Category Archives: jung

Peace be with you

On a day when I am not at peace with myself or my surroundings, Ascender comes along and kicks my cage door wide open. I was going to write something about how I am feeling today, but I think I’ll just link to her good wishes instead. Please click on her link below to visit all the bloggers she lists; I don’t have the time to fix all the linky love at the moment here.

Namaste, to all.

Studio Lolo tagged me with this ‘peace and love’ meme; to spread the word to send loving energy and thoughts to the places and people that need it. Rather then tagging others I hope to pass on some urls of my virtual pals who could use some of your loving energy and thoughts. Please leave some virtual peace and love to some people who could really use it right now.

Red Moon at the loss of her daughter

The Daily Warrior successfully fighting ALS for 16 years

Studio Friday is closing down. Stop by and show her some love for her dedication all these years.

Check out these bloggers who address peace and love almost everyday: 3191, a poetic justice, another poster for peace, anti-war us, Art For A Change, Art of Mark Byran, Artists Helping Children, Blog Like You Give A Damn, Blood For Oil, bricalu, Buddha Project, Change Me, Changing Places, Crafty Green Poet, No Blood For War and Profit, Inhabitat, kamurawayan, Light a Candle, Military Families Speak Out, Miniature Gigantic, Paris Parfait, Peaceful Societies, Pinwheels for Peace, Poets Against the War, rambling taoist, smile, smile, Take it Personally, The Peace Train, Treehugger, Visual Resistance, We Are What We Do, Betmo, Bloggers For Peace

The Broken-Hearted Warrior

Why then, have to be human?
Oh not because happiness exists,
Not out of curiosity…
But because being here means so much;
because everything here,
vanishing so quickly, seems to need us,
and strangely keeps calling to us… To have been
here, once, completely, even if only once,
to have been at one with the earth —
this is beyond undoing.

— Rainer Maria Rilke

“It is only through letting our heart break that we discover something unexpected: The heart cannot actually break, it can only break open … To live with a broken-open heart is to experience life full strength … When the heart breaks open, it marks the beginning of a real love affair with this world. It is a broken-hearted love affair, rather than the conventional kind based on hope and expectation. Only in this fearless love that can respond to life’s pain as well as its beauty can we be of real help to ourselves or anyone else in this difficult age. The broken-hearted warrior is an essential archetype for our time.”

“We set out on a path that is continually surprising — learning to be ourselves, yet also more than ourselves. As Zen master Shunryu Suzuki points out, “When you are yourself, just yourself, through and through, you are the universe. You are not this conditioned person anymore.” Then, though we may dedicate ourselves to helping this world, our well-being will not depend on the outcome. For we are becoming one with that force in the universe that is forever creating itself anew.” — John Welwood, Love and Awakening

“The soul that rises within us,
our life’s star,
cometh from afar
and hath elsewhere its setting.”

— Wordsworth

Love and Awakening

Currently reading John Welwood’s “Love and Awakening”. Good stuff, and recommended. Some quotes follow here.

Like the sun’s rays that cause the seed to stir within its husk, love’s radiant energy penetrates the facade of the false self, calling forth resources hidden deep within us. Its warmth wakes up the life inside us, making us want to uncurl, to give birth, to grow and reach for the light. It calls on us to break out of our shell, the personality-husk surrounding the seed potential of all that we could be. The purpose of a seed husk is to protect the tender life within until the time and conditions are right for it to burst forth. Our personality structure serves a similar function. It provides a semblance of security, as a kind of compensation for the loss of our larger being. But when love’s warming rays start to wake us up, our ego-shell becomes a barrier restricting our expansion. As the germ of life swells within us, we feel our imprisonment more acutely…..

The brighter love’s radiance, the darker the shadows we encounter; the more we feel life stirring within us, the more we also feel our dead spots; the more conscious we become, the more clearly we see where we remain unconscious. None of this need dishearten us. For in facing our darkness, we bring to light forgotten parts of our being. In recognizing exactly where we have been unconscious, we become more conscious. And in seeing and feeling the ways we’ve gone dead, we start to revive and kindle our desire to live more expansively….

