Some parents have a vice-like grasp and hold of their children and force them into a pre-moulded image to fulfil their narcissist demands and wishes. The child is seen as an extension of the parent, where the child must acknowledge and experience the family’s antagonism and learn to weather their own needs and desires—a thin line of dissonance between those we love and an unconscious agony awakened by painful events. If the mother’s mirror is broken or seen through a glass darkly, the child learns to create their own reality. The child is compelled to join their mother in her impoverished psyche, where their spiritual essence is confiscated and left with an empty void. This loss amounts to a revolution in consciousness, a decision to distrust the evidence of one’s senses and experiences. The child renounces their bodily sensations as a way of knowing, sacrificing their authenticity and capacity to apprehend reality.

The child’s unmet needs manifest in adult life as cravings for instant gratification, passive entertainment, admiration and entitlement. They seem desperate to be ordered around, with lives simplest operations governed by others, unable to take responsibility for their own decisions. With the loss of this continuum, we cease to experience ourselves as trustworthy. In contrast, a gap between the self and others, a split between affective and cognitive functions, and a divided world into good and bad images.

The child and mother coerce one another to partake in a constructed fantasy, a drama of inner worlds and co-dependency. The child’s emotional cohesion depends on the illusion to be maintained and reinforced. The reality of the ambiguous world and mother is too significant a burden for the child to bear. Any desire to take up the reins of individual destiny would mean leaving this symbiosis and leaving the maternal womb. The child learns to vindicate their parent’s aggression, idealise their mediocracy and find fault with themself in the face of the parent’s absence. Any straying by the child is seen as an act of betrayal and sedition, ungrateful for the security and safety of the mother’s care and attention. The child believes they can not attain autonomy without being damaged or damaging others, without losing their omnipotence and being the centre of the universe.

The myth of the perfect parent must be abandoned.

Separation threatens subjectivity, where we require continued mirroring from our parents or the world to feel secure and valued. A unique perspective brings conflict and alienation from the community as we seek selfhood and personal sovereignty. Civilisation wants to keep us compliant, childlike and in denial of our true selves. The trade-off is a world unfolding in an idealised form, safe and predictable, where nothing can contaminate or intrude on our psyche. Placing oneself within the herd, the collective group . preserves their idealisations; those images fuel our passions and desires. The act of conformity keeps one from individualised merit, achieved by our blood, sweat and labour, and opens one up to envy and hostility of others. The fantasy of the perfect childhood precedes parental hostility and ambivalence, where the child can maintain an illusory sense of freedom without taking personal responsibility for their actions. He who is anxious, and anxious not to be anxious, must have a passion, an object to hate, scorn or deride to merge with one’s personhood.

The journey to discover one’s complexity is too challenging and too heavy for the fragile structure as it threatens to fragment and collapse. Along the road of increased emotional and psychological freedom comes a greater awareness of one’s dawning sovereignty and woundedness. Remembering things as they happened, the experience of standing naked and alone. The price of autonomy, the refinement of the personality and the growing capacity for self-determination. The birth of self-consciousness accompanies the total impression of loneliness, insecurity, responsibility and guilt.

The dispelling of comforting illusions. With the surfacing of cold truths

The submissive type believes they are needed, a necessary and valuable component to someone or something important. They sacrifice further growth for security and belonging, enticed and dominated by the authority figure. This is a small price to pay for reflected glory, a feeling of identity fused with the abdication of responsibility. This childlike demeanour blames all their frustrations and lack of efficacy on outside sources and influences. Hidden behind this helpless virtuous posturing lies a clear conscious’s comforting and luxurious connection. The humiliation or alienation of being a social or moral inferior is offset by being relieved of any duty to steer one’s ship without facing shame or criticism. The lure and intoxication of being unique and significant without facing the burden and hardship of reality are massive.

The Risk of Autonomy

To relinquish the family, where one starts to think for themself and start questioning parental “truths”, is laden with risks and ridicule. This is seen as an act of betrayal where one severes the womb-like symbiosis of undifferentiated states, where collective values and traditional wisdom are subjected to critique and analysis. One starts to run the risk of unsheltered and vulnerable spaces, where one starts to make decisions based on their unique experience; between what is right and wrong, good and bad, you become responsible. Individuation and growth are the processes of becoming distinct from the herd to leaving the unthinking and loyal masses. To relinquish the desire to be “Good”, that you are morally upstanding without facing the consequences of your actions. To face reality means to accept paradoxes that threaten our idealised images and shatter the illusion of oneness.

