Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self

When a friend asked me what this image means, this was my response:

“In the Aztec and Mayan traditions, for example, human hearts were offered to the gods in sacrificial ceremonies. Human sacrifice is something that is really hard to deconstruct because most people can’t get past the gruesomeness of the act. All cultures practiced some sort of sacrificial rites, sometimes animal and sometimes human, but the goal was the same; to establish a peaceful coexistence with the powers that rule the world our human ancestor had to live in and if you are going to offer blood and guts to the gods it would make sense to offer those from the best animal ever to walk this earth.

In many ancient traditions silver was associated with the moon, the night sky, inner-wisdom and other philosophical traits. It’s also associated with feminine energy. There’s also the presence of gold which is associated with the sun, day sky, and the masculine energy. I’ve spent some time thinking about how to best conceptualize the peaceful coexistence of both energies within the same individual, the same consciousness. This image emerged after reading a poem a friend shared with me and I immediately identified it with this idea I’ve been struggling with.

Reading Carl Jung’s theory of Anima and Animus was what got me started on this idea. The theory is that in the unconscious of a man there is a feminine inner personality and in the unconscious of a woman there is a masculine inner personality. There were four aspects of the unconscious that he identified: the Shadow, Anima, Animus, and the Self. The development of all four aspects of the unconscious would give birth to a higher level of consciousness that transcends the personal psyche.

The crystals are the result of a recurring dream I had for the last three weeks. I kept dreaming of deafening lightning strikes, so powerful that the ground would shake and I couldn’t see anything past the blinding white light. I never knew what I was doing before the lightning or what I was doing after but somehow I knew the lightning was powerful enough to crystallize the ground. In the same way the Shadow consciousness crystallizes out of the original feeling of unity and it separates from the Self.

What I think, and I can’t really be sure because I don’t always know why I do the things I do, is that this is an abstract representation of the willingness of the individual to embody the goal of an ancient sacrifice and the coexistence of all four aspects of the unconscious. The silver and gold represent the Anima and Animus. The light and glare represent the Self becoming conscious and the crystals are the Shadow Self.

I might be full of shit though”

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