The Spinning Top

After reading Jung’s book on Dreams, I now tend to see all the characters in my dreams as part of me. Even if they look different, played by different “actors”, they are all me. Little parts of me who, together, constitute the whole of me. I had this same feeling when I read Demian (Hesse) and this was also explored in the Steppenwolf (also by Hesse). The sum of the characters would constitute a whole mind.

I was watching the people on the street from my balcony. The terraces on the street have reopened and people have flocked to grab a drink or a bite as if there were no tomorrow (and judging by their lack of care, there might not be for some). Most people were wearing a face mask, but some weren’t, which bothered me (I am an INTJ, so order is of course paramount).  Suddenly, I thought… what if all these people were “me”. Part of me, as if they were all part of a dream of mine. In a dream, all the characters are part of me, they all play a necessary role, regardless of whether I can understand it or not. They are not in the dream by chance, it’s a choral play in which all the actors are necessary. So I thought that maybe that reckless guy without the mask was necessary, maybe he was providing balance to another person who was too afraid to even leave their home. Maybe all of us, pulling towards ourselves in our natural selfish way, were providing balance as part of a common entity, integrated by all of us. A balanced entity. Maybe the sum of all our attitudes was a beautiful zero. If that were the case, that guy without mask was as necessary as I was, because as soon as one of us were missing, there would be an imbalance. Suddenly, those others on the street, with their loud chat and uncovered faces, didn’t bother me anymore. They were doing what they were supposed to do. Just like me, in my balcony. With our personality, with our behaviour, each of us pulls towards our end. We, together but separately, provide balance and keep the Spinning Top spinning.

We have a similar number of introverts and extroverts (according to MBTI stats) and the number of people with a predominant psychological function are reasonably similar to those in whom the opposite function predominates. We balance each other out. If this is so, then we need saints as well as devils. For every mother Theresa, we would need an evil dictator. What would happen if there were an imbalance of attitudes, if the sum of the collective attitudes tilted the spinning top towards one side? Somehow, balance would have to be restored.

I have observed that in some close groups (in a classroom, for example, or a small group of people travelling together for days), if a particular role is missing, someone else shifts their attitude to fill the gap. If all the clowns are expelled from a class, after some time someone, maybe an unlikely fellow, will adopt the role of the clown.

How is this governed? Somehow, we must perceive this imbalance at an unconscious level and feel the urge to correct it. Maybe the collective unconscious plays us in such a way that we balance each other out. It redistributes us. In society, we all provide balance to each other by being ourselves. If someone leaves or changes, someone must redistribute themselves to provide balance. All this happens unconsciously, as if we were united by an invisible deep ocean current that connects us all and keeps us all, as a whole entity, balanced.