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    1. Right as usual, Jon! I have a friend who bought a uke and we couldn't play anything on it until we tuned it like a banjo.

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  3. Any encounter with a being that is ephemeral that one walks away from is a win.

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    1. True, as a general rule, but this one is always accompanied by a great calm.

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  4. Heart braking shadow at the pitch night. Really scary.

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    1. Sangay, there is a kindness in her or we would not be here --but yes, a little scary.

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  5. Are you sure you weren't drinking when this happened?

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    1. Keith, in California, it's against the law to drink during hallucinations.

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  6. Interesting that a shadow could be so brilliant. Must be the relentless afterglow of the California sun. But, wait. If the entire universe is Ann's shadow, perhaps Plato was onto something after all?

    (thank you for this excellent, entertaining and inspiring post)

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    1. Couldn't tell what was holding her up but it could've been Plato's Lever. He might've been on the other end of it --Plato's Teetertotter.

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  7. I believe the main reason for developing language as you describe it has been forgotten. Perhaps a refresher course is in order lol.

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    1. Forgotten? You may well be right. If so, I should probably apologize.

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  8. As you point out, it is all in the perception. You thought she was the shadow; she believed the immenseness behind her to be the shadow. Who is correct? It depends on who is perceiving.

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    1. And, perhaps, upon who perceives who is perceiving.

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  9. Geo
    A most interesting conversation ...
    I was most interested ...

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    1. Thanks Margie! Let's keep looking up.

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  10. I'm glad the universe is speaking to someone, Geo. Maybe if I listen better it will give me a shout one of these days. Although, one time, I did hear my name shouted and it was sort of in my head and not in my head all at the same time, so maybe that was the universe, or maybe there's reason for concern.

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    1. By definition, the universe speaks the language of nature through all things, even through us. I don't always know or like what it's saying but that's what makes enigmas.

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  11. The shadow's shadow. It's like a Zen riddle, almost, or the answer to one. What, then, is the shadow of the universe?

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    1. I suppose the koan takes all subjects and teaches with them. I went a little Hollywood with this one but I'm no expert on the form. Perhaps the Shadow knows.

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  12. Oh Geo, I loved this one! The Evening Star - always so reliable. Even now when nights get colder in Berlin, I love to stand on the balcony and look at the stars - yes, you can do that here, right in the city ( in Hamburg you can't, too much light at night).
    "Carl Jung wrote: "The encounter with the shadow is the 'apprentice-piece' in the individual's development but Anima is the 'masterpiece.'" May I call you Ann?" Great! The own shadows are not easy to see, much easier to detect them in others. (Easier to hear 'Animus opinions', though).
    Man might have invented language, (no need to apologize :) - but I think Woman nicked it in no time - sometimes I have the the impression that they are not willing to give the domination over words back - they talk and talk. As I do here ...

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    1. Dear Brigitta,

      I am very glad you "talk and talk". One of the happiest parts of my retirement is the company of good minds, among which you figure prominently.

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  13. What a wonderful and very thought-provoking story! I love this.

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    1. Thank you Beate. I delight in your comment during what must be a very busy time for you.

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  14. I Love this post Geo! These new wars have been pretty hard on my psyche though hearing ""Isis" over and over again on the news has me laughing about them invoking/calling in a very powerful group of women via the mantra, 'Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate , Demeter..and yada yada. I'll have to share this one friend:)

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  15. Thanks, Annie B. Yes, there is decidedly an irony in the use of Isis --a benevolent figure of nature and magic, whose throne is her hat-- to mean something so different in the news.

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  16. Without a shadow of a doubt, if more of us spent time pondering the stars, things might be looking up for all of us. LOVED this post. (As always.)

    Happy weekend, dude.

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    1. Glad to hear it. You have a good weekend too, Susan!

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  17. Fascinating, as always. Don't remember that particular quote from Jung, but I'll have to pull the collected works and seek it. Anima as I recall also had a dark, destructive side, but a certain fascination and workshop of that aspect also is perfectly reasonable.

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    1. There is probably a dark side to every aspect of individuation. Quote is from memory but I think Jung wrote it in either Collected Works [9- I, Para 61] or a letter to Santa Claus.

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  18. I just read all the comments up to this, and I have you say you have the best comments of any blog I've read. With no pressing obligations during the less-than-witching hours I tend to wander around blogs too much, as my oldest reminds me....however I read the comments...mostly the usual, either 'fawn, bow, worship', the least interesting of the genre, or more often the unthinking upon inspection....'nice pictures', etc.
    You have a blog that seems to inspire actual creative responses. Congrats.
    Oh, and your responses are seemingly more than the automatic stuff, which I am often guilty of....
    Cheers, from a geezer who apparently has too much time on his hands.

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    1. Thanks, Doc. I am pleased to be among good minds, something I always hoped for. There are a lot of creative, knowledgeable people out there and blogging seems to collect them. I learn here all the time, especially from folks who think they have too much time on their hands, like you, like me.

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  19. I am not certain where in California you are, but hope that you and yours have not been affected by the earthquake.

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    1. Thanks, E.C., we're fine. Quake was only faintly felt in my area but our San Francisco boys were shaken awake --no damage. Friend in Napa called early this morning with reports of a buckled floor and cracked walls.

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    2. My nephew and his family are in Napa. I gather the damage to their home is significant - but they, and the furs which inhabit their world are ok, which is what matters.

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    3. Yes, houses can be fixed. Emergency services are being reinforced from surrounding counties and, by all accounts, doing an excellent job.

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  20. Wow. Wow. Wow. I'm not sure why, but I love this ... I understand it without understanding it ... you know what I mean ... :)

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    1. I feel the same way, Teresa. I don't understand half of what I write.

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