Your #1 and #2 Personality
Path to your Celestial Self
In the Eye of the Storm
An individual response to the Global Crisis
Ashok Bedi, M.D., Jungian Psychoanalyst
Robert BJ Jakala PH.D., Jungian Psychotherapist
In a storm, the safest place is in the eye of the storm. My colleague BJ and I will share our daily reflections on this centering process from an Analytical perspective, sharing from the repertoire of our personal and professional experience. BJ is a psychologist and a photographer and will pick an image of the day that catches him in this collective crisis. I will amplify it from a Jungian Analytical perspective. We hope that this may offer you a baby step on the path to your own unique response to this chaos.
In this way a change of attitude is brought about which bridges the dissociation between man as he is and man as he ought to be. (Jung, 1967, p. 345)
My mind, like most people, has a variety of levels to “live on” or “visit”. There are times I am grounded in the moment. There are times I take a different perspective or am thinking about some future event that has nothing to do with the moment I am in.
This image grabbed my attention this morning when I read the words “changing room”. This pool side sign is practical. It tells guests where they can have privacy to change apparel. The sign got me to think about where I go in my mind to make changes. I thought about who I am currently and how I get to a more individuated me. (Hence, the quote from Jung above.) That thought led me to wonder what steps I need to take to get to a different perspective within myself. (Much like the image.)
Then, suddenly, another version of the sign became apparent. “Changing room” shifted from a place to change apparel to creating the space to change my mind. How do I make room within myself to accept a newer version of myself? How do I make space within my mind to accept or change the external realities in today’s difficult times? I began to think about what things I must let go of to make room for a more current sense of self or the world. The pandemic and protests require change from the life I had gotten used to.
Each one of us has at least two personalities. Jung called these our #1 and our #2 personality. Our #1 personality is our conscious, Ego personality and the #2 personality is our Soul personality. We may consider this our Terrestrial self and our Celestial Self. This is amplified in the Hindu scriptures including Bhagwat Gita (Miller, 2004) and Upanishads (Eknath & Nagler, 1988).
Our bodies are known to end
But the embodied Self is enduring
Indestructible and immeasurable
Gita: Chapter 2, para 18
Here are some of Jung’s reflections on his #1 and #2 personalities
In fact it seemed to me that the high mountains, the rivers, lakes, trees, flowers, and animals far better exemplified the essence of God than men with their ridiculous clothes, their meanness, vanity, mendacity, and abhorrent egotism–all qualities with which I was only too familiar from myself, that is, from personality No. 1, the schoolboy of 1890. Besides his world there existed another realm, like a temple in which anyone who entered was transformed and suddenly overpowered by a vision of the whole cosmos, so that he could only marvel and admire, forgetful of himself. Here lived the “Other,” who knew God as a hidden, personal, and at the same time suprapersonal secret. Here nothing separated man from God; indeed, it was as though the human mind looked down upon Creation simultaneously with God. What I am here unfolding, sentence by sentence, is something I was then not conscious of in any articulate way, though I sensed it with an overpowering premonition and intensity of feeling. At such times I knew I was worthy of myself, that I was my true self. As soon as I was alone, I could pass over into this state. I therefore sought the peace and solitude of this “Other,” personality No. 2.
(Jung & Jaffé, 1963), page 45
This notion sprang from a curious experience I had had. When we were living in Klein-Huningen an ancient green carriage from the Black Forest drove past our house one day. It was truly an antique, looking exactly as if it had come straight out of the eighteenth century. When I saw it, I felt with great excitement: “That’s it! Sure enough, that comes from my times.” It was as though I had recognized it because it was the same type as the one I had driven in myself. Then came a curious sentiment écoeurant, as though someone had stolen something from me, or as though I had been cheated–cheated out of my beloved past. The carriage was a relic of those times! I cannot describe what was happening in me or what it was that affected me so strongly: a longing, a nostalgia, or a recognition that kept saying, “Yes, that’s how it was! Yes, that’s how it was!”
(Jung & Jaffé, 1963), page 34
I had still another experience that harked back to the eighteenth century. At the home of one of my aunts I had seen an eighteenth century statuette, an old terra-cotta piece consisting of two painted figures. One of them was old Dr. Stuckelberger, a well-known personality in the city of Basel toward the end of the eighteenth century. The other figure was a patient of his; she was depicted with closed eyes, sticking out her tongue. This statuette of the old doctor had buckled shoes which in a strange way I recognized as my own. I was convinced that these were shoes I had worn.
(Jung & Jaffé, 1963), pages 34-35
This notion sprang from a curious experience I had had. When we were living in Klein-Huningen an ancient green carriage from the Black Forest drove past our house one day. It was truly an antique, looking exactly as if it had come straight out of the eighteenth century. When I saw it, I felt with great excitement: “That’s it! Sure enough, that comes from my times.” It was as though I had recognized it because it was the same type as the one I had driven in myself. Then came a curious sentiment écoeurant, as though someone had stolen something from me, or as though I had been cheated out of my beloved past. The carriage was a relic of those times! I cannot describe what was happening in me or what it was that affected me so strongly: a longing, a nostalgia, or a recognition that kept saying, “Yes, that’s how it was! Yes, that’s how it was!”
(Jung & Jaffé, 1963), page 34
Each individual has their own contemplative framework to connect with their Number 2 personality. Buddha spend six years in exile to access his Celestial Self, Christ took thirteen years of wandering to discover his divine origins, Moses had forty years in the desert, Mahatma Gandhi spend 14 years in South Africa before returning to India and Jung did his inner work over 6 years in his inner journey well chronicled in his personal diary (Jung & Shamdasani, 2009).
In some of my previous publications, I have outlined certain paradigms to access the deeper layers of our personality (Bedi, 2000, 2013; Bedi & Matthews, 2003; Bedi & Pereira, 2017)
Some Points to Ponder:
- Where can you make changes?
- Who supports or encourages you to change?
- What changes are needed currently and how do you make them?
- What changes are required long term?
- How do you experience the dissociation between how the United States is and how it ought to be?
How can you help provide the/a changing room?
- Do you have a sense of your #1 and #2 personalities?
- Describe and Journal your #1 and #2 personalities.
- What is your paradigm to access your Celestial personality?
- How do you perceive the present Pandemic and the Justice Protests with your #2 personality?
Photo taken in Kerala, India
Bedi, A. (2000). Path to the soul. York Beach, ME: S. Weiser.
Bedi, A. (2013). Crossing the healing zone : from illness to wellness. Lake Worth, FL, Newburyport, MA: Ibis Press, a division of Nicolas-Hays, Inc.,Lake Worth, Distributed to the trade by Red Wheel/Weiser.
Bedi, A., & Matthews, B. (2003). Retire your family karma : decode your family pattern and find your soul path. Berwick, Me.: Nicolas-Hays.
Bedi, A., & Pereira, J. H. (2017). The Spiritual Paradox of Addiction. Mumbai, India: St. Paul’s – Better Yourself Books.
Eknath, E., & Nagler, M. N. (1988). The Upanishads. London: Arkana.
Jung, C. G. (1967). Alchemical studies. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Jung, C. G., & Jaffé, A. (1963). Memories, dreams, reflections. London: Collins and Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Jung, C. G., & Shamdasani, S. (2009). The red book = Liber novus (1st ed.). New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
Miller, B. S. (2004). The Bhagavad-gita : Krishna’s counsel in time of war. New York: Bantam Books.