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Modern Man in Search of a Soul

To cherish secrets and to restrain emotions are psychic misdemeanors for which nature finally visits us with sickness-that is, when we do these things in private.

But when they are done in communion with others they satisfy nature and may even count as useful virtues.

It is only restraint practised in and for oneself that is unwholesome.

It is as if man had an inalienable right to behold all that is dark, imperfect, stupid and guilty in his fellow-beings-for such of course are the things that we keep private to protect ourselves.

It, seems to be a sin in the eyes of nature to hide our insufficiency-just as much as to live entirely on our inferior side.

There appears to be a conscience in mankind which severely punishes the man who does not somehow and at some time, at whatever cost to his pride, cease to defend and assert himself, and instead confess himself fallible and human.

Until he can do this, an impenetrable wall shuts him out from the living experience of feeling himself a man among men.

Here we find a key to the great significance of true, unstereotyped confession-a significance known in all the initiation and mystery cults of the ancient world, as is shown by a saying from the Greek mysteries: “Give up what thou hast, and then thou wilt receive.”

We may well take this saying as a motto for the first stage in psychotherapeutic treatment.

It is a fact that the beginnings of psychoanalysis were fundamentally nothing else than the scientific rediscovery of an ancient truth; even the name catharsis (or cleansing), which was given to the earliest method of treatment, comes from the Greek initiation rites.

The early method of catharsis consisted in putting the patient, with or without hypnotic aid, in touch with the hinter land of his mind-that is to say, into that state which the Eastern yoga systems describe as meditation or contemplation.

In contrast to the meditation found in yoga practice, the psychoanalytic aim is to observe the shadowy presentations-whether in the form of images or of feelings-that are spontaneously evolved in the unconscious psyche and appear without his bidding to the man who looks within.

In this way we find once more things that we have repressed or forgotten.

Painful though it may be, this is in itself a gain-for what is inferior or even worthless belongs to me as my shadow and gives me substance and mass.

How can I be substantial if I fail to cast a shadow?

I must have a dark side also if I am to be whole; and inasmuch as I become conscious of my shadow

I also remember that I am a human being like any other.

In any case, when I keep it to myself, this rediscovery of that which makes me whole restores the condition which preceded the neurosis or the splitting off of the complex.

In keeping the matter private I have only attained a partial cure-for I still continue in my state of isolation.

It is only with the help of confession that I am able to throw myself into the arms of humanity freed at last from the burden of moral exile.

The goal of treatment by catharsil is full confession-no merely intellectual acknowledgement of the facts, but their confirmation by the heart and the actual release of the suppressed emotions. ~Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul, Page 34-36