Archives for February 2016

How can we choose our behaviour when 95% of us is unconscious?

We are a strange species. Watch a cat napping comfortably on a sofa or a dog stretched out blissfully in front of a fire and you won’t see a creature ruminating on why it is here or what its purpose is. Yet we humans agonise endlessly over such questions, convinced that finding answers to them is key to living a happy, fulfilled life.

The difference between animals and humans is supposed to be the ability to choose. Yet with anger, greed and vengeance raging both inside and outside us, sometimes it seems as though no intelligent free will is being engaged at all.

So what is the answer? The journey of human life seems to be about power and how to handle it. Do you decide to have power over others and cause pain or power over yourself and develop your qualities? It shouldn’t be difficult choice because 95% of our minds is unconscious, we simply do not seem to be able to make the sensible choice. Unconsciousness reveals itself to us in many ways but one of its most obvious methods is through our behaviour. The ways in which our buttons can be pushed tell us much about who we are and have become but unless we find a way of responding (conscious) rather than reacting (unconscious), we are likely to be in for a lot of unhappiness and trouble, both on a personal and global scale.

In order to communicate with the Unconscious mind, we need a language. One such language was discovered by Jung and developed by the likes of Joseph Campbell and Caroline Myss. The language of archetypes is a way of understanding the behavioural patterns in our unconscious minds. We first come across them in fairy tales and myths: Cinderella, Snow White, Peter Pan, the Wicked Step Mother, the Queen, the Bully, the Prince, the Free Spirit etc. They are rather like filters, or stage lights that colour your energy in a certain way, determining how you live your life and what you do with it.

Archetypes are made up of light (that which we know) and shadow (that which we don’t recognise/admit to) and they form the foundation of our personality, drives, feelings, beliefs, motivation and actions. It is vital that we integrate both light and shadow if we are to be conscious enough to act from free will and choice.

According to Caroline Myss, our unconscious mind works through a basic twelve archetypes, four of which are common to every human being on the planet. In the next four newsletters, I will be discussing each of these – the Child, the Victim, the Saboteur and the Prostitute (yes, a tough word, but we all go through it in some form or other).

Learning to speak the language of archetypes sends us on a fascinating journey into the mind, shining light on parts which may have lain hidden for a very long time. As a bonus, learning this language also helps us to understand why others behave the way they do.

In preparation, try observing your behaviour over the next month. Write down what you do, especially when your buttons are pushed. The more you understand about what you do, the easier it will be to discover why you do it.

Wishing you a peaceful, insightful and joyful March,

Love Laurelle