Seeking Serenity – How does one live a symbolic life?
Dr. Margery Runyan, psychotherapist, discusses the practices of Dr. Carl Jung, a disciple
of Sigmund Freud until they separated over theoretical differences. Dr. Jung believed that
the unconscious had a collective component composed of symbolic energy nodes known
as archetypes. Freud believed that the unconscious was filled solely with repressed
personal material. Dr. Mercy contrasts ‘symbols’ and ‘signs’; the first belongs to the
dream world and intuition and resonates with deeper levels of meaning as the symbol
unfolds within the unconscious and bridges the gap to the consciousness. Signs are
equations that have known meanings within the cultural consciousness.
How does one live a symbolic life? Stay fluid. Listen to your dreams. Go inward.
Resonate with the language of nature and earth. Use intuition. Create a void for symbols
to enter. The psychotherapeutic relationship allows the consciousness and unconscious
of the therapist to resonate with the same levels of the patient. The psychotherapist needs
to be willing to continue to resonate with the symbolism within her own life, to ‘dream
the dream onward.’ Dr. Mercy continues to be the Lioness in her dream in which she
says ‘let her in.’ She has invited the Lioness into her life and the image continues to