Tricks of the unconscious
I was driving my car on my way home when I saw a scene that caught my attention. Two men of around thirty or forty, arguing, calling each other names, an incident almost turning into a fist fight in the middle of the street. This entire scene caused by a small collision with minimal damages, but the conflict was developing in such a way that could finish with serious consequences. In fact, one of the litigants went to his car and came back with a gun. Mind you, both of them seemed to be responsible persons, well-off, driving expensive cars. Why should they risk their lives for a minor accident?
They say man is a rational being. Is that true? When you are dominated by an emotion, you are not rational. What we have to understand is that our ego, the director of the conscious part of our psyche, is not the only personality that lives inside our mind.
“Sybil,” a novel by Flora Rheta Schreiber, a psychiatrist, describes the case of a woman with sixteen personalities. This book is a fiction based on a real case. Some personalities inside Sybil’s psyche did not know of others, and they were always warring, since their objectives and tastes were completely different. Evidently this is an extreme case, but we cannot dismiss the fact that our ego is not the king of the hill inside our mind.
The human psyche, according to Jungian psychology, is composed of three parts: the conscious part – Ego – and the unconscious that is divided into the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious. The conscious part, the ego, is what many people consider being the psyche, or if you prefer the total personality. This is far from the truth.
The psyche has an unconscious layer, not under the control of the ego. In the collective unconscious, are stored the information inherited from all the human beings since the first humans appeared on earth. The instincts and the archetypes are parts of the collective unconscious. This collective unconscious was the motive of the parting of ways with Freud, as was discussed in aprevious post Freud and Jung.The fact that, when dominated by an emotion, the ego may lose control, led Joseph Campbell, the great mythologist of the XX century, and a disciple of Jung to say: My definition of demon is an angel who was not recognized”. And with this I send you to another of my posts in this blog: Would you want to talk to your demons?
Fortunately this incident calmed down when a mutual friend entered the discussion, and nothing serious happened, but fatal incidents happen all over the world due to silly traffic discussions.
Roberto Lima Netto believes that our objective in life is to be happy, and that Jungian psychology and Spirituality, his main areas of interest, can help us in this search for happiness. He is the author of several books, including “The Little Prince for Grown-ups” and “The Jungian Bible” that can be found in Amazon. His blog is www.HappinessAcademyOnline.org.
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