Unlived lives

Motivation to do what we can to become conscious.

From Awaken in the Dream by Paul Levy — Unlived Lives

generation“Jung felt that the “unlived lives” of the parents deeply impacted the lives of the children, as if “branding” the children with a particular destiny. The unlived lives of the parents is an ancestral inheritance which has great weight and gravitas, in that it literally shapes the lives of the children. Jung elaborates on the notion of the parents’ unlived lives when he says it is “that part of their lives which might have been lived had not certain somewhat threadbare excuses prevented the parents from doing so. To put it bluntly, it is that part of life which they have always shirked, probably by means of a pious lie. That sows the most virulent germs.”

The repressed, unlived lives of the parents acts like a contagious and malignant psychic virus which infects the surrounding field. Speaking about repression, Jung makes the point that, “whatever you repress, whatever you don’t recognize in yourself, is nevertheless alive. It is constellated outside of you, it works in your surroundings and influences other people. Of course, you are blissfully unconscious of these effects, but the other people get the noseful.” This psychic virus is like a nonlocalized bug in the system which creates a dis-ease and disturbance in the coherence of the family. This virulent psychic pathogen germinates in and replicates itself through the unconscious of the children, which is the medium it uses to reproduce itself through generations, i.e., over time.

Children see more than the parents suspect or want them to see, as they are empathically tuned into the unconscious of the parents. The parents’ unconscious, which seems to be in the background, is actually in the foreground of the child’s psyche. The parent’s unconscious flows into and in-forms the child’s psyche. “Nothing influences children more,” Jung reflects, “than the silent facts in the background. They have an extremely contagious effect on the children.” The parents’ relationship to their unconscious influences the children’s unconscious through the avenue of the collective unconscious in which both are contained.

Children sense the underlying spirit of things. Describing the sensitivity of children, Jung knows from his own childhood, as do we all, that “Things that hang in the air and are vaguely felt by the child, the oppressive atmosphere of apprehension and foreboding, these slowly seep into the child’s soul like a poisonous vapor.” This toxic vapor is like an ancestral spirit which penetrates and insinuates itself into the core of the child’s being. This living spirit is the family inheritance, as it patterns, shapes and in-forms the offspring, who become compelled, to the extent they are under the spell cast by the parents, to unconsciously act out and become an instrument for the incarnation of the ancestral unconscious. They become the unwitting purveyors and living revelation of the “hidden gospel” of the unconscious of the ancestors.” (read more)

For more on this topic here on Beyond Meds see:

More info on Trauma and PTSD – the cause of much of what gets labeled mental illness

About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters