Saturday, April 19, 2008

Creativity, Guilt, & Psychological Development

by Lawrence H. Staples
author of Guilt with a Twist

There is a creative urge within us that is even deeper than the urge to create a baby or a book or a symphony. It is the urge to create and build our personality until we become who we most deeply are, who we are supposed to be. It is the urge toward wholeness.

Completing the building of our personality requires us to integrate into our conscious personality contents that for half a lifetime may have been anathema to us. It means embracing contents that are the opposite of what is conventionally acceptable to society, our parents, and ourselves.


Jung recognized that the problem of the opposites is one of the most formidable obstacles to psychic integration. Even when we are able to integrate opposites there remains substantial tension between them. If the integration is so complete that the opposites literally merge, consciousness, as we know it, disappears. Consciousness of life depends upon the tension of opposites. So the problem is to bring them close together without a total merger in which one or the other of the opposites would lose its identity. This is indeed a challenging task.