Happiness Academy Online

A Blog about Psychology (Jungian), Spirituality and Happiness, By Roberto Lima Netto.

Self and jung

Self

 

The Self is not only the center but also the whole circumference, which embraces both conscious and unconscious; it is the center of this totality, just as the Ego is the center of consciousness.

Carl Jung

 

Whereas Ego is the center of the conscious psyche, the Self is the center of both conscious and unconscious psyche. Contrarily from the Ego, which controls our conscious mind, the Self orients the psyche.

The distinction of control and orientation is important. A very helpful metaphor to explain this difference is to a football coach. He may give guidance to the players before the match and during the breaks, but he cannot determine what each player will do each time he has the ball.

Human beings think they have freedom of choice – free will. That is not true. Our free will is limited to these periods when the Ego is in control. But we have other personalities, which inhabit our psyche, that have the energy (libido) and will, and sometimes conflict with our Ego´s desires. Neither the Ego nor the Self controls the Anima, the reason we use the metaphor of the football coach and not that of the boss to explain the Self.

The notion of Self is extremely important, as it represents the psychological God that the Bible deals with. Jung also called it the Image of God inside our psyche.

Jung claims that the human mind cannot access the Supreme God, the God that created the universe. This Supreme God is well above our humble human mind. The Bible, written by human beings, is a beautiful book that talks, symbolically to the human mind. Trying to read the Bible as facts that happened in a distant past is a mistake that the Christian religion is paying with increasing discredit.

My book – The Jungian Bible – interprets stories from the Old Testament using a metaphorical reading. It brings to the fore some important life lessons that are nor clear if we insist on interpreting the Bible as presenting historical facts that happened in the outside world. Whenever we read Yahweh, Elohim, the Lord, God, we should understand the Self, the central archetype inside our psyche, which Jung also called the Image of God.

I was involved in the business world, as an executive of large companies and university professor since recently. I was the president CSN, the largest steel-mill of Latin America and was responsible for its turn-around. My first encounter with the teachings of the Swiss psychologist C. G. Jung, one of the greatest geniuses of the 20th Century, was during my midlife crisis. Reading "Man and his Symbols" at that time, inspired me to go into Jungian analysis and to begin devouring the writings of Jung and his disciples. Since then, I've been studying psychology, especially Jungian psychology and, after reaching my seventies, I decided to become a full time writer, specializing on books on Jungian psychology and psychological thrillers. Every masterpiece of literature can be absorbed through multiple interpretations, and yield powerful insights for our daily lives. My first Jungian book, “The Little Prince for Grown-ups“, in its fourth edition in Brazil, was based on the famous book of Saint-Exupéry. The second, - “The Jungian Bible” - interprets some stories of the Old Testament and world myths. As I get older and, with a bit of luck, wiser, I want to pass on to the younger generations the lessons life has taught me. Jesus Christ taught that it was easier to sell ideas with stories. Following the Master, I published in English "The Amazon Shaman" and "In Search of Happiness", two psychological thrillers around the theme of happiness.

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