The pain, the joy, the sadness, the exuberance, the unfamiliar and familiar, are but a host of expressions of one continuum of consciousness and we are connected to it all!
It was only days ago that the world learned of the death of a beloved figure in the world of entertainment, Robin Williams.
Despite the personification of artistic genius, Williams apparently struggled with general acceptance, reportedly since childhood, gradually spiraling into a cumulative vortex of addiction and deep depression.
Still, with his broad spectrum of persona; his convincing and infectious character, both on screen and off, millions upon millions of people came to know, love, admire, and marvel at this brilliant creator, leaving an indelible mark of emotion and connection in the hearts of the many who followed his work and his life.
It is this connection that is often intensified when it comes to those individuals well known to the masses. Particularly those like Robin Williams who had the uncanny ability to virtually morph into any character whether comedic or dramatic, spanning the gamut of human experience, thus creating and/or fulfilling the universal archetypes that are said to be embedded in the collective unconscious of all living souls. It is in this connection that a primordial link between individuals, whether personally known or not, can tether our collective psyche and unfold as synchronicity when notable events occur.
Keeping this premise in mind, I found the following play out of events worth noting here, which I would deem indicative of this very Jungian-esque idea.
The week prior to Williams’ death I had been on vacation with my husband on Martha’s Vineyard, a popular island off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. While there, I had this clear and spontaneous urge of wanting to watch the movie What Dreams May Come starring Cuba Gooding Jr., and Robin Williams.
One of my favorites, I’d seen the movie several times years ago and read the original novel by the late Richard Matheson at least as many times as I’d seen the film. Why I had this urge to watch it again, and why now, I did not know – and since we were away from home, the likelihood of my finding it on the island was slim. So I let it go.
A few days later (August 11), I’d been having a late meal with my husband and discussing the recent suicide of a young man several weeks ago whom I only knew of, through another close friend. His suicide, which was carried out by asphyxiation stunned so many in his wide circle of friends, including my dear friend. The full spectrum of his story and all of the multi-dimensions of this short life touched both my husband and me so intensely that we’d spent hours talking about this young man, feeling as if we knew him. Our conversation about him intensified on the evening of August 11th.
Earlier in the day, I’d been visiting my friend who knew this young man quite well. She felt the need to painstakingly describe his character to me: a young, vibrant, talented and extremely funny guy, though morbidly troubled since childhood. She’d shown me several photos of him clowning around with friends, clearly captivating his audience at every turn. A seemed dichotomy of character rolled up into one 21 year old individual.
It was this theme that later dominated our dinner discussion on the evening of August 11th – the conflicting personalities that appeared equally present – that of the funny, warm, gentle kid vs. the dark, mischievous, restless soul. Unfortunately as circumstances would have it, the latter won out! He was found by a family member in his home, having hung himself. An unspeakable tragedy to be sure!
Although both my husband and I had been aware of this awful incident for several weeks and had discussed it at some length, something about this day, August 11th, had cast an unusually sympathetic spell on our conversation. First, it was the visit to my friend’s house, where she had felt intent on sharing an important slice of his life with me via the photos that depicted him as a “happy, go-lucky guy.”
Then we mused over how such an unfathomable act could be possible, given his oft experienced personality that was anything but dark. I then carried the emotion of his story home with me, feeling the need to discuss it further, trying my best to understand “why?”
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