Way inside, toward myself

C age we come to ourselves, fully revealing the essence of his "I", thought the psychologist Carl Gustav Jung. About how we age and that the gain over the years reflect the Jungian analyst Leo Khegai and psychoanalyst Vivian Thibodeau (Viviane Thibaudier), in the past - the head of the Paris Institute of Carl Gustav Jung.

Way inside, toward myself

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As described aging Jung?

The Lion Khegai:

He was not engaged in a purposeful process of aging and age psychology. Not because they did not interest him, but because he was the first practitioner. He has worked with clients and formulated the theoretical views on the basis of experience. And in those days, psychoanalysis was the lot of most middle-aged people. Older people in the consultation did not go, and life expectancy was lower than today. For the same reason, incidentally, gerontopsychology studying the psyche of the elderly, began to emerge in the second half of the XX century. But Jung himself lived to 86 years and had excellent health.

Vivian Thibodeau:

I do not like the term "aging", it heard something negative. Jung imagined this process very differently. His philosophy is to monitor what is going on inside of our being, our shell. What we are older, the more this shell is destroyed, the more we enter into a relationship with the inside of themselves, and the more it comes into its domestic law, acquires value, comes into action and allows us to place as a unique individual. For a description of Jung uses the metaphor of the life cycle of the sun, which rises in the morning, then gradually rises to the zenith, which shines in all its glory until you begin to droop, and then goes beyond the horizon. There is a moment when growing energy spreads and intensifies shine, then another time when all this is reduced again. Radiance weakens until it becomes darker, it does not turn into something apparently more gloomy. This is the life we ​​follow the "way of the sun", in accordance with its phases and its rhythm. Well, then we put the question differently: how Jung imagined the second half of a person's life?

LI H .:

Yes, it is more successful formulation. Jung did say about the two halves of life. During the first phase we focused on solving the problems of social adaptation. We fit into society, trying to comply with the requirements that apply to our lives, in other words, "want to be like everyone else."

Does this mean that in the first half of life we ​​form the archetype of the person - that is, the structure of our personality, which, according to Jung, is responsible for the fact that we demonstrate their surroundings?

L. H .:

In part, yes, but not quite. Persona, Jung felt rather protective sense, considering that it arises as a means of protection, a mask behind which one hides, sensing the danger. Actually, the word "person" means precisely the mask that actors used in ancient Greek theater. And to say that the first half of the life of a person is only concerned with the fact that the hides, it would be wrong, of course. During these years, we aim to acquire a profession, a family, to be realized in the role of parents. In short, do everything that involves the concept of "place in life". And in cooperation with the outside world, with the tasks that he puts in front of us, we are developing not only the person but also his "I".

"Jung believed that the image of the wise old man embodies the ideal of a harmonious second half of life"

Then that changed in the second half of life?

H .: LA

social order problem sidelined. Everything has already been achieved, or at least tried, priorities begin to shift to global issues. Anyway, ideally so. Man tries to understand what the mind is, what is life, what is its meaning. Moreover, this apprehension is not intellectually, but through the experience of his own life. In it we are looking for answers to these questions - and if you're lucky, you find. But in the search for closer to themselves, to their inner nature. This process Jung called individuation process. UW .:

Best of all it is reflected in the image of Christ crucified between two thieves. In this picture, Jesus symbolizes our "I", torn between the negative figures that Jung called the Shadow. Shadow - a border between our normal personality ( "I") and the knowledge that in the depth we represent something more - the self. This metaphor tells us that our inner transformation is not possible without the sacrifice of our "I" and the recognition we have been given, that it is different from and does not coincide with it. Transfiguration is not as comfortable as any opposition to our conscious personality experienced as a threat. Therefore, the conscious personality to die to be reborn to a new level, and then we can go from "I" to the self, which, according to Jung, is the true center of our psyche. This inner transformation is the main story of the second half of life. This is a breakthrough inside yourself, to the integrity and autonomy. Often, this transformation is occurring at a time of existential crisis, when "the sun begins to droop." It was at this point we tend to look into themselves, ask yourself these questions: we have raised fine children, but what we did with their talents? We are led to the successful completion of his career, but our emotional and spiritual life has been? At these times we feel crucified in the face of what are confronted; it's like a knife pierced our hearts. We ask ourselves, what happens to us. We fall, we do not know where to run, until we can not, if you're lucky, find the right path. And when we find him, we still have to accept the fact that it is not necessarily "normal", "normal" way, and then just become who we are in the depths of myself. You're talking about finding yourself as an achievement, breakthrough. But old age we decided to associate more with the aging and fading than breakthroughs and inner growth ...

UW .:

Of course, if we want to continue in the 70 years to do the same as in the 30, we are faced with a huge disappointment. But if we can not do, such as the long run, as before, or tell ourselves that all is lost, or, on the contrary, let us ask ourselves what we could do in return, to continue to feel in harmony with his body. This is the perfect time to find yourself on a new level, more profound. When we suffer, our inner essence thus manifests itself and sends us a message. And then in front of us two options open. Either we do not see this message, focusing on pain and withdraws into himself. Either we accept the message and try to make sense of what is going on with us. These are two radically different approaches to how we are changing with age, the search for the meaning of these changes and to answer the question: "What is it tells me about my life situation? What does that say about me today? ". The fact that we have grown old, in no way does not justify us when we do not find meaning in what we do and who we are.

"The older we are, the more inner comes into its own, becomes the value and allows us to place as a unique personality"

L. H .:

As I said earlier, Jung himself differed enviable health, but because of his physical enfeeblement not too worried. But in general we can say that the flowering of spiritual possibilities of man often coincides with the impoverishment of physical abilities - is the same, and is not a consequence. However, a truly wise man is impoverishment is not so concerned about. Perhaps physical weakness encourages the acquisition of spiritual power. Jung claimed that it was the image of the wise old man embodies the ideal of the harmonious life of the second half. How can you get closer to its essence?

H .: LA

There is hardly any universal recipes. Methods of realization of experience in many ways, and these experiences are determined. But it is safe to say that one of the ways of self-knowledge - and therefore acquisition of wisdom - Jung believed psychoanalysis.