Tag Archives: Self Reflection

Carl Jung – “We Cannot Change Anything, Unless We Accept it” (5 minute read)

If you are struggling to find inner peace, I urge you to read this short post. It is an excerpt from a lecture that Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, gave to a group of clergy. I discovered it on YouTube and have provided the link below.

People forget that even doctors have moral scruples. And that certain patients’ confessions are hard for even a doctor to swallow. Yet the patient does not feel themselves accepted unless the very worst in him is accepted too. No one can bring this about by mere words. It comes only through reflection and through the doctor’s attitude towards himself and his own dark side. If the doctor wants to guide another or even accompany him a step of the way he must feel with that person’s psyche. He never feels it when he passes judgment. Whether he puts his judgment into words or keeps it to himself makes not the slightest difference. To take the opposite position and to agree with the patient offhand is also of no use and estranges him as much as condemnation.

Feeling comes only through unprejudiced objectivity. This sounds almost like a scientific precept and it could be confused with the purely intellectual abstract attitude of mind but what I mean is something quite different. It is a human quality. A kind of deep respect for the facts, for the man who suffers from them, and for the riddle of such a man’s life.

The truly religious person has this attitude. He knows that God has brought all sorts of strange and inconceivable things to pass and seeks in the most curious ways to enter a man’s heart. He therefore senses in everything the unseen presence of the divine will. This is what I mean by unprejudiced objectivity. It is the moral achievement on the part of the doctor who ought not let himself be repelled by sickness or corruption. We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate. It oppresses. I am the oppressor of the person I condemn. Not his friend and fellow sufferer. I do not in the least mean to say that we must never pass judgment when we decide to help and improve, but if the doctor wishes to help a human being, he must be able to accept him as he is. And he can do this in reality only when he has already seen and accepted himself as he is.

Perhaps this sounds very simple, but simple things are always the most difficult. In actual life it requires the greatest art to be simple and so acceptance of one’s self is the essence of the moral problem and the acid test of one’s whole outlook on life. That I feed the beggar, that I have given him salt, that I love the enemy in the name of Christ. All these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ. But what if I should discover that the least amongst them all, the poorest of all beggars, the most impudent of all offenders, yea the very fiend himself, that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the arms of my own kindness. That I myself am the enemy who must be loved. What then?

Then as a rule the whole truth of Christianity is reversed. There is then no more talk of love and long suffering. We say to the brother within us “Raca” and condemn and rage against ourselves. We hide him from the world. we deny ever having met this least among the lowly in ourselves and had it been god himself that drew near to us in this despicable form we should deny him a thousand times before a single cock had crowed.

 

Image Courtesy of rdonar/Shutterstock.com

Knowing Yourself is the Key to Knowing Others

It has been a while since I posted anything on this particular blog but after a lengthy phone discussion with an old friend I have been inspired to reignite the examination of this side of myself. Perhaps the truth of the matter was that I never stopped on my journey.

Challenge

My biggest challenge in life, as it has always been, is figuring out exactly how to interact with the world. I possess strong opinions and a desire to engage, but I always feel inadequate when expressing myself. And the ideas that I am trying to unleash remain trapped within my brain.

Additionally I feel a simmering urgency to get involved as it is incredibly frustrating witnessing how people interact with each other on social media. It is absurd that so many people hold on to their ideas with such a unwavering certainty when even a cursory examination of spiritual principles could cast enormous doubt upon any perspective.

Fear

However, I believe there is an underlying shadow of doubt that is feeding the divisive world that we find ourselves in. People are subconsciously realizing that the paradigm upon which they base their value system is dissolving beneath their feet. And with the desperation of a drowning swimmer they cling to the familiar, no matter the evidence laid before them.

If I claimed 2+2 = 5 no one would react so strongly in denying that untruth. One would simply know it’s wrong and move on. But when foundational ideas about the very way you live your life are challenged…. you get loud, you get angry, and you certainly don’t go down without a fight. There are examples everyday of people experiencing this huge identity crisis. 

In no place is this more apparent than in the social media trend called ‘Cancel Culture’. This draconian and unforgiving practice reeks of fear. It requires a person to completely disregard their own flaws, while highlighting, as paramount, the perceived failings of another and ultimately punishing them harshly for it. And all of this based on a minimal amount of information.

Temptation

The temptation I feel is to respond equally as harshly to those promoting cancel culture as a useful approach to improving the world. But the unfortunate irony is that in doing so I am becoming the very thing I am most passionately opposed to. The upside is that perhaps in understanding more deeply what I need to transcend this anger I gain an understanding of what others need. And I believe this element is at the core of my spiritual journey.

Understanding the essence of who I am, in turn means I understand others. And within this understanding is the gift of truly being able to make a difference in this world.

 

Photo Courtesy of: De Visu/Shutterstock.com