“I have shown in the diagram] the individual in relation to the world of external objects on the one hand and to the collective unconscious images on the other. Connecting him with the first world, that is, the world of external objects, is the persona, developed by the forces from within and the forces from without in interaction with one another. We may think of the persona as the bark of a conscious personality. As we have indicated elsewhere, it is not wholly our choice what the persona shall be, for we can never control entirely the forces that are to play on our conscious personalities.
The center of this conscious personality is the ego. If we take the layer “back” of this ego, we come to the personal subconscious. This contains our incompatible wishes or fantasies, our childhood influences, repressed sexuality, in a word all those things we refuse to hold in consciousness for one reason or another, or which we lose out of it. In the center is the virtual nucleus or central government, representing the totality of the conscious and unconscious self…We can speak of the conscious ego as the subjective personality, and of the shadow self as the objective personality. This latter, made up of what is part of the collective unconscious in us, carries the things that appear in us as effects. For we do have effects on people which we can neither predict nor adequately explain.”
Writing is control. The part of the university in which I teach should properly be called the Controlling Experience Department. Experience—mystifying, overwhelming, conscious, subconscious—rolls over everybody. We try to adapt, to learn, to accommodate, sometimes resisting, other times submitting to, whatever confronts us. But writers go further: they take this largely shapeless bewilderment and pour it into a mold of their own devising. Writing is all resistance””
— Zadie Smith, Intimations: Six Essays
And all that for the most foolish reason, which, one would think, was hardly worth mentioning: that is, that man everywhere and at all times, whoever he may be, has preferred to act as he chose and not in the least as his reason and advantage dictated. And one may choose what is contrary to one’s own interests and sometimes one positively ought (that is my idea).”
Found this collage piece from one of my favorite artists, preschooldr0pout, just after writing my last journal post and thought I’d add it here as a reminder. I don’t believe in astrology but I am an Aries and this piece definitely resonated with me and what I’ve been going through.
I’m also suddenly inspired to take up creating cut-and-paste word art collages again as a means of mediation and self-expression.
Lately, I have been feeling like nothing is within my control. Not the way I spend my time, not my moods, not when I can eat, where I can go, not even my finances. I feel like I’m being blown here and there by everyone around me from happiness to anger to loneliness to frustration to excitement to hopelessness and back to happiness again without warning and without a way out or up for air.
I guess that is why the choices I have been making—when I can make choices—seem to always be wrong or detrimental in some way. I don’t choose to eat when I should. I don’t choose to sleep when I should. I don’t choose to write or read when I can. I don’t choose to express my feeling in constructive ways and I don’t choose to be brave when I have the chance.
Perhaps doing what I’m not supposed to do or what others expect me not to do feels like the only thing I can control but I know the things I am doing aren’t really what I want.
I want to learn how to let go of what I can’t choose and to focus more on choosing the right things. I don’t want this illusion of control that’s really nothing more than weakness and spite. I want to choose to be focused, hardworking, and strong in every instance where the choice is up to me.