Your Archetype Allies

archeme viewpoints

The Wheel above depicts twelve primordial, universal persona Archetypes developed by Dr. Charles and Nin Beabeau and Debra Breazzano MA, LPT, as they have taught about at the erst Avalon Archetype Institute, Boulder, CO. I am honored to be able to represent and utilize this pantheon of archetypes in my new book, Your Life Path (YLP; also see right panel).

In YLP, I invite the reader/ life mapper to associate several of these universal archetype characters with the reader’s own Life Themes, which are those recurring situations or types of events in their lives in which they have developed distinctive ROLE IDENTITIES.

As this month here we are exploring your Life Theme of Work or Career, I invite you, first, to consider which one or more of the archetypes in the wheel above you might associate with your Work related role identity. Circle those in the wheel, and you might wish to journal about how these archetypes are active in your work persona.

basler-fasnacht-3273346__480

Next, in the center of the circle state a situation you have been ‘mulling over’ lately. Perhaps it is a decision you are needing to make, a choice of some sort, or just a general topic you have been wanting to take some action on but have been feeling ‘divided’ or ‘torn’ about.

Look through the rest of the Archetype character modes on the Wheel to consider if some of these other facets of your Total Self System might also be appropriate to include in considering this central situation or decision. Circle or underline those as well on the Wheel.

In the blank spaces of the spokes (feel free to print out this blog and enlarge the wheel on a copy machine), ASK each of these archetype sub-identities that you have marked on the Wheel what is their individual viewpoint pertaining to the situation you are contemplating.  You can write in bullet points or actual dialogue statements about the situation from the distinct, differing POINTS OF VIEW of each of these role-Archetype perspectives. Also, ask each of them (and note their responses on the Wheel) what they recommend as a solution to the decision you face.

stock-photo-a-young-girl-shows-a-finger-upwards-on-a-blue-background-conceived-the-idea-eureka-527664760

pixabay.com

Does this help to throw some light on your issues pertaining to the situation you are considering? What solutions or compromises might this suggest? Remember, your Archetypal sub-identities are your Allies. Combining them rather than acting on the basis of only one of these role personas or guises at a time can be an integrative process that allows you to go forth with greater holism and internal harmony.

I welcome YOUR Comments and Story.

Follow Your Bliss!

bliss-1846260__480

“I can’t believe they actually pay me to do what I love!”

Does the above line characterize what YOU do for “a living”? If so then you are fortunate to have merged your vocational aspirations (your calling) with your work or career.  Joseph Campbell might say you are “following your bliss.”

If, rather, your Life Theme of WORK or CAREER is separate from what you feel as your true calling or as yet unrealized potential, What Then? (click to read a W.B. Yeats poem with that title). It may simply mean that your work satisfies your financial needs, allowing you to fulfill your responsibilities, while you pursue your ‘bliss” instead through vocational activities such as artistic ‘hobbies’, spiritual practices, sports, or other activities that bring you a sense of balance in your life. Of course, this is fine and a good way to satisfy the needs and interests of your various unconscious or submerged archetypal ‘parts of Self.’

Still: Are there ways that you might forge a closer integration of your Work or Career  with your vocational callings?  Doing so could create a deeper synergy that allows you to produce dynamic works more highly attuned to your most authentic Self, even in the workplace.

saying-1313565__480

Above images are from pixabay.com

What is ONE THING you might integrate into your work life or into your role in your career that could fuse an element of your deepest, unique nature to reinvent yourself in the context of your ‘job’? Or, should you be seeking a different line of work? Maybe an online course or degree could help you move in a new direction.

Using myself as an example, when I felt I was moving in a direction at work, in attaining tenure as a professor, that would  satisfy my practical goals but not my Life Dream of writing for the public rather than serving in my academic role alone, I was shown a way to integrate my creativity and spirituality into my work. That is how I began studying and then eventually practicing and writing about Life Paths. I describe this process in  Chapter 1 of Your Life Path (click or see right panel for ordering information, now available through all major book distributors. (BTW, A heartfelt Thank You to new followers of this blog who have found this site from reading Your Life Path. Please feel free to download for free the Life Path Maps Portfolio Toolkit! – see right panel.)

Your Life Path

So, what about YOU?  Are you fully expressing the life of your dreams at work? How might you ‘tweak’ your work life to more holistically Live Your Bliss? I invite you to contemplate and journal about this question.

stock-photo-don-t-be-afraid-to-dream-hand-opening-an-old-wooden-door-and-found-don-t-be-afraid-to-dream-word-257946950

(pixabay.com)

I welcome your Comments and Story!

 

Thank You! And… The Value of a Vocation

motivational-1177436__480

Dear Readers:

I want to add a few words  as a sort of preface to this blog post. It is all about GRATITUDE.  I thank each and every one of you for reading Better Endings when you do, and especially I am grateful for every Comment shared.

This week I am particularly GRATEFUL to every one of you linked to this blog or from Facebook  who took the time to come to the launch of my new personal growth & development book, Your Life Path (see side panel for ordering info and to read an interview about the author; the book is now available through all major outlets). Friday and Saturday nights March 9/10 were well attended and I got to see some of my best friends and closest colleagues along with several former students! To see you all before I move to NY after retiring this summer was such a blessing; you can only imagine how wonderful it was for me to touch base with each of you.

My Thanks also to all of you who have ordered this book, Your Life Path. It is a labor of love for over 12 years and provides the best techniques I can offer to you for engaging in the Art of Life Mapping. I have seen how the approach that has emerged with the Life Path Mapping Process embedded as a self discovery toolkit with this book has helped many people already to reflect on their lives and go forward with greater clarity and passion.

AND FURTHER GRATITUDE YET: to my Super Agent, Linda Langton and to the team of publicists Paula Kalamaras and Paul Kraly of Scribes Unlimited, without whose inspiration and expertise this book would certainly not have been manifested. (Further thanks are of course in the Acknowledgements to the book.)

A word to you ALL from the Zuni language, which I have been blessed with myself through the years:

ELAHKWA ! (Thank You!)

fantasy-3159457__340

The Value of a Vocation

We are multi-dimensional beings. Within our core Identity we house several sub-identities, formed somewhat distinctly depending on the roles and statuses we “take on” in our lives. Jung called these sub-identities archetypal members of our personal unconscious domain of the Psyche.

Elder Leader, Lover, Warrior, Nourisher, Artist, Idealist Golden Child, Descender, Teacher, Communicator, Healer and Mystic :  these are twelve universal or “primordial” personal archetypes recognized by the archetypal psychologist Dr. Charles Bebeau, founder of the former Avalon Archetype Institute in Boulder, Colorado.  All of these are latent or active component sub-identities we may develop in relation to our relationships, our jobs, our hobbies or other activity roles and identities.

computer-3241351__340

Most of us develop a few of these archetypal personas more than the rest. Some even become over-balanced in one or another of these ‘dimensions’ of the Psyche. A strongly developed or rigidly enacted ELDER LEADER mode, for example, may lead one to downplay their more nurturing or playful ‘sides’.

Vacations (I am about to step into Spring Break mode!–may not blog again until April) are good times to step away from primary workaday roles to expand or exercise other facets of your Self. The IDEALIST, for instance, is often associated with travel, and on vacation you can give yourself more freedom to enjoy your more idealistic nature as “a breath of fresh air.”

artist-2578454__340

VOCATIONS also allow us to express a more balanced and integrated Self and Psyche. Hobbies, artistic practices and “callings” bring greater harmony of our “cast of sub-selves” into our core Identity. We benefit by expressing our full multi-dimensional capacities.

