Awareness opens us to the spiritual world
During one of my first Jungian psychoanalytic sessions thirty-five years ago with Dr. Arwind Vasavada, a man trained by C.G. Jung, he remarked, “awareness opens us to the spiritual world.” This insight jettisoned me into a night of dreaming in which an angelic being motioned with his right arm and beckoned me into an interior world that I had never before imagined. The words that came from this being were, “Look within.” This statement was followed by an opening into phantasmagorical dimensions of consciousness I later came to understand as realms of the collective unconscious that continue to reveal themselves in my life. Without a doubt, the angel of the interior world revealed a life changing reality of the spiritual world brought into the practical yet transcendent dimensions of daily life.
Synchronicity, the purposeful meeting of the inner and outer worlds, came to the fore during this critical time. Dream symbols and outer life events often paralleled one another so that an event or symbol in the dream world would manifest in the outer world. On one occasion, after many days and nights of overworking during my clinical residency, I left the hospital and realized that I hadn’t dreamed in a number of nights. This is unusual for me since dreaming nightly is more the norm. No sooner had I thought this than a bus passed with an advertisement along its side that read, “Your dreams are missing you!” Well, that’s quite a message from the unconscious revealing itself in a rather practical manner in the midst of a busy day. The human psyche is practical, spirituality and the spiritual world, attuned to the interplay of life situations and events with inner workings.
In Principles of Psychology, William James insisted, “Whatever things have intimate and continuous connection with my life are things of whose reality I cannot doubt.” Practical, emotional and spiritual meaning can imbue life situations with such heightened significance that we cannot help but become aware, more enlightened, as the result of encountering them. Transcendent phenomenon within the course of daily life occurs more frequently than we imagine, awareness bringing them to the fore of consciousness for inspiration, guidance, and potential transformation. One of my mentors in depth psychology taught that we have at least seven or eight synchronous, spiritually meaningful, occurrences each day. Awareness opens us to the psychic reality of things spiritual and emotional that can potentially affect us in pragmatic, transformative, ways.
A middle-aged female admitted to me that she had been using her spiritual practice of meditating four hours a day to deaden herself. “I didn’t want to feel what I needed to feel, to face what I needed to face, so I escaped.” She decided to take a three day break from meditating and discovered that her mind actually felt clearer, her energy more consistent, and her overall well being greatly improved. Over time, she discovered heightened awareness, enlightenment, by meditating less, finding her balance. It turned out that she was afraid of well being, feeling that she was unworthy. Awareness heightened her sensitivity to self and to the innate capacity to know joy and equanimity in life. Practical spirituality, for her, meant coming to terms with a balance between the inner and outer worlds. The symbolism of the meditative lotus posture acquired new meaning for her as the nexus between inner and outer worlds, the pitch of perfect awareness.