Know Thyself





by Jacquelyn Small



Carl Jung is my hero.

He may not have been perfect in his personal life (Who amongst us can cast the first stone?). But what he brought forth in his vast and unfathomable wisdom of the psyche has been the most thrilling aspect of my consuming studies into our human nature -- my passion, and life's work. "Know Thyself!" has pranced around in my mind for decades as such a wise saying.

Yet, as I sit here tonight I'm aghast at how much I'm just now comprehending what those two words actually mean. Jung said, If we want to understand the psyche, we have to include the whole world." He knew it all exists within us, and only there! Without psyche, our inner life, we don't even exist! ​

Somehow he cracked the code of the Mystery of Life. And for his deep and penetrating analytical/inspirational work, I am so very grateful. Now, as I enter into Eupsychia's newest phase of work -- that of bringing to the first 28-day treatment program a transformational model of addiction recovery that really works -- I'm basking once more in Jung's brilliant influence.

In the 1930's he was present at the inception of a new movement called Alcoholics Anonymous, founded by a few who were desperately seeking healing for what "the most depraved poison, alcohol" could do to those who could not handle it. His now famous formula "spiritus contra spiritum" was a revelatory contribution to this group -- one he believed it would take decades for us to comprehend. This maxim has now become the major influence in my work.

With this statement Jung makes note of the fact that the words for the "highest religious experience" and for that "depraved poison, alcohol" are one and the same: spiritus. Therefore, he concluded that it requires a spiritual experience to counteract a problem with 'spirits.' Bill Wilson's "white light" experience was the form his own spiritual awakening took that removed his craving for alcohol and turned his life around. And today, I want to take this seminal idea into the wider field of humanity's plight itself: I'm convinced that it's going to take a full-blown spiritual experience to counteract the problem with 'spirits gone astray.'

Human nature is running amuck; many lives on this planet have become unmanageable, due to the ravages of war, threats of war, poverty, abject fear for survival, greed, ignorance, pride, and separatist thinking. Need I go on? Yet we all know in our hearts what's right. We all know that it's only to love and be loved, to care and be cared for, that really matters -- to anyone, ever.

Once again, thanks to the work of consciousness explorers such a Jung, we know now that spirituality is not a goal. It is not the result of prayer or meditation.





Spirituality is not a treatment outcome. It is not something to be earned by good works. Spirituality is our essence. And this is not a religious proposition, but a universal understanding today, even scientifically.

Physicists now say that we are light, and are not passive bystanders being acted upon by creation; that we are participating in creation as its co-creators with our Creator. Brain researchers tell us our brain functions like a hologram, containing all that's ever been or will be, just awaiting our explication and recognition. And this is Carl Jung's collective unconscious.

Mainstream religion says "I and the Father are one." And the Twelve Step philosophy of A.A. aligns us with a Higher Power. Spirituality is our true essence. And when we violate our very nature, we are like hot house violets trying to thrive in a snowstorm; we're in dire straits. But even with all this validation for our true nature that even science now brings, the recognition of our nature as spiritual has not nearly had the cultural or psychological impact it must eventually have.

We've not yet even begun to realize the implications of what we already presume. Our agencies and institutions haven't even considered developing guidelines or funding for helping us live in the world as spiritual beings. Or for carrying out our inherent destiny as the offspring of our Creator! We've not awakened to the impact of this identity as fact, still thinking, behaving and planning our projects and programs as though we are mere separate egos needing to be fixed, or fed. And worse, medicated!

In my opinion, we are trapped by our own intellects that are rapidly becoming too small to contain us anymore. And this is terribly dangerous: You know how difficult it is to overcome an intellect's rigid beliefs.

The integration of our psychological and spiritual nature is our next right step here on earth, if we are ever to birth the Self here, our incarnated soul.

The Self is a transcendent Being that is a mixture of an integrated ego and soul. The soul came here deliberately to take form as individual personalities so it can inspirit the human race by expressing its qualities through us. Those qualities are love, bliss, intense joy, playfulness, full concentration in the now, and a deep compassion for all creation.

As we awaken to this fact that we are this soul, we start to become whole. Not perfect, but whole; there is a difference. In a state of wholeness every part of our essence activates, which gives us the capacity to be fully present here, in mind, body and spirit, and to live in more than one dimension at once. It widens us into a whole new category of being -- where we manifest the intelligence of the Self, God's original image of how we each are to be. We live as whole, individuated statements of this God-nature, our divine Human Blueprint or Archetype.

So you can each see what you duty is here: We are to come fully into ourselves. And stop this mucking around in parts of life that don't really turn you on. When your light goes out, you get quite dim; the soul has removed itself from your body. And you're then being driven only by some sub-part of yourself such as Victim, Saboteur, Critical Parent, Codependent, or Addicted Personality -- a wounded fragment of your ego who lacks wisdom and only looks out for you! And, worst of all, your creative juices dry out. We become arid, bored, and boring. But we don't have to let that happen to us.

For we get signs, and help "from above." Whenever you feel the wounded symptoms coming on, just know it's either time to move on, or to bring Spirit to right where you are standing by remembering that Without the transcendent and the transpersonal, we get sick or else hopeless and apathetic.

We need something bigger that we are to be awed by and to commit ourselves to. - Abraham Maslow And remembering that this "bigger someone" lives right inside your own mind and heart.

At the center of your consciousness, like the nucleus of a cell, lives a "spark of mind" representing your Grand Design, a core identity who is your true Self -- the Self. We are all an expression of this archetypal One. Therefore, we will suffer desperately as long as we continue harming any one of our brothers or sisters here.


We are here to enliven this earth and its inhabitants by merging our two natures, a well-seasoned ego with the soul. A healthy ego knows the ways of the world, while the soul enlightens us and pulls us "up and out." At certain points, each of you will do an "about-face" and turn once more toward Spirit. You'll shift from being under the influence of the Law of Involution (enfoldment in life's conditions -- how the soul goes to earth school to learn how to be human) to that of the Law of Evolution (unfoldment toward our Source), and we move on, carrying with us that which we've learned and integrated -- seeing now through a wider view how all our suffering has had a sacred purpose.

To stay absolutely calm and clear during these rapidly-shifting times, it's crucial that we remember to balance the four pillars of conscious living: study, meditation, inner work, and outer service. Don't do any one of these too much or too little, or each can bring you harm. Currently, it's our job to stay on top of the churning waters of emotionalism and not sink into the torrents of depression, anxiety and fear that are so rampant today. It's time for us to really take these words of Dr. Jung to heart: "What, on a lower level, had led to the wildest conflicts and to panicky outbursts of emotion, now looks like a storm in the valley seen from the mountain top.

This does not mean that the storm is robbed of its reality, but instead of being in it, one is above it." And it's here in this higher consciousness that we are called to station ourselves for the moment.

Be well! In loving service,

Jacquelyn Small

Jacquelyn Small, LCSW, is an author and workshop leader emphasizing experiential processes that heal the emotions as a way to spiritual clarity and renewal. Her books include, Transformers and Awakening in Time. The Sacred Purpose of Being Human, will be released in Spring 2005 through HCI Publishers. Jacquelyn is the Founding Director of Eupsychia Institute, a national non-profit service organization.