Robert Johnson: Balancing Heaven and Earth: A Memoir of Visions, Dreams, and Realizations

by Stephen Parker, Ph.D (Article Selection and Commentary) on July 22, 2014


A well-written autobiography that captures a life well-lived, in a Jungian way:


From a review by Stephen Morrisey:

Robert Johnson’s Balancing Heaven and Earth is a memoir and celebration of the inner life, the world of dreams, active imagination, and mystical vision. Johnson writes, “I sometimes wonder if all suffering is a vision of God too great to bear.” It is suffering that led Johnson to the inner life. As a result of a car accident at age eleven Johnson’s leg had to be amputated below the knee. The injury was further complicated with gangrene and a second operation; this health crisis resulted in a near-death experience in which Johnson had a “vision of the glory of paradise.” A second mystical experience at age sixteen, returned Johnson to what he called the “Golden World.” These early mystical experiences brought Johnson to the dilemma that has preoccupied much of his life and is the concern of this memoir: Johnson asks, “How does one continue to live on the face of the earth when he or she is blinded and spoiled for anything else?”


Other books by Robert Johnson:

She: Understanding Feminine Psychology
He: Understanding Masculine Psychology (Perennial Library) by
We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love
Inner Gold: Understanding Psychological Projection
Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche
Balancing Heaven and Earth: A Memoir of Visions, Dreams, and Realizations
The Fisher King and the Handless Maiden: Understanding the Wounded Feeling Function in Masculine and Feminine…
Transformation: Understanding the Three Levels of Masculine Consciousness
Lying with the Heavenly Woman: Understanding and Integrating the Feminine Archetypes in Men’s Lives


Question: “How Do I Apply Jungian Concepts to the Mideast Conflict?”

by Stephen Parker, Ph.D (Article Selection and Commentary) on July 21, 2014


[These were the responses to ""How do I apply Jungian concepts to the Mideast Conflict?" on Facebook on July 20, 2014:]

VR: Apply love, not concepts.

JM: I believe the practice of compassion is helpful. Breathing in the pain and and suffering, breathing out healing golden light

JH: The projection of the shadow on to the other side….
Jung on the Shadow: The Iron Curtain
“It is the face of our own shadow that glowers at us across the Iron Curtain.” T… See More

CH: An adherence to an idea of right/ wrong concepts and a lack of integration of Other as in the understanding of difference appears to be one of the deeper missing aspects in this/ all conflicts.

Work done on the (in this case collective, but mostly individual) symbolic level thus seems to be what is missing throughout conflictual areas. I guess this is what could be understood by a word such as ‘concept’

It feels to me to be completely out of tune with the reality of this situation and other conflictual crises, to say that ‘love’ is the cure.

Love IS (I feel tempted to write ‘of course’) the cure, but access to that love (and compassion) seems to currently be prohibited and is thus the first step to investigate, to get ‘access’ to.

How this ‘access-point’, on an individual, but in this case primarily collective level is connected to in such a way that many of us would be able to participate, would be of great interest for me to explore in such a way that not only the Palestinians and the Israelis are able to take responsibility, but the rest of us too.

DS: Projection as a “concept” is all very interesting. And in Psychological terms plays a part in the ascribing of blame from one to the other. But in a situation where one side is a technologically advanced and militarily superior adversary, committing or intending to commit genocide on children and unarmed civilians. I think we need to look at that situation through a different kind of lens? A deeper lasting peace might well involve such rarefied accords be sought. But at the moment I think the world needs to wake up and call murder what is it.

HH: Herman Both sides think they are right. Both sides are wrong in the sense of applied barbarianism, i.e. the denial of the shadow and the projection of their own shadow unto the other. Both sides belong to the one family of mankind where there are no sides, but do not realize that and they only see their own evil on the other side the border. It will take a long, dark path to coalesce two sides into that unified third choice and it will come from much pain.

KT: If I have no sense of self, I can violate others without compunction.

DS: Agreed Hunter, but such a level of understanding is completely unavailable at this point isn’t it? The blindness which afflicts both sides is the product of thousands of years of accusation and counter accusation. This conflict is only going to lead to a conclusion which is too frightening to contemplate. The West needs to find some courage of their own convictions and take decisive action to halt this madness, before we are all pulled in to a nightmare. A consideration which as I type sounds like just another “not in my backyard” escape which is so characteristic of the world we are increasingly the victims of.

David Smith: Maybe handing over our deepest contact with reality to an authority in the sky, is in no small part an explanation for that Kelly?

JP: To mythologize the conflicts that are escalating all over the world, not just the Middle East, we might say that the world soul is being broken open so that the Gods can be released from their deep repression–Mars and his blood rage, the Morganna, Huitzilopochtli, Ogoun–it is in the vales that soul is made, not in the airy peaks. War is a part of humanity if we look to the mythologies. The question is how can we psychologize this–can we see it as shadow that must be reclaimed? Do we look at it as part of a dualist mind set? Do we consider ti as evil which cannot be stamped out because it is part of the dualism of the major religious backdrops in the various areas? It seems that mythology also offers us some solutions–balance, not stamping out, not denial, not onesidedness…

HH: Yes. It’s like we’ve been bred (as humans) for thousands of years to deny the inner Self and fuel hatred. It’s like willingness to jump on the treadwheel of karma over and over again because it is easier to follow one’s base instincts instead of doing the inner work.

DS: I think doing the inner work doesn’t happen in a vacuum. There are forces shaping our world which are about the control of human freedom and our right to individuality. Done with the full oversight of oligarchic individuals bent on suppression. The conflict in the Middle East is one aspect of this. But for me, only represents a much wider crisis of perception within human culture. We are so taken with our technological wizardry, that we have ignored the core empathy of the human being. Without this, we are like destructive children with our finger poised on the button of Armageddon. This is a symptom of a much deeper disease, that of external control and the abdication of personal accountability those with power maintain through bread and circuses.

HH: It’s me, but 50 years ago, we as humans seemed to do almost anything to prevent a world war. Although perpetual skirmishes have fueled America’s economy though her history. But now, we seem to be willing, even egging on “opponents” to engage a massive war. Are we trying to decrease our population? Do we act as viruses consuming everything in site until there is nothing left and not evolving to a self sustaining environment? It’s as if we want to bomb ourselves back into the stone age. Does growth only come through trauma and pain?

CH: It seems to me that all of us could do one thing, which is to look into each our own selves each time conflicts come to our attention.

To attend to the strong feelings of repulsion, horror, dread etc. that each of us feel whenever confronted with news of this nature.

In this way each of us will work (take responsibility for) with what would be our unconscious projections of the shadow onto either side(-s) of a conflict, on an individual level, thus (perhaps) helping a move of the collective unconscious too?

KT: I do believe my part is to deeply attend to and do the work of consciousness in myself. We must all ultimately come to this.

LB:It’s also arises from the overlap of evolution described in Ken Wilber’s spiral dynamics-the levels of human evolution from tribal/magic thinking though to material technological hubris-a very dangerous and toxic cocktail as evidenced by Afghanistan, Russia/Ukraine, Iran and elsewhere.

KT: It seems truly insane to engage in conflict with each other. Just insane. There is a collective trance, a hypnotism. Where does that come from? The trance of duality. The appearance of duality which is false.

DS: I suppose whether we see the conflict through a Jungian lens, or through a strictly human emotional precept. The same process is in play. It is the “other” who is to blame. We the Muslim/Jew are blameless and the true servants of “God”. Once this dogma has replaced reason as the primary vehicle of analysis, what will transpire, will be, has become the projection of culpability from one to the other and back again. It is a failure to own responsibility, at the deepest level, for the creation of misery and suffering.

Substituting that rational appraisal, with a confirmation bias of the others “evil status”. Jung describes it as the “Shadow” but more ubiquitously, it is the tendency human being have to see no blame in their own creation of the others misery. From oligarchs to Patriarchs, this is what I see. A substitution of basic human awareness and empathy for the legitimisations of power whether that be economic and political abdication or theological dogma providing a chosen and the dammed narrative.

KT: Thompson It’s time for this narrative to come to an end. I deeply sense that.

DL: How could you NOT apply them? To me, an aspect is that is as simple as the most vicious group with the newest armament and the most powerful support from the outside is going to do what they choose. The choice being made is not particularly wise or sophisticated. The consequences come next…

DS: I totally agree Kelly. But what I fear is the Messianic nihilism which underpins both sides. If sense does not prevail, and those with the power to do so, do nothing to intervene in this insanity, we will all continue to suffer, as the spectators to genocide who do not act always suffer, with the moral shame of that abdication.

TE: Because of our propensity to cast-off our shadow unto others, groups tend to demonize the “other” who are not part of the in-group, and since they are then the “other” they are somehow evil and must be destroyed before they destroy us.

CL: 6 million jews lost their homes; the United States found them a home that would protect their interest re oil as a resource. Religious war? Those of you who know tell me. I do not even know if what I just wrote has legs; just feelings and those of you who know me understand I live there a lot. The world continues to watch as it did over 50 years ago. Pretense, Power, Money, Greed… Somehow Hitler’s Regime found it’s way into the hearts of all of us on one level or another. Time heals all wounds. I don’t think so. Change, compassion, surrender, and care heal wounds; and some though healed, are easily re-opened. .

JS Unfortunately, because of its emphasis on “the union of opposites” and the “projection of the Shadow”–both valid concepts properly applied–Jungian psychology is apt to and repeatedly has been used to impose an artificial moral equivalence on many conflicts. In this of course it is nbt being original, as the proponents of this misuse thinking themselves original have simply followed the common, collective impulse to appeasement and easy solutions. Naturally there exists a comparable collective impulse to identify with one’s mob, but the “tertium quid” in affairs of the world is very often simply the “tertium non datur”.

AM: I think a huge influence on my perspective on this issue came after I read the book, and saw the film The Chosen.. because the old Rabbi who lead his people to the US of A, did not believe in establishing a literal “home land”. “Messiah is within!” he would say.. but once it had been established he supported it. When I look at the situation I see the leaders in Israel treating the Palestinians like they, the Jews, were treated by Hitler and his followers. It is so obvious it boggles the mind that the International community hasn’t stopped the madness .. Many Native American’s identify with the Palestinians.. and for good reason.

KT: The shadow must never be dismissed as merely evil or demonic, for it contains natural, life-giving, underdeveloped positive potentialities too.” I would hazard to guess that, because we have not reaped the positive potentialities of this collective shadow, nothing whatsoever has changed.

KT:I LOVE that rabbi! The messiah is within. Israel is not on this earth but a state of consciousness!

CL: What is not acknowledged continues to be projected; and we remain foreigners was we walk upon the “heartland” of our brothers and sisters.

JD: it is all clear – it is just a religion in its own doubt, and the two poles do the work that is needed – because none of the poles know their position; they undermine the self – without knowing;that. It is really close to what Jung also said: Show me a sane man and Iwill cure him for you. But still; the west – the hebrew-chatolic aspect on life is still more ignorant. So first we need to do our homework

KT: Yes Is it possible?mistakenly establishing an external homeland appealed to and seduced the shadow side of the Jewish people. When I project my birthright to be in literal terms then I rely on myself to wrest it from a world that “owes” me, rather than realizing my true nature and thus, homeland.

MC: ITS NOT JUNG etc -ITS DARWIN -its man loves to competes craves excitement war violence —ITS SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

DS: I think this, perhaps is where changing the frame of the term “shadow” can help. If we describe the emotional contents of the shadow as the collective history of unresolved emotional material, the approach can also move to one of possible resolution in this light. If both sides can be validated, and in this their sense of injustice also heard and then integrated, perhaps the need to transfer in an endless cycle of projection may also be ameliorated in that process also.

Both sides have histories of legitimate pain and trauma to be heard. And as Kelly says, the positive aspects of the shadow are too persistent to be overlooked. So in this honest admission of the relevant emotional contents, there is perhaps a chance to examine that which is painful, and resolve that emotional expression, without the need to dam the shadow so to speak.

Anger is often a legitimate expression of hurt isn’t it? And in order to integrate the suffering and pain those quite natural feelings must be validated in order that a process of integration be at all possible. By negating the sense of anger both sides feel, there will be no possibility of resolution of any kind. As we see from the relentlessly trenchant positions taken up on both sides.

BF: @ AM: I have been thinking the same over the past few weeks! It’s the mistaken literalism of being “god’s chosen” that leads so many into dangerous manifestations. Accepting that we are darkness as well as light, that it’s all one and the same, lends itself to being compassionate. When I used to contemplate the god of the Bible, I used to think about Satan and where he came from. This dark energy also came from god, as well as all the light energy. There was no way in my mind to see god as apart from this darkness…Being all part of one body why would we wreak havoc on ourselves – Why would a person shoot off his or her own foot?

CL: Anger itself, in my opinion, serves the highest purpose when moved towards change; when it is held against what it perceives as a polar opposite, it is nothing more than static, nothing more than a road to nowhere until it explodes itself; implodes upon the container and either dissolves or transforms itself into either surrender, forgiveness; or sprouts from the battlefield of hatred into the realm of creative genius. I don’t know what I said; again, intuitive responses to historical situations I know not enough about. Sheltered life re: politics.

CN:: oerhaps, BF, the person shoots his own foot to find his ticket Home, the true Home within. It may be quite a feeling of disappointment, after centuries of suffering for God, to realize the Promised Land is only a piece of real estate.

One might say this teapot has been brewing since the Balfour Declaration of 1917. May we unite the opposites and transcend Darwin.

HH: On the other hand, it is economically sound to fuel both sides of a conflict. From an American perspective or even a UN perspective, it just makes good business sense to see, feed this and any other conflict. The longer the term the better. Making bombs and rockets is a mantra for jobs in our state. Jobs equals more taxes etc. From a spiritual point, it is insane, but we are a society of short term thinkers that want a good bottom line at the end of each month, and we are not concerned with humanity, long term plans or the existence of our planet.

