The Departure | Return with Elixir

Jul 31, 2020

The Hero needs to a find a mentor but they also need to know when to leave the mentor. In this clip from Return with Elixir, using the example of Jung's departure from Freud, Dr. Miles Neale discuss what that might look like.

This class is on the Departure. This dream I raise because it is a living example of what a catalyst for the Departure could look like. Maybe there are more, but I found at least three or four characteristics that are emblematic of Jung's departure.

First and foremost is his departure from his mentor. That is not a small thing because the archetype of the mentor along the Hero's Journey is absolutely critical and essential. It is the mentor that empowers the initiate and allows him or her to connect with the confidence that has been missing. For example, Luke in the Force has a great power that is revealed to him by the mentor. But there also comes a period depending on which chapter you find your hero, where they must also then transcend their mentor otherwise the mentor relationship becomes another shire.

Not only does one need to find a mentor, one also knows needs to know when to leave the mentor. The Buddha liked to use the analogy of the Dharma. The Dharma is like a raft that helps you get to the other shore. It serves a purpose. Once you reach the other shore you abandon the raft. This is a great critical departure.

As I'm going through this I'm obviously thinking about my own life experience but I hope that you are too because there may be someone, some institution, some set of experiences that up until now have provided basically your source of security and comfort but if you get honest, at a certain point it has also become like a prison. This is the energy that I'd like us all to connect with. This is the point of the exercise. The very thing that you have either worked so hard for or taken for granted or the life force of your own survival that keeps you comfortable, whom or what you might be dependent on for your source of stability, psychic or physical or all of them, if we're not careful can become its own entrapment.

We can get lulled to sleep and we can forget that it is but a way station of process, it deadens. Then what happens, at least in my own case, I was ignoring signs and signals in my nervous system that it was time to move on because I had grown very comfortable. Also, there was the remnants of a voice inside my head that said I couldn't do it without him.

This is the unconscious or the collective unconscious actually saying it's time. The fact that you can connect with your nervous system and with your body and you can feel the gesture and the message, and that message can come in the form of irritation, boredom, complacency, it could come in the form of humdrum, routinized. It can come in the form of feeling stuck and apathetic. This is the this is the message that saying it's time to go.

Then there will be another message, likely one that goes top down, that says but this is my home. I want us to connect with that energy. If that's up for you or that has been up for you or you resonate with that you or you know what I'm talking about then this class is about that process and about doing a very careful inventory about what the bottom up messaging is.

From the point of view of the collective unconscious there is actually a healthy endorsement in your psyche saying you can do it. That's the the ingredient that Jung adds is that it wouldn't come up unless some part of you was feeling it is time. It's not your enemy it's your friend.

Freud probably had an investment in having his mentee there. That investment is mutual. That mutual investment of shared appreciation and security and mutual investment of shared intellectual stimulation has kind of a fire that's stimulating but then eventually that fire burns out and what remains is just the habit.

Have you ever felt that in a relationship? What do we do? We hang on for dear life. Holding on because the habit now has taken on a life of its own. But the vitality has diminished or died and the growth opportunity with it, which is important because if it is true that there is a compensatory relationship with a collective unconscious, that its main impulse is not some drive instinct to gratify itself, it's some heroic instinct to push, usher one forth to the next stage of individuation.

If that's true then a certain amount of trust needs to happen to the unconscious, like a willingness to let it unfold because there is some deeper appreciation that bypasses the intellectual level that says you can do it. At that one phrase by Freud, that was it. That was that was the turning point, "I cannot risk my authority."

Jung was a different person. He had a different way of looking at the world. He was interested in truth. I think that very much disappointed him and very much disheartened him. That was the end of the trust.


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