Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

Think Pyschologically; Live Spiritually

Written in the Stars September 23, 2014

 

JungonspiritandmatterIt would have been so easy to overlook the coincidences between two old photographs and the recent dream I wrote about in the last two posts. But because I took them seriously, I received an important gift: a more integrated perspective on the Mystery of life.  And not just my life, but life in general.

For example, I get the ancient adage, “As above, so below,” because I’ve experienced the intimate relationships between Spirit and Matter in so many synchronicities. These two apparent opposites work together in meaningful coincidences, and I know it.

But until now I never quite saw the same harmonious Spirit-Matter connection in the saying, “the story of our lives is written in the stars.” To me this sounded suspiciously like the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination:  the belief that an omnipotent, punishing, Biblical, Outer/Other/God “freely and unchangeably ordained whatsoever comes to pass.” And that “God appointed the eternal destiny of some to salvation by grace, while leaving the remainder to receive eternal damnation for all their sins, even their original sin.”  In other words, if you’re happy but I’m suffering it’s because you’ve been good and I’ve been bad and God likes you better than me! Really?  So God’s nothing more than Santa Claus?

I don’t accept that. In fact, I think this belief and the dogma of original sin are two of the most toxic ideas religious institutions ever perpetrated. In forcing these beliefs on us they have sown fear and guilt and created untold suffering.

In thinking about this I realized that what I do accept is that life is a journey of tragic and unjust experiences over which no one, not even that punishing God-image, has any control. But it is also an extraordinary Holy phase of humanity’s journey to the Mystery we call God. In that respect, I believe the true story written in the stars is not about cause and effect, but about a loving and compassionate aspect of Spirit, metaphorically symbolized by the sacred spark of wise Sophia, that has indwelt every soul from the beginning of time.

I believe Sophia knows who we are, what we need, and what our journey through life is all about. From her dwelling in the unconscious she sends messages to all of us via dreams, synchronicities, intuitions and other subtle prompts. These truths of our souls are the substance of every myth ever told and every religion ever initiated by every authentic spirit person. They show us our true natures and help us journey to our true Home:  Benevolent Consciousness.

This is what it’s all about. Benevolent consciousness creating more Benevolent Consciousness. This state of awareness is the holy destiny of every soul.  To attain it we don’t need to believe in creeds.  All we need to do is notice everything that happens to us and look for the Soul’s mythic meaning beneath.

God always speaks mythologically.”

Carl Jung, Letters, vol. 2, pg. 9.

I believe this because I can’t deny the evidence of my experiences or the knowing in my heart.  I see now that at the age of 10 I was on the threshold of a spiritual journey which was, indeed, “written in the stars.” I was always meant to take this journey and so were you. This, as author Phil Cousineau calls it in his new book of the same name, is The Oldest Story in the World, the story of the human soul’s evolution into consciousness.

I don’t expect you to believe this just because I’m saying it.  Consciousness-raising insights only come through personal experiences, and the experience I shared in the last two posts was meant for me. But if you yearn for similar experiences, my suggestion would be to view the story of your life through mythic eyes which see the symbolic meaning of everything that has ever happened to you and ever will.

The day after I wrote the above, the following quote arrived in my mailbox from a blog I subscribe to titled SymbolReader. It so beautifully summarized what I was trying to say (another beautiful synchronicity), that I knew I needed to share it here:

“I suddenly realized that … everything actually was all-meaningful, that every symbol and combination of symbols led not hither and yon, not to single examples, experiments, and proofs, but into the center, the mystery and innermost heart of the world, into primal knowledge. Every transition from major to minor in a sonata, every transformation of a myth or a religious cult, every classical or artistic formulation was, I realized in that flashing moment, if seen with a meditative mind, nothing but a direct route into the interior of the cosmic mystery, where in the alternation between inhaling and exhaling, between heaven and earth, between Yin and Yang, holiness is forever being created.”

Hermann Hesse, “The Glass Beads Game”

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

 

Easter to the Soul April 18, 2014

One of the oldest recorded myths comes from Sumeria and tells the story of Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth. After a period of growing, assuming her authority, working to bless the world with the gifts of civilization, courting, marrying, birthing and mothering, Inanna descends to the underworld to visit her sister Ereshkigal, its Queen. On the way down she is stripped one by one of all her earthly possessions: symbols of her beauty, success, femininity and the power she has worked so hard to attain. At the bottom she is met by Ereshkigal who has her hung naked on a meat hook. And there she hangs. But on the third day, with the help of her loyal priestess, Ninshubur, and Enki, the God of Culture, she’s rescued and returns to life in the world above.