A soul connection is a resonance between two people who respond to the essential beauty of each other’s individual natures, behind their facades, and who connect on this deeper level. This kind of mutual recognition provides the catalyst for a potent alchemy. It is a sacred alliance whose purpose is to help both partners discover and realize their deepest potentials. While a heart connection lets us appreciate those we love just as they are, a soul connection opens up a further dimension — seeing and loving them for who they could be, and for who we could become under their influence. This means recognizing that we both have an important part to play in helping each other become more fully who we are….A soul connection not only inspires us to expand, but also forces us to confront whatever stands in the way of that expansion….

While our absolute nature, as pure being or open presence, is timeless and changeless….our soul evolves and deepens through cultivating and embodying the seed potentials — for courage, strength, generosity, humor, tenderness, wisdom — contained in this larger nature. The essence of spiritual work is to realize and continually reorient ourselves toward our being, our absolute nature; and this is what leads to ultimate freedom. Yet spiritual realizations often remain compartmentalized, apart from everyday life, or become used as a rationale for living in an impersonal or soulless way. That is why, if we are to live our realizations and bring them into this world, we also need to work on the vessel of spirit — our embodied humanity. Soulwork is the forging of this vessel……If spiritual work brings freedom, soulwork brings integration. Both are necessary for a complete human life.

John Welwood, Love and Awakening : Discovering the Sacred Path of Intimate Relationship

The Frog Prince

I’ve kissed a few frogs in my day, and many of them were indeed princes.

But my favorite story is of the geek girl who is asked to kiss the frog, and replies, “Cool! A talking frog!” and sticks him in her pocket…. although lately it has been turned into a male nerd joke. When I was a female in engineering, this was OUR joke:

An engineer was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to her and said, “If you kiss me, I’ll turn into a handsome prince.” She bent over, picked up the frog and put it in her pocket. The frog spoke up again and said, “If you kiss me and turn me back into a handsome prince, I will stay with you for one week.” The engineer took the frog out of her pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket. The frog then cried out, “If you kiss me and turn me back into a prince, I’ll be your devoted boyfriend.” Again the engineer took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into her pocket. Finally, the frog asked, “What is the matter? I’ve told you I’m a handsome prince, and that I’ll be your devoted boyfriend. Why won’t you kiss me?” The engineer said, “Look, I’m an engineer. I don’t have time for a boyfriend, but a talking frog……that’s cool.”

But the real story of the frog prince has nothing to do with a prince, but is about restoring the golden ball to the psyche and in return receiving what at first seems to be the burden of an awkward, useless frog to carry around. If one sits with the frog long enough (or maybe tosses it against the wall), it rewards you by becoming something magnificent. When you find “true love” for the things in your psyche that you think are ugly and unlovable, then you have truly come to self-acceptance and the rewards are indeed magnificent.

When we read fairy tales which tell the story of initially playing with a golden ball, then losing that golden ball, and ultimately recovering that golden ball, we are being told the story of the individuation process. Early in life we are, unconsciously, one with the Self, and life is golden. We lose that sense of wholeness as the Self recedes and the ego begins to realize itself – its limitations, its vulnerability, its smallness, its otherness. And then, usually at the Self’s instigation, the ego attempts, often through pain and defeat and suffering, to recover that initial relationship with the Self – the golden ball, if you will – although in a new and more conscious way. Each one of us had a golden ball when we were young, which was suddenly taken from us by fate or design, and here we are, at some stage in the process, whether we are in analysis or not, of trying to get it back. And it is possible. Fairy tales don’t lie. (Yes, it’s possible; but who’s willing to pay the price?)

