Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

Think Pyschologically; Live Spiritually

Connecting with the Holy, Step Two: Giving Our Warrior A New Job October 22, 2013

What Does Your Life Map Look Like?

What Does Your Life Map Look Like?

With inner work [your ego accords] every element of life, including the dark elements…a place of dignity and worth.”

–Robert A. Johnson

If spirit persons throughout history are right when they say the nature of Divine Being is light and love, why can’t we see and feel it?  Because our shadow blocks the light!  Unfortunately, we can’t see our shadow either.  In fact, we find the very idea of it difficult to comprehend. So how do we handle something we can’t see and don’t believe in?

Luckily, we each have an inner ally who can help. The Warrior archetype is a powerful pattern of psychological energy with the courage, commitment and self-discipline to show up to work every day. It wants to be active but it only has so much energy so we need to prioritize. We can begin by asking ourselves these questions:

1: What job(s) does my Warrior have now?  In other words, what occupies the majority of my time, thought, activity and will power? My job? Family? Home? Appearance? Social standing? Relationships? Hobbies? Addictions? Making money? Acquiring material objects? Pleasing people?

2:  Does using my Warrior’s energy these ways bring joy, meaning and fulfillment or do I yearn for something more?

We have two basic life tasks. During the first half our job is to acquire power and success in the material world.  Our Warrior’s energy is meant to be directed into socialization, education, perfecting our skills, and establishing a comfortable home, satisfying job and loving relationships. Using some of our energy to disown what we consider negative while trying to act positive and loving is often helpful during this time, but it’s not enough to connect us with the mystery of Divine Love.

If your answer to #2 is that you’re still unfulfilled and yearning, you’re probably near the second half of life. Dissatisfaction at this time comes from having repressed some of our valid, and often valuable, potential. To complete ourselves we need to give our Warrior the new job of freeing our unlived life.First, we need to become intentional about acknowledging our true feelings, especially those which feel dangerous, for they are among the more accessible symptoms of our shadow. Then we need to begin a committed program of regular inner work that will help us see and restrain it. Inner work is a big job, in fact it’s THE big job, and it continues throughout our lives. Most of us find it painful at first, but it gets easier. Spirit persons have always demonstrated that growth pains are preferable to the child’s fear of switching on the light in the closet of nighttime monsters, for that is a choice to remain in spiritual darkness.

Integrating Our Light and Dark Sides.

Integrating Our Light and Dark Sides.

Inner work requires our Warrior’s commitment to practice, practice, practice!  It can be anything that brings self-knowledge, empowers us to make healthy choices, and provides purpose, meaning and spiritual direction. Examples include journaling, dream work, active imagination, meditation, and psychotherapy.  For more information, I highly recommend Robert A. Johnson’s Inner Work. Growing mindful of how and when our shadow shows up is like creating a special road map that highlights unnecessary detours and obstacles, and directs us to safer routes. No one else can make our roadmap and we can’t complete it for ourselves without self-knowledge.

The theme of solar mythology is a great battle between light and darkness, good and evil.”

–Anne Baring

Befriending the dark side seems counterintuitive to most people today. After 4,000 years of conditioning by the Sky god’s mythology, our Warrior is far more comfortable trying to obliterate it!  But when the sun of our life begins to set and the moon begins to rise, lunar mythology, with its theme of integrating dark and light, is meant to take over. Dialogues with our soul open our hearts. With practice they bring self-acceptance, humility, compassion, forgiveness and love. These qualities connect us to our Source—the Divine Ground in which we and the universe are immersed—and allow it to manifest its love for us. When we accept ourselves and learn to love, our shadow’s power ebbs away and holiness flows in.

You can find Healing the Sacred Divide at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc.

Photo:  Antique Map of Hungary, Braun & Hogenberg

Photo:  Fijian Warrior, Graham Crumb

 

Dreamwork as a Spiritual Practice October 18, 2013

dreamtheatresThis is just a note to let you know about an article I wrote for a wonderful online magazine  titled elephant journal (lower case caps on purpose!) that was published yesterday.  If you haven’t been to elephant journal before, you might want to take some time to browse around. They have excellent writers and articles on many topics.

