Is this an Imago Dei?
Can the Creative impulse be reduced to images or equations, it may be so, as many mathematicians from Pythagoras through Fermat and so on today, have discovered that there is a mathematical order to the quantum field and the Universe. The modular view of quantum mechanics shows such models of sub-atomic matter as painted by Jung. However Jung painted this nearly one hundred years ago before advanced computer modelling!
The Taoist Masters noted that to understand the Tao one can study its creation.
Maybe the Creator needs the human condition to give birth to its feeling function thus balance itself?
Please refer to Answer to Job: CG Jung.
The above image is reproduced from the Liber Novus Page 159, painted after a close friend of Jung’s died.
An excerpt from Memories Dreams and Reflections
Chapter xi On Life After Death
The figures from the unconscious are uninformed too, and need man, or contact with consciousness, in order to attain to knowledge. When I began working with the unconscious, I found myself much involved with the figures of Salome and Elijah. Then they receded, but after about two years they reappeared. To my enormous astonishment, they were completely unchanged; they spoke and acted as if nothing had happened in the meanwhile. In actuality the most incredible things had taken place in my life. I had, as it were, to begin from the beginning again, to tell them all about what had been going on, and explain things to them. At the time I had been greatly surprised by this situation. Only later did I understand what had happened: in the interval the two had sunk back into the unconscious and into themselves – I might equally well put it, into timelessness.
They remained out of contact with the ego and the ego’s changing circumstances, and therefore were ignorant of what had happened in the world of consciousness.
Quite early I had learned that it was necessary for me to instruct the figures of the unconscious, or that other group which is often indistinguishable from them, the “spirits of the departed.” The first time I experienced this was on a bicycle trip through upper Italy which I took with a friend in 1910. On the way home we cycled from Pavia to Arona, on the lower part of Lake Maggiore, and spent the night there. We had intended to pedal on along the lake and then through the Tessin as far as Faido, where we were going to take the train to Zurich. But in Arona I had a dream which upset our plans.
In the dream I was in an assemblage of distinguished spirits of earlier centuries; the feeling was similar to the one I had later toward the “illustrious ancestors” in the black rock temple of my 1944 vision. The conversation was conducted in Latin. A gentleman with a long, curly wig addressed me and asked a difficult question, the gist of which I could no longer recall after I woke up. I understood him, but did not have a sufficient command of the language to answer him in Latin. I felt so profoundly humiliated by this that the emotion awakened me. At the very moment of awakening I thought of the book I was then working on, Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido, and had such intense inferiority feelings about the unanswered question that I immediately took the train home in order to get back to work. It would have been impossible for me to continue the bicycle trip and lose another three days. I had to work, to find the answer. Not until years later did I understand the dream and my reaction. The bewigged gentleman was a kind of ancestral spirit, or spirit of the dead, who had addressed questions to me – in vain! It was still too soon, I had not yet come so far, but I had an obscure feeling that by working on my book I would be answering the question that had been asked. It had been asked by, as it were, my spiritual forefathers, in the hope and expectation that they would learn what they had not been able to find out during their time on earth, since the answer had first to be created in the centuries that followed. If question and answer had already been in existence in eternity, had always been there, no effort on my part would have been necessary, and it could all have been discovered in any other century. There does seem to be unlimited knowledge present in nature, it is true, but it can be comprehended by consciousness only when the time is ripe for it. The process, presumably, is like what happens in the individual psyche: a man may go about for many years with an inkling of something, but grasps it clearly only at a particular moment.
Evolution is the line of least resistance whereas individuation is the line of most resistance.
Individuation not Individualism
Mankind will crucify itself on the cross of its own projection.
If only all of us would individuate and become whole, thus crucifying the destructive intellect within the psyche, if only.
