Sunday, November 21, 2010

Collateral Damage

I am in awe at the power we possess to alter our reality with our minds. Let us talk about the power of denial. To me the word ‘denial’ has a very negative connotation, as if we willfully and wantonly exercise our power of denial to rid ourselves of something that is plainly obvious to us, something that is right in front of our noses that we simply choose, consciously (there’s the kicker) to ignore for some selfish, self-serving (read ‘evil’) purpose.

But our power of denial is in many instances a tool for survival and it enables us to actually alter our reality to such an extent that we can truly forget things as if they had never happened.

This is an amazing and useful tool of adaptation that we possess. The power to make ourselves forget something as if it never happened, to fragment our minds, split off that part of memory that we do not want and simply make it go away.

Problem solved.

Well, not really. For it is an amazingly useful power and at the same time an enormously destructive power. The power we have over our own minds. This ability we possess to simply make part of ourselves go away, oftentimes never to be heard from again. Amazing and tragic all at the same time. Amazing that we can do this in order to save ourselves and tragic that we find ourselves in situations that it must be done in order to save ourselves and even more tragic in that this power to slice off and away parts of ourselves closes us off to vital parts without even knowing it. It is not possible to slice off and do away with parts and pieces, e.g. painful memories without also slicing off and doing away with some of the good stuff too.

I sort of think of it as chemotherapy for treating cancer. While it is necessary to run this toxic medicine through the body to kill off the cancerous cells, there is no way it can be done without taking with it many of the good cells. There is no discernment.

We could call this ‘collateral damage’. We got the bad guys but unfortunately we had to kill numerous innocent civilians in the process. But the good news is we got the bad guys. But the bad news is…

More and more I am convinced that we are separated from God in that we are separated from ourselves. He isn’t gone, we just cannot see Him because the place where we can find Him is inaccessible to us.

I read Jungian psychology and I read it because it has become plain to me that Dr. Jung was on to something very vital and central to his psychology is the idea of circumambulation of the Self. We are looking for the center, for the Self, for OUR Self. I absolutely and positively would not dispute because it is right on the money for me. However there are questions as to whether he considered the Self to be that one thing for which we are searching, i.e. the Self as God.

I finished a book recently, The Living God and Our Living Psyche, What Christians Can Learn from Carl Jung by Ann Belford Ulanov. And I do believe that this very smart lady hit the crux of the matter when she states that the Self is not God but that part of us that knows God.

I just love it when I stumble across the words for that which I have to that point been unable to put into words.


  1. It's been a long time since you posted. I wonder what's going on in that brain of yours these days?!

    I have a new blog that deals with my Christian stuff (rather than posting it in with my addiction recovery blog). If you are interested you can find me here:

  2. Hi Michelle,

    It has been awhile. I think the problem is that there is too much going on in my brain. I'm having trouble putting it all into some cohesive, thousand-words-or-less, blog post.

    Thanks for the link. I will definitely check it out.