Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

Think Pyschologically; Live Spiritually

A Dialogue with the Self August 2, 2016

serpentine_fire_81Carl Jung said the Self is both our core and our circumference. Some think of it as our soul, the totality of who we are and who we have the potential to become. Jung called it the archetype of wholeness. In later years he referred to it as our god-image and connection to the Mystery some call God. Composed of the twin drives for self-preservation (i.e. masculine logos, represented in alchemy by the King archetype) and species preservation (feminine mythos/eros symbolized by the Queen), the Self shapes our ideas about what is sacred.

As the source of our irresistible compulsion to grow into our true selves and express our unique creativity, the Self is an ongoing, never-ending process.  I see it as the psychological equivalent of the physical exchange of energy and information constantly occurring at the quantum level between the molecules of our bodies and between us and our environments. As I understand Jung, he suspected that the energies of both processes, inner and outer, are united in one intelligent, purposeful, evolving collective unconscious, Force (as George Lucas named it), or Zero Point Field (as some physicists now call it), which promotes increasing order, health, and wholeness.

We associate the Self with six attributes: wholeness, centrality, unity, love, pattern, and the life-giving force. We grow conscious of its guidance by noticing these themes in the symbols and synchronistic events of our dreams and waking life.  Benevolent by nature, the Self calls our egos to their heroic destiny of merging with the indwelling Mystery. Our egos often reject its guidance, but it never gives up on us. The more we notice and respond to it, the more it responds to us.

The following story from one of my earliest blog posts illustrates the loving interaction that can take place between ego and Self:

I’ve just arrived at my soul’s home in the mountains of North Carolina where I will spend the remainder of the summer. I’ve often wondered why I love this place so dearly, why it makes me feel so loved and connected and alive and grateful for my life. My answer came last night and this morning.

spider-web-with-dew11I’m at my desk looking out an east-facing window. The morning sun enters my backyard late because it has to rise above the mountain before its rays filter down through a thick tree canopy. Most of what I see is in shade but a patch of sun has highlighted the brilliant silver threads of a spider web between two branches of a buckeye tree. Grandmother Spider is busily checking connections, tightening threads, and hunting for tasty morsels that got trapped during the night.

Pursuing the threads of last night’s thoughts, this morning I picked up Aion, Volume 9, ii, of Jung’s Collected Works, in search of symbols of the Self. In paragraph #356 he writes:

“The commonest of these images in modern dreams are, in my experience, the elephant, horse, bull, bear, white and black birds, fishes, and snakes. Occasionally one comes across tortoises, snails, spiders, and beetles. The principal plant symbols are the flower and the tree. Of all the inorganic products, the commonest are the mountain and lake.”

Spiders. Mountains. Trees.

When I entered the gravel road last night my arrival was heralded by a cawing black crow who flapped off toward the house. The first thing I did was feed the rainbow trout in our pond. Black birds. Fish. Lake. (Do you think a pond counts?)

Then I walked around the garden to check out the flowers. My treasured peonies are already spent, but the pink New Dawn roses and purple clematis are a-riot on the trellis, the hydrangeas look like giant blue and white powder puffs, the hostas are sending up tall bud-laden spikes, the astilbe have myriad pointed white cotton candy tufts, the golden daylilies are in full bloom, and there’s a  mound of pink petunias by the kitchen door. I don’t garden in Florida. It’s just too hot. But here I can have my flowers. Flowers.

Below Bear Pond and Shadow Brook there’s a small pasture and stable where my horse, Shadow, used to spend his summers. I’ve always had a thing for horses. And Shadow, well, he’s a subject for another post. Horses. By the way, bears are the theme of this mountain home.  They’re all over the house.  But that’s another story too. Bears.

bear-grandfather-mtn-tim-floyd-7796081Speaking of bears, every summer for ten years I’ve come here with my sweet friend, a handsome golden retriever whose name was Bear. He passed on last August, but his ashes are in a white box with a label that says “Bear Raffa:  Forever Faithful” in a cabinet four feet to the right of where I sit. I cried when I entered the house without him last night. But this morning when I was still in that borderland between sleeping and waking, I heard his joyous booming bark. Twice. He’s glad I’m back. I’m glad I’m back.

