From the latest chapter of The Prisoner of infinity, “The Secret Guardian”:
A life full of holes. A cluster of fragments, swirling, roving, seeking a place to fit, seeking coherence, seeking meaning. A wound in the soul; a psyche in mortal peril. What was Whitley’s secret? And why did I need so badly to uncover it? I had felt compelled to probe his work again and again throughout my adult life, like a tongue that can’t stay away from an infected tooth. Whatever Whitley’s secret wound, finding it would mean—would depend on—finding my own. But how do you seek a secret that you are keeping from yourself?
The “guardian” describes the aspect of the psyche that comes into being in order to protect the conscious mind from re-experiencing the original trauma. It is the way “the secret guards itself.” Part of the individuation process, perhaps even the central goal, entails getting past this defense mechanism and discovering the secret which it exists to protect. Once the secret is exposed, the “guardian” no longer has any reason to exist. In a sense the secret is the guardian, and vice versa. An unconscious mechanism, once it is brought into consciousness, ceases to operate, or even to exist. Donald Kalsched describes it this way:
the original traumatic situation posed such a danger to personality survival that it was not retained in memorable personal form but only in daimonic archetypal form. This is the collective or “magical” layer of the unconscious and cannot be assimilated by the ego until it has been “incarnated” in a human interaction [emphasis added]. As archetypal dynamism it “exists” in a form that cannot be recovered by the ego except as an experience of retraumatization. Or, to put it another way, the unconscious repetition of traumatization in the inner world which goes on incessantly must become real traumatization with an object in the world if the inner system is to be “unlocked.”
Audios, “The Unreliable Narrator” (with Doug Lain), “Puer Aeternus” and “Absent Dads,” with Keith & Phil, go to MP3 links on main page
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