Psyche, Libidinal Energy, and the Unconscious Jung took the basic format of the psyche from Freud and expanded on what he believed was missing. Range of Consciousness • Awake & aware • Automatic pilot • Hypnotic trance • Daydreaming • Asleep Dreaming The Psyche • All psychological processes, both conscious & unconscious • Freud first described the Unconscious, which he likened to the iceberg- Levels of Consciousness • He also described Libidinal Energy- the energy that drives expression of the unconscious Icebergs are powerful • Freud believed the Unconscious was primarily sexual • Jung believed it included any desire unchecked by moral authority We operate from instinct to a level driven by the Spirit Pierre Janet investigated unconscious states through trances • The question was, How much influence does the unconscious have on our behavior? • Janet called these unconscious states “multiple personalities” • Jung even attended séances to better understand the nature of the unconscious Jung discovered aspects of unconsciousness • During trances, subjects give voice to the unconscious- without editing • Split-off aspects of the unconscious could appear as distinct personalities • Psychic energy has a teleological functiongoal direction, seeking wholeness, growth • The unconscious could compensate for conscious attitudes- a balancing effect Manifestations of the unconscious • Trance states due to repetitive experiences • Intense emotional reactions unjustified by present circumstances • Behaving in such a way we feel we aren’t ourselves • Daydreaming • Imagination The Nature of the Psyche • Self-regulating system- compensating function • Libido has intentionality- it knows where it should go for the health of the entire psyche • The challenge for modern man is listening to this voice, which is often in conflict with the loud voices of the world • Lack of libido = depression • Resistance to unconscious forces The psyche moves from most conscious & aware to unconscious The unconscious holds the instinctual forces of the psyche • Instincts are impulses that carry out actions from necessity- having a biological quality • Instincts determine actions, even though they act unconsciously • Archetypes are inborn forms of intuitionmeans of perceiving the world • How we apprehend the world determines the direction of our instinct- fluid Unconscious holds the psychoid functionsrelationship between matter and Spirit • If the unconscious becomes overactive, it can come out in symptoms that can paralyze conscious action, especially if unconscious factors are repressed. They come out in 2 ways: • The subject no longer knows what s/he really wants & nothing interests him/her. • He wants too much at once, has too many interests in impossible things. Compensation- maintaining psychic equilibrium • Dreams can give quiet voice to things the person cannot consciously own, allowing him/her to continue functioning • They also voice our repressed personality • Creativity A compensating dream Language of the psyche • The unconscious requires the conscious mind to interpret its language • This allows for balance in the psyche • Language of symbols • Dream interpretation requires learning the symbolic language of the unconscious • Imagination, daydreaming, planning • Mental illness Jung took the concept farther • He described the necessity of conscious and unconscious remaining balanced • Out of balance, neurosis develops • The unconscious is source of all conscious thought, all creativity, rationality, feeling • The unconscious is the Original Mind of humankind, from which our conscious developed • Consciousness arises from primal material of the unconscious- Nature • The process is ongoing- more material will arise as we grow • Each person is a microcosm of the universal processes of our species- There is a universality to the discoveries across the world Concepts of the Unconscious • Iceberg- Freud • Blueprint for our lives- invisible pattern • Huge field of energy- the ocean • Broader and more dangerous than the conscious- also more potentially creative Ego is a cork bobbing on top, driven by the forces below Ego- “I” • The conscious mind • All our conscious awareness of self • We tend to see the unconscious as apart from our self- recognized especially when we do things out of character • Ego thinks of itself as an island unto itself • Other worlds exist that are worth exploring, but they represent risk (and potential wisdom) • The quest to know the unconscious (the other worlds) is fraught with fear & excitement How do we embark on the journey of self-knowledge? • Jung says we should open ourselves to our inner life- and allow a flow of energy & information between the 2 levels of psyche • The problem for modern man is how we have been cut off from access to the inner world: rituals, religious experiences, visions • We take pride in rationality & independence from needing anything outside ourselves. Focus on the things of the world keeps us from doing inner work • The world says: Money, Prestige, Partner is the secret to happiness • Jung: Most neurosis today is due to the vacuum of meaning, a sense that we are missing a part of ourselves. • Jung: Only in our unconscious can we meet our individual understanding of God and fully experience a rich inner life of the spirit If we don’t go to the Spirit, the Spirit will come to us through neurosis • How do we “Go to the Spirit?” • Inner Work: • Prayer • Meditation • Dream work • Rituals and ceremonies • Active imagination • This produces Individuation- process of becoming the complete person we were meant to be- actualizing the blueprint. What happens when we individuate? • We uncover our unique structure • Recognize our special traits and consciously incorporate them • Face our darker side without judgment • Find commonality with others and no longer judge them either • Let go of the fiction that we are better (or worse) than others and we must hide our true selves Archetypes • Ideas and images our unconscious displays • “Instinctual images”- the forms that instincts assume • Instincts are physiological- symptoms • Archetypes are psychological- perceptions revealed in fantasies, dreams, imagery • Archetypes manifest: • Personally- complexes • Collectively- characteristics of a culture (to be healthy a culture must understand its archetypes and adjust them as necessary to continue developing) Archetypes burst the bubble of ego and separation • They are universal, present in the unconscious of each person • They combine in a unique way in each person, like our bodies • Recognizing our connection to the greater population, as well as our unique makeup allows us to fully develop our best nature, not imitate anyone else. • Images from the collective unconscious are seen in mythology, literature, metaphor, legends. The process of inner work • Direct ways of approaching the inner world of your unconscious • It is done experientially, not through cognition, to really access subtle meaning • You gain insight into inner conflicts or challenges that your particular life offers • The process allows you to access your special strengths Inner Work • • • • • • • Religious ceremonies Interpretation of dreams Spirit quests Aboriginal walkabouts Fasting and prayer Active imagination All these represent a dialogue between equal parties- conscious and unconscious Active Imagination as Jung used it Dream Journal • Begin keeping a journal by your bed to write your dream images down as soon as you awaken. • Also write down the experiences of the daycontext is everything to interpretation • Write down your thoughts for the day, daydreams, and feelings • Realize this is a powerful emotional experience and you will only be expected to share what you are comfortable sharing. Respect the process.