Do I need any further reminders of how loved I am and why I love this place so? Not really, but such is the nature of the Self that I’ll probably continue to get them every day anyway. And night, too. Sweet dreams of the Self, my friends.

 

A New Idea of Who We Are: Part III July 26, 2016

Unknown-1Research reported in The Field (2008) was directed toward studying connections between quantum physics and human consciousness. The scientists sought explanations for a variety of theories and phenomena that have long permeated myth, religion, medicine and philosophy.

As we know from the experiences of Copernicus, Galileo, and countless others, science has always fought new ideas which challenge established theories until the research is sufficiently replicated and validated by independent observers. So it should be, and so it was for the studies discussed in this book.

In every field of human endeavor, progress begins with a tiny seed of intuition that grows into the bud of an idea, flowers into research and new discoveries, and culminates in nourishing fruits enjoyed by all. Each phase is essential to the process; each explorer contributes to our evolving knowledge. With this understanding, we remain open to possibilities suggested by author Lynne Mactaggart about who we really are and how we can make a difference.

  1. “If we could understand the inherent potential available to us we might learn how to systematically tap into it, which would vastly improve every area of our lives, from communication and self-knowledge, to our interaction with our material world.  Science would no longer reduce us to our lowest common denominator.  It would help us take a final evolutionary step in our own history by at last understanding ourselves in all of our potential.” McTaggart, p. 225-6

  2.  “If we could finally work out the science of medicine that treats human energy levels and the exact nature of the ‘energy’ that was being treated, the possibilities for improved health [are] unimaginable.” p. 226

  3. “The coming scientific revolution heralded the end of dualism in every sense.  Far from destroying God, science for the first time was proving His [sic] existence—by demonstrating that a higher, collective consciousness was out there.  There no longer need to be two truths, the truth of science and the truth of religion. There could be one unified vision of the world” (p. 226) which could reduce hostilities instigated by polarized thinking.

  4. “This…could give us back a sense of optimism, something that has been stripped out of our sense of ourselves with the arid vision of twentieth-century philosophy, largely derived from the views espoused by science.” p. 226

  5. “We [are] not isolated beings living our desperate lives on a lonely planet in an indifferent universe.  We never were alone. We were always part of a larger whole.  We were and always had been at the center of things.  Things did not fall apart.  The center did hold and it was we who were doing the holding.” p. 226  Perhaps if a critical mass feels this hope, it can spread to people who are deeply disillusioned and disappointed by outdated ideas of who they are, thus reducing meaninglessness and certain forms of depression.

  6. Unknown-2 “[A] living system of greater coherence could exchange information and create or restore coherence in a disordered, random or chaotic system.  The natural set of the living world appeared to be order—a drive toward greater coherence…. By the act of observation and intention, we have the ability to extend a kind of super-radiance to the world.”  pp. 138-9   Perhaps those who acquire greater coherence through meditation are on the right track when they send loving kindness into the world! Who knows? Maybe their efforts are behind our new interest in eliminating practices responsible for our increasingly chaotic ecological systems.

  7. A finding that children are open to far more information in The Field than the average adult is especially heartening. p. 138  Just yesterday I learned that as of this fall, our grandchildren’s school will incorporate a few minutes of yoga and “loving kindness” meditation and mindfulness into their morning meetings. I’m so pleased!

Here are some thoughts offered by my readers:

Brian: “An accessing of universal unconscious material by an increasing number of humans brings forward new dialogues, understandings, new positive choices become available, routes away from the history of conflict. Hopefully also a synthesis of religious thought and a route for the previously agnostic to access a real connection to the”spiritual” nature of existence.”

Susan:  “There is no question in my mind as to the power of critical mass having a profound influence on the world, hopefully for the benefit of all. And if we can…see, really see, the unity that is inherent in our lives, of all things big and small, our service in doing the hard inner work is thus meaningful. I’m taking away from your post the need to pray for peace around the world in the hope that my tiny vibration adds to the whole.”

