Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

Think Pyschologically; Live Spiritually

Affordable. Health. Care. Part I January 12, 2016

024.Jacob_Wrestles_with_the_Angel

Nothing can exist without its opposite;  the two were one in the beginning and will be one again in the end. Consciousness can only exist through continual recognition of the unconscious, just as everything that lives must pass through many deaths.  ~Carl Jung CW Vol. 9i  par. 178

There’s a battle going on in my head.  I hate fights.  I hate conflict of any kind.  But I’ve been witnessing this battle every day for six weeks and I’ve decided to give you a ringside seat. First I need to set the scene so you’ll know where I am and what the fight’s about it and who the antagonists are.

The setting is the political arena as seen from the perspective of my philosophical, introverted, sensitive, non-political mind.  The issue is Affordable Health Care.  The antagonists are various aspects of my Ego, Shadow, and Higher Self. Sometimes I know who’s speaking, sometimes I don’t.

For six weeks now, ever since I had an emotionally-charged conversation with a friend after I attended a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, some of my inner characters have been having a dicey dialogue.  I wake up to their arguments. They make points throughout the day. Their themes populate my dreams and interrupt my sleep.

So why am I inviting you to view this inner drama? Here are a few of the reasons I recognize at the moment:

  1. To clarify my thoughts.

  2. To ease my conscience.

  3. To heal my conflicts.

  4. To get some sleep.

  5. To show you the kinds of challenges people face when they’re committed to self-knowledge, thinking psychologically, and living spiritually. After all, that’s the theme of this blog.

  6. Because I want to make a difference in individual and collective thinking and living.

I realize the last reason may sound a bit grandiose, but wouldn’t everyone like to think that maybe their lives made a positive difference, if only a very tiny one? In fact, isn’t there an inner archetypal force, a mysterious ‘transcendent function’ that pushes all of us, no matter how craven, to better ourselves, to rise above our ignorance and selfishness?

What but a personal experience of this function could motivate me to write a book called Healing the Sacred Divide:  Making Peace with Ourselves, Each Other, and the World? What but a taste of the joy that comes from heeding its call would cause any of us to do our best at our work and build loving, intimate relationships? Would we be fully human if we cared about nothing but ourselves?  I believe we wouldn’t. Yet sometimes I still fight my mysterious task master.

imagesSo here’s what’s been going on in my head:

“But I’m a philosopher, not an activist.”

“How’s that working for you? And how’s the view from your Ivory Tower?” (Pretty sure this latter comment came from my Spiritual Bully, not the Self.)

“But I abhor politics.  What possible good is there in self-serving rants and self-righteous blame games motivated by power and greed?”

“Don’t be so cynical. You know that’s human nature. We all react instinctively to fear, and the less awareness we have, the more we project our shadows onto others to take the heat off ourselves.”

“I know. But the fear and projection seem to be getting worse. And so few people seem to see it or care, and my psychologizing can’t change that. People have to want to change.”

“So if you really care, what can you do?”

“The only thing I know how to do is write, but I know absolutely zero about this issue and the factors involved.”

“You could find out. Do some research.  Ask around.”

“I’m not interested in that kind of research.  I want to understand how our minds work and why we behave the way we do. I don’t want to read thousands of pages of boring details, know who lobbies whom to get bills vetoed or passed, or learn the depressing facts about the twisted, depressing lies politicians tell to push their personal agendas through. None of it makes any lasting difference in the end. Meanwhile, it hurts to be constantly reminded that some people who are supposedly devoted to serving our country care more about getting re-elected than easing people’s pain and suffering. That they would rather distort the truth and blame the other party than be true to their consciences.  That they may not even have consciences.”

“Hmmm.  I’m hearing some powerful anger and resistance here.  What are you really afraid of.”

“Venturing into this new arena is difficult for me. My position is unusual and I don’t want to be misunderstood or scorned. What if I can’t present my case with clarity and objectivity?  What if people hate me or think I’m arrogant or frivolous?  It’s hard enough to see and deal with my own crap. Do I have to heap more coals on my head?”

“I see. Pooor baby. You think you shouldn’t have to suffer any more. After all, look how hard you’ve worked to become a more conscious, ‘spiritual’ person! (That had to be my Spiritual Bully again.) So if that’s how you feel, why keep agonizing about whether to write about this? Why not let people with thicker skins and extroverted personalities enter this particular fray?”

Consciousness-opposites“Aaarrgh! Because nobody else seems to care what’s happening to him and it’s not fair! I can’t stand to see him suffering over this injustice. And I couldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t try to help.”

“Well alright.  Let’s get on with it then, shall we?”

So that’s it. Next time, the full story from my friend.

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.

Image credits:  Google Images. Gustav Dore’.  Jacob Wrestles with the Angel. Vincent van Gogh.  The Starry Night.

 

 

 

A Valentine For My Internet Friends February 14, 2014

valentines-day-wallpapers24Last night before his power went out, Skip Conover, a social activist and creator of the web site Archetype in Action, sent me 9 pages of statistics about blog posts of mine that he has been supporting and reposting on his internet site and newsletter for almost three years. I was blown away, not just to see evidence of how many people read them, but by his ongoing support and kindness.  When I began blogging and posting on Twitter and Facebook almost four years ago, I never imagined I would meet so many wonderful people who I now feel I can call friends.

 

After writing the following letter to him this morning I realized it could have been written to many of you.  So on this Valentine’s day I’m sending it to you too.  You know who you are!

 

“I can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done to share my writing.  It’s a huge compliment to me, and I’m very grateful for your support.  I feel so fortunate that you “found” me on the internet and liked what you saw.   Collaborating with you has been a true gift to me and I dare to hope perhaps to “the world” as well. If there’s any way I can be of help to you, please know that it would be my honor and pleasure to do whatever I can.

 

“I’ve had a slow, quiet and restful winter so far.  Just the kind I like. My decision last May to back off from my almost obsessive (certainly passionate) 2-a-week blog posts after over 3 years of it was right for me.  It was beginning to be less fun and more of a “job” and I was becoming somewhat depleted, both physically and mentally.  Then the day after hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for 25 I woke up with a painful left foot which turned out to be a stress fracture of a toe.  Still too much “stress?”  Yes, my stoic, perfectionist Warrior has a hard time listening to my energy and trusting my instincts. To him/her, slowing down and taking some pressure off myself almost feels like failing or giving up!  Certainly it feels like disappointing others and shirking my responsibility!!!

 

“But I got the message and sense that something new has been incubating in my unconscious as a result. Some very interesting dreams lately seem to affirm it.  Last week I fed an interesting Animus figure in my kitchen, after which he went into an adjoining room where a group of students was eagerly waiting for him to begin teaching. A few nights later he showed up as a lovely Jewish man named Goldman who sang me a hauntingly beautiful song. The other night I had a dream about two Animus images:  one was an annoying Mexican man who was resting and so wouldn’t assist with the birth of a baby when a pregnant Mexican woman and her husband asked for help. But somehow they got to a hospital and when I went to see them, it was Fred who was pregnant!!!  While I was there I met a wonderful woman doctor who was going to assist the birth and who let me know she wanted to get to know me better! Such marvelous symbolism.

 

“All this seems to speak to some inner transformations going on with my Animus and Soul.  I’m sure part of it is related to making more time for music, another passion of mine, by taking ukulele lessons and practicing every day!  So much fun! Plus, I’m getting excited about the speech and workshop I’ll be giving about Healing the Sacred Divide to the C.G.Jung Society of Sarasota on the weekend of March 14-15.  I’m thoroughly enjoying preparing power point presentations and workshop materials and everything is falling into place beautifully.  I’ve been getting guidance daily from dreams, blogs I follow, and books I’m reading, so I’m not driving myself at all. I just respond to inspiration when it comes. This lack of worry and stress, this effortlessness, is what feels so new.  Perhaps I’ll write a post about it when I’m clearer about what has been happening. But that could take a while. Understanding is only just beginning to emerge! 🙂

 

“I hope all is well with you and Deb in this crazy weather.  We’re enjoying some very pleasant cooler-than-usual days and nights and plan to spend this evening by a cozy fire. Wishing you both a happy, love-filled Valentine’s Day!”

 

Stay warm, my friends,

 

Jeanie

 

Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc
Ebook versions of The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords,and Diesel Ebooks 
 

Cooking Lessons September 11, 2010

Today marks my sixth month of blogging. What an extraordinary experience it has been.  Like a chef concocting a new recipe, I thought it would be a fun way to express my passions and connect with a few people as fascinated with the internal stew of the psyche as I am. But I was totally unprepared for the nourishment I’d receive in return. To celebrate today’s milestone, I’d like to share some lessons I’ve learned.

(1)  Blogging is not a piece of cake. It’s thinking and reading and creating a recipe and gathering ingredients and measuring and stirring and preheating the oven and watching the clock and stopping the baking process before the layers are overdone and cooling and handling them with care so they don’t fall apart and making the icing and decorating with delectable images, then washing and putting everything away so you can get on with your life — all the stuff that goes into creating what you hope will be a delicious treat for an unknown clientele and then discovering that some people like the way it tastes and some don’t and learning to be okay with that!

