Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holiday Frenzies, Winter Mysteries and the Feminine Soul!

The mystery of the feminine unifies life. Holiday stress takes away from sense of self and well being. Feminine mystery is a sacred order imbued into existence, a far cry from the outer, masculine, rush rush of holiday season buying and meeting up and dysfunctional family gatherings. Sacredness, respected and honored in daily life, turns us within, to soul. Contrary to holiday frenzies, winter, a time of retreat, takes us into soul mysteries. It's a call into an interior cave, illuminating as fire, as whispers in the night.

The cave, the realm of winter mysteries, is a spiritual reality. Winter bids us turn within, to a deepening spirituality. This speaks to solitude, quiet, sustained interiority. "When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside of you as fate," C.G. Jung noted. The draw of winter is the draw toward inwardness, feminine archetypal energy. Without going into the cave during this season, to the place where inner situations are made conscious, we are vulnerable to the fate of destructive irritability and black moods.

The soul is feminine; so to be out of touch with soul leaves us out of sorts. By the end of the year, stresses have mounted. We need time to turn within, access primal feminine energies, to let go and replenish. The outer world beckons, even demands, more and more energy output. The deal with the devil is give more and you'll get more. Downside to that is what the more is that we get is not what we bargained for.

Too much masculine energy going out unbalances us. This is especially true during the holidays when much is expected. It's hard not to tie into social and familial demands that leave us running here and there, often frantically. We complain of feeling off. Nestling within, into the cave of deep soul, can offset the holiday frenzy that fates us with irritation and bad moods. We needn't live out or be possessed by fateful moods. Moods hurt self and others. They're to be learned from and then shed like an old skin. Mysteries of feminine energy await us as we enter the winter cave of hibernation, time for solitude, quiet and renewal of self!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Awakening the Divine Feminine!

The divine feminine entrances me. The term, the concept, the energy sends me into a trance state of altered perception, consciousness, insight. I know when it happens because there's a quality of leaving behind disconnected ways of thinking and being. Rather than, logic, control, dominance being in charge, I'm more open to intuition, flow, interconnections. This is the living energy of the divine feminine.

The divine feminine shows up in dreams and in cultural events. December is the month that celebrates the Assumption of Mary within institutional religion. Psychologically it is about a world changing frame of mind, an altered state of consciousness, that heals the dissociation between spirit and nature. Within the yogic world, Shakti is the divine feminine presence, energy that pulsates through the universe bringing things to life. That which is ailing or less than true to self or nature is healed, made whole, through the intercession of this feminine force.

She is awakened through dreaming. Life, in many respects, is a waking dream. We are living our stories, our myth, our way of being in the world, quite often in a dramatic manner. We have conflicts, we quarrel, we have ups and downs, we are happy and sad, are angry and love. This is life. This is what it means to be human. This is Shakti, the Black Madonna, Mary the Virgin Goddess of the Heavens.

Through the years more than one person has told me something like, "I sometimes wonder if I'm in a dream and dreaming my life and that one day I'll wake up." We're definitely in a dream, the Divine Feminine pulsating with the dream narrative, the drama of daily life that fashions us into the being we, by nature, were meant to be. This is the Divine Feminine, nature's vibrant energy, coursing through us and transforming us into whole human beings.

Awakening the Divine Feminine happens naturally as we dream that life that we are living and dreaming and awakening to each day and every moment as circumstances and relationships take us by surprise and we open our eyes to the always new discovery, a trance state directed into the self, of the Divine Feminine in the world, in life, and in the soul!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Soul, Holiday Haunting, and the Blues!

The holidays are coming, and so are the blues. They hit when everybody around us is so happy. All of a sudden a pit opens up inside you and you're there. Depressed.

A depressed soul is a haunted soul. James Hollis in his book, Hauntings: Dispelling the Ghosts Who Run Our Lives, notes that the greatest haunting we suffer is a lost relationship to soul. When the relationship to soul is lost something has crept into us and taken its place. Traumatic holidays, dysfunctional families, toxic religious experiences are ghosts that can come haunting during the holidays.

