What Comes of Reading Jung


In reading Jung I am becoming more and more uncomfortable, in that my own habitual complexes are now obviously habitual complexes pointing towards much more deeply rooted complexes that stir fear in me. Indeed fear is a main underlying theme.

What is it that I have always been so afraid of that has crippled me for 37 years? I remember one of my earliest bouts with this existential terror:

I was very small, still being toted about. My cousin the pastor was putting on an Easter play outside. There were many people gathered at the bottom of a hill face that had been dug into. The red clay earth shown. At the top of the hill were three standing crosses each with live actors. The skies grew dark. Thunder peeled. It was at this moment dread and terror struck me. I began uncontrollably crying. The emotions I felt were uncontrollable, disabling, nauseating. It's as if I felt the full weight of the horror of Christ's crucifixion, while all around me a crowd of people remained oblivious, talking about the most banal and mundane of things. This disconnect from the severity of the scene, the terrible power of the gathering storm - and they talked on, completely oblivious to the very thickness of the air, dripping with tension, with the coming of something of the utmost horror. I could not bear it!

And finally a woman - I remember her husband was a Mason, and that she had blond hair and fair skin and no children of her own - she took pity on me, held me, comforted me, whispered kind words, and produced a Nutter Butter cookie, shaped like a peanut. That peanut butter cookie was my salvation. The spell that I was under broke. I became calm.

But that fear - that growing foreboding - has followed me my entire life. I feel it now as I write this, as I remember feeling it in preschool. It is a setting apart, an isolation, a place of alienation. It is what my habitual complexes fight against, in a vain attempt to repress. And perhaps they were that coming horror.