Individuation has nothing to do with individualism. Individualism is an ego centric attitude which has lead to the plight of the planet and its peoples’ today; i.e. an unnecessary indulgence exalting self interest economics. This has created an unfair and one sided capitalism that has blindly ignored the environment and most of the inhabitants of the Earth. For example who pays for the actual and relative cost of solar power or the misuse of fossil fuel which has been in the ground for millions of years as well as nature quietly going about its business, cost free. Most of the world’s power suppliers have renewable energy sources such as Hydrogen from H2O, hidden on the shelf ready to go, but self interest economics prevents them from distributing these technologies, even in the public interest. Enough solar energy falls on to the Earth in one hour to power the needs of the planet for one year.
The Bee, Wholeness and Conspiracy
The seemingly humble bee is responsible for all the food production in the world, yet industrialised farming, micro-wave technology used in mobile phones. wi-fi and sat-nav. etc. and a host of other 21st century tools are destroying them by the million. However if we paid a so called market price for these bounties we would all immediately be bankrupt, thus a market economy is a nonsense.
There are shadowy groups allied to the corporate bodies, that rule us by debt and fear, controlling the so called democracies and their politicians, by manipulating our unconscious attitudes and weaknesses. Hence the plethora of conspiracy theories which have a basis although skillfully obscured by the careful disinformation from these manipulative and secretive groups, through popular media outlets such as television, radio, newspapers, search engines and internet sites etc.
Most of the ‘conspiracy’ issues are connected to these secret societies. Oddly their raison d’etre is to guard a ‘secret’ that has actually lost its numinous vitality and can only be kept alive by outward form and ritual in the vereins such as Freemasonry, Rosicrucians, Bildebergers, Religious and State pomp and circumstance etc. which are thankfully dying out, albeit slowly. Strangely these dark arts are the result of the natural decay of any clandestine order by the natural principle of entantiodromia, that is each thing will turn into its opposite. These societies originally rooted in the middle ages had access to the unconscious realm, as did religious prophets and founders of religion, albeit in a dubious manner.
Therefore without respecting the bee and the natural world, there is no chance of becoming whole, this can make us independent of collective control. So we need to respect nature in order to nurture ourselves and our environment. Nevertheless maybe a whole host of unnecessary catastrophes will wake us up to this fact.
Individuation a Path to Wholeness
However there is way forward to right these wrongs, that is individuation. Individuation is a term Carl Jung gave to the process of becoming whole, solid or indivisible. This can be likened to the elusive philosopher’s stone or the Holy Grail of the mystics. Prof. Jung demystified these concepts by discovering that if one opens up the inner psyche by firstly addressing dreams naturally, in a certain archetypal manner, one then enters into a dialogue with the area he designated as the natural world of the collective unconscious. A strange yet marvelous fact is that the unconscious will inform and guide one through this process with a unique, objective wisdom. Therefore individuation can gnaw away and undo poor governance helping to prevent these ridiculous policies that threaten the very survival of the planet and its peoples, also assisting us in making more of our lives as individuals, giving rise to a meaningful existence.
The Banished Unconscious or Fourth Factor and Squaring The Circle
Dr. Jung proved empirically that there are archetypes in a domain Jung called the ‘unconscious’ because most of us are unaware if its existence. These archetypes are autonomous, especially a realm he called the Self. This is and has been common to all, in all times of history, unfortunately banished by the recent concept of ‘reason’, as well as being usurped by religion and the ruling class, over the centuries. This is the main reason for the mess we all are in today and the dark future we all face. Individuation could seem selfish, yet it changes the natural order naturally, thus beneficent to all of us. Just as a collection of raindrops become an ocean, the more of us who change by becoming more conscious, the more this stupidity will change. Disaster looms because business magnates, politicians and most world and religious leaders are only conscious of part of their psyche, this makes them unconscious of the ramifications of their actions, being collective and destructive and mainly interested in short term gain. Often in ‘business speak’ one hears the term ‘squaring the circle’ to mean achieving success. It is generic term derived from ‘true’ alchemy meaning one had to use all the faculties of the psyche to achieve wholeness. This was espoused by Sir George Ripley, a canon of Bridlington who was also an esoteric alchemist in the 15th century as:
” All the secrets will be founde when thou canst make the square rounde.”
