“In the beginning was the Word…”
“What makes us sick are those things we cannot see through…”
– Alice Miller, ‘The Drama of the Gifted Child’
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate”
– Carl Jung
Recently, I was considering the mystery of conscious thought. Though my conscious thoughts and subconscious thoughts and feelings are all part of me, I realize that to describe something consciously which was previously unconscious, is to be like being an outside observer. As that conscious observer, my role is to assign a meaning to the thought, feeling, or experience. By describing the experience, I become a creator, not just a passive recipient of an experience. I would dare say that the conscious mind can’t help but construct a narrative out of the experience. It’s a bit ironic; though the conscious mind could easily be thought of as the rational one, it has a subconscious need, a deep predisposition to file and organize experiences in a construct, a matrix, a narrative that it understands. That construct can be prison or it can be a path to freedom.
The conscious, the unconscious… it’s all me, and yet I am freed by the process of seeing the inner workings of my mind as if I were an outside observer. I assign the meaning. I think that this process of assigning meaning is part of the Divine image we were created with.
In his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning”, Victor Frankl devoted a section to his therapeutic approach, which he called “Logotherapy”. This is from the Greek “logos”, which Frankl described as “meaning”. This is slightly different from what I am used to as a reader of the Bible, where I’m familiar with “logos” being translated “word”. I do think that these two interpretations can be viewed as harmonious and even complementary, if you think of Logos, as used in the Bible, as the communication of God’s meaning.
At the beginning of his Gospel, John described Jesus as the Logos of God. (John 1:1-5) In so doing, he described God’s ‘Logos’ as an integral part of the Creative act. The expression of that Logos was the genesis of a new experience. So it is with our own personal logos in our own lives.