Experience of the Self in a lifetime
Article first published online: 16 DEC 2002
The Society of Analytical Psychology 2001
Journal of Analytical Psychology
Volume 46, Issue 4, pages 689–696, October 2001
How to Cite
Dreifuss, G. (2001), Experience of the Self in a lifetime. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 46: 689–696. doi: 10.1111/1465-5922.00273
- Issue published online: 16 DEC 2002
- Article first published online: 16 DEC 2002
- Cited By
While listening to a concert at the age of 20, I suddenly was overcome by a feeling of oneness. The music had touched deeper levels of my soul, which much later I could understand as an experience of the Self. Music may arouse opposite feelings, the source of which is the ambivalence of the Self, of God. These opposites within the Godhead are best explained by the word numinosity, a term coined by Rudolf Otto in his book The Idea of the Holy. Love and fear are opposite feelings with regard to God, to the ‘numen’.
A meaningful change in my life occurred at the age of 38 when my wife and myself decided to leave Switzerland and immigrate to Israel. Several dreams pointed to the necessity of settling in the Biblical Land, the earth being a manifestation of the mother archetype.
The Jungian term Self is discussed by examples from my own analysis and by quoting Edinger. The Self is the mystery of conjunction of feminine and masculine energy. This was clear to me, but what about the evil, dark side of God, of his destructive side, of Satan or the devil, of Christ and Antichrist? I experienced the dark side of God when the Nazis rose to power, unleashing WW II and killing 6 million Jews in the Holocaust.