They wrote about the same thing one hundred years apart -- one author female, the other male; one in fantasy, the other in science.
In The Princess and the Goblin (1872), George MacDonald creates a fantasy world filled with royalty, mines, and magic. He describes a young lady and her search for excitement. She practices with instinct and wisdom through interactions with a special thread and a dreamlike great-great-grandmother.
Irene Claremont de Castillejo shapes similar ideas with scientific language in Knowing Woman: A Feminine Psychology (C.G. Jung Foundation, 1973). She describes a thread, one that connects a human to his or her version of the truth. I don't agree with all of Claremont de Castillejo's ideas, and I like how she verbalizes herself. I found myself thinking, "Ohh yeahhh, that's an excellent way to phrase that thought." Her words about discernment, purpose, and interaction gave me pause.
To have a deep concern for anyone is to keep him in one's heart without the interference of wishing, or still worse willing, any particular goal or outcome for him; yet with faith in the purposefulness of life and the belief in the need for that individual to fulfill his own unknown destiny" Irene Claremont de Castillejo (p. 144).
She encourages discernment with a description of verbal power play.
"The technique of talking not to a person's conscious mind but direct to the unconscious itself is unquestionably an instrument of power, an instrument used by anyone who throws out an idea and does not follow it up with conscious discussion. The idea is heard and sinks into the unconscious, where, if it happens to fall upon fertile soil, it will take root and flourish and later emerge to the light of day as an idea which the person has thought for himself" (p. 133).
Her description of a thread is a description of purpose itself.
"I like to think of every person's being linked to God from the morning of birth to the night of his death by an invisible thread, a thread which is unique for each one of us, a thread which can never be broken. Never broken or taken away, but a thread which can easily slip from our grasp and, search for it as we may, elude us.
Our bodies are at the lowest point of this thread which runs up through every sphere of heart and head and spiritual attainment. Still on our individual thread but beyond our human reach are, in my imagery, angels or demons which at supreme moments we feel we are able to contact. They are the intermediaries between us and God. To be on our thread is in Jungian language to be in touch with the Self, and the angels and other figures to which I refer are the archetypal images of the Self which all who have had an analysis learn to recognize...
I am using the expression 'inner clarity' to mean conscious awareness of being on one's thread, knowing what one knows, and having an ability quite simply and without ostentation to stand firm on one's own inner truth (p. 137)...
Here in the West we are taught to distrust our instinct from the moment we are first squeezed into conventional pattern of behaviour. On the one hand reason, on the other brute force, usurp the place of the invisible thread in our lives. Reason is raised up on a throne from where it issues orders we are expected to obey. It builds an edifice of conformity in which we all must fit. Brute force is extended till it encompasses global wars. And these two false gods of Force and Reason are held together by a colossal will to power" (p. 139).
She describes how to balance wisdom and instinct in her thoughts about interactions in relationships.
"To have a deep concern for anyone is to keep him in one's heart without the interference of wishing, or still worse willing, any particular goal or outcome for him; yet with faith in the purposefulness of life and the belief in the need for that individual to fulfill his own unknown destiny" (p. 144).
Well hello there.