Monday, August 17, 2015
[Dr. Bernie Beitman’s question: “I differ from you Dr Jung in regard to practicality. I am not a theoretician although I embrace practical theories. I think archetypes and Unus Mundus are very difficult concepts and end up meaning different things to different people. But a coincidence that yields a job or psychological change, like the scarab are what healers like me want to help people find. What am I missing with the practicality?”]
F: 6:15 a.m. Bernie’s question – “What am I missing with the practicality?” I admit, I don’t understand what his question is, here, but I assume that you do. Can you explain us to each other, as well as answer his question in a way that will be meaningful to him and help to the rest of us? If all that isn’t possible, of course it is his question, so he should come first, I assume.
CG Jung: You ask, and you wish to tell me how to answer.
F: Yes, I heard that by the time I had finished writing out the question. All right, your show.
CGJ: Let me first address Dr, Beitman, then.
Dr. Beitman, you say you are not a theoretician, but perhaps you do not do yourself justice, or perhaps you see me in a way I do not see myself. You are a healer, as I was. You seek effective methods of treatment, as I did. But when you see things that work, or do not work, you wish to know why they do not work, so that you will have improved your ability to help other patients yet to come. I was not in any way different. In practice, this meant seeking for underlying causes, underlying connections. Is this not what you are doing in researching coincidences? You wish to know, for the help it may give you and for the intrinsic satisfaction of learning.
If you will examine my lifework, you will see that all my theorizing was not abstract speculation, not building castles in the air, but was an attempt to follow the threads that so many patients’ suffering had provided me. I did not begin with theory; I began with observation, and then added reflection and research. My long research into alchemy was at first almost against my will, but somehow I knew that I was reading a forgotten language that I – and, who knew, perhaps only I – could bring back to life. Not that I wanted to persuade the world to see life through alchemical metaphor, but that I wanted the insights that had been encoded, perhaps too well encoded, in that system of thought to be useful to the world again, and in a new way.
I was able to bridge those worlds because I still had the ancient languages, and I lived in Europe at a particularly momentous time, and I could extract enough of an income from my international patients to live as I chose, and I was enmeshed in professional associations that anchored me firmly in reality yet left me free to climb to a somewhat more elevated view of our common life. Yes, and to dig deeper, as well!
Your task is not different, it is your surroundings in time and space that differ. You are as much a translator as I am – was, I suppose I must say. You, however, connect to different things. That is the major distinction. I predict that you will find the way lonely enough, but after all a few friends is all one needs in one’s professional life. It isn’t a popularity contest.
F: I feel like it’s my turn to say something, but I have no useful thing to say. I’m just waiting.
CGJ: That in itself is an accomplishment. I spent plenty of time waiting. These things do not necessarily come when we summon them; sometimes we must wait for them to be ready, or us to be ready, or, shall we say, for the stars to align. And that is something for your friends to consider, as they go about their explorations.
F: Yes, I can see it.
CGJ: Very well. Another word for Dr. Beitman but it applies to anyone who reads this. You have heard this before, Frank, and I will say, you did listen. It greatly improved your access.
F: Sure did.
CGJ: Too much veneration is an obstacle. By your thinking there is a great gulf between your own humble self – “nobody” – and the noted person you contact, you in effect create that gulf! So if it is the great Dr. Carl Gustav Jung on one side of the communication, and “nobody” on the other side – how much communication can you expect to occur? But the difficulty is not in an inherent mismatch, as if you were gate-crashing, or autograph-hunting, but in your perception of a mismatch, one might say in your creation of a mismatch. It is your own assumption of a discontinuity that creates psychological distance within you, rendering it that much more difficult for you to recognize the contact that already exists.
And the “theoretical” problem underlying the very practical difficulty is this: In thinking yourselves nobody and the noted person someone somehow “above” you, you ignore two key unknowns:
1) You cannot contact anyone unless you and that person share links. (In practice, however, such links always exist, in differing degrees of closeness).
2) You do not know how far you (or anyone else, for that matter, but particularly you) extend. For all you know, your present being shares lifetimes with the person you are drawn to. So why start with the assumption of distance? Start instead with an assumption of connection.
F: I see that, now that you point it out, in my own experiences. There are some historical personalities I can’t imagine contacting – oil and water. At the opposite end of the repulsion-attraction scale, there are some that seem right there, available at will.
CGJ: All right, this is enough to give people something to ponder.
F: Does that mean you want us to close up shop a little early, today? Did you give Bernie what he needed on practicality?
CGJ: Perhaps not. Let me add this one thing. Your life provides you – anyone – with metaphors and symbols, in greater profusion than you notice or need notice. The common denominator is your attention, and what you do with what you observe.
It is really almost too simple to say, or to be easy to take seriously. What you pay attention to, you do because it has chosen you.
F: I get that, but I think only because we are linked. I’m not sure I would get it if I had to deduce the meaning from the words.
CGJ: Feel free to improvise, then.
F: Interesting metaphor. I get the sense of a jazz solo.
CGJ: Exactly so. But – improvise.
F: Our lives are lived in a sea of potentially meaningful symbols, connections, metaphors. We choose not at random but because our nature tells us what we can or cannot notice.
CGJ: You have the sense of it, but you need to try again. You distracted yourself.
F: Well – we put the meaning into our lives by what we select from among those potential metaphors, but what we are limits what we can select, or at least what we are most prone to select. So, whatever appeals to us is probably going to be the easiest and most productive approach.
CGJ: True enough, except of course life is not under your conscious control entirely, at least, not to appearance. So you cannot merely have things all your own way merely because you want them that way. Everyday life tells you that. So, your automatic pilot
F: Lost it, sorry.
CGJ: Follow your deepest impulses and things will go as they should for you. They won’t necessarily flow smoothly or quietly; you may not like everything that happens to you and around you, but you will be on course. Following your internal guidance is the surest, most practical, way to proceed.
And now we are finished for the moment.
F: Thank you as always, Dr. Jung.
CGJ: You call me that because you know no other name for me, but of course “Dr. Jung” is only one aspect of a larger being, as you have been told.
F: That simple statement opens up new ideas for me. [Bob] Monroe and Ashaneen, for instance. Shall we pursue it now?
CGJ: Let it marinate for a while.
F: All right. Well, thanks again.
CGJ: You are welcome, old friend, and my greetings to our other mutual friends reading this.
F: Unknown to each other.
CGJ: No harm in that. Goodbye for now.