The other day I saw an incredible movie, A Dangerous Method. It was about Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung’s mistress. As I watched the movie so many insights about work came out it was fascinating. First of all I had no idea that the two renowned psychologists were contemporaries on the scene at the same time. Freud was older than Jung and became like a father figure to him. As time went on the friendship between the two men became strained partially due to Carl Jung’s secret affair with his mistress and her working for both men, but more so because of differing opinions on their work and psychology in general. Sigmund Freud related all dreams, all problems, all psychosis, to sexuality. Although Carl Jung looked up to Freud, he saw things quite differently. He believed that we all have a potential man or woman of a very high order within and the closer we move to the experience this potential, the more happy we become. Freud thought that Jung was moving too closely to the realm of metaphysics and that it had no place in psychology. Sigmund Freud became very disappointed with Carl Jung because of this and Carl Jung was very hurt by Sigmund Freud’s seeming need to be superior. Now that you know the background I will tell you come of the insights I noticed in the film.
1. Carl Jung always looked up to the great Sigmund Freud and after meeting him and sometimes disagreeing with certain ideas, he seemed afraid to express his thoughts and somewhat doubted his own gut feelings and observations about psychology. Even though we look up to experts and heroes in our fields, at some point we must test things for ourselves and ultimately be our own authority.
2. Carl Jung had to go against the grain and ultimately against the most revered man in his field to pursue his endeavors . In life and in our work, we have to be who we truly are and let go of the results in the process. This is not always an easy task.
3. Sigmund Freud was somewhat Jealous when he found out that Carl Jung could research all he wanted and did not have to worry about money because his wife was wealthy. In the meantime Carl Jung was envious of Freud due to his fame and notoriety. Often we don’t realize just how good we have it and find ourselves still wanting something else even when we have it made.
4. When Carl Jung fell out with his colleague and mentor he became very unhappy and was no longer himself. He ended up having a nervous breakdown. We cannot focus on things that make us unhappy and worry about things and people
we have no control over. Once again when it comes to our work and other situations in life we must do what we have to do and let go of the results and surrounding circumstances.
5. Years later Carl Jung reemerged on the scene and went on to produce what was considered to be his best work. Carl Jung is known for his theory of us all moving toward self actualized man. We cannot let naysayers hold us back from our expression. We fall down, but we get up. Don’t be afraid to get back in the game and be who you truly are, truly express yourself.
6. Both men, like all the greats, were very much wrapped up in their work. They were truly working in the field that fascinated them. You want to be great and truly give something to the world? Find something that captures your attention and pour yourself into it. Then share it with the world.
7. Carl Jung’s patient Sabina Spielrein, who became his mistress, went on to become a psychotherapist despite her past illness. Once again we fall down but we get up. We cannot let anything keep us from our dream.
8. It’s also important to note that although Jung parted ways with his mentor, Sigmund Freud, having a mentor to help one find their way is invaluable.
9. Being a part of the community is important too. The men in this field had meetings and associations with one another, published papers and shared their findings. If you want to be a great artist you must hang out with other great artists in your field. Birds of a feather flock together. We become a part of the atmosphere we place ourselves in.
I have felt these feelings a lot. One thing for sure is I have definatley lacked community connections
in my life. Not that I haven’t had them, I have, but some of their ways would rub me the wrong way, and I would speak up about it. I keep thinking “those who speak do not know, those who know, do not speak.” I have done this with my family, twelve step programs, sexist groups, which for me has really seemed like the whole world at times. The good thing about all of this feeling so alone and ostrasized by so many large groups, is it got me desperate enough to seek God alone, and put God first, stop seeking appoval of others, and keep goin’ even if it feels ardous at times. A few months ago, I was so desperate to stop speaking up, I taped my mouth. I used masking tape, as duct tape would have hurt more, but my results probably would have been better. I didn’t walk around outside this way, just at home with family, to remind myself to simply shut up a while. I thought I’ld have fun with it anyway, and I did. I know it’s extreme, and seems silly, but man, I was desperate and bottomed out with my mouth. No, I was not meditating nearly enough, and talking way too much. Then I found that I could still hear, so I got myself some earplugs. The results of that was fascinating too. Outside noise is very distracting, and earplugs even help to meditate. With so much outside noise it is really hard to hear the inner sound. I live in a very loud city, it’s a boom town here, constant construction noises. Makes it more challenging to meditate on the sound, and focus at all, really. Very interesting though, as I was out playing tennis with my son and his friend, (we get a lot of chinooks in Calgary, and the snow melts), I was searching for a lost tennis ball, and found a brand new roll of masking tape in the bushes instead. Funny sign, I thought, thanked God, laughed at myself, and put the tape in my backpack. I really do try to have a roll of it everywhere, just to remind me of the importance of silence. Those have always been some of my favorite words in the Tao. Those who know do not speak, those who speak, do not know. I’ve been bottomed out
too many times to count, just from speaking up and out. Mass thinking does not like being challenged. That’s an inside job alright, especially for women, living in a patriarchal world like we do. It’s even inspired me to write, and I’m working on a book now. I have no idea how it’s all gonna come together, and maybe I’m just expressing my inner feelings safely with poems and writings, but at least it’s creative expression, and doesn’t get me ostrasized, at least not yet. If it ever gets published, many will resent me all over again.