The window screen keeps the flies and other insects out while letting the fresh air in. It’s important to consider in what ways are the unconscious pests in our environment getting into our system and causing havoc.
It’s well documented how those with borderline traits have pourous boundaries. A deep merger with the psychic field exposes them to many dynamics others remain oblivious of. This can be a gift, but undeveloped it more likely results in a pattern of chaos.
The challenge of the work in these cases is to establish enough ego strength so that awareness can discriminate what is what…this from that…mine from yours…all without boarding up the opening completely.
Last week when teaching Carl Jung‘s definition of the collective unconscious as well as an overview of his typology, one student recognized something I had known, but not with great conviction. He saw clearly that the visionary capacity, the ability to attend to our dreams, and an openness to the unconscious requires intuition. I found myself wanting to relate intuition to the past or future, but was a bit murky in expressing how it gets constellated in the present moment. ((teaching has such a wonderful way of pointing out where we are standing on thin ice.))
As Jung wrote in Psychological Types, intuition is “a perception of realities which are not known to the conscious, and which goes via the unconscious.” Broadening my definition of intuition to match Jung’s helps me see how different experiences, like the dreaming while awake of active imagination, are lived through the intuitive function.
The watery realm inhabited by mermaids and mermen, silkies and ride providing dolphins, monsterous jellyfish, sharks, eels, seahorses, and whales; an alien realm that demands an artificial air supply for us to visit.
The collective unconscious often renders itself as the sea in our dreams. It’s the place all of us land creatures have pulled ourselves out of. Many of us are compelled to spend our recreation along the beaches that line the ocean shores. And all rain, as it falls and forms the tiniest rivulet far inland, begins it’s journey of return.
Much of the pull that drew me to my present work ((work as in opus, the alchemical endeavor of transformation)) was the oft repeated experience in dreams for well over a decade of being able to breath underwater. ((I’ve always been fascinated that the human embryo goes through a stage where marks resembling gills appear on the neck)) (See similar examples from a dreamer whose work always strikes me as immersed in the waters.) I wonder if an early childhood experience ((I was about three)) of unexpectedly getting wildly tumbled by a wave has something to do with it…