Jung teaches that soul and spirit have a home in a living body, the font of psyche’s images and means of their incarnation in the world. Embodiment is the ground of being, and engaging the tension between instinct and archetype shapes consciousness and character. Jung identified five instincts: creativity, movement, sexuality/eros, hunger in its many manifestations, and the ability to reflect and make meaning.
If Pinocchio’s task was to humanize his instincts, much of modern man’s mission may be to re-establish vibrant connection with instinctual life. Jung says, “The archetype as an image of instinct is a spiritual goal toward which the whole nature of man strives; it is the sea to which all rivers wend their way, the prize which the hero wrests from the fight with the dragon.” The rigorous refining of instinct through embodied, conscious action is the path toward wholeness.
“I was waiting for a young man to pick me up for our second date, but he was late. I was in a park and there was a fair, and I ran into some of my childhood friends who were quite surprised about my date. So they started harassing me with questions about who he was and, mostly, why he was late. I didn’t have his phone number, so I didn’t know. I had with me a backpack, laptop, kindle, handbag, another bag and my stuff kept falling on the ground, and I had to pick it up over and over. It was raining hard, hours had passed and I decided to walk through the fair. There I bought a unicorn-shaped mug, that immediately fell off my hands and became ash as it hit the ground. I was tired and cold and went sitting under a large tree. In the tall grass, emerged a group of people who were shooting at wild ducks.”
To learn more about dreams, check out Dream School — This Jungian Life’s 12- month online course on dream interpretation.
Besel van der Kolk: The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma (Amazon).