Toward an Understanding of Our Being

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

~Carl Gustav Jung

What if we were to replace irritation with fascination? This is not as ridiculous a thought as what it might originally seem. Yet, we need to overcome our pride in order to unlock the enigma that contains the hidden compartment of our inner lament.

Our greatest hates may indeed be those things we have about ourselves at an unconscious level. Why is it we feel so passionate, indifferent, or disgusted? Many times we have no logical response to such a question.

But what we can gain from such an enquiry is we may glimpse a mystery. We do not know ourselves like we think we do. God may know, but really we don’t.


There is nothing twisted and dreamy about the concept of exploring the fullest mind.

Caverns below what we consciously know is a plethora of meaning derived from some of the earliest experiences we ever had – nearly all of which we cannot remember. So much that has happened to us is locked away, and though, as a shadow, it directs our lives, we hardly give it a moment’s credence.

We are not condemned by fate so much as we are compelled by our deeper minds.

And whilst we refuse to access the codes written so deeply, we refuse ourselves the power to change, for we do not take the unconscious mind seriously. And because we do not make the unconscious mind conscious we lack the power to change.

It would be better for us to take whatever cues we can draw from our reactions to people and life and our passions and dreams, and even our nightmares, and so turn them into knowledge. Everything that happens to us happens for a reason.

A goal of life is to learn about ourselves and accept ourselves; every dark bit.


Depending on our make-up, the occasions of life reveal us to ourselves. What irritates, teaches. What infuriates, tutors us. What we despise, as it comes to our attention, enthrals only the learner’s understanding.

It’s up to us whether we learn or not, or whether we proudly refuse the lesson that God, via our experience, is providing us.

And truth be told we refuse far many more lessons than we, with an open mind, accept. And though this is an abomination before God, God does not give up. As we learn to view the irritation, the annoyance, the fear, and the disgust, etc, with fresh externalised eyes, God is showing us a new thing about ourselves.


We change ourselves by learning about ourselves. We can do nothing with ourselves until we dig deep in and below the dirty material we have. When we are no longer afraid of ourselves, we are no longer afraid of anything.

© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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