Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

It’s Me, I’m The Problem, It’s ME!

Written by: on November 13, 2023

Disclaimer: It is important to me to say that I value the time that the author put into this book, and I value him as a person. I value the author as a medical doctor.  I also want to encourage all of you that even if your WHITE FLAG is waving (System 2 thinking) like mine… I cannot make a judgement as that is not my place to do. I can only do what is right for myself and my family in our own home. We can choose to be kind, we can choose to show love, and we can choose be a good listener! We can hear him out softly – For the sake of academics…I appreciate how safe of a space that we have created within our program and I know he will feel that too!


For the sake of academics….

According to Open AI:

“Spellbound” by Daniel Z. Lieberman is a book that explores the concepts of individuation, wholeness, the alchemical marriage, and the ouroboros. The author delves into the idea of integrating the conscious and unconscious aspects of the mind to achieve a greater sense of meaning and make better decisions in life.”

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will rule your life and you will call it Fate.” Carl Jung

I’ll say that after today, I’ll have officially fallen into the Spellbound rabbit hole. I’ve watched well over 6 hours of Dr. Lieberman interviews with a medium (which I didn’t see coming… but given the nature of his work with this specific book… maybe I could), and numerous podcast hosts.  The more I listen to, the more I read, the more I realize that I have more questions and based on my personal views i’m not sure that I will ever be able to solidify this conversation and concept. Will I become part of Lieberman’s warning in the first part of his book, “The Biggest mistake people make is underestimating its importance.” The more I read, and listened the more I feared what am I taking in? My family has always warned about letting anything like Tarots come into play, and there is strong biblical foundations to that warning throughout the bible. “‘Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God’” (Leviticus 19:31). 

“Someone is living in your head besides you calling all the shots deciding your thoughts, feelings, choices called your unconscious.” 

According to Lieberman, your unconscious governs your body’s functions and emotions. Such implies having energy, tiredness, compassion, hatred, or even falling in love. You are not in control of these functions in any way, according to him, as stated in the book and in multiple interviews. I don’t want to put any diagnosis, or words into anyones mouth: Are you saying that we all have some form of borderline personality disorder? This is when I come to a standstill and  for that reason I’m going to stop at 2 “questions” for the author:

  1. Are you really saying that our alter Ego is ultimately in charge? Of Everything? How So? How does God come into play with this? 
  2. If So, Does my Alter Ego believe in God, too? How can I make sure that this unconscious person within me holds up to my moral values that are on the outside in which I hold so dearly?



Ultimately this is where I may agree to disagree…depending on his answer.  I will wait to see! However, for the sake of this book and blog (Which has some great connections from other material that we have read), and having an open mind to continually take in new concepts I will stick in the pin on that one and keep going. 


Lieberman states that in order to make your unconscious your friend you have to be open to the gifts that your unconscious mind can give you. He also stated in an interview that people that have issues with control will have the hardest time with this concept. The song by Taylor Swift comes to mind here…. “It’s me, I’m the problem, it’s me!” 


There are two parts to your unconscious mind: 

  1. Personal Unconscious: This is a memory you had at one point in your life, but just forgot. This could be something as simple as a smell or taste from your childhood or something about yourself that you don’t like. This is the example of a shadow that he gives in which someone may reply, “I don’t know what made me do that!” 
  2. Collective Unconscious: This is merely human instinct within each one of us. He states that in all things the brain has the same bedrock in that we all started out the same. Instincts are so powerful because they are actually faster than a rational thought. The example of this is a weaver bird. Their parents didn’t show them how – but somehow they are just genetically ingrained to tie the most intricate knots. 


For the sake of academics….


I am going to finish with Lieberman’s connection with the book Thinking Fast, and Thinking Slow… 


Top Down Processing (System 2 Thinking) 

Would be the Conscious Mind. For example making the choice to move your foot to kick a ball. Or perhaps making the decision to suppress feeling sad in front of your children. Its SLOW. Takes Effort, and is FREE of emotion. 


Bottom Up Processing (System 1 Thinking) 

Generates ideas in the way of intuition. It’s an experience, something that is unique, a gut feeling, as well as emotionally expressive. You are looking at the whole picture of something, as verse to what makes up the image, and its FAST. There is no rule of logic, and last but not least its effortless. 


Overall I am intrigued on how the author may answer more direct philosophical questions on his personal beliefs within our chat, and hear him in a more personal – relaxed context than that of a rigid recorded podcast. I am intrigued to continue the conversation with him even though I do not still quite grasp the concepts fully of Jung, but have a good starting foundation after my rabbit hole of yesterday.  


About the Author

Alana Hayes

Alana is a mother to four beautiful children and wife to a farmer in Texas. She is an avid world traveler with a heart for both the world and education. She is the president of the nonprofit Against the Grain Texas where they focus on providing education to children overseas and at risk adults in the states. To date the nonprofit has given almost $100,000 to individuals around the world. In her free time she loves spending meaningful time with people and reading to further her personal education.

One response to “It’s Me, I’m The Problem, It’s ME!”

  1. Kristy Newport says:

    It will be so good to cover this on Monday:
    “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will rule your life and you will call it Fate.” Carl Jung
    I am pondering this.

    This is where I think I may have a bone to pick:
    “You are not in control of these functions in any way, according to him, as stated in the book and in multiple interviews.” How do we take thoughts captive? What is the role of the Holy Spirit in our thought life ie. the unconcious becoming conscience and God’s wisdom coming to light?
    Red Weaver birds-
    I love how you illustrate your point with the video.
    How are humans DIFFERENT than animals/Weaver birds? I believe some of the instincts we have might be different than birds. But I agree that we can run on some instinctual drives. I am wondering if we, as humans. have the the ability to keep our instinctual drives in check. Or should I say…our thinking fast/slow, conscious/unconscious helps us stay in check….or helps our instincts line up with moral behavior. I see how this plays out BOTH ways in the counseling office. Let instincts run it’s course- you do not get good good results (consider all the addictions) but let the mind keep the instincts in check (given there is some good moral encoding) some good outcomes can follow.
    I just came out of a session with someone who has/is a sex addict.
    You emersed yourself in this topic this week. Thanks for all the questions this raises in my mind.

Leave a Reply