Complexes: Your Shadow’s Double Bind (Internal Rhetoric)

Uploaded 4/11/2024, approx. 43 minute read

The video you are about to watch, I am proposing that the various parts of the psyche are in a permanent state of dialogue or, if you wish, for a long time.

They constantly communicate with each other, they talk to each other, they negotiate with each other, they debate, they disagree or agree.

This constant exchange of information and argumentation between the various parts of the psyche, of the soul, of the personality, call it as you will, generates outcomes.

And one of the most prominent outcomes is what is known as a double bind.

We are in a constant state of double bind.

Complexes in Jung's work associated with archetypes, the most dominant of which is the shadow, they serve to organize this dialogue and to attempt to reconcile or resolve the double bind.

So the archetypes associated with complexes, most notably the shadow, are the organizing principles of inner life.

And their main role is to resolve or assuage double bind injunctions on the one hand and to afford the illusion or self-deception of memory, continuity and core identity, where actually there is fragmentation and self-states.

Now I have used many terms in this introduction which may not be clear to you and I would like to clarify some of them.

Let's start with double bind.

Double bind is an observation made by the anthropologist, not the psychologist, Greg Ray Bateson and his colleagues in 1956 in schizophrenia patients.

Bateson suggested that when we are exposed to messages, signals, expectations, commands that contradict each other in an environment which does not allow us to somehow resolve the dilemma, then we find ourselves in a double bind.

Double bind can lead to mental dysfunction or mental illness, but it is a very common condition actually.

Complexes and shadow are concepts which Jung used in his work and these concepts were actually a renaming of Freud's unconscious.

Self-real complexes as I said were first proposed by Carl Jung.

These are unconscious feelings and beliefs rooted mostly in traumatic experiences, but some of them may be the result of personality traits.

They are amalgams, they are compendia, collections of ideas and images and effects, emotions organized around a specific theme.

This symbolic theme is known as an archetype.

Complexes affect how we perceive ourselves, how we perceive others and how we function in relationships.

They are personal, unconscious, clusters of emotions, memories, perceptions and wishes organized around common themes as I said.

Complexes are somehow shaped or molded by how we grow up, how people respond to us and how we interact with other people.

They are closely interrelated to what later came to be called the internal working model or a theory of mind.

As I said trauma has a lot to do with complexes and I will discuss it in the video.

And so complexes trigger automatic responses to certain scenarios.

Jung said the complex is not under the control of the will and for this reason it possesses the quality of psychic autonomy.

Its autonomy consists of its power to manifest itself independently of the will and even in direct opposition to conscious tendencies.

Complexes affect how we view ourselves, how we view other people, relational aspects, our experience of the world.

And so they are in many ways organizing principles.

So to summarize, there's a dialogue inside ourselves between various parts of our personality.

This dialogue leads to conflict and dissonance and anxiety because it often generates and results in what Bezon called the double bind and a situation where we feel trapped in dilemmas that we cannot resolve because of environmental injunctions.

To resolve the double bind situation which is extremely uncomfortable and intolerable, to resolve it, we resort to complexes, amalgams of emotions, ideas and memories organized around common themes.

These common themes are known as archetypes.

Complexes are therefore organizational principles and explanatory principles within the inner psyche.

For much more about all this, I invite you to watch this video.

Now this is the first of two.

The next video I will be discussing specific complexes, quite a few of them and how they can affect your life.

Like certain YouTubers who shall remain unnamed, Carl Gustav Jungom, once Freud's disciple and almost adopted son, stole many of Freud's concepts and ideas and merely renamed them, claiming to have invented them.

Not very moral, is it?

But don't feel sorry for Freud.

Freud has stolen many of his ideas and concepts from others, most notably Breuer and Adler and others.

Okay, enough with this crime saga known as psychology.

Let us delve right into the topic of today's video, the shadow, complexes, the dark side of your personality.

This video is divided in two parts because I'm Jewish.

The first part is a general theoretical overview of the concept of complexes and shadow.

And the second part is a catalog of complexes, a variety of ways in which your mind deceives you and plays tricks on you.