“We can analyze someone for a long time and the dreams seem to discuss certain obvious problems and the person feels all right, but suddenly he will have a dream out of the blue which starts something completely new. A new creative idea which one could not expect or explain causally, has arisen as if the psyche had decided to bring up something new, and these are the great and meaningful healing psychological events. The symbol of the sphere or the ball primarily means this. That is why so often in fairy tales the hero follows a rolling apple or a rolling sphere to some mysterious goal. He just follows this spontaneous self-impulsiveness of his own psyche to the secret goal.”

You will also notice that balls, when they roll, will often take the most direct route to reach its destination, will yieldingly follow the natural gradient of the landscape, the path of least resistance, and because of its perfectly round shape, will roll as true as true can be. These are additional characteristics of the Self at work in the psyche. Jung stated that the Self, the unconscious, does not deceive us. It may use language that is cryptic and symbolic, but its intent is not to disguise its message. It communicates as truthfully as it can using the language and methods it possesses. Its roll is direct and true.

In the real world, there are some types of frogs that might be hallucinogenic to kiss:

Another possible connection to this process of liminality might lie in the ornamental carvings found on stone representations of the yokes worn during the contests. These yokes are portrayed with drawings of the Marine Toad (Bufo Marinus). Although this species of toad is inedible, its does secrete a fluid through its skin which is hallucinogenic and was probably used in religious rituals which sought to produce an altered state of consciousness. It is therefore thought that perhaps the appearance of this toad on the equipment of the ball players connected the game to the religious system which sought a momentary descent into the Other World. This connection might lie in the other-worldly, trance-like state the ball players would assume while playing, which separated them from ordinary time and thrust them into sacred time.

In the environment, frogs are also an indicator species of the health of the environment. Frogwatching has become a way to help track environmental damage and pollutants.

So you might want to check on whether your internal frogs are healthy and lovable, and maybe cool, or if they might need some loving and kissing….

Cool Loneliness

I first discovered this article in May of 2003. I did a search on my posts for the word “present”, and this is the second post that came up. The first is this one on a trip to Disneyland. This seems to be around the time when I actually began to wake up from my deep depression.

Perhaps what it is really all about is simply learning to be present, to be here now, as they say. It seems trite, but once you’ve really learned that, everything else becomes so much easier. Just to be present with yourself, with how you really actually feel in the moment, seems to be what makes us most alive.

Shambhala Sun – Six Kinds of Loneliness

The experience of certain feelings can seem particularly pregnant with desire for resolution: loneliness, boredom, anxiety. Unless we can relax with these feelings, it’s very hard to stay in the middle when we experience them. We want victory or defeat, praise or blame. For example, if somebody abandons us, we don’t want to be with that raw discomfort. Instead, we conjure up a familiar identity of ourselves as a hapless victim. Or maybe we avoid the rawness by acting out and righteously telling the person how messed up he or she is. We automatically want to cover over the pain in one way or another, identifying with victory or victimhood.

Usually we regard loneliness as an enemy. Heartache is not something we choose to invite in. It’s restless and pregnant and hot with the desire to escape and find something or someone to keep us company. When we can rest in the middle, we begin to have a nonthreatening relationship with loneliness, a relaxing and cooling loneliness that completely turns our usual fearful patterns upside down.

There are six ways of describing this kind of cool loneliness. They are: less desire, contentment, avoiding unnecessary activity, complete discipline, not wandering in the world of desire, and not seeking security from one’s discursive thoughts.

