There comes a time in the life of some, when they must begin to embody their essential selves. We can, each of us, enter into a conversation with this essential self. When we do we may begin to understand that our entire life, inner and outer, has already always consisted fundamentally of this conversation but that we were unaware, that is, unconscious of it.
Making this conversation overt and conscious though is not for everyone, though it is open to all. Generally, though not always, to enter into this dialogue is the work of what has been called the second half of life. When a sense of meaningful life and purpose has dried up, the necessity for this may begin to emerge in one’s path as the only thing left that makes any sense. One may enter into it out of desperation, having perhaps heard about it or seemingly accidentally discovered it. Maybe some symptom may appear, an illness, a loss, a phobia, an obsession, or an addiction or perhaps the vague sense of a need for something more.
Or one may find oneself entranced by the oddities of mythology or the fantastic, these may draw one on….And always Death may loom, asking the existential question: what’s it all about?
Some may respond to all of this by seeking solace in a pill, or in the distractions or diversion which abound. Or they may not, especially when these begin no longer to suffice or “do the trick”.
And so it is that your search, your own quest may begin to call you.
In extremis, driven by our pain or our symptoms, we may seek a psychotherapy. Among all the psycho-therapies that have emerged in the last one hundred years or so, only one clearly went beyond the medicalizing of this situation into symptoms and courses of treatments, be they talk of behaviors and the location of their origin in one’s past, or modification of behavior or strategies of adaptation, to locate the direction of the soul beneath. This is the psychology developed by C.G. Jung and his students and colleagues. Only this psychological school came to understand this time and crisis as one of the dialogue between the conscious and unconscious aspects of psyche.
Now this conversation as we’re calling it may seem to be yours alone, between you and you, and in a deep sense, this is so. Only you can do it for you, and yet guides and maps are available.
Of course I’m speaking about religion, but for many of us that avenue is no longer a viable and living option. We may try one of the traditional religions or one of the several other exotic versions. But as modern Westerners, traditional or otherwise, these may not fully work for us. Our own personal deep psychological work may lead us to our own religion so to speak, be it in part a traditional format or not. It is only by coming home to ourselves in our spiritual dimension that we can find the way.
Join me in finding your personal way back home.