Consciously Growing and Unconsciously Outgrowing Oneself

Meditation in Changzhou China

Meditation in Changzhou China

If anyone was to ask me how I became the way I am, what did I do to become the kind of person I am, I would have to honestly tell them that I haven’t got a clue. I just am. Yes, I know that I am changing, have changed and will continue to change as that is just life. I respond to events, ideas, emotions, interactions with others, the absences, the losses . . . the list is too long to try and name all the environmental, cultural and interpersonal factors that have had a role to play in my development.

In the process of being alive and changing, I have acquired a personal belief system that has a spiritual dimension. Someone recently asked why I don’t start up a new religion or new approach to psychology since I didn’t seem to fit into any of the boxes that currently exist. But of course that would be impossible as I am not the “leader” type in terms of doing the work in having others become followers.  I do lead within the context of various groups and professions, but not in something as personal as spirituality. I can’t understand a religion or church as ever meeting my needs. I can’t accept that what works for me could be packaged and sold to others as solutions for their spiritual needs.

“When I examined the course of development in patients who quietly, and as if unconsciously, outgrew themselves, I saw that their fates had something in common. The new thing came to them from obscure possibilities either outside or inside themselves; they accepted it and grew with its help. . . . In no case was it conjured into existence intentionally or by conscious willing, but rather seemed to be borne along on the stream of time.”  (Jung, C.W. Volume 13, paragraph 18)

Yes, unintentionally, unconsciously being carried along. It does matter what I consciously and intentionally do with my life and what presents itself to me as I make my way from birth to death, with that stuff which emerges and happens without my control, without my volition. And this only makes me think more about beingness. I basically have no choice other than to be myself, to be my self. Where I do have choice is in being more or less of that self that is there fully beneath the layers of consciousness. Not bringing anything up has me be in life more unconsciously than consciously. As I wrest things out of the darkness and in the process discover hidden aspects of myself, I appear to change to others when in fact I don’t undergo a change at all in terms of self. I just become more of my self.

Now this has me wondering about those things I have set aside, those choices I refuse to consider. Do I choose to not act because of fear of change, fear of what might be in store for me? Does one refuse that which comes up because one doesn’t want to disturb the status quo such as in terms of relationships? Of course I don’t have any answers, just questions and wonderings.

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