The child who remains apart from his or her contemporaries, abstracted, would he or she seem to be a healthy child to us? How imposed are we on the idea that man is a gregarious being as a synonym for having to go about socializing all the time? Carl was the different guy, the loner, who didn’t care much about school when he was a teenager. He only had one younger sister in life, even though his mother, as well as his father, were each in his family, son number 13. Feeling different, perhaps, then began the drama of how to explain that feeling like that, too, was normal.
By biological definition, we are all “unique and unrepeatable”, but beyond a definition of manual, to exercise this individuality to the point of inaugurating a new school implies too much risk and too high a price. Well, it is said that what is valuable takes work and discipline, because Jung’s Red Book, took no less than 16 years of work of self-analysis, of self-confrontation. We are talking about 16 years of investigating oneself from the intangible, without witnesses, without a hand to throw a rope.
Studying Jung – like many other notables – we can conclude that it should be natural to preach by example rather than difficult. However, the truth is that lack of training in looking at ourselves internally, not only in examining our actions, our omissions, but in paying due attention to all those calls, to all the messages that come from our unconscious and that can manifest through dreams. To paraphrase Hesse, we may have reached a point where we have too much fun, but where we lack joy, everything, because deep down we live fragmented.
Jung’s analytical power comes, perhaps, from an attitude of helplessness in the face of reality and possible realities. Descartes’ methodical doubt, in perspective, is not even that, a method, but an attitude itself that then facilitates that level of unusual perception that we often call “intuition”. By developing our willingness to prevent our prejudices learned from childhood from directing our thoughts, and then our actions, we release our sensitivity to grasping the whole battery of messages that is always at our disposal, whenever we are in a position to accept that our whole structure of thought is fallible.
As a somewhat clumsy exercise, we can imagine one example of denial and one of non-denial. We can Christianly deny that God is evil, but we cannot deny that God allows wars and their consequences in which, it seems, there is no goodness. Jung, in fact, does not deny man, individually or collectively, his capacity for infamy and it is from this non-denial that he facilitates the understanding or at least the deep study of his psyche. How much less neurosis would be developed if only we were trained in no denial, in the rational acceptance that anything is possible.