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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Seldom or never does a marriage develop into an individual relationship smoothly or without crises. There is no birth of consciousness without pain.

– Jung (Portable Jung, p.167)

 

The “individual relationship” Jung is talking about here is how the gradual growth of the two people, who usually come together unconsciously, can help turn each other into whole human beings….this is to say individuals. So “individual relationship” doesn’t necessarily have to mean a divorce but quite often does. The ideal situation is the realization of each person into their own consciousness together….For we can not come to see our unconscious projections unless we have someone upon which to project. And so we need each other in order to become conscious and as part of the human condition this means we have to experience the pain and potential end of relationship in the process of our conscious individuation. But at the same time this can also deepen the relationship and bring a real, unprojected, love for each other.

This may help by further deepening what is meant by “relationship”:

“If the individual is to be regarded solely as an instrument for maintaining the species, then the purely instinctive choice of a mate is by far the best. But since the foundations of such a choice are unconscious, only a kind of impersonal liaison can be built upon them, such as can be observed to perfection among primitives. If we can speak here of a “relationship” at all, it is, at best, only a pale reflection of what we mean, a very distant state of affairs with a decidedly impersonal character, wholly regulated by traditional customs and prejudices, the prototype of every conventional marriage.”

– Jung (Portable Jung, p.166)

And so the above, hopefully, shows us the necessity of the crises and the advantage of having someone with which to go through the suffering with…even if it at first separates you. However, one should never seek to create the crises as this would be a falsification. It will happen of its own accord if it is within one or both of the natures of the people involved in the relationship.

solitudinus

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I mention all this just to illustrate the order of magnitude to which the anima/animus projections belong, and the moral and intellectual exertions that are needed to dissolve them. Not all the contents of the anima and animus are projected, however. Many of them appear spontaneously in dreams and so on, and many more can be made conscious through active imagination. In this way we find that thoughts, feelings, and affects are alive in us which we would never have believed possible. Naturally, possibilities of this sort seem utterly fantastic to anyone who has not experienced them himself, for a normal person “knows what he thinks.” Such a childish attitude on the part of the “normal person” is simply the rule, so that no one without experience in this field can be expected to understand the real nature of the anima and animus. With these reflections one gets into an entirely new world of psychological experience, provided of course that one succeeds in realizing it in practice. Those who do succeed can hardly fail to be impressed by all the ego does not know and never has known. This increase in self-knowledge is still very rare nowadays and is usually paid for in advance with a neurosis, if not with something worse.

– Jung (Portable Jung, p. 158)

When Heaven is about to confer a great mission upon a person, it first exercises his mind with suffering and his body with toil. It subjects him to hunger and poverty and perplexes his undertakings. By all these means it stimulates his mind, hardens his nature, and relieves his incompetence.

– Mencius

The unconscious processes that compensate the conscious ego contain all those elements that are necessary for the self-regulation of the psyche as a whole. On the personal level, these are the not consciously recognized personal motives which appear in dreams, or the meanings of daily situations which we have overlooked, or conclusions we have failed to draw, or affects we have not permitted, or criticisms we have spared ourselves. But the more we become conscious of ourselves through self-knowledge, and act accordingly, the more the layer of the personal unconscious that is superimposed on the collective unconscious will be diminished. In this way there arises a consciousness which is no longer imprisoned in the petty, oversensitive, personal world of the ego, but participates freely in the wider world of objective interests. This widened consciousness is no longer that touchy, egotistical bundle of personal wishes, fears, hopes, and ambitions which always has to be compensated or corrected by unconscious counter-tendencies; instead, it is a function of relationship to the world of objects, bringing the individual into absolute, binding, and indissoluble communion with the world at large. The complications arising at this stage are no longer egotistic wish-conflicts, but difficulties that concern others as much as oneself. At this stage it is fundamentally a question of collective problems, which have activated the collective unconscious because they require collective rather than personal compensation. We can now see that the unconscious produces contents which are valid not only for the person concerned, but for others as well, in fact for a great many people and possibly for all.

– C.G. Jung (The Portable Jung, p. 127)

The Elgonyi, natives of the Elgon forests, of central Africa, explained to me that there are two kinds of dreams: the ordinary dream of the little man, and the “big vision” that only the great man has, e.g., the medicine-man or chief. Little dreams are of no account, but if a man has a “big dream” he summons the whole tribe in order to tell it to everybody.

How is man to know whether his dream is a “big” or a “little” one? He knows it by an instinctive feeling of significance. He feels so overwhelmed by the impression it makes that he would never think of keeping the dream to himself. He has to tell it, on the psychologically correct assumption that it is of general significance. Even with us the collective dream has a feeling of importance about it that impels communication. It springs from a conflict in relationship and must be built into our conscious relations, because it compensates these and not just some inner personal quirk.

C.G. Jung (The Portable Jung, p.127-28)

Yet it would, in my view, be wrong to suppose that in such cases the unconscious is working to a deliberate and concerted plan and is striving to realize certain definite ends. I have found nothing to support this assumption. The driving force, so far as it is possible for us to grasp it, seems to be in essence only an urge towards self-realization. If it were a matter of some general teleological plan, then all individuals who enjoy a surplus of unconsciousness would necessarily be driven towards higher consciousness by an irresistible urge. That is plainly not the case. There are vast masses of the population who, despite their notorious unconsciousness, never get anywhere near a neurosis. The few who are smitten by such a fate are really persons of the “higher” type who, for one reason or another, have remained too long on a primitive level. Their nature does not in the long run tolerate persistence in what is for them an unnatural torpor. As a result of their narrow conscious outlook and their cramped existence they save energy; bit by bit it accumulates in the unconscious and finally explodes in the form of a more or less acute neurosis. This simple mechanism does not necessarily conceal a “plan.” A perfectly understandable urge towards self-realization would provide a quite satisfactory explanation. We could even also speak of a retarded maturation of the personality.

