“If something is for our betterment why do we have resistance?”

September 15, 2008

The first response I received from a friend who read my piece on resistance was why do we have resistance? This reminded me of St. Paul’s plaintive inquiry in the epistle to the Romans “For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing.” Paul blamed sin for his problem however in the light of modern psychological theory there may be a better explanation of why resistance arises. Freud originally proposed the concept of resistance in psychotherapy. He believed clients consciously and unconsciously erected barriers to treatment. However once Freud understood that ego defenses were unconscious and outside the patient’s awareness, then resistance was seen in a favorable light. It provided a clue to the opportunity. In psychotherapy resistance is seen as ego defense. So if we can accept the hypothesis that within each one of us there is an internal struggle for control between the ego and the soul then resistance is the way the ego attempts to control the agenda when we start soul work. So when we transpose ego for our human nature and soul for our highest good then our electrical analogy suggests that resistance is our ego opposing change that is arising from a deeper level of consciousness.  Individuation is a term created by Carl Jung to describe the process of becoming aware of oneself, of one’s make-up, and the way to discover one’s true, inner self. It is my belief that individuation which arises from the soul’s agenda is frequently deemed a threat by the ego so resistance arises. The positive side of resistance is that once we identify it we know that positive change is on the horizon. Our challenge is develop tools to help identify the awareness and to work to surmount it.