I value Julia Cameron’s invitation in THE ARTIST’S WAY for us to give ourselves an “Artist’s Day” at least once per week. Do something ‘out of the box.’ Take a new way home, go to a museum, walk by a lake or river, dream, journal, try some new food; anything to shake you out of any ruts you may be in.

children-3167588__340

images are from pixabay.com

Forge new pathways of thought and emotion. Expand your horizons.  Let a part of you that you may usually submerge or repress “out.” Experience the FREEDOM to BE all that you are, not just your “responsible” or “dutiful” persona.

I welcome YOUR Comments and STORY!

BOOK LAUNCH! (My Vocation: Live Your Dream, Now!)

Just Released March 6 by Skyhorse Publishing:

Your Life Path

Naturally I am thrilled and excited about the release of my book, Your Life Path: Life Mapping Tools to Help You Follow Your Heart and Live Your Dream, Now! It is available from Amazon (including hardback, Kindle and ebook), Barnes & Noble, and Indies; and I see there are now several other suppliers online as well (ISBN-10:1-63144-078-0). This book has been my life passion-in-process for the last 15 plus years, folks. It is the culmination of my entire career as a cognitive/ linguistic and cultural anthropologist yet it is a mainstream self-discovery, personal growth and development book that provides a comprehensive Life Path Mapping process and Toolkit.

discovery-space-shuttle-1665191__480

I have developed and taught from the fun, creative techniques provided with the book with large scale classes, individual coaching programs, and workshops (which I will continue to offer).  This is a potentially life changing, “rites of process” approach that lets the reader/ life mapper review your Life Story to Now; reflect on where you are at currently in relation to your values, life interests and goals; and then (re)claim, envision, and plan a practical yet energizing pathway to set a course and go (Live Your Dream, Now!).

mandala-1791741__480

I really do highly recommend this approach to anyone facing any sort of life decision or transition or who simply wants to discover and reflect upon the amazing potentials of your own Life Story.  I have witnessed many individuals who have achieved transformational insights from life mapping. The very process of reviewing your Life Story AS A STORY to now, with meaningful Shaping Events, Life Themes, Life Chapters bounded by key Turning Points as chapter turners, and an awareness of the parallels of YOUR story with classic myths and popular epics brings the life mapper to an overview Joseph Campbell called being a Dweller at the Threshold, able to look back and also forward.  Then the Life Path Mapping Process guides you to effectively CROSS THE THRESHOLD to truly manifest the vitalizing yet flexible life of your dreams.

bridge-2145846__480

As well, with this book’s Tools you will be able to Meet & Greet (truly) your very own “ensemble cast of mythic/archetype characters.” Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, you too have an inner unconscious cast of often submerged but always influential “inner” parts of Self that each needs your help to strengthen and to integrate/ come together with your greater Self to help you manifest your highest potentials for this lifetime.

meditation-2091879__340

Envisioning and realizing this book as a Personal Growth and Development book and life mapping handbook has been my VOCATION over the past fifteen years. I published a scholarly book (The Life Map as an Implicit Cognitive Structure Underlying Behavior, Mellen Press, 2010) with articles about my research studies that led to the development then of the self-discovery Tools presented for the first time to the general public with Your Life Path. So of course this is very exciting for me but more than that I really do recommend this book highly to any reader!

forward-1276288__480

Your Life Path will be in indy consignment stores around the country and I will be doing signings in several local stores (yay) to try to get the word out. If you know of friends (and yourself of course) who might benefit from a fun and innovative approach to learning more about your Self and how to go forward to live your best life… please check this book out and share this post or the ISBN number with others in your blog or Facebook or email groups. I honestly don’t mean to sound boasting or overly “selling” of anything…that really is not who I am (an introvert in general, and not prone to self promotion). But I do want this book that I have nurtured and developed for so long find Its own deserving audience so others can benefit from the approach I myself have been blessed to pilot every step of the way. It is in fact my own Life Dream coming into full fruition, Now!

motivational-1177436__480

images are from pixabay.com

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve Life and thank YOU for reading!

Individuation: Who Are You, Now?

stock-vector-collection-of-cartoon-illustrations-of-venetian-painted-carnival-facial-masks-for-a-party-decorated-609690116

As we proceed through our ordeals, there is the tendency— the capacity I should say— to ‘break apart.’ Various ‘parts of the Self’ are exposed, often unwittingly, and this is good even though it might feel awful at times. Archetypal personas which live within your psyche and are generally hidden or suppressed may rise to a challenge yet may need to be balanced by other segments of your arc of Identity in order to become better integrated within the whole of your greater Self.

Emotions such as fear, anger and frustration may be telling indicators of a dislodging of some usually buried sub- persona. But be kind to your ‘little selves”; they are valuable, dynamic facets of You. Listen to them, dialogue with them, welcome their insights and concerns. Give them love, and invite them to be a more consciously integrated facet of your Self.

khon-2889149__340

Challenges or ordeals may bring out these ‘pieces’ of our unconscious pantheon of archetypal perspectives because we grow through crises, constantly tearing apart and reconstructing the Self. So, at every Return phase of a cycle of adventure or resolution of a challenge, we can check in to ask:

“Who Am I, Now?”

Some experiences can serve to elevate our individuated consciousness of Self, while other experiences might tend to pull us downward, deeper into non-resolution or fragmentation. That is why Carl Jung and James Hillman, as archetypal psychologists, encouraged any process of active imagination and archetype dialogue that can help you to identify and ‘own’ your ‘pieces’ so you might re-integrate them into the unique, mature Self you are capable of expressing.

violin-1906127__340

These parts of Self might show up as an uncharacteristic outburst (or, inburst, unspoken or unexpressed outwardly), alerting you that you are ‘out of sorts.’ Or they might show up as dream personas or images. Recognizing and imaginatively conversing with or journaling about these upset personas’ concerns can help you to embrace your own depths of character. Only not attending to them can split them off in ways that could be harmful to your health or permanently disruptive to your social relations.

model-1216916__340

I recall about 5 to 7 years ago while I was engaged in a process of archetypal psychotherapy myself, I had come to know a Descender archetype within myself that I refer to still as Little Linda.  I have watched her grow up through the years since I first identified her as a young child living in a deep, darkened area like a lower level recreation room in a tri-level house. She preferred to stay hidden, protected from the harsh bright realm of adult emotions, backbiting and drama.

aroni-738303__340

One Saturday while I was at a spiritual retreat just after engaging in a deep contemplation technique, I was speaking with a friend when suddenly Little Linda peeked out from her normal reclusion, and spoke:

“Hi, I’m Little Linda; I am part of the Linda you know.

I want to be part of this seminar, too!”

Fortunately, my friend immediately understood where I was coming from, or should I say, where Little Linda was coming from that day.  He welcomed her and thanked her for stepping forth. Actually that experience has helped me ever since in that my Little Linda has grown up considerably since then and she is certainly with me always now as a positive contributor to our life together.

costume-2713410__340

images are from pixabay.com

(selected for this post by Little Linda!)

So, “Who Are You, Now?”

I invite your comments stories and stories!

