Several times I have referenced my participation in a local reading group of Karl Jung. One of his notions is that sometimes the depths of the unconscious will spontaneously break forth into one’s consciousness, almost like an invasion. He used the term “einfall” for this experience. (I will include a link to some very witty, and insightful, cartoons about this experience.)
My “einfall” is still underway and has mercifully been piece-meal, my Source knowing that I could not take it all in one fell swoop like the Apostle Paul on the Damascus Road or Eckhart Tolle on a park bench. One pivotal event in this process was getting married which I blogged about yesterday, marriage definitely being an “invasion” into my pristine, narcissistic world of Paul Tillich’s “empty self-relatedness.” A very interesting anecdote illustrates the impact this marriage was having on me just about the time of our first anniversary in the spring of 1990. One beautiful, cool, dewy spring morning I discovered the first tulip bloom in our yard and I knelt down to pick it and take it to Claire. Immediately afterward a wisp of thought fluttered through my mind, “I don’t know if I was plucking or being plucked.”
A light bulb turned on in my heart. I didn’t know as much as I do now about object-relations theory and the subject-object distinction but I realized that this “wisp of thought” illustrated that my boundaries were in transition and that this was very much related to having finally gotten married, and to the “work” of marriage described so vividly in the Wendell Berry poem provided yesterday.
Now, let me share a related thought that later came to mind. Some clinicians hearing this report of “not knowing if I was being plucked or being plucked” would be alarmed and think, “Uh oh. Psychotic break approaching! Danger, danger, Will Robinson!” And, spiritual growth is a coming apart as with a psychotic break but for some mysterious reason…which I can only describe as the grace of God…I knew there was nothing to be alarmed about, that something beautiful was underway. “Coming apart” is necessary at some point in our life so that we can be reintegrated as a more authentic person than we thought we were. This is very much related to the pithy wisdom of Fritz Perls who advised, “Let go of your mind and come to your senses” for he knew that senses or “feeling” will provide the redemptive healing that all hearts need.
(NOTE: I could not capture the link for “einfall.” But if you will simply google “einfall” you will see a selection entitled “images of einfall” which you can open. It is very funny…and illustrative of the idea. Also, the reference to “Will Robinson” was from a stupid 1960s sci-fi tv show, “Lost in Space.”)