a parallel perspective

mindX - September 12, 2021


I wore my goggles when I went for a morning swim a few weeks ago… It was a magical day – the sun was out but it was not too hot – the water was calm and clear.

As I repetitively dipped my head under the water with each stroke and observed the sea life, I had a fascinating realisation. I thought… ‘if I had been sitting at the bottom of the sea looking up, the surface of the water would be like the SKY is to us humans.’

The word ‘perspective’ came to mind; followed by the phrase ‘as above, so below’. ‘Hmm, interesting’… I thought.


I went a step further and asked ‘well what’s below the sand then?’ My mind went to memories of school geography lessons… ‘the earth’s crust, mantle, outer core, inner core’.

So maybe life is not like a box of chocolates as Forest Gump said; maybe it’s like a multi-layered onion?


My mind instantly recalled a model I recently came across drawn as a three-layered onion. I am referring to the famous psychologist Carl Jung’s model of the psyche – with consciousness (and ego) as the outermost layer – followed by the personal unconscious and then the collective unconscious – with the Self in the centre.

In one of his essays, Jung wrote about the importance of some discoveries changing a patient’s standpoint and values, and how they shift the centre of gravity of the personality from the ego to the Self. As if the ego was the earth, and it suddenly discovered that the sun (or the Self) was the centre of the planetary orbits and of the earth’s orbit as well.

Most people know this but don’t live it ‘because we put the ego at the centre of our lives. ‘Hmm, what an interesting perspective’… I thought.

Small to Large

It is often said that the closer we look at the small detail, the less of the big picture we can see. However, life and everything in it seems like an interconnected web of systems within systems. If we keep this in mind, the closer we look at the detail, the more of the bigger picture we can see reflected in it.

If we go back to the sea, sand and earth at the beginning of my speech; and ask: ‘what’s in the granules of sand?’, we will answer ‘matter’. Matter is made up of elements, molecules and compounds. These are made up of atoms. An atom is made up of it’s nucleus and electrons; with the electrons orbiting around the nucleus, in a similar way in which planets orbit around the sun.

‘Hmm, what an interesting perspective’.

‘As within, so without’.

Dear friends, the closer we look, the clearer we see the Universe emerging from within and unto itself.

It is as if Life (and everything in it) is a donut shaped ring whirl-pooling in and out of itself.

Well, just a parallel perspective!