Updated: May 7
Anyone is bound to ask. Why do I want to delve into life's mysteries? Why not be satisfied with a more superficial relationship with life? Why go deeper? This is what "depth psychology" is all about. It's about excavating and scratching below the surface to see beyond apparent realities. It's about doing the inner work that changes perceptions and outcomes. It's about awakening and new insights.
There may be a lot of adventures in your personal story. There are a lot in mine too.
“It baffles many people at first to hear that the imagination is an organ of coherent communication, that it employs a highly refined, complex language of symbols to express the contents of the unconscious.” Robert A. Johnson, Inner Work
Everybody has a self in the game, but not everybody has a “Self” in the game. We all have two sides which are often referred to as the little "self" and the big Self. Little self is our apparent, everyday self, which includes primarily the ego and persona. Little self doesn't disappear as it shapes and reshapes our experience of life. Big Self, as you can guess, is not the same thing. It's a place below the veneer of appearances. There's something worth discovering inside the container of little self, something bigger, something mysterious, something worth discovering.
Having an unknown side can be a big deal and play a big part in our lives. We are in an archetypal matrix of sorts, experiencing a personal and collective archetypal journey, which can and does, affect behaviors, abilities, and choices.
A conversation about awareness and higher intelligence necessarily includes two sides of us. These sides exist in all of us, big and small, aware and hidden.
One side is our ego driven side, the one everybody has.
The other side is our “Higher Nature” and it has both a collective and a personal meaning. Everybody has this side too, which can be viewed as our Divine Nature. Divine Nature isn't always good. Powerful forces exist hewn into our everyday thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
These forces have counterparts in the form of archetypes So a rough and tumble, not so pleasant side may be, metaphorically, a dragon, a wolf, or a similar image. This is not to say that these archetypes are bad or good, as all archetypes contain positive and negative attibutes. They exist to give insight.
Mother Nature presents in every culture, every language. If some language accompanied a butterfly, for instance, there might be words associated with a butterfuly such as beautiful, light, airy, angelic, and transformational. A sunrise might stir a sense of newness, awakening, brilliance and beauty.
Mother Nature reaches out with messages of love. And she brings about calamities! The two-sided aspect of Mother Nature is typical of this archetype, and archetypes in general. Unraveling our life paths isn't always easy. But it leads to help and healing.
And wouldn’t it be great if there were a kind of internal road map? There is! Archetypes have a way of knitting life's stories together, all the characters, all the lives.
I have a story to share with you. It's a story of symbols. It's about the appearance or manifestation of autonomous images, archetypes. The images aren't, and can't be manipulated into place. There are sets of characters, roles and scripts, in all of us. They are universal, experienced collectively, as well as personally.
Archetypes, images that exist, even hide as a kind of life energy, are images full of emotion. There is a certain magic, a certain supernatural quality, in what is uncovered through inner work. Magic can mean miracles, synchronicity, and serendipity. It can mean curiosity and wonder. It means that there is a world working within us like a well-oiled machine, very often outside of our awareness.
What we don't know about ourselves can operate outside of our conscious control. If we're interested in becoming a better human being, inner life awareness is important.