Alchemy’s Mysterium Coniunctionis: Union of Opposites

night-view-654393__340

Carl G. Jung found that his archetypal studies–whereby he personally engaged in active imagination to engage with his ‘persona archetype’ figures within his own personal unconscious domain–could be linked to Alchemy.  Just as alchemists aimed to combine or mix chemical elements to produce a higher order of integration metaphorically described as the process of creating gold out of lead, archetypal psychology or Depth Psychology as Jung referred to his process aims to explore the character or properties of one’s internalized archetypal persona forms so as to integrate them into a greater harmony within the mature, individuated Self (or, Soul). Jung called the ‘sacred marriage’ of integrated archetypes within the Self, or more ultimately, of Self with ‘Divinity’ , a Mysterium Conjunctionis:

Likewise Joseph Cambpell, writing of the Hero Cycle we all undergo time and again as we work through our self-developmental passages within our individual Story, speaks of the ‘sacred marriage’ as “the Ultimate Boon” (in The Hero with A Thousand Faces ([Bollingen, MJF Books, 1949], pg 190) :

“The agony of breaking through personal limitations is the agony of spiritual growth. Art, literature, myth and cult, philosophy, and ascetic disciplines are instruments to help the individual past his limiting horizons into spheres of ever-expanding realization. As he crosses threshold after threshold, conquering dragon after dragon, the stature of the divinity that he summons to his highest wish increases, until it subsumes the cosmos.”

alchemy-2540896__340

I would say that self-transcendence is a universal goal of any healthy, life affirming spiritual being (human, animal, and really ALL life forms).  We seek GROWTH, greater wisdom, maturity, and higher degrees of integration as we face our ‘dragons’ or challenges.  Life brings this opportunity, time after time, to expand our consciousness through more and more purified forms.

mandala-1530352__340

Of course, this self-growth can become stunted or aberrated; that is when we may seek a depth analysis to ‘sort out’ the difficulties and resolve them.  Archetypal psychology can be highly effective in helping us come to know ourselves better and to identify and resolve inner conflicts.  I will be presenting some simple techniques anyone can use in this pursuit in my upcoming book, Your Life Path, including an Archetype Dialogue Practice.  (See my sample PRACTICE technique, below!)

Can YOU relate to the principle of a ‘sacred marriage’ of opposites or of how unifying otherwise disparate  elements of your own personality characteristics has helped you sometimes to transcend inner conflicts or to resolve difficult choices? Think of the Devil-on-one-shoulder-and-Angel-on-the-other metaphor; have you ever become aware of such a duality in your consciousness? Which ‘side’ did you most listen to or act upon?

What would happen if you were to hear both nudges and put them in conversation with one another and with your higher Self? You can actually do this, quite naturally:

PRACTICE: A Dynamic Archetype Dialogue Technique

Think of a situation about which you feel a “divide” in your feelings or thoughts about that choice or situation. With active imagination, visualize each ‘side’ of your opposing internal perspectives as persons (personify them within your imagination).  Then let them speak with one another, and you as Self can either observe or take part in the conversation. Then (or as it is happening), journal about or write out this dialogue directly.  Aim for your opposing Parts-of-Self to arrive at some degree of mutual understanding and agreement to find a compromise that may help you to move forward and make a better decision than you might have had you acted on only one or another side of this polarity.

mask-515257__340

images are from pixabay.com

I welcome YOUR Comments and Stories!

Call Upon Your Inner Archetype Allies

boy-1035485__340

Here is a list of The Twelve primordial, universal persona archetype figures, as set forth by Dr. Charles Bebeau of the former Avalon Archetype Institute and as updated in terms of naming by Debra Breazzano, MA/LPC:

ELDER LEADER    ARTIST    TEACHER

LOVER       IDEALIST     COMMUNICATOR

WARRIOR     GOLDEN  CHILD    HEALER

NOURISHER    DESCENDER    MYSTIC

superhero-2503808__340

Which of these 12 potential Archetype Allies, included as archetypical forms in anyone’s  personal unconscious identifications, could be helpful to you right Now? You can call upon one or more than one of these universal archetypes, which each possess tremendous energy for supporting your goals with inner strengths and nudges, to help you to understand what course of action will be most beneficial to you for realizing your most worthy goal.

Call upon the positive Strengths of your Ally. This represents your own inherent talents and reinforces your natural perceptive abilities. Here is a self-discovery Tool you can use:

First, identify a positive Goal.

Second, review the list of The Twelve presented above (you can print out this page), and circle one or more than one that you intuitively sense could help you to achieve your goal.

Third, list the Ally or Allies you have selected, and identify some of your own traits or personal qualities that you would like to strengthen and utilize in the pursuit of your goal.

the-wizard-of-oz-516687__340

As a personal example to illustrate this self-discovery Tool, a current goal of mine is to complete a deep edit of my book manuscript which I hope to deliver in about a week. I call upon my inner Communicator, Idealist, and Artist as general Allies, and I have found myself calling forth other Archetype Allies during the work at hand. Editing a chapter where I am offering a process for Descent and Re-Emergence, for instance (in my upcoming book, Your Life Path), I found my inner Descender offering helpful examples and helping me stay true to the intent and purpose of that chapter.

Your internalized persona archetype Allies are at least in part forged and developed based upon the role identities you have assumed in your life.                 

You have internalized some of the traits and abilities of role models who have influenced your development of these roles, such as Parent, Teacher, Adventurer, etcetera.  You can learn to tap into your usually unconscious repertoire of these internalized archetypal traits and personas; my book will provide Tools to allow you to do this (and I will offer an upcoming webinar series even before the book is published in March 2018 by Flyinghorse Publishers).

You may find yourself growing in strength as you “integrate” your archetypal parts-of-Self within a more ‘individuated’ and internally harmonious Whole.

drop-of-water-2135788__340

images are from pixabay.com

I welcome your Comments and Stories!

Carl G. Jung on Descent and Active Imagination

mask-515257__340

One of my favorite books is Carl G. Jung’s posthumously published THE RED BOOK. (BTW for the past few years it has become available in a “Reader’s Edition” (2012) for only around 25.00; a great buy, although the original has his amazing drawings and mandalas and the original German journal entries.)

The_Red_Book_by_Carl_Jung,_2009

 I have used this book as a textbook whenever I teach a university class on life mapping.  Jung’s self-initiated DESCENT in 1913 for 25 nights and then for some twenty years more with less regularity deeply influenced his therapy practice and theory along with his understanding of the collective unconscious, divinity, as well as personal unconscious ‘persona’ archetypes. Rather than blogging in a reflexive way myself then this week, I present for you below some of Jung’s direct insights (and those of the book’s editor, Sonu Shamdasani). I hope that you enjoy them and I invite you as he would to undertake a process of active imagination and journaling to engage in and record your own encounter with your own unconscious, archetypal parts-of-Self!

