Exploring the psyche is something many would say is best left to the professionals. I can understand why many would leave such a pursuit to: “The experts”, but I actually think psychology is a profoundly misunderstood subject; and what most would consider psychology, isn’t actually psychology at all. Let me put it this way, who would you say has more of an understanding of the Psyche: A Psychologist? An Actor? A writer? A priest? A Philosopher? Or perhaps a man who has spent much of his life in business, meeting a variety of different people ranging from the well-mannered, quiet introvert; to the bold and extraverted stress-head. The truth is, all of these people will learn about human behavior through their pursuits, and they will learn both by observing traits in others, and through reflection of their self, too.
The fact of the matter is, we ALL are psychologists, and you know why? Because we all have one. A critic of this hypothesis may say something akin to: “Well we all have a body too, but that doesn’t mean we are all biologists. I can’t just self-examine my own body and understand the acute functions of the cardiac system.” And this is true to a certain extent, I will admit. It is also true that I cannot simply become a clinical psychologist and start treating people clinically just because I have spent a long time operating and exploring my own mind. For such specialist roles, it is of course necessary to obtain the fundamental and well-accepted knowledge that proceeds these roles.
And this brings me onto a topic of understanding that I feel is rather misunderstood. What do we call people who have really wrestled with their inner demons, and have constantly chosen to keep going deeper and deeper into their soul, integrating more and more instincts into their conscious awareness. The people who are the explorers of the unconscious psyche, the ones who are interested in all that lurks beneath the surface. These are the people who have chosen to allow a constant flow of new information and have never ceased to stop learning more about who they are. Many will stop this learning at some point; out of fear, laziness, or simply non-interest. Or perhaps many at some point stop being honest about who they are, attaching themselves to certain ideological conscious attitudes, blocking and repressing – “unwanted feelings and thoughts”, out of sight, and down into their shadowy pit of shame. A shame that comes from an overbearing weight of cultural attitudes that deems certain very natural instincts innately immoral and wrong. But then there are the people who remain true to themselves, the people who stay aware of their true natures, people who understand the importance of never selling their soul for material gain. These people live through catharsis, they constantly allow their old selves to die for their new selves to grow. They allow their souls to be held up on a cross, constantly, holding strong the pain and tension between the opposites. These people allow themselves to be pulled in two directions simultaneously, and they bare the pain as necessary because they know that on the other side, they will be rewarded with euphoric rebirth.
These people, are the wise.
And the wise can be found anywhere, and from any job or industry too. I would even go as far as to say, that many psychologists, psychologists who know and have learnt the “Correct strategies for treatment”, may be very knowledgeable, yet still lack wisdom. For wisdom is not based in knowledge, but wisdom is in my eyes, is based instead in honesty, humility, and courage. Swiss Psychologist Carl Jung, was all too aware of this disparity. In his works, he would regularly comment on the modern men of intellect, stuck in their ivory towers, head in books, all day, all night; constantly looking for more knowledge in the outside world, but never going inside himself to put all the pieces together. And this attitude towards material consciousness is ever too present in our modern society. In fact, our disposition towards ego consciousness is the primary operating system of modern society; whilst in the past, for primitive man, they operated dominantly through instincts and intuition. We have, it seems, swung so far to the other side, that now we have forgotten that the instincts even exist. Since a child, I have noticed many ideologies that seem to be based on the fact that humans are mere Tabula Rasa (Blank slates), and from a child, I intuitively knew this was horrendously wrong, and within me I even felt it was deceptively venomous and destructive. For if a society is based in an ideology built on notions of tabula rasa, justifications for extreme – “Re-education”, become the catch-all answer to evil. It seems to me many are so desperate for something to be the solution, that they will attach themselves to the notion without considering the fact that they may be incorrect. This is an example of philosophical laziness, a quick and dirty way to satisfy ones moral conscience, giving every complexity a simple answer, requiring no further thought or pondering. “If only we could do this one simple thing, then everything would be okay.”
Yet, it seems hard to blame anyone for such assertions, because we live in a world of the dying God. It quickly appears true that nothing is sacred anymore. Nothing is held up as divinely true, and therefore nothing is acting as the fundamental bedrock for all our systems to be built upon. It is in this desperation, that many, by reactive instinct, try to invent new sacred systems to order everyone; but this is, disastrously counterproductive, as these consciously created systems will always be at odds against the true reality of the human soul. It seems clear, then, that instead we must attempt to really understand the human soul; and there seems no other way of doing this than rescuing the various religious and mythological tropes, motifs, and archetypes of the past, and reintegrating them into modern culture, in a way we can all understand and digest. It seems bringing a pragmatic and modern element to these ancient stories may be a good start, making these stories understandable in a practical and useful way. We look around now and watch the creative media being pumped out. It has strayed so far away from depth, from divine, from sacred truths or even Philosophical depth, that it is clear to the wise that we are very lost and sick culture, in desperate need to believe in something . . .
It seems clear to me, that because our modern culture dominant focus is on the outside material world, we are slowly but surely severing our connection to personal meaning. It is very simple. Meaning is always derived from listening to your soul. Call it god, call it intuition, call it a culmination of all inside energy centres or instincts, coming together as a singularity. It doesn’t matter, if you worship something outside of you, you are bound to become disconnected to what your soul desires of you. Your Self is constantly trying to connect you to the right path. It will communicate with you through vague ambiguity’s in your dreams, and will even synchronise itself with seemingly random events in your life, such as seeing a pattern in a cloud, or having a sudden increased awareness of school kids talking about a certain subject containing something seemingly important to you. You can see these events as either magic, or you can see these synchronicities as a mere heightened awareness, gifted to you by yourself to take notice. “Listen, what you see here, is important for your journey.” This voice of self has for aeons been called God. Jung himself called the Self the god image. You can accept this understanding from just a mere psychological and pragmatic perspective, or you can see it from a higher metaphysical perspective, with the psychological aspect being an extension of a Godly metaphysical reality. These beliefs are personal. Yet what must be accepted as a fact, is the voice of this guiding conscience, really must be listened too, and to ignore it is missing your target. A wise person knows they are not perfect, and a wise person knows they will not always listen to this voice and act out what they should; yet the wise still know that they should listen, and they generally try their best to do so.
Many will be skeptical or turn their noses up when someone says: “Something is certain, no arguments.” For dogma is always treated with skepticism, as the shoe that fits me, may pinch you too tightly. But if we give name to the psychological process of conscience, of Self, and we label it with such words as Christ, and God. In this case, it really does make sense when Christians relentlessly and passionately say: “Christ is truth”, and “All you need is Christ”. For if he is the voice of conscience, of our soul, of our guiding light to meaning, then we really should listen. This voice may say something different to me and to you, but the fact is:
The voice itself, remains true. To listen, is to be wise. To not, is to sin.