Know Yourself

Edward Edinger:

History and anthropology teach us that human society cannot long survive unless its members are psychologically contained in a central living myth, such myth provides the individual with a reason for being.

How true, in my experience, is that; without being psychologically contained in a central living myth, we fail to find a reason for being. We amble through life finding, or looking for something else so help us feel that inner belonging we so desperately need.

We may think we have found happiness but often it is a poor substitute for real happiness. Often it is a substitute that has come from outside of ourselves. We find a happiness that requires continual feeding, it may be happiness through possessions, work, social life, or even family; and none of these are bad within themselves if kept in right proportion, but none really bring true happiness for if possessions are removed, work ceases, friends move away or family die, we are left with a gaping hole within; with a dread for being, because our happiness was built on finite things and beings as opposed to the infinite.

Religion has always taken a central role in the lives of many, it has always been a psychologically contained living myth providing individuals with a reason for being. But what is a myth?

 
One dictionary states that a myth is:

  • A traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature
  • Any invented story, idea, or concept
  • An imaginary or fictitious thing or person
  • An unproved or false collective belief that is used to justify a social institution

I believe that Religion IS a myth, I actually believe Edinger; that Religion is nothing more than a psychologically contained central living myth which some-what provides the individual with a reason for being.

But how sad is that? Our reason for being is based on a psychological myth, a story; and because we are all individuals with our own frame of reference with our own personal construct of the world, doesn’t it make sense that we will all construe the myth differently? Just as if we all stood at different sides of a building, will we all see a different side to the same building and therefore report a different angle on the same building, yet it will be the same building, the same story. Is there any wonder why Religion has brought so much contention, so much dis-harmony; ironically a myth that is supposed to bring harmony, peace and hope, has brought quite the opposite in many.

Many people have been so psychologically contained in their myth that they have opted to die for their myth rather than renounce it, imagine, faithful believers of the myth (religion) have been hung drawn and quartered, that is hung by a rope, cut open from neck to hips whilst still alive and once dead, their bodies have been chopped into four pieces with the pieces being left around the town as a warning to others not to believe in the myth. Phenomenal.

A myth that causes so many to be psychologically contained within it whilst many who are against the myth are ready and willing to cause such barbaric actions to those who do believe in the myth, those who are contained in it! A slight warping of the image of God!

Others have been literally ripped apart for their belief in the myth. Their limbs have been tied onto horses and the riders simply ride off in different directions and so forth dislocating the believers body prior to it being ripped apart. Imagine!

How important is our myth, our Religion to us? How important is your myth to you? Would you be willing to be hung, drawn and quartered for it? Would you be willing to be tied to horses and ripped apart for your psychological belief in your myth, your Religion? And why do some choose to believe the myth whilst others oppose it with such extreme reactions?

C.G. Jung – a Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist who is, the true father of Analytical Psychology; otherwise known as Jungian Psychology or Jungian Analysis, considered the human mind, or the human psyche as:

By Nature Religious

Jung claimed that the Self, which he also called the image of God, is inside our minds and that we are able to dialogue with Self.

So if this is right, why do we not have such a deep and meaningful relationship or continual dialogue with God? why do the majority of Christians still fail to resist the temptation of their sin?

Two things (of many) that I have learnt from Jungian Psychology is that it can help us to know ourselves, it can help us to overcome our complexes and it can help us to be a better and happier person. I have also learnt from Jungian Psychology that it will also lead us from believing in our myth, from believing in our Religion, from living a psychological myth, to knowing the Self and knowing God; and when I use the term God, I use it loosely, you may call that Divine Source something else, it may represent a HeShe or even an It for you and that is fine. When we can move from believing in, to knowing of, we can move out of the psychological realm of myth and into the spiritual realm of knowing. But where is this spiritual realm? And how do we access it? We first have to pass through the psychological realm, into the realms of the unconscious, it is there that one will meet God.

Do I believe in God? NO – I don’t need to believe in God because I know God. What is the difference between believing and knowing? Believing is based on a set of principles, or rules, believing is based on what someone else has convinced you of, whether true or false, beliefs can be changed and often do change as one grows within themselves and discovers new information. Knowing God cannot be changed for it is based on experience and truth.

The best way to experience God is to truly realise and embody the idea that God really does live within you, if He doesn’t, the Bible truly is wrong and may as well stay just as a myth.

If we want to truly embody the idea that God is within, we need to look at where, where is God inside of me? Where do I find Him? And to answer those questions, we need to look away from myth and look to science or psychology for our understanding.

