Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

Think Pyschologically; Live Spiritually

The Sacred Laws of Psyche May 5, 2015

The inner universe

The inner univers

My friends: last week’s post about the new book, Into the Heart of the Feminine, by Jungian analysts Drs. Bud and Massimilla Harris, addressed a lesson that must be learned if we want to heal ourselves and the world. This is the importance of recapturing our ability to think psychologically and symbolically. This I know:  learning the two languages of One Mind is the only lasting remedy for the devastation that our cultural mentality of one-sided rational, verbal and literal thinking has wrought.

With the synchronistic help of Elaine Mansfield, a dear friend and sister writer, I was reminded of this post I published in the wake of the Newtown tragedy over three years ago. If any act epitomizes the evil impact of the one-sided patriarchal culture that has activated the Death Mother archetype in our culture, that did! With this repost I extend my condolences to include the families and friends of those who lost their lives in last week’s devastating earthquake in Nepal.

The inner universe of the mind is, like the physical world, a living organism that functions according to natural laws.  Deciphering them has been the work of holy fools, for who can presume to understand the sacred inner workings of creation? Yet we do try to understand these autonomous patterns of energy (archetypes) in our individual minds (the psyche) and in the mystery of the One Mind beyond ordinary consciousness (the psychoid) because we feel their profound influence.

Our brains know two languages: logic and imagination. Separately, each has limits, but an individual who respects both can make brilliant inroads into the Mysteries. Einstein was one such person. He said,

“Logic will take you from A to B.  Imagination will take you everywhere.”

Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell were others. Jung explored his inner life and that of his clients with the help of myths and symbols from various wisdom traditions. Campbell developed some of Jung’s themes in his own extensive research. Together, their imaginative work shed much-needed light into the darkness of our current collective unconscious. Following are some natural laws they midwifed into our awareness.

1. The Law of Correspondence: The outer universe is a reflection of the inner universe. This intuition gave rise to the ancient adages, “As above, so below,” and “As without, so within.” Humanity has expressed this relationship in diverse symbol systems such as mythology, religion, tarot, alchemy, astrology and magic.

2. The Law of Synchronicity: Meaningful coincidences between our inner and outer universes occur more frequently with self-reflective practices like dreamwork and active imagination. Synchronicities are not products of “cause and effect,” but of an imaginative, heartfelt search for personal meaning which eventually produces what Jungian Monika Wikman calls, “a psychology of synchronicity instead of linearity.”

3. The Law of Opposites: For everything we know about ourselves (beliefs, values, attitudes, emotions), there is a corresponding unconscious opposite. In our psychological immaturity we see things dualistically, (in terms of either-or, good-bad), and automatically repress or disown that which our egos consider the less desirable options.

One Mind
One Mind

4. The Law of Oneness Beneath all apparent dualities lies a fundamental connectedness with All That Is.  We can tap into this One Mind by integrating pairs of opposites to create partnerships which see, think, and behave holistically.

5. The Law of Entropy: When opposites remain isolated from one another, any disorders within them remain constant or increase.

6. The Law of Change:  Energies in both universes are constantly circulating. Change toward stasis and polarization increases disorder and chaos. Change toward communication and integration increases movement toward perfection and completion.

7. The Law of Love: Love is the most powerful healing and unifying force in Life. It has its roots in the heart, i.e. honest feeling and valuing, not the head, or logic and reason.

8. The Law of Choice: Our ego, the organizing center of our conscious selves, can choose to serve or fight these laws, and our personal choices influence ours and the world’s welfare. For example, if we serve the Law of Love, we respect and integrate ours and others’ religions, making space in ourselves and the world for both. If we fight this law we are choosing love’s opposite, hatred.

We can cultivate our imagination or bury it. View ourselves as separate or as connected. Integrate otherness or fight it. Nurture love or hate. Trust or fear. How can our beloved country serve these sacred laws at this point in history?  How can you and I?

My heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of the innocents whose physical lives were tragically snuffed out in Newtown. Together, may we find a solution to this senseless tragedy.

Image Credits:  Google Images.

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.

