Finally, after two years, Covid got me and I tested “positive”. Immediately, I was crushed into a psychological state of ambivalence and split. One side told me: “The show must go on”, as I had three seminars waiting for me in Athens and Istanbul. The opposing side said: “Stay calm, take it easy, give yourself time out, your body is telling you something, it’s your immune system that requires a pause”. Usually, in such situations, best friends come into the picture. People who love me dearly said categorically: “Stop!”
I faced a real dilemma: How would I decide?
Based on E. Neumann (C.G. Jung’s disciple) we can learn about the Ego-Self Axis: The Ego (which corresponds to my acts), the conscious level (meaning, what I know and am aware of), the Self (which is my internal knowledge, spirituality, and hidden assets as well as my whole total being) and my unconscious (those parts in my psyche which are hidden), all those are conceived in Jungian psychology as my whole personality.
In Jungian coaching we should always bear in mind the fraction: conscious/unconscious. In my case, facing the Corona I felt I should listen inwards. Stein (1998) argues that “consciousness is what we know, the unconsciousness is all that we do not know” (13). Practically, this calls for listening to my arguments and dilemma and at the same time reflect on my unconscious which accompanies my arguments. When facing a dilemma, I usually search automatically for practical solutions and comforting advice from previous experiences, sticking to what I am accustomed to, holding onto familiar capacities or assets which had been available in my nearby environment. My available knowledge, skills, experiences, logical mind, and common sense, as well as physical sensations and emotions, all those are considered my Conscious Mind. My Ego is the “hero” of my consciousness. My Ego (which corresponds to the conscious mind) is considered the overt daily functioning activities with which I operate in the world (personal and professional).
Well, I understood that Covid threatened my Ego!
Now how did my unconscious integrate into this panic?
The Unconscious is considered in Jungian Coaching as a huge reservoir of psychic potential that lies hidden within my psyche.
“The unconscious includes all the psychic contents that lie outside of consciousness, for whatever reason and whatever duration” (Stein, 1998, 13). The unconscious conceives archetypal images and symbols and the deepest and most prominent archetype in the unconscious is the ‘Self’. Is it the ‘Self’ to which I needed to refer to while searching for the appropriate archetype which could assist me in deciding what was best for me? Kast (1992) describes the Self archetype as “the creative principle that guides the structuring of the Ego complex”. Being aware that on December 2022 I shall complete 70 years in this world, my Self confirmed to me that my life assignment has always been teaching and bequeathing knowledge. This is the lightning torch of my life. Practically, the concept of the Jungian ‘Self’ turned into my conductor and compass. I knew that, unlike my Ego, my Self might be irrational, terribly powerful, and usually challenging. I addressed a question to my Self: Which archetype do I need to dialogue with, and the Self answered instinctively: the Hero!
I held a dialogue with my internal hero and he said: “One step at a time! Analyze the situation on a daily basis. Listen to your body and synchronize the physical data with your soul. We are moving out of your comfort zone. Most of your friends expect you to stay in your comfort zone as it keeps them on the safe side. If you risk, as a Hero does, you will risk your own chances, remember that!”
So, I canceled the first seminar. However, for the rest of the quest, I proceeded safely, wisely consulting with my internal Hero and Self.
In the picture below: Ilisia hotel, Athens.