Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

Think Pyschologically; Live Spiritually

Healing America’s Political Divide November 29, 2016

projections-jung-unknown-face-jungcurrents-2“The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate. That is to say, when the individual remains undivided and does not become conscious of his inner opposite, the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposing halves.” ~Carl Jung, Aion, Christ: A Symbol of the Self, Pages 70-71, Para 126.

“There’ll just be four of us for Thanksgiving dinner this year. We’re a politically divided family.”~Overheard at Whole Foods Market the week before Thanksgiving.

They’re Rioting in Africa

They’re rioting in Africa
They’re starving in Spain
There’s hurricanes in Florida
And Texas needs rain.

The whole world is festering with unhappy souls
The french hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles
Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch
And I don’t like anybody very much!!

But we can be tranquil and thankful and proud
For man’s been endowed with a mushroom-shaped cloud
And we know for certain that some lovely day
Someone will set the spark off
And we will all be blown away!!

They’re rioting in Africa
There’s strife in Iran
What nature doesn’t do to us
Will be done by our fellow man.

At 14 I was fascinated by the profundity of this song. When has the world ever been at peace?   Certainly not since Jesus preached a gospel of peace. And obviously not before that either, or else he wouldn’t have needed to preach it.

Why don’t we learn from our mistakes? Because for most of us, history is a powerless abstract concept that has nothing to do with us. But there is something with the power to change us: a painful experience of our personal shadow: our ego’s inner opposite.

The Shadow is our unconscious side, the part of us we don’t know about and don’t want to know about. It’s far more fun to blame others than face our shadows. So we unconsciously project our shadow qualities onto people who remind us of them, and we derive great pleasure from excluding, vilifying, and blaming them.

Naturally, they resent this, so in retaliation they project their shadows onto us. And there you have it. Our outer world mimics the inner conflicts between our “good guy” egos and “bad guy” shadows while we sit back enjoying our outrage and tut-tutting with pious self-righteousness. In my opinion, nobody describes this phenomenon better than my favorite minstrel bard, Kris Kristofferson.

Kris+KristoffersonJesus Was a Capricorn

Jesus was a Capricorn
He ate organic food
He believed in love and peace
And never wore no shoes

Long hair, beard and sandals
And a funky bunch of friends
Reckon we’d just nail him up
If he came down again

‘Cause everybody’s gotta have somebody to look down on
Who they can feel better than at any time they please
Someone doin’ somethin’ dirty decent folks can frown on
If you can’t find nobody else, then help yourself to me

Eggheads cussing rednecks cussing
Hippies for their hair
Others laugh at straights who laugh at
Freaks who laugh at squares

Some folks hate the Whites
Who hate the Blacks who hate the Klan
Most of us hate anything that
We don’t understand

‘Cause everybody’s gotta have somebody to look down on
Who they can feel better than at any time they please
Someone doin’ somethin’ dirty decent folks can frown on
If you can’t find nobody else, then help yourself to me

“I swear he was reading my mail when I was in my forties! His songs are still among my very favorites…I used to refer to him as “my favorite philosopher.” Still, often, I felt a twinge, and wished that he wasn’t singing about me.” Comment from a viewer of this video.

14470608_1364095146964017_1336560227455489139_n-2He was reading my mail too.

We won’t heal America’s political divide until enough of us heal our personal ones. Have you ever caught a glimpse of your unknown face? It’s easy to see. Just notice who you look down on tomorrow.

Credits:  Gratitude to Lewis LaFontaine for the quote images. They’re Rioting in Africa:  Written by Sheldon Harnick, Sheldon M. Harnick • Copyright © BMG Rights Management US, LLC. Jesus Was a Capricorn:  Written by Kris Kristofferson. Jesus Was a Capricorn lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC.

Jean Raffa’s The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon. E-book versions are also at KoboBarnes And Noble and Smashwords. Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc.


Bringing Down the Wall March 13, 2012

Conflict and criticism have always made me anxious and my natural tendency is to avoid them. While this strategy has protected me from some discomfort, it never completely eliminated it. Crouching behind a wall makes you hyper sensitive to possible encroachment and it’s easy to mistake friendly missives for enemy fire. You can miss out on a lot of help and healing that way.

So when Joseph Rogers-Petro, one of the most loving souls I’ve encountered on the internet, wrote that my post “The Bridge to Wholeness” was the first he’d read that disturbed him, my first thought was “Oh, oh!” and my first instinct was to dive for cover. But years of shadow work have lowered my wall of resistence considerably, and I listened with a receptive mind. With his full permission, I’ll share some of his thoughts:

“I can’t be so sure our beliefs about the Divine originate in us—in me. If I choose to believe they do, is that not a belief similar to those who believe the opposite? They’re both thoughts (theories) …and try as I might I have not conclusively figured out—beyond all doubts and with proof— where my thoughts come from. Perhaps they come from the Divine. Perhaps all holy books are inspired. Perhaps everything is inspired. Perhaps my thoughts come from what I ate last night.”

“I was not offended by your post, only surprised by its tone and mode of expression. I guess I did hear within the words the same type of energy as the fundamentalists of organized religion…just a little though…but it was so uncharacteristic in your posts that, for me, it stuck out…”

“I was just a bit taken aback by not so much the sentence about where the Sacred Mysteries originate, but the exclamation point at the end of it. That set a tone, in my way of looking at it, that is final, leaving no room for question marks…The realm of the spirit (and mind/soul/body) is so open…so…different for everyone…and I have come to love the questions…”

“Spirituality can be about believing…in the sense of weaving our thoughts to a set of ideas that we love or find helpful. Belief isn’t the problem…It’s trying to make others wrong for their beliefs that’s the problem.”

There’s nothing here with which I disagree. I truly believe there are as many paths to the Sacred as there are souls, which is why I emphasize the importance of taking our needs seriously and conducting inner work. But Joseph’s right. My spirituality is guided by beliefs too, and behind every conscious belief there’s a shadow reality. I fear I may have emphasized my own path to the point of unduly discounting others, and I see that my unresolved shadow issues with organized religion gave this post a negative tone I did not consciously intend. I feel badly about that and have made a few revisions to soften the tone a bit.

Did Joseph’s observations make me uncomfortable? Sure they did, but his willingness to share his honest reactions in a loving spirit was a true gift. He concluded: “Maybe you and I are saying the same things…I dearly, dearly, dearly hope I have not offended you…please know that I am sharing these words to help me sort it out within me, and to simply suggest a few questions and possibilities. Namaste to you, dear Jeanie, Namaste.”

Like Joseph, I’m still sorting, questioning, and trying to come from compassion and understanding. Now  if I can just get over my ducking reflex…

Namaste, dear Joseph.


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