Hello everyone! My name is Emerald and I'm new to the alliance. To introduce myself, I'll give you a little bit of my background and how Jungian Psychology has positively effected my life.
I'm currently 27 years old, but when I was 20 years old and in college I had two entheogen-induced experiences that completely flipped my worldview on its ear. I will call these experiences of ego-transcendence, as I was truly able to see through the illusion of separation that the ego creates, that makes us feel separate from all other things in existence. I felt completely at one with everything, and all my fear of death was completely dissolved. My awareness took in so much more information than I normally do, and all of the traits, emotions, and internal phenomnon that I had habitually ignored and repressed flowed effortlessly into my conscious awareness. It was an extreme reintegration of all the things about myself that I thought of as negative or other than who I am. So, for those short-lived experiences, I truly loved every part of myself and every part of existence because I recognized them as one and the same.
Prior to these experience, life was hard but simple. I had extreme willpower and was very goal oriented. I was always trying to bring value to myself and to be a successful person and a high achiever, and I would go 500 miles out of my way to do so. I also worked to make myself interesting by adding idiosyncrasies to my self-concept. So, I was always refining myself and building up my reputation as this person. I was actively engaged in the individuation process. So, life was simple (even when it was hard) in that I knew exactly what I should be doing. If it served my self-concept, then it was worth pursuing. If it didn't serve my self-concept, then it wasn't worth pursuing. I was certain that this was the path that would fulfill me.
So, during those two ego-transcendence experiences, I saw through the illusion of my self-concept and let it go for a few hours. I experienced a level of fulfillment, that I had never known before. So, this muddied the waters for me in which direction that I should go in, in my life. Before, my only M.O. was to build my self-concept. After experiencing the unprecedented beautiful state and depth of fulfillment from letting go of my self-concept, I now had a new M.O. 'destroy the self-concept.' So, for about three years, I struggled between the two poles of 'build the self-concept' and 'destroy the self-concept.' Life became really complex and convoluted, and I lost direction in many ways. It was a chaotic time.
But when I was about 23, I heard some song lyrics that were interesting to me and seemed related to my experiences from three years prior. I looked up their origin and found that the concepts discussed in the song related to Jungian Psychology. I also found Jean Raffa's blog Matrignosis which was incredibly helpful to me. Jung's model of the psyche was incredibly helpful for me to get my bearings and to understand exactly what had happened during those experiences. Basically, in attempts to maintain a particular Persona, my Ego had gone to work repressing traits that had become part of my Shadow and some to my Animus (and probably Anima too, as I had a strong habit of repressing traits that I saw as feminine). So, when I was able to let go of my Ego's identification as this person called "Emerald", all that the ego had filtered out of my awareness to protect itself suddenly no longer needed to protect itself... because it was no longer seen as an entity. It was recognized as a mechanism of the psyche which extends far beyond ego. So, all the content that had ever been repressed naturally rose to the surface, and my awareness became incredibly clear and broad enough to recognize that everything was an extension of myself, and that I was an integral part of the entire universe. I had tapped into the aspect of myself that Jung called the Self.
So, reading into Jungian psychology was really my first step in the right direction in navigating the labyrinth of my internal world. Prior to that, I was trying a lot of destructive ways to suppress the ego or kill the ego, and it really reeked havoc on my life. I would embarrass myself on purpose, do things to destroy my reputation, never allow myself to have a self-congratulatory thought, let people go over my boundaries, and the list goes on.
I look forward to discussing topics with all of you! :)
I couldn't really tell from what you shared, but did you feel that initial awakening was a kind of spiritual emergency?-- that is, the way Stan Grof describes it, when something spiritual happens to you that causes an emergency situation with your psyche?
Hello Bonnie. Thank you for reading. :) Spiritual emergency is definitely fitting to what happened to me back then. Life really fell into chaos, and I had so much resistance to the changes happening in my internal and external world. I really could have crashed and burned in all the chaos. But in retrospect, it's a nightmare to think that I could still be existing in the way I did before these experiences. There were a lot of things that were out of alignment then, that needed to be destroyed. It was an unpleasant but renewing process. Sort of like how the Phoenix turns to ash before it's reborn stronger or how the caterpillar must completely dissolve in the cocoon before that primordial goo can grow into a butterfly. Life is much better now but it's still a process. Thanks again!