Reflect or Project?
When one is unconscious, one projects, projections are always destructive, whether on a personal or collective basis. Therefore reflection is needed to manifest the effects of the unconscious which needs to be accepted. Even a medaeval alchemist stated ‘That all things do live in the Three’ But in the Four they merry be’. He had realised that for true balance, the human condition needs to accept the unconscious as did Plato in his Timaeus, leaving ’empty’ a fourth place at his philosopher’s table. What is implied that the trinitarian world of religion, social mores and the three dimensions of space and time need to incorporate this other realm of the unconscious.
This individuation process caused an early split with Freud who was dogmatic about his methods and interpretation of dreams and attitudes having mainly a sexual bias. Sigmund Freud could not accept the rationality and autonomy of the inner aspects of the psyche. That is, that there is an independent centre which is objective, imbuing an all knowing wisdom to all those who care to tune in. The true alchemists who were interested in the ‘aurum non vulgi’ were along way from the usual attributed quackery and called this realm, the deus absconditus, the hidden god. Even the well meaning alchemists who had spiritual goals could not interpret the symbolic language of the unconscious, therefore each one had his own ‘true’ version of the unconscious material. Hence a lot of confusion arose then and now producing a host of bizarre and fantastic material. Also one could be tortured and or banished, if discovered by the establishment. Thus many quacks tried to transform lead and base metals into gold for greed and power motives. Whereas the arcane aspect of alchemy was to transform matter into spirit, that is the human condition into a transcendent being. Jung was the first person to streamline all this and create an eclectic method of understanding all this, making the way for his individuation which is open to all, of any faith or persuasion. Jung noted that at the core of this process imbedded in the human psyche, was a condition he named the Self. The Self has nothing to do with the concept of the ‘ego’. The Self is often mistakenly termed or confused by ‘a sense of self’, which is really a synthetic egocentric idea of so called well being, often short lived, blind and selfish. The Self, being an archetype transcends time and space. Most religions have a projected Self figure at the centre of their devotions, such as Jesus, Bhuddha, Khrisna, Mohamed, Yahweh etc.
Dreams and The Self
The Self is responsible for dreams which can advise and guide a person on the path to wholeness. What initially struck me about Jung’s method was that it was unique and personal and that each of us has our own answer and solution. Initially improving health, returning a person to balanced relationships, a career, enhancing religious convictions and then if desired to address the ‘Why’ we are here? Spinning on a planet in a solar system part of a galaxy in an unknown sized Universe. Hence Jung called this unknown realm, the unconscious. He observed that when we look out into the heavens we can envisage infinity however when we look in we can sense eternity. Chang tse a Chinese philosopher of the 6th BCE. reflected on awakening after he dreamt that he was a butterfly, that he could be a butterfly dreaming he was a poet. He also mused that when we go to sleep we do not know that we are going to wake up. The unconscious often foretells future possibilities or incorrect present situations so that we can adjust our psyches and actions accordingly, that it is why it an area that has great healing potential.
Dr Jung realised that the unconscious could be better assimilated if mapped out by adopting archetypal structures. Here I will give brief outline to the archetypes. However one needs to read the collected work of Carl Jung and or the many works of Dr Marie Louise Von Franz for more detail which will help in the discovery of the magic healing power of dreams.
I suggest to start with: the illustrated edition of Man and His Symbols with an Introduction by Carl Jung. Also a biography of Jung by Aniele Jaffe called Memories Dreams and Reflections.