“The task of individuation lay in establishing a dialogue with the fantasy figures–or contents of the collective consciousness–and integrating them into consciousness, hence recovering the value of the mythopoeic imagination which had been lost to the modern age, and thereby reconciling the spirit of the time with the spirit of the depth.” (Shamdasani; The Red Book (Reader’s Edition, 2012, Introduction: pg. 49)

stock-vector-vector-illustration-of-the-gods-from-ancient-egypt-osiris-and-isis-225037930

“This was my twenty-fifth night in the desert. This is how long it took my soul to awaken from a shadowy being to her own life.” (Jung, The Red Book (Reader’s Edition, 2012: 145)

…I had spoken to my soul during 25 nights in the desert and I had given her all my love and submission. But during the 25 days I gave all my love and submission to things, to men,and to the thoughts of this time. I went into the desert only at night.(Jung, The Red Book (Reader’s Edition, 2012: 151)

“The spirit of the depths opened my eyes and I caught a glimpse of the inner things, the world of my soul, the many-formed and changing.” (Jung, The Red Book (Reader’s Edition, 2012: 147)

maze-1542270__180

As I do not wish to violate fair use laws and hope I haven’t yet in using these quotes, I will add that at the end of his reflections on his Descent via active imagination, he states that ever since he would invite all of his therapy clients and friends to do likewise: to encounter their own depth personae and to “write it all down” as he did first in his Black Book and then copied with art into The Red Book journal. He painted mandala images when he completed a phase of understanding; you can see these online or in the 2009 original publication of The Red Book.

colorful-1769628__340

images are from pixabay.com

I welcome YOUR comments and story!

Descent–Into the Belly of the Whale

mountaineer-2100050__480

For this month of May let’s explore here the stage of the Hero’s Adventure which requires Descent and Re-emergence.  Once an adventurer set upon their glorious Quest crosses the (first) threshold to enter into the domain of their field of action to achieve fulfillment, they are often initially “swallowed up” or they descend into a “forbidden (verboten) zone” of a sort that accords with their needs.  Descent signifies allowing oneself to explore the fertile realms of archetypal unconscious potential. Descent is a necessary process to undertake before you can claim any true progress in attaining your most worthy purpose or goal.

Many an epic narrative illuminates the rich though challenging encounter with ‘denizens of the Deep’, such as is represented by the biblical story of Jonah and the Whale. This is a descent into the “dynamism of the Unconscious” according to archetypal psychologists including Carl Jung, James Hillman and Joseph Campbell.

Your unconscious psychological Innerscapes that you may feel are “below” or ‘beneath’ your surface level of conscious awareness are vital like rich loam, oozing with multiple, too often “buried” perceptions, feelings and insights.

underwater-2141072__480

Halloween, for example, is a time of year set aside to release and engage with such a ‘dark,’ shadowy level of consciousness that may actually represent your own unconscious, ‘inner’ worlds. Who do you like to dress up as on Halloween? What might that say about your own archetypal ‘shadow’ selves?

egyptian-1823488__480

This month I invite you to “step down,” to accept and listen more closely to your own subconscious and deeper unconscious–often called “gut”–voices. They are YOU; facets of your own total consciousness that derive in part from the various roles and lived experiences you have accumulated and enacted in your life, including those usually more ‘hidden’ parts of Self that might feel stunted, silenced or in “Shadow”.

Sink Into Deep Waters: A Creative Visualization Activity

stock-photo-woman-sit-in-glass-bottom-boat-next-to-window-505569568

As a self-discovery, active imagination technique that you can use to facilitate the psychologically energizing experience of Descent, I invite you to imagine sinking deeply into a body of water. Remember the scene from The Graduate when Ben Braddock (the title character played by Dustin Hoffman) is overwhelmed by his conflicting feelings and relationships, so he dives into a backyard pool and lets himself sink to the bottom? He stays there as long as he can in this depth domain, performing a sort of soul searching.

Try this in a bathtub.  You can fill your tub with bath bubbles (if you wish), with time apart from family or others, and sink back (not really putting your head under the water for so long!).  Imagine sinking to the bottom of a pool or of a lake or even of an Ocean. You can breathe, though; do make sure you give yourself this ability.

Now explore: what is ‘on your mind’ or heart?  What deep questions or decisions are you contemplating, do you need answers about from your own inner parts of Self or inner guidance?

I just did this exercise myself about an hour ago and loved it. When I asked my Self what I needed to better understand I found it is my fear of being alone in my retirement.  My dog Sophie was at the bathroom door and I knew she and my cats will be with me, but I do have a fear of leaving all my friends and outer spiritual community behind me in Colorado when I move in just over a year across country.

So I stayed in the tub, continuing to imagine being underwater like Ben in The Graduate. (Actually this turns out for me to be a very apt fictional analog, as I conceptualize retirement as a graduation from Academia as a professor.) I found my inner selves piping up about the various aspects of Self I could connect with in seeking new friends at my new location. I can connect with writers, and readers, and retired teachers; with pet lovers, Scrabble or other game players, hikers, neighbors and of course my family will mostly be closer, plus a highschool friend still there. Even further, the thought arose that through today’s social media, I don’t have to wait until I make this Big Move before connecting to seek out some like minded others.  I can find online networks and begin connecting even before I leave. I have a full year left to do so before I leave. This last awareness felt very liberating to me; an idea I had not focussed on very ‘deeply’ before now!

dive-1849531__480

pictures are from pixabay.com

And so, dear fellows, Go For It! I invite you to try this creative visualization technique, either in the tub or in any environment that allows you to engage in an active contemplation session.

I invite and welcome your comments and story!

Celebrate Your Mentors!

man-and-boy-1840034__480

What have you learned from the Mentors in your life, and from when you have mentored others? A mentor is a Teacher (of the TEACHER Archetype), yet the Mentor is a specific kind of a Teacher; one who imparts Wisdom, not just knowledge on a subject. So the Mentor is often paired archetypally as a TEACHER/MYSTIC character, such as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, Glinda in The Wizard of Oz, or Dumbledore at Hogwarts.

This week I invite you to make a list of some of your primary Mentors.  I encourage you to contemplate and/or journal about their influences on “the person you have become.”

nuns-1392541__340

I will share about just one of several key mentors from my life; I will call her Dr. T, or Bonnie. Bonnie was a philosophy professor at my undergraduate college. I first met her while I was a student in a class on Creative Studies. She was a guest professor that day who was to speak with us about the philosophy of creativity. I arrived a half hour early to our class that day (held in a lounge sort of area where we students often liked to ‘hang out’ even apart from classes there).  Dr. T. was already there, too, sitting with a student who majored in art and who had brought a papier mache figure of a human being he had created in an art class that day.

“How the *x*x* did you do that!?”

These were the first words I ever heard uttered by Dr. T.

“I mean, I could never do that; how could YOU?”

She persisted. The student was stunned, as was I, at this encounter. Soon others arrived and the class began.  Bonnie proceeded to explain her profound appreciation for the creative process this student had drawn upon to envision and then manifest his vision in an artistic form. From that day on I became fascinated with Dr. T. I took several philosophy classes with her and several Independent Study classes as well. I even came to mother-sit for Bonnie’s elderly mother for two or three years before I graduated and left Buffalo for Arizona.

scuba-diver-1049945__480

Of many insightful lessons I learned from my Mentor, here are two:

Dr. T. took a nap every afternoon at her old-style, stone and oak Buffalo house. She slept in a small room on a single bed like a cot. One day she told me:

“Every day, I swim in the Ocean!”

I remember her telling me this one wintry Buffalo afternoon when I had arrived to mother-sit.  I understood she was telling me that she dove into a deep contemplative state every day with her nap.

acorn-1592079__480-1

Another time she told me how when her son was young, one day while they were sitting under an oak tree in a park, she picked up an acorn and asked her son to hold it in his hand.

“There is God!,” Bonnie proclaimed.