 

To Be or Not To Be a Zombie: Part I January 29, 2013

dinosaursA life that is being truly lived is constantly burning away the veils of illusion, gradually revealing the essence of who we are.” ~Marion Woodman

The key is to stay awake, to listen to what comes into consciousness and to open to it.” ~Monika Wikman

Whether we grow or wither in this encounter depends on whether we cling to our ego’s rigid standpoint, or whether we choose to trust the Self and leap into the unknown.” ~Monika Wikman

These quotes summarize what I think two recent dreams want me to know. In this and the next post I’ll share them and tell you what I’m learning.

Dream #4400: X Wants Me to Meet a Man Who Speaks About Consciousness
I’m pleased to see my friend, X, at a gathering. She looks lovely in a black and white patterned dress. She tells me about a man who speaks about consciousness. She wants me to hear him so we go to his presentation. Afterwards I introduce myself and tell him I’m thrilled to meet someone else who addresses this important topic.

Associations: X is a waking-life friend who represents my light shadow. I admire her self-confidence, down-to-earth good sense, communication and mothering skills, creative abilities, poise and naturalness. She’s attractive, yet doesn’t define herself by her looks. She’s sociable enough to attend functions when necessary, but at heart she’s a homebody who’d usually rather be doing her own thing.

I suspect her appearance in this dream was triggered in part by my recent post about the light shadow. After 24 years of dreamwork I’m pretty good at accepting my dark shadow, although I tend to dwell on it too much. I suppose that’s my ego’s way of punishing itself for its pride, the dark shadow of forced humility. Ouch!  So being honest about what I like about X feels good.  Knowing and enjoying our strengths is not vain, proud, self-congratulatory or self-indulgent.  And accepting our weaknesses doesn’t make us weak or unduly flawed.

Do you see how this works? I’m burning away some illusions. I’ve learned I’m not perfect but I’m not awful either. I’m comfortable wearing black and white at the same time, and this makes me more open to what enters my consciousness.

But the black and white dress also highlights a basic difference between X and me. Whereas I’m an Intuitive, she’s a Sensation Type who focuses on basic information about everyday life. As far as I know, she’s never been very interested in inner life matters like interpreting information, finding meaning, or becoming more conscious.  So why would she know about a man who speaks about consciousness? And why would she take me to meet him?

This oddity is a clue to the dream’s meaning.  Jung said the ego has to go through the shadow to meet our contra-sexual opposite (anima or animus) who is, in turn, the gatekeeper to the Self.  My light shadow wanted to connect me with an animus image.  Why? Because his very vocation is a message for me from the Self.  This man physically goes out into the world to teach about consciousness, and I think this is a suggestion for me to consider doing more of this myself!

Here’s the big question this dream poses for me: Will I wither by clinging to my ego’s preference to work from home or will I trust the Self and leap into the sensate world I prefer to avoid? More next time.

My newest book, Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at this Amazon link or at Larson Publications, Inc.

Cartoon used with permission of Ryan North at www.qwantz.com.

 

Portrait of a Jungian Analyst: Monika Wikman January 25, 2013

MonikaLast October I met many like-minded souls at a conference that addresses the interface between religion/spirituality and the work of Carl Jung. Monika Wikman was a major presenter. Drawn to her authenticity, integrity and vast wisdom, I bought her book, Pregnant Darkness.

Its impact on me was powerful and lasting. I wrote a review on Amazon and am sharing her quotes on my social media sites. These have been so well received that one internet friend, Stephanie Pope—a cultural mythologer and poet-essayist who publishes Mythopoetry Scholar Ezine—requested a post about Monika. This is for you, Stephanie, and all whose lives have been transformed by tending to the inner life of the soul. Here’s Monika’s extraordinary story in her own words.

“In the early 1980s my body was over-run with an aggressive stage IV ovarian cancer that had spread throughout various organs. After working with the illness for four years and seeing the illness rise and fall within a range in which I could just about eek out a life, suddenly the illness and its effects rocketed and I was told I had a few weeks to live. After years of working with the illness, and then being given the terrible two-week prognosis, I was entirely exhausted, and finally gave up. In the instant that I confessed my exhaustion to myself, and was ready to accept death, windows onto the psychoid (a transpersonal realm of autonomous energy beyond the personal psyche) spontaneously opened and I experienced a series of visions.

“Afterward, there was no sign of cancer anywhere in my body. I took medical tests the next day and for many consecutive weeks after in awe as the tests that measured for active ovarian cancer that were previously sky high, were now below the normal range. All the symptoms had vanished as well. ‘Spontaneous remission,’ the doctors said, and closed my file. Meanwhile, my heart, mind, and life were doing the opposite. They began to open, increasingly moved with gratitude and awe to the mysteries and the map and the grace between us and the autonomous energies living in the psyche and psychoid beyond ordinary consciousness. C.G. Jung’s work gave me the lens that enabled me to see these mysteries at work.”

Wikman, an embodiment of the Wisewoman archetype, went on to earn her Ph.D. from California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego, teach graduate school at California State University, Los Angeles, and graduate from the Jung-Von Franz Center for Depth Psychology in Zurich. She currently has a private practice in New Mexico as a Jungian analyst and part-time astrologer.

Wikman’s “imaginally archetypal language,” to use Stephanie’s phrase, is a particular delight to those who have experienced the transforming power of creative imagination, the hallmark of mythos thinking. With help from alchemical symbolism, she unpacks numerous examples from her dreams and those of clients and friends to demonstrate that, “Without experiences beyond the tiny mind, how isolated we become, how utterly dried up consciousness and culture become—cut off from the living root of our existence. Through reconnection with the numinosum, we can recover. It is up to us. These instinctual religious patterns living in us can search out the mysteries, find nourishment in the numinosum, and then replenish the soul, body, psyche, personality, relational life, and the planet itself.”

If you learn nothing else from Pregnant Darkness or my books and blog posts, it is my fervent wish that you learn this truth which motivates and guides my thinking, my writing, and my life: The numen—the holy, original spirit informing life—does exist. By tending to our souls we can experience it and heal the divides “between heaven and earth, human and divine, conscious and unconscious fields of awareness and between all polarities.”

It is up to us.

My newest book, Healing the Sacred Divide, can be found at this Amazon link or at Larson Publications, Inc.

 

The Sacred Laws of Psyche December 18, 2012

The inner universe

The inner universe

The inner universe of the mind is, like the physical world, a living organism that functions according to natural laws.  Deciphering them has been the work of holy fools, for who can presume to understand the sacred inner workings of creation? Yet we do try to understand these autonomous patterns of energy (archetypes) in our individual minds (the psyche) and in the mystery of the One Mind beyond ordinary consciousness (the psychoid) because we feel their profound influence.

Our brains know two languages: logic and imagination. Separately, each has limits, but an individual who respects both can make brilliant inroads into these mysteries. Einstein was one such person. He said, “Logic will take you from A to B.  Imagination will take you everywhere.”

Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell were others. Jung scientifically compared his inner life and that of his clients with the myths and symbols of various wisdom traditions. Campbell developed some of Jung’s themes. Their imaginative work shed much-needed light into the darkness of our contemporary collective unconscious. Following are some natural laws they midwifed into our awareness.

1. The Law of Correspondence: The outer universe is a reflection of the inner universe. This intuition gave rise to the ancient adages, “As above, so below,” and “As without, so within.” Humanity has expressed this in diverse symbol systems such as mythology, religion, tarot, alchemy, astrology and magic.

2. The Law of Synchronicity: Meaningful coincidences between our inner and outer universes occur more frequently with self-reflective practices like dreamwork and active imagination. Synchronicities are not products of “cause and effect,” but of an imaginative, heartfelt search for personal meaning which eventually produces what Jungian Monika Wikman calls, “a psychology of synchronicity instead of linearity.”

3. The Law of Opposites: For everything we know about ourselves (beliefs, values, attitudes, emotions), there is a corresponding unconscious opposite. In our psychological immaturity we see things dualistically, (in terms of either-or, good-bad), and automatically repress or disown that which our egos consider the less desirable option.

One Mind

One Mind

4. The Law of Oneness:  Beneath all apparent dualities lies a fundamental connectedness with All That Is.  We can tap into this One Mind by integrating pairs of opposites to create partnerships which see, think, and behave holistically.