If you follow me on twitter and/or Facebook you probably already know about this, but it occurred to me this morning that I could let my blog followers know via a quick post here.

I hope you’ll check it out and share it with like-minded friends if you like it.

Thank you so much for following my work.  You are all so dear to me and I appreciate you more than I can say.  🙂

Here’s the link:  I hope you enjoy it!  http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/10/going-against-the-current-dreamwork-as-spiritual-practice-jean-raffa/

If you’re interested in knowing more about Jungian dream work you can find my book Dream Theatres of the Soul at Amazon.

 

Connecting with The Holy, Step One: Getting in Touch with Our True Feelings October 15, 2013

Yin and Yang

Yin and Yang

“Thinking noble thoughts does not connect us with the Holy; only the ability to feel love for ourselves and others does that.”

–Jean Raffa

I recently posted this quote from Healing the Sacred Divide on Twitter and received the following comment from Amrita.  “Yes, over the years of introspection, I have [come to understand] that in order to know the whole one needs to know the dark as well…to know positive , one must be aware of the negative and one must not act negative as it would amount to bad karma.  The whole self-help industry talks about being positive but it doesn’t explain all the mysteries. Do explain it in your blog…”

There are so many dimensions to this issue that I could write books about it. But I’ll try to distill it into two posts by going straight to the core (or coeur) of the matter: the heart.  I’m reminded of the saying, “You can pretend to care, but you can’t pretend to show up.”  The mysteries are not about pretending to love and care:  they’re about feeling and manifesting love and care. Feeling and being are key.

Humanity has always intuited that the mysteries revolve around love. Loving feelings are prayers from which everything good flows. Tenderness, kindness, healing, peace. Compassion. Choices to forgive, set aside hurt and anger, sacrifice our ego’s need for revenge so others won’t get hurt: these are choices to love.

Using self-discipline, will power and positive affirmations and intentions to be more loving is, of course, a step in the right direction. But mental activity without physical and emotional participation is not enough. Sometimes it’s just a band-aid the ego sticks on the surface of a wound to avoid dealing with deeper, more painful realities. Every ego experiences wounding, and we all try to protect ourselves by repressing, disowning, ignoring or escaping. But until our psychic wounds are addressed and healed, the pain always oozes back into our awareness.  Sometimes it’s so overwhelming that our mental discipline crumbles and our positive affirmations have no effect at all.

“In the realm of feeling…Western man is apt to be the puppet of his unconscious moods.”

–M. Esther Harding

We tell ourselves to blow off someone’s unkind words, but our vulnerable, innocent child within thinks, “What did I do?” and we start feeling hurt and sad.  If we don’t catch those feelings right away, we move on to feeling wronged and resentful.  We think, “I don’t deserve to be treated this way!” and now we’re really angry.  Saying we love the person who elicited this response doesn’t make the anger go away and they can feel it whether we admit to it or not.  If we’re not feeling love and they’re not feeling lovable, no one is convinced.

Or we knock ourselves out trying to look fabulous and act adorable and pleasing so we’ll be loveable and loved. But this takes a lot of work that uses up a psychological energy. When there’s no energy left we let down our guard; then the least little thing sets us off.  Resentment and pettiness and self-loathing creep in, and the attitudes and actions that spew out into the world have nothing to do with love.

Unloving feelings that destroy our resolve to love are aspects of the unhealed and disowned parts of ourselves we call our dark shadow. When the shadow walks in the door, positive thoughts and will power fly out the window and the results are utterly predictable.  Toxic feelings from unhealed wounds birth toxic behaviors.  That’s just the way we’re made.

This is why getting in touch with our true feelings is the first step to connecting with the Holy.  I’ll discuss the second step next time.

You can find Healing the Sacred Divide at this Amazon link and at Larson Publications, Inc.

 

 
%d bloggers like this: