spiritual_emergency Posted August 13, 2010 Report Share Posted August 13, 2010 Anyone who wants to know the human psyche will learn next to nothing from experimental psychology. He would be better advised to abandon exact science, put away his scholar's gown, bid farewell to his study, and wander with human heart throught the world. There in the horrors of prisons, lunatic asylums and hospitals, in drab suburban pubs, in brothels and gambling-hells, in the salons of the elegant, the Stock Exchanges, socialist meetings, churches, revivalist gatherings and ecstatic sects, through love and hate, through the experience of passion in every form in his own body, he would reap richer stores of knowledge than text-books a foot thick could give him, and he will know how to doctor the sick with a real knowledge of the human soul. - Carl JungIn the "Campaign to Free John" topic, From The Moon had suggested that she might enjoy a slower-paced discussion as related to therapeutic Jungian thought. I wasn't sure where the best discussion area might be -- the Schizophrenia topic or somewhere else. After considering the matter, I opted for this discussion area however, everything I know about Jung came to me through the filter of the experience of schizophrenia. For that reason, many of my contributions will likely refer to those experiences. This is quite fitting as Jung's model of the psyche began to take shape as he worked with schizophrenic patients in the Burghöltzi hospital in Zurich, Switzerland. Following a personal experience with what Jung referred to as "his encounter with the unconscious" Jung's ideas became even more solidified. I'd suggested that we start with a discussion about the Shadow but after thinking about it, I realized we would have to start with the concept of the Ego, the Persona and Consciousness. In a discussion in the schizophrenia topic, nathan had observed that...Most people today live in a very egoic state of mind (especially in modern western society.) People are told to get an eduction, get a good job, get fit, look good, and progression is glorified beyond belief. This is HUGE ego building stuff. Nathan seems to understand quite well that the ego is one's sense of self-identity. I could have sworn he'd also said that if we could get rid of the ego, a number of our problems would vanish along with it but maybe I'm confusing his post with someone else's. Whoever it was that said it, they're right. A great many of the problems we identify as problems -- I'm too fat; I'm too skinny; I'm not smart-enough; my boss thinks I'm lazy; my father isn't proud of me; my wife doesn't love me anymore; my country is better than your country; my god is better than your god -- these are all ideas related to the ego and our individual concept of self-identity. Having an ego seems to be a necessary component of having a body. We all understand that bodies are vulnerable things. They can be easily hurt, so we learn fear and defense. They need to be fed, so we learn hunting and agriculture. A hug feels better than a slap; a compliment feels better than an insult; Thanksgiving dinner tastes better than grass and bark; bigger muscles might attract a different kind of partner; a more expensive car demonstrates our presumed value to the world. If we did not have a body we would not need an ego.When we are first born, we don't know we have a body -- we lack that kind of awareness. As our body develops and as we interact with the world and the people in it, we also develop an ego which is to say: We develop a system of beliefs about ourselves, others, the larger world, and our place in it. Those beliefs, amassed, create the psychological structure of the ego. If this ego becomes deflated, we call it depression. If this ego becomes inflated, we call it mania. If this ego becomes displaced, we call it dissociation. If this ego fragments, we call it psychosis. See also: Carl Jung Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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