Me, Myself and I
Who do you think you are?
Who you think you are is different to who you remember (or believe) you are, which is different again to who you really are.
All the most superficial elements of your personality comprise who you think you are. One of the key inversions in our current society is the ascendancy of this strata of being. You are taught that reality is to be found on this level – but you are not taught that this level is the least real.
If you are striving for power without responsibility, or if you repeat facts without holistic understanding, you are operating on this level. If your reaction to a contrary opinion is to seek to attack, eliminate or suppress it, you are operating on this level. There is no truth here. You must dig deeper…
Who do you believe you are?
The sum total of your past experiences (and your responses to those experiences) form a record. This is who you remember (or believe) you are. It’s much, much bigger and more complicated than who you think you are at any given moment.
Sometimes you have enjoyed being on your own; sometimes you have been on your own and not enjoyed it. Sometimes you have enjoyed the sunshine; sometimes you have found it uncomfortable. In each of those moments, those experiences were ‘real’ for you (on the level of who you think you are).
On this next level, all those contrary experiences start to be correlated, developing a kind of complex belief about what aloneness means to you, or what the sunshine means to you… These beliefs are shaped and developed over time – and again, the ‘time’ we refer to is much longer than your lifetime.
You are what you eat
And it’s not just about you, here. You are fed on other peoples’ beliefs – things learned from your parents, teachers and culture, and even passed down through your genes.
All this forms part of who you believe you are. Here, then, is everything you believe (subconsciously) about yourself and your universe, based on the totality of your experiences – both direct and indirect.
The strengths of your various emotions are determined by the nature of your reality on this level.
The most effective therapies don’t just change your thought patterns or your habitual responses, but must lead to resolutions on this level.
Archetypally, these 3 levels of ‘beingness’ (who you think you are, who you believe you are and who you really are) correspond to the Earth, the Moon and the Sun. The first is in shadow; the second shines with reflected light; the last is self-luminous.
Only one of these states – the self-luminous Sun state – is eternal and therefore really real. By contrast, the Earth and Moon perspectives develop and refine over time.
The ultimate goal is for all 3 perspectives to be in alignment.
While you are not at that point of unity, you are trying to make sense of your universe from dissonant perspectives – and this is the cause of mental and emotional distress.
The truth is within
When you try to understand yourself and your universe by following trails of ‘fact’ breadcrumbs, you will find they never end – it’s an ever expanding circumference, and it takes you further and further from the one place where everything makes sense.
The psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung reintroduced the ancient idea of archetypes to elevate thought from the level of conflicting facts to a form capable of expressing synthesis…
The Moon, for example, is associated with night-time, and therefore stillness. It is associated with nightmares, which are disquieting (and therefore the antithesis of stillness). It is associated with the night sky, which is (archetypally) eternal, unchanging. And it is associated with waxing and waning (and with the tides), symbolising perpetual (cyclical) change.
You have to use a different part of your mind (or psyche) to “get your head around” all of these apparently dissonant associations under the unity of a single symbol.
All roads lead to home (OM) – even if you’re currently travelling away, one day you’ll be drawn back to the centre. All dualities lead to unity… See you there.
Jung’s validation of astrology
Jung investigated astrology and found that horoscopes gave insight into his clients’ inner worlds (their psyches). He referred his clients for astrological consultations. He wrote that “Astrology is assured recognition from psychology, without further restriction, because astrology represents the summation of all psychological knowledge of antiquity”.
Many people associate astrology with the sun-sign advice in newspaper columns (“Gemini: this can be a busy month for you…”) – which is to reduce archetypes to types.
Astrology (as Jung realised) is truly archetypal in nature – having your sun in Gemini, for example, has an infinite array of possible expressions, but they’ll all be expressing something sunlike and something Gemini-flavoured. Even if we decide there are only 12 numbers, this apparently limited range still embodies an infinite space – number 3 has all the space between 3 and 4, so it includes 3.1, 3.65, 3.73946, Pi (3.14159…) and an infinity of other expressions, all in their own way exploring something about 3-ness (in relation to 12-ness).
The universe is infinite. Your intellect is finite. You can only start to perceive reality if you start to think in archetypes – and you already know this – when you count “1, 2, 3, 4, 5…”, you are subsuming the infinity of possible decimals and fractions which are implicit in each number… And you thought counting was simple!