Your psyche is a universe of unimaginable potential. Like the outer universe in which moons circle planets, planets circle stars, and stars circulate around each other in galaxies, so the energies of your inner universe interact constantly.
How am I going to respond to a situation that feels like a terrible threat to our country and world? How can I be sure that what I say or do will be helpful and not harmful?
Where does all this new life come from? Well, that’s the Big Question isn’t it? The Mystery that’s always confounded us, the one we have yet to solve. We’ve always reflected on it, and when we’re deep in reverie, opening our minds and suspending our judgment, images rise into our awareness.
Last weekend, Elaine Mansfield and I presented a Friday night lecture and Saturday workshop to the C.G. Jung Society of Sarasota about the lessons to be learned from loss and grief. A major theme was how our culture’s one-sided emphasis on the brain’s left-hemisphere logos thinking has severely crippled the fullest development of our souls.
“What should I do?” I asked my husband. “I feel like this is a test about choosing between courage and cowardice. Or is it between my noble self and my selfish self?” We were talking about a relationship issue that had been brought to my attention by a timely and bizarre synchronicity.
While the imagery of this dream may be shocking to a waking ego which does not see itself as a raging killer of little old ladies, there’s a deeper metaphorical meaning. In my projection, the mean old lady represents her negative mother complex: the factors that have stood in the way of her individuation.
An old lady is beating up a boy. She is beating him up really badly, he has a bloody face. When she is done, she comes towards me, moving to my right. I go to the left to see if the boy is still alive. I fear he is not. She comes at me, and I kick her in the stomach and she goes flying backwards, off a cliff.
I’ve used many tools on my continuing journey to self-understanding and internal transformation. One is called active imagination. This technique was invented and tested by Carl Jung during his deepest period of self-exploration between 1913 and 1916. Believing that our unconscious mind wants to communicate with our conscious mind, he conceived of a method to facilitate this.