CL: Being more of a poet, than a historian, I say it might be interesting to use texting in the same manner as lip service re: the war in the middle east. It’s as if cell phones and stating we must use hand-held devices, (peace talks) while allowing texting (some one tell me what that my represent) which is killing even more of us, is truly an example of not wanting change; just gives the appearance of change. Result is same; death, dismemberment, mayhem on our highways. Same with legalizing M.J. Let’s kill them on the roads, lets fry the brains and dulll the senses of our yourth and wonder why in 50 years we’ll be speaking English as a second language. I think I have to quit. My mind works differently – connects differently – so bye for now.

DS: I think maybe rather than transcending Darwin, we should be transcending Yahweh perhaps? The rational understanding of how human beings actually evolve is not the enemy. The mystification of that process with arcane dogma perhaps is? We are animals this much is certain. We are full of contradictions this is also true. But with reason and the empathy which can grow from the clear understanding of how human beings can individuate as the result of good enough attachments and nurturing could in some ways be the greatest legacy Darwin has bequeathed to us.

The old notions of “Darwinian survival of the fittest have surely by now, or at least are starting to give way to the recognition of how the environment shapes our genetics. The implications of which are enormous aren’t they? If we are epigenetically defined by the contexts of our growth, then all the hierarchy of need and the associated developmental opportunities and possible deficits become apparent. A clear understanding of how we are shaped by this relational exchange, may allow the dogma and mystification to become obsolete. To be replaced by a commitment to the understanding that the “shadow” may not be an inevitable aspect of human life, if needs and relationship meet basic requirements of socialisation and emotional stability. How much more creative is the possibility for the human race which not only recognises these developmental realities, but whose society and culture embraces them to create environments which are congruent with human needs for attaining the very empathic depth and richness denied us for two thousand odd years of fanaticism and superstitious ignorance of the actual character of human actualisation.

GG: Step back for a moment and breathe. Take a look at the “longbody” of the patterns of the arena; the cycles, the spirals, the waves. And this too will pass to another and another. And concepts will not alleviate the human suffering that is happening now. Open your hearts to compassion in meditation, prayer, metta practice, tonglen, or the practice of your choice for the pain and suffering and a resolution to the conflict. The effects are exponential….”where two or more are gathered…..”

HH: It is a hard thing to swallow: Love you enemy as yourself. Your Self is an enemy of yourself and with God, but it can be transcended and integrated if we volitionally forgive. If…

BF: This may seem insane, but I think our world, as a collective, is really trying more than ever to integrate all it’s parts. It’s a struggle and some parts that stand in the way have to die/transform. I thought what happened with Hitler and the Jewish persecution had taught us all something about ourselves, but genocide continues. Maybe we’re only one rung up on the spiral – Like for me personally… after all the personal work I’ve done inside myself in regard to my family of origin, then here comes those family shit dreams again. Oh, no! Over-running toilets, and crap everywhere! If I struggle in change/perspective/growth, then it would explain why the world struggles too.

DO: The archetypal basis for the conflict seems to me to be related to a radical and ancient fundamentalism, that of blood sacrifice of the child to appease Moloch. Both sides are back to killing young children in the name of ‘collateral damage’ yet I see it as a regression to this religious fundamentalism. The future (carried by the innocent youth) is being sacrificed. Both parties are enacting this drama unconsciously and by this ritual sacrifice are secretly imagining special status in the eyes of their Gods. Is it time to concentrate more on the loving kindness said to be the emanation of all the Gods rather than on the appeasement and appeal to entitlement of the One God? The blood loving dark side of the ancient deity is being given free rein in many places in the world (the bombing of MH17 for example). This vampiric extremism must be present in our own hearts too and will prevail until made conscious and met with appropriate guilt and atonement. The Israeli and the Arab live in my own heart.“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

RW: Seems clear to me – irreconcilable opposites that need to hold the differences of the Other long enough for a transcendental (not yet conscious) reconciliation/symbol to arise. Of course, with geopolitical global politics, this could be awhile – like generations.

DS: I know it may sound trite Hunter, but before we can forgive anyone else, is it not a question of forgiveness for ourselves? Haven’t we got to realise that the causes and creations of our deepest fears, and the shadows of those fears, are found in the pain and misery of the past in many instances?

We hold on to, and internalise so much of what has gone before. And to condemn that all too human predisposition is, to me to miss the opportunity to resolves and move on from it. But as you say we must choose that direction. I do think however that reaching an agreement as a group will enable the possibility of this resolution, by opening the doors of our past, and in that allowing each other the space and time to grieve and recover what was lost of our own deepest feelings.

Compassion and empathy form the bedrock of this for me. Because unless we feel we will be heard fairly and with feeling, no disclosure and therefore no resolution is possible. I also think that ironically, we then truly possess the very core, the essence of what both Islam and Judaism/Christianity and Humanism are about enabling. The fully empathic and naturally compassionate human being. But without the propensity to divide humanity into camps of the chosen and the dammed. Just the “doing the best they can”. With people who themselves have experienced the restoration of receiving warmth and empathy for their own suffering, and the “shadows” this has created. But to achieve this the old culture of me, mine ours has got to go. Maybe it is time, maybe the idea whose time has come will prove to be the strongest force we hoped it would be?

BF: Hope not that long, Richard. Heaven forbid many more generations of this insanity! …Don’t think the world will survive, if we don’t become conscious of what it is we have inside that we see as “other”.

RW: When I hear people want to quicken a process, I think of Jung and Alchemy. What is it, that will quicken the process of allowing the opposites to be held in tension and recognition of the Other long enough for some significant political transmutations to take place? The answer hasn’t yet appeared on the horizon, so some dissolve and coagulating is needed. I would recommend for those folk to check out the forms of Cultural Dreaming that have been maturing over the last decade – such as at the Pacifica Graduate Institute, or the Dream Institute of Northern California. where basically the dream work is shifted , as Aizenstat says, from two people facing one another and asking what the dream means, to two or more people both looking TO the dream and asking what it wants. In the DI culture dreaming practice, there is sharing of dreams for cultural advancement and global reconciliation with the mOther, typically, but also their techniques can be used with Geo-political situations.

DS:The problem is though Richard that the people living through this aren’t dreaming it. They are front row centre in an ongoing nightmare of literally Biblical proportions. They need rational,sensible and fully conscious solutions don’t they? The alchemy has already been tried and tested by Carl Rogers with his Person Centred approaches to conflict resolution. His successes included such intractable religious groups as the Catholic and Protestant troubles in Ireland. The approach itself validates both sides without appeasement, and requires that the real core and depth of emotional feeling be expressed and mediated towards resolution. Only in this, fully transparent and genuine emotional nakedness will have any hope of the possibility of an end to this I feel. Another example of a similar process was carried out in the former apartheid South Africa as a means of pre-emptively avoiding revenge killings there. The disclosure of the pain which people had suffered offered a conduit for built up tensions and hatreds and facilitated a transition without bloodshed.

KC: Capitalism run amuck the Military Industrial Congress.

JM: I think the Jewish community internalized a different lesson from their experiences with the Nazis that Jung doesn’t address……… When someone repeatedly says they are dedicated to your destruction, believe them……

DS: I think you are absolutely right there John.

