Inner-Child Work I

Myth informs us that our redemption will come from the least likely place. This reminds us again that it will be a humbling experience to find our redemption from the highly sophisticated wound of the Fisher King. The origin of the word “humble“ traces back to “humus“ – It means of the earth, feminine, unsophisticated. This reminds us of the biblical injunction, “except year become like a child, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.”

In his typology of the personality Dr. Young observes that every educated person has one superior function of the four functions of feeling, thinking, sensing, intuiting, which make up the human temperament. Also as a part of our psychology, there is an opposing inferior function. While our superior function produces most of the high value of our life, the more developed personality strengths, it also leads us into our Fisher King wound. Our inferior function, that part of us which is least differentiated, will heal us from that wound. So it is the innocent fool from Wales (Parsifal) who will heal the Fisher King.

The boy is have such lowly origin that he has no name when we first meet him; later we will learn that his name is Parsifal – innocent fool. The name also has a deeper meaning – he who draws the opposites together – and foretells his healing role, something like the meaning of the Chinese word, Tao.

Dr. Jung describes an occasion when he was forced to rely on just this faculty in himself. The falling out between Jung and Freud occurred over the nature of the unconscious. Freud said that the unconscious is the repository of all the inferior elements of the personality, the undervalued things of one’s life. Jung insisted that the unconscious is also the matrix, the artisan well from which all creativity springs. Freud would have none of this, so the two parted. That was a frightening experience for Dr. Jung since he was young and untried, with no reputation of his own. It looked as if he were finishing an abortive career before it began.

Dr. Jung knew where to look for the cure of his desperate wound and looked to his inner world. He locked himself in his room and waited on the unconscious. Soon he was down on the floor playing childish games. This led to the recall of his childhood fantasies which soon filled his attention. For months he labored daily in the privacy of his fantasy and in his backyard he built stone villages, towns and forts. He had fantasized all of this as a boy. He trusted his childlike experience and that was the beginning of an outpouring from the collective unconscious from which we have the legacy of Jungian psychology. A great man was humble (earthly) enough to trust his Parsifal for his cure.

~ Robert A. Johnson, He: Understanding Masculine Psychology, p. 14-15

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