Just a moment ago we defined duty and compulsion on one side of a pair of opposing values, and freedom and free will on the other. Yet, the Baba Yaga is asking us to choose. Or is she? In fact, the story tells us that it is fatal to choose: we will die if we choose, so we have to answer “both” to the Baba Yaga. By no longer prevaricating or battling with or against either freedom or compulsion, we can get down to work.
This necessity of saying “both” is the most important aspect of the work I do with couples; the tension is created by validating each person equally. Whenever we are required to do this, we know we are in special territory, sacred territory; ordinary dualistic consciousness would take sides. An expanded view that says both enables us to grow, indeed enforces growth.
Who begins therapy or analysis, especially Jungian analysis, entirely by freewill? Or are we compelled to? I’d have to say that it was both, for me, and I wavered between the two poles. So, how do we move past dualistic consciousness in the particular pair of opposing values constituted by freedom and duty? How do we keep both? Freud had a theory, which adds some insight to this question of freedom and duty. His book, “Beyond the Pleasure principal”, published in 1919, moved beyond sexual gratification as the only desire, or call to action, of humankind. He introduced the idea of Thanatos, or the death drive, as an important motivator. In previous writing, Freud had argued that the id, the largest part of a human mind, compels the human being to seek pleasure at all costs and avoid any form of pain. This theory did not adequately explain the behaviour of many people, however. People do things that thwart the pleasure drive, for a delayed or more complex benefit.