• Tag Archives Jung
  • Sacred Sorrow: Powerlessness 2


    “Individuation, as a process can be seen at important stages of life and at times of crisis when fate upsets the purpose and expectation of the ego-consciousness.”

    E A Bennett – What Jung Really Said

    It seems an age since I sat here with a sense of dedication and commitment to my blog, and a need to open my mind further to the possibility that somehow others maybe inspired by what I put in here. It has been twelve weeks at least since my fingers tapped out a new creation for the blog . It almost sounds like I’m in a confessional telling my sins to a priest. Go easy on me.

    Since April 2 I have had an insane work schedule, a holiday, a season change in both climate and work, the passing away of a goal, and in orbit around me others have experienced the death of a loved one, hospitalisation, and an overseas move. They all involve surrender, letting go, or what may seem to be our fate.

    Surrender is the other side of powerlessness. When we go beyond the anxiety of having fate cast an ugly hand, or the feeling that life has betrayed us somehow, we enter the realm of surrender, the place where trust envelops us and allows us to acknowledge that while difficult our current experience is actually moving us forward.

    In Greek Mythology Lachesis, Clotho, and Atropus are the Fates, the Moerae, the three sisters who decide the fates of humans, singing of the experiences we had, that we are having, and the things we will have. Lachesis apportions the lots of fate, Clotho spins the thread of fate and lastly Atropus cuts the thread of fate as we move from life through death, the ultimate surrender, and onwards. And the Fates are attributes of our own souls. We know what has gone before, what is ultimately in our future, and we have an inner knowing of where life is carrying us.

    In honouring a relationship with our soul we may be led into experiences that appear to invade our psyches and push us in directions we hadn’t considered. Surrender is giving up the ways of being that don’t serve us anymore and being open to the possibilities it holds for us, receiving the new experiences life offers us around each new corner.

    I acknowledged the passing away of a goal when I noticed coming up against barriers to its fulfilment. The act of surrendering to the release of something I was holding onto allowed a new idea to take its place. This new thought seemed more difficult to bring to fruition and yet it held more promise than the previous one. It fits well with one of my favourite quotes from Neale Donald Walsch – “Live the grandest version of the greatest vision you ever held about Who You Are.” By offering ourselves to this possibility there maybe sadness as we leave behind those ideas we hold about ourselves that have outlived their usefulness.

    Soul Craft coverBill Plotkin in his book SoulCraft tells the story of Lauren, a woman wandering alone in a sandstone canyon during one of his soulcraft intensives. After she’d been walking for an hour unbidden sensations both emotional and physical left her afraid and struggling. She was in an area surrounded by ancient cliff dwellings and could feel a great sadness emanating from them. This induced a profound experience of grieving, and she left the canyon under the shadow of what Bill terms a soul encounter or initiation. From this she gained the belief she was destined to grieve and assist others in connecting with their own deep sorrow. She received a secret name from the canyon and prepared a naming ceremony in the following three months. After this she went on to drag her feet for a few months until an “accident”, a fall from a horse, forced her into accepting this path that had been chosen by her soul.

    Through committment to the tug of soul she now facilitates grieving processes through word of mouth.

    Surrender means acceptance of what the present moment holds, of what fate has allotted us right now whatever that may be. In saying that we hold the power to apply meaning and emotion to this current experience. We have choice. We are the architects of our own fate. All we need to do is take up our paddle and move out into the current of our life, honouring both the times when we have a gentle course and also when we enter the rapids and life throws us around, shaking us up and making us more acutely aware and focused on our path. There is power in powerlessness if we allow ourselves to be directed by our hearts and souls, allowing a life that engages the mysteries of existence.


    Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche Bill Plotkin. New World Library 2003

    Animas Valley Institute

  • Working with Qualities of Soul: Shadow

    I opened my email this morning to find one from Debbie Ford who writes the Shadow Blog. In it she discusses the fall from grace of two prominent American public figures and how its a reminder for us to be more aware of the how the Shadow may play out in our own lives.

    My shadow was certainly present yesterday as I prepared for my first temping assignment at a restaurant. An event came back to me that I hadn’t acknowledged for quite a few years. Another assignment at a large cafe in Devonport, Auckland where I hadn’t coped at all with the requirements of the job and I lost the plot completely. I didn’t know where I was and didn’t know what to do.  So much so that the managers had to call in the Head Chef who was supposed to be having the day off. I left there completely lost. I  returned to the safety of my career as an Air Force chef. I think I may have completed one more assignment for that temping agency and that was it I never went back to temping. Until now. I felt compelled to explore this option once again as the casual employment I have engaged in for 18 months dried up and debt began to throw its shadow over my days.

    My assignment got off to a reasonably good start. Following the tasks that had been given me by the chef there. I felt I was on top of it – dinner service was due to start at 6.30. At 5.30 the first order came in and I wasn’t ready for it. I could feel panic setting in. Consequently that first dish wasn’t my best. I needed the help of my assistant who had more experience in this particular environment. She encouraged me all the way through and while I didn’t feel completely in control we got through the night without much fuss. I felt better about turning up today. Her support made all the difference. Though its not how I aim to be living in an inspired way it is what is happening in the now. Opening up to a new experience can have a chaotic prelude but if we stay with it the rewards are worth it.

    It has been said that the closer we get to a life of living in an inspired fashion the more the shadow conspires to darken our steps. I’m feeling this right now. While I am seeing the light at the end it seems I’m in the darkest part of the tunnel. And I’ve heard it said that night is darkest just before the dawn.

