Mysterium Coniunctionis

Naturally there is an enormous difference between an anticipated psychosis and a real one, but the difference is not always clearly perceived and this gives rise to uncertainty or even a fit of panic.

Unlike a real psychosis, which comes on you and inundates you with uncontrollable fantasies irrupting from the unconscious, the judging attitude implies a voluntary involvement in those fantasy-processes which compensate the individual and —in particular—the collective situation of consciousness.

The avowed purpose of this involvement is to integrate the statements of the unconscious, to assimilate their compensatory content,
and thereby produce a whole meaning which alone makes life worth living and, for not a few people, possible at all.

The reason why the involvement looks very like a psychosis is that the patient is integrating the same fantasy-material to which the
insane person falls victim because he cannot integrate it but is swallowed up by it. In myths the hero is the one who conquers the dragon, not the one who is devoured by it.

And yet both have to deal with the same dragon.

Also, he is no hero who never met the dragon, or who, if he once saw it, declared afterwards that he saw nothing.

Equally, only one who has risked the fight with the dragon and is not overcome by it wins the hoard, the “treasure hard to attain.”

He alone has a genuine claim to selfconfidence, for he has faced the dark ground of his self and thereby has gained himself.

This experience gives him faith and trust, the pistis in the ability of the self to sustain him, for everything that menaced him from inside he has made his own.

He has acquired the right to believe that he will be able to overcome all future threats by the same means.

He has arrived at an inner certainty which makes him capable of self-reliance, and attained what the alchemists called the unio mentalis. ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 756