From then on I understood why she had furnished her home completely with used oak furniture from Salvation Army. She loved the sturdy Oak Tree as a symbol of mature spiritual wisdom.

oak-309878__480

images are from pixabay.com

After I left for graduate school in Arizona, I touched base a few times with Dr. T., but sparingly.  One time she told me she had started painting with oils in her retirement.  Like Van Gogh, she told me, she painted with full tubes of paint instead of with brushes. A local gallery had held a showing of her works. To the end Bonnie expressed her passion as a spiritual Being fully and with gusto!

How the *x*x* did she do that? I have ever since emulated Dr. Bonnie’s integrity and drive to create, to thrive, to truly BE.

I invite YOUR Comments and Story!

.

…and gladly teche

 

aec-1782427__340

I have been fortunate throughout my life to have encountered and learned from many excellent, inspirational Teachers, not only in school environments but in life! In my next post I will share about several of their key influences as mentors and I will invite you to celebrate your mentors too, but today I want to focus on just one of them: Mr. Oliver. It is the memory of his distinct inspiration (and a few others from early grade school on) that led me confidently in the direction of serving as a Teacher myself for now over 38 years.

Mr. Oliver was on the English Department faculty at my undergraduate college where I majored in English, in Buffalo, New York.  He did not have a doctorate as most of the faculty there did; he had started teaching in a one room schoolhouse when he was 16 or 18 years old and taught from his growing experience from then on. Mr. Oliver specialized in Chaucer’s The Canturbury Tales, and I met him as a student in a class on that subject.  Middle English rolled off Mr. Oliver’s tongue as a native language to him, and I marveled and delighted in his fluency with what remained essentially a beautiful but foreign language to me throughout the semester.

shadow-1665061__340

The story I am to tell (like the pilgrims of the Canturbury adventures) about Mr. Oliver relates to the time of his death. Yes, really!  When I took my Chaucer class with Mr. Oliver, he was 69 years old. At that time (1973 or so), the university required faculty to retire at 70. As he had been teaching for over 50 years, all of his students felt badly for him that he would have to retire, at all. He was the consummate teacher who was ardent about his topic and centered his life around his teaching. 

In the Spring of 1974, about two days before the end of what would have been Mr. Oliver’s final class, he died. Honestly, when we students talked about his passing we were happy for him! He did not have to leave his teaching life before retiring unto the Beyond! But this story relates to another one that he had shared with us during the Chaucer class.  Once when he was in a hospital and needed an appendicitis operation, the anesthetic drugs wore off before the operation was finished. Mr. Oliver told us that for the remainder of his time on the operating table, which was at least another hour or more, he simply recounted the entire Prologue to the Canturbury Tales, in its entirety!

So, when Mr. Oliver passed, among us students we shared a passage that we had learned from him from that Prologue. To us it signified everything he meant and imparted to us:

And gladly wolde he lerne,

and gladly teche.

lamp-1665149_960_720

images are gratefully from pixabay.com

I welcome YOUR comments and Stories!

The Alien Teacher Archetype

robot-1635794__180

December is associated with the TEACHER Archetype. Last week I saw the new film  Arrival  and realized there is an Alien Teacher archetype that runs through much of science fiction literature and films.  The short story The  Day the Earth Stood Still by Harry Bates and Edmund North (screenplay) is an example in which an alien named Klaatu and  his peace enforcing robot Gnut (Gort in the film versions) arrives on Earth to warn us that we will be destroyed unless we establish peace instead of war as we emerge as a space venturing species in the atomic age.

alien-1015650__180

In Arrival, a linguist serves as a consultant to the military when twelve ominous, egg-like apparent spaceships come to hover over twelve areas around the globe. I don’t want to give too much away here about the story (it is well worth seeing!), but the linguist, who aims to find a way to communicate with the aliens by learning to interpret their odd ink bursts of communication, comes to understand they have a profound message for the world, and for herself personally as well.  The global message pertains as in The Day the Earth Stood Still to our needing to find a way to live peacefully together with positive international cooperation and communication rather than rely on violence and aggression to meet our perceived threats.

stock-photo-man-standing-on-top-of-the-hill-watching-the-stars-illustration-painting-313783925

The Alien Teacher represents knowledge and wisdom far beyond whatever the current consciousness of people on planet Earth have arrived at when the story is written. I guess in order to have survived as a species long enough to reach Earth from interstellar travel such aliens would have had to find a way to achieve wisdom enough not to have destroyed one another, though they might have destroyed their planet so that they need to find a new one to ravage (another common alien lesson theme).

stained-glass-window-180279__180

images are from pixabay.com

The Alien Teacher, as “not Us,” represents knowledge and wisdom we aspire to or a mental capacity for awareness we sorely lack.  In a way, all spiritual Teachers and Masters are of this same archetype. We look to those who have been where we wish to go and who have already achieved our spiritual or personal goals, to follow in their footsteps or at least to gain a sense of grounding and direction for striking out upon our own adventures.  The Teacher shows a Way, a Path, but you and I have to walk that path and carve it out more clearly as we advance through the wilderness. The lessons from our Teacher are always with us, even when the Teacher is no longer immediately present.  As Learners (a correlated archetype) we store the knowledge and aim to achieve the wisdom of the Teachers who have gone before us on our Journey.

Into the Light: Re-Emergence after Descent

solar-system-11188__340

Descent and Re-Emergence form a unified theme found in many mythic and literary tales, as in our lives. Descending to the depths is healthy and constructive; re-emerging renewed to apply the insights gained is extremely valuable. Out of the Darkness, Into the Light is therefore a cyclic process for personal growth and development.

Since we are in the final week of November, Month of the DESCENDER Archetype, it is appropriate to focus on the theme of Re-Emergence. Of course, this is also a Better Endings theme of itself, as Descent needs a resolution, a surfacing or a transcendence, in order to bear its cornucopia forward into mindful awareness and change.

stock-photo-mosaic-floors-of-ancient-roman-villas-with-scenes-from-greek-mythology-battle-of-theseus-and-420771274

There is a plethora of mythic and literary examples to choose from to represent the sort of Re-Emergence you can bring about in your own mythic life’s journey.  Theseus’ descent into the Labyrinth to defeat the Minotaur at Crete and rescue his captured compatriots is a Classical example.  Ariadne, daughter of King Minos who has contained the Minotaur and feeds him with captives from Theseus’s home of Athens, gifts Theseus with a sword and a skein of thread so he can defeat the Minotaur (half-man/ half-bull) and then follow the thread back OUT from the labyrinth to lead his compatriots to safety.  Heroic Theseus, son of King Aegeus, thus succeeds quickly—after some deft storyline complications in his return voyage—to become a worthy King of Athens himself.

stock-vector-theseus-and-ariadne-against-minotaur-labyrinth-129847448

The story, though, that most comes to mind for me as an example of Re-Emergence from Descent this week is the historic and spiritual tale of the life and death of Joan of Arc. I have been thinking of the recently late Leonard Cohen’s lyrics all week in his tribute song to La Pucelle (“the Maid”), “Joan of Arc.”  Jennifer Warnes does a wonderful rendition of this song on her “Famous Blue Raincoat” album, itself a tribute to Leonard Cohen; I will link you to a YouTube version that includes both Jennifer Warnes and Leonard Cohen singing this  excellent song below. As the Universe or Spirit would have it, when I asked inwardly if this is the example I should share, last night a version of Jeanne d’Arc’s biography showed up on late night TV. That was my confirmation.