The Handless Maiden

(Note this is the brothers Grimm version, not Estes version)

SurLaLune Fairy Tales: The Annotated Girl Without Hands

A CERTAIN miller had little by little fallen into poverty, and had nothing left but his mill and a large apple-tree behind it. Once when he had gone into the forest to fetch wood, an old man stepped up to him whom he had never seen before, and said, “Why dost thou plague thyself with cutting wood, I will make thee rich, if thou wilt promise me what is standing behind thy mill?” “What can that be but my apple-tree?” thought the miller, and said, “Yes,” and gave a written promise to the stranger. He, however, laughed mockingly and said, “When three years have passed, I will come and carry away what belongs to me,” and then he went. When the miller got home, his wife came to meet him and said, “Tell me, miller, from whence comes this sudden wealth into our house? All at once every box and chest was filled; no one brought it in, and I know not how it happened.” He answered, “It comes from a stranger who met me in the forest, and promised me great treasure. I, in return, have promised him what stands behind the mill; we can very well give him the big apple-tree for it.” “Ah, husband,” said the terrified wife, “that must have been the devil! He did not mean the apple-tree, but our daughter, who was standing behind the mill sweeping the yard….”

The Little Match Girl


Rachel Isadora

Hans Christian Andersen: The Little Match-Seller

IT was terribly cold and nearly dark on the last evening of the old year, and the snow was falling fast. In the cold and the darkness, a poor little girl, with bare head and naked feet, roamed through the streets. It is true she had on a pair of slippers when she left home, but they were not of much use. They were very large, so large, indeed, that they had belonged to her mother, and the poor little creature had lost them in running across the street to avoid two carriages that were rolling along at a terrible rate. One of the slippers she could not find, and a boy seized upon the other and ran away with it, saying that he could use it as a cradle, when he had children of his own. So the little girl went on with her little naked feet, which were quite red and blue with the cold. In an old apron she carried a number of matches, and had a bundle of them in her hands. No one had bought anything of her the whole day, nor had anyone given her even a penny. Shivering with cold and hunger, she crept along; poor little child, she looked the picture of misery. The snowflakes fell on her long, fair hair, which hung in curls on her shoulders, but she regarded them not.

Lights were shining from every window, and there was a savory smell of roast goose, for it was New-year’s eve—yes, she remembered that. In a corner, between two houses, one of which projected beyond the other, she sank down and huddled herself together. She had drawn her little feet under her, but she could not keep off the cold; and she dared not go home, for she had sold no matches, and could not take home even a penny of money. Her father would certainly beat her; besides, it was almost as cold at home as here, for they had only the roof to cover them, through which the wind howled, although the largest holes had been stopped up with straw and rags. Her little hands were almost frozen with the cold. Ah! perhaps a burning match might be some good, if she could draw it from the bundle and strike it against the wall, just to warm her fingers. She drew one out—“scratch!” how it sputtered as it burnt! It gave a warm, bright light, like a little candle, as she held her hand over it. It was really a wonderful light. It seemed to the little girl that she was sitting by a large iron stove, with polished brass feet and a brass ornament. How the fire burned! and seemed so beautifully warm that the child stretched out her feet as if to warm them, when, lo! the flame of the match went out, the stove vanished, and she had only the remains of the half-burnt match in her hand….


Artist: Basko Tamara, 14 years old, the pupil of the children’s art school of P.I.Chaykovskiy. Title – picture: The little Match Girl

Out-Create Them

For Ronni…..

“There is a very hidden aspect to most collectives that encourages oppression of women’s wild, soulful and creative lives, and that is the encouragement within the culture for women to tell on one another and to sacrifice their sisters… to strictures that do not reflect the relatedness found in the familial values of the feminine nature. These include not only the encouraging of one woman to inform on another and therefore expose her to punishment for behaving in a feminine and integral manner, for registering appropriate horror or dissension to injustice, but also the encouraging of older women to collude in the physical, mental, and spiritual abuse of women who are younger, less powerful, or helpless, and the encouraging of young women to dismiss and neglect the needs of women who are far older than they…”

“we also learn that the wild, because of its energy and beauty, is always eyed by somebody or other, something or other, some group or other, for trophy purposes or as something to be reduced, altered, ruled on, murdered, redesigned, or controlled. The wild always needs a guardian at the gate, or it will be misused…”

“When the collective is hostile to a woman’s natural life, rather than accept the derogatory or disrespectful labels that are placed upon her, she can and must… hold on, hold out, and search for that which she belongs to– and preferably outlive, out-thrive, and out-create those who vilified her…

“The trap within the trap is thinking that everything is solved by dissolving the projection and finding consciousness in ourselves. This is sometimes true and sometimes not. Rather than this either/or paradigm — it’s either something amiss out there or something awry within us — it’s more useful to use an and/and model. This paradigm allows a whole inquiry and far more healing in all directions. This paradigm allows women to question the status quo with confidence, and to not only look at themselves but also the world that is accidentally, unconsciously, or maliciously pressuring them….”

