Carl Jung believed that unhappiness or neurosis is our golden chance to break through to a higher ground of meaningful consciousness. It’s as if suffering is intended to propel us ahead to new states of being.
Our psychic problems are archetypically the same as those of our ancestors, and if our ancestors found solutions and meaning from within their own depths, the likelihood is that we will too. We just have to be willing to look. An archetype is described by Carolyn Myss in her book, Sacred Contracts, ” as an organizing principle and pattern of intelligence that shapes the energy within us, thereby shaping our lives”. Her pioneering work with Norman Shealy, in the field of energy medicine and human consciousness, has helped define how stress and emotion contribute to the formation of disease. Drawing from the archetypal research of Jung , as well as a study of mythology, she sees the archetype as an insight into a person’s psyche that helps an individual to better understand their life situation.
Myss believes that awareness of how an archetype is dominating one’s life can help a person break the pattern and become “his/her own master.” The individual is encouraged to embody what is positive in the archetype, while consciously choosing what to let go of. To do this, it is necessary to step back from one’s life to see the whole picture, and see which archetypes are dominant. According to Myss, this gives clues to one’s life mission and relationships.
Most people think a myth is a fairy tale or an untruth. In Jungian language and that of Joseph Campbell, a myth is a psychological pattern of timeless validity, true always and everywhere in its archetypal nature.
The mythical core of our disturbing complexes and unhappiness, can become a source of personal meaningfulness. What is first viewed as horrible liability can may be seen ultimately as a dynamic asset.
And if it doesn’t kill us might make us stronger.