The man who experiences the psyche as in him—and not the other way around, namely, that he is in the psyche: mightn’t we say that man is not yet a psychologist? Isn’t he still an egologist? The tail wags the dog.
Aren’t we ceaselessly perpetrating ‘egologisms’ without being the least bit aware of what we are doing? Egologizing and literalizing both assume the central, God-like authority of the ego-perspective—as opposed to the soul-perspective. The egologist, who is a natural literalist, thus implicitly believes in the supreme jurisdiction of the ego-standpoint, unwilling to acknowledge that it is a stubborn tendency of ego-consciousness to freeze (or literalize) whatever is beheld through its lens, rather like a still photography camera ‘freezes’ the fluid, action-packed sporting event into static, discrete snapshots.
The egologist seems oblivious to the psychological fact that the ego itself is projected (or dreamed) by the soul and revolves around the soul rather as the earth revolves around the sun. To stick with the analogy: the egocentrist would naturally belong in a geocentric system; the ego of the psychologist, on the other hand, orbits within a heliocentric one. When the psychologist speaks to the egologist he must speak pictorially or analogically—and even then, his images and analogies are likely to be instantaneously reduced to egological terms—which is to say, idols or freeze-dried concepts.
From the standpoint of the literalistic ego, authentic psychological utterances inevitably sound paradoxical, ambiguous, fanciful, and far-fetched—and this is due to a congenital blindness on the part of the ego, which has great difficulty seeing psychological phenomena whole and alive. It kills and dissects by the very laws of its nature in order that it may ingest (in portions that can fit into its mouth) that which it beholds in the psyche. Before it undergoes (an invariably painful) initiation into authentic psychological perception, the ego is a natural born killer of psychological meaning and a defiler of images, which it ‘innocently’ (and therefore crudely) mistakes for idols. Only by relinquishing all that it ‘knows,’ trusts, and is attached to will the ego earn the right to be tortured into psychological vision, a vision that sees through literalisms and into the hidden meaning that animates and sustains them. But getting the literal-minded human ego to sacrifice these ‘tangibles’ so that the ‘invisibles’ can finally un-conceal themselves is harder than passing a camel through the anus of a gnat. At bottom, the invisibles rule the visible world—as well as the inner world of feelings and thoughts. To surrender one’s center of gravity to the invisible energies that inform creation is to suffer the crucifixion of one’s fixed, frozen thoughts and one’s stubbornly insistent feelings and preferences. Since the ego typically believes itself to be one with its feelings and its thoughts, this shattering of frozen fixed forms is experienced as the death of the ego itself. The awareness that rises, phoenix-like, from the ashes of this death is that of a newborn psychologist. All is renewed in the transformed vision of the fresh and provisionally stable standpoint. Where before there were literalisms and idols, now there are metaphors and living symbols in a fluid condition of mutual interaction and interpenetration. A concrete battlefield of warring, ‘too, too solid’ mortals translated into imaginal form—the horizons of the anima mundi loosely enfolding a pageant of ever-emergent qualities. A script continually being edited and refined in accordance with the criteria of one’s evolving inner taste and coordinates. Old stage sets and cast members being struck down as new ones rise up to take their places—picking up with their dying lines.