Casement 1998 Describes Jung's Idea Reaction Paper

Excerpt from Reaction Paper :

To look at another's life as a symbol or as an inspiration for how one ought or wishes to live can be a very motivating factor in finding one's own personal myth.

A fascinating element about Edinger's (1992) work is how he compares the teachings of Jesus from a subjective perspective of interpretation to depth psychology and how similar they are. For example, one that is particularly insightful is: 'Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth' (1992). Edinger (1992) states that 'subjectively understood, meekness will refer to an attitude of the ego towards the unconscious.' To come to inherit the earth seems to suggest 'an awareness of being individually related to or having a personal stake in the whole (the wholeness of life, the total human experience)' (1992). Nearly all of Jesus' teachings can be interpreted in a psychological way, which makes one believe (even if they do not have any religious beliefs) that religious and moral works can (and should) be interpreted as paradigms for how people can live their lives.

Jung's belief that the ego and the rest of the psyche were forever communicating (Young-Eisendrath & Dawson 2008) was one that was very different from other psychologists. He claimed that the process of communication goes on forever; the only thing that changes is the nature of the conversation (2008). What is interesting about this idea of Jung's is that there is the belief that one can never make the unconscious something that is conscious -- he believed this was impossible (2008) -- and the only thing one can do is to loosen 'the boundaries between conscious and unconscious' (2008). This can be done through psychotherapy and can lead to major growth for an individual. It is through this dialogue between ego and the rest of the psyche that one can deal with past traumas and learn how to deal with any traumas that may come into play in the future (2008).

The development of an individual didn't just happen during traumas and dealing with the traumas; Jung believed that psychological development was a continual process throughout life (Yong-Eisendrath & Dawson 2008). This means that the 'story' or the 'personal myth' as Jung called it, is forever changing -- that is, the narrative is ever-changing (2008).

Schwartz-Salant (1986) discusses narcissistic character structures and how they are driven toward individuation as well as the 'regressive fusion of ego and Self-image.' Narcissistic character structures can stunt personal growth or they can 'lead to the emergence of a new spirit' (1986), according to Scwartz-Salant. This statement is confusing as all of the characteristics of the narcissist are negative in nature: lacking penetrability, rejecting interpretation, intolerant of criticism, cannot integrative synthetic approach (1986), etc.

It seems that everyone has a different interpretation for what constitutes a narcissistic character; however, when looking at the story of Narcissus, a story of a may who could not recognize his own reflection, one can see that it is about a man who was blind to his own inner life and the only way that this could 'lead to the emergence of a new spirit' (Schwartz-Salant 1986) is if the person were able to open his or her eyes and no longer be blind. This could be done through depth psychology and finding individuation of Self and ego.

References:

Casement, Ann. (1998). Post-Jungians today: key papers in contemporary analytical psychology.

Routledge; pp. 83-146.

Edinger, Edward. (1992). Ego and archetype. Shambhala; pp. 131-294.

Scwartz-Salant, Nathan. (1986). Narcissism and character transformation: the psychology of…

Sources Used in Document:

References:

Casement, Ann. (1998). Post-Jungians today: key papers in contemporary analytical psychology.

Routledge; pp. 83-146.

Edinger, Edward. (1992). Ego and archetype. Shambhala; pp. 131-294.

Scwartz-Salant, Nathan. (1986). Narcissism and character transformation: the psychology of narcissistic character disorders. Inner City Books; pp. 29-132.

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