(2)  Blogging is not for wimps. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. A blog is like a restaurant anyone can patronize. And I mean that literally! People have different tastes and opinions and there are a few who see other peoples’ blogs as open invitations to push their own agendas or flaunt their self-importance. I’ve had to get tough and uninvite one or two.

(3)  Bloggers do not dine alone. Until six months ago writing isolated me from my friends more than it connected me to them. I saw them rarely and between visits they knew virtually nothing about my work. With this blog I have renewed some treasured old friendships and formed several new ones, and all of you know exactly what I’m cooking because you’re digesting it! This is a particularly lovely and completely unexpected benefit of blogging.

(4)  The best dishes have the fewest ingredients. My writing has always been a bit wordy. I say “a bit,” but in one of the earliest articles I submitted to a professional journal the editor crossed out about one in every six words! While this was a definite wake-up call, it did not reduce my verbal flow with anywhere near the efficiency of blogging. Writing two 500- to 600-word posts a week for six months is correcting the sloppy writing habits of 50 years!

(5)  The best recipes are creative and challenging without being too difficult. Technical writing and left-brained theorizing are appropriate for gourmet chefs, but the average cook? Not so much. Few of us have the interest or luxury to spend all day in the kitchen. Blogging is expanding my awareness of my audience and helping me practice what I preach. I’m ready to stir things up more in the cauldron of my right brain. Now where’s my ladle?

(6)  Cooking improves with feedback. Your comments have exposed me to ideas I’ve never considered and questions I’ve never asked; and you’ve inspired me to try out new recipes I never would have attempted without you.

(7)  There are some really fascinating, wise, generous-spirited and infinitely lovable people out there, and I’m very grateful so many of them dine at Jeanie’s Restaurant.  Thank you, everyone.

 

A River Called Love May 30, 2010

A few days ago I had a visit from a dear friend I hadn’t seen in years. As young mothers we lived in the same town and attended the same church. When her husband was confirmed in the Episcopal church, he asked my husband to be his godfather. When their third child was born, they asked us to be his godparents; when my son was born they became his.

Among the many things Ginger and I had in common, perhaps the most important to both of us was a deep spiritual thirst. I had experienced a spiritual awakening at the age of 17 when the Bible came alive for me. Her awakening came with the miracle of the birth of her first child. Together, the two of us lapped up church services, Bible study, prayer groups and retreats like parched kittens. In our spare time we took care of each others’ kids, shared our deepest feelings, and prayed with and for each other.

Within a few years Greg’s work called him to another town. They moved several times after that and we rarely saw each other again. Then, a few weeks ago, I got a call from Ginger telling me that after living with prostate cancer for 17 years, Greg had died and she was returning to Florida to visit family and old friends for some love therapy. We picked a day to meet and I looked forward to her visit.

But our paths have deviated radically over the years and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I live in a big city; she lives in a remote rural area. I’ve traveled extensively, she has stayed close to home. I entered the germ-free tower of academia; her work as a nurse and caregiver required regular physical intimacy in the trenches. What concerned me most was that she had grown increasingly conservative in her political and religious views whereas I had become what I feared she would see as a flaming liberal religious heretic!! (She watches Fox Network and I watch CNN!) Would we feel comfortable together? Could we be honest about our differing views? Would she still like me, or would the polarization so rampant in today’s America infect us with its toxic distrust and animosity?

I needn’t have worried. Our time together was Real time. Soul time. A time for Love. We talked about Greg. We talked about our kids and grandkids and wished we could see each others’ families. We laughed about the fact that she loves Sarah Palin and is aghast that I voted for Obama. We laughed at my incredulity that she doesn’t believe in evolution. Then my daughter-in-law stopped by to borrow some life jackets, so Ginger got to meet her and my grandsons. A while later my daughter called to say she was coming by with her girls to drop off some things she’d borrowed from us. Ginger and I marveled at these amazing synchronicities. It never happens that both of my girls and their children come by unexpectedly on the same day, and yet that day they did. Later, we met my husband at our grandsons’ Little League game and after 35 years Ginger was reintroduced to the coach, my son, her godson.

Like I said, the one thing Ginger and I always had in common was our spiritual  thirst, a thirst for Love. And we’ve never stopped trying to quench it. Over time, drinking in love washes away all the dross—all the words, ideals, prejudices, and wounds—and leaves only the pure essence of soul wherein the river of  love that underlies everything comes to dwell.  It’s no coincidence Ginger received exactly what she needed that day.  The river called Love knows its own.

 

 
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