Sally:  Having read as much as I could understand about quantum physics for years, one of the most exciting developments is that it is destroying the divisive either/or controversy between science and religion and leads to a deeper understanding of the both/and reality of spirit-energy of all life.

Many of the new ideas discussed in The Field confirm insights and intuitions I’ve acquired over years of study, personal experience, practice, inner exploration and positive change. I no longer need to “believe” because I trust an “inner guru” or “Force” which I, like Carl Jung, call the Self. Perhaps it is simply my portion of The Field. Whatever it may be, the dreams, insights, intuitions and synchronicities it sends my way have improved every area of my life and brought a mystical awareness of the basic unity and connectedness of all life.

images-3So, like Susan, The Field reinforces my need to pray for peace plus hope, intention, and determination to make a positive difference with “my tiny vibration.”

May we all grow in coherence.

Image Credits:  Google Images

Jean’s newest book, 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 also at Amazon as well as KoboBarnes And Noble, and Smashwords.

 

A New Idea of Who We Are: Part II July 19, 2016

Unknown-1In Part I of this series I asked (1)What would a new idea of Who We Are look like? and (2)What difference could it make to our world crisis if enough of us become coherent [united] in a new idea of who we are?  

To answer these questions I summarized findings from recent research in quantum physics as reported in the first half of The Field, by Lynne Mactaggart. Here’s my summary of the remainder of the book.

  1. The images and intentions of others can influence our dreams. McTaggart, p. 126

  2. Ordinary humans have the ability to influence other living things on many levels:  muscle activity, motor activity, cellular changes, nervous system activity. The influence seems to increase depending on how much it matters to the influencer, and how much s/he can relate to the object of influence. p. 133

  3. Several common characteristics to experiments in remote influence tended to more readily guarantee success:  relaxation techniques (through meditation, biofeedback or other methods); reduced sensory input or physical activity;  dreams or other internal states and feelings; and a reliance on right-brain functioning. p. 134

  4. When the left brain is quieted and the right brain predominates, ordinary people can tap into a “deep well of alert receptivity” which brings a state of unity with the single object being focused upon.  p. 134

  5. When two people ‘relax’ and attempt to establish some kind of deep connection, their brain patterns become highly synchronized, and the most ordered brain pattern always prevails, nudging the less organized recipient toward a greater degree of order. p. 137

  6. Children are open to far more information in The Field than the average adult. p. 138

  7. Unknown-1Our natural state of being is a relationship—a constant state of one influencing the other.” Just as the subatomic particles that compose us cannot be separated from the space and particles surrounding them, so living beings cannot be isolated from each other.” p. 138

  8.  Tests conducted by the behaviorist Dr. William Broud suggested that a “living system of greater coherence could exchange information and create or restore coherence in a disordered, random or chaotic system.  The natural set of the living world appeared to be order—a drive toward greater coherence…. By the act of observation and intention, we have the ability to extend a kind of super-radiance to the world.”  pp. 138-9

  9. Many of humankind’s greatest achievements may result from an individual suddenly gaining access to a shared accumulation of information—a collective effort in the Zero Point Field—in what we consider a moment of inspiration.  What we call ‘genius’ may simply be a greater ability to access the Zero Point Field.  In that sense, our intelligence, creativity and imagination are not locked in our brains but exist as an interaction with the Field.” p. 139

  10. “…healing through intention is available to ordinary people, although the healers may be more experienced or naturally talented in tapping into the Field.” p. 193-4

  11. Illness could be a disturbance in the quantum fluctuations of an individual and healing might be a matter of reprogramming individual quantum fluctuations to operate more coherently.  Illness could be isolation:  a lack of connection with the collective health of The Field and the community. p. 194

  12. Consciousness may live on after we die. p. 195

  13. Group consciousness, working through a medium such as the zero Point Field, may be acting as the universal organizing factor in the cosmos.