My name is Sam Bachmann, I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, a visiting professor of psychology, former and currently on the faculty of CEOPS.

Okay, shadow is just another name for Freud's unconscious.

It is no more and no less than the unconscious, actually.

So Jung borrowed Freud's concept of the unconscious and then renamed it shadow.

Part of the shadow segment, the department, the wing of the shadow land is comprised of what is known as complexes.

Now, before I proceed, there have been numerous scholars, philosophers like Wittgenstein, psychoanalysts like Lacan and many others who have suggested that the unconscious is the repository of language.

It actually incorporates other people's injunctions, edicts, utterances, gays, and so on and so forth to be summarily captured and described in linguistic terms.

I'm a proponent of this school of thought and today I'm going to try to recast the shadow and its complexes in linguistic terms as a kind of internal rhetoric or internal speech.

And once I succeed to convince you, I hope, that the unconscious of the shadow is a form of dialogue between one and oneself, we're going to face the problem of the double bind, first described by Bateson and his colleagues in their study of schizophrenics in 1956.

If indeed the shadow and the complexes are forms of internal rhetoric, internal speech, internal dialogue, if you wish, between various constructs and various parts of the personality, this would give rise almost inevitably to an internal double bind situation.

Now I owe you many explanations I need to disambiguate and introduce you to the concepts that I've just used.

Let's start with internal rhetorics.

Internal rhetoric is a phrase coined by Jean Nienkamp in her brilliant article "Interral Rhetorics Toward a History and Theory of Self-Persuasion".

She said that internal rhetoric occurs between one aspect of the self and another aspect of the self inside one's mind.

She studied internal rhetoric by discussing how this concept developed along more traditional perceptions and conceptions of classical and modern rhetorical theory.

Nienkamp demonstrated that we talk to ourselves all the time.

We talk ourselves into things, into justifications, into actions, into developing certain kinds of opinions and theories about the world, about ourselves and so on and so forth.

In this sense, our internal working models and our theories of mind about what makes other people tick, these are all forms of internal rhetoric.

She said that we see ourselves as divided, as torn in different directions by conflicting desires, duties and social mores.

And yet we don't feel fragmented, we feel continuous, we feel integrated, we feel in Jung's words, "constellated".

We are not split into discrete entities.

One part of us is isolated.

Everything inside us interrelates and interacts smoothly when we are healthy.

Of course, this is not the case when we are mentally ill.

It's not the case with narcissists.

But it's the case with healthy people.

And one of the reasons that we are able to maintain this self-deception or this delusion that we have a core identity which is continuous and contiguous and non-fragmented and integrated.

One of the main reasons is that we have the instrument or the tool of internal rhetoric.

This constant exchange of views and information, this constant processing of arguments, this constant debate, this constant intercourse, if you wish, and it is as intimate as the other kind of intercourse.

This creates the sensation of a core.

A core therefore, in Ninkamp's terms, is language.

At the very least it is the outcome of language.

But I think we could go further safely and say that it is language.

Ninkamp identified two major aspects of internal rhetoric.

The conscious art of cultivated internal rhetoric and the unconscious nature of primary internal rhetoric.

And this leads me to my first argument.

Complexes, shadow, these are unwanted parts of ourselves.

These are the parts of ourselves that we have rejected, that we have repressed, that we have suppressed.

The parts that we like to call our dark sides.

But suppressing something, repressing something, sweeping something under the proverbial ego carpet, this creates dissonance, it creates internal conflict.

These voices insist on emerging.

They have energy, pent up energy, an observation made by Freud.

And so this energy is very unsettling.

It's like volcanic activity within the Earth's mantle.

We have these forces inside us sloshing and regurgitating and erupting from time to time and so on and so forth.

Our complexes, our shadow, our dark side is in constant opposition and contradiction to our consciousness.

The unconscious and the conscious are fighting.

According to Ninkam, they're conducting a dialogue and one could get the impression that this dialogue is civil, obeys some rules of etiquette.

But of course that's not the truth.

