I have finally sat down with my “free” copy of Live Your Nonsense, by Daryl Sharp, and now feel compelled to share here, what I have been learning there. I have often reflected on various books by Daryl Sharp, a Jungian analyst I became some sort of friend back in the 90s, based on the fact that I was turning to Jungian psychology as I felt myself plummeting into darkness. He wrote books, and he had some history in the small town I was living in at that time. We exchanged emails and letters by post and I bought a lot of books from him, books he had written and books he had published for other Jungian analysts. Over time, I have come to appreciate this man and his work. So it was a surprise when I entered into this particular book only to discover that Daryl had changed his writing style and had become more personal. This is more personal, an unusual act of “self-revelation” on his part. Right away I knew that I was going to like this book. After all, “self-revelation” is basically why and what I write here. So what is this bit about nonsense?
As he writes in the introduction to his book”
“nonsense is not necessarily frivolous, foolish or sinful. It may be politically or socially incorrect, but it is often a pointer to the essence of one’s personality, which is what we Jungians call individuation—becoming who you were meant to be. There is no denying that this is an elusive, subjective concept, not something
that can be imposed, or judged, from outside.”
In reading these words, everything begins to fit back into place with what I know about Daryl. This has nothing to do with nonsense, but in honouring the essence of who you are as an individual, “becoming who you were meant to be.” I have recently spoken about this to a young writer I have taken to mentoring. And realising that, I knew that it was no accident that I had delayed reading this book. And so I turned again to the book wondering what I would find that I needed to find.
Well, it didn’t take long. Right away, on the first page following the introduction Daryl says:
“If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that that I am unconscious most of the time. Not always, but mostly—and, moreover, usually unaware of it. That is in the nature of the psyche: the ego cannot see itself from the outside. This means that everything is colored by subjectivity, from experiments
with electrons to the belief, or not, in God. Of course, this results in nonsense of all sorts.”
As I am human, likely a lot less wise than Daryl Sharp, I did a quick look at myself and realised that I was – I am – basically unconscious. I mean how many of us sit on the sidelines and monitor ourselves with a corner of our brain so that we don’t say something, or do something, without first filtering out the slips of tongue or the body language, or acts that have us protest too loudly that we didn’t know where “that came from.” I am frequently asked why I said such and such, why I stared, why I did some act that is deemed way out of line with my normal version of myself. Typically, my answer is silence.
How do I answer that when I don’t have an answer? I guess I could try and come up with some sort of response, mostly contrived BS, that would somewhat give an explanation. However, I’m not that quick on my toes and the silence is left hanging. And I look rather foolish in the process. What a blow to the ego. And, it seems to be getting worse as I get older. No matter how hard I try, I can’t make any sense out of it – and there it is, nonsense. I don’t necessarily mean foolishness, but responses to life that make no sense.
So far so good. I am anxious to read more. I’ll be back, the muse willing, with more to say about the book.