Saturday, September 08, 2012

Making the Unconscious Conscious

You know all those affairs you have had, are having, or think about having? It’s your Soul saying, “How about me, baby?” Or, it’s your Soul seeking comfort and consolation in the arms of Love. Either way, Soul is at the bottom of it, behind it, beyond it, wondering when you are going to wake up and understand.
Soul communes with us, communicates to us, through projections. One way we see Soul is in the form of actual or imaginary lovers. We have to learn to see Soul in the person of the other person. What does she/he have that we need beyond the pleasure of sexual attention? What is the source of our attraction to THIS person and not the one sitting next to her/him, or standing behind, or in front, of her, him? What sets THIS person off, makes THIS person “hot”? Why THIS person and not that one, or that one over there?
We have to do the work of making the Unconscious Conscious here. What is trying to come to life in our Unconscious? What is striving to become Conscious in our Unconscious? What is struggling to be born in us and through us into the world?
When we make the Unconscious Conscious, we bring forth into our actual, physical, life, qualities and characteristics that were latent in our Unconscious, waiting to be born. We make the Unconscious Conscious by becoming Conscious of certain aspects of the Unconscious and giving them expression in our life. We exhibit them and make them a part of our way in the world. We integrate them into our life and they become and aspect of who we are. Of who we now are, which is who we have always been, and who we will be.
Carl Jung said, “We are who we always have been and who we will be.” We make this statement a reality as we make the Unconscious Conscious. This is our work. We live to make the Unconscious Conscious in the time left for living. This is the Hero’s Journey, the Spiritual Quest, the Search for the Holy Grail and the Land of Promise, and the work of Enlightenment—bringing the Unconscious forth into the light of day, making the Unconscious visible and apparent in the context of our life. Incarnating God.
The work of the Incarnation is this very thing: Making the Unconscious Conscious, bringing God forth into Human life. The equation of God with the Unconscious is not as blasphemous and heretical as it seems. This is not to reduce God to human form, but to raise the Unconscious to the level of the Divine.
We all are both God and human being, the visible form of the Living God (to use Biblical terms most of us are familiar with). This phraseology is simply an attempt to say what is at stake in the experience of bringing forth the Unconscious, of making the Unconscious Conscious and apparent in “the field of action” (Joseph Campbell), in the world of space and time.
This requires us to re-think the standard view of God—to move beyond the doctrinal definitions (“God is a spirit, infinite, eternal, unchangeable in his [sic] being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth” – Answer 4, Westminster Shorter Catechism, 1647) into the realm and work of “the evolution of the idea of God.” We “grow our understanding of God” by “bringing God forth” in the field of action, which is our life in the world of space and time as we make the Unconscious Conscious.
Carl Jung said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate,” and,  “What is not brought to consciousness, comes to us as fate.” Or, to get us back to where we came in, it comes to us as an actual, physical affair with a hot little honey or a big manly hunk—or as an imaginary, fantasy, affair we dream of and wish could be real. What needs to be real is not a sexual liaison  with the subject of your desire, but the actual qualities/characteristics/aspects that you find desirable about the person who is attractive.
After the actual affair plays itself out, you will still be attracted to people exhibiting the qualities that are stirring within your own being, trying to come to life in your life—to be expressed and exhibited in your way with life. You will project onto them the you you are refusing to become, thinking that if you could only marry them everything would be wonderful. If you do marry one of them, you will soon enough wake up to all the things they also are and will wonder what in the world you were thinking when you married this person—who will likely be wondering the same thing about you. You both are in the same boat of trying to be completed in the other, while your individual wholeness depends upon your bringing forth into your individual lives who you are capable of becoming in the time left for living.
The work of Individuation (Carl Jung’s term) is the work of coming forth into who we are—into who we always have been and who we will be. It is the work of making the Unconscious Conscious—the work of waking up to who we are and who we also are—the work of integrating the opposites within into a complementary whole—the work of bringing ourselves forth into the field of action which is our life in the world of space and time. This is the work this is ours to do in the time left for living.
I’ll post some pointers here from time to time. Encouragement for the journey, cool water along the way. I hope you find it helpful.