“Since psyche and matter are contained in one and the same world, and moreover are in continuous contact with one another and ultimately rest on irrepresentable, transcendental factors, it is not only possible but fairly probable even, that psyche and matter are two different aspects of the same thing.” C.G. Jung, On the Nature of the Psyche, CW Vol. 8, para. 418.
My generation’s way of life has been drastically uprooted by constant technological advances that are both blessings and curses. Frustrating as it is for the elders among us to have to learn so many new tricks so often, there is a positive side. Rapidly changing technology gives the Self numerous opportunities to heighten our self-awareness through a mischievous archetype of change that is an expert at getting our full attention. Over the last several years, Trickster has highlighted my stress, anxiety, impatience, obsessiveness, and perfectionism so often that I’ve been forced to make room for these unwelcome emotions and expect regular reminders of them.
The primary so-called “advances” that activate my shadow and attract Trickster’s attention concern my computer and cell phone. I love them both. I hate them both. Both cause me daily aggravation except for times when I am so absorbed in reading that I make minimal visits to my sites. Otherwise, it’s open season for my technological vulnerability and I’m always fair game.
I blame this on my Myers-Briggs personality type. As an inner-directed, intuitive, feeling type, i.e. INFJ, my weakest, and therefore most shadow-laden function is sensory awareness. My inner world is very active and vivid and I want to spend most of my time there. I’m very aware of people and their emotions and needs, but clueless about how physical things work. I love the advantages of my computer and cell phone, but am not remotely interested in learning how they work. When someone tells me how to use them, if I don’t write their instructions down and keep track of my notes, I’ll soon forget.
Zoom, especially, should come with a warning and disclaimer:
“We are not responsible for malfunctions due to technologically challenged users. Our instructions are ridiculously clear. [Yeah, right!] If you can’t remember your password, or don’t know how to invite people to a meeting, admit them to your meeting, unmute your audio, mute your audio and turn off your video when you need a body break, share your PowerPoint presentation, change the slides, turn off your PowerPoint presentation, read the chats, or end the meeting, it’s your own fault!”
I have over 200 passwords. How many times must I change them to avoid being hacked? How do I keep up with these constant changes? I think of myself as someone whose mind and life is relatively well-ordered, but after the sixth or seventh password rejection on a site, a switch flips in my mind, and I start cursing the computer. Enter Trickster who throws his foggy cloak of frustration and confusion over me. When this happens, I usually give up.
I know it’s my own fault. I tend to ignore annoying details and computer prompts, and honestly don’t want to fully address this shadow aspect of myself. In fact, I actively avoid it. Trickster knows this about me and takes advantage of my resistance at every opportunity. For example, during the coronavirus pandemic I had to launch my latest book on Zoom. I had used it successfully several times without learning anything beyond the basics, so I left the advanced technological details to a tech-savvy assistant. Minutes before the scheduled presentation, Trickster waltzed in and hexed the sound system. Fortunately, most participants hung around for the 20 minutes it took my friend to jury-rig an alternative way I could hear them. Headphones helped for a while, but they stopped working after we showed my video promo and asked for comments and questions. I heard nary a word of what anyone said after that. Apparently, my nodding and smiling convinced them that all was well, but I was miserable for the rest of the night.
Another time I stressed myself out making several important changes to my PowerPoint script on the day of the presentation. When two glitches occurred in the 30 minute pre-program check-in, I knew my heightened emotions were an invitation to Trickster. We resolved one glitch shortly before the presentation began, but sure enough, the other presented me with problems throughout the program. Apparently it came off well, but inside I was a wreck.
I’ve reused the opening quote from my last post here to demonstrate the truth of Jung’s extraordinary insight about the connection between psyche and matter. I’ve learned from experience that my psyche regularly influences circumstances beyond my control. Awareness of strong emotions alerts me to archetypal influences and helps me face most problems calmly. But awareness won’t prevent an unwelcome visit from Trickster until I get serious about understanding the technology I depend on every day. I’m way overdue in that aspect of my life.
When does Trickster interfere with your plans? How do you deal with this disrupter of your everyday life?
Jean Raffa’s The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon. E-book versions are also at Kobo, Barnes And Noble and Smashwords. Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc. Jean’s new Nautilus Award-winning The Soul’s Twins, is at Amazon and Schiffer’s Red Feather Mind, Body, Spirit. Subscribe to her newsletter at www.jeanbenedictraffa.com.