5. The Law of Entropy: When opposites remain isolated from one another, any disorder within them remains constant or increases.

6. The Law of Change:  Energies in both universes are constantly circulating. Change toward stasis and polarization increases disorder and chaos. Change toward communication and integration increases movement toward perfection and completion.

7. The Law of Love: Love is the most powerful healing and unifying force in Life. It has its roots in the heart, i.e. honest feeling, not the head, or logic.

8. The Law of Choice: Our ego, the organizing center of our consciousness, can choose to serve or fight these laws, and our personal choices influence ours and the world’s welfare. For example, if we serve the Law of Love, we respect and integrate ours and others’ religions, making space in ourselves and the world for both. If we fight this law we are choosing love’s opposite, hatred.

We can cultivate our imagination or bury it. View ourselves as separate or as connected. Integrate otherness or fight it. Nurture love or hate. Trust or fear. How can our beloved country serve these sacred laws at this point in history?  How can you and I?

My heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of the innocents whose physical lives were tragically snuffed out in Newtown. Together, may we find a solution to this senseless tragedy.

My newest book, Healing the Sacred Divide, can be found at this Amazon link or www.Larsonpublications.com.

 

Why Can’t People Just Love Each Other? November 9, 2012

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why can’t people just love each other?” Until I studied Jungian psychology, I certainly did. I knew lots of good people who acted loving. Yet when I got to know them I invariably discovered that they were just as challenged in the love department as I was. So why do even the most well-meaning people find it so difficult to love?

What I discovered after several years of inner work was that the primary obstacle to love is a psychologically ignorant ego which fears otherness, both without and within.  From personal experience I also learned that this one-sided ego-centricism has nine basic characteristics:

1.  No matter how loving we try to be, the primary motivation beneath our good intentions is self-interest.

2.  Our belief that we are a loving person is not based on authentic feeling, but on the persona (our social personality) we constructed in childhood to gain society’s and/or God’s approval.

3.  We (our egos) believe that our loving persona/mask is who we really are.

4.  We do not know we have an unconscious self which contains everything our ego disowned while constructing our persona. For example, if we chose to be loving, we repressed any hateful thoughts and emotions we noticed. Thus, our unconscious, non-egoic self contains the rejected opposites of everything our egos identified with.

5.  We do not know that our rejected and unknown opposites comprise our shadow, or that we even have a shadow, or that the more we repress it the more it influences our behavior in unloving ways despite our best efforts.

6.  We do not know that we project our most disliked shadow qualities onto others, nor that we do this because pointing fingers at them takes the heat off us and relieves our fear that we are unworthy.

7.  We do not know that the real problem is not that we are unworthy, but that we are incomplete.

8.  We do not know that accepting the otherness of our shadows will help complete us,  embolden us to trust other people, and create more tolerance for their otherness.

9.  We do not know that willing ourselves to love can’t create the real thing. What can create love is suffering the awareness of our incompleteness, asking for help, accepting our shadows, forgiving ourselves for being human, and connecting with our true Self.

After last week’s post about the Healer archetype, Emerald commented: “I want to be a Healer. However, I’m also a very ambitious person with a needy tendency to want to be all things to all people. I’m not sure how much of my desire to heal is derived from my ego’s ambition, and how much is derived from actual love and a desire to transcend my ego for the greater good. So how can I tell when my desires come from a non-selfish place? Also, how can I cultivate Healer qualities in myself?”

I love this comment. That Emerald can accept some uncomfortable truths about herself indicates she’s surviving the painful crisis of meeting her shadow. That she’s reflecting on her insights says her ego is growing strong enough to travel the path to self-knowledge. As Jungian analyst Monika Wikman writes, “Crisis and pain often catalyze a genuine, heart-felt attempt to reach toward the mysteries.”

So, Emerald, here are my answers to your questions. First, if you continue on this path your inner guide will show you your true motives. Second, because your ego is giving your heart the nourishment it needs, the seed of love planted there at your conception will grow of its own accord. Congratulations! You’re already cultivating your Healer, my young friend.

You can purchase Healing the Sacred Divide at this Amazon link or www.Larsonpublications.com.

 

 
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