“Man needs difficulties, they are necessary for health.” C.G. Jung, “The Transcendent Function” (/1958), CW 8, par. 143.
This will be a short one. As you can see, I have a compromised left hand that makes it uncomfortable to type for very long. Late last week I sprained my wrist. I was standing on a wobbly rock step on a small slope that leads up to an old garden shed, (not the one in this picture; that’s the pump house behind my study). When I tried to yank an English ivy vine out of the door hinge, the rock slipped away beneath me, and I stumbled back onto the gravel road. Instinctively I tried to protect my fall with my left hand. A visit to an urgent care clinic confirmed the fracture to my ulna.
I had no idea how difficult it is to manage my daily life with one hand. I have to use my teeth to open zip-lock baggies and my left elbow to squeeze the toothpaste tube. Forget trying to open those impossible potato chip bags. Sometimes I can open a jar lid if I squeeze the jar in the crook of my left elbow and press it to my body, but mostly not. Same with sea salt and pepper grinders. I’ve learned that blue jeans can be zipped with my right hand alone, but getting the button through the button hole is near impossible. Fixing my hair the way I like it is totally impossible. Thank goodness Fred is here to help, but he’s hopeless with hair. I can forget trying to tie my sneakers and hiking boots by myself too.
Of course, these are insignificant issues in the big scheme of things, but Jung was right. Difficulties are necessary for health, although I would never wish them on anyone. Even little ones like mine have value. The two accidents and doctor visits we’ve made in the last three weeks (Fred has four stitches in his right shin—country life can be dangerous!) have expanded not only our awareness of the blessings of good health a hundred-fold, but also our compassion and gratitude for each other. From a psycho-spiritual perspective, when good health is not appreciated, it has little value to the soul.
“In psychology one possesses nothing unless one has experienced it in reality. Hence a purely intellectual insight is not enough, because one knows only the words and not the substance of the thing from inside.” C.G. Jung Aion (1951), CW 9ii, par. 61.
Knowing the substance of the thing from inside. I like that. It’s like love isn’t it? Imagine if that could be passed on with intellectual insights. I wonder if advances in virtual reality will ever be capable of helping people know love from the inside. Can you imagine how different the world would be?
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Speaking of knowing the substance of the thing from inside, that was my goal when I created The Partnership Profile, which is featured in my new book, The Soul’s Twins: Emancipate Your Feminine and Masculine Archetypes. Archetypes are powerful inner realities which, when we know them from the inside instead of just from head knowledge, can change our lives. I mention this because I have two major events coming up that will help you identify and experience nine archetypes within you. Everyone is invited, so please, share this with your friends.
The first is a Zoom presentation co-sponsored by the C.G. Jung Societies of Sarasota and Atlanta. It will take place over two evenings next week. Registrants will receive a pdf copy of The Partnership Profile, a brief self-assessment which you will be asked to fill out before the program begins. On Tuesday evening I’ll explain the theory and story behind its creation and development. Thursday will be a Q & A discussion session in which we’ll explore what your score means for you. Register here:
The second is a LIVE (yay!) talk and book-signing at Shakespeare & Company Booksellers, a classic, old-fashioned bookstore in Highlands, NC with roots that hearken back to the original in Paris. I hope you and your friends will attend if you live anywhere near. It will be outdoors if weather permits, and I promise you, it’s gorgeous here! Plus Highlands is a really charming little town in which to enjoy a day. Check it out on Google. I’ll tell you about The Soul’s Twins and the Partnership Profile, do a little reading, and sign your books. And there’ll be a free raffle drawing for a free copy of each of my four books. Here’s the invitation: