Distorted Mirrors

Unconscious Psychological Complexes are Distorted Mirrors

Our psychological complexes can act upon consciousness like the distorted mirrors in the fun house.

Every constellation of a complex postulates a disturbed state of consciousness. The unity of consciousness is disrupted and the intentions of the will are impeded or made impossible. Even memory is often noticeably affected, as we have seen. The complex must therefore be a psychic factor which, in terms of energy, possesses a value that sometimes exceeds that of our conscious intentions, otherwise such disruptions of the conscious order would not be possible at all. And in fact, an active complex puts us momentarily under a state of duress, of compulsive thinking and acting, for which under certain conditions the only appropriate term would be the judicial concept of diminished responsibility” (Carl Jung, The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, par 200)

Through the process of a psychoanalysis, the capacity of the unconscious psychological complexes to act upon us in this distorting manner diminishes.  The complexes do not disappear, but they become differentiated and recognized for what they are when they become activated.  For instance, instead of getting in a heated argument before you recognize what is even transpiring, it becomes possible to recognize how a given situation places us in our inferiority, or negative mother, and the event is experienced with a recognition of the distortion that is taking place.

Author: Richard Reeve

I'm the Senior Director of Development at Panthera, a global conservation organization committed to stemming the population decline of cats in the wild. I enjoy rural living with my wife Judith and our two children in the Catskill Mountains of New York.