It’s been a while since I pondered Jungian theory, or indeed anything psychoanalytical. The need to dissect my psyche has diminished somewhat with the birth of more settled times. However, today I have found myself pondering carelessly over my self-development, particularly the changes within me that have come about with age, or god forbid even wisdom. I was reminded of the revelation I had when I discovered the Jungian theory of the archetype, in particular the shadow, which supposedly hides within the depths of us all. I could finally name that dark energy that I have carried with me since I left the innocence of childhood; the rebel and the risk taker that was intent on following the path to self-destruction; with no stop button might I add.
I have a lot to thank for my shadow though. It is a part of me after all. In all its chaotic splendour it has made me take the kind of risks that has made me the person I am today; all the mistakes and all the journeys. The shadow is most evident in teenage rebellion and the choices I made during those times have shaped my friend groups, my passions and my callings. It has fuelled my transgressive artwork, surfaced the fears that I have to face and has damn well partied hard with me too!
Today’s revelation however is a freeing one. I have realised how detached I am from my shadow, that dark side of my psyche. Yes I do still have fleeting moments of the want for rebellion, whether it’s to get another piercing, make an anarchic statement about the state of society or drink my own bodyweight in rum. But that’s all those moments are; fleeting.
My shadow will always be with me, its need for individuality is intrinsically engrained. But I’m finding it so much easier to listen to what it says and make calculated decisions whether to listen.
I listen to a lot of my friends problems, talking through them and coming up with viable solutions. With my interest in psychoanalysis I can see to some extent where problems stem from therefore helping to understand how to resolve them.
I use the same approach for myself; analysing the roots of my issues and recognising areas for change. Why doesn’t this approach ever seem to get me anywhere though? If I know the root of the problem and the solution, why do I keep going round in circles?
This conundrum has got me thinking about the mental states of similar thinkers. Are all psychoanalysts suffering from the same feeling that their worlds are spinning out of control? And does that mean that they are therefore not in any position to be helping anyone else with their problems?
The only conclusion I can draw from this is the fact that trying to deal with my own problems myself is counterproductive. That exploring personal issues internally, from my own viewpoint is doing me no good whatsoever therefore completely nullifying my attempts to “know oneself.”
Back to square one for me it seems…yet again.
Mother: “You need to stop psychoanalysing everything!?”
Why? Because it has taught me that my issues stem from my sheltered childhood and my disjointed relationship to those held dearest to me? It helps me to realise the reasons for the issues that entertain my conscious. If do not know myself/my selves, how can I make sense of this nonsense that is my mind? If I am not aware of what I should not entertain how am I to know what I should? And how would I make a distinction between what is reality and what is the lie that we live, conditioned and consuming.
I believe in true happiness, that which is pure and not sought through materiality. This is something that you will never understand, and a view that you will never accept.
So wish me happiness and peace. Bless my journey; every right and wrong turn that will be the making of me. Be thankful that I know the truth and don’t question that which I know. It is better that I question everything than live I life not lived.