Inner Truth by Carol Spicuzza


One day I was working on a painting of a little bridge and was turning it in all directions, as artists typically do. I had just rotated it ninety degrees to the right when the inner voice spoke up and said, "The truth lies ninety degrees to reality." I looked carefully at the image and what had been a bridge now appeared to be a doorway. This new viewpoint became the basis for Inner Truth. The experience marked the beginning of my present method of producing art from the unconscious.

Eventually, I began to explore the image's symbolic meaning. I learned the "doorway" is often a symbol of initiation—a fitting image for the beginning of my encounter with the unconscious. Also I found a quote from the Cabala in Jung's Collected Works that seemed to actually describe the painting: "The world didn't come into being until God took a certain stone, which is the foundation stone, and cast it into the abyss so that it held fast there and from it the world was planted...This stone is compounded of fire, water and air and rests on the abyss. It is also the navel of the world." Jung explains the symbol of the navel as a connection point to consciousness through which all information funnels from the hidden world as though through a doorway. We are attached to the unconscious like a child to its mother by an umbilical cord. Jung also wrote: "Brahman [God] is an idea that is at a right angle [90 degrees] to the plane [of reality]. That would be a fourth dimension, which is always a vertical on space. It bears upon this world like a point or navel. It bears upon our world like an indivisible and therefore invisible point. It is the invisible or timeless aspect of existence."

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In Roman mythology, Janus is the god of all beginnings and of doorways and bridges. Here the unconscious has cleverly combined his attributes into one image.