The Great Carl Rogers – Person Centred Therapy
Here is a fantastic video where Carl explains his approach. You even get to see … See More

RW: Dave – You bring up a good point about dealing with irreconcilable opposites. It is always a double bind – one cannot find the best way to act, but one must act anyway. And ‘making the extremes conscious’ may have dire consequences. But we saw with Bosnia what happens if we don’t. Still, there is (IMHO) never an abstract solution – as I think the Gandhi story show – finding the extreme between killing all the English or doing nothing, he found passive resistance. But this same solution was not the answer to Hitler. However, I would still vote for the path of transparency, of exposure, of letting the world in on what is going on in these kinds of events.

RW: and – does the media make us conscious, or give distorted truths designed to inflame?

DS: I agree certain historical situations require the approach which is possible given the context. Hitler could not be either reasoned with or appeased as history showed. The only solution to his type of aggression was war. Ghandi ultimately gained his end to the British Raj by as you say passive resistance and none cooperation. Combined as is often forgotten by many Indian armed freedom fighters who harried the British alongside the non cooperation of Ghandi. In the Israel Palestine situation we have diametrically opposed sides, but bizarrely who share a history and religious prophets and the angelic order and a basic moral reflection of one another which is congruent. It begs the question how do two sides who share so many moral similarities find themselves in a situation where no resolution is possible?

If it was about religion and theology wouldn’t we expect to see a common frame of reference? In fact this parity does nothing to permit a possible working towards peace. I believe because rather than religion being the core of the conflict, the emotional and intrinsic qualities of individual and very usual human emotional reactions to such conflict are in play. And it is fair to assume that given this quite easy to understand chain of mutual assured destruction, that the solution may well turn out to be grounded in the very landscape we use very often within conflict resolutions which endorse and validate both sides towards the Psychosocial threat defence being ameliorated. This, after all would seem to be the core of both religious sects. A commitment to compassion and to empathy which has become ensnared within personal human intractability. Rogers showed very effectively how very often it is possible to rush past the wood whilst looking for the trees in this respect. But as you allude, this situation has become polarised into apparent opposites, but this situation is also a common one as Rogers describes in great detail within his work.

DS: I didn’t see the next part of your post Richard. The role of the media is a complicated one to say the least isn’t it? The agendas which are often very definitely weighted towards one side or the other, seem to me to be derived from a bias within, certainly mainstream U.S media and government towards Israel and her interests within the U.S. The “War on Terror” is an obvious example of a slogan rather than a term with any real meaning. A deeply amorphous term which is a little like as Gore Vidal noted is like declaring war on dandruff! Some kind of intangible positioning which seems like a short hand for continual aggression and a purely militaristic solution to complex problems. Something which undoubtedly, does nothing to mitigate the willingness of Israel to engage in the kinds of naked aggression we are seeing now. Without any international pressure or will to find a peaceful resolution.

RW: ” how do two sides who share so many moral similarities find themselves in a situation where no resolution is possible?” See USA divorce rates.

PK; There is so much complexity in that part of the world that you can not look at it as a single problem or situation. There is so much involved. Religion, culture , British colonialism, emotions, suppressed pain and many other things which go back to many centuries ago.

DS: LOL very good, and very true. The core of what I mean. Human relationships can very often go into a downward spiral into total enmity can’t they? And the types of resolution we see in such situations, apart from a shark lawyer, are about mediation which does not add petrol to the bonfire. But a skilled mediator who is fully experienced in the emotional triggers can navigate a solution, where someone else may provoke outright hostility. There is real art in this kind of mediation, and someone who is fully congruent emotionally has at least a shot at presenting a no lose sense of resolution. Where both parties reach an amicable settlement.

DS: True PK, and the very reason why all facets must be allowed and enabled in the resolution,. Anything else will merely provoke more incendiary reactions in the perceived exclusion of their emotionally charged material.

DR: We all need to cultivate the art of being both individual tree and forest so to speak. We need to empathically dissolve boundaries in collective consciousness beyond the obvious duality and then come back to individual consciousness to do the necessary inner work that is a pre-requisite for action. The problem is that many have lost themselves in overly identifying with national collective values whilst onlookers in the West have retreated to the relative safety of switching off.

DS: I think the switching off is partly due to political forces who wish to create a narrative which involves the abdication of responsibility for the social creation of Psychological breakdown and the social disintegration which goes with it. A deeply remote indifferance to suffering made policy and practice.

PK; It is better to have a coalition of real people of all sides without the involvement of any governments and UN ( which is the most useless thing in the world) to sit and talk and find a solution and execute it. Self- organized approach I would call it.

DS:I think the apathy around the several “Wars on Terror” we have seen underscores this quite vividly. As does the continuing erosion of employment rights in the U.K. Both facets of a slide into the disempowerment of the general population, and an apparent indifference, bordering on contempt for the needs and suffering of those not wealthy enough to be sheltered from the economic consequences of a predatory type of corporate business.

DR:Thich Nhat Hanh would begin by listening to and feeling with representatives of each side. Have we for gotten what empathy is?Here’s an empathy inducing video to share as i am preaching to the converted here I realise.

DS: I think this is where our collective consciousness has to find its full expression Parvin. If we call for action, and make our voices heard and demand that this appalling brutality stop, it will stop. The economic pressure which could be put on Israel would make such actions unthinkable, if we pressure our leaders to do so. But they cultivate our apathy, so it is totally up to us to overcome this designed impotence I feel.

DS: Empathy is central to healing in every way isn’t it David? It’s a sad fact that the recent nursing scandals around patient care in our hospitals showed clearly that something is very wrong at the “heart” of what we think of as care?

DR: There is an art, a real art to constructive criticism. It begins with a refined capacity for self criticism and to be capable of seeing our own part in allowing the status quo to continue as is.

PK:Empathy from the people not the rulers.

DS: Self awareness is the key to being able to realistically engage with someone at the emotional level. No prescriptions, no critisism. Enabling and emapthic, growth promoting and validating. So simple and yet so precious and easily lost.

DS: A real healer is someone who feels deeply and can communicate that care in the empathy they show. All dependent upon how accepting of our own feelings we are. The question gets a little more complex when we approach those with power. But if people enter a space of resolution for me, that judgement is not needed. Only when people abdicate that accountability for the feelings and welfare of others does that balance of reciprocity have to be defended by reason I feel. until the recognition of mutual consideration and rights is re-established.

PK: DR, I have used that approach in our small clinic and really works. I let the patients get involved in their own treatment and emphasize on building relationships within the frame of ” laws”. I have had the minimum percentage of cancellations. It is also the environment of laughter and happiness. I would dare to say.

DS: Sounds like a place I wouldn’t mind being ill David and Parvin?The atmosphere is all important isn’t it? Like any culture it can reinforce recovery or reinforce breakdown.

DR: If the world at large engaged the Middle East empathically as warriors for healing then it will have been a ‘cancer’ that we could be grateful for.

PK: One of the ancient Persian poets says: if the teachings of the teacher become the melody of love, the skeptical student will find his way back to school even on the day of feast.

PK: It is good to have a dream and work hard for it.

BF: Patriarchy hasn’t been mentioned yet, and it’s really the source, in my opinion, of most of the suffering on the planet. I will correct myself here. I think we are mentioning it, but talking all around it as the core…Judaism is one of the oldest patriarchal institutions – but the whole world is infected. Warfare, dominance, abuse will continue as long as we continue to act from this core value system.

