Within and without

“Now whether you believe in a demon of the air or in a factor in the unconscious that plays diabolical tricks on you is all one to me. The fact that man’s imagined unity is menaced by alien powers remains the same in either case.” (from “The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (Collected Works of C.G. Jung)” by C.G. Jung)

Jung was a very engaging writer, his memory and wealth of references is astonishing. His ability to build up to a point and illustrate it with many examples is a joy to read. What got me about the reference above comes back to a Taoist idea (Jung was quite versed in Taoism) of the devil within oneself and the devil outside of oneself. Above Jung notes they are one and the same in that one is a belief outside of oneself and the other a belief within the confines of the unconscious yet they remain “the same in either case.” They are the product of the human mind collectively carried down through cultures and time. To believe though there is both one inside and outside that is an alien power to the person challenging their unity foreshadows the fact that our life is always connected to an external world. We are both inside ourselves and outside ourselves. A Yin and Yang combination where the Yin and Yang of our bodies is connected to the Yin and Yang of the world around us. Jung claims that even if we are unaware of a myth or archetype we can still know them. Is this then to do with the notion that we are both inside our bodies and outside of our bodies? Where we are connected by way of nature and our long arduous evolution that never ceases?

Jung though in context to what he was saying was more interested in the relation of man’s descriptive method of understanding what was going on around him. Jung was there as an analyst to interpret the ideas being presented from patients and colleagues to better understand the human condition and the patients distress. It isn’t enough to simply present someone with another worldview but to offer a working solution. Though the correlation to inside and outside really appealed to me for a completely different reason. If you were to say to someone that they were possessed by a power within and without it could trigger more psychotic thoughts and make people think that you were wanting to perform witchcraft or a superstitious rite. That is what gets me about Qigong though. It is a way of emptying your body through movement that takes into account the inside and outside of the human body. You empty your body of the negative energy, of the energy that attracts the energy from outside to fill your body. You begin to attract positive energy from outside to replace the negative energy within your body. It isn’t something that is analysed or discussed. It is simply done physically. Maybe that suits me because I am quite a physical person. I am happy trying to look at things in a simple fashion. Though Taoism isn’t particularly simple. It is just my own grasp of it that is simple.

Though the main tool that I have found to beat anxiety is a simple physical routine backed up by discipline and a simple diet. What I found was overcoming the devil within was the hardest job. As I did the Qigong exercises I simply had to switch off as much as possible. After many months the many ideas flooding my mind slowed down. It is definitely beneficial to understand the connection between our bodies and the outside world. To remember in fact there are devils lurking in the shadows. Not only outside but inside ourselves. They are one in the same. Yet the one within needs to be kicked out as soon as possible. It needs to be so small that it spends its time sleeping. Don’t try to take it on directly because it will grow stronger. Pacify it through a calm lifestyle.        

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