Depth Psychotherapy, Mass Man & Finding Meaning in Life
Finding meaning in life is a key challenge for the individual in our era, and a key way that /a-midlife-transition can help in this process is by enabling the individual to separate his or her thinking and feeling from that of the mass.
In our highly wired, content saturated era, this entails helping the individual distinguish him- or herself from the messages conveyed by all the endless variety of contemporary media.
Menaced by Message
It is often no exaggeration, in our era, to say that the person on the path of individuation can easily find her- or himself drowning in a tsunami of message. In Jung’s time, the power of media persuasion was already so pervasive that he could see in it an obstacle to the individuation process. In our time the intrusiveness of media both isolates the person, and makes it that much harder to know what is really the inner voice on the personal journey to finding meaning in life. An explosion of images can lead to a shrivelling of feeling and imagination.
In our era, many of us are subject to a kind of “inner crowding” stemming from the continual presence of social media. Recently, a client told me about the experience of going to a bar that he has frequented for years, and finding that where the bar used to be full of conversation, now all the patrons were quietly sitting and typing into their smartphones. The bar was “crowded” with the presence of a whole number of people who weren’t physically there.
I Tweet Therefore I Am
Depth Psychotherapy and the” Voice of the Self”
A connected world isn’t inherently bad! On the contrary, there are many things about it that have the potential to serve and augment key human values and finding meaning in life. However, it’s essential to distinguish my individual identity and authentic inner voice from the ever increasing din of background noise from relentlessly pressing and persuasive messages .
“Counsel for the Defence”
Depth case studies has a vital role in fostering awareness of the authentic inner voice — the thoughts, feelings and images that emerge from my real identity. In the quiet container of /a-midlife-transition or Jungian analysis, the authentic essence of the individual is discerned, emerges and strengthens. The therapist or analyst does play the role of “counsel for the defence”: often, the voice of the unique, individual self and its yearnings must be strengthened against the endless noise of social convention and the crowd.
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