Psyche and Insanity

Since the psyche is a basic instinct, its functionality is fundamentally designed to be life-preserving and, even where its most archaic level meets modern consciousness, it will not naturally interfere with the perception and normal functioning of a human being. Someone asked me once whether the intuitions and visions I frequently have ever interfered with my daily life or social interactions, and I was very puzzled by this question. No, of course not, I replied. The range and intensity of psychological perception is built into my system in the same way maybe that dogs have heightened sensors for smells and sound, or birds can comfortably rest their feet on a strongly charged electric wire that would instantly kill a human being if they touched it. The awareness of conscious and cognitive events and intrapsychic, unconscious instinct is completely fluid for me. Much like the eye automatically adjusts to objects close by or far away, my conscious and unconscious senses adapt to the environment, in which I find myself. I have never in my life confused the imaginal expressions of the psyche with the material reality of the world nor have I taken my instinctual and imaginal senses for intellectual or scientific (objective) truths. These are independent realms, that operate according to their own principles, and once you understand and accept the mode and purpose that underlies each one, the very clarity of their distinctive nature becomes the aspect that builds the bridge and smoothly joins them. Insanity, in my view, looms whenever there is an attempt to psychologise (render intuitive) the material world or, vice-versa, to literalise, rationalise or reduce the archetypal imagination to physical causes. There is ultimately nothing instinct and the imagination could do to change the laws of physics, and there is equally nothing the sciences have to offer when it comes to learning how to move and communicate with psychological fiction arising from the archetypal mind. Whenever the fundamentally autonomous nature of psyche and matter is not respected, reality, and any mental and instinctual foundation constituting it, will sooner or later become illusional, distorted, and potentially damaging. Since I live in the unconscious for half the time and I know the environment very well, I understand how difficult it is to equally respect and move easily between instinct and intellect, between consciousness and the unconscious. In the archetypal imagination, it is perfectly normal to have directly opposing experiences at any given point in time that are nevertheless equally true and real. For example, you can quite literally watch an aspect of your psychological fantasy dying and yet the very image is still fully alive and working in your senses. You can often clearly perceive and comfortably accommodate in your awareness what it means for an imaginal experience or insight to be there (have utmost significance) and not there (be of no consequence whatsoever) at the same time. You can have a dream that you can walk around, poetically speaking, and suddenly get an idea that makes everything fall neatly into place and that unlocks something important in your perception. And then you walk around the very same dream again sometime later and, like a kaleidoscope, it suddenly settles on an in-sight, which may be completely different or even contradictory, yet which has an equally significant effect on the level of deeply instinctual awareness. Imaginal multiplicity is very common also in the sense that the same instinct can take on different forms intra-psychically; it can show itself as a person, as an animal or a scene or sense of nature depending on what the unconscious wants to show you and achieve with a particular scene in its imaginal fiction. There are many more particularities, however living with paradox, ambiguity, multiplicity and perpetual openness and uncertainty is the absolute norm in the unconscious. These aspects are effectively a mechanism built into the psyche, it is its toolbox, with which it crafts individual character into more nuanced and sophisticated works of its imaginal art. To expect anything different, to deforest, mow down and put concrete over (seek concrete interpretations) the wild habitat of the psyche would be insanity. You need to learn to adapt to and exist in its environment, only then can you benefit from the sanity of its rich and unpolluted instinctual soil.  The most important thing is not to be too scared (a little fear is fine and helpful), not to question it, not to become too serious or self-conscious about it, but to accept it and play along. In a human being where the psychological imaginal drive is not compromised by a material defect in the brain anatomy or chemistry, the unconscious will only project the innate structure of an individual into awareness to the very degree that is inherent to it. The psyche can only, but most certainly will perpetually drive to, go as far with you as your very own nature allows. To think, anticipate or try and push for anything different also renders people susceptible to madness, in fact. I often do not understand at all what is going on, but when this is the case then there is usually nothing to be understood (just yet). You can ask questions, but you must never go above psyche’s head or behind its back if you want to have the answer that will set you free and help you regain a piece of yourself. You must first speak directly to the unconscious and ask the images personally what you want to know. The purer the instinct that answers you, the vaguer, and paradoxically the more significant, the response will normally be. Sometimes the imagination will give you a completely unrelated answer, and then it might be worth reconsidering the question. Or the importance of it. In any case, be prepared for the fact that the primeval psyche, that is driven to illuminate and instinctually integrate evolving individual organisms, does not have linear logic, objective rationality, abstract categorisation, or conceptual reasoning built into it. These are principles used to observe and represent collective material realities, which is where they have their due and proper place. While employing theory or scientific methods to explain expressions of the unconscious can initially be helpful to become familiar or map out some of the terrain, this is ultimately not conducive to gain a deeper and more fundamental understanding of its nature. All I can say, from my experience, is beware that the archetypal unconscious, albeit working subtly and subliminally, is a significant life force; any attempts to curtail or violate its independence and autonomous drive instead of learning to adjust to it naturally and instinctively, will likely render a part of your nature senseless.