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The inner field of the ‘I’

The inner field of the I, which we can imagine as a hollow sphere, is something plastic in which experiences have imprinted themselves, that is, molds of memory or so-called engrams [conserved changes in the nervous system] that have impressed themselves in the plastic mass of the psyche. On the other hand, this "inside" is not only a plastic surface. It also has a life of its own.

Source - C.G. Jung, Consciousness and the Unconscious: Lectures Delivered at ETH Zürich, Volume 2: 1934 (Princeton University Press 2022), p. 39.

If during a session we notice changes in unconscious gestural praxis – breath-changes as a result of a feeling (we sense a flash of anger and imagine the face of someone we hate) – we're facing a complex, a projection of a symbol in our imagination rather than an out-there reality. Body-language evokes the past. It allows meaning to be found in the body.

Source - Dale Mathers, An Introduction to Meaning and Purpose in Analytical Psychology (Routledge 2001), pp. 92-93.

Authentic movement facilitates a descent into the body and into the inner world of the psyche through unstructured, natural movement. It encourages us to surrender our habitual reliance on the verbal, rational, linear, time-bound properties of the left hemisphere, and instead to inhabit the non-verbal, affective right hemisphere and the body itself. With practice, unconscious emotions and gestures find words, the left and right hemispheres become more integrated, and we experience a more spirited sense of embodied aliveness, coming home to the body. There is no music, no choreography, no performance, no agenda, no right or wrong way to move.

We find a place in the room, close our eyes, listen inwardly and wait for an inner impulse to move. When an impulse forms, rather than trying to control the process and direct it, we surrender to it and follow it, discovering where it may lead us.

There is that in us which has moved from the very beginning; it is that which can liberate us. We have the freedom to follow what is spontaneously unfolding within us, perhaps for the first time in our lives. We tune in to our inner landscape of sensations, noticing what happens to our breathing, where we clench muscles and restrict our movement, and where there is a feeling of life and softness. We pay attention to how the movement feels and the sensations we are experiencing in our body. We greet any images that form and any dreams that return to mind. We notice any emotions and memories that arise. We acknowledge anything that our bodies might do to push those emotions and memories away. Through this process we create gateways to our unprocessed trauma.

Source - Tina Stromsted and Daniela F. Sieft, Dances of Psyche and Soma. In Understanding and Healing Emotional Trauma: Conversations with Pioneering Clinicians and Researchers (Routledge 2015), pp. 55-56.

Art: Mary Joak

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