Jungian Therapy & the Second Half of Life, 4: Truth
What can “truth” possibly have to do with Jungian therapy or the major life transitions in the second half of life? “Truth” can seem very abstract. Yet, in Jungian therapy, we become aware of the profound power of truth, not as something “flaky”, but as the numinous place where the individual encounters the realities of the deep self, or soul. We’re talking existential truth.
When It Changes
In the second half of life, there are forks in the road, or turning points — “moments of truth”, some call them. An individual may follow a certain path of life for all of adulthood, but then discover somewhere in the middle portion of life that this path won’t work anymore. She simply cannot do the job, or stay in the relationship, or pretend to have a certain identity, any longer. While it served well in the past, it will not any longer: the second half of life has caught up with her.
Truth and the Unavoidable
Some truths have an unavoidable character, and confrontation with the unavoidable often furthers the individuation process. It can often be that attitudes or beliefs that we needed in the first half of life fall apart in the second half of life.
Lasting Truth about Self and World
In the second half of life, we need to find some stable truth that is ours. This is not a matter of adopting any old dogmatic belief willy-nilly, but rather finding the deep realizations that accord with the innermost self. Sometimes this is called a ” philosophy of life “, but is probably better called a “worldview”, because it has much profounder roots than the merely rational.
So what is my worldview, my deepest realization? Some find this in organized religion, but today, many find that they need something beyond that, even though our deepest beliefs or sensibilities may well be felt to connect us with God, the ground of being or the universe. Whatever this fundamental worldview is, it connects or resonates with who we most fundamentally are.
A Fundamental Integrity
This connection is what John Beebe calls integrity in depth. Today, integrity is much maligned, often associated with conventional conformist “straight arrow” morality, of a puritanical nature. But there is a way of living, a possibility of living, not rule-bound, that comes straight out of who one most fundamentally is.
The goal of Jungian therapy in the second half of life is to enable the individual to live out the truth that accords with his or her most fundamental nature.
PHOTOS: Some rights reserved by Manoj Kengudelu and kevincole
© 2012 Brian Collinson