PK: I wouldn’t say it is infected but imbalanced. We need both energies.

BF: Infected with an imbalance? LOL!

RW: Ideology and mass psychology.

KG: enantiodromia.

BF: It’s comforting to know that in the grand scheme of things it all comes back home.

RW: Enantidromia sounds too new age for me, too romanticistic. Jung was looking at a moral, reacted against Schiller on naive harmony. Mass psychology was a part of the coming evil. Also, the ideology against patriarchy,,,,, not going to the problem of mass. Feminism is just another mass thinkingvv

DL: BFI agree with you about the root of the problem. ( “It doesn’t matter how you want to change things. Unfortunately for you, we don’t want them changed.”) Unfortunately, most people who are born into a culture defined by patriarchy are in the position of the fish being told about water.

RW: Patriarchy has become a much overblown diversion and feminism has certainly created a number of new social ills

RW: Zionism would of interest to Jung as a one sided ideology that binds people, including its Christian Zionist variants.

DR: Fundamentalism of all kinds is a perversion of the fundaments of enlightened ontology which is inclusive, inclusive of the essence of all living things. We are both One and a Multiplicity, tree and forest. This is no new age concept, it is as ancient as the sun. Just as a narcissist is centred in himself rather than the Self, a Zionist has ideals that just need to be extended to include us all. Anti-Semitism then becomes as meaningless a term as Anti-Breathism. Jerusalem is a pre-existing Void Hotel which we are all already inhabiting. We just need to stop tearing it apart and learn to get along.

Dl: Patriarchy is a diversion and matriarchy is a problem? I don’t think so. I think it’s like any energy field, the polarities are equally important and have to serve the field, not be served by it. If the male polarity begins to think it’s the big enchilada and stands on the feminine to appear taller, it isn’t serving anything except itself. That’s what patriarchy is doing. It’s not the true masculine. It’s what Woodman refers to as poisonous pedagogy.

VQ: Many are seeing issues in black and white, without entering the rubedo.

RW: Feminism as another modern ism is of no real help. It comes out of enlightenment universalism, is initially hatched by men. Feminine and masculine symmetry in symbolic comprehension is something different. I really can’t see any significant connection of feminism to the ME conflict.

DL: All I know for sure is that love and respect for other people’s bodies would preclude blowing them to bits.

DL: RW I didn’t know feminism was hatched by men. But there are so many things I don’t know I have no idea of the magnitude of my ignorance. How did feminism come from enlightenment universalism? I guess I can google it, eh?

RW: Equality and freedom are basic tenants in enlightenment philosophy. Virtually all enlightenment philosophers were European men. They naturalized these values, “as self evident…God created”. Modern feminism is an application of this philosophy

BF: We’ve all experienced the negative side of masculinity and even men have been suffering from patriarchy’s failure. These ideas of aggression, brute force, etc…have practically ruined this planet. Time to consider another way. Call it what you will. I never called it “feminism” – Yet, feminism may provide the balance we need.

DR:Many women have an inner patriarch of which they are unaware on a par with any man. It is not a gender issue.

DZ: Hopefully the two opposites will find a new third through the Transcendent Funct

RW: I find it highly utopian and naive to make “patriarchy” the root cause for social ills. Another circular spin in ideology. Jung was very concerned about mass, thinking/feeling/imagining. Feminism and its vision is part of modern mass consciousness. It seems a part of the problem that would lead people to bizarre social Darwinians, as in Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Africans…in effect any traditional society is undeveloped, unevolved, unenlightened or for Jungians unconscious.

DS: Defining the intrinsic experience of human life and writing it them a book to be internalised dogmatically, without having the emotional empathy to know that the words must be underpinned by the actual feelings with which they correspond is the problem I feel.

You can call it “Patriarchy” you could equally call itself serving power. But the underlying emotional lack of contact between people is the same. Fathers are not the only ones who practice such self serving ways of being. Mother’s have also utilised many devices of emotional manipulation and control. In the end, and I use this quote with some hesitancy: “The truth will set you free”. Should amount to individuation. The liberation of the individual from the external controls which prevent that growth, would be a better way of framing the problem I feel. Not making the mistake of, ironically labouring the “Shadows” role in such conflict, only to replace that with a scapegoat Father figure. Restoring compassion as the benchmark of human relationship and religious beleif, may also facilitate the end to a cycle of blame? And also ask ourselv’s why it is that Isreal receives more funding and aid than do most if not all developing nations who survive in abject poverty, and in many cases are not “surviving at all”. We have allowed the notion that one life is more important than another life for far too long I beleive.

Maybe it is time for making to own our own “crap”, all of us. And that process begins in the micro scale between individuals. So a little “truth” between peoples of equal standing, and in that equal responsibility might well have a chance of setting us free from the kinds of endless cycles of blame and counter blame so endemic in the Middle East? But masters and servants deciding the truth, is a bit like a Lion, a wolf and Lamb deciding who is going to be for lunch I feel. Some restoration of equity in relationship must I believe underpin the process. Otherwise the powerful will simply reconstruct the same self serving power structures, and the whole mess begin again.

CB: If you want to go Jungian, I feel there are many areas in the mid-east where the feminine has been too suppressed…it is out of balance. The masculine without the balance of the feminine.

RW: Equal is in itself another ideology. How is anyone equal to another? I would hate to see Jung turned into another mass, media driven, colonial enterprise.

CB: And I am not talking about ‘feminism’, I am talking about true femininity.

RW: CB I have to tell you there are a lot of traditional living women in Africa and the ME that think western women lost their “power”. Yes many want your money, but they don’t want your culture

CB:I can understand that RW think we have lost it here too. Not me…I hold on to mine but it was a struggle in my culture here .

DS: We should be respected as people, first before gender becomes a factor shouldn’t we?. And if there has been, and there has, mistreatment of one gender or the other a mutual and healing examination and acceptance of that pain, in a spirit of reconciliation. But not allow that reconcilliation to turn into a conduit for revenge and begin the process of persecution anew surely?

DS: Equity is power.

CB: I’m speaking very metaphorically, the anima and the animus which according to Jung we all have within us…countries have it too…not personally. Maybe I am not making sense? (See that question I just asked, not making sense? that’s the feminine…soft, yielding)

DS: Jung aside CB we are 50% Matrilineal D.N.A, and 50%Patrinlinial D.N.A. We are the combination of both interacting and finding balance. It is intrinsic to our very Biology. The working out of this balance of traits and states at the level of the Psychological takes many forms, and can be seen in many ways. I’m a big believer in “Occam’s” razor here. And the polarity between Male and Female elements or aspects, is about balancing emotional experience with the rational explanations we internalise of that experience and find to be true. One should not negate the other. The two are complimentary, when ideology doesn’t contaminate the balance.

CB: I can agree with that DW. Now I have to look up Occam’s razor

RW: The problem is how Jung could be turned into ideology, which I see in feminist jargo. Yes feminine IS different than feminism. Quite a difference.

DS: Sorry CB the recognition in Science that often what is descriptive comes down to quite common sense perceptions.

CB: I looked it up DS. Thank you both, I found this to be a very interesting conversation to start my day with. I appreciate the thread.

BS: Occam’s Razor – let your neighbors live in peace and get on with your own lives.

