Jung points out in his writings how the Unconscious is older than consciousness. We start life, both as an individual, and as a species, in a state of unconsciousness unlimited by the constraints of our individuality and, therefore, more 'in tune' with our surroundings and each other. Like an animal lives in harmony with the rest of it's ecosystem we started our species development united rather than separated from the rest of life.
Our Unconscious is older and also 'wiser' than our intellect, a fact that we acknowledge when we talk of the heart being a wiser organ than the brain.
The reason I stated in an NPIRL post last year that Jung would have loved SL is because he saw the main task of a person to work towards a synthesis of their unconscious and conscious selves. He thought that all psychic activity is directed towards that goal whether we are aware of it or not.
A method to enhance this process which he proposed to a few of his clients was that of Active Imagination. Basically you take a glimpse of your psychic content, like an image from one of your dreams, and paint it in RL, going back to it and repainting the painting. If you continue this process the image starts to develop beyond a glimpse into a more substantial 'story'. This, a co-operative effort between your unconscious and conscious mind, will reveal insights into your path which you didn't necessarily understand from your initial glimpse (dream image).
Bear with me...
SL, and your avatar, in particular, fulfils all these requirements. Your work on your avatar is much more than a game, a waste of time or a retreat from RL, it is pure therapy. It is leading you and me on the path of Individuation as Jung calls it.
"Individuation is the process through which a person becomes his/her 'true self'. Hence it is the process whereby the innate elements of personality; the different experiences of a person's life and the different aspects and components of the immature psyche become integrated over time into a well-functioning whole. Individuation might thus be summarised as the stabilizing of the personality."..[wikipedia]
Now, Nightflower in her wonderful comment in yesterdays discussion on RL/SL 'conflict' gives voice to a feeling which many people share, namely that her avatar is more than just a cartoon figure but something mythological and supernatural. Jung would love that, for, she is.
She, the avatar, shares in the collective unconscious in the same way that Myths, the I Ching, and fairytales do. She is goddess, muse, oracle, inspiration and intuition, and, as I said yesterday she points out to us, like a guide, repressed content which is forgotten but still growing, unrequited, like a lonely ghost in our psyche.
She is also an Immortal.
The steps we take and the digital imprint we leave will endure, for like any pioneers our journeys will be retold by future generations when our fumbling steps will be retraced and used by the wise as illustration for the young.
We are future myth.
Jung really would love SL.