Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
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Enantiodromia is a concept made popular by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. Carl is known for being deeply difficult to interpret because of his writing style. He was first friendly but later became a rival of Sigmund Freud. If we were having coffee today, on the day of the women’s march on Washington, I would make an effort to explain this idea. I think if we look at the United States as an entity created by history we can see that our society has become more and more at odds with “the Other”. Carl explains this blame game as transference, or finding fault in others rather than looking into our own responsibility for any given situation. In personal relationships this is common, and now it is the norm for our politics. I have really been thinking hard about this as we approached the inauguration. I share feelings of doom and despair with many, but I am taking solace that we are establishing a new rock bottom from which we can only bounce. Our collective consciousness is a mess, in need of clarity and healing. The United States, the nation, is delusional. We need to face this fact and remedy the cultural issues that we have made such a big deal of establishing. Neither “other” is right. Both are out of touch with reality. This is another way Carl looked at action and reaction. He said there is not so much good and bad as real and unreal. The pendulum has swung to the outer limits of unreality now, and the center is strained to the max. Will it hold?
Please help yourself to tea or coffee, or a big glass of fresh grapefruit juice. It is rainy and cool out, but the wood stove is roaring and the armchair with the ottoman next to the fire is ready for you. Snuggle in and tell me how you are dealing with events these days. I stayed quiet this week, mostly because my car went to the shop for 3 days to be repaired. I wrote another short piece of fiction based on a photo prompt this week. It turned out to be very disquieting, haunted and macabre because my mind was on the national spirit. I am a bit surprised at my own darkness in these short stories. I guess it reflects by subconscious as well as my desire to make up stories. I thought I would be funny in fiction, but I am a bit of a horror writer, much to my own horror.
This is the perfect time for me to segue to enantiodromia, the phenomena. Simply put, it means that any force in overabundance will produce it’s opposite in order to keep nature in balance. If one single aspect of a consciousness is developed at the expense of all others, the equal and opposite reaction will be triggered by the extreme condition of the psyche. Often in individuals this shift precedes a breakthrough into a more integrated personality. Once the “other” is seen in a realistic light an enlightenment can take place.
In Jung’s own words:
The grand plan on which the unconscious life of the psyche is constructed is so inaccessible to our understanding that we can never know what evil may not be necessary in order to produce good by enantiodromia, and what good may very possibly lead to evil. (“The Phenomenology of the Spirit in Fairytales”, Collected Works 9i, par. 397)
I am placing all my hope in enantiodromia to save our society. We elected our shadow, and now we will be forced to view it, ironically against the backdrop of the White House. We can’t blame our shadow into evaporating because it represents (imperfectly) the ideas of “the enemy”. We have to meet it straight on, and see what part we have played in establishing it and then giving it power. This is deeper and weirder than just Republicans vs Democrats. This is real vs unreal, in which everyone has a little of each. We are codepending with everyone and everything. Our journey to balance will require enlightenment and compassion for all those “others”.
Diana hosts the coffee party each weekend from New Orleans. Please visit us to read, write, comment, or just consume a few cups of digital coffee. This party is a wonderful place to keep it real and share your thoughts in a safe, creative atmosphere. Thanks for dropping by this week.
I like the concept of Jung to a point. I am wondering if this really is applicable to politics but there are some very strong points that you are making about the responsibility factor. He was elected. We ran a very flawed candidate but the new president is equally flawed. Had we been more insistant on calling for equal scrutiny on him (personally, professionally and his business finances) that would have helped a lot.
We have to make it imperative that our leadership plays by the same rules that we are expected to play.