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Reply To: Seeking guidance: dealing with an old refusal


Lollo; what a deeply thoughtful response; and I was very touched that I was helpful to you in some small way. Apparently, your crisis dilemma touched off something in my subconscious as well as I had dreams relating to my own inner journey which I will provide suggestions from that I hope you may find helpful as you look through your dream journal. Jungian analysis often deals with “transference” between both people involved because there is a dynamic interplay of cross-communication that may stimulate unconscious material in both people, (especially if emotional content is involved). Archetypes and Complexes are worthy of note here; and one such example is the “wounded healer” archetype. And your wonderful post was a prime example for “me” of this, and I will take a quote from: Daryl Sharp’s Lexicon that may help explain the relevance.


Wounded Healer:
An archetypal dynamic that may be constellated in an analytic relationship.This term derives from the legend of Asclepius, a Greek doctor who in recognition of his own wounds established a sanctuary at Epidaurus where others could be healed of theirs.

Those seeking to be cured went through a process called incubation. First they had a cleansing bath, thought to have a purifying effect on the soul as well as the body. Uncontaminated by the body, the soul was free to commune with the gods. After preliminary sacrificial offerings, the incubants lay on a couch and went to sleep. If they were lucky, they had a healing dream; if they were luckier, a snake came in the night and bit them.

The wounded healer archetype can be schematized by a variation of the diagram used by Jung to illustrate the lines of communication in a relationship.[See “The Psychology of the Transference,” The Practice of Psychother-apy, CW 16, par. 422.

The drawing shows six double-headed arrows, indicating that communication can move in either direction-twelve ways in which information can pass between analyst and analysand.

According to this paradigm, the analyst’s wounds, although presumed to be relatively conscious after a lengthy personal analysis, live a shadowy existence. They can always be reconstellated in particular situations, and especially when working with someone whose wounds are similar. (They are the basis for countertransference reactions in analysis.)

Meanwhile, the wounded analysand’s inner healer is in the shadow but potentially available. The analysand’s wounds activate those of the analyst. The analyst reacts, identifies what is happening and in one way or another, consciously or unconsciously, passes this awareness back to the analysand.

In this model, the unconscious relationship between analyst and analysand is quite as important, in terms of the healing process, as what is consciously communicated. There are two other significant implications:

1) Healing can take place only if the analyst has an ongoing relationship with the unconscious. Otherwise, he or she may identify with the healer archetype, a common form of inflation.

2) Depth psychology is a dangerous profession, since the analyst is forever prone to being infected by the other’s wounds-or having his or her wounds reopened.

No analysis is capable of banishing all unconsciousness for ever. The analyst must go on learning endlessly, and never forget that each new case brings new problems to light and thus gives rise to unconscious assumptions that have never before been constellated. We could say, without too much exaggeration, that a good half of every treatment that probes at all deeply consists in the doctor’s examining himself, for only what he can put right in himself can he hope to put right in the patient. It is no loss, either, if he feels that the patient is hitting him, or even scoring off him: it is his own hurt that gives the measure of his power to heal. This, and nothing else, is the meaning of the Greek myth of the wounded physician. [“Fundamental Questions of Psychotherapy,” ibid. para. 239.]


Unfortunately, the picture of the drawing of the “Transference diagram” from the quote did not appear, but it is readily visible in the link I left above to the online version of Sharp’s Lexicon which is a wonderful resource for Jungian terminology that many analysts use regularly.

The second thing that struck me in your response was about “The Call”; and one’s calling I think is not necessarily; (at least to me); a one-time affair; but more an inner connection to one’s true self that they are “yearning” for. Joseph talks about going where one’s: “Heart and Soul” want to go; and to “follow” that call. And to my way of thinking we as human beings are looking for that thing that gives us authenticity that tells us: “thou art that”. That: “tat tvan asi” that is mentioned in several places Joseph points to of the recognition this is my heart’s calling; this is what I was born to do; or my destiny calling that says: “this is what I was looking for that was missing from living the inauthentic life of the wasteland”. (And when you find it: “You Know”); and there is no guessing or question. And from a lot of the stories and tales that are often recounted: “it may often find you”; and the question I think is more about: “are you ready for it?”; are you paying attention to your path?; and are you listening to your heart that’s leading you forward? Self -doubt often gets in the way as well; when Joseph mentions: “Oh I couldn’t do that – I couldn’t be a writer or whatever it is that catches your attention, and you “refuse the invitation” to go on a journey you feel has major significance for you. That’s denial of your deep inner wish; and it may come back to haunt you in later life that you missed your moment of opportunity. Joseph says: “grab it and don’t be afraid”. So, keep looking if that is what your inner compass is telling you because you are “Following your star”; and don’t let anyone throw you off course or dissuade you of your mission. There are a lot of “virtue managers” out there who may attempt to do so; you know the ones who say that you should live a certain way; and that your way or what you are doing has no value.

Here is the thing I see as the hero path; it’s journey to find your life in all its glory and wealth of possibility and meaning; but it’s a dangerous one too; and you can get lost or fall off or get sidetracked or be challenged as to whether you are serious about following it through till you find it. And one of the secrets as I understand it is all the little things that happen along the way are part of the most important components that compose it’s meaning; and it’s “your meaning”; not someone that tells you have to follow a script or that there is only one way held together in a certain sequence. People lead complex and complicated lives full of all kinds of mistakes; but are you listening to your own insides and what they are telling you is the main question, I think. And yes; we need major help sometimes; but are you up for what’s calling you when you find it; and able to say: a hearty “Yes” to your path no matter where it leads, or whatever disappointments you may encounter when things don’t quite turn out the way you thought. And if you are thrown off your horse can you get back up and remount and continue on; because we know there are going to be hurdles and obstacles and demons and heartache; but we also know that our heart’s desire is worth it. There may be detours, road-stops, or reconfigurations involved as well. You may meet your future wife; you may have kids, you may lose people close to you; you may get fired from whatever job you have at the moment; and the possibilities are endless; but it’s all part of the grand opera of your life; and you may find at your journey’s end that all of this was its’ greatest reward.

Sorry to go on so much; but I have a real problem with “set-in-stone scripts” that tell you there is only one way the hero journey is revealed. And your determination to follow your own path has been such an inspiration to witness. And I hope my jumble of sincere suggestions may be helpful to you. Thank you for sharing your personal journey with me and I wish you much luck in your adventure from here. As a close here is a familiar clip from Bill Moyers: “The Power of Myth” taken from the JC foundation’s YouTube channel that contains dozens of small portions of Joseph’s lectures throughout the years. It’s a fabulous resource for learning about more of Joseph’s insights; and can be accessed by clicking on the foundation logo or link provided within the clip window. “Follow your Bliss”