The Ego Conscious Complex
Jung nominated this centre of consciousness born from the unconscious, as the ego conscious complex, being a complex of opposites, being derived from the collection of experiences, gathered together throughout life. Initially it is formed out of parental influences, racial and religious origins, environment and childhood occurrences of spatial awareness, realisation of opposites ( Mother/father-night/day-hot/cold) etc. All this information is amalgamated by the ego’s ability to fuse together these opposites into a coherent unity. As the person grows, the ego enlarges its field of consciousness by realising more conscious and unconscious experiences. Therefore consciousness is relative to the ability of the ego to consciously assimilate the split halves from the two spheres of the psyche. The ego usually constellates at around six to seven years of age, often children will insist on saying ‘I’ instead of ‘we’, the ‘we’ being a collective identity with the family and the parents in particular.
The Split that can be Healed
Bi-polar disorders or schizophrenia are a disorientation of the ego conscious complex, temporarily dis-jointed or split by trauma etc. dreams can guide to a permanent cure of these divisive symptoms and causes by creating a fusion of the disjointed opposites thus the ego is returned to relative wholeness.
Normally, the ego naturally reflects on our actions, dreams, events and experiences that cause this process. However if the unconscious is accepted as an automonous entity the process is catalysed more dramatically.
Profs. Jung, Bohr, Pauli and Einstein
A brilliant professor can be relatively unconscious as he or she cannot see the natural complementary antagonism of opposite forces. Check out Neils Bohr’s Coat of Arms below. He was the founder of Quantum Mechanics/Physics along with Prof. Wofgang Pauli et al. Prof. Bohr highlighted that Einstein was relatively ignorant of the principle of opposites, at the Solvay Conference of 1927 in front of the world’s leading physicists!
Note the legend Contraria sunt Complementia (Opposites are Complementary). Prof.Bohr was needed to finalise the atom bomb at Los Alamos in WWII. Bohr was Jewish, yet lived a trouble free life in Copenhagen during the Nazi occupation of Denmark due to his respected knowledge. Wolfgang Pauli who inspired Bohr, went through an individuation process with Prof Jung.
The next layer is the shadow, so called because it is something dark that lies in the shadow of the ego, just under the threshold of consciousness. This negative side of the personality, always has a destructive tendency, when left unconscious. This is because one always projects unconscious contents out into the world of people and matter, until one reflects on these subjects in the magic mirror of the mind (ego), thus making them conscious. This is why we meet out unconscious as fate.
The shadow contains our human failings, although being fairly obvious can be difficult to accept. Lao tse said when he wrote his short yet profound essay: ‘ my words are easy to understand but very diificult to put into practice’.
In reality, individual or collective conflicts are the effects of individual unconscious projections battling themselves out in the material world. The most spectacular of these in the twentieth century was the Nazi/German shadow projected on to the Jews in WWII.
A simple, yet uncomfortable way to identify one’s own shadow qualities is to look out for a person of the same sex or similar personality who has all the qualities one dislikes. This may be housed in one or several persons mirroring our own repressed and rejected traits. For example a very manipulative person who is constantly weaving selfish plans in the shadows, will clash or will accuse others of being control freaks. Often such people are petrified of snakes, spiders and creepy crawlies as they represent their own repressed, clandestine qualities, the shadow can also appear in dreams in these forms. However with a little honesty, if such shadow traits are accepted, it can become a positive aspect of the psyche and create a consciousness with great organisational abilities. The shadow is only hostile when ignored or misunderstood. For example a bully who has a cowardly shadow can become naturally brave, the person with feelings of inferiority can become an heroic communicator, an idler can turn his or her life around into creative and positive activity and so forth.
The personal or collective values of the unconscious are a compensation for the attitude of the ego, so whatever is on top is a compensation for what is underneath. Thus the whiter we attempt to be the darker is our shadow. Our shadow joins us at our lowest point that is our heels.
The shadow is just a distortion of survival instincts from the past, that have become the all too recognisable failings of humanity now played out as duplicity, stealing, violence, jealousy, power drives, greed, selfishness, hubris, sexual deviation, lust, opportunism, materiality and so forth. For example a hunter gatherer would adopt any base method to keep his group fed and clothed, adapting the instinctual drives of survival of the tribe and ensuing dna. However, nowadays with crop cultivation and food surpluses, housing etc. we do not need these base survival methods although there are remnants left and still dug up by the opportunist.
