About Face IV

 “For by his face straight, shall you know his heart.”

Shakespeare, Richard III

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 “The face is the soul of the body.”

~ Wittgenstein

As I continue the exploration of Face, Beauty, and Soul, I thought I’d zero in on how much is really happening, phenomenally, in our one and only Face.

I don’t spend a LOT of time in front of the mirror,

(really, truly)

but when I am ill, I tend to be looking more (or maybe noticing more)

For?

Signs, symptoms, health, wellness…

The eyes are my barometer, measuring degrees of such.

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Let’s re~visit James Hillman on the Force of the Face.

“Not because of cosmetics and surgery is the face an aesthetic phenomenon, but because it is biologically so.

Besides the muscles needed functionally to chew, kiss, sniff, blow, squint, blink, and twitch  away a fly, most of the forty-five facial muscles serve only emotional expression.”

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Marilyn Monroe said:  “I can make my face do anything I want.”

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That is Mastery.

Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall

Hillman, continued:  “The face reveals character, the mirror does not lie.

My face announces my presence, reports my nature, and above all, by facing outward, bears a message for others.  Angels blow trumpets.  They call for awakening.  So does the face; it demands response.”

So, dear reader, I would posit this:  What message does your/my face bear for others?

What awakening is being called for in that face of yours/mine?

What response is being asked for, demanded?

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Hamlet to Gertrude:  “You go not, till I set up a glass–

where you may see the inmost part of you.

Vox Anima, SDM

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Art Credit:  Tumblr & Pinterest

PrettyPorn: Living The Instagram Life

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Did you know that Instagram is now touted to be the new Facebook?

(!)

I found a most provocative piece in the NY Times (of all places), written by financial planner Carl Richards.

Now I must confess, my news reading habits do not generally fall to the financial page, but he caught me with this one:  Living the Instagram Life.

In it, he confesses and admits to shadowy things.

Competitiveness, for example:  “It’s very difficult to compete without feeling envy.  A wise friend once told me that every time you try to compete, you’ll always lose.  Because even if you’re the best this year, someone will be better than you next year.”

(I hear echoes of Marion Woodman on Addiction to Perfection in this)

Money:   “And nowhere does envy raise its ugly head more often than with money.  Earlier this year, a former hedge fund trader wrote an op-ed…that opened with this line:

‘In my last year on Wall Street my bonus was $3.6 million–and I was angry because it wasn’t big enough.’

(!!!)

Richards continues… “Something good happened to this guy, but in his mind, it wasn’t good enough because he knew there were other people who received more. Who receives $3.6 mil and gets angry about it?

People who want to live what I call an Instagram life versus a real life.”

He goes on…

“If we’re living a real life, we’ve gained the understanding that getting more doesn’t always lead to feeling happier.  In an Instagram life, we’re instead focused on making it look like we have a better life than everyone else.  But even as we take our own pictures and apply filters to our world, we’re flipping through other people’s photo streams and feeling envious about what we see.”

(Hm!)

… i.e., “they’re only stories…by making these stories our focus, we’ll never be satisfied.  There will always be something else we don’t have that someone else does,

and our envy becomes a trigger for all the bad behavior we’re supposedly trying to avoid.”

E. A. Hanks, a writer and blogger posted about this in the Huffpost 2011.

(yes.  the Huffpost)

She called it PrettyPorn.

“I have a problem:  I can’t stop looking at porn.  I can look at it for hours and I’m not satisfied.  Worse, I think it’s giving me unrealistic expectations..I don’t even really remember how it got started…

If I’m honest, it started when I was looking for new curtains, which then lead to rug possibilities.   Suddenly I needed to pick out a new paint color for my bedroom, and pretty soon I was waking up in the middle of the night feeling as though that I simply had to see more soft-lit pictures of people kissing in swathes of wildflowers…

Goth Fiesta
Goth Fiesta

Here are some of the things that figure largely with PrettyPorn:

Scanned polaroids of cozy-looking disheveled beds; charmingly messy dinner tables post-dinner; high quality jpegs of romantic braided hair; skinny women’s pale backs; cats; cups of tea/wine; fields of wildflowers.    Lots of French things.”

(I would specify Parisian)

Slim Paley
Slim Paley

“PrettyPorn consists of the seemingly endless chain of blogs where dreamy young things post photos and notes (and poems!) about the things they think are beautiful.  It’s an ongoing love affair with an aesthetic based on fragility, beauty, and romance.  “

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pinzelladablava

(I would add sentimentality, and we know what Jung had to say about that)

So Hanks admits her addiction to it, and alluded to the thesis Richards posits,

which, in essence  means if we’re busy consuming others’ images and measuring ourselves by them, then we are not living our own life.

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So here is a confession from yours truly.

In all honesty,

I can fall into PrettyPorn too.

I fall, get up, take a shower, and remember my life.

I am truly and more sincerely interested in authenticity.

Authentic Beauty.

I’ll be writing more about this…

And I ask you dear readers, bear with me!!!

And please do let me know your thoughts on this.

(It can get a little lonely out here in the muck and the mire)

Warrior Dash Arkansas Outside.com
Warrior Dash
Arkansas Outside.com

Vox Anima, SDM

muck and mire cemetery blog
muck and mire cemetery blog

Shadow Child

The tyranny of the past is never greater than when we do not recall.”

~James Hollis

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), "Spring Flowers," 1969

 

On this lovely spring morning, with Robins dancing about, it seems like torture to muse about the Shadow.  Sigh.  But as Jung taught, what does not come to consciousness, comes to us as fate.  The Shadow is tricksy enough–I’d rather chip away at it…

 

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The Shadow, as Jung understood it, contains the best and worst parts of ourselves.  And it is a psychic function that these parts remain put away, hidden, in the shadows as it were–hidden away from ourselves by ourselves.

(what a phenomenal trick!)

One of the early major tasks of recovering from childhood trauma, is to retrieve the Child.

Left in the shadows, swimming in the old trauma soup, I had to find mine, bring her up, and love her for all that she is.

In the beginning, once we met, it was quite tender and positive.

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Overindulged sometimes.  Spoiled sometimes.

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In re-reading “Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life”:  How to Finally, Really Grow up” by James Hollis, I realize that the child is quite alive and well in me, and that perhaps I had over identified with the positive side of the archetype–leaving the negative, shall we say to the Shadow?

(there I go again!)

Somehow, I wanted to make her Divine, which is mixing metaphors, archetypally speaking.

(I hope I am making sense here)

Hollis writes in the section titled Becoming Who We Think We Are about the inevitable existential childhood woundings of Overwhelmment and Insufficiency.  

I was quite familiar with Insufficiency, but my Ego disallowed Overwhelmment as a possibility.  When I reviewed the stratagems of this wounded aspect,

(it took me 5 disturbing read throughs to get it)

I saw my Shadow Child there.

 Sulking.  Wanting.  Power.  Control.  Hiding Out.

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Hollis advises:  “After all, these adaptive stratagems experimentally evolved to help us survive, and without them we might not have gotten out of childhood.  But can we readily give our lives over to these conditioned reflexes now that we know they are there? … “

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He further states: “Go ahead, defend that child as one should, but do not give it the power of choice in your adult life…learn anew that the adult can manage so much more than the child.”

 

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Vox Anima, SDM

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Art Credit:  Norman Rockwell