Tuesday, April 8, 2014

According to Jung

May I ask you a question?  When you looked at yourself in the bathroom mirror this morning, which eye were you looking at?

Probably you were just checking to see that your teeth were clean.  But, if you did look yourself in the eye, however briefly, did you register what it was telling you?

Listening to John Maxwell Taylor talking about his one-man play, 'Forever Jung', I was intrigued to discover that, according to Carl Jung, each of our eyes plays a very different role . . . roles that complement each other.

Should you be right-handed, then your left eye will be your 'essence eye' and your right eye will be your 'personality eye'.  Should you happen to be left-handed, then the roles will be reversed.

Nor is it that simple.  The moment we smile both eyes shine with essence and the distinction disappears.  Which would seem to be one of many reasons why smiling is so desirable!

You are not convinced?  Then humour me by standing in front of a mirror and trying this experiment.

First, if you are right-handed, place a hand over your right eye and study your left eye, your 'essence eye', in the mirror.
Don't anticipate what you might see . . . look at it quite dispassionately and notice what, if anything, it has to tell you.

Now, cover your left eye and repeat the experiment . . . again without any preconceived ideas.  Speaking for myself, I was startled to find how distinctly individual the two eyes were.

But what intrigues me is not so much the concept of each eye playing a different role, it is the thought that we are consciously offering two different persona to everyone we meet.

One of them is the presentable individual we like to offer on our CV.  The other is the essence that lies deep behind the selection process.

I wonder, do I greet people with my 'essence eye', or with my 'personality eye'?  Come to that, do I treat each person I meet in the same way?

If I find my head twisting ever so slightly, so as to present the right eye in preference to the left, does this mean that I am hiding the inner me and only putting my public profile on display?  If so, how much does that public profile differ from the essence that I am trying to keep hidden in the background?

Equally intriguing is a possibility afforded by this exercise, that of discovering just what it is that you are consciously offering me  . . . and just what it is that you are concealing!

John Maxwell Taylor made no mention as to whether Jung's theory applies to animals.
Let's put it to the test . . .  let's study Chloe.

There . . . if that isn't a strong and provocative 'personality eye' I don't know what is!