joan-of-arc-222173__340

Of course, Joan of Arc’s Descent occurred in two ways: first, spiritually, by her accepting and listening to the voices she attributed to St. Michael, St. Catherine and St. Margaret. It took an unusually receptive consciousness and deep faith for Joan to accept the mission she felt called to undertake based on these voices. Then after several successful campaigns leading troops to deliver France from British control, Joan’s physical world Descent came with her imprisonment, with her trial in which she did not recant her spiritual calling, and ultimately with her being burned at the stake as a heretic.

flame-1789448__340

Leonard Cohen, who passed away earlier this month, penned his “Joan of Arc” lyrics around the final descent and the Ascension of St. Joan from the unusual point of view of the Fire that consumed her.  One might read Cohen’s protagonist as simultaneously the Holy Flame of her enduring faith and the physically voracious Fire at the pyre that consumed only her physical shell so to release and liberate her Spirit.  In both senses, the burning at the stake of Saint Joan constituted her Ascension, her ultimate Re-Emergence into the Light and Truth of the Divine via the action of Holy Spirit. Many accounts of her death report that witnesses saw a White Dove rise out of the mixed ashes of Jeanne d’Arc’s body and the wood of the fuel that claimed it.

pigeon-1459441__340

images are from pixabay.com

JOAN OF ARC (by Leonard Cohen)

http://www.leonardcohensite.com/songs/joan.htm

Now the flames they followed Joan of Arc
as she came riding through the dark;
no moon to keep her armour bright,
no man to get her through this very smoky night.
She said, “I’m tired of the war,
I want the kind of work I had before,
a wedding dress or something white
to wear upon my swollen appetite.”

Well, I’m glad to hear you talk this way,
you know I’ve watched you riding every day
and something in me yearns to win
such a cold and lonesome heroine.
“And who are you?” she sternly spoke
to the one beneath the smoke.
“Why, I’m fire,” he replied,
“And I love your solitude, I love your pride.”

“Then fire, make your body cold,
I’m going to give you mine to hold,”
saying this she climbed inside
to be his one, to be his only bride.
And deep into his fiery heart
he took the dust of Joan of Arc,
and high above the wedding guests
he hung the ashes of her wedding dress.

It was deep into his fiery heart
he took the dust of Joan of Arc,
and then she clearly understood
if he was fire, oh then she must be wood.
I saw her wince, I saw her cry,
I saw the glory in her eye.
Myself I long for love and light,
but must it come so cruel, and oh so bright?

 

DESCENDER Dreams, Part Two: Messages from the Deep

illustration-1807105__480

With the last post, I invited you to recall and reflect upon dreams in which your DESCENDER part of Self (persona archetype) reveals itself to You. Often such figures show up in lower or deep spaces and they can represent feelings that you have “submerged” or aspects of You that simply feel more comfortable in the shadows or quiet recesses of your Self.  When such images show up in memorable dreams, take notice! They may illuminate for you how that “part of You” is feeling with regard to some current situation in your life. They have Deep Messages for You; your DESCENDER can be your Ally in bringing ‘buried’ perspectives and feelings to your attention.

This week, as I have been reflecting on some of my own DESCENDER dreams, one of them—a very dramatic dream experience—makes sense to me now in a different way than I understood before.

stock-photo-group-of-evil-candles-burning-in-the-darkness-and-copy-space-on-wooden-background-black-magic-391017337

The Dream: “I Can’t Believe My Life Has Been about This!”

(Dreamwork Tips:  Give a title to a significant dream in your dream journal or when telling it to bring forth its Message to you more clearly.  Also, write your dream in first person, present tense so you can be more present in the experience; this can help you better feel its import.)

Background:  I experienced this dream while I was traveling in Ireland.  I traveled there in part because I had had another significant dream a couple years earlier which had felt like a “past life” dream.  In that earlier dream I saw I had endured abuse, but the dream encounter I had while in Ireland, while also appearing to relate to a past life, turned that earlier experience on its head!

earth-1568783__480

I am in a lower level area of some structure; the flooring either is made of or has alot of dirt on it and there is dark wood all around. I am being shown this place by a familiar, masculine Spiritual Guide who is with me. As we walk through the space it feels very familiar to me. I say to my Dream Guide:

“I know this place; I have been here before.”

My Guide says nothing, waiting for me to remember more.

“People died here,” I say slowly. Then it hits me hard: “I had something to do with that; I was responsible for their deaths!”

My Guide remains silent but I feel his support. I know there is a reason I must be here.

the-framework-1138289__480

Then a group of people come down from a stairway into this semi-darkened, lower level place. It is a group of rural Irish peasant folk. “Salt of the Earth,” I think to myself as they come into the area accompanied by a Priest. The Priest sets up a table and puts a candle on it, so I know he will conduct some sort of ritual. (I sense it is to be a cleansing.)  Two of the peasants are a brother and sister; suddenly I know these are people who had lost loved ones because of my action that had resulted in their loved ones’ deaths.

The peasant sister (in her early 30’s or so) and I approach one another intently.

I say to her:

“I am so sorry for your loss.”

She says to me:

“I am so sorry for what you have had to endure because of this.”

Then I wake up, but in the process of awakening I say three times out loud, each time with more force of awareness:

“I can’t believe my life has been about this!”

I called a friend in the U.S. as soon as I was awoke (early AM her time):

“Jan, I’m a murderer! I mean it really, I am a murderer, many times over!”

My friend helped me to realize this had been “a dream.” I knew intuitively though that it was a very real encounter, relating to a deeply buried memory.

Message:  This dream event occurred around five or six years ago, yet I remember it as if it were this morning.  In processing the meaning of the dream, I have felt it had something to do with the experience of personal loss or separation in this life from relationship partners of various sorts: friends, romantic partners, family, and pet companions. My strongest desire in all my relations has been for permanence and “continuity,” yet some of the closest relations I have shared, I have had to let go of for the sake of that Soul moving on in their lives or journey.

But this week, while reflecting on this poignant DESCENDER Dream, I am understanding the message in a more holistic way. My whole life HAS “been about this.” The personal growth book I have written, a manual for life mapping that will be published in a matter of months now after nearly fifteen years of development (Your Life Path), aims to help readers to COMPLETE their Life Path with a conscious focus of intention to fully Realize their Life Dream!  Perhaps after my action in the past life ordeal had prevented some people from fulfilling their  dreams, this time I must give back this opportunity.

spacecraft-678112__480

I don’t know exactly what the memory could have been about. Perhaps I was an officer on a ship taking people to emigrate after the potato famine and for some reason I did not allow lower berth peoples to surface for food or shelter (maybe rations were low and some could not survive, so I chose to only let the more privileged passengers have the rations). Or maybe I was an officer who shut off access to an upper level in a castle against servant class folks while we were being attacked. Either way, “I was responsible for their deaths.”

Whatever the “real life” validity, dreams DO matter; they have a substance and vital meaning all their own. Writing your dream recall in a Dream Journal is very helpful. Especially the most significant dreams will then linger with you, revealing several layers of meaning over time.

Have you had a significant DESCENDER Dream? Have you fathomed its message? Feel free to share, here or with a loved one. Honor your DESCENDER by listening, attending, and ACTING on the Message received.

business-idea-680788__480

images are from pixabay.com

I welcome  and invite YOUR Comments and Stories!