This dialogue is oppressive, repressive.

This dialogue is about subjugation, dominance and submission.

Who is on top?

Who is calling the shots?

Who is determining action, motivation, intention?

And this is why Freud divided the psyche into ego, I mean, ego and super ego.

Ego and super ego is a part of the ego.

The ego is in charge of subduing the ego, sublimating it, converting our desires and urges and drives, which are often socially unacceptable, into socially acceptable forms of action.

But that requires occupation, that requires subjugation, that requires enslavement of the id of that part of us, which is primitive and desirous and passionate and that part of us that is primitive and infantile and knows no boundaries and no inhibitions and no limits and wants to have it all right now.

No impulse control, recklessness, defiance.

The ego is dead set against these qualities and traits of the id.

And there's this inner battle taking place day in and day out, second in and second out, every split second.

And this battle, this war that's ongoing can never have a ceasefire or a truce.

The ego is terrified of the id.

The ego is convinced that if it were to, I don't know, go to sleep or go on a vacation, the id would destroy the individual.

Of course, ego and id, this is a metaphor.

Now, if this is true, and according to Freud and others, it is true, if there is an ongoing sub-paternal conflict between the ego and the id, this structure and that structure, the shadow, if you wish, and consciousness.

If this is true, then we are getting mixed messages.

The id, the shadow, call it what you will, is broadcasting one type of message.

I want sex.

I want sex now.

I want sex with this woman now.


And the ego or consciousness is broadcasting another kind of message.

You cannot have sex.

You cannot have sex now, and especially you cannot have sex with this woman or man, because the outcomes would be adverse, because you will be punished, because reality and society will frown upon this action and penalize you, etc.

Ego provides reality testing, but also suppresses, oppresses, represses, and every other kind of presses, the id.

Our drives, our urges, our passions, our primitive, reptile, if you wish, predilections and proclivities.

And there's this war.

When you have two streams of messages which conflict, which are mutually exclusive, which contradict each other, we call this double bind.

The phrase double bind was first used by Gregory Bateson.

Gregory Bateson is another example of a dominant figure in psychology who has had no education in psychology.

Gregory Bateson was not a psychologist.

He was an anthropologist, actually.

Bateson and his colleagues, Jackson, Haley, Wickland, they wrote an article in 1956.

They discuss the complexity of communication when it comes to schizophrenia.

And they coined the phrase double bind.

What is a double bind?

Double bind, simply put, is when you have two streams of signals or messages, usually emanating from the same source, which conflict, which contradict each other.

And yet, both messaging channels, both messages, call for action.

Obviously, you cannot comply with both messages simultaneously because the actions would annul each other, would negate each other.

And this creates a bind, a double bind.

You don't know what to do.

You freeze, you are unsure.

This creates enormous confusion.

That's on the surface.

And my innovation or suggestion is that inside us, our conscious and our unconscious are in a constant state of double bind because they produce messages that are mutually exclusive, contradictory.

And these messages create motivations and these motivations call for actions.

But these actions are irreconcilable.

You can't follow both your ego and your id at the same time.

You have to make a choice.

And yet you're compelled to not make this choice because the id and the ego are part of who you are.

You don't want to deny any part of yourself.

And this is a permanent double bind situation.

According to Bateson and his colleagues, for a double bind to exist, we need to fulfill the following conditions.

Number one, the situation involves two or more sources of injunction, sources of commands, sources of desires, sources of expectations, etc.

Two more sources.

One of these sources is designated as the subject.

The others are people who are considered the subject superiors, figures of authority like parents whom the subject respects.

But I'm suggesting that there's a permanent double bind situation inside you, inside each and every person.

And that would mean that we perceive ourselves as subjects and also as objects, which is something Freud had suggested in the early 1910s.

We perceive ourselves as both.

Voices inside our mind, I mentioned the id, the ego, but there are also introjects, all kinds of introjects.

Voices inside our mind, the ego ideal, the super ego, these voices instruct us, not instruct in the sense of teach us anything, but they tell us what to do.

And their instructions are incompatible, mutually exclusive.

