Why Write?

The Taoist Writer: Creating Soul
Overflowing Compassion

Mandala from Jung's Red Book“WHY WRITE? THERE ARE, AFTER ALL, other ways to access internal wisdom. You can pray. You can meditate. You can work with a mental-health counselor or hypnotist. You can participate in religious rituals, visit a spiritual director, or see a shaman . . . . There are many routes into inner consciousness, so why take the time to write?

There is only one reason: writing works amazingly well. If you want to engage in a vibrant conversation with the wisdom that dwells just a hair below your conscious awareness, write” (writing down your soul: How to Activate and Listen to the Extraordinary Voice Within by Janet Connor, p.57).

Jung’s Answer

Connor talks about having a written dialogue with the inner Voice that appears to be theologically God or in Jungian parlance, the Self. C.G. Jung–during the period in which he confronted the unconscious–engaged in written dialogue with inner figures. Jungians consider this inner dialogue one aspect of active imagination. Certain materials from Jung’s journals (his six black books) during the years of his confrontation with the unconscious have been published in The Red Book.

The Great Work Begins

The following is an excerpt from a written dialogue Jung had with his soul on 1/5/22 (The Red Book, p.211):

[Jung:] I feel that I must speak to you. Why do you not let me sleep, as I am tired? I feel that the disturbance comes from you. What induces you to keep me awake?

[Soul:] Now is no time to sleep . . . . The great work begins.

[Jung:] What great work?

[Soul:] The work that should now be undertaken. It is a great and difficult work. There is no time to sleep, if you find no time during the day to remain in the work.

[Jung:] But I had no idea that something of this kind was taking place.

[Soul:] But you could have [known from] the fact that I have been disturbing your sleep for a long time. You have been too unconscious for a long time. Now you must go to a higher level of consciousness.

[Jung:] I am ready . . . .

Your Great Work

Jung said that most of the major ideas for his psychological approach came from his journaling during this period. He spent the rest of his life developing and implementing these ideas. If you apply Jung’s journaling experience to your own life, then by analogy the major God-given tasks of your life could be given to you through a long, consistent period of intense written dialogue with your psyche. That’s extraordinary! What a gift to you and to the world. Start writing now.

Photo Credit: Photo by Joanna Penn at Flickr Creative Commons.

Linked withThought-Provoking Thursday.

The Taoist Writer: Creating Soul
Overflowing Compassion

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