After what seemed to be a calling I managed to fall in admiration for a the psychiatrist Carl Jung who really has become an inspiration over the last few weeks. Being a psychology student I found it funny that I have heard little about Jung and more about Freud who has always been an almost laughable figure in my understanding of psychology, consciousness, and the dream mind. I found that Jung is really a much more reasonable person and though I'm sure many of his views have been proven wrong over the years, he still seems to have more of an open mind than the coke fiend who insists that women have envy of men's more delicate parts.
I didnt know where to start with Jung, I tried to find his "Red Book" but after finding it in my local library, I found it impossible to read. I then looked around on the internet for some good books on Jung and found that there are some very interesting volumes written about his work called "The Collected Works of C.G. Jung". I picked up a number of the volumes and started to read volume 9, part II called "Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self". So far I must say what a great read!
Really Jungs work is a hard read to understand and he often goes on in some cases about what I think is some abstract thinking, but the main point is, is this guy makes sense when he wrote about the self. How so? Well...
Jung talks about how our consciousness is made up of personalities rather than just a subconsciousness that entails everything that we cant know. Not only that but he says that these personalities are able to communicate with and of which a lot happens during sleep. He never says that we cant understand these personalities like the all so wrong Freud, and interesting enough he talks about the same personalities that we often experience in our dreams. When my last post about my lucid dream I talked about having a conversation with a number of distinct personalities that made up my consciousness. I never stated how many personalities that seemed to be involved in the dream but to be exact I could distinguish three very predominate ones. One being a very serious personality who just wanted to do work and not have much fun, another whos life revolved around being a trickster and enjoying everything without work, and other was the dark side of my life. What I failed to realize is that the self was also involved as I couldn't have communicated with these personalities if I was not aware of myself and thinking to myself. Anyways, Jung also says that we have three distinct personalities as well as a self and an ego.
The ego according to Jung is not really much. He says that its really hard to determine how much of the ego really is involved in anything. It seems to me from my readings into Jung as well as into peoples personal experiences into the ego death, that the ego doesn't really effect much of anything. Some may say that their ego is what makes them think they are all important and very full of themselves when in fact it seems that those relationships are very much tied to the personalities that make the consciousness and subconsciousness up. The ego seems to more play the role as a control mechanism that holds together the personalities and refrains one to become over dominate of the others. Its possible that experiences that rep apart the ego allow the person to understand more of the personalities that make them who they are, and allow them to be a more understanding and well rounded person. Jung even says that this is the goal of all humans through religion and other means, to understand these personalities to be a more "full" person.
The shadow which Jung so well named it is the darker side of the person. It is the pure terror that we all have inside of us, and those dark negative things we think about our self and others. Its interesting with the name because often enough when people have abonafide nightmare we often see a shadow figure that is never positive. I have had experiences and read about others experiences were rather than try to be scared of this dream figure we tried to understand what it wanted, and often enough it is some kind of childish negative thought that manifested the figure. Understanding this figure has caused a feeling of understanding of myself that I had never had before, and though its often terrifying to face, I know I should be more understanding to this figure.
The anima and animus are a little more confusing to my understanding of the personalities. They seem to be tied to what I experienced in my dream as one is more of a feminine nature than the other but its hard to understand where the line is in having fun and being serious that tie to mine. Jung says that the anima is a feminine type of personality that is more active in men than women and the animus is a more male dominate one and is more active in women than men. He explains our emotional states with these as women often seem to be more illogical in their choices than men and are more emotional, as men are more moody from seriousness to wanting to have fun. I think how he figures out which one is feminine and witch one is masculine by studying ancient mythological images and how humans have tied those type of personalities to either male or female figures.
In the aspect of the self its a bit more confusing to me and I truly dont have an understanding of what he talks about in his writing in this section besides of what we know. The self is active at all times and seems to work in conjunction of the ego to hold things together. Maybe when we are developed the sense of self is one of the first things to develop and later the personalities. Thats only speculation my behalf.
Over all Jung has become one of my mentors in psychology and dreaming and I hope to share more of my understanding in the future.