Suppression, repression, oppression — sadly the way of psychiatry most of the time. My mind is free to roam now again after more than two decades of shut-down. There is great joy in experiencing the full spectrum of what it is to be human. Even as there is pain, too. If we wish to mature and live a full life this process is a necessary part of experience.
But if we understand anything of the unconscious, we know that it cannot be swallowed. We also know that it is dangerous to suppress it, because the unconscious is life and this life turns against us if suppressed, as happens in neurosis. Conscious and unconscious do not make a whole when one of them is suppressed and injured by the other. If they must contend, at least let it be a fair fight with equal rights on both sides. Both are aspects of life. Consciousness should defend its reason and protect itself, and the chaotic life of the unconscious should be given the chance of having its way too – as much of it as we can stand. This means open conflict and open collaboration at once. That, evidently, is the way human life should be. It is the old game of hammer and anvil: between them the patient iron is forged into an indestructible whole, an ‘individual.’ This, roughly, is what I mean by the individuation process. – Carl Jung, from A Study in the Process of Individuation
More on the topic of individuation on Beyond Meds: The foundation of healing mental distress and of becoming a mature human adult
Some posts on Beyond Meds that feature Jung’s work:
Books by Jung: