By “Mary in SC”
Excerpt: I woke up one morning to find I was experiencing something very strange. My brain seemed to have taken on a life of its own, throwing out ideas and associations like an erupting volcano. I was still in touch with the real world and functioning normally, even fixing breakfast and carrying on a conversation with my husband and managing the children, but the strange world back behind my eyes was becoming increasingly real and demanding. At first I was startled but then excited and even pleased: finally I was experiencing myself some of the things I had been reading about! But as the hours went by the erupting ideas set off increasingly alien trains of thought until I was transfixed with horror, frightened almost out of my wits. My collective unconscious, or whatever you call it, spewed out of the volcano in my brain and unmistakably informed me that the daylight world I lived in was nothing but a sham reality, a flimsy product of human imagination that could be snuffed out in an instant when a mere human glimpsed its source. My fragile consciousness was approaching that source like a doomed moth drawn to a flame.
After a very few days of this kind of thing, I reached the limits of my endurance. I was lying in bed one night, my husband holding my hand and bending over me, worried and helpless. I surfaced enough to tell him that my problems were all in my mind, and I knew it, but I just couldn’t get away from them. Finally I gave up and did the one last thing I could do, even if it meant waking up in a psychiatric ward the next day. Our family doctor was a kind young man. He was used to dealing with suffering people, and he was good at it. Call the doctor, I gasped. Please call him. Tell him I need a shot to knock me out. I can’t take this anymore. Please call him.
Then I remembered something Jung wrote about the sacred marriage that was part of the symbolism of individuation. Yes. A sacred marriage, one that was ordinarily impossible or forbidden. Between a god and a human, like the Greek and Roman and Christian mythologies. Between a brother and sister, like the Egyptians. Or between father and daughter, between me and my primary symbol of godlike authority and tradition. A sacred marriage that would produce the sacred child, the infant Redeemer. Here, in this dream, was the beginning of the reconciliation between the conscious and unconscious mind, between the rational and the irrational, the opposites that had to join as one. My plan was working after all. I was on the way to becoming a whole and individuated human being!