The Human Psyche and Love through Carl Jung's lenses
In his book, Jung mentions that it is easier to love someone else than to love oneself. We tend to accept the good and bad sides of others more readily than our own. Jung philosophically said that through life's journey, we meet ourselves multiple times in a thousand disguises.
The founder of analytic psychology, Carl Jung, was a Swiss psychologist who revolutionized his field. Being a quiet and observant child may have been the aspect that shaped his career and work. You see, kids, sometimes it's good to be isolated.
Carl Jung was actually a disciple of Sigmund Freud. Jung used to be Freud's go-to man, but unfortunately, as time passed, they didn't see eye to eye on a few concepts, which led to their separation, much like a nasty divorce.
"By psyche, I understand the totality of all psychic processes, conscious as well as unconscious." – Carl Jung
Jung dissented the human psyche into three, consciousness, personal conscious, and the collective unconscious.
The consciousness contains the 'ego' component of our psyche. It could be thought of as the 'command HQ' of humans. It assists in organizing thoughts, senses, intuition, feelings, accessing memory, all the works. The consciousness links the inner and outer worlds together and creates a cohesive picture of how humans relate to external ones.
Jung defined the personal unconscious as follows, "Everything of which I know, but of which I am not at the moment thinking; everything of which I was once conscious but has now forgotten; everything perceived by my senses, but not noted by my conscious mind; everything which, involuntarily and without paying attention to it, I feel, think, remember, want, and do".
Essentially the personal unconscious includes those aspects that could be in our consciousness, but we have simply forgotten or repressed. These can be quickly brought to the consciousness with a bit of effort. Jung termed it as the less superficial layer of the unconscious.
The collective unconscious is definitely the juicy part as the theory is so unique. The collective unconscious could also be referred to as the 'objective psyche. This part of the unconscious is said to be made up of a compilation of knowledge and imagery that is innate in every human. It is said to be shared by all human beings because of its ancestral experience. The images or themes derived from the collective unconscious are a concept called 'archetypes'. They also have a universal meaning cross-culturally; it is something shared by the human race.
Jung's take on love
"Nothing is possible without love…for love puts one in a mood to risk everything." – Carl Jung.
Jung had a rather interesting take on love. This may get a little confusing, so hold on.
The term individuation proposed by Jung was used to describe the process where the conscious integrates with the unconscious. The aim of this is to realize one's purpose and fulfill the same. In other words, comprehending one's potentials. The process of individuation generally commences with a crisis. This crisis could be a death or some other loss. According to Jung, the emotional power of this crisis causes humans to question one's own sense of self and the meaning of life.
This same emotional power could also be found in love. Jung went on to write that humans are the victims of cosmogonic love. Furthermore, he talked about how falling in love can demolish regular ego identifications. A more expansive way of being is gained through experiences of ego death.
In his book, Jung mentions that it is easier to love someone else than to love oneself. We tend to accept the good and bad sides of others more readily than our own. Jung philosophically said that through life's journey, we meet ourselves multiple times in a thousand disguises. This means that the positive and negative traits we see in others merely reflect what we see in ourselves.
At times, through loving others (including their negative aspects), we embrace and accept those same negative aspects of ourselves. "If one's partner is 'truly loved,' then that human being becomes a 'representative of the unconscious."
Jung argued that when two personalities met, it was as though two chemical substances came in contact, and if there was any reaction, both personalities were transformed. Via the transformative reaction of love, humans may discover the difference between who they really are and what they think of themselves. Understanding this dissimilarity is crucial in the process of individuation.
Jung's idea of love was powered through the concept of individuation, which is initiated through a robust emotional shift within humans. But what if there was no emotional dynamic? Would the person just never experience the concept of love or not have set foot on the path of individuation?