One may begin analysis with the idea that conflict can be avoided and inner wounds can be healed. Analysis instead helps the person to interpret the conflicts and eventually to contain them, but the wounds remain. An electroencephalogram reads level only at the moment of death. They are false prophets, those who would like to replace a series of peaks with a straight line – that is, with living death. The "straight line" in a person's life is held at the cost of consciously repressing a bad mood, a lack of interest in work or family life, and thus pretending to be happy. From birth we are poisoned by this idea, namely, that "normal" existence proceeds along a straight line: obedience to the rules, social prestige, a lucrative choice of profession, etc. Conditioned in this way, we experience the wavy line – for example, losing one's job or being unhappily married – with anxiety and anguish.
We think we must be sick.
The truth is that the person who comes into analysis on his knees is unwittingly on the right track. The healthy psyche is precisely the one that responds to an inappropriate life situation by the demand to be rehabilitated. Our inner suffering is actually an alarm signal that it is necessary to face up to certain problems, even though they are not clear to us.
Source - Aldo Carotenuto, The Spiral Way: A Woman's Healing Journey (Inner City Books 1986), p. 79.
When there was no starting point, or when no method of approach would work, we could only content ourselves with what is there. Usually there is some emotional disturbance, such as anger, depression, or even despair. We can then, instead of fighting a bad mood, for instance, concentrate upon it, sink down into it without criticism, lend it the means of expression and do one's best to let it express itself as fully as possible. I remember once when I thought, with some truth, that I had been treated very unjustly and was near to becoming identical with my negative emotion, I just managed to objectify it enough to be able to hear it say:
If only you can stand me, the eternal water must flow.
I can only say that that injustice gave me more in the end than any kindness I have ever received. When there is not even an emotional disturbance the matter is even more difficult, but again one must accept what is there. Perhaps there is a dull feeling of discomfort, resistance, malaise, nausea, boredom, or even something quite undefinable. Then, as Dr. Jung suggests, a special introversion of the libido is called for, supported by bodily rest. Any quite senseless fragment of fantasy that occurs must be preserved and slowly, very slowly often a tiny starting point can be fished up from the depths.
Source - Barbara Hannah, The Inner Journey: Lectures and Essays On Jungian Psychology (Inner City Books 2000), p. 39.
Art: Miles Aldridge