"Christmas for me was like being forced into a religious straitjacket," remembered  a particularly insightful young man. Another person added, "I dream of huge Christmas trees and everybody is very, very happy. It's denial. Holidays bring stress and everybody goes into super happy mode with their huge trees and expensive presents to deny."

Chances are if you're holiday anxious you could be haunted. Anxiety and the holiday blues go together. It's called agitated depression holiday version. Bad memories pushed away, present day stress denied, trigger a host of destructive spirits, negative and anxious attitudes. It's the holiday blues.

Holiday commercialism is rolling down the highway like a sixteen wheeler mowing down anyone in its path. Department stores are staying open for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It won't stop. So, best thing to consider is to stop ourselves. Stop and move into self and stay there, sequestering the haunting and the blues!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Dreams as Prophet!

Dreams tell of the past, present, and future. This is frightening, to be able to peer into the nature of things with clarity. This is much more than looking through a glass darkly as the New Testament writer proclaimed. If we want to see, really and truly see, then we can see with startlingly acuity in our dreams!

Problem is, then change happens. Change inspired by dreams prompts intrapsychic and relational transformation. It might mean divorce or marriage or moving or staying put. It always means deepening. When we see from and within the world of spirit then the illusions of the everyday world of ego consciousness drop away. We're left with truth, enlightenment, shock!

If we understand the dream, then we're shaken. Dreams don't come to tell us what we know. Dreams don't waste time or energy. They are expedient. And, in accord with a pragmatic depth psychology, they are practical. They directly affect our living of life.

Prophets can end up dead. People not infrequently kill them. Ego consciousness gone awry struggles with and murders the prophetic message of the dream. It strangles what it does not want to hear or see. At the very  least, we may push it into the background so the dream is seen only dimly, as through a glass darkly.

One sincere soul related, "Dreams take my breath away and at the same time they make me awake and leave me gasping for breath." Dreams take away old and stale breath. They infuse us with inspiration, fresh spirit. Dreams are the prophets that clear away the old and make room for the new.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Soul Haunting and The Dream!

Dreams, especially nightmares, can be loaded with haunting! did read the right words, just as I wrote them. Nightmares have lots and lots of juicy psychic stuff for insight, enlightenment, and soulful growth in the form of haunting. Thing is, we're so often afraid to listen to it, to the haunting. To listen to inner disturbance as it comes out in nightmares means facing the ghosts that always bear tidings of one sort or another.

Halloween and All Souls Day proclaim the existence of an unseen world. The veil between the world of waking and sleep, the realm of the deep unconscious mind, the spiritual world, thins. Spirits are real. People have reported dreams and waking visions of seeing spirits. I have a colleague, a psychotherapist, who is also a trained shaman. Unseen souls can inhabit homes, place, generate havoc! She's the one to call to exorcise the spirits so the home will sell. It's worked countless times for countless folks.

In the world of soul, the unseen world and the spirits that populate it bring messages into the world of consciousness. They haunt us till the message gets  through. They help us to grow, if we're willing. The spirit that appears by our bedside at night, the nightmares that haunt sleep, the dark events that come out of nowhere can shock us into consciousness...inspired change!

I had a rip-roaring nightmare last night of a literary demon. He was trying to force me into the mainstream literary establishment. I'd be abandoning my writing in dark fiction. It was frightening to say the least. A complete abandonment of self, of soul, was what the demon demanded. I awakened knowing that I had to remain true to my writing, true to myself.

Listening to the message of the nightmare, the spirits of the unseen world, means partaking of organic soul food and not Halloween trick-or-treat candy. Symbolically, candy can refer to a sweetening up of what's bad so that we don't taste it, feel it. Halloween tricks or treats...pass them up in favor of contemplating the haunting, the candle in the center of the carved out pumpkin head, its flickering, its eerie and unrelenting soul meaning.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Anxiety, Soul Sickness, and The Dream!

