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The “I” according to Carl Jung

The “I” according to Carl Jung

We all use the word “I” yet we seldom look at its origin.  Within the majority of languages one finds the concept of “I” but have we ever stopped to analyze what  “I” represents?

According to many modern psychologists; who base themselves mostly on what is unofficially call materialistic psychology; believe the “I” to be mostly our thoughts, our brain; in other words it is a very limited concept.  Here we are going to define the “I” as Carl Jung saw it ” The I Complex” or “Ego Complex”; Jung often used the term “complex” to describe a partially repressed, yet highly influential cluster of charged psychic material split off from, or at odds with, the conscious “I”.

According to Jung then we are a cluster of emotions, thoughts and institutions which we instinctively call “I”.  It would be helpful to go deeper into where does the “I” surge from, however that is quite an extensive subject which I hope in future to develop more.  In this article I will focus more on what is the “I” composed of…

According to Jung’s psychology; which is in alignment not only with other great thinkers but also with very ancient esoteric teachings; the “I” is a cluster of various personalities or for ease of argument, a cluster of various personality tendencies which we so rudimentary call “I”.

Why then do we call ourselves “I”?  Because subconsciously we call “I” to the synopsis given to the various personalities within; we do this in order to be able to function relatively well within this world.  All these set of emotions, feelings and thoughts which are conscious within us, help us perceive the world relatively in an orderly way by giving us an “I”.  When looking at ourselves in the mirror we see a person…”I”.  That “I” then is our ego; that ego has thoughts, sensations and feelings.  That is why is so important not to buy into the dissolution of the Ego but rather work ourselves to dissolve the “false ego” which is the delusion of false grandeur based on a low self esteem and/or lack of self knowledge.  Without an ego we could not survive in this world, it would drive us to chaos.

I would also like to clarify then how little different “singletons” are from “multiples” (DID..Dissociative Identity Disorder).  While singletons perceive themselves as “I”, multiples institutively know there is no “I”; however within their mind, thoughts, sensations and feelings battle for an “I” leaving the person feeling confused and disconnected.

Both singletons and multiples have much to learn from each other, as both have positive and negative traits.

It is easier for a multiple to bypass the false ego, however he struggles to build an “I” to help stabilize himself within this 3D world and its density.

Singletons have an easier time building and accepting the cluster as an “I”, yet they can fall pray to the delusion of the false ego which is based on a need for false acceptance in order to “be”.

Unfortunately some Hollywood movies have demonized DID in an cruel attempt to create distance, instigate anger and make others fearful to even consider looking at the cluster of human emotions within; therefore hiding our true capabilities/potential while  maintaining a confused consumer focused society.  DID is still considered the “holy grail” of psychology; people with DID tend to amaze scientists and Psychiatrists with the way their brain functions at a psychological and physical level.  They are very empathetic people whose split is usually the result of great traumatic events yet they are nothing like the horrible versions Hollywood would like us to believe.

Getting back to Jun’s teachings…The “I” is nothing but the tip of the iceberg.  The tip is not the whole iceberg, the majority of the iceberg is kept hidden under water; that is  our subconscious mind. We are not just the tip of the iceberg but the whole thing, we just don’t know ourselves very well.

The modern clinical model or materialistic psychology seems to focus exclusively on the tip of the iceberg everything else is ignored.  Even those who modernly try to study the subconscious more and more examine only what is closest to the iceberg; the biggest parts of our subconscious remain untapped.   No one is denying the importance of the “I” or tip of the iceberg but it’s only important in its relation to the whole thing.

More and more, we see the modern clinical model more focus on medicating without looking at the roots of the problem; they are supposed to get people back into “functioning” mode as quickly as possible so they  may be productive.  They don’t care much for feelings and emotions, instead all around we see the encouragement to supress these…more and more we see a society less able to feel, a society ready to ridicule and punish anyone who openly feels and expresses their emotions.   To those like Jung and his followers, feelings are a great “gift”; a unique and quite accurate thermometer of where the person is at and of what hides behind the emotion.

To summarize you are a cluster of thoughts, emotions, feelings which in reality do not define your totality and which can be modified.  How important is this to know in order to start the process of individualization.  Individualization isn’t bad, on the contrary it is a great gift.  Unfortunately many falsely believe becoming an individualist equates to becoming uncaring of anything and anyone else.  Individuality has been tainted and paired in a negative way with being “self centre”.   Let’s look at that closely shall we?  Just take the words without the connotation given to you by a society that has forgotten the root meaning of the words. Being self centre is being stable, is focusing self; nowhere in its original concept was it associated with narcissism or tyrannist behaviour.   To be an individual or to focus on your center simply means to learn to live in balance.  It means the rejection of your self sacrifice, where the best of you is set on al altar for others to use and misused in exchange for superficial acceptance.  To be an individual is to learn to embrace and love yourself in your totality without running from your shadow or hiding your uniqueness.  It is recognizing the awesome powers hidden within you while accepting that your actions have reactions and those will affect the world around you which one is connected to but not made of.  To be an individual then is to stand on your own while being connected with the all; without self sacrifice or limiting dogmas which require the belittle of self, the apologizing for right to live as if we were mere animals.

You are divine, we are all connected by the great force yet we can only honour that great force within us and without by embracing our individuality without confusing it with a false ego.  It means learning to take your self development seriously without taking “life” as presented to us too seriously.  After all there is so much more to life than what we can see and individualization or self development is the way to awaken who we really are.

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.  Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside awakes” - Carl Jung


Sofia Falcone

Sofia Falcone
I passionately believe one person can make a difference. I write from my own experiences and interests. It is my greatest hope that by writing about my own challenges and hopes, others may feel inspired to believe more in their inner power and to fully embrace themselves.

Reprinted on crystalwind.ca with permission from Sofia Falcone.

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