“All psychological phenomena can be considered as manifestations of ENERGY, in the same way that all physical phenomena have been understood as energy manifestations ever since Robert Mayer discovered the law of the conservation of energy. Subjectively and psychologically, this energy is conceived as DESIRE. I call it LIBIDO, using the word in its original sense, which is by no means only sexual.”
This quote formulates the essence of the 29-Day Program, which is devoted to the psychological work with human desire. The purpose of the assignments and the readings is to teach you to see the root cause behind the diversity of your soul experiences. This root cause is your desiring nature. And when we work with the root cause of the mental phenomena, we have the biggest opportunity of changing and influencing them.
Emotions are the primary and most important manifestation of our desiring nature. When our desires are satisfied, we feel calm and experience emotions on the pleasant side of the emotional spectrum. When a desire is unsatisfied or an obstacle stands in its way, we feel tension and the discomforting part of this same spectrum.
Another word for the latter is suffering. It is the sum of all the painful emotions that we reject because we do not want to feel unhappy, sad, angry, scared, jealous, or inferior. Rejection, however, is an unhealthy defense mechanism of the Self that causes the rejected part to manifest as mental or physical illness. We need emotional intelligence in order to deal with the pain in the correct way. The same applies to success in life, for which the major factor is a high level of emotional intelligence.
The Program will teach you how to increase your emotional intelligence and thus create the internal prerequisites for the realization of your desires.
There is suffering for which the high level of emotional intelligence is not sufficient. The cause of this suffering is rooted in the deeper layers of our personality – where the soul is. And the soul is also a desire, but a different one. Unlike our earthly ego, which wants happiness, success and security, our soul wants to create in the world of matter and to develop. However, this development can only occur in the vertical dimension of the Spirit. We enter this dimension only when our earthly desires are thwarted – when we suffer and experience our powerlessness. There is a thought by C.G. Jung that describes it well:
“Every psychic advance of man arises from the suffering of the soul.”
This Program will teach you to understand the meaning of the obstacles that stand in the way of realizing your desires, and how you can turn them into steps of your spiritual development. The search for meaning and the courage to embody it in our lives is the subject of spiritual intelligence.
How to Work with the Program
To have knowledge of the root cause of mental phenomena will help us understand the extreme complexity of the human psyche in a clear and accessible way. And since the root cause of all mental phenomena is desire, the direct path to getting to know and master them is by becoming aware of the most important form through which it manifests – our emotions.
“On the one hand, emotion is the alchemical fire whose warmth brings everything into existence and whose heat burns all superfluities to ashes. But on the other hand, emotion is the moment when steel meets flint and a spark is struck forth, for emotion is the chief source of consciousness. There is no change from darkness to light or from inertia to movement without emotion.”
To a varying degree, all of us are immersed in different emotions. When these emotions become stronger and more painful it is an indication to turn them into conscienceless. You can think of it as a red light that makes us stop and understand the hidden psychic content that triggered it.
The assignments and the readings in the Program will teach you how to develop such understanding. They will help you get to know the disturbing emotional factor and thus gain the power to change what is tormenting you. Only the unconscious has power over us.
But what is consciousness? And what exactly does it mean for us to become more aware? Although there are many definitions of what consciousness is, I will quote C.G. Jung again, because thanks to him I was able to see the connection between the two levels of intelligence – emotional and spiritual. C.G. Jung said that the essence of consciousness was about making distinctions, i.e. differentiation:
“Differentiation is the essence, the sine qua non of consciousness.” C.G. Jung, (CW7)
And the condition to be able to make distinctions is the presence of opposites:
“There is no consciousness without the discrimination of opposites.” C.G. Jung
The irony is that the existence of the opposites is the very condition for the emergence of the energy that exists because of the tension between them.
In other words, the opposites, the duality of the world we live in, are the condition for the birth of both the desire and the consciousness. They are closely related as they are the two sides of the same thing – the human soul. On one hand, is the desire, which binds us to the world of phenomena and forms through the energy of attraction. When this desire is obstructed, pain comes, and it directs the energy in the opposite direction – repulsion. It becomes clear why, according to C.G. Jung, the progress of the soul arises because of suffering – the energy for differentiation, i.e. for the generation of consciousness, comes from the forces of repulsion, not attraction.
“In reality, identity does not enable the awakening of consciousness; only separation, emancipation, and the suffering-filled existence amid contradictions can give rise to consciousness and knowing.”
C.G. Jung (CW9)
The psychological work with the Program will help you transform your painful emotions into a means of differentiation and birth of consciousness. Thus you will be able to utilize their true purpose and they will become the fuel for the development of your soul.
The Four Mental Functions
There is something else important about the nature of consciousness – it exists in the form of a relationship between the center of the Self and the various contents of the psyche.
“The important fact about consciousness is that nothing can be conscious without an ego to which it refers… The relation of a psychic content to the ego forms the criterion of its consciousness, for no content can be conscious until it is represented to a subject.”
C.G. Jung (CW9)
Analytical Psychology teaches that the connection between the center of the Self and the mental phenomena manifests through four different “channels”, i.e. functions – thinking, feeling, intuition and sensation. Together they form two pairs of opposites. The first pair, sensation and intuition, are irrational functions forming the basis of our direct perception of phenomena. The second pair of opposites, thinking and feeling, are rational functions from which the capacity for reflection arises.
Working with the Program will teach you how to use these four functions with greater differentiation so that there is less distortion and a greater degree of freedom in the perception and interpretation of what happens to you.
The self-awareness that the Program will teach you consists of two steps. The first is to become an alert observer of your mental life through the function of sensation and intuition. The second is to learn the correct “mental processing” through the function of thinking and feeling. The first is the essence of awareness (also known as mindfulness). The second is the essence of reflection.
“Reflexio means ‘bending back’ and, used psychologically, would denote the fact that the reflex which carries the stimulus over into its instinctive discharge is interfered with by psychization… Thus in place of the compulsive act there appears a certain degree of freedom, and in place of predictability a relative unpredictability as to the effect of the impulse.”
C.G. Jung, Psychological Factors Determining Human Behavior, CW 8
The assignments and the readings in the Program will create conditions for reflection on your everyday experiences, so that you can get out of your reactive behaviors and feel the growing freedom within yourself.