What’s Missing from this Picture?

Daniel M. Ogilvie

in Fantasies of Flight

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780195157468
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199894024 | DOI:
What’s Missing from this Picture?

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Both J. M. Barrie and Carl Jung, at critical times in their development, experienced such traumatic discrepancies between their internal self-with-mother representations and what reality suddenly presented them that they scrambled to somehow restore conditions (or cues) that had previously evoked a sense of (subjective) self-continuity and thereby calm disturbances in their internal milieus. In both cases, the most familiar, prominent, and reassuring cue associated with core self safety was the mother. Restorative efforts were required on the parts of both young boys, and Jung had to look outside his home. Chapter 17 described three restorative strategies. One is to endeavor to get the external world to adjust itself in ways that conform to one's internal pictures of a safe environment. J. M. Barrie specialized in that choice. Another avenue for restoring earlier conditions of intersubjective harmony involves giving up all hope of getting the “real world” to behave itself and instead inventing an “imaginary world” that would do the trick. Carl Jung selected that path. A third option, one that is not necessarily independent of the other two, is based on the non-conscious fantasy that if one were to succeed in recreating the feelings of earlier sensations of oneness, new life would magically be brought to the imprints etched into working models of former glorious times. This chapter begins with a discussion of the first strategy: the attempt to modify features of the external world in ways that fit previously encoded internal pictures.

Keywords: J. M. Barrie; Carl Jung; maternal separation; internal pictures

Chapter.  3479 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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