Relationship

 Whenever we speak of a “psychological relationship” we presuppose one that is conscious, for there is no such thing as a psychological relationship between two people who are in a state of unconsciousness.  From the psychological point of view they would be wholly without relationship.  From any other point of view, the physiological for example, they could be regarded as related, but one could not call their relationship psychological.  It must be admitted that though such total unconsciousness as I have assumed does not occur, there is nevertheless a not inconsiderable degree of partial unconsciousness, and the psychological relationship is limited in the degree to which that unconsciousness exists.  TDoP 189

   In the child, consciousness rises out of the depths of unconscious psychic life, at first like separate islands, which gradually unite to form a “continent,” a continuous land-mass of consciousness.  Progressive mental development means, in effect, extension of consciousness.  With the rise of a continuous consciousness, and not before, psychological relationship becomes possible.  So far as we know, consciousness is always ego-consciousness.  In order to be conscious of myself, I must be able to distinguish myself from others.  Relationship can only take place where this distinction exists.  But although the distinction may be made in a general way, normally it is incomplete, because large areas of psychic life still remain unconscious.  As no distinction can be made with regard to unconscious contents, on this terrain no relationship can be established; here there still reigns the original unconscious condition of the ego’s primitive identity with others, in other words a complete absence of relationship.   TDoP 190

   If the individual is to be regarded solely as an instrument for maintaining the species, then the purely instinctive choice of a mate is by far the best.  But since the foundations of such a choice are unconscious, only a kind of impersonal liaison can be built upon them, such as can be observed to perfection among primtives.  If we can speak here of a “relationship” at all, it is, at best, only a pale reflection of what we mean, a very distant state of affairs with a decidedly impersonal character, wholly regulated by traditional customs and prejudices, the prototype of every conventional marriage.  TDoP 192