This is an allegory of a universal truth. Like all great myths, which are stories about our relationships with the gods, it does not have to be factually true on the outside but is always true on the inside, the domain of the soul. The truth is, whether or not we all agree on the meaning, names or details, this story is relevant to every soul.

Physically, it’s about the seasonal Death/Rebirth cycles of vegetation and fertility. Psychologically, Joseph Campbell saw it as a metaphor for the soul’s empowerment and evolving consciousness via the descent into the unconscious, the experience of powerlessness, and the realization of our strength through facing our disowned shadow qualities. Spiritually, it’s about the universal longing for salvation and redemption through divine revelation and intervention.

To the ego it sometimes feels crucial that we get the facts right, possess the “correct” interpretation — especially the religious one — and reject the “wrong” one. But to the soul, these details are beside the point. To your soul and mine, this story is a celebration of the sacred miracle of life, and all three interpretations are equally true.

Every soul is grateful for the sun which brings warmth and light to our days so plants can grow and we can learn and improve and do the hard work that brings meaning and comfort to our lives. We’re all glad when each productive day is followed by a cooler, softer, moonlit night when we can rest, enjoy our loved ones, rejuvenate our bodies and spirits.

Our souls appreciate the exquisite balance of seasons whose alternating cycles likewise bring times of arising, thriving, descending, and dying. And every soul celebrates when the ego dies to its ignorance and meanness and awakens to its nobility in a miraculous new season of enlightened forgiveness, gratitude and compassion.

Above all, our souls know our ego selves did not make any of this happen. Something far greater, some Sacred Mystery over which we have no control, some benevolent, boundless, timeless Otherness set the processes of life in motion and keeps them working. And when we set apart times like this to stop and think about it, we remember that we are blessed beyond measure to participate in this miracle.

In this season of rebirth and renewal I send my blessings to all celebrators everywhere of the miracle of life.

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 Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and Diesel Ebooks 

 

Easter to the Soul April 6, 2012

One of the oldest recorded myths comes from Sumeria and tells the story of Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth. After a period of growing, assuming her authority, working to bless the world with the gifts of civilization, courting, marrying, birthing and mothering, Inanna descends to the underworld to visit her sister Ereshkigal, its Queen. On the way down she is stripped one by one of all her earthly possessions: symbols of her beauty, success, femininity and the power she has worked so hard to attain. At the bottom she is met by Ereshkigal who has her hung naked on a meat hook. And there she hangs. But on the third day, with the help of her loyal priestess, Ninshubur, and Enki, the God of Culture, she’s rescued and returns to life in the world above.

This is an allegory of a universal truth. Like all great myths, which are stories about our relationships with the gods, it does not have to be factually true on the outside but is always true on the inside, the domain of the soul. The truth is, whether or not we all agree on the meaning, names or details, this story is relevant to every soul.

Physically, it’s about the seasonal Death/Rebirth cycles of vegetation and fertility. Psychologically, Joseph Campbell saw it as a metaphor for the soul’s empowerment and evolving consciousness via the descent into the unconscious, the experience of powerlessness, and the realization of our strength through facing our disowned shadow qualities. Spiritually, it’s about the universal longing for salvation and redemption through divine revelation and intervention.

To the ego it sometimes feels crucial that we get the facts right, possess the “correct” interpretation — especially the religious one — and reject the “wrong” one. But to the soul, these details are beside the point. To your soul and mine, this story is a celebration of the sacred miracle of life, and all three interpretations are equally true.

Every soul is grateful for the sun which brings warmth and light to our days so plants can grow and we can learn and improve and do the hard work that brings meaning and comfort to our lives. We’re all glad when each productive day is followed by a cooler, softer, moonlit night when we can rest, enjoy our loved ones, rejuvenate our bodies and spirits.

Our souls appreciate the exquisite balance of seasons whose alternating cycles likewise bring times of arising, thriving, descending, and dying. And every soul celebrates when the ego dies to its ignorance and meanness and awakens to its nobility in a miraculous new season of enlightened forgiveness, gratitude and compassion.

Above all, our souls know our ego selves did not make any of this happen. Something far greater, some Sacred Mystery over which we have no control, some benevolent, boundless, timeless Otherness set the processes of life in motion and keeps them working. And when we set apart times like this to stop and think about it, we remember that we are blessed beyond measure to participate in this miracle.

