Someone suggested to me last week that perhaps this project is a way of creating emotional distance from people, that I go alone to my computer to reveal my thoughts now rather than to talk to people face to face. There is truth to this observation, perhaps even more than that person understood at the time.
My recent experiences have scared me and heightened my distrust. I felt an unusual emotional maelstrom earlier this year that became worse by leading to an unfortunate outcome. Now I no longer trust my emotions or the motives of others. What’s more, I don’t really trust my connections to people either. What am I doing by trying to get closer to people? Am I being manipulative in situations? Am I leading people down a path that will lead to more hurt?
I wonder if I’m gravitating towards Jung because he would approve of this kind of internal retreat. The Red Book is very much an attempt by Jung to pull back from the world — a world he was thriving in — to discover what was tormenting him internally. There was a great deal of 19th century literature swirling in there (I had no idea just how great an influence Nietzsche was on Jung until I started reading the Red Book,) but it was mostly a reflection of his unconscious as discovered through dreams and free-range imagining.
I tend to get more insight by the latter of those two mental approaches. I now keep a notebook by the side of my bed to jot down dreams upon waking, (ed note, Aug. 13 — keeping a dream notebook led to nothing and I eventually abandoned the effort) but have not yet felt the desire to jot down any of them yet. They all seem so banal. Most seem to be self-soothing mechanisms … here, let me give you a dream where you have your financial house in order so you can sleep more deeply, which you desperately need.
My dreams also have an odd memory of other dreams that my waking life tends to ignore. Many of them take place in Las Vegas, even though I’ve only been in the city a handful of times and not in at least eight years. I had a series of very strange dreams in Las Vegas where there were multiple baseball stadiums in the city that had become hosts to MLB teams. Perhaps this was a precursor to our new “bubble world” of professional sports.
In another recurring series of dreams, I attained a master’s degree in some unknown humanities subject years ago and my current dreams keep referring to that non-existent degree. Perhaps there is comfort in the thought that helps me sleep. Or perhaps I am just giving myself an honorary degree for some of my auto-didactic learning through the years, including this project.
It’s nice that my unconscious wants to give me credit for things I have accomplished in the past, because my ego seems to take no interest in these past projects or in starting new ones. These days, to return to my original theme, my ego also seems to have no interest in other people. This is not an unusual stance for me, but it’s sad to see it return — I thought I had abolished it late last year.
The return to the self is not a bad thing, but I fear pushing people away as I go. It is so much easier to not care. It’s very seductive to believe that no one else is interested and the only real reader and beneficiary of this project is me alone. I’ve long ago stopped trying to get people to read my posts here, in fact, I’m relieved at times when people don’t read it.
After solitude, I will need to learn again to trust people. First and foremost, I’ll have to trust myself again.