Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Primordial Images

Do we ever understand what we think? We understand only such thinking as is a mere equation and from which nothing comes out but what we have put in. That is the manner of the intellect. But beyond that there is a thinking in primordial images, in symbols that are older than historical man; which have been ingrained in him from earliest times, and, eternally living, outlasting all generations, still make up the groundwork of the human psyche.

It is possible to live the fullest life only when we are in harmony with these symbols; wisdom is a return to them. It is a question neither of belief nor knowledge, but of the agreement of our thinking with the primordial images of the unconscious.

Carl Jung, the 20th century Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology, wrote those thoughts in his 1936 book, Modern Man in Search of a Soul. Jung is describing what Eastern philosophy has expressed for centuries. As Jung said, we only understand what we perceive and believe. Eastern thought is filled with other beliefs and perceptions that made Western man think, but he was unable to understand his thinking until minds like Jung and those before him made Western sense of it all.

Jung is explaining inner consciousness. He calls it unconsciousness, but the inner consciousness is much more conscious than what we call our consciousness. Inner consciousness, as Jung points out, is the foundation for our ego and body consciousness.

We don't need to reconnect with our inner consciousness; we have never been disconnected from it. It guides our waking consciousness. Our created beliefs, as well as our primordial beliefs, never disappear while we are focused physically.

Jung said that we can only live a full life when we are in harmony with our inner consciousness. What he means is when we are in harmony with our inner consciousness pain and suffering are accepted. We take responsibility for creating them.

1 comment:

Hal said...

Yes, taking time to listen to your self is exciting. There is a special harmony that only you can express with your self and when you sense it, you are in arms of peace.
Thanks for your wonderful comments Margrit.