Reflections from the Jungian Odyssey
“I prefer crisis to the insult of an ordinary fate.”
My lips will not speak untruth
I will not lose integrity
I will overcome the fear of death
It’s better to be crushed by the almighty forces than betray one’s own truth.
A death wish is a resignation to hopelessness but it leads to healing and shows a readiness to live authentically.
Betrayal is deeply transformative.
Brings us out of neurotic suffering and out of the victim role.
We must embrace the existence of both light and dark in ourselves, and in our relationships.
We must hold firm to the opposites within ourselves until the transcendent emerges -- this is what it means to dance in the flames.
Our soul is constantly giving hints but do we make time to listen?
No more self-betrayal!
Trust and betrayal are one not two. Trust contains the seed of the next betrayal -- and this is a truth that can shatter, crack our hearts and minds wide open or make us paranoid and neurotic as hell. But like all good biblical stories such as Job and Judas, betrayal is necessary for the birth of consciousness. The trust that is restored after acts of betrayal deepens commitment and strengthens our relationship to Self.
Trust and betrayal like all polarities are in their essence one in the same. But how much do we really get that on an experiential level? It sounds wonderfully divine and yogic, but then we react in completely black and white ways stemming from our own deep inner chasms. These inevitable and painful inner splits promote denial and keep us running from our own shadow.
Relationships are fertile breeding grounds for self-betrayal, which can lead to betrayal of the other. Again the two are inextricably linked. Not all betrayals are obvious -- especially those done to the Self. We justify, rationalize, collect massive feedback from others, and in the end find the most-clever ways to repress the most obvious but “inconvenient” truths. Our honest-to-god truth becomes a voice or a light so dim that it forces the unconscious to create symptoms, neuroses, and addictions. We struggle with the symptoms instead of the cause until finally if we’re lucky the unconscious spurred on by such planetary gods like Uranus, Pluto or Saturn will organize a revolution to crack open the crimped ego.
Why do we betray ourselves? Most often out of fear that our true feelings will be judged, misunderstood, or that our truth will cost us security or destroy our relationships completely. Are we willing to put our ego on the line, get up on the cross and have our hearts ripped wide open as we’re stretched between our own past and future/heaven and hell in the service of authenticity? Or do we revert to playing the game, and being what others expect us to be as we may have done with our parents and other authority figures from our past?
Can we risk being disliked or cast out if the stakes of integrity are that high? As one of my favorite classical Jungians, Barbarah Hannah has said: “Such integrity is only possible for someone who has recognized the relationship between the finite and the infinite, and has found a precarious balance between them and is able to sustain the awful tension between opposing powers.”
And what a great cost of self-love to betray ourselves in order to maintain relationships or the status quo! The new Uranian revolution in Aries (beginning today for the next seven years) is demanding that we honor ourselves, and our truth first and foremost. Does this make us selfish? What is the alternative – “I’m okay if you’re okay” co-dependent childishness? If we don’t know what our truth is, now is the time to start digging with fierce intention and commitment if we truly want to clear out all of the co-dependent dross impeding the way.
When the planets go into opposition, we have no choice but to deeply contend with this inner tug-of-war. It is the only way a real breakthrough is possible. Consider the most charged pairs of opposites in your life? How would you define your own quest between good and evil? When the Sun goes into Gemini each year, we are called to look at where we are torn in two. You can figure this out by looking at your greatest dilemmas. Where do you experience the most mental anguish and indecision?
Gemini, ruled by Mercury, is one of the most auspicious times of the year to process everything through conversation and writing. We have the next seven years to ponder our relationship to the Aries: “I Am” principle within.
Here are some powerful journaling exercises taken from Jungian Deborah Egger: Think of important relationships in your life: Where are you the most honest and dishonest with those people? Where are the double-edged swords in your life- -- those things that help you but also create the problem? Those people, places or things that guide you but throw you off track? Which gods are in the way that make the trip take so long? What is supportive and detrimental at the same time?
This period of time is a collective Bardo, or in Sanskrit antarbhava -- a liminal , intermediate space where the old rules don’t apply and yet the new have not been completely revealed. This kind of time and space can either induce great panic or can be immensely creative -- often both.