P.S. to All: HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

 

 

DESCENDER Dreams, Part One

lamp-639489__480

Have you had significant, memorable dreams where either you are in a dark or “lower” space such as in a basement or valley or the lower level of some house or structure, or where someone else who is a main character in your dream is in such a “lower” or “deep” space? This may be your DESCENDER Persona archetype (part-of-Self). Pay attention and you may learn something important from this often ‘submerged’ facet or energy within your Psyche.

girl-1740116__480

My DESCENDER dreams often include a young girl, around 10 or 12, who inhabits a lower level of a tri-level house (interestingly my favorite kind of home; I live in one now and sleep in the lower level!).  I have learned to tune in to engage in conversation with my Little Linda part-of-Self, as I call Her.  She embodies my quiet side that would rather stay in the lower, shaded regions rather than have too much concourse with the public or other people in formal sorts of situations. She may be that facet of my Self that most suffers situational anxiety when it comes to ‘professional’ social gatherings.  I embrace this part of myself as a vital and important aspect of my identity. I go to Her in active imagination for  ‘Archetype dialogue’ conversation rather than requiring Her to come to the surface, though sometimes She does reveal Herself in our more conscious experience. She loves to walk along a lake or through a path in the woods, and she is a great companion when I am otherwise alone with my dog Sophie and feline Loki and Emily Friends.

arora-1745935__480

Please be assured, I am not encouraging nor will recognizing your Archetypal Personas stimulate any sort of dissociative mental or psychological condition such as schizophrenia or Multiple Personality Disorder.  In fact, as William James wrote about at the turn of the 20th Century, we are indeed all of us “multiple” as an archetypal assembly of sub-identities integrated by the superordinate Self, and in fact it is those who have not allowed their diverse archetypal character modes to be well attended to or integrated who may be more susceptible to ‘splits.’ You can easily tell the difference between an archetypal part-of-Self persona and a dissociated “voice”: archetypal elements within your Total Self System ARE YOU and feel naturally to be a point of view that is part of your Self perspective or outlook, though they may represent various sub-selves or distinct outlooks, see?  Jung, Hillman, Myss, Houston, Pearson, Campbell and many other archetypal psychologists have well described the archetypal landscape of the archetypal Unconscious.

So, Dream! Allow your various parts-of-Self Personas including your DESCENDER to manifest in your dreams so you can encounter and engage with them. You will learn more about your Self from understanding their viewpoints and feelings.

girl-1820122__480

images are from pixabay.com

I welcome and invite your comments and stories. Have you had a DESCENDER dream?

Digging Out

capture

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” (Socrates)

I am in a reflective mood this November, month of the DESCENDER Archetype.  I am contemplating the last 24 year period of my life (two twelve year cycles).

It has not been all roses, yet it has been lesson bearing, gradually progressive and illuminating in many respects.

How much to share? (This piece derives from a journaling exploration rather than being a direct blog post per se, so I will cull from the larger journaling reflections to share what I can).

I encourage you to similarly “sink into reflection” this month, to ALLOW your Descender to show you a way to DIG OUT from encrusted patterns or routines.

stock-photo-the-winding-road-of-tianmen-mountain-national-park-hunan-province-china-398393665

Many Good Times

With the freedom I have had at work and in my personal life as a single professional, writer, cleric, sister/daughter, and friend/ pet companion, I have accomplished much of what I have set my goals to manifest. I truly am Living My Dream, Now! in the process of preparing my book for the public, a work of love (Your Life Path), finally for publication. I realize that Living Your Dream IS a PROCESS, not a single snapshot sort of destination. I have been able to do this “my way” in most respects, so I am deeply grateful for the freedom and for the inspiration of those who most understand and have supported my work and feelings through the years.

Some Not So Good Times

I have no regrets though a deep sadness regarding relationships that have not been sustained over time. Loss has affected me more deeply than I outwardly acknowledge, and physical ailments are beginning to crop up that reflect my submerged feelings. Stress is a byproduct of living in this day and age, it seems, though I am grateful for spiritual practices and inner spiritual guidance I have been fortunate to have learned  to tune into and receive that have sustained my optimism despite necessary setbacks along the way.

Abundant Life Lessons

My life has been Sooo rich and abundant in lessons: daily, over time, and in the Moment. While developing a self-discovery, personal growth program (to be shared soon with the upcoming book), I have piloted first for myself every self-help technique or Tool that I will share there, so I have benefitted greatly every step of the way.

I have gained many life Lessons about service. Leadership does not come without personality conflicts and sometimes having to take steps I would personally rather not have to have taken that have affected other peoples’ lives. But I have been learning about the Law of Balance and about the importance of Patience and Detachment.

stars-1153815__180

 

COMING FULL CIRCLE

As I prepare to shift soon away from my professional academic job into a sabbatical this Spring and then “retirement” (read, graduation from Academe!) just one year later, I feel excited and am ready to launch a promotion campaign for the book and initiate a next Life Chapter as an author and workshop presenter, and to return to my Home base nearer my family to live in a lovely lakeside community.

It seems most of the big shifts throughout my life have come with “Crossing the Great Waters” or relocating. This goes back to early family life as my father relocated many times from job transfers. I guess I learned then that growth comes with change. I learned as a youth to anticipate a Big Move by reflecting on current conditions and planning positive change to implement with the move; so, this truly does represent one more stage of Coming Full Circle.

fountain-1642204__180

images are from pixabay.com

I am grateful for ALL, and TO all who have been friends and family and coworkers along the way. Life EXPANDS as we do in states of consciousness, so I welcome this expansion and wish everyone else the same freedom, sense of responsibility, and love as I have been blessed to enjoy.

The DESCENDER Rising, Part II: Protest Marchers of the Night (Waxing Poetic)

a-total-solar-eclipse-1113799__340

Why is it that protesters such as now occupy the streets of many American cities for anti-Trump rallies often choose the Night to stage their marches? I propose this may not simply be due to their daytime work schedules, especially on weekends. These protests are an outcry from the collective archetypal DESCENDER, whose domain of expression and action is a Deep, often submerged realm, in what James Hillman called the “underworld” of the dynamic Unconscious.

stock-photo-a-general-image-of-unidentified-people-protesting-125763227

A “call in the Night” embodies a passionate, ardent outcry for all concerned. Protesters in America are often not even well organized; the nighttime rallies are organic, spontaneous. Much is being brought to the surface at this time in America and in much of the world in this and recent times of economic and political uncertainty. Black Lives Matter marches over the past summer; anti-Trump rallies that began during the terribly bitter campaign in protest of bigoted statements and threats by the candidate; raucous campaign rallies themselves: all of these demonstrate the frustrations and divisive polarization occurring in the world perhaps since the 2008 Great Recession and subsequent Occupy Wallstreet movement in America.  Many have not yet recovered lost jobs or feel disenfranchised either from the experience of enormous economic disparities or from becoming the target of racial, religious, or gender and sexuality coded attacks.

capture

Things fall apart,

The Center cannot hold”

… echoes W. B. Yeats from his grave (warning of an impending Anti-Christ).  Yeats also penned in “The Nineteenth Century and After”:

“Though the Great Song return no more,

There’s keen delight in what we have;

The rattle of pebbles on the shore

Under the receding Wave.”

moon-1807743__340

I like Yeats (can you tell?)–as I once memorized virtually an entire Collected Works of Yeats volume late in high school thanks to a dear mentor (D/M)–, and I find myself returning to Yeats’s sage, deeply reflective poetry often this past week.  Yeats’s poetry and the theosophical philosophy underlying his poetic vision (read his book, A Vision) reminds me of the cyclical nature of life and politics in this world of appearances, this phantasm:

“Once, while on the old grey stone I sat,

Under the old windbroken tree,

I knew that One is animate.

