Dr Kaye Gersch PhD.  
Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist
Couples therapist
Clinical Supervisor

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C.G Jung on 'religion'.


“By ‘religion’ I mean a kind of attitude which takes careful and conscientious account of certain numinous feelings, ideas and events and reflects upon them.”

In Jung's definition of the god-image, he is referring to a psychological truth, not a theological proposition.


“God (or more accurately god-image) is the name by which I designate all things which cross my wilful path violently and recklessly, all things which upset my subjective views, plans and intentions and change the course of my life for better or worse.” 


Here is the quote from Morris West's novel, Shoes of the Fisherman, about the "Whole Person"..

“Yesterday I met a whole person. It is a rare experience, but always an illuminating and ennobling one. It costs so much to be a full human being that there are very few who have the enlightenment, or the courage, to pay the price… One has to abandon altogether the search for security, and reach out to the risk of living with both arms. One has to embrace the world like a lover, and yet demand no easy return on love. One has to accept pain as a condition of existence. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, yet open always to the total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying.” 

Quote from St Teresa of Avila.


in The Interior Castle, she says: 


“This magnificent refuge is inside you. Enter. Shatter the darkness that shrouds the doorway. Be bold. Be humble. Put away the incense and forget the incarnations they taught you. Ask no permission from the authorities. Close your eyes and follow your breath to the still place that leads to the invisible path that leads you home” (my emphasis).

Friedrich Nietzsche, 

On the Genealogy of Morals/Ecce Homo


“My formula for human greatness is amor fati: that one wants to have nothing different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely to bear the necessary, still less to conceal it - all idealism is mendaciousness before the necessary - but to love it”.

C. G. Jung


Often the hands know how to solve a riddle with which the intellect has wrestled in vain.” 

Joseph Campbell


"We're in a free fall into future. We don't know where we're going. Things are changing so fast. And always when you're going through a long tunnel, anxiety comes along. But all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your fall into a voluntary act. It's a very interesting shift of perspective . . . Joyfully participate in the sorrows of the world and everything changes." 

Just before Jung died in 1961 he wrote:


"Nothing is holy any longer (CW 18 para 582). Through scientific understanding our world has become dehumanised. (Our) immediate communication with nature is gone for ever (para 585). No wonder the Western world feels uneasy, for it does not know how much...it has lost through the destruction of its numinosities. Its moral and spiritual tradition has collapsed, and has left a worldwide disorientation and dissociation (para 581)."


    Jung on native spiritualities:


    “Western consciousness is by no means the only kind of consciousness there is: it is historically conditioned and geographically limited, and representative of only one part of mankind. The widening of consciousness ought not to proceed at the expense of the other kinds of consciousness."


    (1934, CW 13, paragraph 84)

“People who have a creative side and do not live it out are most disagreeable clients. They make a mountain out of a molehill, fuss about unnecessary things, are too passionately in love with somebody who is not worth so much attention, and so on. There is a kind of floating charge of energy in them which is not attached to its right object and therefore tends to apply exaggerated dynamism to the wrong situation.”

 

Marie-Louise von Franz, Shadow and Evil in Fairy Tales

“Just as conscious contents can vanish into the unconscious, other contents can also arise from it. Besides a majority of mere recollections, really new thoughts and creative ideas can appear which have never been conscious before. They grow from the dark depths like a lotus.”


From the essay by C.G.Jung “Approaching the Unconscious”, in Man and His Symbols

Marion Woodman says, in The Ravage Bridegroom


“If men and women are to be equal partners in the outer world, the foundations for that partnership must first be laid within themselves. As within, so without. Nothing can be achieved without if the foundations are not firmly established within. Negotiations between the sexes are bound to collapse into misunderstandings or remain suspended in compromises that satisfy neither, so long as men and women remain strangers to their inner reality” (p13).

Marion Woodman , in The Ravaged Bridegroom.


“Crucial to (the evolution of relationship) is the realization that the inner partner is not the same as the outer partner, and so long as the inner divinity (or ideal) is projected onto the outer human creature, there can be nothing but illusion, confusion, disappointment and despair, to mention but a few of the heartaches that the flesh is heir to. While our relationships to the inner (bride or bridegroom) will influence our outer relationships, he or she is the presence that accompanies us in our inner journey to totality. Our outer partner shares the earthly path. Discriminating between the two can be a humbling and releasing experience. I remember the first time I saw my husband without projection. We had been married 25 years (p 211)."

Jung, in Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, says, 


“The person who cannot create individually won values has to consciously embrace collective values. Only to the extent that a man creates values can he and may he individuate. Every further step in individuation creates new guilt and necessitates new expiation. Hence individuation is possible only so long as substitute, or personal values, are produced. Individuation is exclusive adaptation to inner reality. And what is offered up in expiation for the guilt of not adhering to the collective values, is contribution to the outer world or the collective (page 451).

James Hollis, in Swampland of the Soul, says:


”Learning to forgive oneself is critical but most difficult. The forgiven self is freer to move forward, armed with the enhancement of consciousness, which makes life so much richer. But such forgiveness of self, with sincere contrition, symbolic recompense and then release, is rare. How difficult, but how necessary, it is to internalize Paul Tillich’s definition of grace: ‘Accept that you are accepted, despite the fact that you are unacceptable’. Such amazing grace, such release of soul to move deeper into the world (p33)".

