Overself (Ra Made I, 2017 - ongoing)
“ We cannot save ourselves from the cleverness of the spirit of this time through increasing our cleverness, but through accepting what our cleverness hates most, namely simplemindedness. Yet we also do not want to be artificial fools because we have fallen into simplemindedness, rather we will be clever fools. That leads to the supreme meaning. Cleverness couples itself with intention. Simplemindedness knows no intention. Cleverness conquers the world, but simplemindedness, the soul. So take on the vow of poverty of spirit in order to partake of the soul.
Against this the scorn of my cleverness rose up. Many will laugh at my foolishness. But no one will laugh more than I laughed at myself.
So I overcame scorn. But when I had overcome it, I was near to my soul, and she could speak to me, and I was soon to see the desert becoming green.”
C. G. Jung, Red Book
All photographs in this series were taken on Madeira – a small, subtropical Portuguese island near the coast of northwest Africa. As soon as I saw its steep volcanic mountains covered in lush flora and dense rolling clouds, I knew that this was the perfect setting for what I had in mind, though I didn’t yet know precisely what the project would express. I had to wait patiently until it slowly started to unveil itself in an unexpected way.
The name Overself came to me spontaneously when, wandering alone, I emerged from a storm into an unknown mountainous landscape. I later found out that the term was coined by the British mystic Paul Brunton (1898-1981) who wrote several books on the subject. Relying only on my own senses, which were tuned to the maximum in the unpredictable environment, I discovered that there is another “sense” that encompasses and transcends them all – some might call it a guardian, a higher self, a god or perhaps a soul. We can sometimes glimpse it briefly, perhaps in moments of bliss or when a mysterious unknown force pulls us away from danger. It’s quiet and elusive, impossible to describe in words, but its presence and transformative power can be strongly felt. This series provides some visual impressions of my personal encounters with the Overself, the really Real.