In this season of rebirth and renewal I send my blessings to all celebrators everywhere of the miracle of life.

 

Easter to the Soul April 22, 2011

One of the oldest recorded myths comes from Sumeria and tells the story of Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth. After a period of growing, assuming her authority, working to bless the world with the gifts of civilization, courting, marrying, birthing and mothering, Inanna descends to the underworld to visit her sister Ereshkigal, its Queen. On the way down she is stripped one by one of all her earthly possessions: symbols of her beauty, success, femininity and the power she has worked so hard to attain. At the bottom she is met by Ereshkigal who has her hung naked on a meat hook. And there she hangs. But on the third day, with the help of her loyal priestess, Ninshubur, and Enki, the God of Culture, she’s rescued and returns to life in the world above.

This is an allegory of a universal truth. Like all great myths, which are stories about our relationships with the gods, it does not have to be factually true on the outside but is always true on the inside, the domain of the soul. The truth is, whether or not we all agree on the meaning, names or details, this story is relevant to every soul.

Physically, it’s about the seasonal Death/Rebirth cycles of vegetation and fertility. Psychologically, Joseph Campbell saw it as a metaphor for the soul’s empowerment and evolving consciousness via the descent into the unconscious, the experience of powerlessness, and the realization of our strength through facing our disowned shadow qualities. Spiritually, it’s about the universal longing for salvation and redemption through divine revelation and intervention.

To the ego it sometimes feels crucial that we get the facts right, possess the “correct” interpretation — especially the religious one — and reject the “wrong” one. But to the soul, these details are beside the point. To your soul and mine, this story is a celebration of the sacred miracle of life, and all three interpretations are equally true.

Every soul is grateful for the sun which brings warmth and light to our days so plants can grow and we can learn and improve and do the hard work that brings meaning and comfort to our lives. We’re all glad when each productive day is followed by a cooler, softer, moonlit night when we can rest, enjoy our loved ones, rejuvenate our bodies and spirits.

Our souls appreciate the exquisite balance of seasons whose alternating cycles likewise bring times of arising, thriving, descending, and dying. And every soul celebrates when the ego dies to its ignorance and meanness and awakens to its nobility in a miraculous new season of enlightened forgiveness, gratitude and compassion.

Above all, our souls know our ego selves did not make any of this happen. Something far greater, some Sacred Mystery over which we have no control, some benevolent, boundless, timeless Otherness set the processes of life in motion and keeps them working. And when we set apart times like this to stop and think about it, we remember that we are blessed beyond measure to participate in this miracle.

In this season of rebirth and renewal I send my blessings to all celebrators everywhere of the miracle of life.

 

The Winter Holy Days From A Cosmic Perspective December 28, 2010

It is holiday season in many parts of the planet, and God and Goddess are sitting on their lawn thrones observing the many rituals their children on Earth have created to celebrate their Mystery. There are preparations: lists drawn up, duties assigned, purchases made, rehearsals attended. Spaces are beautified. Bodies are adorned. There are pageants and processions, concerts and recitals, parties, meals, gifts. There are ceremonies with prayers, offerings, readings, teachings, and pronouncements. There are altars, flowers, candles, plants, art, holy objects, sacred images, special vessels. There is food, music, color, texture, scent, darkness and light. And in the hearts of some participants, there are quickenings of sacred meaning.

God glances at Goddess. He can see that she has something on her mind. “You aren’t enjoying this as much as I am, are you? What’s the matter?”

“Well, the reverence and beauty and good intentions are very heartwarming. I adore our children when they’re like this. They’re trying so hard. But for some of them, none of this is making any difference.” Goddess gestures to several spots on Earth. “Look at that place of worship over there. And those over there. And those. I see some hearts glowing with promising light, but do you see how many are almost completely smothered in darkness? I’m hurting for them, the ones for whom the traditional rituals are just duty, habit, entertaining diversions, or social occasions. Some of them don’t even want to be there. They aren’t experiencing Us. For them, the rituals have no meaning. And if there’s no meaning, there’s no transformative power.”

God nods and sighs. “Yes, you’re right. You’re so good at looking beneath externalities to the heart and soul of things. That’s always been your specialty.”

Goddess continues. “It’s just so sad to see how they’re so focused on the past and so worried about the future that they’re numb to the present. They don’t even see their fear, their anxiety, their lack of joy and passion, their hopelessness. They come to these events wanting to feel something, some spark of inspiration or hope, and so many of them leave with nothing but disappointment and guilt. Look at them just sitting there, repeating words that mean nothing to them. Smiling at people they don’t even like. Worrying about whether or not they’re wearing the right clothes or saying the right things. They’re acting, not being true to themselves. Why don’t they pay attention to what really feels sacred to them?