In order to suppress guilt which is an inevitable result of the evolution consciousness triggered by empathy and the feeling function, it gives rise to the weakness of human character traits such as self deception, self justification and of course denial, resulting in short term gain and long term loss.
Therefore the opportunistic, ‘successful’ person, politician, entrepreneur etc. simply adopts pre-historic instinctual drives in order to control others as well as amassing a surplus of material goods and money, basically out of fear. Adolf Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf ‘ that it is lucky for leaders that people are stupid’. However it is now necessary to intergrate these instictual drives consciously with ‘feeling’ into out psyches and work with the unconscious. Jung said this not only helps the individual but also the collective.
The shadow appears in dreams as the same sex as the dreamer and is often at the core of nightmares appearing as dark and menacing characters. The Christian shadow was exemplified in the New Testament as Christ’s shadow The Devil. The Shadow of Mary the Virgin Mother, has a projected shadow as the fallen woman, Mary Magdalene.
The persona is the mask worn by a person to hide the shadow, therefore attempting to disguise the unsavoury side of the personality, often adopting qualities of synthetic charm, false politeness, etiquette, social mores and charisma etc. often used by politicians and corporate leaders to dupe the public to cover up their inner motives. Jung discovered that often a person’s laugh will voice the shadow, hence the seemingly kindly individual with a wicked cackle. There are now specific schools to train persons to hide the shadow qualities into this mind set, such as Neuro Linguistic Programming and so forth. It is interesting that if one lies when having an MRI scan the whole brain is activated, thus using a huge amount of an unnecessary energy! Also people will yawn when telling untruths. Jung noticed that often, people who have to adopt an unnecessary persona for the aforementioned reasons start to identify with the projection, thus live a provisional and empty life, believing it to be their true personality, however disaster always ensues a negative projection. Nevertheless we all adopt a persona when dealing with officials, police etc. to ease communication; actors adopt a persona during the portrayal of their assumed character parts, the better the acting the bigger the prize, quite often becoming unbearable ‘off stage or set’ when they are consumed by the act continuing the performance ad nauseam. When a ‘false’ persona becomes a tool of manipulation it then is a danger to all concerned.
The Inner Guides – Anima and Animus
Underneath the shadow one discovers the inner guide, which if left unconscious, has random and nefarious reactions in both men and women thus disturbing consciousness, unexpectedly. However, when accepted and realised is an inspiring ally. In women it manifests itself as a masculine figure and in men, it is female. The male side of the feminine psyche is called the animus whereas the male has an anima. The animus and anima are the contra-sexual personifications of the respective psyches. In classic literature they appear as demons or witches in their negative or projected condition, but develop into inner guides with the possibility of divine inspiration, when made positively conscious. Jung realised that if the anima or the animus is projected it causes a host of love disasters. However when integrated into the consciousness is a guide into and out of the deeper reaches of the unconscious psyche. Writers, composers and artists depend on them for inspiration. For more humble folk, these inner navigators can help us through life’s ups and downs, smoothly.
In dreams the anima will be in female form, often appearing as an ideal female partner who can inspire the male and lead him into and out of the unconscious. A good example of a legendary anima figure, is Ariadne who gives Theseus a magic thread to guide him out of the tortuous maze, where he slew the Minotaur. Here the female is a benevolent anima guiding the hero in and out of the darkness so he can conquer his negative or beastly qualities. Another classic depiction, this time a negative anima, is the Gorgon Medusa with her terrifying hair of snakes whose gaze would turn any man to stone. Perseus aided by his polished shield was able to kill her, by sighting her image in the reflective qualities of this magic screen. These simple well known legends, show in story form that if the anima is kept in the dark it will have petrifying effects, but when reflected upon is helpful, creating a hero out of the man.
