January 31, 2008

Glued in Contradiction

The real problem is not keeping the other honest, but self deception. We are unaware of the contradiction we are glued in. As long as we remain split in below mentioned two poles/persons, we tend to be caught in contradictions yet remain unaware of this. In terms of above mentioned message one side of us thinks he is curious and inquisitive while he hides the side and opposite that is terribly closed minded. What makes it difficult to recognize the contradiction we are caught in is that the side we least want to be (the shadow), which we yet also are, is projected on the other. In other words the inner contradiction or conflict is played out and experienced via the other. A woman tells her daughter: “you can’t think that I’m the kind of mother which looks on and enjoys the daughter’s pain…” Another older woman who feels terribly insecure and afraid to be at home alone (when her husband is abroad) tells her son upon suggesting that her grandson sleep over by her: “I don’t want him to think he has to babysit me.” This is a projection and basically a side of her is saying this to herself. Her rejected more secure and self-confident side is basically telling herself this and in somewhat sarcastic terms. The first woman is basically accusing herself she is looking on and doing nothing to help her daughter.

Another man goes on and on about his businesses and money and how important it is for him to have his financial affairs in place etc, and at that point says: “I hope you’re not thinking I am materialistic”. In both cases this is the shadow basically replying and responding to the dominant opposite side or self which has gone into somewhat extreme degrees. Here what is really happening is that one side is basically calling/accusing the other of being a materialist, a sadist and a ‘baby’. Yet this inner contradiction or debate is not caught within but another is blamed for “seeing” or thinking he is a materialist…

In this sense the way we feel the other is thinking about us is basically the way we are thinking of our self. For instance when someone projects anger onto the other it can be construed as a part of us which is looking onto the deceiver in us, so to speak, is angry at our self or the deceiver. There’s always a part of us looking onto ourselves. We get this often for instance when we feel others envy us or are jealous of us; or also when we feel others hate us because we are so great, successful etc. This is also a side of us which is at odds with ‘the monster’ (the inflated side) and is bent on bringing him down. This is of course the dynamic underlying conflicts and fights. I will fight the projection in the other. Yet we cannot kill the shadow. Full excising of the shadow leads to our own demise.

If we could become aware of the projection and thus re-take it we would be able to enter into an inner debate and dialog which could eventually lead to a compromise of sorts. The materialistic side would be cross fertilized by the more idealistic or social side and in that form the materialistic penchant could be countered and a form of balance or synergy could ensue. The same goes for the woman suffering from great insecurity. Yet when the other is blamed for feeling (actually us feeling) materialistic: 1. we can remain in denial of the extent of our one sidedness and 2. We don’t own and accept the side that the dominant person/pole in us is rejecting and fighting in the other.

The big problem is that this part of us that is at odds with the dominant side returns in different forms to terrorize and boycott the plans of the deceiver in us. This becomes the root of self-sabotage, disease and accidents in our life. In the life of the great physicist Wolfgang Pauli, the “demon” or shadow would return in his dreams as a figure strongly at odds with Pauli’s physics and which would be setting places afire which would be associated with this physics. But also outside of his dreams a term was coined for the weird accidents which would occur when Pauli would come around physics labs and such sort places. The term was the Pauli-effect. It is necessary to unite in one sole existence.

January 30, 2008

From Within

Today in a workshop I gave to a group of teachers, a teacher/psychologist asked me how can you get to change a student if the student totally denies that she needs any change or that she has to work on anything. The more they tried to convince the student of her error and problem the more the student started to say that they were trying to talk a problem onto her while there was none.

I more or less told her that my method works among others with dreams. In general it is based on tapping the inner potential (feedback) of the person. In dreams we find the natural feedback of the person toward themselves. Our best chance for change is to tap this natural source of feedback of a person toward themselves. In order to do this as a change agent or therapist we have to be in the now to tap what is going on here and now, and thus out of any preconceived notions or expectations. We are simply the translator of the feedback of the person toward themselves, which can come from a dream or other sources. The unconscious is simply the flow from which we tap. Real teaching is unleashing inner guidance. This is the most plausible form of working with change. It is the person, or a part of the person him/her self, which is telling him/her self what needs change. In this sense we must be attuned to the natural flow going on in and around us. Our role is to translate and mediate the messages. Not to tell the person what to do. Therefore there's a very thin line between facilitating and enslaving. Ours is not the role of judging and telling the other what to do. Change imposed from without is manipulation.

