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Reply To: At the Party: My Selves and Sundries,” with author Kristina Dryža”


Kristina, so wonderful to have you back. Your deep dive into aspects of our relationships; (social as well as personal); concerning the ritual of a party that everyone has been discussing leads me to a couple of questions that have deep resonance with me lately and I think may offer some added seasoning as we are exploring our inner world. The “Shadow” is one, Eros as related to our inner drive concerning the idea of fate/destiny and also its’ possible connection to the way we see ourselves as you mentioned concerning the understanding surrounding “therapy”, is two; and three is the curious one: “synchronicity” or things that pop up out of nowhere as if a message sent by “The God’s”; that either wreck-havoc or provide illumination of some sort. (I’ll try to explain this odd mixture concerning our individuation process and hopefully you might be able to provide some helpful insights.)

We know that from a Jungian perspective the Shadow is a dimension of ourselves, not just something evil or destructive thing but may also contain great undiscovered potential if understood and realized properly. (So possibly as a messenger that connects us with our inner drive to express itself or put another way the combination of the “self” as ego and the “S”elf as archetype and regulator of the entire psyche); whether through our goals, our relationships, our identity related pursuits, our desire to understand our existence within the world around us; and that often some element or situation and will intervene in our path out of nowhere to either inform, transform or cause mischief or even worse tear through what we’ve been doing leaving us baffled to reconstruct a new path forward. (Please forgive the ragged attempt here for I know this may be confusing, but I’m trying to hold this explanation together so that it makes sense; so please bear with me.)

Now one school of thought is that this “phenomenon”; for lack of a better word; is actually a (manifestation) of one’s inner wish and that we have been pulled off track; and this “trickster” element; (again for lack of a better term); appears to in a way re-direct us. (Sounds confusing, I know.) But this out-of-nowhere force could also be seen as “Cupids Arrow”, as “fate” telling you to take another path and start all over again, or it could be a “Power Drive” awakened or destroyed; or any number of other things that interrupt where one is headed, whether by intent or by not being aware of what our heart may be telling us. A clue might be “Adler’s drive to power” that Joseph mentioned as opposed to the unaddressed life wish or even romance. (Stay with me.)

So we have the introvert/extrovert expressions of the psyche which in later life may switch sides because career goals may have been attained and now, we have what Joseph called: “disposable Libido” or (psychic energy); that Joseph says needs a place to go; (and where is that but down into the unconscious stirring up all those unaddressed issues that have been laying dormant ready to be awakened and either cause trouble or inspire new life. Perhaps “enantiodromia”, but not sure how much of this concept applies.

(Still with me?) So now we get to “synchronicity”; or what we might call meaningful coincidental moments of chance; where something comes out of nowhere as a sign, signal, message or notice to get your attention. (And yes, I can provide an example of something that happened recently if needed; but that would further confuse my humble explanation which is already top-heavy as it is.)

Now we get to “divination”; which in Jungian themes could be the psyche’s attempt; (like the migration call or summons of animals to go where they are supposed to); as if a message from a mystical realm that tells them this is what I should do. Some might call this fate or destiny or something else entirely. But we know that things like Dream tending, tarot cards, I-Ching coins or sticks, as some examples or forms of divination are helpful to many people who feel they would like additional helpmates to discover if they are headed in the right direction; (whatever that thing is that feels right for them, or is missing, or again in Jungian terms: “intuition”; this would be one of Jungs’ 4 functions: thinking, feeling, sensation, intuition).

We get “lost” in the world of masks; and Joseph mentioned in Diane Osbon’s book: “Reflections in the Art of Living – A Joseph Campbell Companion”; as I think Stephen was referring to – that one way of: “not being on track or to get sidetracked is to go to a cocktail party”; which I would interpret as getting side-tracked off one’s Bliss Path. But Joseph often used metaphors in a number of different ways. So, my point is that in this tremendously complex world we are trying to navigate we need all the devices we can get at our disposal; whether by having our astrology chart read, or having a tarot reading, throwing the I-Ching, or following “synchronistic” clues as I just mentioned. Because we live in two worlds of the inner and the outer, and we must learn to reconcile them together. Jung was hugely interested in the occult, and indeed (Jungs’ sidekick, as it were): Marie Louise Von Franz; has written extensively on this topic in her book: “On Divination and Synchronicity”; and I’m hoping you may have some interesting insights to offer on my clumsy patchwork inquiry. Sorry my attempt at this really is such a mess, but I’ve been trying to figure out how to put this into words for days now ever since your essay first posted.

Again, so very glad to have you back among us with your warm and caring spirit; And that the Sun may someday again shine to heal the darkness those around you are enduring in Ukraine. Namaste

As a quick addendum reference concerning Joseph’s interpretation and ideas of Jung’s thoughts and his own applications these can be found in more exacting detail in Audio Lecture II.6.I – “Modern Myths of Quest”. This lecture has been especially helpful in breaking down Jungian themes and marrying them with Joseph’s ideas because he states much of his thought somewhat differently than in his other Jungian lectures.