Magically and mysteriously we are emotionally struck by and drawn to the energy of another. That being, whom we hardly know, ruptures our emotional, mental, physical and spiritual homeostasis. We become riddled with fear, obsession, anxiety and awe.
This experience is not under conscious control; this is a seizure of the ego by energies much deeper and infinitely more powerful than our meagre bastion of rationality. We cannot talk ourselves out of it; we are drawn to it like a moth to a flame.
The energies that take possession of us are the energies of individuation, the deepest truths of who we are, driving us to rapturously discover our wholeness. However, these energies require the full participation of consciousness if we are to truly become fulfilled in our human form. In mandala terms, we must consciously “square the circle” if we are to become our wholeness. We begin to square the circle by becoming aware that we are in a state of seizure.
In a state of seizure our unconscious energies have bonded and melded with the energies of another. That is the inner experience and sometimes it is the outer experience as well—sometimes two people meet in an equal state of seizure. More often, though the inner experience is compelling, the seizure is one-sided. We are blindsided by the unconscious power of projection that mysteriously binds us with the soul and substance of another being. It matters not whether the experience is one of adoration, exaltation, love, or utter disgust—we are mysteriously and inseparably enmeshed with this other being. We are completely distraught, as a vital part of our own living essence walks freely and separately in the world apart from us in this other person. Our minds and hearts obsess as we fear the loss of our soul.
Though that person may be on the other side of the earth, though they may not even know we exist, it matters not; we are inseparably entwined. Years might pass, but our utter devotion to this soulmate is undaunted. Time is meaningless in our timeless commitment to this transcendent experience; and that experience allows no other soulful being in. We may even marry another, but our soul remains faithful to its nemesis, on the deepest level never embracing our official partner. Such is the mystical participation of our soul with its chosen other.
Consciousness of our state of seizure cannot change the power of our unconscious emotional bondage, but it does afford us the ability to not blindly act in accordance with our unconscious mandate that lies at the root of our passion. The decision to hold back an action may throw us into great despair, or even depression, as the unconscious reacts by withdrawing its energies from even the simplest tasks of daily life. But such a decision does affirm our intention to act responsibly and with consciousness, even if it means banishment to the desert for a spell. The goal here is to establish a conscious relationship with the unconscious, based on a partnership versus a blind allegiance to the dictates of instinct and compulsion.
For consciousness, the task is to unearth and resolve the reason for the compulsive, mysterious tie to an other. This might mean facing issues from earliest childhood or deep woundings from other times in our lives, asking the inevitable questions that might lead to conscious clarification. Why has the unconscious chosen this being? Why am I being asked to take this journey with this person? Why is the unconscious insisting that something about this person so mirrors something about myself? Am I willing to take this journey and consciously face the facts as they unfold? Do I need to completely oppose the outer journey, and cloister myself to a direct inner encounter with the root of my desires?
Participation mystique, ultimately, is the language of the unconscious. It engages us in entanglements with beings in the world whom reflect the jewels of our own wholeness. If we read this language concretely, and passionately act out its energies as they possess us, we are strewn about the ocean waves without the benefit of a navigating vessel.
Consciousness gives us our vessel to navigate the ocean of infinity with. Consciousness gives us the choice to learn our lessons in the outer world or in the inner world. Consciousness allows us to shorten our terms of bondage to obsessive projection. Though we can’t consciously lift the obsession, we can oppose blind allegiance to it, whereby introverting the playing field and allowing for symbolic resolution within the self.
Ultimately, love is a conscious process. True, the energies of the deepest human needs must enter a love relationship, but passion without consciousness can never equate to love. To be free to love, we must first be freed of the lessons of compulsion, that which is mysterious participation without consciousness.
Obsessions eventually lift as we integrate into our wholeness our genuine ability to love and be loved, as we square the circle of our being with consciousness. The unconscious will always communicate its secrets, but as full-fledged conscious partners we are freed to mystically participate in ongoing adventures of life and love.
From the mystique of it all,
Note from Wikipedia regarding what Carl Jung said about the subject: “PARTICIPATION MYSTIQUE is a term derived from Lévy-Bruhl. It denotes a peculiar kind of psychological connection with objects, and consists in the fact that the subject cannot clearly distinguish himself from the object but is bound to it by a direct relationship which amounts to partial identity. (Jung,  1971: paragraph 781).”