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  • Working with Qualities of the Soul: Vast

    A vast potentiality within. A universe of possibilities to explore as a human. Logos, Moore explains as being the “mysterious, unfathomable nature of soul”.

    I hadn’t imagined that my daughter would want to do a bungy-jump while she was here. I’d thought she had done one before so I was quite honoured when she said she wanted to do it at the same place her brother had.

    It was raining a little on the way on the way to Hanmer and the thought was there that may they wouldn’t jump in the rain. They do it in all weathers. There was no backing out.

    If someone had said to me 25 years ago that a few years from now people would be jumping off bridges on the end of gigantic rubber bands, bouncing, swinging and dangling, I’m not sure I’d have believed them. Now it is a widely accepted adventure activity. It is definitely part of that vast potentiality of wonderful experience.

    And the smile that was on my daughter’s face when she returned to the look-out point where I’d been videoing the jump was testament to the breath-taking nature of experiencing herself as someone who has thrown themselves off a bridge for the sheer thrill. Now I can’t wait to do it myself. I used to wonder why I hadn’t done it before and now I know. I felt absolutely privileged to have been witness to both my son and daughter taking this plunge and I don’t think I’d have fully appreciated the looks that I saw on their faces had I done it prior to them.

    Talking to her afterwards it was if the whole experience had possessed her. I asked if she’d noticed the bus going across while they were preparing her. Absolutely oblivious of the fact. There was just her and the jump. The photographer below had called to her to wave and it was a distraction that her mind didn’t want to comprehend so the wave was a bit hesitant. She was itching to get off the bridge, wanted the countdown 3, 2, 1 to hurry up so she could just do it. She was ready to go on 3. Any hesitation and she knew that her mind would have begun to organise excuses as to why she couldn’t do it. And again that smile attested to the vastness of  committing to something and succeeding.

    Tuesday was one of those days that seemed to have it all. Action, adventure, grace, relatedness, beingness, beauty, love, sadness.

    Following the jump we went a little further into the township of Hanmer which is a geothermal area and noted for its hot pools. We “took the waters” as used to be said of people enjoying the warmth of naturally occuring hot water.

    Moving from hot to cooler, hotter still and then cool, steam rising from the pools in the almost wintry weather. It was raining and though still the middle of summer a little on the cool side. We were chatting all the time and I’m usually a man of few words when in conversation.

    Then it was beer and a basket of fries in the pub. The rain had increased in intensity by this stage and it was one of those great moments sitting in a warm place with hot food and a cold beer just watching rain outside seemingly in unity with the moment.

    We drove back to Christchurch thinking we’d drop in and see my sister. Not home. Granny and Poppa weren’t home either when we called in there. And that was perfect she got to spend some quality time with her brother before we had to head out to the airport to put her on the plane.

    The drive to the airport was quiet and a touch of sadness as I thought about her heading home. In the past it was me going home after I’d spend a weekend with them. It’s always there leaving the children behind. That bond needing to be broken so that I could continue with my life however it turned out. Within the sadness lies the love. The bond between parent and child.

    I won’t call it bittersweet because there’s no bitterness. There is definitely a sweetness within the sadness because of the love I hold for both of them.


  • Functions of Mythology

    Joseph Campbell suggests four functions of Mythology. The first he says is to “reconcile consciousness to the preconditions of its own existence”. This means a merging of our day to day consciousness with what he refers to as the mysterium tremendum. In cultivating a sense of awe and fascination around our perception of life and fully participating in whatever way we are called we find a mythic sensitivity to life itself.

    The second function is interpretive. In this the myth is “presenting a consistent image of the order of the cosmos” . Cosmos means ‘a place of adornment’. On a personal level how do we see our own cosmos? Are there things we know about ourselves we can rely on come what may? If you’re not sure you have a cosmos how would you imagine it to be? What are the ways in which you adorn your world, create a beautiful space?

    The third is to “validate and support a specific moral order, that order of the society out of which the mythology arose”. The question I ask myself here is how do I create a moral framework for my own life? What is it about my life that has created my sense of ethics.

    The fourth function is to “carry the individual through various stages and crises of life – to help people grasp the unfolding of life with integrity, meaning that individuals will experience significant events in accord with first themselves, second with their culture, third with the universe, and lastly with that mysterium tremendum beyond themselves and all things. What is arising within when you read this? What have you experienced within your life that has given you the tools to deal with the crises that unfold. If all is perfect at all times then we can look for clarification of what is happening now in what has already come to pass. We may be called to honour something that was important in our past that has slipped into the background – something that engendered a sense of awe and fascination at the time.