“Be it ever so humble, There’s no place like Home.”
“A gentleman’s home is his castle.’
‘Home is where the heart is.”
“Home and dry.”
What do you associate with home? Perhaps that depends on what kinds of homes you have experienced. Were they warm and welcoming, or cold and forbidding?
The popular notion of home, with all its associations, appears to be about warmth and safety, a place to escape to, relax in, be cosy and comfortable. There will be a fire in the hearth, a cat on the rug, hot drink steaming, furry slippers.
The house has long been known to reflect its owners. In psychoanalytical terms, Jungian theory sees the house as reflective of the whole of the self. In fact, there are houses that do resemble people, with what appear to be facial features.
“….there is the more obvious role as the home as the projection of self. The facade is quite literally the face, the expression with windows for eyes and a door for a mouth and, once inside, each room has a role in the representation of a part of our inner lives. The hall represents a shadow of the time when a home was a single living space containing every activity; it announces arrival and departure.
The kitchen is a space of transformation and alchemy, of raw materials into sustenance, but it is also the space of the mother and of refuge, the warm, secure womb. The bedroom is fraught with a complex symbolism of birth, sleep, sex, dreams and death. The cellar represents the dark recesses of the subconscious upon which our public lives are precariously built; its counterpart is the attic, with memories and secrets of the past. And so on.”
When Jung built his own house, he was aware of how it represented aspects of his inner world. He knew that the unconscious expresses itself outwardly through symbols and that each tower and addition he made was meaningful in terms of his own psyche.
Jung’s House. Bollingen Tower. Wikimedia Commons.
Jung added various towers over the years. In 1955, after his wife’s death he made the final, symbolic extension to his house:
………..I added an upper storey to this section, which represents myself, or my ego-
personality. Earlier, I would not have been able to do this; I would have regarded it as presumptuous self-emphasis. Now it signified an extension of consciousness achieved in old age.
Jung also wrote about his powerful dream of descending through the storeys of his house, which he interpreted as reflective of moving through different layers of his unconscious mind.
Some find it difficult to leave their home; it is a kind of protection from what might feel like an ‘un-homely’ world.
“Traveling is all very well if you can get home at night. I would be willing to go around the world if I could be back in time to light the candles and set the table for dinner.”
Others may be really afraid to leave home, feeling the world outside is dangerous and unfriendly.
For many people, leaving home is a rite of passage. It is often described as ‘flying the nest’:
“You have to go out on your own
So you can find your way back home…”
Barry Manilow- Somewhere Down The Road
At this current time, many young people in their late teens have to stay at home, as they are denied this important rite of passage though lack of funds.
Of course not everyone’s childhood home is a happy place. There are people who cannot make a home. Fixed roots for them may feel like blocks of cement, tying them down. For them, the open road is home. This often feels freeing.
“We both have no home to go back to… so we can go anywhere at all.”
“There is no comfort anywhere for anyone who dreads to go home.”
Sadly, others have no choice but to attempt to make themselves a makeshift home on the streets.
Photo: pxhere. Carlos ZGZ
Without some kind of home, for whatever reason, people often feel lost and insecure. It appears to be a primitive feeling. Perhaps the home really does symbolise the womb in our unconscious.
There does also appear to be, for many people, a need for their own specific territory; boundary disputes between neighbours can be intense and angry.
In Short : 16 reasons your home is so significant.
Attachment– deep feelings/memories from childhood about home. Feelings of love.
Family/people/friends we live with/nurturing relationships
Control– home might feel like a place where you have some personal power.
Neighbourhood – amenities like restaurants, GP, bus route etc.
Security, safety, both physical and emotional. Cosiness.
Ownership– ‘our own little corner of the world.’ A part of a massive whole.
Belongings– eg photographs, important possessions which are infused with life and memories. Importance also of pets, garden, etc.
A reference point; roots; the centre of our lives.
Familiarity (and ‘home-cooking!)
Refuge, retreat –
“He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.” (Goethe)
Identity– home often feels like a part of the self.
“There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” – Jane Austen.
Anything to add? Do leave a comment below on your experiences of home. Thanks, Linda.