DOI link for Circumambulating Complementarity
Circumambulating Complementarity book
n the Red Book, as in Jung’s later work, complementarity plays as important a role as paradox; the two are intimately connected to each other as well as to his concerns as an explorer of the soul. For him, trauma and spirituality are both governed at a fundamental level by the principle of complementarity. Ego strengthening goes hand in hand with ego transcendence, speech with silence, dialogue with contemplation. In trauma therapy, the author combines the complementary perspectives of clinical work and spiritual practice, alongside alchemical and archetypal images, so as to create a unitary understanding that supersedes the one-sided concentration on progress and the goal-obsessed overemphasis on efficiency and rationality, which only leads ultimately to stagnation of libido. Trauma-related experiences of the abyss are complementary to the process of the expansion of consciousness, which can be understood as the effect of what Jung called the transcendent function, which “arises from the union of conscious and unconscious contents”.