Dan Keusal's e-newsletter
Summer 2017 edition:
"The Cure For Sanity"
(to receive my newsletters directly, join my mailing list!)
Jung once wrote "Show me a sane man, and I'll cure him for you." Why would anyone want to "cure" someone who is "sane"? Read my essay to find out. Also, on 9/15/17, therapists can, for the first time, get CEU's for attending my program on dreams; details are below. There's also a fine poem by Mark Nepo on moving from efforts to be "good" to efforts to be "real." And a music video by Bruce Springsteen that illustrates the value of taking risks, even when it means making mistakes...in front of tens of thousands of people! I hope you find something here that speaks to your experience, and that offers you inspiration, support, and hope.
* * * * *
Reflections: “The Cure For Sanity"
“Show me a sane man, and I’ll cure him for you.” This quote from Jung is on a framed bookmark that hangs just to the right of the door to my office where everyone can see it as they leave.
The “sane” person that Jung speaks of is the one who distorts his or her true self in order to fit in and gain a false sense of belonging, someone who adapts in order to become “normal” and be accepted by and blend in with the culture around them.
The “cure” is what Jung calls “individuation”—the process of reconnecting with who we truly are, and then bringing that unique individual to the culture in ways that enrich it, make it more diverse, more interesting.
Jungian analyst James Hollis puts it this way:
“I have no vested interest in our becoming saner, or mentally balanced, or even useful to society…We are not here to fit in, be well balanced, or provide exempla for others. We are here to be eccentric, different, perhaps strange, perhaps merely to add our small piece, our little clunky, chunky selves, to the great mosaic of being.”
We live at a time when those who have assumed power over “the culture” seem increasingly intent on reinforcing only their own, narrow, biased self-interests, rather than opening up to and fostering a world where each and every person can contribute to that “great mosaic of being.”
As a Jungian psychotherapist, my job is to create a safe time and space where each individual can look deeply at their life, transform their suffering into meaning, and reconnect with their own true, deep, inner voice…and their own true, deep, inner agenda for living. I offer support, and help each person grow stronger and more confident in their sense of self, so they can then take that precious, irreplaceable Self out into the wider world.
There, the unique light that is each one of us can shine brightly and beautifully, like stars in the sky.
Just a few feet away from the Jung quote in my office hangs a photo inscribed with these words from Ursula LeGuin, words I hope will inspire each and every one of my clients by reminding them who and what they are: “All are syllables of the great word that is very slowly spoken by the shining of the stars.”
Resources For A Life Of Depth And Meaning:
(poem): "Crossing Some Ocean In Myself" (Mark Nepo). An exquisite articulation of the progression from "gargantuan efforts to be good," to "burning old masks," to "my efforts to be real." From Nepo's wonderful new book of collected poems The Way Under The Way. (music video): "You Never Can Tell" (Bruce Springsteen). Taking a request from the audience for a song he had never played before, Springsteen and his band struggle to find the right key, and to find some sense of how to perform the song, then they dive in and give it a go. The joyous rendition that follows ignites the crowd, the band, and Springsteen himself. I'm indebted to Terasa Cooley, the new Director of Courage & Renewal for calling this video to my attention, for her take on the value of "playing and risking together," and for her thoughtful question "Who in your life could play in your proverbial 'backup band' while you risk making mistakes and feeling foolish?" May we all know the presence of such a 'band.'
(quote): "To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting." (~e.e. cummings)
(photo): "Water droplet on Lupine leaves" (by Dan Keusal). Click on the photo to read more about it, and to download a copy for your personal use and enjoyment.