The self notion

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Cristi Balan

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Dec 5, 2019, 5:19:29 AM12/5/19
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I find difficult to understand Jung's self notion. It is a kind of alterego , or a so-called cosmic ego? Someone told me Jung was interested in Asian occult philosophy.
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William Dennehy

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Dec 5, 2019, 11:54:43 AM12/5/19
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Cristi,

From my reading of Jung over the decades I understand that he was interested in all cultural manifestations of the psyche, not only oriental but occidental. He has said somewhere that oriental psychology is so ancient that they were the first psychologists. (To paraphrase from faulty memory) But, he stressed that each were fundamentally different and it was not advantageous and even harmful for those of the west to lean too far to the east; it would be like trying to mix oil with water. The myths, archetypal images and dreams of those of the east hold different meanings of those of the west. For instance eastern psychology rejects the ego as bad and the thing that keeps one on the wheel of suffering incarnation after incarnation, the goal eventually being loss of self-identification and absorption into some kind of unconscious bliss. Jungian psychology on the other hand stresses the importance of developing a strong, conscious ego not identified with the archetypes of the collective unconscious, a theory which leads to Jung's concept of the individuation process.

From my understanding of reading sources other than Jung, these authors, in one fashion or another, eventually come to the same conclusion that Jung did, the reality and importance of our greater Self in contrast to our time and space ego-self. The diagrams of circles within circles one may see, mostly in Jungian psychologist's books, depicting the difference between the ego, Self, personal unconscious and collective unconscious should not be taken too seriously. In fact, these diagrams can become a hindrance  to self-exploration as there are no clear defined lines, borders or boundaries in the collective psyche. 

I can only speak from subjective understanding at this time in my life (as every other human on earth) of the Self concept: Our ego-self is a part of the greater Self; a chip off the old block. As opposed to eastern thought, there is a good reason for that part to be born into time and space, into a world of duality. (an incarnation) It is not a "fall" into matter of which we should wish to escape or as punishment for original sin, in fact, it could be voluntary depending on one's psychic maturity. (Individuation?) The greater Self, outside time and space, cannot experience duality and all that it entails, most notably suffering. "The Church", in contrast to the Protestants, is correct to affix the image of Christ on the cross as that is an archetypal image of our self manifesting in a world of duality. But, it's not all about suffering; the greater Self "learns" through us from our experiences. It cannot know what coffee tastes like, how to hit a nail with a hammer, what sexual union and desire feels like, and how to learn to love. In my view it's a two-way street: As above, so below/as below, so above. This reciprocating action (influence?) goes on from moment to moment, not only while awake but also in our dreams. 

During the day I often pause, if I can become conscious enough to remember do so, and thank my Self for my life and the privilege of being consciousness in the world. I imagine that my experiences in time and space are "gifts" that I can give to my greater Self that otherwise would be unattainable to it. Through us the gods experience their creation! How opposite this view is not only from oriental thinking but also the christian cult.

Will

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Cristi Balan

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Dec 5, 2019, 11:08:54 PM12/5/19
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Thank you very much for your response. I understand that the self is a religious matter. So we must know the self the way Christian people experience God? Well what is our benefit of knowing God? Is there any redemption?
>there is a good reason for *that* part to be born into time and space,

Aropa

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Dec 6, 2019, 2:48:37 AM12/6/19
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It is not alterego nor cosmic ego or god, it is the completeness of the individual realized through a conscious assimilation of the unconscious archetypal images. It is about meaning and knowledge. In short, an ethical accomplishment aimed at in the Jungian psychotherapy.

Aropa

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Dec 6, 2019, 11:18:12 PM12/6/19
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It is a religious experience only if you project the archetypal self into some divine figure of a religious system such as Christian

Chris

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Dec 17, 2019, 9:59:53 PM12/17/19
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How do we feel this completness ? Is there something we can experience in our body and soul?

AROPA

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Dec 24, 2019, 2:30:31 AM12/24/19
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As I said it is an ethical accomplishment. This is because the realization
of the self is pursued during the analytical treatment.
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