“If you are striving to do something you value, it is so important to surround yourself with people who unequivocally support your work…”

“Creating one thing at a certain point in the river feeds those who come to the river, feeds creatures far downstream, yet others in the deep. Creativity is not a solitary movement. That is its power. Whatever is touched by it, whoever hears it, sees it, senses it, knows it, is fed. That is why beholding someone else’s creative word, image, idea, fills us up, inspires us to our own creative work. A single creative act has the potential to feed a continent. One creative act can cause a torrent to break through stone.

— Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run with the Wolves

Don’t let them control you, Ronni – out-create them.

I also found out Clarissa blogs at The Moderate Voice.

The sum of all fears: organized religion

Golden Compass trailer here. Looks amazing. Box set of the trilogy here. These books were one of the things that brought me through the long dark night of my soul. Lyra’s strength and courage would be inspirational to any young girl.

The sum of all fears: organized religion

With any luck, and if “The Golden Compass” turns out to be even half as wondrous as the book, it will hopefully fuel a surge in sales of the “HDM” trilogy in America and, perhaps, inspire a new literary awakening among young readers, darker and more complex and even (gasp) slightly sexual, far beyond the clever but innocuous magic of Harry Potter – which, by the way, had its share of religious bonk-jobs calling for its destruction, as wizardry is clearly the dominion of the devil. We all know what a huge drop in sales that protest caused.

But there is another note of good news from this tale of fear and whining and outcry, and it takes the form of another delightful rule upon which your soul can happily rely, as well as a heartfelt lesson for trembling ultraconservative sects everywhere.

It’s this: If your ancient, authoritarian, immutable belief system is threatened by a handful of popular novels, if your ostensibly all-powerful, unyielding creed is rendered meek and defenseless when faced with the story of a fiery, rebellious young girl who effortlessly rejects your stiff misogynistic religiosity in favor of adventure, love, sex, the ability to discover and define her soul on her own terms, well, it might be time for you to roll it all up and shut it all down and crawl back home, and let the divine breathe and move and dance as she sees fit.

And the Pullman books are wondrous — I loved reading them. Perfect for that young adult reader looking to have the courage to follow her soul.

And I have a tiger daemon

Contagion of the Heart

Woke up with this phrase in my head this morning from my fuzzy dreams. After yesterday’s vivid lucid dreams, today’s were fairly tame, but in the last one I was enjoying an excellent dinner of steak and green beans with Tom and Jonathan and some wonderful beer. I have no idea what that means dreamwise but it was a great dinner… maybe I was just hungry.

Anyway:

Contagion

The act or means of communicating any influence to the mind or heart; as, the contagion of enthusiasm.

Emotional Contagion

Emotional contagion is the tendency to express and feel emotions that are similar to and influenced by those of others. One view of the underlying mechanism is that it represents a tendency to automatically mimic and synchronize facial expressions, vocalizations, postures, and movements with those of another person and, consequently, to converge emotionally (Hatfield, Cacioppo, & Rapson, 1994). A broader definition of the phenomenon was suggested by Sigal G. Barsade- “a process in which a person or group influences the emotions or behavior of another person or group through the conscious or unconscious induction of emotion states and behavioral attitudes”.[1]

