An ego so fragile must fortify itself in impoverished idealisation and hubris. How quickly it rationalises its thousand adaptations, threatened by the pullback and down into reality. The self is the true purpose of the organism, the theological intention of becoming itself as fully as it can, forever unknown and unknowable. The immature ego tends to be one-sided, lacking depth and breadth, ignoring the multiplicity of the self. The shock of any separation is seismic, as the ego wants to remain in the imprinted pathways, abiding in the unconscious, yearning to return to the uroboric womb. Consciousness is only achieved through the loss of the other, where the perception of the other can be truly perceived.
The primary task of the parent is too ease the burden of separation and provide and prepare the passage into individuation and adulthood.
The cost of consciousness, where the illuminating fire is stolen, and the price paid is one of blood, where each step the child takes is a step further from the memory of the garden of Eden (innocence). Stealing fire from the gods is a mythic metaphor for the birth of consciousness, the act responsible for the formation of neurosis, creating an internal split between object and subject, self and other. This childlike thinking process represents magical thoughts and repressed states. Characterised by grandiosity, paranoia and fantasy, where the child believes certain thoughts and behaviours make the parent ill, annoyed or depressed. The child cannot contain the subject /object dichotomies or adult reality. The child projects their fears and ignorance onto the world, misreading data, driven coming to omnipotent conclusions. The child`s thinking is unable to escape the wounding of the world, integrated with a charged image and imago, that has a unique historically generated and disassociated energy. When triggered, the charged image will usurp the ego position and totally alter one sense of reality.
Modern psychotherapy does not track behaviour back to its origin in the soul. To connect the action without understanding the psychic dynamics is to remain superficial and false. While one might correct behaviour or alter cognition, the wound to the soul will find another venue for expression. The adult child is again unconsciously driven to compensation and adaptation to the new unfulfilled expectation of the parents or society. The driven person is never at peace with the soul; their productivity is protection against the angst of powerlessness, the betrayal of the parent and loneliness. A controlling person is attracted to and seeks someone who is easily controlled. The opposite strategy is one of people-pleasing, becoming responsible for the well-being of others whilst sacrificing oneself. Codependency is the norm, where the child magically thinks they can heal the parent, burying their nascent personality and taking on a myriad of tasks by healing and rescuing wounded others.
The parentified child, the pathological caregiver, has an overwhelming sense of responsibility for others, and intrapsychic symbiosis with their parent is needed to maintain narcissistic equilibrium and homeostasis. A continuous search for nurturing relationships and any form of connection, a search for the omnipotent other who will heal their childhood wounds and soothe the abandonment and betrayals. A borderline behaviour and lability, with transient relationships with a deep terror of abandonment and overwhelm. They cannot contain the tension of commitment, compulsively idealising each new partner and yet suffering an inevitable reoccurrence of loss. When entering midlife, they have seldom gained enough ego strength to reflect on their choices, are still unconscious and unable to risk any self-doubt or introspection.
Primitive psychic energy is polymorphously perverse, forever taking, twisting, turning and regenerating to fill inner voids, where the individual develops multiple strategies for which splitting, substituting, and sublimating are a few. One such energy, Eros, is dynamic and shape-shifting, always somewhere, seeking connection, wanting to transcend and fill the emptiness of the psyche, which is terrifying. Eros splits into polarities, love and hate, good and bad, always present within interpersonal relationships. To be fascinated by the other is to be possessed by an affective idea, caught within the projective identification of the heart’s desire. The boundaries between self and other are dissolved as one enters the previous symbiosis familiar to the child and parent. When the other is not present or supportive, one feels spawned, blocked by extraneous forces, suffering a loss of the false self, becoming miserable, depressed and deflated.
Any loss of projections is excruciating, the broader the projections, the greater the hurt.
As a flawed human beings, the other can’t carry the full weight of the Eden project, nor can we carry that for others. As we carry such weighted history, so much longing and yearning, such a large hope and empty heart, they will inevitably fail and collapse. A five-pronged process of projecting and then recollecting our dispersed psychic fragments.
- The inner experience is truly experienced as an outer one, “Out There.”
- A gradual perception of discrepancies sets in, widening the gulf between who the other is supposed to be and our concrete experience of them. Doubts lead to consternation, questioning the reality of the other.
- Via the process of projections, one can make new assessments of the other and see anew
- we realise what we perceived or believe was not true or real, as we start to see the shadow of ourselves and the other.
- In the search for the enigma of the projection energy within oneself, we ask for the meaning of the projections.
- How do we activate the projections?
- Is the intensity of the energy dispersed appropriately to the situation?
- When and how do we feel the energy?