So this creates a lot of confusion because some of them, like the super ego and the ego ideal and more generally the ego, they're perceived as figures of authority internally.

They're highly respected and listened to and obeyed internally.

So there's a myth.

Now the second condition for a double bind to exist is that it is a repeated experience, a recurrent theme in the experience of the subject.

Not a single traumatic experience, but a long standing situation.

And that is of course the case with our internal rhetoric, with a constant fight between elements in our personality, in our psyche, the shadow fighting our consciousness, the unconscious fighting the conscious, the ego fighting the id, the super ego fighting everyone, the ego ideal directing us to become someone else, someone who we are not.

So all these forces are in action.

They make us feel objectified or actually subjectified.

They make us feel as if we are the object or the subject of these forces.

And these forces never cease.

They never take a break.

They never go on a vacation.

They're always there.

And they keep spewing out injunctions.


Do this or you will be punished.

Don't do this or you will be punished.

This is the best thing to do.

You should be like this.

You ought to do this constantly.

The constant stream of these injunctions.

Now I recommend that at this stage you watch my video on IPAM, intra-psychic activation model, because it deals with these injunctions.

The concept of punishment is not necessarily external.

When we apply the id of double bind to the internal realm, to the psychology of the individual, and to the various constructs in the psyche who are competing for dominance, then we realize that punishment could be external but is often actually internal.

Decathexis is a form of punishment, withdrawing emotional investment, which is often perceived as love.

A bad object is a form of punishment.

It's a constellation of voices which attack the individual and inform the individual that it is bad, unworthy, unlovable, inadequate.

It's a form of punishment, internal punishment.

There is a lot of self-hatred, self-directed aggression, also known as depression.

There's self-rejection, even self-loathing, even self-abundantment or self-neglect.

And of course, all this leads to self-defeat and self-destruction.

Double bind, when it is applied to the relationship or interactions between the shadow part, the unconscious, and the conscience with its ego, superego, and so on and so forth, leads inevitably to bad outcomes unless some mechanism of compromise and reconciliation can emerge.

By the way, I just misled you.

The ego and the superego are actually in the unconscious in Freud's work.

But it's useful to pretend that they are conscious in order to delineate and distinguish and demarcate the shadow more clearly.

So there are all kinds of injunctions flying in the air within one's mind.

You should do this, you shouldn't do this, you ought to do this.

It's better for you to have acted this way, and so on and so forth.

There are primary injunctions, there are secondary injunctions, and there are secondary injunctions conflict with higher-level injunctions.

There are injunctions that apply to the whole space of the mind and injunctions that apply to a specific action, injunctions that apply to a specific motivation, injunctions that apply to a specific time, for example, trying to anticipate the future, anticipatory injunctions, and so on.

There's a mayhem there, there's a tumult, it's a huge noise inside.

So you must do this, but only do it because you want to.

Of course, that's an example of a double bind.

Either you must do it, or you want to do it, usually they don't go together.

So these injunctions create a lot of dissonance, anxiety, inner conflicts, and so on and so forth.

Sometimes the solution is to invent injunctions which somehow try to put together lower-level or higher-level injunctions.

But often, the more injunctions, the higher the number of injunctions our constructs come up with, the more we are trapped in a dilemma.

Because injunctions, for example, if you invent a new injunction unconsciously, this new injunction would usually create an alliance or coalition with one of the injunctions against the other.

So this inner turmoil is never ending, this double bind situation.

And this of course was the observation of both Freud and Jung.

Now before I'm being accused of retropsychology, what have you, I regard Freud's models and Jung's models, I regard them as literature, as metaphors, which capture the human essence in a way that is undeniable.

And that's why I use them.

I don't believe there's such a thing as ego.

I'm a physicist by training.

We don't believe in such intangibles, at least this kind of intangible.

But it's useful.

These metaphors are useful.

But one of the metaphors that's been often bandied about by Jung is the complex.

Complex is an emotionally charged group of IDs or images.

So Jung believed that the personality is fragmented.

And yet the individual's ego consciousness is not aware of this fragmentation.