BF: Well people really get tripped up on the words masculine and feminine don’t they? When all I meant was these two in principle only, not gender. Yes we all have both! – Even if women get an even shot at running things (position and power) the world will not change if they continue on course, behaving as men have done before them. Women have been conditioned too. Maybe we need new words to describe the changes we all want, instead of Matriarchy/Patriarchy, feminine/masculine… What would bring healing is a peaceful, non-agressive, inclusive, let’s sit in a circle kind of way. Let’s listen to each other, rather than dictate the terms.

Resolving conflict by walking together: William Ury’s pathway to peace in the Middle East.
Negotiation and conflict resolution expert William Ury says: “When you are angry… See More

DS:Equity, Courtesy, Compassion all “a lived presence” Carl Rogers 101!

CB: I don’t get tripped up on the words, I am looking at it very objectively but a lot of people do get tripped on the words. The reality is there are groups that are just not at the point of wanting to sit in a circle…and that is a lack of the anima. That’s my opinion…and it shows up micro and macro in the culture.

DR: They may not sit in a circle but they could be convinced to do the Abrahamic walk if it makes economic sense to do so which it does. Take 18 minutes to hear William Ury on the 18th camel story posted above.

DS: The problem is I suppose though CB that words are all we have to communicate about such a complex situations aren’t they? I agree that the absence of empathic feeling is a large part of the problem. But as you say these two sides are totally unwilling to even contemplate the possibility as things stand. To get them to a point where they may consider a dialogue, the words must speak eloquently of things such as empathy, and compassion. And they must be underpinned by the presence of those emotions also. Anything but honest, genuine and reciprocal discussion will just enflame the state further I feel. Which leads us to how we may draw together the things which unite us at the level of our core values and beliefs. David has posted a TED talk which makes some really valid observations about how this might be achieved. If you haven’t seen it, it is well worth a view.

TC: Shadow Projections on both sides!

DS: Definite DR. As William Ury says, we as a larger “family” must convey not only our rejection of this violence, but a degree of understanding which enables the restoration of peace by making room for every side to feel heard. We will enable those values by showing that we ourselve’s embody them I feel.

CB: I will listen and look into it, but yes…words are symbols of symbols so it becomes challenging to communicate about such a deep issue but basically…I feel the mother and the sister have been repressed in those countries especially but here too where we have a lot of men in skirts or the pressure to be a man in skirt and you lose the temperance of the ‘feminine’ the wisdom of the crone etc.


DS:I agree, the true power of the Feminine in the nurturing as well as the power of perhaps the huntress Diana is a great loss of self reverance for a Woman I would speculate? Different but equal is a description I prefer. We embody a different polarity, …See More

LC: A new dream is needed. Pray for Peace. Reason has been abandoned to his/ story.


Only you can see this. Tip: Click Only Me to change audience for this post
.Close popup and return


Question: “How Does a Person Integrate a Personal Complex Into Their Life Instead of Projecting It Onto Others?”

by Stephen Parker, Ph.D (Article Selection and Commentary) on July 15, 2014



(On the Jung-Hearted Facebook site, these were the response to the question of July 14: “How does a person integrate a personal complex into their life instead of projecting it onto others?):

DO: Art. Create art.

RP: Choose to see it as a ‘lesson’ in ‘self-discovery’…

RN: Any exaggerated feelings I have for another, I wonder where that is in myself and how I have not noticed it yet. It generally tends to show me where I am in denial within myself.

PB: I agree. Stay sensitive to the emotional energy. Wherever it spikes, dig there.

JR: I can’t direct you to a reference at the top of my head, but personally, I find that my work with music, songwriting and art afford this opportunity. I often go to this work when my ego has been inflated by such complexes, because the suffering demands it.

OP: This might be a painful thing to do as one must face up to ones own shadow.
Then again it might be helpful to project but discuss with the person if such has not taken anything personal.
Maybe it might be helpful to ask “what am i afraid of” and mind map out to whatever comes forward. Creative intelligence techniques such as mind maps can be very helpful in discovering and working through things. Still it takes a lot of courage to do so.

PC:You can use envy of another’s accomplishments to activate your own gifts and potential. It is often one’s own blocked energy that turns to envy of others. Envy is a great one to work with and so worth it. Once you realize the projection is a gift to help you find yourself, it changes everything. (envy has such a vast array of symptoms).

VB:Any form of creative expression – art, music, dance… or beating a bongo like a banshee… or drawing a mandala if one wants to get ‘jungian’.

JG: Active dialogues help me the most and staying in tough with my dream-life

RN: The $1,000,000 question. I am an amateur Jungian and art therapist, definition would be that it is a process of first of all becoming aware of the projections – they are useful, you can’t eliminate them completely since everything is a projection (with a hook to hang on)..and once you are aware of them then it becomes a process of taking responsibility for them and then eventually integrating them into your personality somewhere. Dreamwork, art, music all are powerful aids.

JW:Generally speaking I was think that those things that one projects on the others are not necessarily qualities that one would want to integrate into themselves

RN: I think some of them, once you accept them as parts of you –can dissipate..but integrating meaning you are acknowledging that THAT is a part of you that you are disgusted at

GY: I go and delve into the unconscious processes or mind and release, acknowledge, and surrender to whatever my higher powers or self is…the fear that holds it in our hearts and mind is released and forgiven…

JL: Dreamwork, intimate/honest relational sharing, journaling, a personal crisis, therapy…

JS: It is an amazing first step in evolution of self awareness to EVEN realize that one is projecting, The process of self reveal has already begun.

JL: I agree, Jude, becoming ‘aware’ is the first step…it’s a natural progression after that.

JH: had a woman client who constantly fell in love with photographers and artists, and the relationships never worked out . Through slowly having the courage to do sandplay and create symbolic scenarios in the sand, this woman then found the courage/motivation to start doing her own photography and making her own art — she had some real talent; once she became her own artist, she no longer projected this quality onto men…

DS: I agree with Rachel that some will/may dissipate once you acknowledge them. I will go a step further and say rather than be disgusted with those parts of ourself, if we are able to not only accept them, but to ‘love’ them. It changed the dynamics for me, when I began to do that.

JL: @JH: I had a relationship with a man who was a talented writer/poet when I was younger that didn’t work out. It was one of the hardest relationship scenarios that I ever had to work through. By paying attention to my dreams, journaling and inner work, I realized I had been projecting some of my own ‘gold’ onto this person, and what I thought to be only an ‘ill-fated’ relationship helped me to honor my own talents and gifts…somewhat like the story of your woman client.

MC: I find dreams very useful for that; specially the smallest details we tend to ignore… we can learn a lot from them, and they give us the direction we should go in.

JW: ‘it makes a lot of difference if you call something a ‘complex’ or a god – jung – which i understand to mean that behind symptoms there is often a deep archetypal imagination. I would say to be creative to look for that imagination.

JS: I’m not so interested in helping people become socially acceptable. But I AM interested in helping people accept and appreciate their (our) shadowy projections and turn these very human attributes into Creative Expressions. Art works. It is beyond WORDs and deep in the psyche where true healing occurs Sometimes it is ugly, difficult to look at. Sometimes it’s gorgeous–all gifts.

