DR BREN’s Life Coaching for the Soul, in essence, is about seeing and transcending your egoic trances (or what Jung called “complexes) such that your soul can live.
We naturally have two selves: ego , which is the center of our physical being and the psychological construct associated with the brain, and soul, which is the center of our spiritual or eternal being.
Ultimately, life on this planet is about coming to know your soul, your eternal being. If you don’t achieve this egoic transcendence, then you will be stuck in the physical plane of reincarnation until you do, destined to the historical cycles we have created on earth.
So, what is an egoic trance?
Perhaps it is best to speak about what Jung described as a psychological complex, since the egoic trance is the “response” to a trigger or stimulus. (Click on the image below to see the diagram describing Jung’s idea of the psychological complex.)
Ego is essentially composed of psychological complexes. These complexes are, most often, formed in childhood as a defensive response to a situation or environment overwhelming and dangerous to the child.
In fact, the purpose of ego is to keep the physical being alive. These complexes are only symptomatic if they lead to destructive results, or, according to DR BREN”s Life Coaching for the Soul, if they lead to deprivation of the soul.
A psychological complex is triggered by a stimulus resulting in an intense emotional response / reaction, and a shrinking of focus and attention.
For instance, you see a Red Saab and it reminds you of your ex-boyfriend’s car which then causes you to cry because you miss him. This complex can swallow up all of your “present-moment awareness,” such that you become lost in your thoughts and emotions around this relationship, only to wake up minutes or hours later to realize you have driven all this way without knowing how you got there. (I’m very grateful we have an subconscious good-driving complex that operates the vehicle.)
Some Jungians say that we are always in a complex. I don’t agree; there are times when we are in soul (profound experiences of spirit, nature, art, etc.) which is definitely not a complex. If we are not in soul, then, yes, we are in a complex. Keep in mind complexes, in and of themselves, are not good or bad, they are simply basic structures of the ego.
Having said all that the trance is essentially the response to the trigger. In our example, it is when she got lost in her thoughts and feelings about her ex-boyfriend.
Most often, when you are in a trance you are unconscious and not present with the moment or the people around you.
In most cases, we do not have control of the stimulus, but we do have control over the trance (response) that corresponds to the trigger (stimulus).
How do you come to know your trances?
For the most part, you can only come to know your trances after you have come out of one, and in reflection you realize you lost touch with your body and the present moment. It is at this moment “the work” begins. In your conscious reflection try to record in your journal the triggers and mental and emotional associations that made up your trance. The one who can reflect on egoic trances is your true self, your soul. In particular, notice when and what you ruminated over, when it was in the past or future, and whether it was negative or positive.
It matters less for you to know the origin of your trances, as it does to understand the process. Understanding the process of your trance allows you to choose a different and conscious response.
Note: For more information about trances, see Stephen Wolinsky’s Trances People Live.