Integrity

Tender Nino in Alberto with tiny whatshernameThis young girl was not possessed, but she did have evil spirits attacking her.  Alberto seemed to be successful at bringing her comfort and relief.  It didn’t hurt that her father, who loved her a great deal, was there, too.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“I prayed for a fight with the devil, once,” I tell Reynaldo with as much humility as I can muster.

“Oh?  Why?”

“At the time I felt courageous and strong. Morally superior. Self-righteous.”

“I understand that.”  Reynaldo sets the repaired cross on the arm of his white, homemade, wooden throne. It’s obvious he doesn’t think that praying for a fight with the devil is so unusual. “And what happened?” he asks.

“Nothing. Well, I was surprised the other women at the altar rail seemed horrified. I thought they would cheer for my heroism. And Father Bob asked God to grant me humility. Then he signed the cross on my forehead with his thumb like he was hitting a bull’s eye.”

As we walk back toward the house, I weigh the odds of Reynaldo understanding Jungian concepts about The Shadow. I decide it is worth a shot because it’s important information when defending my thesis, theoretically.

“I study Jung, Reynaldo. Jung was a psychoanalyst from Zurich who says that evil is not really evil, but those contents of the psyche which have to erupt, unbidden, into consciousness, because of too much pressure built up under psychological repressions. Jung symbolizes the repressions as “The Shadow.”  In real life, the repressed feelings can come out distorted in the form of a neurosis, maybe even a psychosis. Ideally, if you can channel your emotions appropriately into the light of day, you can become fully human. Otherwise you might end up acting like a demon.”  I listen carefully for Reynaldo’s response.

“Who is this Jung?  What spirit does he channel?” Reynaldo asks with what is apparently first time, lively interest. “He sounds very smart. Is he still alive?”

“No. He died in the 1960s. But I guess you could say he helped his patients channel their own spirits.”

 

Tell me:  who do you think has the most Integrity?

Fr. Bob for dousing my hubris?

Alberto for exorcising demons?

Me, for pushing Jung on the Exorcist?

Depends on the situation.  Alberto probably has more integrity in the consultorio than at my kitchen table.  I probably have more integrity in church with Fr. Bob than in Espinazo with the el viejos.  Because we usually know ourselves best in our own world.  No surprises.

But, bottom line:  the one who knows himself the best is the one searching and integrating fragments of himself along the way; broadening his functional integrity with the hoped for result he is comfortable in any situation.

You understand, this all happens above the rim.  Templates are called for.

 

 

 

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