Unknown-3In summary, McTaggart writes:

“We have far more  power than we realized, to heal ourselves, our loved ones, even our communities.  Each of us had the ability—and together a great collective power—to improve our lot in life. Our life, in every sense, was in our hands.” p. 226

Next time: some implications for how we can help make a difference in the world. I invite you to add your thoughts.

Image Credits:  Google Images

Jean’s newest book, 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 also at Amazon as well as KoboBarnes And Noble, and Smashwords.

 

A New Idea of Who We Are: Part I July 12, 2016

TUnknown-1o paraphrase Terence McKenna,

“Our world is in crisis because of the absence of consciousness. We need to explore new ideas of who we are.”  

This inspires me to ask two questions:  What might a new idea of who we are look like? And, what difference could a new idea make to our world crisis? Currently I’m drawing new ideas from quantum physics. Despite my rudimentary understanding of what I’m learning, I’d like to take a stab at answering these questions.

I’ve never forgotten my high school psychology teacher’s casual remark one day that we humans only use about a tenth of our brain’s potential. This remark triggered my latent philosopher and at that moment I started asking the big questions about life: “What potential lies dormant in me and humanity?” “What force makes it all work?”

At 17 I fell in love with Christianity. At 27 a “spiritual” vision dropped me to my knees. At 37 a kundalini awakening dropped me into free fall. At 47 I landed on solid ground via the parachute of Jungian psychology. By then I knew that the traditions and conventions of collective consciousness “out there” held no answers for me and I began exploring my personal and collective unconscious “in here”.

New worlds of exciting ideas opened to me via my Jungian studies, which pointed me toward dreams, mythology, meditation, world religions, symbolism, alchemy, synchronicity, brain lateralization and quantum physics. These and other areas have brought life-changing insights.

Now I’m exploring human consciousness. At the suggestion of my dear friend, Jungian therapist Ann Kennedy, I’m reading The Field:  The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe, by journalist and author Lynne McTaggart. Following are some cover blurbs that should give you an idea of its relevance to my search:

“One of the most powerful and enlightening books I have ever read.  A magnificent job of presenting the hard evidence for what spiritual masters have been telling us for centuries.”  ~Wayne W. Dyer

“This important book stretches the imagination. . . .We are on the verge of another revolution in our understanding of the universe.” ~Arthur C. Clarke

“Every now and then a person taps in to the zeitgeist of an age, the evolutionary edge of human consciousness and understanding.  The Field by Lynne McTaggart is seminal.” ~Barbara Marx Hubbard, President, Foundation for Conscious Evolution

The Field synthesizes some of the latest scientific discoveries related to consciousness. Together they present some mind-blowing findings about who we are and how we can help heal the world.

Finding #1:  Each of us has a field of influence on the world and vice versa.

Finding #2:  Everything is in connection and balance with the rest of the cosmos via an exchange of energy.

Finding #3:  We are beings of light. Our biological processes are driven by photons of light in every molecule of our bodies. The photons are emitted from each molecule to every other molecule in electromagnetic waves via the water in our cells. The water retains, transmits and amplifies information and energy.

Finding #4: Consciousness is a global phenomenon that occurs everywhere in the body, and not simply in our brains. “Consciousness, at its most basic…[is] coherent [unified and ordered] light.” McTaggart, p. 94.

Finding #5:  There is an ocean of microscopic vibrations in the space between things. The universe is a heaving sea of energy exchange, with a basic substructure, or field called the Zero Point Field, containing all possible versions of all possible forms of matter. This means that nature is

“not blind and mechanistic, but open-ended, intelligent and purposeful, making use of a cohesive learning feedback process of information being fed back and forth between organisms and their environment. Its unifying mechanism…[is] not a fortunate mistake but information which…[has] been encoded and transmitted everywhere at once.” McTaggart, pp. 94-5.

