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Note: The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections thought this entry funny as it bears no resemblance to what they do.  So they let it by.

The first sentence of this entry has been rewritten so many times I have lost count. Several topics were all trying to get out at once each shouting over the others that theirs is the proper matter upon which to write. It is a good example of “The board meeting’ metaphor I sometimes use to sum up how the mind works via Jungian psychology for my patients. I decided not to pick from the multitude of cacophonous ideas batting about like bats in my belfry but write about the matter in itself. Serves them right for shouting.

Imagine if you will attending a board meeting in which you are the CEO. Your seat is properly at the end of the table from whence you look to your left and to your right to see a long line of attendants all eager to speak up and all of them believing they could do a better job at running the show than you. You the CEO is the Ego. Your conscious self has to take in their input to determine what to do and how to run the business which is Psyche Inc. meaning you. Let’s look at these attendees. These are the complexes each with its own agenda and make up. None of them are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but a mixture of emotions, memories, and ideas with positive and negative attributes. Here’s an important point: you can not fire them (although at times you wish you could). Your job it to hear all the voices and make a conscious decision while ascertaining none of them get out of hand or worse yet try to push you/Ego out of the executive chair and proclaim THEY are now in charge, the new Ego, the leader of Psyche Inc.*

Let’s use an example. Urs Truly (CEO of Spo Inc.) is sitting with the agenda whether or not to walk Harper. Around the table are the usual always-there members: The Warrior, Mr.Worry nee Anxiety, Mr. Spock (as I call The Thinker), The Clown, and The Martyr. Not always present are a few drop-ins. Today my inner-Auntie Mame showed up as well.**

After hearing the modest proposal to go for a walk Mr. Anxiety immediate jumps up as is his wont in a gummy panic to spew why this is a bad idea, listing the many bad things and worse-case scenarios that could happen. Mr. Spock, quietly waits his turn or talks calmly under the ruckus and weighs the logic of a dog-walk now, later, or not at all. The Clown doesn’t really contribute but makes silly jokes and banter (not helping). The Warrior who sees everything as a battle whether or not there is one starts planning a route stratagem to avoid others least there be a dog fight. Mr. Martyr of course complains why Someone doesn’t do this more often why is always us that has to walk the dog. You can guess what my inner-Auntie-Mame suggests:  it is a marvelous impulsive idea and we should do so at once without another moment thought.

Board members (complexes) are a boisterous bunch sometimes apparent and sometimes so quiet as to be not consciously heard. The latter are actually more dangerous to lead the Ego by the nose or even hoist him out of the CEO chair. In the end Ego has to say “OK guys everyone has spoken I’ve heard your views and I have thought this out. My decision is to go on a walk in twenty minutes after I finish ironing. Don’t question me”. Sometimes the complexes complain or even try to ‘gang up’ on him to change his mind. A healthy Ego responds by affirming their input is valuable (even Mr. Worry’s) but they are not the boss. Ego is.

So goes the mind in all its endeavors. A conscious person has immediate emotional reactions and contradictory thoughts and feelings but he/she will pause and reflect and decide before acting (out). The more aware you are of The Board Members (who and what they are) the better for Psyche Inc.

Go thou and do likewise.  I am off to walk the dog.

mommie-dearest

*By the way this way this is where we get the word ‘shrink’. A psychiatrist’s task (at least the Jungian ones) help the analysand ‘shrink’ bloated complexes to proper manageable sizes so the overwhelmed Ego can get back to running the place.

**Archetypes are universal, but it is up to the individual to give them personal names. The Trickster has as many names throughout human history as there are stars in the sky. My Trickster is presently wearing the name tag “Raven” which fools no one at the board meetings as everyone knows The Trickster despite his many disguises.