Through a Jungian Lens

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Lacking a Theory of Psyche

with 2 comments

Snow to say good morning and welcome to winter – October 2012

Yesterday, I woke up to snow falling while in Lloydminster, Alberta visiting at my son’s home. After packing up after a week of visiting, it was time to drive home through what ended up to be a small blizzard.While in my son’s house, the snow pulled a sense of well being from within me. I saw the snow flakes as soft, clean and beautiful.  Yet, it was only an hour later those same snowflakes became a threat to my safety, perhaps even to my survival. I saw one car with passengers end up in a highway ditch in front of me. My response was one of increased caution.  I finally got home after a few extra hours on the highway. The last part of the drive was snow-free. It was as if I had dropped out of one universe only to land in a different universe.

I am reminded of the different universes that I meet in the inner spaces of my own psyche and how these universes evoke different responses within me. Sometimes the same inner universe presents me with a different “feel” and “awareness” than is usual. This shift of feel is a reminder that I am not yet ready to claim full awareness, not yet ready to claim that I have discovered a truth.

 “Theories in psychology are the very devil. It is true that we need certain points of view for their orienting and heuristic value; but they always should be regarded as mere auxiliary concepts that can be laid aside at any time. We still know so very little about the psyche that it is positively grotesque to think we are far enough advanced to frame general theories. We have not yet established the empirical extent of the psyche’s phenomenology: how then can we dream of general theories? No doubt theory is the best cloak for lack of experience and ignorance, but the consequences are depressing: bigotedness, superficiality, and scientific sectarianism.” (Jung, CW Vol. 17, p. 7)

In my last post, I talked about how I lost my sense of being Jungian, Buddhist, Christian and whatever else I may have latched onto in an attempt to define myself, to hold as a theory of the nature of my individual psyche. That all fell apart and in the process, I began to get glimmers of self that defied any attempt I could make either with or without words. It ends up a very messy thing, but in some strange way, that messiness is freeing and I don’t have to try and force myself to fit into limited, self-created containers. I am free to wonder with a bit of awe and mystery about myself. And in the process, I find myself also free to experience the presence of others as beings of mystery.



2 Responses

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  1. Dear Friend,
    Thank you for this Post and I am glad that you arrived home safely and well driving through a blizzard.
    Reading your Post of today, I realize that I did not understand the essence of your Post of yesterday and so my reply was not to the point that you intended – I am sorry !

    When I understand you correctly this time, I fully agree with you – because Jung wrote somewhere :
    The wise man meditated about the origin of the one truth – and yes, he painted a point and after a while he drew a circle around the point and finally he drew a square around the point and the circle and so he “discovered” the One Truth.
    His followers saw the symbols and told everybody that these were the symbols of the one truth.

    Opa Bear

    October 22, 2012 at 2:08 am

    • I have heard the same thing in reference to a Buddhist teacher who was guiding two young monks who were debating some truth. Though both had different proofs for their respective positions, the teacher told both they were right. The truth is bigger than the words we try to use to contain that truth. Again dear friend, thank you.


      October 25, 2012 at 6:29 pm

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