The interior self’s goal is to produce a whole and integrated state of being that is not totally dependent upon all the values, strategies and limitations of our outer collective life. We create the Jungian “Persona” as a representation to garnish recognition and status within the collective. We play a standard role within this collective drama, installed via parental upbringing and conditioning, reinforced by external educational indoctrination—the deeper individual manifests from a transpersonal source within the greater psyche beyond personal ego consciousness.

The self we might live, the real authentic self, is deemed the Forbidden self. Where conformity and compliance are the norms and the outsider, the deep thinker is a nobody of significance. We are ashamed and embarrassed by this unconventional intruder sitting within the dark recesses of our souls. The inner aloneness, enhanced via external alienation, allows us to disassociate and suppress our spiritual instincts as we are willing to adhere to herd conformity. We gladly hand over accountability and responsibility to the institutions and others, foregoing deeper insight and consciousness. A society of shallow passivity, infantile dependency, emotional desirousness and vulnerability to power pressure is freely engaged in and accepted. This soul alienation may bring us to the edge of disaster, the vestiges of tyranny and totalitarianism under the guise of self-righteousness and goodness.

The outsider learns there are no regulations to defend, no dutiful obligations to perform, and no self-esteem to protect or enhance via the pursuit of power and status. We need to seek out a new “Pope” to solve this collective dilemma. Connecting a moral compass and nature with a higher divinity is the bridge builder for the gap between ego-consciousness and the deeper archetypal realms of wisdom in the collective unconscious. With the initial source of truth, the wise old man archetype gives power and meaning to our lives.

A deeper inner authority that surpasses the superego, with a higher conscience and source of authenticity.

Emotional Incest

The self, representing the union of opposites and conflicts within the psyche, brings peace and fulfilment to the soul—the symbolic sacred marriage, the feminine and masculine united in unity. As we enter into this transpersonal realm, we move beyond human consciousness and must be careful not to become inflated or overwhelmed by new impulses or emotions. The inflation may manifest as control, projection or emotional intrusion, incestuous tendencies breaching personal boundaries. As we break down old rigid behavioural patterns, we will experience greater anxiety, mistrust and stress, looking to reinflate the grandiose image of artificial self-esteem. One might regress back into a childlike state, omnipotent and all-knowing, unable and unwilling to listen to reason and difference.

The task for people today is to lower their rational intellect into the instinctual realm of impulse and feeling, to reclaim their jettisoned unconscious, the shadow and anima/animus. Pull back, which has been split off, society and culture deny and forbid the masculine/feminine aspects. The feminine gives us a receptive capacity to function as a vessel or container of life, whether psychological, emotional or spiritual. Intimacy is the primary capacity of the feminine, the inmost and deepest fostering of peace and integration.

The greater the container, the greater the capacity for depth, awareness and authenticity.

When a man loses his masculinity, he becomes gripped by toxic anima energy through passivity, fatigue, fear or hurt feelings, with extreme sensitivity and vigilance. Swallowed by the unconscious feminine, depressed, imperious and despondent, he lives within a dominant mother complex. His masculinity is disowned and repressed as he has been seduced and castrated by an omnipotent goddess. This masculine principle is the initial source of highly focused and creative consciousness, the mentor, the transformer of nature and the creator of culture. The masculine articulates the meaning and significance of life, makes the rules and administers them. The feminine is the spontaneous eruption of feeling and bonding between people. The fertile water of life, the healing balm of utter wholeness, aliveness, and life experience. The unconscious anima sides of the women are deeply affected by the patriarchy. She assimilates from her father physically, where her feminine aspects may have been unappreciated or devalued, and encouraged to work within the limits of man. She may have been censored or humiliated into submission, replaced by strident, aggressive and opinionated power-hungry men. She has to choose between crashing with brute force or immediate withdrawal. The woman’s adaptation to society creates an artificial feminity, fake compassion for the environment, and the other, whilst the underlying goal is power and status. A woman with a man’s heart has left her femininity behind, adopting a male version of anima feelings.

She may fuse with society’s intrapsychic anima, as she negates her relatedness into an incestuous fusion for material success.

The Cover -Up

Motherhood is an unusual and undervalued powerful force that needs to protect and nourish her child whilst unconsciously wanting to dominate the child. An unhealthy bonding cuts off any possibility for individuation from the child, any psychological separation into the divine child archetype. The divine child is born out of the womb of the unconscious psyche, representing the vital forces of the spirit that lie outside the conscious mind. The self’s dimension and symbolises the potential for creative development, the union of opposites into a transcendent realm. The child is left in the wastelands of yearning, intensity and striving with little compassion, empathy and understanding for their feelings and instincts. A monstrous dragon has swallowed the masculine and heroic warrior as she attempts to keep the child within her belly, a” Womb Tomb.”

The child must embark on the hero’s journey, to hell and back, into the darkest waters of the underworld. The hero is the divine child and the wise old man, bringing new light and wisdom into consciousness. When a mood engulfs a man/woman, they are experiencing the inflation in the belly of the dragon, the emotional overwhelm and the restriction of the dragon’s fire. He needs to slay the dragon, and enact his courage, wisdom and skills to gain freedom and liberation. The hero child needs a goddess, a vessel, an interior sense of soul or psyche, where the spiritual life is experienced. Without feminine insight, he is completely lost, full of rage and frustration, depressed, blaming the world and looking for an external saviour. When the incestuous merger is revealed and exposed, it will threaten the societal norm of security and stability, where one risks falling into infantile responsibility or insanity. The warrior, the courageous masculine father, works as the conveyor of morality, the superego, to raise one’s moral compass and transform their psychological development.

The symbolic journey begins with regression to the childlike condition in the innocent unconscious. We can now bring the libido, the psychic energy, back into the depths of the protected psyche, into the wounded personality to be transmitted. The intrapsychic conflict of opposites can be explored, examined and resolved. For a man to disengage his energy and awareness from the mother complex entails far more than a physical separation or avoidance and withdrawal. An untamed mother complex leads to impulsive behaviour, loss of instincts and symbolic literacy, encapsulated in irresponsible magical thinking.

We need to make peace with the shadow, transgress our inflations and confront dysfunctional authority figures.

As one retreat from the centrifugal force of world interests and challenges, we can follow the enemy inward, where integration and spirit lie—the gaining of one’s soul and the human being’s resurrection. The enforced introversion and isolation allow the child to dig deeper to exercise their inner core resources and access the psyche’s deeper realms. As he shines light upon the mother complex, hermetically sealed away from conformity, influence and experience, he can start to tame and sacrifice valued objects and desires. The new energy can then be regained and transformed for new purposes and higher consciousness. This can form a symbolic inner field of vision and insight as one is liberated from their emotional shackles and impulses. The major task of the hero is to successfully free themself from the grip of unconscious images without being possessed, drowned in the unconscious waters.

The seeker must be strong and wise enough not to be caught in the regressive undertones of neurotic longing to return to the womb. They must be self-disciplined and not afraid to take a great risk by exploring beyond the known boundaries of the prevailing status quo, family and culture. The dangerous ordeal is confronting and shrinking the infantile and inflated ego, with its grandiose need for coercive power, fame and honour. It means respecting and enjoying one’s body with its impulses and desires and being accepted as we are. Enduring the meaning of existence as we sometimes taste the bittersweet paradox of being alive.

Perkins, J. (1993) The Forbidden Self: Symbolic Incest and the Journey, Shambhala Publications Inc