“That one over there should be out hiking. The only meaningful connection she ever felt to Us was on a mountaintop. And him? He should be writing the original music that’s playing in his head right now. It’s the only thing that inspires and excites him, yet he’s too busy doing things he hates to do the one thing he loves.

“And that couple. She’s a brilliant teacher; he’s a gifted therapist. They’re mature spirit persons with so much to offer. They’re dying to be of service, but there are no opportunities for them in their place of worship. Why don’t they create some new rituals with symbols and myths that speak personally to them and invite people with similar interests to participate? Don’t they get it that they don’t have to betray you to honor me? Most of them have no problem with loving both of their physical parents. Don’t they know they can love us both at the same time too? Don’t they know they honor us both by honoring the life in their bodies, their creativity, the true gifts of their souls that we gave them at birth? Their passions? Their genuine spiritual needs? Don’t they understand that they worship us every time they love and nurture new life in themselves and each other?”

Goddess begins to cry. “My poor, poor children. Some of them try so hard to please you by keeping up appearances. But how many of them will leave their bodies without ever appreciating the life in them? Without enjoying the beauty and diversity of that exquisite planet? Without knowing themselves? Without discovering their passions? Without creating anything original or fulfilling their purposes or fully living their unique lives? It’s such a tragic waste!”

Sadly, tenderly, God holds Goddess as she weeps for her lost children, the Orphans who will never know the love of their Divine Mother.

 

Living Your Myth November 27, 2010

We’re in Bangkok on the first leg of our trip. Twelve of us are traveling with a guide, a native Thailander from a village near the river Kwai. He tells us it’s winter, but it’s hot, in the upper 80’s. Luckily, the little bus we travel in is air-conditioned.

Yesterday morning on my way to the bus I smelled incense. Looking for its origin, I saw a young man standing in a tree-shaded area beside the road. He was placing a marble urn holding several red incense sticks he had just lit onto a pedestaled table. As I watched he gave a little bow then turned to a young woman standing nearby. She handed him two beautiful arrangements of fresh flowers which he solemnly placed beside the incense. I was witnessing a sacred ritual.

The setting was a tiny outdoor chapel, maybe eight feet wide by twelve feet long The walls were trees and plants; the roof was the sky; the floor was a platform of black marble laid over raw earth. The table was an altar. His offerings sat beside small clay jars of water, candle holders, two marble urns filled with sprays of purple orchids, and an intricately patterned tray holding a bunch of small bananas, a coconut with a straw protruding from under its lid, and a pineapple.

A few steps beyond and above the altar, framed in an open-sided ark inlaid with multicolored glass mosaics, was a gilded, four-armed god sitting serenely on a lotus flower. Draped in a thick garland of marigolds, he was flanked by items of worship. Above his head hovered a giant, hooded, seven-headed cobra. I was charmed and intrigued. What was this place? Why was it here? Who was the god? Why were these people bringing flowers and incense to him? Our guide, Ole’, (yes, pronounced like the Spanish accolades for bullfighters), provided the answers.

This place is a spirit house. You can find them all over Thailand. Based on the Hindu belief in the sacredness in everything, they are outdoor chapels where people can honor the spirit of the land and those who have lived there by invoking the blessing of the creator god, Brahma. Usually they are located on the northeast corner of the property where they will not be in shadow. Perhaps the young man used to live on this land where now there is a large, modern hotel. Maybe he came to honor the birthday of an ancestor. Or maybe he and the woman are caretakers of this particular spirit house and come every morning to honor the god with their gifts.

I’ll never know the identity of this couple or the reason for their devotion. But I won’t soon forget their attitude of sincere reverence. It was obvious they were living a myth that informed and infused their lives. They had taken a few moments to enter the presence of the sacred, knowing they were known by something beyond themselves, believing their sincere actions and generous offerings were appreciated and worthy.

It doesn’t matter what your myth is or what gods you worship or how you invoke their presence. What matters is that you have a religious attitude toward the miracle of your life and the people, places, and symbols dear to you: that you practice awareness of the Mystery, approach it with reverence and a sincere desire to honor it, make efforts to connect with it, and derive purpose and meaning from it. What matters is how you are living your myth.  All day I’ve been asking myself, “How am I living my myth?

 

 
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