The Elephant in the Room

There is a secret open to everyone, but not everyone sees it. Or rather not everyone chooses to see it. There’s an elephant in the room that we are so habituated not to see.

The unconscious is like having a pet dog in the house, which is ignored. We are taught that we are “reasonable” and “rational”, and so all forms of unreasonableness and irrationality come from outside, not inside (it’s the world and everyone else that is unreasonable and irrational, obviously). We say “there’s no dog in this house.”

The more it is ignored, the more damage it does, and the more we think “why does this always happen to me?” The furniture is getting torn up, food is stolen, puddles of wee appear under bare feet, and poos turn up in unexpected corners. Until we pay attention to these signs and say “Yes, there is a dog in this house”, the problem will never be resolved.

So, we’ve acknowledged the dog, what now? Well, first it has to be trained not to trash the furniture, not to steal food and not to leave unpleasant presents around the house. We have to take responsibility for it and feed it well, take it for walks, giving it its “exercise, discipline and affection” (as Cesar Millan says).

In this way the dog can be integrated into the life of the house, and cause no more disruptions (i.e. the unconscious can be acknowledged and integrated, instead of being at a loose end).

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