DEPTH PSYCHOLOGY: IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL
The Concept isn’t Real Life
When Jungians fall out they are not helped by their concept of "Shadow". The reason for this is that they blame the person they are arguing with for shadow projection and then the person they are arguing with says "No! You are the one who is shadow projecting!" Moreover I have seen this played at on the International Association of Jungian Studies (IAJS) discussion list a few years ago. I dare not name names but I could do because this did happen... one Jungian (who has written several books on Jungian psychology and is close to the Classical School of Jungian Psychology and the Archetypal School) hurled a torrent of abuse at a scholar who has written books about Jungian psychology but isn't himself a Jungian. The Jungian accused him of being like a wolf or fox who goes up to a lamb and bites the lambs limbs off, blood everywhere and then apologises but we know fine well that the wolf will be back for more. (I cannot reference this for obvious reasons). Moreover Jung once pushed Jolande Jacobi, down a flight of stairs.1 Hence that doesn't bold well for any therapeutic potential in Jungian theory given that could have resulted in a life sentence in prison for Carl Jung had she died. Would it really have helped if Jung had said "Sorry Jolande, that was just my shadow projection"? Astonishingly it may have done because Jacobi was so immersed in Jungian psychology. Little wonder that Hillman saw through this utter nonsense and realised that it’s the image that these almost meaningless concepts refer to that counts. That's where reality is. I do use the term “shadow” but now I see that what I have written is only of intellectual descriptive value… not as in any way valuable concerning conscious psychological fantasy reality.
Note: Nor is reality in the object!
Consciously Aware Psychological Fantasy
The technique to prevent literalization is to use your imagination and to be psychologically consciously aware. BUT this consciously aware identification will inevitably drift into unconscious identification. You can't just unreflectively stay with it no matter how imaginative it is. You can identify with anything. More than that you WILL identify with everything including the most imaginative of things. This will result in control of others. Identification and control go together. Hence you must come back at it. You must be your own critic. Your identity isn't a maths question that's right or wrong. But it will harden, it will concretize, it will literalize if you just freeze it or allow it to go stale. Hence, come back at yourself for renewal. And do so again and again forever. Your identity must change again and again. It’s not like a Maths question whereby the outside world can verify that 9 + 9 does 'not' = 26. It’s not like a Maths question where the outside world 'can' verify that 7 + 4 'does' = 11. Indeed the outside world cannot verify your imagination. You maybe experiencing 'unconscious identification' and suffering from complexes as a result. Yet despite this, your identity may sound very imaginative and healthy to the outside world. Hence the outside world may get it wrong. But inside you, you will know that there's a problem. Your imagination and therefore its identity has rotted, become stale. It’s literalized and is potentially going to be used to control others. Hence your psyche is in desperate need of renewal. But then what is our consciously aware psychological fantasy identity? If our mind is a swirl of thought and feeling that is separate from objects we can make anything our fantasy. Part of the problem of life is not only our control of others but the lack of freedom we experience due to others literalizations/identifications and thus control over us. Thus (if we let them) they deny us our psychological liberty just as our literalizations/identifications and control deny them their psychological liberty. So Jungians will get absolutely no where if they unconsciously hide behind power, concepts, outer objects, ideology, biology, anthropology, literature, the real world. For example the last of those is just a projection. We see outwards so it becomes literalized and hardened and concretized... making it an opponent to my psychology. If we see it as fantasy reality (and are consciously aware of it) then that's a good thing. But it REALLY must be seen as that and not fake… not seen as that for power and control. Because if it’s fake then it’s just another unconscious literalization, hardened, concretized, controlling over self and others. So in order to be healthy we need to be constantly aware of this.
YOUR IDENTIFICATION: The important thing is NOT the content of the fantasy. The important thing is whether the fantasy is conscious or unconscious? If it’s unconscious it’s literalized. If it’s conscious it’s de-literalized. This makes it sound easier but it’s not. The reason why this doesn’t make things easy is because the healthy feel-good fantasy is attractive to you, it hardens, it concretizes, it literalizes, you identify with it then its controlling over you and others. And this identifying and literalizing will happen. Hence if we cannot dissociate ourselves others will do it for us. Thus we experience forced involuntary painful renewal instead of voluntary renewal. The implication of this is that our consciously aware psychological fantasy identity must not feel too good.
OTHERS IDENTIFICATION PROJECTED ONTO YOU: Be consciously aware that the other cannot be allowed to project his or her thoughts onto you. No two minds are identical. Their psychological fantasies are likely to be psychological unconscious literalized fantasies. So when they verbalize anything you should consider it to be their swirl of unconscious thoughts and feelings that have been projected onto a dogma, an object, a nation, the outer world, a situation, and so forth. If someone deliberately projects onto you, manipulates you etc … then that’s their problem. It cannot work if you take all of psychological life to be psychological fantasy. You will have your fantasy psychology too. However you will be conscious that yours is just fantasy psychology hence projection and acting out will be regarded by you as the psychology of the unaware/unconscious person.
The Neurotic External World
The external world mustn't be able to dictate how you live your life. After-all the external world is a complete mess due to shadow projection, always has been and always will be. The individuals whose total = the collective... are unconscious of the simple fact that their psychology and the object are not one and the same thing. Yet their identification with the object is the very mistake that gets the painful ‘Complex Psychology” ball rolling. True, the same Complex Psychology exists for introverts. However there’s a crucial difference… the introvert has greater potential to realise this (even if that’s so often unrealized potential). And also the answer, if it is to be realized, is discovered in the inner world of Unconscious hardened literalizations/identifications, unconscious control and so forth.
Reminder about the basics of Complex Psychology
The ego image equates to all of our unconscious or conscious identifications. Then the contradictions to these identifications establish repressed complexes in our unconscious. Those complexes are projected out onto others (thus psychosocially unhealthy). Those others trigger the complexes and dissociate the psyche. So that is why I dislike the dominant ego and shadow psychology. Ego and Shadow psychology is dominant because moderns like to think in such a way that means they take sides and they have to be 'right'. Thus its psychological violence.
Example from Outer World: Culture/War: Someone asked me how culture can be literalized? (I only gave culture as a one example out of five, but it was the one he picked up on). We see that it’s a good example in the sense that it concretizes/hardens in the psyche, the contradictory complex goes into the unconscious and outs as a shadow projection onto the other cultural side if ever a war came about. The alternative would be to believe that everyone coincidentally comes to the conclusion that their side is right. Hence it’s just another unconscious one-sided/literalized ego image identification.
Some introverts may help as friends/other introverts will not help
Is there any benefit to mixing primarily with introverts? Firstly we need to consider that your introverted friend would have a mind with his or her own swirling thoughts and feelings. You would have yours. The fact that (s)he’s an introvert doesn’t make you one and the same person. However I am wondering if there could be helpfulness obtained from the friend to you and from you to your friend? (i.e., that wouldn’t occur with an extroverted friend)? Extroverts project everything out and do not realise that they have done that because their mind is caught by the outer object despite the fact that the object is not reality in itself, you are just confusing it with your psychology. However introverts too unconsciously identify and literalize and project etc. Hence it depends on whether the introvert is relatively psychologically conscious or unconscious of the distinction between their psychology and everything else.
1. Waddy, V, The Ins and Outs of Living with Jung: http://jungatlanta.com/articles/summer08-living-with-jung.pdf (JungAtlanta.com)