    From my experience of VisionQuest I had been, during the final night of a 96 hour Quest (fasting and meditation alone in nature), imagining I was hallucinating. The fasting and meditation produce an altered state that opens participants up to receive vision. The “hallucinations” had something of a dark nature and I was awake most of the night uncomfortable, checking to see if dawn was finally beginning to break. The days had seemed interminable and now this final night also. Sleep finally overtook me. The next time I awoke I saw it was lighter and dragged myself zombie-like back to the camp.

    I was received with open arms by the Quest protector and his assistant and proceeded to tell him that I’d been hallucinating. His answer to that was, “that is what we call vision”. Later that day vision called upon me again, this time without the darker images, this time with a message of hope.

    Myers Briggs

    I’m trying to remember how I got there and can’t. Probably something to do with the archetypal information I shared yesterday in regards to cycles. Anyway found myself at this little gem: Jung Typology Test ™. When I first took this test I was surprised at the result and how indicative of my personality traits it was. This is not to say that because we have a certain type we are going to be just like everyone else that has a similar type. All said and done each of us has a unique gift to bring to the world.

    I kept following this trail through sites and the next stop was this. The PersonalityZone. When confronted by our shadow it is often useful to remind ourselves of our intrinsic potential. What is good about me? What do these tests tell me regarding my innate qualities? What am I affirming or validating by reconnecting with these qualities?

    Watching Men in Black yesterday gave me some food for thought. Here are these two agents played by Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith who are working for a covert government organisation that deal with alien beings that have found their way to Planet Earth. Most of these beings are quite content with their lot here but there are some that have a malevolent attitude. That have a shadowy, destructive presence.

    This has parallels to what may going on in our own shadow. What is in there may be the greater unfulfilled potential of our lives co-existing with more malevolent aspects of our character. The parts of us that seek to sabotage our well-being. These parts have built themselves through years of conditioning and the bonds of this conditioning may be difficult to break.

    Again I come back to the night is darkest just before the dawn. How dark does my life need to become before I choose to break from darkness into the dawn of a new day.


  • The Soul: Part One

    The Soul is undiscovered, though explored forever to a depth beyond report

    I will never discover fully what the soul is. No matter what I do. It is limitless. It goes beyond even what I imagine the universe might be as it is said that the universe is finite; that if I was to shine a torch out into the depths of space that eventually after eons and eons of time it would come back and hit me in the back of the head. This earthly existence doesn’t give me the time.

    I am unable to wait, for life changes from moment to moment, cells are dying in my body as I type and new ones are taking their place. I embrace change as a part of life. All I have is the precious now for what was, is now gone and what will be is yet to come. All I have to do is engage my soul and trust that whatever I need in this moment I will receive. And to receive without judgment.

    How do I engage my soul? Where is my soul?

    I see the soul as being our connection to the Life Essence and through that to each other entity from the denser energy of the stones, through plants, insects, birds, and animals. All are affected by what I am broadcasting to the world.

    If I’d been in that engaged soulful space since birth I wouldn’t know what it was like to be out of it. In this earth-bound existence I can only experience one state when I have experienced its opposite. And so rather than judging my negative experiences as bad I now see them as a way to embrace and appreciate more fully the positive.

    Jung said once that the soul does not reside within us, but that our bodies exist within the soul. Sort of like an egg where the yolk is the physical body and the white is the soul that surrounds it.

    The place of the soul in my earthly vehicle is my heart. The heart provides a rhythm for life and as it beats, pulses the energy it is experiencing out into the world. It’s no surprise that we are able to discern a person’s disposition though they may be silent. Whether they are happy, sad, joyous, jealous or angry they are broadcasting it to the world each time the heart beats. When I look into my heart, when I connect with others from a heart-centred attitude, then my soul is engaged.

    Finding pleasure is considered the foremost quality of soul. When I find soulful pleasure in whatever I do I am increasing the vitality of this temple I call my body. It may take me a while to get into that zone and as life changes I may easily slip out of it again. So why wouldn’t I want to be in that state constantly?

    From the stand point of Creative Mythology I look at our traditional mythologies and the stories they tell. Most of them can tell us how to connect to this soulfulness, if we look at them in a metaphorical sense rather than a literal telling of a story. Rereading my post on Chaos may give you some insight into this.

    Or consider the mythology of the Birth of Adonis.

    The Mother of Adonis, Smyrna, was concerned about her incestuous feelings toward her father and tried to take her life to avoid what seemed to be the inevitable result. Her nurse discovered and saved her from this fate, colluding with her to bring this relationship to fruition which she did while the King, Smyrna’s father was drunk when her mother was away.

    This continued until the King became suspicious of who the young girl was. Smyrna left and began to journey through several countries, praying to the gods along the way, unsure whether she wanted to live or die. In time the gods answered her prayers turning her into the tree bearing the name Myrrh.

    After several Months the tree split open and Adonis was born.

    When we look at the image of incest as a symbol we find that in ancient cultures it was sometimes considered incestuous for not only family members to have a sexual relationship but also for members of the same tribe or clan. While it doesn’t necessarily take the curse away from the act it may not be as taboo as incest within immediate family. It may be that it caused unpleasant dynamics within the power structure of the tribal community which then forced Smyrna to leave the tribe and wander searching.

    There may have been a cult around the myrrh tree. A tribe which tended to and traded in Myrrh to which Smyrna was drawn and in that community she was to give birth to Adonis.

    I’m reminded of how soulful I feel when I’m in nature. How nature can speak to those deeper places of connection within me. A feeling of coming home. I imagine that Smyrna may have had those same feelings as she may have connected with these people who were the stewards of the Myrrh.

    This is obviously a construct of my imagination based on the symbolism contained within the story and the concepts you construct around the myth may or will be different to mine. And this will be absolutely perfect for you and what you’re needing in the present moment.


    For more on the power of the Heart see HeartMath

    Incest: Rape Crisis Online Encyclopaedia

    Greek Myth: GML