Here's to a New Year of Going Within
As we head into 2024, let us all look back and see how life has changed us because that is exactly what happens. No matter what stage of life you find yourself in, life itself changes us. We don’t really change each other. We can learn from a teacher or a dynamic speaker, take a seminar and read books that influence us in a certain direction. They definitely help to formulate our worldview but in the end, it is only life itself and reflection upon our experiences that gives us the impetus to grow.
“In psychology one possesses nothing unless one has experienced it in reality.”
— CARL GUSTAV JUNG
The Undiscovered Self, paragraph 61, pg 33
All religions speak of metaphysical concepts but that is not the intent or purpose of depth psychology. Psychology is speaking of empirical reality and does not require our faith. Our transpersonal center, the Self speaks to us primarily through dreams that spontaneously come to us from our own unconscious. They show us that the finite world, the material world is only one half of reality. There is another world, the inner world where we can observe all the disparate and scattered parts of us that we project onto others. Through introspection of the symbols, we are on the road to discovering more of who we really are.
Projections Upon Others
At first, it’s inevitable that we see ourselves through projections onto a “beloved” or an “enemy” and both are showing us our hidden selves that we can with effort integrate— when we are willing to see through ourselves. Repeating patterns with others are not random events. We want to know ourselves and we want to be known and this moves us to seek out various relationships and friendships. Although hardly anyone knows this is what is happening, we are all on a quest to find ourselves. As we feel closer and more intimate with anyone, they will eventually trigger our main conflicts (complexes). This is the only way we can both grow. No relationship means no emotion and it is our emotional reactions to others that show us our unconscious, i.e. our shadow and our Anima or Animus, the contra-sexual images in our psyche. Think of all of these others both + and - as catalysts for self-awareness. In making the effort to take back our projections from each other which is exceedingly difficult work, not only do we become more conscious but the biggest benefit is we are less driven by unconscious compulsions. Compulsions (we all know about) feel like a defeat to our ego as it seems as if we cannot stop ourselves. We can feel driven as if everything we desire and need is dependent on our connecting to someone or something outside of us.
Alternatively, when we understand we are in process to our individuation (becoming whole and complete), we can flow with life and let things come and go without attachment to outcomes. Yes, this is challenging but it is ultimately very liberating and enlightening.Unforeseen events, people and situations will come into our lives because they are simpatico. In other words, we have similar energy which can be seen in relationships by comparing our birth charts. Many of these people we are destined to meet on the path are soulmates. (To me soul mates are each individual seeking a connection to their own soul which is not the general view of what soul mates are for). In this way, they contribute by mirroring our souls to us. Our souls are not in them, but in us. Consciousness of our totality is what we ultimately want from these experiences. Together with a partner, a sibling or a close friend, we will see more of our many selves.
When you take your unconscious (synonym of the Self) seriously, numinous experiences become common place. Life becomes an adventure shared with your inner beloved, your invisible partner. You will feel a reverence and awe for each synchronicity that occurs. In our humility, as we subordinate our will to the divine will, we can move through life knowing that we are never alone. This is the cure for loneliness for anyone who has set out on the path of individuation.
Are you ready? Are you ready to see your relationships differently?
Make a decision to let go of the Age of Pisces delusion that you are a victim of what is happening around you. Soul making gets easier and lighter every day that we are alive if we are paying attention and doing inner work. Give yourself the gift of self-knowledge in 2024.