In this sense, Jung comes very, very close to Philip Bromberg's work on self-states, to other scholars' work on sub-personalities or ego-states and so on and so forth.

Jung conflicted with Freud, disagreed with Freud, in the sense that he did not regard the self or the individual as a smoothly operating machinery, albeit constructed of cogs and nuts and bolts.

Freud said there is ego, there is superego, there are many parts, moving parts, yeah, but they are all within a coherent, cohesive, functional machine, unless something goes wrong.

And that is mental illness.

Jung said, no, it's not true.

To start with, we are all fragmented, even healthy people.

We are all constructed of moving parts and these moving parts conflict and dialogue and create a lot of commandments and paradoxes and internal absurdities.

And we spend a lifetime trying to reconcile these parts to each other in order to experience what he called ego consciousness, or what we call today core identity.

So Jung's notion of a complex rests on a refutation of the monolithic ideas of personality, individual, even self.

We have many selves.

And Jung said, this is our experience also.

We experience ourselves, not ourselves.

And this is, of course, reflected in my work as well.

I've adopted this view of what it is to be human.

So complex is not an entirely autonomous entity within the psyche.

But Jung said that complexes behave as if they were independent beings.

He argued, and I'm quoting, there is no difference in principle between a fragmentary personality and a complex.

Complexes are splinter psyches.

So to reiterate, complexes are collections, compendia, encyclopedias of images and ideas, organized by themes, thematically organized.

These themes, these cores are known as archetypes in Jung's work.

The complexes, these collections of images and ideas, they cluster around archetypal cores.

The archetype is like a magnet.

It attracts specific ideas and specific images, of course, relevant to the archetype.

There's a common emotional tone, undertone, overtone as you wish, common emotional hue, color to the archetype.

When these ideas and images cluster around the archetype and become a complex, this process is known as constellation.

Now complexes contribute to the determination of behaviors.

And in this sense, they have motivational and attitudinal elements, but they are much more marked by effect.

They are much more emotional than cognitive.

Even though we are not conscious of complexes, complexes are unconscious, they still bring with them emotions in some of these emotions surface.

Either they surface pathologically, and this used to be known as neurosis, or they surface in a healthy manner.

Sometimes we have a feeling, we experience a feeling and we don't know where it came from.

According to you, it comes from a complex and the archetype around which this complex revolves, the pivotal archetype.

Archetypes are described archetypes in other videos about Jung, which are available on this channel. You could have many types of archetypes, and we'll discuss it momentarily.

Suffice it to say that an archetype is a symbol.

It symbolizes something.

So you could have a mother archetype, a trickster archetype, a father archetype.

They symbolize elements in human experience that are common to the entire species, which led Jung later to discuss what he called a collective unconscious.

We're not going to it in this video.

So, when Freud discovered the idea of complexes, he was so excited.

He wanted to change the name of his psychology from analytical psychology to complex psychology.

He said, "The complex is the via radia, the royal way to the unconscious.

It is the architect of dreams." According to Jung, dreams and other symbolic manifestations are closely related to complexes because complexes mediate between us and the archetypes.

They're like bridges or as he said, the royal path, the royal road.

So Jung linked the personal and archetypal components of human experience.

Without the concept of a complex, it would be difficult to express just how experience is built up.

Psychological life would be in a series of unconnected incidents.

It is the complex and the archetype associated with the complex that serve to organize life, experience.

They are organizing principles of experience, both external experience, environmental and inner experience, internal experience.

According to Jung, complexes also affect memory.

Of course, memory is the glue and the fuel of identity.

There's no identity without memory.

Talk to any Alzheimer's patient and they will tell you this.

They don't know who they are because they've lost their memories.

So for example, the father complex holds within it an archetype of the father, a symbol of a father, not the father, not a specific father, but father, father, fatherness, the essence of being a father.

That's the archetype.

So the complex holds an archetypal image of the father, but also an aggregate of all the interactions with a specific father over time.

So it's like you have a library and then there's a shelf labeled psychology and it's an empty shelf, but you know what is psychology.