January 26, 2008

Marie Louise Von Franz on Touching the Shadow - video transcript

"If not more people try to reflect and take back their projections,
and take the opposite within themselves, there will be a total destruction.
There are a lot of people who go through life and the unconscious is not a reality to them.
They say at breakfast 'I had a funny dream', and in the afternoon they know nothing about it.
But if we paint them and interpret them and think about them, the dream becomes real.
And that's why you need to be lonely so the unconscious becomes stronger.
It's like loading up the unconscious and than it manifests.

Hermes Trismegistus
Hermes Trismegistus said in one active imagination to an alchemist: "I am the friend to whoever is lonely".
We have now preceding the man who pours water into the fish.
Now the fish is the Unconcious; so we have to support the unconscious.
It's not enough to just have it.
We have to actively turn toward it and support it, so that it then helps us.
Jung once said: "The toads and the frogs are god's first attempt to make man on a cold-blooded level. And then he didn't quite succeed, so he kept the idea in mind." 
There are many people are not in analysis but they are naturally gifted, which I would call:
They are honest.And they find these things without analysis.
I have lived in this tower for 8 weeks alone without speaking one word to anybody.
And I sometimes thought I was going off my head.
But the unconscious became alive. It was my path.
Jung: "There are no other similar beings like man. That thus are articulate and conscious; can give account for their functioning".

Listening To Me Talking To Myself

We are constantly talking to ourselves via others. When talking to the other we tacitly see a part of us we prefer not to see within. A woman tells me: "You will tell me I'm a materialist...but ...and she continues to tell me how for her material security etc is of great importance." This is a part of her that she is experiencing in me; or thus projecting on me. This is the part of herself which feels she hangs too much to the materialistic side. Yet she prefers to not see this side in herself, and hence ends up experiencing it via me. Her less materialistic side she is projecting on me and hence subsequently blames me for her feeling materialistic. This leads to not owning the too materialistic bent and to rejecting the less materialistic side within.

This inner talk or (here) conflict is constantly raging in us; yet there's no way to solve the conflict if the person remains unaware of the fact that it is in them. The point is that there's one side of us that is at odds with our dominant side. When listening yet more closely to ourselves and others we find the conflict before it is projected. A woman wearing much higher high heals than accustomed to, says she is afraid of having heard a voice in her tell her, while she was walking down a stairway, that she will fall and break her neck. This side could also be played out in terms of projecting on the husband that he doesn't want her to wear high heals.

Yet here we catch it before it is projected. This shadow side or demon can toward extreme conflict in the person literally attack itself. A woman once reported that in front of a stop light she had all intention to step on the breaks and that her leg out of its own stepped on the gas ramming into the car in front of her. But it can also react to us in our body as for instance a man who is overly active in wanting and demanding too much sex from his wife turns impotent. A man wanted to give a hand in a funeral ended up kissing the family member of the deceased person.

If we listen fast enough to the shadow (unconscious), it can make us extremely proactive in using the shadow to create great balance in us. For what this voice of opposition in us is actually trying to achieve is to curb our one-sidedness. Only, toward extreme one-sidedness it reacts in an equally extreme form. But when we truly listen to it and give real consequence to it; that is act upon it; it becomes an incredible tool and compass in creating balance in our own behavior and decisions. Yet more pro-actively we catch it in our dreams, which is where it first emerges only to subsequently play itself out during the day. When this is done it leads to a shift in outlook where we stop being reactive and realize we are creating the patterns we keep stuck in.

So the way we feel the other is looking at us is a part of the way we are looking at ourselves.

January 20, 2008

Purpose of Blog

This first entry is to briefly state what the blog is about. 
First of all this blog is a log book which records thoughts regarding the practice of catching projections or touching the shadow.  

The shadow is a concept which emerged with Carl G. Jung representing a part of us which tends to stay under the radar. It emerges in the way we perceive others in terms of projections, but also as an active force (and part of us) which keeps us honest. The nature of these entries will be personal short musings and ruminations regarding the nature of the shadow.