RC: @ND: To expand on that – that’s when the development and acceptance of the “other” or spiritual part of us comes into play to the process. To love- even the ugliest parts of ourselves is (I believe) a spiritual endeavor. I was one of those artists – my projections would be (and still are) onto well known actors, artists, and musicians..

SW: As others have mentioned, becoming aware is the first step, then being willing to identify it in our own behavior and withholding judgment of others in its regard helps to diminish its influence on others and in our own attitudes and applications.

SS: So appreciate this illuminating thread thank you. We project all the time. Paying attention to dreams and their compensatory function is extremely useful as inter alia a tool for recognising projection.

DS: @R: Yes it is a spiritual endeavour. Further to my previous comment, it would have been better said that my life changed, when I began to practice that.

DS: I believe that our deepest emotional experiences shape what can subsequently become expressed as a complex. Freud’s “concretisation” describes how a repressed traumatic experience can be expressed via a physical ailment or impairment of function. I can certainly say from my own experiences of resolution within Person Centred Therapy, that the valence of repressed emotion can, and does cause physical changes within the body. In the most well understood ways hormonal levels such as Cortisol, and adrenaline which I myself can certainly say were elevated in me as indicated by blood work etc. This, due to a continual and protracted experience of emotional abuse caused a decline in health such as nervous asthma and an immunological response, and allergy to Gliadin the protein, in gluten. I know current wisdom has been that Celiac disease involves a genetic predisposition, and I can understand how this may be so. Be I think also the most recent research around epigenetics, has described the environmental processes and stresses which can change the way genes are selected, also strongly indicates the interplay between nature and nurture. From my own experience I can say that talking therapy which involved a deep enough emotional contact, and in that a chance to re experience the disconnected emotional contents of my past, also drastically reduced the stress responses and with it the cortisol and adrenaline which played a big part in the activation of the internalised hyper vigilant stress response. Trauma, neglect and abuse cause deep emotional stress adaptations don’t they? and I think/feel that if we are going to integrate the repressed emotional memories and the disconnected power of such emotions, the value of safeguarding a person’s own intimate memories and sensations is, perhaps the most effective way of retrieving such separated aspects of our own consciousness. In this the Person Centred Approach was completely the right fit for me. As it didn’t interpret my own experiences and memories/feelings, but merely reflected those elements of my own experiences, in such a way that they weren’t likely to create a defensive reaction, and so trigger the fear of reconnecting with such trauma and pain was diminished greatly. This in turn allowed for a much more whole experience of my past and of myself, which also enabled integration and the contact with previously unconscious material. Often because it was suffused with extreme emotions which my mind had repressed, but in a safe space was now willing/able to experience and integrate. Symbolism played a part in this, but integration ultimately came down to a trusting relationship which involved feeling received, and the safety to disclose emotionally separated and frightening experiences which had been lost to conscious recall, but were traceable via sensation, which became feeling as they were recalled and integrated.

JL: Being with whatever comes up – such as anger, for instance – without judgement…sitting with it, watching how the mind retracts and wants to hide and blame, staying curious, watching… Eventually, something new happens, a door opens to a new way of seeing and honoring what is going on within self…

Physiology and Neurobiology of Stress and Adaptation: Central Role of the Brain

The brain is the key organ of the response to stress because it determines what … See More

SC: Own it and love it.

WD: Identify the complex in a “dream”,then find the positive side of it, and model that side with the expressive,arts like clay,art, drawing,Sandplay.or (Active Imagination,if you can do it). Understanding Type,will also help focus, you on the anxiety etz. associated, with the inferior function.For example my preference are INTJ,so I have a lot of anxiety dreams associated with Sensing (Detail) my inferior function.

DS: at definetely worked for me JL. The sense that any emotional material was welcome, was a big part of the reintegration.

WJ: To catch the rabbit, you need to emptied hands from all this fallic stuff you bear such as knives, hatchets or even your…teeths? First, becouse rabbits don’t like violence and second becouse you need some space. If you do well, you’ll see the animal is changing, it will pop out from it’s hole like a moon.Then if you focus a bit, you’ll see the resemblance of a new born child. All that just in the cradle of your arms, covered in grains of your path, arms you spread out then like trees on the wind, with starlings that fly from beyond, those liquid complexes set free – your projected beauty.

DS: I certainly found that over a period of time that this kind of open acceptance gave rise to trust and with that an ever greater access to my own emotional sense of self. I think as Wendell also said, that play can be a huge part of the process. I can certainly say that in some respects it was as though I was re experiencing key ages and stages within my emotions. And without this freedom to do whatever felt right, I don’t think I would have felt able to express the feelings as they actually felt they needed to be expressed. My partner is a Person Centred Therapist, and she too had a difficult time as a child. So between us we have gone quite a way towards many ways which allow the emotions as they actually emerge to be expressed. Something, I think which is easy to say, but which requires real sensitivity to someone’s process, given that in many ways having experienced such negative relational experiences leaves a fragile process in wake, at least in my own initial experiences of disclosure.

MP: Self blame projected is blaming others. Appropriately expressed its introspection leading to a plan for action.

RM: Start with Be Lucky, Have a Good Mentor, Parent, Teacher that gives one simple, but honest values in life, honesty, don’t lie, do the best you can in whatever you do, have humility regarding the tough experiences in life…….

MZ: he easy answer for me is to really pay attention to what I am saying. To notice whether I am repeating things I have heard or forming my own opinions. Noticing patterns in dreams, words, and behaviors, show me what I am creating, and what I need an upgrade on.

VV: First one must become aware that it IS a projection; it has to “rattle.” At that point, half of the work is done. Then it takes courage and a willingness to see it through and to do the work of integration. AA does a good job with this through the twelve steps. For instance, sometimes it takes apologizing to the person you projected on. That helps ensure no back-sliding into the old consciousness. Arbinger Institute does a good job of working this kind of topic, and I highly recommend their books and materials (non-Jungian, but excellent nevertheless).
It requires a willingness to live in integrity with one’s conscience (a rare thing indeed). For more on that notion, I recommend Jungian psychiatrist John Beebe’s book, “Integrity in Depth.”

AM: I suggest the person ask his own unconscious for the answer, and then write down all the dreams they have..

RA: I was just thinking of jealousy and envy.

AN: Stay in the now

AG: Integrating complexes seems to be quite a difficult thing to do…..You have to know the underlying issues that are mostly unconscious .

DO: I fished for a minnow and caught a monster. Should I cut the line?

SC: Jump in and let the monster eat you.

CN: Go for a trip in the belly of a whale!

VH: First by recognizing, then by fully understanding it’s origins and finally embracing it as we only project our shadow material. Once embraced, it transforms into light then settles down to self awareness, then integration. One needs to have successfully reached their developmental milestones to succeed as our defense structure is powerful and tied to development.

CN: “The Matrix” 200 times in one sitting? xo

JH: @DO: I think the monster will break the line whether one decided to cut it or not; it is probably out of one’s hands, at least on a small fish scale….