That's the archetype.

So now you're able to put your own selection of specific books on this shelf.

The complex and the archetype help you to organize your experience, your memories in a meaningful way.

Your interactions with your father belong to the father archetype and its associated complex, name, ideas, emotions, and so on.

And this is known in other in Cohe's work and other is known as Imago.

Again, I will not go into it.

So the father complex colors the recall, the memory of experiences of the actual father.

And that's why without complexes and without archetypes, there would be no identity because there would be no memory or at least not organized memory.

Everything would be one huge tale, the kaleidoscope, which is exactly the state of mind of the narcissist.

The ego is an archetypal aspect in Jung's work, the beauty in Jung's work.

And I'm not underestimating some of his work before he went gaga and migrated to La La Land.

In Jung's work, the constructs of the mind, what Freud called ego and superego and id, there are also archetypes.

There are also complexes associated with archetypes.

In other words, in Jung's internal landscape, in Jung's conception of the internal landscape, everything is what came to be known later as an internal object.

Everything is an internal object.

Your mother's voice is an interject, is an internal object.

Your father's voice is an internal object.

Even Vaknin's voice, of course, is an internal object, but so is your ego.

So is your id.

So is your superego, which is part of the ego.

So is everything inside your mind is an internal object.

Internal object is just another name for a combination of archetype and complex.

And so the ego in Freud's work is just another internal object in Jung's work and is known as ego complex.

It's a complex associated with an archetype, the ego archetype.

The personalized history, personal history of the individual, the development of consciousness and self-awareness and all this, which feed into the ego, create reality testing, the other ego functions.

They are just ways of interacting with one internal object of many.

And that's the beauty of Jung.

Jung opened the way to later object relations theories.

If you put Jung and Adler together, you get the mother and father of object relations.

Freud did discuss object relations, of course. He was the first to describe them.

But he came short. He didn't dare go there, if you wish.

The ego complex is in a relationship with other complexes.

And this is the source of the conflict because these complexes, which are associated with archetypes, they're often fighting. They're often conflictive. They often disagree with each other. They often try to overrule each other. They try to control each other. They try to subjugate each other.

So there's constant dissonance, constant unrest. It's like civil unrest, civil war. And so if this civil war is not abated somehow and there are various mechanisms within the mind and within the psyche, which reconcile the various complexes, allow the shadow to operate without endangering the consciousness and the conscious and so on.

But if this fails, for example, because the child was not allowed to develop, was not allowed to become an individual in situations where the self has not been integrated and constellated, where the ego was unable to emerge fully, which leads to narcissism.

So in these situations, there's a risk of one of the complexes or more splitting off, splitting off and then dominating the personality.

So we would have a personality that is controlled by a highly specific archetype and complex, while all the others are relegated into the Netherlands of the shadow.

This then overwhelms the ego and this is known as psychosis, losing touch with reality.

The ego is the interface with reality.

When an internal complex associated with an archetype takes over the ego, subdues the ego because there are no internal mechanisms for equilibrium and homeostasis. There's no self to control and organize all of them.

And the ego is compromised.

In this situation, we have psychosis.

And sometimes an ego would identify with a specific complex, specific archetype, and then we have what is called inflation or possession, not demon possession.

I don't want to go too deep into all this, although it's amazingly fascinating, at least to me.

Complexes are natural. No need to be afraid of complexes. They're totally natural phenomena.

Everyone has a shadow. Everyone has complexes. Everyone is unconscious. Everyone is conscious. Call it whatever you will. Use any theory or school you wish in psychology, but we still have these elements and they're natural and they lead to development.

And some of them are positive and some of them are negative. Life is sometimes positive, sometimes negative. And they reflect life.

These internal creations are resonant with life. They are created by life. They reflect life.

And because life itself is, as I said, ambiguous, ambidextrous, if you wish, dual, this duality, you would have negative complexes and positive complexes. You would have archetypes which are self-defeating and self-destructive and archetypes which are very helpful and so on and so forth.

These are the ingredients of psychic life, even in healthy people.