– C.G. Jung (The Portable Jung, p. 134-35)

At the Beginning of the treatment the patient was quite unconscious of the fact that her relation to her father was a fixation, and that she was therefore seeking a man like her father, whom she could meet with her intellect. This in itself would not have been a mistake if her intellect had not had that peculiarly protesting character such as is unfortunately often encountered in intellectual women. Such an intellect is always trying to point out mistakes in others; it is pre-eminently critical, with a disagreeably personal undertone, yet it always wants to be considered objective. This invariably makes a man bad-tempered, particularly if, as so often happens, the criticism touches on some weak spot which, in the interests of fruitful discussion, were better avoided. But far from wishing the discussion to be fruitful, it is the unfortunate peculiarity of this feminine intellect to seek out a man’s weak spots, fasten on them, and exasperate him. This is not usually a conscious aim, but rather has the unconscious purpose of forcing a man into a superior position and thus making him an object of admiration. The man does not as a rule notice that he is having the role of hero thrust upon him; he merely finds her taunts so odious that in the future he will go a long way to avoid meeting the lady. In the end the only man who can stand her is the one who gives in at the start, and therefore has nothing wonderful about him.

My patient naturally found much to reflect upon in all this, for she had no notion of the game she was playing…

– C.G. Jung (The Portable Jung, p. 106-107)

O Life! I hope I am always capable of following your will and remain open to your insights…

Now I can’t and won’t make any judgments or assume I can adequately diagnose a single thing within our psyche, or more specifically others’. But I will attempt a self-diagnosis under the theories of Jung and I can for sure say that, at least, I am not a demigod lol.

“…Nobody could possibly stand up to it in the long run, precisely because it
is too much of a good thing. One would have to be a demigod at least to sustain such a role without a break, for all the time one would have to be the giver.”
– The Portable Jung (p.73-74)

Too bad things aren’t always easy and that I too have to look into myself for this is not merely one-sided…

For what fear may be possessing me? Why have I not seen or discovered yet the “…clear and respectable way out of the impasse.” Why do I feel the need to willfully go along with restriction and limitation?

“The so-called normal person would probably be able to break the emotional bond … by a powerful act of will, or else … he would come through the difficulty unconsciously, on the smooth path of instinct… But any weakness of instinct is enough to hinder a smooth unconscious transition. Then all progress is delayed by conflict, and the resulting stasis of life is equivalent to a neurosis. In consequence of the standstill, psychic energy flows off in every conceivable direction, apparently quite uselessly. For instance, there are excessive innervations of the sympathetic system, which lead to nervous disorders of the stomach and intestines; or the vagus (and consequently the heart) is stimulated; or fantasies and memories, uninteresting enough in themselves, become overvalued and prey on the conscious mind (mountains out of molehills).”

And all this half conscious, half unconscious self-imposed neurosis for a woman I care dearly for but who can not give anything real in return. I say half conscious because I freely chose to go into this, to experiment; I felt it to be important not only for myself but for her. And I say half unconscious because I had no idea of the consequences of such an action in regard to the level of self-sacrifice that was ultimately called for. But there would have been nothing truly wrong with this if in the end, the situation had not remained static for such a long time… And now I have been driven by consciousness to willfully make a break. Although it seems my instincts still had a part to play as it seems they were an underlying factor in the initiation of the push of what is now my conscious decision. I had oscillated much too long and had carried the burden of being the giver without enough breaks and reciprocation. In short I have, partially out of fear and guilt but also out of my love for learning and my love for her, created within my self something of a neurosis. And now I am to let go of my attachment and to learn from the fantasies and memories. To grasp the extent of which the mind or psyche can make ones heart increase or decrease in speed (vagus) and the power of nervous energy on the stomach and perhaps consistency of my stool, lol, but nonetheless I am glad, for there is still love in my heart even if I am to take the risk of letting go.

O Life! How could I not ultimately love the tensions of your conflicts and problems? For what else is more taut than the pulling back of the arrow upon the bow and the final release of our cure hurling us further and higher and ever closer to the future and greater human being?

solitudinus

“Problems thus draw us into an orphaned and isolated state where we are abandoned by nature and are driven to consciousness. There is no other way open to us; we are forced to resort to conscious decisions and solutions where formerly we trusted ourselves to natural happenings. Every problem, therefore, brings the possibility of a widening of consciousness, but also the necessity of saying goodbye to childlike unconsciousness and trust in nature. This necessity is a psychic fact of such importance it constitutes one of the most essential symbolic teachings of the Christian religion. It is the sacrifice of the merely natural man, of the unconscious, ingenuous being whose tragic career began with the eating of the apple in Paradise. The biblical fall of man presents the dawn of consciousness as a curse. And as a matter of fact it is in this light that we first look upon every problem that forces us to greater consciousness and separates us even further from the paradise of unconscious childhood. Everyone of us gladly turns away from his problems; if possible, they must not be mentioned, or, better still, their existence denied. We wish to make our lives simple, certain, and smooth, and for that reason problems are taboo. We want to have certainties and no doubts–results and no experiments– without even seeing that certainties can arise only through doubt and results only through experiment. The artful denial of a problem will not produce conviction; on the contrary, a wider and higher consciousness is required to give us the certainty and clarity we need.”

– Carl Jung