Through a Jungian Lens

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Disclosure Versus Non-Disclosure

with 2 comments

This bird is called a Kildeer, a member of the Plover family.  The egg that I featured a few days ago was a Kildeer egg.  This is an interesting bird that doesn’t seem to mind getting your attention with its plaintive cry and acting as though it is injured.  Of course it is all a sham in order to draw your attention away from the nest on the ground with its eggs.  If ever there was a moral reason for an act of fraud, the Kildeer provides that reason.

In many ways, many people do much the same thing when we get too close to the sore spots in their psyche, they dissemble and work hard to turn our focus away from their vulnerable centre.  There is little doubt that those who engage in this type of fraud soon lose their own sense of self.  Their actions and investment into the deceptions lead away from the core self, away from the soul.

Sidney Jourard devotes a book to the study of disclosure and the impact of non-disclosure on the psyche in his book, The Transparent Self.

“When a man does not acknowledge to himself who, what, and how he is, he is out of touch with reality, and he will sicken and die; and no one can help him without access to the facts.  And it seems to be another empirical fact that no man can come to know himself except as an outcome of disclosing himself to another person. (Jourard,  The Transparent Self, p. 5)

In reading the book, a few people I know come to mind as good examples of just this loss.  There is one woman in particular whose life is in a total mess though she denies even this basic fact in spite of her “poor me” litany of complaints.  The refusal to see and admit the facts of her life, and to allow others to get to know her has resulted in most of her communications being done on the phone with basically no one allowed into her home.

All of her energy is focused now on continuing to divert attention from her issues to those of others, not unlike the Kildeer above.  However, the cost to her psyche is enormous.  She still refuses to acknowledge her need while at the same time she is unable to stem all the toxic seepage, bits of exposure that seeps out like sewage.  As Jung once said:

“When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate”

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2 Responses

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  1. Genuine self disclosure is enormously difficult. So many people can babble on about their lives and thoughts, but this acts as a shield for the parts of their lives they don’t want to look at.

    The need for the ‘right’ person to listen is important. I think perhaps a diary works similarly, as long as what is written is explored more fully each time. This process facilitates the acknowledgement to the self what what we really are. Those who can lie to themselves may have an easier life, but in the end, they have lost the chance to enrich their spirit.

    Lotus Light

    May 21, 2010 at 8:59 am

    • Probably the best, safest, place for disclosure is with a psychotherapist. Even then, the chances for real disclosure is not guaranteed. It takes a lot of “will” which usually comes when one falls flat on one’s face, not unlike the alcoholic or druggie hitting rock-bottom before finding the courage to change, the need to change.

      That said, a diary is a good means of “self-disclosure” as is the act of blogging which though more public, does allow one a bit of a sense of safety for the act of disclosing. Safety is key, the sense of safety, for real disclosure. Often, one’s spouse can’t provide that sense of safety thus leaving both partners as strangers.

      Robert G. Longpré

      May 21, 2010 at 9:14 am


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