Monday, September 21, 2009

Carl Jung

I have always been a fan of Carl Jung since I was about 18 and even a more serious fan after I was 21. It was in reading the books of one of his patients: Herman Hesse that I was able to dig my way out of impending suicide after having a falling out with my childhood church and the breakup of my girlfriend who was a member of this church around the same time. These events catapulted me towards suicide at an alarming rate at the time. However, reading "Siddhartha" and then "Narcisus and Goldmund" and then Magister Ludi and the glass bead game" (all by Herman Hesse) took me to a place where I could extricate myself from suicidal thoughts. My time of danger was 1969 until 1971-3.
The birth of my son in 1974 ended all thoughts of suicide ever since because I needed to stay alive to raise him and then my other children.

However, one of the most amazing tools was Carl Jung's concept called the Unconscious. He also had many students which also championed the understanding of the unconscious as a tool to enlightenment on all levels. In some ways this reminded me of Emerson and Thoreau and the transcendentalists of the early 1800s in Jung's approach to the Unconscious and the use of archetypes and symbolism.

However, the one book I just couldn't get myself to read all the way through was "Steppenwolf". When one is flirting with suicide one does not need to be reminded of how close to an animal a man really is.

Through these times my altruism and kindness and gentlemanly behavior won out which caused success in my life in all ways over time. It didn't mean life is easy. If anyone tells you life is easy you know they are a fool right away or have never been completely on their own ever. However, if one can learn to forgive oneself and to always be kind to oneself and others as long as it is safe to do so, life can be VERY good.

Through all this basically I rebuilt myself from ages 21 to 23 in a much better psychological form than I had been in to begin with. I designed myself to be a successful survivor from the 1970s onward. And I am happy with the simple elegant design that saved my life and made me prosperous in all ways.

note: at the top of this page is an interesting article about a book never published by Carl Jung and others that is being released from a Swiss Vault recently. Interesting story.

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