Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

Think Pyschologically; Live Spiritually

Three: The Number of Spiritual Wholeness June 19, 2012

Every religion is based on the fundamental belief that it is possible for coarse, common, vulgar humanity to be transformed through a mysterious, sacred process into something special, valuable, beautiful, and lasting. Thus, there is a spiritual tradition of ascribing not two, but three aspects to the process of uniting our inner opposites, including our masculine and feminine sides.  

For example, Christianity has the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and ancient matriarchal religions were based on the triple Goddess of Mother, Maiden and Crone.  In essence, the third element suggests the new entity that comes into being as a result of the hierosgamos, the Sacred Inner Marriage.

The addition of the third element recognizes the psyche’s potential to grow out of its dualistic state of “twoness” into a transcendent “threeness,” a more spiritually wise and conscious way of being.  It represents our capacity to survive our initiations so as to develop a new way of honoring the quiet inner spiritual voice (i.e. the Holy Spirit or Wise Old Man) or the confident knowing of our deep, intuitive feminine wisdom, (i.e. the Wise Old Woman or Crone).  This means that the individual has discovered the aspect of God that dwells within every archetype, and has learned to listen to it and act on it with strength and integrity in everyday life. 

The following passage written by Jungian analyst Robert Bosnak in his book, Dreaming With an Aids Patient, describes the mysterious process that leads to three-ness as it manifests in the life of an individual who is committed to inner work:

“I’m reminded…of the image of marriage in alchemy.  Alchemists imagined the fusion of different metals into an alloy, a new metal, as a divine marriage where the king and the queen dissolved together in a dark stream of images.  They were reconstituted as a new being, a man-woman, a hermaphrodite, partaking of both sun and moon, gold and silver, the ultimate alloy. 

“The process the alchemists describe shows marriage [here Bosnak is referring to the inner marriage] as an ever more intensified struggle of opposing forces held together in a painful paradox.  This warring love leads to dissolution, in which the opposing forces fall apart and get a chance to reconstitute in a new form. 

“At one point, when the marital struggle has reached a point of frenzy—when the full force of the joint family neurosis has hit like a bomb—all that remains is the sense of burned-outness and death.  From all this darkness a new capacity for relationship emerges, hardened like a metal that has been switched time and again back and forth between the fire and the ice-cold water.  No living happily ever after for the alchemists.”

In other words, our ego’s determination to resolve the conflict between our conscious personality and a considerably intensified shadow which lives in a world of darkness can lead us to the depths, not only of cold depression, but of our lifeless souls. This same intolerable conflict is the catalyst that pushes us to find a way in which the two can live together; and if we can tolerate the fiery tension that comes with this search, it will launch us onto the path toward spiritual wholeness. 

“As within, so without.”  This is the same process that can transform an outer-world couple relationship, the topic of my next post.

You can order my new book, Healing the Sacred Divide, at www.larsonpublications.com.

 

Healing Arizona: Embodying the Queen’s Light January 15, 2011

The tragedy in Arizona last weekend has us all wondering. Why did this happen? Why were good, innocent people victimized by this senseless violence? How could it have been prevented ? As one who always looks for a psychological reason, I’d like to share what I know about the King and Queen archetypes. As symbols of humanity’s universal striving for lawful order and moral virtue, they hold the answers to these questions.

The King sees justice as the highest good and believes it can be achieved with logical thinking and hierarchical authority. Leaders with well-developed King archetypes devise, enact, and enforce rules with orderly chains of command. In history, literature and lore, a strong and wise king blesses the land with safety, peace, and prosperity whereas a weak and ignorant one ruins it.

The Queen’s highest priority is to establish caring relationships. She values compassion, harmony, peace, flexibility, understanding, mercy and forgiveness. She promotes charity, tolerates diversity, and supports the creative arts. She nurtures communities in which authority is shared by all and decisions are based on the particulars of each situation and best interests of each individual.

These two approaches to building a fair and orderly society produce different leadership styles and forms of government. King energy generates authoritarian systems like monarchies, plutocracies, theocracies and dictatorships. Queen energy nurtures the authority of individuals and creates democracies in which everyone has a voice and a vote.  Leaders with this preference work one-on-one with people in the trenches — like Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who was meeting her constituents in a grocery store when she was shot. The key to personal and societal health is integration and balance between both leadership styles. When either one is undeveloped or obsessive the result is polarization, prejudice, hatred, fanaticism, violence, terrorism, chaos.

Throughout history humanity has obsessed over the King’s priorities and neglected the Queen’s. Jesus challenged Roman imperialism by promoting love and equality for all and was killed for it. Lincoln, Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King did the same with the same consequence. What meaning can we draw from this regarding recent events in Arizona? I do not believe the people in Arizona died in vain. I believe that in this world where everything is connected, everything that happens has meaning. The meaning is not that God causes or even allows atrocities, but that we humans cause and allow them because of our psycho-spiritual ignorance and unconsciousness.

Like all martyrs, those who lost their lives last weekend gave the ultimate gift of love by showing us our collective blindness to the Queen’s values, our deafness to her voice, and the fear and hatred in our hearts. An overwhelming surge of consciousness has been raised by this tragedy, and it will create more compassion. You and I can add to it by fanning Queen Sophia’s flame in the dark caverns of our souls so that we become guiding lights for a wounded world. May we all look deeper to see how we contribute to the chaos and suffering that always precedes new life, and may we grow wiser and more compassionate in the process. My deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the fallen.

 

 
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