The one thing better than enlightenment

And what, we might ask, is the goal for the human psyche?

‘To become enlightened, surely?’ comes the reply. After all, who doesn’t want to be more enlightened, to see better – to become the seer.

But is the call to transparency a profounder vision than the call to enlightenment?

The psychoanalyst James Hillman thought so, easing us away from being the one who sees, to the one who is seen and seen through – and therefore foolish, in a way.

Here is one who has nothing left to hide, who has become transparent through self-acceptance.

Here is someone who is just who they are, freed from ‘paranoid concealment’.

And here is joy.

As we look to take care of our psyche, (or soul, whichever word you prefer) nothing so cramps us as an inability to accept ourselves.

People often tell me how they can accept others, handing out good and kind advice; and forgiving all.

But this has no bearing on their treatment of themselves, which can often be different.

Where there is no self-acceptance, fear commands us to perform a dark miracle: we must conceal ourselves from ourselves.

We may wish to become the enlightened one, the one who sees. But we do not wish to become the transparent one, who is seen and seen through, by ourselves and by others. That feels dangerous.

Yet in the end, only the transparent are happy; and only the transparent are free.

This is me
This is my house
You can take a look
It’s a lovely work in progress
And any discovery is fine

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