But we have healthy people, normal people. They have a hyper structure. They have rulers. They have governors. They have organizing principles. They have strict codes. They have, for example, the self. They have the ego. They have these structures which somehow introduce order and structure into the mayhem and the chaos that otherwise would ensue.

The narcissist and, of course, other mentally ill people. They don't have this.

They don't have this.

So it's all in a very disorganized state.

Indeed, narcissistic personalities are considered to be disorganized or chaotic personalities.

There's an organizational structure or order or pattern or anything there.

Things happen because they happen.

It's very reactive and very impulsive and crazy making and very mind-moggling in many ways.

The ego's role is to establish viable relationships with complexes.

And when the ego does this, the self emerges.

Personality is discernible and it's usually rich and flexible.

Of course, nothing is cast in stone.

We change all the time.

I keep saying we are rivers.

We are not ponds.

So these relationships between the ego or the self or whatever you want to call it and the shadow or the unconscious complexes or archetypes, these relationships change all the time because you change, because the environment changes, because the world changes.

The only fixed thing, the only utterly predictable thing is change.

So these patterns of internal relationships, this internal rhetoric, this internal speech is constantly changing in a desperate attempt sometimes to resolve double binds.

This dialogue that I've just described, these relationships, they keep generating double binds.

They keep generating contradictory messaging, contradictory signaling, contradictory injunctions.

And the attempt to resolve these is what we call personality or self.

We are natural born peacemakers and mediators.

So as our perception of the world and of others shifts, our inner world transforms, reacts, re-molds and becomes something else.

This is the power of internal malleability and flexibility known in neurosciences, neuroplasticity probably.

So we are ever shifting.

We are in flux.

We are beautiful creatures because we don't really have rigid boundaries.

Indeed, in many textbooks, including in the diagnostic and statistical manual and the ICD, personality disorders are defined as rigid patterns.

It is the lack of rigidity that signifies mental health.

It is flexibility that indicates mental or psychological functioning.

So Freud adopted the idea of complexes.

He regarded complexes as proof of his concept or is actually borrowed concept between you and me of the unconscious because Jung conducted physical experiments.

He used galvanometers.

Don't ask.

He tried to link the idea of complexes to bodily reactions.

So he created a biology of the shadow.

And Freud was very happy with it because Freud was a neurologist, of course.

He never studied psychology.

So he was very happy with it because he thought that complexes are the biological manifestations and translations of the unconscious.

Now, all these are rarely used today as therapeutic instruments.

But the descendants, the philosophical and conceptual descendants of complexes and shadow and unconscious can be found in literally every therapy I'm aware of, especially, for example, transactional analysis, Gestalt.

In these therapeutic theories, the patient psychology is divided, some divided.

And there's a dialogue between relatively autonomous parts in the patient, inside the patient.

And some psychodynamic commentators suggested that Jung may have come up with these ideas because of his own mental illness, severe mental illness.

He was psychotic.

Atwood, Storrow, 1979, about.

Goldberg, in 1980, said that Jung viewed the individual as a collective, collective noun.

A person, he said, is a person is a collective noun.

So complexes lead to personifications, to the creation of sub-personalities, sub-ego states, sub-something, such states in my work, Philip Roberts' work.

And each of these personalities is distinct because the ideas, the memories, the emotions of each sub-personality, each sub-state are unique to that sub-state.

They're not shared, usually, with other sub-states.

And this is complex.

This is the complex.

And it's in Jung's work, although not in Bromberg's, not in my work and so, but in Jung's work, it's associated with archetypes.

The emotional events of early life become fixed and operative in adulthood through complexes.

You could conceive of complexes and their associated archetypes as repositories, containers, splinter psyches.

And so we, it seems we have dispensed with the idea of a unitary self long, long time ago when we introduced the complex, an emotionally charged group of ideas and images.

Image of a certain psychic situation which is strongly accentuated emotionally and is incompatible with the habitual attitudes of consciousness.

I would like to read to you a few quotes.

Jung, the via vegia, the royal way to the unconscious, is not the dream as Freud thought but the complex, which is the architect of dreams and of symptoms.

Nor is this via, this road, so very royal either, since the way pointed out by the complex is more like a rough and uncommonly devious footpath.

Complexes are feeling- toned ideas that over the years accumulate around certain archetypes, for instance, mother and father.

When complexes are constellated, they're invariably accompanied by affect.

They're always relatively autonomous.

Complexes interfere with the intentions of the will and disturb the conscious performance.

They produce disturbances of memory and blockages in the flow of associations.

They appear and disappear according to their own laws.

They can temporarily obsess consciousness or influence speech and action in an unconscious way.

In a word, complexes behave like independent beings.

Complexes are in fact splinter psyches.

The etiology of their origin is frequently a so-called trauma, an emotional shock or some such thing, that splits off a bit of the psyche.

Certainly, one of the commonest causes is immoral conflict, which ultimately derives from the apparent impossibility of affirming the whole of one's nature.

By the way, here I must interject and add that in my work, the first time the child realizes that he is not mummy, that he is separate from mother, he is a major trauma.

And so selfhood itself is a trauma in my work.

Through the mother's gaze, the child drifts away from mummy, realizes that he is not one with mummy, that the symbiosis has been illusory and self-deceptive.

That's a gigantic trauma, possibly the worst trauma in life.

And so in my work, the emergence of the self and self-structures, such as complexes, is highly traumatic, is grounded in trauma.

Back to Jung.

Everyone knows nowadays that people have complexes.

What is not so well known, though far more important theoretically, is that complexes can have us.

Jung stressed that complexes are not negative, only their effects sometimes are.

In the same way that atoms and molecules are the invisible components of physical objects, complexes are the building blocks of the psyche and the source of all human emotions.

Complexes are focal or nodal points of psychic life, which we would not wish to do without.

Indeed, they should not be missing, for otherwise psychic activity would come to a fatal standstill.

Complexes obviously represent a kind of inferiority in the broadest sense.

But to have complexes does not necessarily indicate inferiority.

It only means that something discordant, unassimilated and antagonistic exists, perhaps as an obstacle, but also as an incentive to greater effort, and so perhaps to new possibilities of achievement.

Some degree of one-sidedness is unavoidable.

In the same measure, complexes are unavoidable too.

The negative effect of a complex is commonly experienced as a distortion in one or other of the psychological functions, feelings, thinking, intuition and sensation.

In place of sound judgment and an appropriate feeling response, for instance, one reacts according to what the complex dictates.

As long as one is unconscious of the complexes, one is liable to be driven by them.

And that's of course a great encapsulation of narcissism, which involves cognitive distortions such as grandiosity and unconscious motivations which lead to very bizarre actions.

Jung continues, "The possession of complexes does not in itself signify neurosis, and the fact that they are painful is not proof of pathological disturbance.

Suffering is not an illness.

It is a normal counter-pole to happiness.

A complex becomes pathological only when we think we have not got it."

Identification with a complex, particularly the anima animus and the shadow, is a frequent source of neurosis.

The aim of analysis in such cases is not to get rid of the complexes, as if that were possible, but to minimize their negative effects by understanding the part they play in behaviour patterns and emotional reactions.

You notice of course that the shadow is an archetype in Jung's work.

Jung continues, "A complex can be really overcome only if it is lived out to the full.

In other words, if we are to develop further, we have to draw to us and drink down to the very dregs what, because of our complexes, we have held at a distance."

Okay, so this is a general overview of shadow complexes and so on.

To summarize, I propose that the various constructs, the various structures of the psyche are in a state of constant dialogue.

I propose that this dialogue leads to a double-bind situation time and again.

I propose that complexes associated with archetypes, one of which is the shadow and so on and so forth, are the organizing principles around which this dialogue takes place and therefore translating Jung's work into linguistics, in linguistic terms, getting much closer to Lacan's and the philosophical side Wittgenstein's work.

This is the introduction.

In the next video, I'm going to provide a catalog or an overview of specific complexes.

Have fun!

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