Once we lose our projections, we are left with the humbling task of becoming conscious of how we impact ourselves and others. We must take responsibility for the axis between the unconscious and conscious realities, embracing the courage to fight our programmed desire to fuse with others and the inner imperative to separate. The tension is always present as we individuate and embark on the conscious journey. Only through heroic will and immense effort can we bring these tensions into consciousness to be resolved. We generate the reconciling third aspect and the transcendent function. Where two have become another, a third new identity. This dialectic within relationships can form the true “sacred marriage” and the union of opposites. Honouring the other as the other, and at the same time protecting the absolute uniqueness of the individual partner. Understanding such relationships requires never-ending vigilance, where it is easy to regress to impose, one’s will upon another. The relationship may offer a window of eternity, a bridge to cosmic immensity where spiritual communion exists.
Each journey requires many deaths, many losses of others and may enlargements through suffering.
To abandon the going home of the “Eden Project ” is to open oneself up to the mysteries of the encounter with the other. To forgo the encounter and escape within toxic relationships which diminish each party, sabotaging each other spiritual journey and calling. The avoidant person ignores the resources the adult can and has acquired and stays stuck at the level of the powerless child, looking for a partner to parent them. The capacity to affirm the other requires an enlargement of the soul, and a growth in consciousness, where one can stand up against the fearfulness which our innate human condition.
Four Primal Fears
- Fear of closeness obliges distancing, which can be an extreme form of schizoid splitting off the other.
- The fear of distance occasions an existential depression, which can go undiagnosed.The absence of the other and the terror of abandonment.
- The fear of change obliges one to form compulsions, seek control of the other or one’s body image, and pay frantic attention to close all matters, whether important or mundane.
- Fear of performance concerning the closeness of the other. One disassociates due to the fear of engulfment and imprisonment, transfers the fear into the body, be effectively flat and numb, with cant be hurt persona.
Driven away by our fears, the tendencies arise from and, in turn, reinforce a false sense of self, where growth is denied and blocked. Identified with our wounds and stuck at the level of the wounding, emotionally arrested, unwilling to suffer, to grow in consciousness and embrace the enlargement of the personality. The encounter with the other can pry us out of rigid ego positions, where we experience a higher power and mystic phenomena.
Four Principles of Relationship
- what we do not know about ourselves (unconscious ) we project or will not face within ourselves ( The shadow)
- We project our childhood wounding (pathology) and infantile longing ( Narcissistic going home agenda) onto others.
- The other cannot and should not bear the responsibility for our wounds, narcissism or our individuation. We should not allow projections to give way to resentment and problems with power.
- The only way to heal is to make our going home project conscious and take personal responsibility for our own individuation.
Relationships can be forever clogged and blocked within transferences, stuck in historical reality, where the past is reading the present. For instance, any intimate relationship will be judged analogous to the prior primal experiences with our caregivers and play out as conditioned patterns. When we are most charged, complexes come to the surface, which we need to observe and resolve.No one escapes their pathology and remains unwounded without facing their shadow and unconscious. The world is chemically addicted, seeking eternal connection via substances, power, status or attaining the magical other. We long for nurturance, safe harbour and completion but don’t dare to look for them in adult ways.
We have been left in the mire of narcissism, alone, afraid, self-absorbed and longing for some other to save and complete us.
Afraid to be ourselves and wholly responsible, surely someone else or something else can bear this burden for us. The fantasy that the other is willing to carry our individuation task for us will lead the other to resent us, even if they participate in a codependent silent contract. The most damaging aspect of the will to power is coercing the other into sparring us from our own responsibility and growth. Individuation demands energy longer and tougher than the narcissism of the Eden Project. We may sometimes feel humiliated and terrified to access more meaning and purpose, abandon the search and desire for security and give up our deepest longing to return to our mother`s womb. The measure of our healing is the extent to which we are willing and capable of facing our wounds, unconscious patterns, and deepest fears and desires.
The self manifests within the opposites, whilst the neurotic lives in a one-sided polarity, unable to discern the truth. The journey to the self begins with conflict and what one discovers and acquires within the fight. Conflict is troubling to the rigid ego, which stifles dissenting voices via regression or disassociation to fulfil its infantile agenda. We are obliged to experience the primary responsibility of our spirituality, the powerful resonance and energy of the soul. The energy incarnates and manifests in images, which may be felt as affect (an emotional state ), a physical sensation (bodily state ), or within a dream ( the unconscious). The encounters with depth open one up to the mysteries of a greater life, beneath history and below the surface of everyday existence. The gods have gone underground in the Western world and no longer impact our lives and culture.
Questions of Life
- The first half of life is to build enough ego strength and solid ego identity
- 2nd half is to examine our unlived lives and what still haunts us.
- Where are we stuck in the development process, and what fears intimidate us? To recover the relics of childhood and recollect wounds.
- Where do we lack permission to be ourselves, and where did we lose the passion for nature
- How do we define, practice and integrate our spirituality to become individuated and conscious?
- We are asked to risk loneliness, passion, boldness and courage and become who we intend to be.
However unpleasant or painful, dialogue with the other is the catalyst for individuation. We value the tension of opposites and insist on the radical significance of the encounter with the other within. The rare glimpse of wholeness lies beyond the power of pure reason, where symbols, metaphors and images communicate such experiences.