In life when the female side of the male is kept in the dark or is negative the man is frozen from reality finding the big bad world only a mess that is not worth bothering with. She will keep him in dark moods, depressed, weak, spiteful, fickle, vain and above all, unattractive to real women.
The anima is conditioned by the relationship to the mother. Therefore if there was a negative experience or total lack of a mother figure, the anima will have those qualities which in later life are projected onto women who will live out the negativity, thus giving rise to bad relationships. This does not mean that this experience has to be all bad. If the anima is brought to the fore instead of lurking around in the dark areas of the psyche playing all her tricks, she will become a good creative friend. This leads to strong positive bonds with women and life. In order that a man give birth to his anima proper, it needs the accompaniment of an open minded woman, preferably someone who understands the idea of the unconscious, i.e. she accepts that she has an animus. If not the anima and animus will battle until one or the other of the partners, just buckles under the strain. This is not healthy as the so-called winner will live in a precarious hubris, whilst the other remains lifeless. In the case of the anima of a man, it is the hen pecked husband. All love quarrels are made of this stuff and have been in evidence all over the world since time immemorial. The anima is tied up with the sexual energy of the body and of course, is the true food of love.
If the mother imago has been too positive and possessive this can lead a man to having shallow relationships such as the Casanova attitude to women, where the man can never allow the woman in or have a deep contact with the female, because it is tied up within his anima. Also this type of mother complex can lead to a man having only one woman in his life, his mother. Thus his love and sexuality is bound up and projected onto men with similar complexes. This type of gay man is usually very creative and has a high feeling content and if openly accepted, it does not have to be detrimental to his development. Often in these gay unions, one man is more feminine than the other, creating a balance of sorts. Jung says the increase of homosexuality came to pass for a variety of reasons including overpopulation, as well as a collective need for men and women to embrace part of their shadow complex, i.e. loving and embracing the same sex. However, it is down to personal choice and it’s effects.
The anima as well as being the inner ‘inspiratrice’ and cohesive substance for relationships is the inner guide to the centre of the male psyche, the God Image of the Self, which is always masculine for the man.
Animus, Legend or Legion
The animus in a woman, if neglected can become legion. Especially in this modern age of so-called equal opportunities. The female is now more than ever dependent on her masculine soul, in order to face the trials and tribulations of modern life. If the animus overwhelms the female ego, it can cause the woman to become frigid, dogmatic, reckless, full of empty talk or silently frozen, obstinate, dangerous and so forth. These destructive animus qualities can sublimate, the very creative and now necessary aspect of the female psyche, being the feeling function. The animus, if made conscious and realised, give women a superior advantage in the new world with the added quality of retaining all the wonderful aspects of femininity. Besides making a woman naturally confident with all the organisational abilities needed nowadays, the conscious animus will compose positive ties with the opposite sex and children. Just as for men, the animus really needs a partner of the opposite sex for it to be truly recognised. This can be achieved through a close relationship, friendship or counselling.
Animus and Bluebeard
Just as the mother shapes the anima of a man, the animus of the woman is conditioned by the father, hopefully giving her a clear concise way of ordering all the aspects of her life. But the negative animus will appear as a bluebeard type character in dreams, robbing and murdering her femininity. Bluebeard was a mythical character; the stuff fairy tales are made of, based on an actual sixth century Breton chieftain who killed his many wives. In the fairy tale he is a rich prince who lures young maidens into marriage, forbidding them to open a secret door. Just as curiosity killed the cat, a new young wife cannot resist the temptation. Therein, she finds the dead bodies of Bluebeard’s past wives. But here her curiosity saves her life as she uncovers the murderous aspect of her husband in time. Another classic example of the destructive animus is in Wuthering Heights, where Emile Bronte in her one and only book, projects her negative animus into Heathcliff. He torments Bronte’s heroine, Cathy, in a love hate relationship which continues even after her death, showing that this character is paranormal.
