Your psychology and the universe
February 25, 2021
Recently, I was asked to describe the overall structure of a person's psychology. Often, I describe one element at a time. Seldom do I attempt describe the entire structure. So, I thought it might be fun and interesting, using an analogy, to present the complete structure in this column.
Consider the solar system as a representation each person's unique psychology; further, that there are as many solar systems as there are people. The sun, the center of the solar system, has planets orbiting around it, but outside the solar system are distant stars. For the moment, let's ignore the stars.
The planet earth is the most familiar of the planets and therefore, represents our ego-consciousness, our identity and awareness. The other planets, being far less familiar, represent psychological complexes, which often form at an early age and remain with us throughout our lives. These complicated formations are triggered into action during our daily lives and temporarily take over our sense of identity -- the triggered planet replaces our earth.
The sun represents our deep Self, the most powerful aspect of our psychology and the solar system. The Self carries the meaning and direction of a person's entire life while influencing all other elements in our psychology. In our analogy, the sun's size influences the planets by what is historically known as gravity. Today, we know the sun actually influences spacetime (historically understood as gravity), which affects the other planets. The sun's heat and light also are influences.
All the planets, other than the earth, represent our personal unconscious (the personal part of our hidden psychology) due to the fact that we know little, if anything, about the planets, and therefore, our complexes. The universe outside the solar system with which we are completely unfamiliar represents the collective unconscious (the deeper hidden part of the unconscious) and includes archetypes (potentials to become part of our psychology at the personal and conscious level). In our analogy, the archetypes are represented by distant stars. Although we are unfamiliar with the collective unconscious, the deep Self also influences each of the archetypes, just as it influences our solar system and our galaxy, which in turn influences other galaxies, and so forth, via spacetime.
The complete universe with all the planets and stars – the Self, the personal and collective unconscious and ego-consciousness -- represents the human psyche. The entire structure of our psychology! The main task for each of us is to travel through our solar system, encountering each complex and eventually meeting and relating to the deep Self – to discover the meaning and direction of our life.