The human psyche, (pronounced:sigh-key as one word) refers to our mind, our consciousness and unconsciousness, according to Jungian psychology, it is composed of three parts:

  • The Conscious
  • The Personal or Individual Unconscious – Subjective Psyche and
  • The Collective Unconscious – Objective Psyche

The conscious aspect of the psyche often known as ego, is what many people consider being the psyche, or total personality, but this is far from the truth, this is purely aspects of ourselves that we have permitted to remain conscious.

The psyche has an unconscious aspect which is not under control of the ego-consciousness. In the personal unconscious we will find all the information and experiences that we have ever received whether good or bad, whether we accepted or liked the information or not; this information is stored in our personal storehouse because it did not remain in our consciousness for what-ever reason.

The collective psyche, or the collective unconscious, the objective unconscious is said to store all the information, myths, stories, archetypes, symbols etc that have been inherited from all human beings since the beginning of time. This is what permits us to dream dreams that seem so real and are full of symbolic meanings, if you have ever dreamt of something symbolic and discovered later that that symbol is a real symbol and has a meaning, this is where the dream came from and is often a dream to show you something you need to know at that moment.

To view it from a christian perspective, we only have to search the bible to find incidences where people have dreamt dreams full of symbols with deep symbolic meaning.

Dream analysis is often seen as a New Age Thing to be avoided, but the reality is, dreams have been around much longer than New Age and dreams can be from God and full of symbolic meaning that relates to us personally; and given the time to find its interpretation, one would find advice and / or guidance for our life or way of being. In our desperate bid to please God, we often throw away all the help He has graciously given us in fear of it being of the devil! If we KNOW God rather than believed in God, this truly wouldn’t be an issue.

When we see, what we can call universal symbols or myths, symbols or myths that are not unique to us personally, then we can know that these have come from the collective unconscious which is an aspect of God. Knowing God moves one out of the realms of fear and trepidation and into the realms of trust, light and understanding. An example could be you dreaming of a Hero from a fairy-tale, the message could be to do with you either being a hero or needing to embody some of the characters of the hero. If your dream showed symbols that were pertinent to you, such as a picture of your deceased mothers wedding ring, then you can assume that that has come from your personal unconscious, but none-the-less, holds a personal message for you.

If we truly want to grow and evolve, if we truly want to know and embrace God we have to truly want to step out of our heads and thoughts and into the realms of our own unconscious. God gave us these aspects of our being, not that we may be terrified of them, but that we may be willing to embrace what they hold and permit the contents to change us, evolve us and grow us through the embodiment of our whole being.

When we can bring what is in the unconscious into the realms of consciousness, we will be able to embrace all the good things and transform the bad or negative into lessons and times of personal growth. Just as gems and crystals are hidden in the depths of perceived darkness, so too are our gems and crystals hidden in our depths of perceived darkness; but one thing we need to remember as we embark on our inner journey to knowing God, is that once we see the gems or the crystals, they are no longer in the dark, for seeing brings light, and light brings knowledge and wisdom. No-one ever discovered the meaning of a story whilst keeping the book hidden in the bowels of the wardrobe or keeping it closed, in order to know the story the book had to be opened. If we look back at some of our childhood stories we will see that they too, were, and perhaps still are, sending us the message that in order to find another world, a world other than the mundane physical world, one truly does have to step into and through the darkness, the darkness of our own mind.

The more conscious we become of ourselves, the more conscious we become of our surroundings, which includes others. When we can realise our full potential in God and work towards that, we can realise the full potential of God in others.

One thing I would suggest is to take a personality test and save the results so that you can re-read what it says about you and remind yourself on the things that could be improved upon. Here is Jung’s Personality Test and here is another Personality Test which uses the same combinations but gives you a much more in-depth explanation of your personality. They only take a couple of minutes to complete and they are free and you don’t have to sign up to anything and in case you are wondering, I am an INFJ; however, personality tests are not here to label us or put us in a tidy little box, personality tests are here to use as a tool to help us to better understand ourselves, and in time understand others.

When we are conscious of who we are, we will empower ourselves to be more conscious of who and what others are. When we can understand others as ourselves, we can more fully embrace the fruits of the Spirit; grace, kindness, forgiveness, compassion, empathy; when we can embrace such fruits we often become less irritated with others, realising the sameness within; realising that we are all made of the same stuff and born of the same Spirit.

The more we delve into our personal unconscious in order to heal and integrate aspects of our unconscious and integrate what was fragmented pieces back into the conscious self, the more we become like SELF.

A powerful saying that we all should be able to say is this:

 

To know me, is to KNOW God

Always Walk in Peace – Kenzo