I bet you are wondering how this statement has anything to do with depression or mental health issues. Well, if you dont know, my assertion is that almost all mental health issues are really emotional health issues. Emotional health is about my ability to transcend the conflicts, those unresolved deep seated emotional conflicts, that persist below the level of my consciousness, that can at times strongly influence my conscious life. The unconscious, since I am not aware of it, can’t be resolved, in my opinion, by thinking. We may be able to arrest in some form the impulses sufficient enough to where we dont need to escape through addiction or other forms of “escape,” but unless those emotional conflicts I have are are resolved then it will just be a matter of time before I am facing that same internal struggle of that illogical response to an unknown angst or anxiety that I can find overwhelming.
Carl Jung, in the letter where the quote above came from, was writing to a man who was trying to understand why he chose the women he did to be in his life. Jung talked about how we carry the energy of our anima(an aspect of our psyche) and our choices in women were incarnations of our anima. Jung quoted something from the middle ages that said “Each man carries his woman with him.” He also said that, “In practice it means that the woman of your choice represents your own task you did not understand.”
I was talking with a friend yesterday and we were talking about our choices in spouses/girlfriends in our lives. We talked about how we would always choose to assign the responsibility for the end of those relationships to them. But what I am learning is that we are really trying to deal with that energy that we carry inside of us and which we view the world from in our minds. The problem is that the feminine energy to me is pure, but the deep seated, unresolved emotional conflicts I carry can, and I repeat can, filter the feminine energy in such a way that it becomes a demon, a pain, fear, or anger.
So what is the resolution and how can it be attained. Jung writes, “[T]he creative man has to create and make visible in spite of the fact that he cannot do it properly….Never mind the imperfections of technique; the contents wanting to come to light are the thing that matters….How psychic energy can transform itself into physically sound phenomena is a problem in itself. I don’t know how it is done. We only know that it is done.” What I get out of that is do something with my hands and brain and not try to work it out in my mind.
I am about to set out on an endeavor in a week or so of doing some serious building with my hands again. It has been almost 6 years since I have done it. I will report back soon. I think how Jung said it is better than I can at this time.
“[T]he earth always wants children-houses, trees, flowers-to grow out of her and celebrate the marriage of the human psyche with the Great Mother, the best counter-magic against rootless extraversion!”
Quotes from Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 321-322
The picture below is the best image I have ever seen of what depression can do to a person