RAISING THE DEAD
Reflecting on life to awaken to a fuller realization of reality is a thoroughgoing and painful undertaking. But also serves to relieve and reward as it involves stripping back the burdens and restrictions of old attitudes. Writing is engaging with the Pieta Covenant1 or a relationship with oneself. It is a condition where one is held safely as the other sheds what lies in and between consciousness and the sacred experience.
Building a relationship with the sacred is signing an agreement with faith. The writer’s ego needs to be humble and loyal enough to be able to descend into the shadowy aspects of their being. Under the aegis of the unconscious, messages between conscious and unconscious material, explicated through the art of writing, function as the vehicle carrying the writer as does conversing with an analyst in the therapeutic situation. The writer’s agency, when secure enough, replaces the analyst’s guidance and ability to contain the suffering of the analysand. The writing body and scope participate by taking the form of a receptacle handling the writer’s affects.
Since the sacred delivers to us psychological facts such as dreams,2 one’s individuation journey is, symbolically speaking, contained by Christ’s mother or a loving mother figure to assist in the healing and restoration of our most natural Self. The Transfiguration of Christ, as a harbinger of his resurrection, parallels this crossing over to rebirth whilst inserting an emphasis on its reoccurring and vivifying qualities. So the unconscious, the ego and the writing enters into a dialog and an experiment with language takes place, so that messages produce meaning and in turn, release energy and a life force or entelechy.
Syncretizing these fragmented parts of ourselves which have been formerly disavowed and rejected is akin to raising the dead. In other words, writing mindfully, unlocks the true course of language that has been interrupted due to denial.3
Renewal cannot be achieved without death. Death is not a literal event. Death symbolizes an opening, a threshold, a gate or a door to a consciousness which more generously compliments one’s natural capacity whereby suffering is transformed. It is like walking through a passage or a hallway with numerous doors. Or as depicted in many dreams, an invitation up a winding staircase or down a basement. Dreams are the main portal to the sacred because they present our inner state without resistances or defense mechanisms.
And heavily depending upon the associations and experiences of the writer, this experimentation with language, reconciles the tensions within the writer by breaking down one’s too confined experience of life.4 No single formula exists, or dream book or sermon or ideology which can direct this journey because when the interfacial process of consciousness and the sacred comes into play, an internal quest which is entirely separate from the mainstream, takes hold. And the process must remain in a state of flux so one must relinquish the collective’s proclivity towards brittle logic and rationality. Because the unconscious is like a sea which fluctuates and flows asymmetrically – it is, substantially, a feminine fluidity that can only prove creational if, through our own agency, we are receptive and nurturing towards our own vulnerabilities.
And that is how the sacred or the unconscious, for the sake of evolution, communicates with and sustains the writer. Creators rotate the eternal story of raising Lazarus from the dead because it adumbrates the resurrection of Christ. This constantly reminds us how the sacred urges us to fulfil and nourish this greater circular and moving narrative.5
1. Grotstein J. S. Who is the Dreamer Who Dreams the dream? A Study of Psychic Presences. Routledge, 2009
2. Jung C.G. Dream Analysis–Notes of the Seminar Given in 1928-30 (Volume One). Routledge, 1938
3. Dorpat T. L. Denial and Defense in the Therapeutic Situation. Jason Aronson Inc., 1985
4. Von Franz M. L. The Golden Ass of Apuleius: The Liberation of the Feminine in Man. Shambhala, 1992
5. Liew B.T.S, Runions E. Psychoanalytic Mediations between Marxist and Postcolonial Readings of
the Bible. Society of Biblical Literature, 2016
Annie Blake’s research aims to exfoliate branches of psychoanalysis. She enjoys semiotics and exploring the surreal and phantasmagorical nature of unconscious material. Her work is best understood when interpreting them like dreams. She is a member of the C G Jung Society of Melbourne. You can visit her on annieblakethegatherer.blogspot.com.au and https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009445206990.