Through a Jungian Lens

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Blogging as Self-Analysis

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To begin with, I left this photo quite large as I wanted it to be a powerful photo.  The sea entrances me, pulls me and works to transform me, especially here where it is warm – yes, a warm sea that invites one to enter.  And so, I go into the sea as though it is a cauldron in which I will stew and re-emerge not a different person, but the same person with a different sense of self, hopefully a fuller sense of self.  Perhaps this is a way for me to engage in self-analysis.

Interestingly enough, Daryl Sharp talks about self-analysis in the third chapter of his book.  That said, he is an advocate of guided analysis with a Jungian trained analyst as the guide.  That is at the heart of modern day Jungian psychology.  But, yes there is always a but, especially for me.  I am more of a loner and want to do it my way.  Of course, thinking more about this, Jung also spent many years using self-analysis.  Even for those who pursue a period of Jungian analysis with a trained analyst, self-analysis is vital.  Whether one uses guided analysis or self analysis, there are four stages that help one to navigate through analysis:  confession, elucidation, education and transformation.  Here are a few words from Sharp on the topic of self-analysis:

Self-analysis can work to the extent that we are alert to the effects of our behavior and are willing to learn from them; however, it is limited by our blind-spots – our complexes – and by the silence of others who for one reason or another indulge them.(Sharp, Jung Uncorked: Book One, 2008, p. 28)

The key here is to find a way through these blind spots.  And the key to that is to look carefully where we experience some sort of affect, some reaction to the outer world.  Okay, that said, here’s how I go about this process.

First, confession – I admit that I am flawed, not perfect, that there are dark spaces within and without that belong to me.  How?  Well, apology is one method, admitting to others one’s darkness that has had a negative affect on those others.  In a way, this isn’t much different from one to the 12 steps in A.A.   But, it goes much deeper than that as one must also admit to oneself those things that have hurt the self rather than others.  Maybe it would be simpler to go to confession in a Catholic Church.  However, doing that would shift the onus on to an other rather than self.  How much do I admit to myself?  As much as I can, as I am able to at this stage of my life.  I assume that this will be an ongoing process until “I” am no more.

Elucidation?  Hmm, this is easily said but difficult in practice.  For me it involves learning, reading, re-reading and re-approaching all that I can get to know about complexes in general and my own complexes in particular which gets personalized as I pay attention to my responses to my daily life, my dreams, and the words of others that strike an “ah-ha” moment within me.

Then, it is up to me to find my place, my role in the social world.  This third step requires that I don’t stand outside that world but that I give service.  My presence becomes, in a way, the role of educator.  I don’t mean this in the sense of becoming a guru or someone who has the answers, but rather as a living participant who by being present, serves as part of the larger way towards consciousness.

The last stage, that of transformation, suggests that somehow in the process, I change consciously and that I become more and more the person I could be.  Put together, what happens is part of the larger process called individuation, that journey each of us takes as we move from birth to death, a journey in which we contribute somehow to the larger consciousness.


2 Responses

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  1. I like the action and seeming chaos in this picture. One of the charming things about living in Los Angeles is realizing that you can step onto the edge of a continent. What makes the powerful force of an ocean stop at a particular point? Your photo makes me contemplate these things.

    Laura Brown

    January 9, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    • Yes, Laura, there is power in images, power to make us look at the world with different eyes as well as to look inward and see as yet undiscovered facets of ourselves. Thanks.

      Robert G. Longpré

      January 9, 2010 at 1:53 pm

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