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for they remain in memory only on account of their symbolic significance. The beginning of school is followed in most cases by a phase of increasing ego growth and adjustment to the world. This is a time that rarely passes without a few painful shocks. With many children, this time is also associated with the growing feeling of being different or peculiar that is often part of young people’s loneliness. That which is imperfect and evil in the world and within oneself becomes conscious, and the pressing inner potentialities for development that have not yet had a chance to be actualized lie like a weight on the shoulders of many young people, who have to find their way in life despite this and in the face of the world around them. When the building up of consciousness that is natural during this time is disturbed, the child often withdraws into a kind of protected inner world, which in dreams and symbolic drawings exhibits with particular frequency the kind of circular, rectangular, and nuclear motifs that we will be speaking about later on. Such images are related to the existential center of the psyche referred to above, which organizes the entire development of the personality. Thus there is great likelihood that this image will appear in phases when there is a serious threat. As far as we are able to say today, it is also from this center that the impetus for the development of the conscious ego in humans emanates, the ego apparently being a duplicate or structural counterpart of the original center, the Self.10 Already in this early phase of life, many people find themselves compelled to seek intensively for the “meaning of life,” for it seems that only finding this will make the chaos both inside and outside them bearable. Others, by contrast, continue during this period to be carried along by the dynamism of their instinctive patterns and thus do not consciously inquire into the meaning of their existence, experiencing as they do specific aspects of it, such as love, nature, sport, work, as having an immediate and satisfying meaning. They are not necessarily more superficial than the first type but are simply carried along frictionlessly by the current of life. The situation is parallel to riding in a windowless railway car: it is only when it stops or starts up suddenly that one notices it is moving at all. The true process of individuation—the conscious relationship with the great inner man or one’s own psychic center—usually begins with an injury or some state of suffering, which represents a kind of vocation that is not often recognized as such. Instead ego feels it is being obstructed in the

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Marie - Louise Von Franz - Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche -  

Marie - Louise Von Franz - Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche -  

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