Meeting the Shadow

I have recently been teaching a class entitled Creative Arts & Self-Inquiry which focuses on the testing of reality from various theoretical orientations and understandings as well as an inquiry into the Self. Using Jung as a jump off point and bringing in Neo-Jungian concepts has been a return to the shadow for myself as the universe always seems to have an interesting way of throwing things back your way.

Hate and rage is something that most of us deal with at one point or another in our lives. And to look at the state of society these days one can see that there really is not much hope in looking to others unless we are able to look into our Selves and reconcile some of the opposing forces in which we deny or run from. Jung explains this as our persona (our public face), which is essentially a compromise between you and the world. For example; as a student you may receive a low mark and be enraged at you low mark; you approach your instructor and repress the anger and rage as you know that it is not socially acceptable to release your anger on someone in that context and would probably be concerned that you may get yourself into trouble. Where do you think all that anger goes if it is not released? Into the shadow that holds all our unwanted emotions and parts of our personality, which is held in the unconscious.

Art is a great way to release the shadow, or at least begin to accept and befriend it. As we begin to touch the dark seedy part of us all, we begin to expand our sense of personality and thus can understand that we are a sum of our parts, not just one aspect as we tend to believe. This assists in having a wider view of ourselves and the world around us as we can see that so much of our struggle and strive in life is by our own creation.

Below is a shot that I did after an intense session of writing, drawing, and painting in which I feel really brings this concept to life – feeling an intense distaste the entire time.  It speaks for itself.

Kyler

The Phoenix Rises Again…& Again…& Again…

My life, and I suppose most peoples lives in one fashion or another, is filled with change and death. Death is change, and change is death. I dont mean death only in the traditional “dead body” sense. No, no, no, I mean like each moment dies into another moment and is then reborn to the next, no holding on to anything, just dying. Each and every moment. Now while the phoenix itself, is of great symbolism in my life*, is maybe not nessisarily representative of the whole “die to each moment” part of rebirth; it seems to hold that symbolism for me. So as I think about the phoenix I can only say that it is a symbol which pops up in my life over and over and over, hence the name of the blog, website, and so on. So here is another visual piece that has come up today. It is a digital art sort of piece I guess, abstract, deep and dark. But I feel at home in the dark and in the light these days (there is always solice to be found in both darkness and light) which is a nice change. As Jung talked about the shadow being such a driving force in creativity, all of the red, orange, and black that I am drawn too, is also a testament to that. As Nietzsche states, “We have art so that we shall not die of reality.” And thus, reality, is what we all really run from isnt it? Look at all the paradoxes of life:

Paradox

 

As the globe is illuminated by a pale magenta glow,

A women is raped.

As the snowflakes float down to tickle my face,

A man has been beaten and killed.

As the unity of all universal beauty commences in my heart,

A child has been struck.

A dying breed, that continues on…

 

2006

 

I suppose it is quite a nihlistic view of the world, but none the less, it is a picture of expression for that time in my life and how I felt in the world. I would not say that I still feel the same, but I would not say that I dont either. So here is the piece I have been talking about, Enjoy…

 

phoenix

 

“Phoenix Taking Form” 2009

 

2006-2009 Kyler Evans, All rights reserved.

NOTE: Permission for the use of my images and writing is granted for personal websites and blogs (THAT MEANS NO ADDS AND NO SELLING OF ANY KIND) but must include a link back to this site and proper credit given to me for my work, Kyler Evans.

Link to be used…(https://arisingphoenix.wordpress.com/)

*I have one tattooed on my left shoulder which was designed by a good friend (check out Rion-art link if you want to see his stuff).

Here is a self-portrait of my tattoo:

Phoenix Tat

Tattoo done by Mike Peace, Calgary, AB, (cant tell you the year, but it has been a while…)