Painting Jung

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Transformation or Osiris (panel eight)


One view of identity is that it's a structure made of what we identify with. Rumi says that identity must be torn down, completely demolished along with its little tailoring shop, the patch-sewing of eating and drinking consolations. Inner work is not all ecstatic surrender. Don't listen too often, Rumi advises, to the comforting part of the self that gives you what you want. Pray instead for a tougher instructor. Nothing less than the radical disassembling of what we've wanted and gotten, and what we still wish for, allows us to discover the value of the true being that lies underneath.

The pickaxe, for Rumi, represents whatever does this fierce attention-work: clear discernment, a teacher's presence, simple strength, and honesty with oneself. The pick axe dismantles the illusory personality and finds two glints in the dirt. Like eyes they are, but these jewel lights are not personal. Rumi points to a treasure within our lives unconnected to experience. It is intrinsic, beyond calculation, a given, reached after the ego is cleared away and a one-pointedness digs under the premises." (14)

In summary, the aliveness of the childhood's immature ego must mold itself into an ego able to function in the realm of achievement, relationships, and work. As the personal ego assimilates its transpersonal contents a shift begins to occur from the personal ego to the center of the total psyche, “the self”.

We now experience what Jung calls the "uniting symbol". The "uniting symbol" appears when the conscious ego can confront the unconscious on its own terms. A balance is struck between the opposites which allows the transcendent function to create the "uniting symbol"

The "uniting symbol" is an explicit indication of centroversion. 

"Centroversion is the innate tendency of a whole to create unity within its parts and to synthesize their differences in unified systems." (15)

This unification of the psyche is made clear by symbols which depict the oneness of the opposites. These symbols are identified with balance, harmony, unity, symmetry. The mandala contains these elements.

"Structural wholeness, with the self as center of the psyche, is symbolized by the mandala, by the circle with a center, and the hermaphroditic uroboros. But this uroboric circle now has a luminous core of the self for a center." (16)

The health of the psyche comes forth like a living organism which flourishes, laughs and refreshes. For humankind and the human being have identical quests, to grasp the oneness within.