                                              James Hollis, in Swampland of the Soul, says:


“Betrayal stings us towards individuation. If the betrayal is of our existential naivete, we are driven towards the embrace of a greater wisdom of the universe whose dialectic seems to be attachment and loss; if the betrayal is our dependency, we are driven to face where we long to remain infantile; if the betrayal is one of conscious being towards another, we are driven to suffer and embrace the polarities which are found not only in the betrayer, but in ourselves as well. In every case, if we do not remain behind, stuck in recriminations, we are enlarged, more complex, more conscious (p 50)".

                                               James Hollis, in Swampland of the Soul, says:


“The most bitter pill in betrayal, then, may be our grudging recognition, often years later, that we ourselves were part of the collusive ballet which led in time to betrayal. If we can swallow such a bitter pill, we will have a much larger sense of our shadow. We will not always like what we are summoned to acknowledge. As Jung said, ‘the experience of the Self is often a defeat for the ego.’ (C.G.Jung Mysterium Coniunctionis, CW 14, par.778). In describing his own descent into his unconscious in the second decade of the 20th century, Jung tells us how he was forced repeatedly to say, ‘Here is another thing you did not know about yourself.’ (C.G.Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p183). But from such a bitter herb does much consciousness evolve  (p 50)".

James Hollis, in Swamplands of the Soul, says:


“Jung’s concept of individuation, the idea that the purpose of life is to serve the mystery through becoming an individual, is a profound contribution to our time”. Individuation obliges an ongoing dialogue between ego and the Self. Out of their exchange the splits of the sundered psyche may partially heal. A functional definition of the Self, then, would be the archetype of order within us. That is to say, the Self is an activity of psyche whose function is to further the development of the individual. The Self is both purpose and container. Psyche or soul, then, is simply our word for the mysterious process through which we experience the movement towards meaning (12)".

James Hollis on the loneliness of Individuation:


Individuation mostly comes to us through processes that make us feel insecure, because the ego is no longer in command. It is in the swamplands of the soul, where we least want to sojourn, that we discover depth.


“The more we are enmeshed with others, the less differentiated, the less individuated we are; the less individuated, the less we serve the greater purpose of the cosmos for which we were so mysteriously generated. To regress, to seek togetherness, to abstain from the journey towards one’s fuller self, is not only soul-crime, it is denial of the universe itself”. (Swamplands of the Soul, p60) These are strong words! To not engage in the individuation process is soul-crime! And denial of the universe itself! Perhaps we get some sense of the nobility and necessity of the journey. For Jung the process of individuation was solitary, and lonely.  He said: “The consequence of my resolve (to follow the inner images) and my involvement with things which neither I nor anyone else could understand, was an extreme loneliness (C.G.Jung Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Page 194)".


James Hollis on Depression and Anxiety: 


“There is an essential difference between normal anxiety and anxiety that is neurotically crippling. To live fully in the world is to frequently suffer the bouts of anxiety that are our lot as a sentient species. We should never deride ourselves for such anxiety. It becomes a psychological problem only when we are prevented by that anxiety from living our lives as fully as possible. And it becomes a moral problem when our own chosen strategies impair and impede us. So we are anxious?......so we are still obliged to live as fully as possible.

Anxiety is the price of a ticket on the journey of life; no ticket - no journey; no journey – no life. Just as Freud noted that the task of therapy is to move one from neurotic miseries to the normal miseries of life, so we are impelled to face what we cannot face, bear what we cannot bear, name the un-nameable that haunts us.

Again, we are daily forced to choose between depression and anxiety. Depression results from the wounding of the individuation imperative; anxiety results from moving forward into the unknown. The path of anxiety is necessary because therein lies the hope of the person to more nearly become and individual. My analyst once said to me, ‘You must make your fears your agenda.’ When we do take on that agenda, for all the anxiety engendered, we feel better because we know we are living in bonne foi with ourselves.

Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the perception that some things are more important to us than fear. The individuation task, for example, is more important than whatever regressively blocks us. Interestingly enough, we make a great move toward personal liberation when we can acknowledge the existential angst directly, know ourselves to be fragile beings clinging to a spinning planet hurtling through space, and at the same time grateful for such a grand ride. We gain when we are able to move from the anxiety, which, like fog, obscures the forward path. When, in that could, we can identify specific fears, we will often find them groundless to us as adults, though they were once overwhelming as a child. If, for example, one has an inordinate fear of conflict, and avoids speaking at meetings, one needs to find the discrete fear in the cloud of paralysing anxiety. Generally, such an anxious thought will translate into an early fear, such as ‘They won’t approve’, ‘They won’t love me.’”

These primal fears were real for the child, but the adult we have become can have a different experience. What I can make conscious, face directly and deal with as an adult, frees me from unconscious bondage to the past. We truly perceive that something is more important than what we fear. And there is. We are more important than what we fear. This is what is meant by courage.” (Swamplands of the Soul, pp 115-116).

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