The hero comes to realise and face his darkness, to accept one’s armour and defences are corroded and tarnished. As disparate shards of the disowned psyche return to the personality, they explode and shatter the limited fantasy of who we believe we are. Awareness of the shadow means suffering the tension of opposites, the contradiction and paradoxes of our reality. The butterfly wants to break out of its cocoon, tear it open, and shatter it into pieces as an unfamiliar light blinds it, the realm of flight and freedom. The journey and healing transition requires the most excruciating deflation of the grandiose ego’s assumptions, beliefs and privileges. Where one becomes part of the masses, subject to the same rules and regulations, deprived of any exceptional elevations. Gone is the protection from fate and death previously afforded by one’s eminent status.

As one dispels their emotional plague, they are left in a barren wasteland, a foreign territory, where we don’t know the rules or the language. By banishing oneself from the city walls, we enter the gates of a higher purpose. Transformation is not something we can arrange; it is where we are invited when the ground has been sufficiently prepared to receive and contain such a transformation. A place where we decide stagnation is outmoded, or something that feels like death, as we surrender to what we can’t hold a boundless life. Are we willing to endure the personality’s disorientation to restore the wholeness of the psyche?

To move beyond instant gratification and reward into a higher, broader consciousness.

We must renounce the power that formerly dictated our lives for the individuation process to proceed. Surrender to something greater, beyond the realm of human consciousness and into the divine spirit. The quantum leap of awareness into one’s life story evokes great anxiety and resistance to change. We can’t become whole by sheer willpower or effort; we must let go of all expectations and agendas. We must step back into the darkness of the undiscovered self to encounter the depth of one’s strangeness within the autonomy of the objective psyche. To walk around in a listless barren state, overwhelmed and stuck with little interest in the activities which used to motivate us and give us meaning. One must relinquish pleasure, certainty and convictions to accept one’s behaviour and thoughts without justification or explanation. One must forego the reliance and desire for external success and power, the comfort of being part of the collective and pursuing personal goals.

Suffering and Loss

  • We can become victims of our circumstances where we experience suffering as agitation and a meaningless part of life.
  • We take our life into our own hands and pay heed to the process of suffering and the active stance of the world.

A place where we give suffering meaning, where the soul can be embraced in the darkness of blind, unknowing. Allow our pain to break the shell that encloses our rigid understanding. If suffering is only something to get rid of, we prevent ourselves from reaping the gifts shown to us. Life becomes counterproductive as we subdue the psyche’s wounds without discovering their meaning. A need to anaesthetise and deaden life itself, to preserve the status quo rather than transcend into the new. Freedom comes as we embrace our fate and take responsibility for shouldering the burden of suffering. Accepting the co-creation of our own experience means ending the passive whining and pleas of helplessness.

To be free is to be involved , a creator and contributor to my life

The masses want to be given their freedom, the right to earn it, and to remain childlike and dependent. One must recognise how much they have invested in surrendering their authority and responsibility for comfort and ease. Self-banishment and the journey into wholeness require the collapse and renunciation of existing psychic structures that have affirmed life. To live in a constant state of tension, with one thunderstorm following another. If the jug is already full, it must be broken and replaced with a new vessel, moistened and crafted by the tears of suffering. Caught in suspended animation and space, where earlier meaning and purpose have vanished, and a new meaning has not yet appeared. This confusion and disorientation involve a kind of blind psychological grasping in the dark as we grapple with finding something to hold onto. We may have a new understanding of our depth, but we don’t know how to implement and act upon it. Leaving Plato’s cave throws everything into disarray, a blind stumbling for an entrance in the shadows of the dark. The coniunctio ( sacred marriage ) between the ego and the source from which it emerged, where the ego stands at the edge of fragmentation.

When we commit ourselves to face the dark night, providence occurs where unforeseen events and experiences come in the form of guidance and companionship. We give up the need and desire for control; the space previously occupied with self-determination is now free to use by higher wisdom. We continue wandering with renewed faith, seeking and striving into the unknown. The wilderness has no strategies, where we reach a still point, a place of nothing and nobody. No reputation to uphold, honour to preserve, or pride to offend, entirely rooted within oneself. One must recognise the futility of their efforts if they are to heal truly. One must experience their lack of self-sufficiency, where humility no longer feels like humiliation. This sacred ground is a place of stillness and rest, a place stumbled upon since we face our futility and despair of its attainment.

Every new situation approaches with fresh eyes, creativity sanctioned for their pains, imprisoned for the distorted vision. This creativity requires the tension between opposites to be contained, where new possibilities can be reached within the embracing of opposites. The new rebirth is the resolution between the instinctual need for self-preservation and the organic thrust for individuation. The divine child awaits beyond the opposites, containing the paradoxes of human nature without reoccurring internal conflicts. The birth of the divine child brings the light of full spiritual illumination, where humanity is conscious, separate and individual whilst also unconscious, bound and universal.

White, A ( 2016 ). Abundant delicious, on attaining your heart`s desire, E. Gaskell Publishers, Devon