Navigating the Unconscious

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious” – Carl Jung

Over the past few months since this course has started, I have felt parts of my unconscious kicking up parts of my past I thought I’d left behind.

October 13th was my sister’s 6 year anniversary and as I wrote the post ‘Honoring the Death of a Loved One’ I realised how much of my processing and healing from the trauma is ongoing and unravelling. So many things are linked and it’s like a knotted ball of wires connecting to different parts of my mind and memories. Some things that have happened make me want to perform a type of ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind’ – erasing it from my past.

I’m learning how much of my unconscious mind plays a role in my behaviour. As much as I may tell my mind that I have healed, or that a certain thing does not bother me anymore, the body refuses to let go. The body begs to be held, hugged and gently asked, ‘what’s wrong?’ The patience I have is limited, I wish it could just move on. But recovering from broken brain patterns, or healing from trauma, is similar to recovering from an addiction. Every trigger is an opportunity to make a choice and by doing so, forge a new neural pathway.

My course in Transpersonal Art Therapy is all about digging into the subconscious through various meditative and art activities. It surprises me what comes up during these exercises. Especially since I always considered myself quite a self-aware person. But this course has only demonstrated how little I do know. “The more I learn, the more I realise how much I don’t know.”

This same phenomenon applies when the material learned is based on your own unconscious mind that was built over the years of your own individual evolution, and the evolution of mankind as a species. Now I can see that all I am conscious of only the very tip of the Freudian iceberg. It feels like I am a small figure wandering in a foreign land, at night, holding nothing but a torch to light my way.

It’s taken a few weeks to replace that realistion from terror to excitement. Life would be boring if we knew everything about ourselves wouldn’t it? It would be similar to the feeling of travelling every crevice of this giant planet. Even if you could manage such a thing, you’d probably still know of places you’d be dying to go back to.

Let the adventure to unconscious begin…

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