Mankind inanimate phantasy.”

But here’s one I am reminded of this week as I struggle to come to terms, to find a balance of acceptance while yet feeling protective of my liberal values of appreciating diversity and freedom of religion (implying due separation of Church and State):

Outworn heart, in a time outworn,

Come clear the nets of wrong or right;

Laugh, heart, again, in the grey twilight;

Sigh heart, again, in the dew of the morn.”

Paired with (in Those Images) one of my favorite of all Yeats phrases through the years:

“What if I bade you leave

The cavern of your mind;

There’s better exercise

in the sunlight and wind.”

meditation-1023497__180

images are from pixabay.com

It is time for a change to rattle the pebbles on the shore; a time for poets and mystics to descend to their Core and to reemerge in the Light.  

May we all be Torchbearers for one another when that is needed.

May you and I everywhere find ways to exercise our God given, inherent freedom and delight to go forth, again, to play in the Sun!

Let Your LOVER Be Your Guide

spiral-1000782__180

 

So yesterday once again I was walking the labyrinth path and received this impression:

“Let your Lover be your Guide.”

I recognize that since this is near the end of the month of October in which I have been focusing this blog around the Lover archetype, this message meant for me to let Her lead the way for me as I go forward with some wonderful new opportunities surrounding my book, Your Life Path.  I am about to step forward into a whirlwind of activity, it seems, to complete the final polishing edit and then, after it is published, to promote it so that it will reach all readers who can benefit from its life mapping Tools.

But I also realize this message is meant for you all.

LET YOUR LOVER BE YOUR GUIDE!

pendulum-1013555_960_720

images are from pixabay.com

Archetypal psychology is largely about INTEGRATING your inner archetypal personas, harmonizing them to work together as Allies as you go forward to manifest your goals and to live your greatest life.  While any one or another of your inner archetypal parts-of-Self might dominate for this or that situation, putting the Lover in you first can mean,

Let LOVE lead the Way!

What would Love do, right? I invite you to contemplate and then to put into practice the Path that Love shall forge.

What Really Is Love, Part Two: If I could live but only in the Moment

 

heart-1577861__180

From my Lover archetype persona:

You asked me the other day while driving back from helping a friend pack and move, “What Really Is Love?” I reminded you of that movie, “The Man Eating Tiger,” that we saw on late night TV decades ago. That film had the right idea. When we love we wish only the best for the beloved. “Love is not a matter of belief but demonstration,” as expressed in a book I love by Paul Twitchell called Stranger By The River.

african-bush-squirrel-1580058__180

When we were a teenager you formed the impression (from Me) that “Love is Love.”  There is no true separation between one “form” of love and another. Family, Friends, Pet Companions, Colleagues, Students, Partners, God, Soul, Inner Master: the love we feel for each and all of these, as it is Love, is the same. Love is the essence and breath of divinity Itself. Love is the Life Force of creation, what you call as an ECKist the Audible and Visible Life Current.

healing-668178__180

images are from pixabay.com

You thought of love then (still from Me) as a “place” rather than an emotion; as a state of consciousness superseding all others! Remember Dylan’s line: “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now”? We were wiser, then, about love. Now you may need to relearn all of this.

text-1318187__180

Love=Love means you do not need any other to ‘bring’ love or to feel whole. Love is who you ARE; so be Love! Be a vehicle for love to flow out into your world everyday in every way, never asking for anything in return.

 

 

What Really Is Love? Part One

sunflower-1345713__180

I’m going to give voice to my inner Lover archetype for this and the next post. We had an internal, “active imagination” dialogue while I was driving from Denver to Colorado Springs last night around the topic of Love.

I mean, really, who am I to speak of love? Apart from spiritual, unconditional love, which I do have abundantly from many decades of spiritual practice and positive relations generally, this is a topic that most would see in the context of romance, marriage and family, and I consider myself “post” relational, except nowadays for deep Friendship with my dog and cats, family, and close friends. I “did relationships…” but I have relinquished that pursuit for over 13 years—as I mentioned in the last post I have a Shadow Lover facet of Self going on…

Anyway then, Part One (this week) as an expression from my Inner Lover to the page is a Better Endings story that She/I like a whole lot and have never forgotten. Part Two (stay tuned!) will be an open expression from my Lover persona archetype about ‘What Really Is Love?’ that we will subtitle: ‘If I could live but only in the Moment.’

stock-photo-tree-in-the-shape-of-heart-valentines-day-background-124858933

A Better Endings Story about ‘What Really Is Love?”:

One of the best love stories I have ever encountered was in a late night movie I happened to catch some 30 years ago on TV. It was titled “The Man Eating Tiger” (or something close to that). It was about a mercenary sharp shooter during WWII who was hired by an African village to track down and kill a Bengal tiger that was terrorizing the community and had already killed many residents. Now as the story goes, there was also a female nurse serving the village who just happened to be a woman the mercenary had been in love with before his best friend and war buddy had married her instead. She was the person who had recommended him for the job of taking down the man-eating tiger. As a plot twist, this nurse’s husband had gone Missing in Action from the WWII  front lines as an Army infantry soldier, and it had been months already since anyone had heard of his whereabouts so that he was considered to have likely been killed.

stock-photo-prowling-tiger-345624656

Now then, the plot thickens as the Mercenary is once again stricken with feelings of love for the nurse, his missing best friend’s wife that he now sees daily but only for so long as he will stay at the African village to complete his mission and take down the Tiger.  He becomes deeply conflicted—as does she but less so—about whether to act on his feelings in his friend’s absence (and probable death). Should he proclaim his love?

The scene I like so much and that I will never forget from this story involves an evening walk that the Mercenary takes with an Indian woman he has befriended, also a nurse in the village. He is able to open up with this wise Indian woman about his deep feelings of love he has for the Nurse and how conflicted he feels about being in the village without being able to declare his true feelings. He WANTS her; he sees the condition of her missing husband as an opportunity to have what he most desperately wants in his life: Her.

But the Indian friend speaks to the Mercenary about the true meaning of Love.  She tells him she has observed Americans and other Europeans to have gotten the reality of love all mixed up and topsy-turvy. She points out that to Europeans, what they—including the Mercenary—think of or speak of as love is much too often little more than possessiveness. They pursue one another by wanting to possess the love “object.” That is wrong. Instead, if they truly were meant for one another, if they truly held genuine and authentic love for one another, they would want ONLY that which would be the very BEST for their beloved. They would be willing and happy in fact to LET GO, to detach from any relationship less than fully conducive to the total freedom and happiness of their beloved.

mural-1347673_960_720

images are from pixabay.com

Maybe I shouldn’t tell you the rest of the story as it was portrayed in the movie. I will tell you that the husband does come back and that in the jungle whilst the Mercenary is about to catch up with the Tiger, his MIA friend shows up (not yet having arrived at the village to present himself to his wife) and the Man Eating Tiger is about to pounce on him! What do you believe the Mercenary will do? Will he shoot the Tiger and save his rival friend? Has he yet learned what Really Is Love?

Can you relate to this story metaphorically?

I welcome your Comments and Stories!