DO: “He’s fallen in de water” as the shrill tones of goon Spike Milligan trail away on BBC radio.
He’s Fallen in the Water!     A Spike Milligan/The Goons reference I came upon by chance in a Thomas the Tank episode. Excuse my son’s laughing in the background

FG: We do not control projecting since everything unconscious is projected and, that’s how we learn about our complexes. If there’s an emotional reaction, we know a complex has been constellated, (triggered.) Then it’s up to us to look within to find what part we need to own.

WJ: he complexes can be understood, yet the understanding always goes with supression .It doesn’t do the job rather than like the black half of a process. To completely wipe them out is to put the supressed energy, the ghost processor into the light of ones creation. The haunting is the phenomena that reaches far beyond the walls of ones family, tops into the darkened hall where the webby chandelier sleeps, where the sofas are like leafes coated with spiders, where no one sits, in such a place the marriage of hangings love decay in the windows of night, wind is singing emptiness in a coctail cabinet sight, it was always hard to put fire into their skulls socket, even so they were shimering like violence in a distant caves pocket…
There’s a need to catch the rays in a dancing powder, smoke that stretch from eyes that down below burn in reflexes of sunrise, a tower or maybe some mountains hidden in the vision mist one must climb, to put a lake into the peaks, fertilize the womb of sun ,to knock the doors of old temple with his fire called lifespan… And when they open, chandelier lights up

JJ: I’ve worked on this by owning my least favorite dream characters as parts of myself, and then, by being authentically interested in knowing how they have been wounded and how I might help to heal them. One has to be sincerely interested in doing this – truly interested in finding inner balance, or it’s not going to happen. The projection will continue.

JM: I would say…… If you are of an age to have had some experience and history, then look for patterns. IMO, that’s analytic thinking as opposed to symbolic or anything Jungian. After you recognize a dysfunctional pattern, a Jungian approach might be helpful, but not necessarily. Where Jung applies is when something “pops up” that doesn’t fit the pattern. Anomalies tend to be symbolic and therefor “Jung territory.”

LW: Sit with it. accept it. own it without judgment or analysis. befriend it. surrender to it.

JF: Usually one can’t see until they project it and eventually reel that projection back in and make it conscious

LS @J- Can you explain/give an example of that? I’m having trouble getting exactly what you mean?

LA @J I’ve done the same thing from time to time. And it isn’t always easy if the dream character seems evil and destructive. But like you said, when you open a dialogue you find out the reasons they have become that way & possibly finally heal that.

JW: Your imagery speaks to my deepest self. Thank you for your poetic voice in this.

LS @JW: Your imagery sounds nice, like Jude says, but it is too cryptic and abstract for my ordinary mind & spirit to get… Sorry, maybe I’m just dense.

VG: Dreams and writing in a “flux of consciousness”. And, at the very beginning of your awareness, someone you trust deeply, who keeps a mirror in which you look at you…

JL: Patterns. Looking for that which repeats, or that which doesn’t fit…. If you keep having the same problem, look for the pattern. As in, having repeated relationship problems and finding that all were with electricians. That might be worth exploring. – - Then there’s the “wild card” that pops up out of no where. An emotional outburst that is untypical for you. It might have hit a sensitivity that you weren’t aware of before. Or a dream that seems totally weird that you can’t get out of your mind. That could be a symbolic message from your unconscious pertaining to an issue that the conscious mind has buried so deep that analytic thinking (tool of the conscious mind….) can no longer reach it. (conscious and unconscious minds often speak different languages….. so to speak….. )

LS: @JL: Patterns I’m good with. Have worked out a lot of those over my lifetime. But the “wild card” that comes out of nowhere- I seem to be getting that lately as I’ve gotten older & thought I had dealt with most everything! But NO…lol And the weird dream you can’t get out of your mind- I still have those from time to time, but not like I used to. It’s the “wild card” ones that always throw me! I never give up though- it’s stuff like that that fascinates me and sends me into a self-analytical frenzy. Or sometimes much prayer & heartfelt meditation. I always get an answer or insight, sooner or later. I know a lot of people don’t ever experience this kind of insight & it’s hard for me to understand or relate to, but I can sometimes offer them mine & they seem dumbfounded and so grateful. Makes me feel humble and not sure how to handle this ability…especially when there’s so much in myself that I still don’t get…

JL: @LS: I believe that not all things need to be understood, but rather just accepted in some cases. Like learning to recognize and heed an inner voice. That can be enough. Where the voice originates and it’s exact nature may not be so important in the overall scheme of things. In a practical sense, finding the “right” path for you is more important than knowing how or why you do it. But I suppose that’s only true if you think life is essentially for living…..

CN: Nestled within the complex is the archetype, which is transpersonal–beyond space and time. Thus, to heal a complex, one must enter the transpersonal realm.
This healing may be accomplished over time thru the intimacy of the therapeutic relationship, thru love.
A transpersonal catalyst may also be used to assist therapeutic intimacy–the symbols of the dream further activated by imagination–drawing, painting, clay work, sandplay, music and dance. Also, past life regression in the form of Roger Woolger’s Deep Memory techniques, as well as Jessica Dibb’s and Stanislav Graf’s Breathwork practice, which evokes the wisdom of the Body led by breath to heal itself.

RS: Not to sound gimmicky, but one technique that can facilitate movement in the direction of integration is exploring the emotional dynamics of the complex through journaling with one’s non-dominant hand.

BP: Going through these is like reading several books on the subject. However; I found that by accepting that all of life performs in a pattern of building blossoming decaying and destroying in order to be built again new…. acceptance took away any doubt or shame of this process….. and there are many around us who will shame the process of well we shaming ourselves….understand the natural process. and then check into where one might be in this very natural process and integration becomes much easier….we are all in the flow, we are the flow…

BR: @FG: You rock. I wrote it down as it helped me with something that happened just yesterday. Unrelated, sort of, wanted to share this as I live in cowboy complexity, lol. It helps when I go along for the ride.

FG: I have finally reached a stage when I can usually tell if I’m projecting so I can deal with it right away. Sometimes it’s not an easy thing to look at!

LC:  All the world’s a stage and we can see where the manna is and know that is part of us whether we like it or not…the charge reveals a connection. That may be all the integration we need until we become the witness to all.
UU:  I’m struggling with this too…JH  I reckon the first step is being aware of your own archetype or shadow being projected, the second step might be to allow yourself experiencing these feelings within you, instead of dealing with them on the outside world…dreams may help too…any other thoughts?
PN:  What a wonderful thread! Thank you all! I am a massage therapist and clinical psych doc candidate. I have a very well developed healer complex/archetype which allows me to perform sometimes magical work. When I began the journey I wanted to find people outside me who could heal, I projected my talents on others. Then I was having trouble sleeping and went to a friend who told me with everything I knew I should be able to heal myself. I realized he was right so I did. That was 40 years ago and now I hardly have to think about it to feel my hands light up and th intuitive healer flows through me
JS: I so agree Bill Pratt we are the cycles and in the flow of Life. Our culture is soo very shamed and afraid of our shadow, whether the it’s personal, cultural or global. I’ve held clay workshops confronting the shadow with PhD  students of psychology. Watching intelligent (in their head) people allow transpersonal uprisings occur, observing them stay with that gift from the shadow and later celebrate those dark transmissions is like watching a seed grow from the dark soil and reach into the sun.