I’ve always been a bit immune to this kind of emotional contagion myself, although I’m almost hyper-aware of other people’s feelings (not that this stops me from stepping on them sometimes). I get suspicious if my mood seems to be changing for no apparent reason (a necessity in people who live successfully with bipolar), and end up doing a “heart check” to see if that is something I’m really feeling or just something someone else wants me to feel. So then I get called “distant” or “withdrawn” or “reserved” or whatever and people think I am not connecting with them. But I do see what they are feeling, and perhaps even deeper than they know. I’ve often known when someone’s latest love of their life was a passing fling, or when it could lead to bigger things for them. I’m the one who will be whispering, “careful” when another is about to tread on someone else’s sacred ground, or hook into a skeleton woman they really aren’t ready to handle. And I try to put in a “yes, THIS one!” whisper when a friend is with someone who really lights up their life. But when I attempt to dampen a flame, I end up losing friends, so I’ve stopped doing that. Sometimes you really just can’t tell people anything and you just have to let them find out for themselves what a mess they are making of their lives.

And it is one of my leading clues when I’m starting to slip into a “manic” state if I find myself more and more caught up in someone else’s emotions and problems, or worse, hyping my own mania by feeding off other’s emotions until it moves into the hypo-manic state. So I tend to require a lot of quiet time, time by myself and just to reflect, not only on my own emotional state but that of the people around me. I think it’s one of the reasons I surround myself with golden retrievers, because they are so sensitive and aware of other’s moods and emotions. Their reactions help me to judge and figure out my own emotions and those of other people. If they are shying away from someone, that certainly isn’t anyone I’m going to be getting near. On the other hand, my pest control service lady just stopped at the door and asked if she should do the back yard or not, since they are re-doing the drainage for the patio today, and she ended up petting Darwin for the ten minutes she would have spent on the yard and thanked us for the therapy time.
He was really cuddled up with her, so she must have needed it.

I’ve been reading about Skeleton Woman and how she draws flesh from the beating of the heart of the fisherman, and also reading Daniel Goleman’s “Social Intelligence” where he talks a bit about this way we directly connect through the amygdalya with the emotional expressions of other people. Apparently Goleman believes there is a direct link from our eyes to the amygdala and we can pick up on other people’s feelings even before we are actually aware of what we are looking at. Pretty fascinating idea.

It seems to have evolved into a bit of a pop psychology thing right now, sadly, where people are trying to force salespeople to be cheerful good-mood spreaders, or emotionally “handle” their clients, etc… Then there are those people who can’t stand to be around others that “bring them down” and want to remain in the perpetually cheerful state that eventually drives everyone around them crazy and leads to their own mental breakdown (after which they turn into wonderful truly joyful people)… as well as the “Eeyore” types that refuse to be happy no matter what and end up dragging everyone else down with them (but who are also full of great compassion and can be wonderful friends and lovers)… developing a healthy balance for one’s own heart and knowing yourself well enough to realize when you’re in danger of “catching” a wave of fear or panic or whatever is important.

And this time of year there’s the idea that we are all supposed to be happy and jolly when in fact it is a very difficult time of year for many people who have to deal with losses or unhappy holiday experiences of the past. For me, this time of year invokes more quiet reflection and watching the emotional “snow” settle in on my heart as I think of all the people I miss at this time of year, family who are gone and the friends who decided I wasn’t going to be allowed to be part of their lives anymore. We tend to have a small party to celebrate with those friends we hold dear, and that is always a bright spot in the dark nights for me, along with the beauty of Christmas trees and lights and the thoughtful, gorgeous Christmas music. I can rarely hear or sing “Silent Night” without a few tears. But really, the inflatable Santas and lighted reindeer and Jingle Bell Rock I can just do without, please.

So please make your holidays whatever you need them to be, and don’t give in to those who try to force you to make it into that happy jolly fun time you’re not wanting to celebrate, or the drudge through all the family history with drunken relatives again if you’re not up for that. But don’t be the Grinch either. Open your heart to the things that really matter and are important to you, and connect with the deep spirit of this season in the ways that will mean the most to you.

Namaste.