“The fact that the human body was exchanging information with a mutable field of quantum fluctuation suggested something profound about the world.  It hinted at human capabilities for knowledge and communication far deeper and more extended than we presently understand.  It also blurred the boundary lines of our individuality—our very sense of separateness. If living things boil down to charged particles interacting with a field and sending out and receiving quantum information, where did we end and the rest of the world begin?  Where was consciousness—encased inside our bodies or out there in The Field?  Indeed, there was no more ‘out there’ if we and the rest of the world were so intrinsically connected.”  McTaggart, p. 96.

imagesFinding #6:  When we wish for something or intend something, an act which requires a great deal of unity of thought, we have an ability to extend our own coherent thought out into our environment. This represents an almost unimaginable amount of power to create, organize and heal.

So this is what a new idea of ourselves looks like! Wow!

I’m only half way through The Field so next time I’ll summarize the rest.  Meanwhile, I invite your responses to my second question: If enough of us become coherent in this new idea of who we really are, what difference could it make to our world crisis?

May the Force be with you.

Image Credits:  Google Images

Jean’s newest book, 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 also at Amazon as well as KoboBarnes And Noble, and Smashwords.

 

 

 

 

 

A Lesson from September 11: Is Our Dualistic Thinking Doing Us In? September 18, 2012

Eleven years ago this month people around the world witnessed a tragedy that etched indelible images onto collective consciousness. The most iconic are the fiery explosions as the airplanes hit the Twin Towers and the skyscrapers crumbling amidst billowing clouds of black smoke.

A famous adage from sages of antiquity is “As above, so below.” A corollary saying is “As without, so within.” These ideas arose from the intuition that the universe is one whole, living entity in which every pair of opposites is inextricably connected. Thus, whatever happens in the “spiritual heights” of Heaven is likewise replicated on the physical Earth. Likewise, images and events in the physical world relate to and reflect the contents of our minds.

While this might seem to imply a magical thinking cause-and-effect relationship in which, for example, we do something bad and God punishes us, or a child believes that his wanting something bad to happen to his brother is what made it happen, this is not the case. Rather, as recent discoveries in quantum physics have shown, it simply means that because of the connectedness between everything that is, inner mental and outer physical changes automatically occur together.

This is the explanation for what Carl Jung called “synchronicities,” or meaningful coincidences: when a symbol or event in the physical world parallels an inner state of being. For example, you dream about a person you haven’t seen in years and bump into him the next day. When things like this happen we grow in wisdom by recognizing their significance and asking, “What does this person mean to me? Why have we reconnected today?” Or at the global level, “What does this tragedy mean for humanity?” From this perspective, we can learn from the events of 9-11.

Look at the symbolism. A skyscraper is a hierarchical structure. In the towers of banks, hotels, condominiums and corporations, the most prestigious level is the top. Thus, like the Egyptian pyramids, the Biblical Tower of Babylon or the towers that wealthy citizens of San Gimignano, Italy built during the Middle Ages, skyscrapers represent the way our minds are structured. So far the ego has a history of creating impossibly high ideals and working obsessively to show the world that we have successfully attained the heights: of knowledge, understanding and perfection (scientific, psychological and spiritual). Of order and virtue. Of power and success. Unfortunately, our testaments to our heroic upward striving are usually accomplished at great expense to our psycho-spiritual depths as well as to the people at the bottom of the hierarchy.

So what does this terrorist attack on U.S. soil and the leveling of its two highest towers say about humanity’s collective mindset? That our dualistic thinking is doing us in. That our one-sided obsession with the hierarchical dominator model of striving, competing and proving ourselves at the expense of otherness—a model which has dominated civilized man’s thinking for about 5,000 years and triggered history’s countless wars—is no longer viable. That the seemingly impervious structures of our most beloved institutions are crumbling. And that the human psyche has evolved to the point where if we want to avoid more of the same, we must learn how to integrate otherness and heal the divides that separate us from ourselves and each other.

It is my hope that one day history will look back on 9-11 and know that its victims did not die in vain.  That the images of their ashes that were broadcast around the world that day introduced a new vision into the collective psyche in which of all of us are one united and interconnected whole. “As without, so within.”

Have events since 9-11 borne out my hope of wider acceptance of this vision? I’ll write about that next time.

There’s more on this topic in my new book, Healing the Sacred Divide, which can be purchased at www.Amazon.com or www.larsonpublications.com.

 

 
%d bloggers like this: