chapter  Chapter Three
11 Pages

Psychic energy or libido

WithPatricia Anne Elwood

As blood flows in the body, psychic energy or libido flows in the psyche. Libido has two distinct directions that Jung called “progression” and “regression.” Jung defines progression as the psychic adaptation to the environment and the outer world whereas regression corresponds to the adaptation towards the inner world. In a drawing the tendency of the motifs to follow a certain direction determines the flow of libido. The progression and regression of libido is described in myths, for example, when the hero leaves the outer world to descend into the underground to follow a path and then re-emerge transformed and with a message for the collective. Libido may be blocked due to a lack of appropriate adaptation or due to false adaptation or inhibiting parental attitudes. If the energy remains stuck in the unconscious over too long a period, then the person is in danger of a neurotic or even psychotic episode. When the flow is re-established, the ego experiences a release and a new stage of development or maturation can begin.