Whereas the male personification of the female psyche, when enlightened, will be her best friend. This is laid out in the fairy tale of beauty and the beast. When the possessed and entrapped girl, can embrace the beast, he turns into Prince Charming, the man of her dreams, and she lives happily ever after.
Most religions being patriarchal are of little use to the modern woman or at best a stepping stone. Whereas the older nature cults have more in tune with the feminine psyche where Goddesses were worshipped and served the female, so the true way is to find the Goddess within which is a major leading role for the animus.
The Self and The Centre of The Psyche
This positive animus will open the way to the spiritual union with the higher aspect of the psyche, the Self. The Self is female for the woman.
Jung pointed out that if the world was to survive, it would be due to the feminine and the feeling function. (See over and fig.13).
The Self for both men and women is the ultimate goal of human existence. It is the Image of God and the centre of the human psyche. The Self can only, truly be realised when the shadow and the animus or anima are made conscious. However a path towards the Self can be activated by guilt which usually occurs after a trauma. A raw encounter with the Self will be recognised, never to be forgotten, as it can be awesome. A mild manifestation of the Self can be felt sometimes as a temporary feeling of well being or oneness caused by a number of ‘happy’ occurrences such as the warmth of a family gathering, winning a prize or an event, promotion, creative endeavours and so forth. For the Saints, it was a dramatic experience, the ‘Ectstasis’ or ecstasy.
Over the centuries people have sought out this elusive spirit, in many forms even misguidedly, from the ‘spirit’ in the bottle, with alcohol being the hidden inner spirit, and also drugs. A modern sickness is the scourge of alcohol and drug abuse in many consumer societies, with some substances even being falsely labelled ‘Ecstasy’. The devastating ‘worship’ of materialism and all the other ‘ism’s’ are another area which needs correcting to ensure a secure future for subsequent generations. These are all a ‘loss of soul’ and an unhealthy projection of the archetypes of the unconscious.
The Self and Dreams
The Self appears in dreams as the same sex as the dreamer in the guise of a positive authority figure. This varies according to the consciousness of the dreamer, it can be a teacher, doctor, monk, nun, priest or even a stereotypical version of a God or a Goddess from an accepted religion or cult. Jung pronounced that when the Self spoke it was the voice of absolute knowledge, often ignored, but it is the free will of each person to listen or not.
There is a caveat as always, because along the path of self-discovery, involving the complexes and archetypes, there is a personal price. However when identified as a natural occurrence, is less disturbing than when it first appears, for if recognised it can be controlled. This is a mild depression. When the centre of consciousness absorbs these dark elements, the light of the ego is dimmed, thus causing a slight depression. This is necessary to allow the effect, and the unconscious contents to congeal into the world of light. If this is repressed, it will only appear at a later date in another fashion, usually more destructive. Jung discovered that when life has no meaning one day and meaning the next then you know you are on the Via Regia.
It is extremely dangerous to accelerate this phenomenon by artificial means such as mind-altering substances. Although in many native cultures a ritual lowering of consciousness was controlled by an experienced medicine man. Alas many of these rituals have been lost, along with the knowledge of the shamans, leaving many native cultures to fall into depravity.
Certain Indian tribes from North America sometimes ritualised this rite of passage in their ‘sweat lodges’. On occasions using mild hallucinogens to assist the transmutation from one existence to another. On the other side of the Pacific Ocean, the shamans of the Australian aborigines admit that the demise of the traditional life style and degeneration of their peoples, is mainly, due to the loss of the rituals that can contact the ‘dream time’.
This altered state, is not to be confused with manic depression or a psychosis which must be treated as an illness because the ego has lost control, albeit due to an unconscious eruption. In such cases the island of consciousness has been overwhelmed by the waters of the unconscious. It was not by chance that Western Alchemy used the sobriquet of Mercury for this domain with all the allusions to lead and quicksilver. These substances were not only pseudonyms for the unconscious but its potential quality of being poisonous. The curse of the genius is that he or she is precariously close to the unconscious. This can explain their bizarre, even mad and sometimes short existences because the unconscious, although a source of inspiration can overwhelm the ego, if care is not taken.
