Beneath the decent façade of consciousness with a false disciplined moral order, with its good intentions, lies the crude instinctual faces of life. Monsters in the deep, devouring, begetting and worrying endlessly. These forces unchecked can make life meaningless, moving from birth to death without any real examination or growth. Civilisation and religious doctrine have been able to curb the violence and ruthlessness of these primitive instincts and impulses. This makes it easier to assume the problem lies outside of one’s psyche and remit, forsaking any responsibility to explore what lurks within oneself.

The spirit of dynamism is directly opposed to the spirit of civilisation .

These two world spirits called the “Growing “and the “Burning “, stand forever in mortal combat with no certain outcome. The conscious ego has assumed rights over the whole psyche, disregarding the needs and values of others. This relationship must change for man to progress, where primitive instincts are modified and where the energy can be made available for the cultural advancement of the individual.

Transformation of Instinctual Drives

When unconscious content breaks through into consciousness, its duality becomes apparent and a conflict results. Values that seemed secure and solid become uncertain and confused as the ground underneath quakes and dissolves. A gradual transformation takes place in 3 stages.

  • Naïve stage of consciousness
  • Ego state of consciousness
  • Self-consciousness

The self represents the centre of psychic awareness that transcends ego consciousness and contains the vast unexplored areas of the psyche. Those who do not seek release from the bondage of their instinctual drives by inner development remain slaves to the passionate desirousness or sterility from ruthless repression. We cannot save the individual from psychological suffering via scientific and intelligent reframing. This inertia can`t be overcome simply by action, for sloth ad restless activity are a pair of opposites that alternate without producing any improvements. The primitive, unenlightened individual has a small attention span, unable to divert and focus the mental energy required to challenge their inner judgements, beliefs and values.

A man disappointed in love, where the eager libido is met with overwhelming frustration and rejection, can lead to depression and lethargy. When the libido disappears from consciousness, immense willpower is used to overcome any reluctance or obstacles, which can be fleeting and impermanent. The repressed element is the destructive aspect of the libido, the child’s attitude who expects to be cared for and idealised and demands satisfaction without creating the means for fulfilment. Ego defences protect the primitive from the unconscious whilst developing childish hostility and conflict to make contact. Unable to transcend from family dynamics and dependent within a group/society.

The soul of man, his anima, comes into being when he succeeds in separating from the ego identity of his unconscious drives. The anima appears as a threatening force, envisaging woman as bestial, devilish, loving, and nurturing. When this force arises, the man awakens and moves towards a transpersonal level of existence. Three stages of transpersonal.

  • At first, one projects their unconscious evil onto others.
  • In their anger and resentment towards this evil, they separate themselves from the unconscious identification with the group.
  • They can recognise the evil from within, and new energy becomes available for redemption from the depths of the psyche, leading to greater psychological development.

Sexual Impulse

Expression of the sexual impulse is bound up with gratification of the individual’s own psychical needs, limited to considering its suitability as a stimulus and adjustment to the sexual act. The unconscious person has no awareness of the other person’s sexual needs and satisfaction, using the act for one`s own pleasure, enjoyment and reproductive needs. The primitive need to be freed from the identification with the daemons of their biological instincts and move beyond the autoerotic level of existence. One is usually promiscuous and fickle, dominated by sensation and bodily needs, driven by desirousness without regard for the relationship’s requirements, decency and consequences.

A woman still in the earliest development phase devours her children, compelled by forces beyond her control to nourish herself emotionally by consuming those she centres her maternal care. As she is unaware of her deeper impulses, she is convinced her motives are entirely kind and altruistic. When a woman is identified with her child in this way, she denies them the right to separate to form their own individuality and her own. If her distorted ego usurps her maternal instinct, becoming a dominant influence amalgamated with the power instinct. Both parties must reach a level of psychic development to separate to avoid clinging, bondage or fusion.

Profound transformation can only be achieved through discipline, conflict and the ability to suffer.

Man has been divided into a split consciousness, a pair of opposites, two fishes swimming side by side. Undifferentiated, but known as the dominant ego against a subordinate internal nature. He weighs up, judges, acts out ego wishes and commits the sins of the devil. When consciousness grows by taking up some of the energy held within our instincts and directing them to a different aim and purpose, the ego will have the capacity to see itself in small measures and starts to see how it relates to others and the world. When the ego matures and can suffer criticism, one can take responsibility for themselves and their fate, no longer able and willing to blame others for their misfortunes and mistakes.

Modern man is hampered by guilt and an inferiority complex bestowed onto him by family, groups or society .when one starts to recognise “Cause and Effect “, one is being asked to give up infantile power demands and needs. One has to become an adult with adult responsibilities, values and awareness. One has to be freed from the conflict of opposites, willing to enter the struggle and go beyond ego consciousness.

When the will to power becomes dominant, the love of possessions becomes overwhelming, and the need to dominate others, promiscuous sex, and the right to possess the love object prevails. This power is, however, insignificant towards the untamed forces of nature and the primordial forces within. The divine hero is called upon to slay the inner dragon to defeat the hostile forces that are all threatening. The dragon is nature itself, the primordial essence, the blind impulse that has not been neutralised. The individual can be redeemed once they have control of the dragon’s energy to be used more effectively. The journey and movement of the personal unconscious (shadow) and the collective unconscious (anima/animus ) resolve all inner conflicts and transcend. When they are assimilated, there is an increase in the intensity of one`s consciousness, observing the subjective reality in an objective stance.

These elements must be contained within a hermetic vessel, an egg or womb, where a new archetypal symbol/ essence can be formed and visualised as the “Self”. A new light will be kindled within, signalling the end of the dark night, and a new enlightened psyche will be attained. We can recognise our projections and form new boundaries as our character transforms. The difficulty with an object or person changes as the participation mystique is dissolved. Our reactions and definitions towards the other change; we become freer and more objective. With greater discernment and availability, one will start to feel liberated, free from inner conflict, and working through the impasse and challenges of new perspectives.

The kundalini, the serpent power, is awakened, sweeping one with an onslaught of new emotions, which we may not be able to contain and integrate. We may choose unwise remedies and methods to ease the suffering and confusion and avoid the abyss of despair. Perseverance and discipline will bring us from the unconscious to the conscious; as we create a vessel strong enough to hold the shadow and soul, we transcend into the new spiritual, transpersonal realm of divinity.

Harding,E.(1963) Psychic Energy: Its Source and Its Transformation,Princeton University Press; 2nd edition