|The Hunter, Warrior and Seer|
This excerpt from Chapter 1 of Border Crossings summarizes three creative attitudes toward the unconscious in contrast to the average response. Added emphasis appears in red, and my reactions are enclosed in a box: (Note 38)
The average man has two choices when the unconscious begins to break through his routine awareness. He may try to escape by flight, anxiously running from one activity to another, running to any place where for a moment a way seems clear, hoping always that this time things will be different. If, on the other hand, he is armed, he makes a stand; he uses whatever defense mechanisms are available (familiar from Freudian psychology) to drive off or kill (repress) the unconscious fantasies or impulses. . . .
Despite the temptation to run from or to fall into the hands of the unconscious (as emotion, compelling fantasy, disturbing idea, impulsiveness, and so on), the hunter would make the unconscious his object of attention. A hunter is aware of the unconscious, and therefore in the isolation of the forest he looks for points of protection, places where the wind will not carry his scent. The hunter has developed an observing ego that he is capable of protecting under the most adverse circumstances. The hunter introverts and observes the mood or other form of unconscious libido. . . .
The warrior, in contrast to the average man and the hunter, directly goes to meet the challenge that has come his way. With his consciousness intact like a good hunter he uses "controlled abandon" to become one with the magical animal. The warrior deliberately reverses his conscious values in order to experience the other world, joins the object of his fear or longing in active imagination in order to know. . . .
The seer, on the other hand, does not have to approach the unconscious as a warrior. The seer anticipates the difficulties and dangers that the warrior meets face to face; the seer directs his life by what he sees. The seer has the capacity to see behind the surface of things, to know things "as they really are," and to grasp the seeds of the future. The seer is like the Taoist monk whose vision has detached his psychic energy from the thousand and one things of life. "Everything becomes nothing" for the seer and everywhere he sees the mysterious Tao.