The Four Functions
Dr. Marie-Louise Von Franz, who has dedicated her life to Jungian psychology, was a student and close collaborator of Jung with an exhaustive workload of dream analysis, some 70,000, and books second only to the founder himself. Quoting Von Franz from a dream seminar; “The unconscious, amongst other things, is a great jester, and from time to time it speaks right out – bang! So that as you write the dream down you explode with laughter and you know what it means. Just the other day for example, I was very ill and revolting against my illness, I dreamt that, I was at a festival to greet old soldiers coming home from military service. And as they handed in their carpenter’s tools, I saw they were terribly old. They were a hundred years old, and somebody said into my ear, “Yes, they have kept those people much too long in active service”. Now you don’t have to be an analyst to understand that dream. At once I drastically reduced my workload.”
Professor Jung stated that an oral communication in a dream must be accepted, verbatim.Also to help understand dream language here is a brief intermezzo into Jung’s four functions which are needed by the psyche to orientate itself in consciousness. (fig.13).
The Four Functions
Briefly the four functions can be described as follows, sensation tells one that something exists, thinking informs what it is, feeling guides us emotionally, whether it is good or bad and intuition speculates its origin, past and future use. When intuition is accepted as a function it becomes a method of ‘seeing’ into the unconscious, that is ‘perceiving or sensing’ even the future because the unconscious is a time space void, where past, present and future are undifferentiated. Mediumistic people have intuition as their foremost function. Thinking and feeling are opposites balanced by the other two, sensation and intuition. For example if a man has a predominant thinking function, seconded by intuition, his two lower functions will be sensation with feeling at the lowest point. So the masculine ego has the two upper functions whilst the underlying ones are less conscious, and feminine allied to the anima. The anima will often appear in dreams using these lower functions.
The reverse will be true for a woman. If a woman has sensation and feeling as her lower functions, they will be her masculine attributes and attached to the animus. This type of psyche can make a successful entrepreneur or dealer.
Often people are attracted to each other at an unconscious level because the type is opposite and complimentary. Hence a ‘thinking’ man will be attracted to a feeling type woman and so forth.
The Fluidity of The Functions
The functions are never rigidly static, their precedence will change from time to time. This can be noticed when somebody is out of character. But, when a certain function predominates most of the time, it will fix a position for the others, determining the typology of the person. However the order of the functions can and do change during life.
Jung pointed out that thinking is the opposite function to feeling which he considered to be logical. Whereas sensation is contrary to intuition, being the illogical functions. Here illogical does not mean that they are unreasonable, but outside the norm. For example it is a well-known fact that people can dream or have accurate hunches about the future whether a businessman, dealer or a medium. If all events were purely causal it would create a dead world without inspirational criteria, especially in the arts but equally one needs a sixth sense to buy the right house. These illogical facts are just so, hence accepted logic needs redefining to incorporate this quantum field of the unconscious.
Wholeness is dependent on including all the functions into consciousness, therefore a balanced standpoint is to use all the functions equally, in a rounded way. Simplistically, take a problem, think about what it is, then use sensation to tell you what it is in material terms, thereafter intuition will determine where it came from, the past, and where it is going, into the future; lastly feeling will guide one as to whether it is good or bad thing. In this way one sees any situation or dilemma in a wholesome fashion.
Squaring The Circle
Thus wholeness or being individuated creates a harmony with the natural world and mankind by adopting as conscious as possible an attitude to the archetypal structure of the psyche with a balanced use of the four functions.
This in alchemy was the Squaring of the Circle, studied by Isaac Newton who wrote one million words on alchemy and only ten thousand on science.
Sir George Ripley, a clandestine alchemist of the middle ages acting heretically as the Canon of Bridlington declared:
” All the secrets will be founde when thou canst make the square rounde.”