In this morning's newspaper I read an article about how anxiety increases perceived pain for those diagnosed with chronic pain conditions or those suffering from acute physical pain. In other words, the research stated that anxiety makes body pain worse. Anxiety also increases emotional and spiritual distress. When we're uptight everything goes out of whack. We're seeing through a magnifying lens of grotesque proportions. The soul has become sick.

"We all got a push for the crazies inside us," a very insightful person remarked. He went on to describe a dream in which he was splurging on ice cream. "As I ate, little tiny ants crawled up my arm."  The ants brought a terrible anxiety. Ants were messengers; raw angst crawling on him. "For me, bugs mean buggy. Sweets have  been an addiction. They're denial in my life. I'm in denial and I know it, can't run from it anymore. It's making my mind, body, and soul sick. It makes me anxious." Anxiety was a signal of denial at work, something needing to be faced and learned from.

Anxiety inflamed various physical disorders. He suffered from one aliment after another. His doctor told him that stress (anxiety) compromised his immune system. Running from what needed to be faced loaded him with anxiety. Ice cream in the dream signaled how he was wanting to sweeten things up.

The dream came, as dreams do, to enlighten. He was willing to see how he'd been "out of whack in my life." The crazies had bitten into him. Ants in the dream crawled over his skin, were in his mind, had infected soul. He'd become soul sick. The dream enlightened him about issues that needed to be faced, decisions that needed to be made. Anxiety was a symptom of soul sickness and the dream came as gift guiding the way to, what he described, as a "sense of getting it and getting myself whole again."

Friday, October 18, 2013

A New Spirituality!

I'm quoting from an email from Michael Eigen Ph.D., author of The Psychoanalytic Mystic. As I was having morning coffee and doing first of the day reading, it so struck me that I wanted to post it word for word. It's a source of inspiration from old masters in depth psychology and spirituality! 

This is the email:

Here is a quote from Emmanuel Levinas. Some of you might find it worthwhile.  I quote it in the chapter Guilt in Emotional Storm, which brings together work of Bion, Levinas and Wittgenstein.
It goes with passages of Bion on insoluble emotional problems. Perhaps akin to Buddha's attention to the problem of suffering. 

"...a new attitude…  the search for a proximity beyond the ideas exchanged, a 
proximity that lasts even after dialogue has become impossible. Beyond 
dialogue, a new maturity and earnestness, a new gravity and a new patience, and, if 
I may express it so, maturity and patience for insoluble problems...
    "Neither violence, nor guile, nor simple diplomacy, nor simple tact, nor 
pure tolerance, nor even simple sympathy, nor even simple friendship -  that 
attitude before insoluble problems, what can it be, and what can it contribute?
    "What can it be? The presence of persons before a problem. Attention and 
vigilance: not to sleep until the end of time, perhaps. The presence of 
persons who, for once, do not fade away into words, get lost in technical questions, 
freeze up into institutions or structures. The presence of persons in the 
full force of their irreplaceable identity, in the full force of their inevitable 
responsibility.  To recognize and name those insoluble substances and keep 
them from exploding in violence, guile, or politics, to keep watch where 
conflicts tend to break out, a new religiosity and solidarity – is loving one’s 
neighbor anything other than this? Not the facile, spontaneous elan,  but the 
difficult working on oneself: to go toward the Other where he is truly other, in 
the radical contradiction of their alterity, that place from which, for an 
insufficiently mature soul, hatred flows naturally or is deduced with infallible 
logic.  One must abstain from the convenience of ‘historical rights,’ ‘rights 
of enrootedness,’ ‘undeniable principles,’ and ‘the inalienable human 
condition.’ One must refuse to be caught up in the tangle of abstractions, whose 
principles are often evident, but whose dialectic, be it ever so rigorous, is 
murderous and criminal.  The presence of persons, proximity between persons: what 
will come of this new spirituality, that proximity without definite projects, 
that sort of vigilance without dialogue that, devoid of all definition, all 
thought, may resemble sleep?  To tell the truth, I don’t know. But before 
smiling at maturity for insoluble problems, a pathetic formula, actually, let us 
think, like one of my young students, of St. Exupery’s little prince, who asks 
the pilot stranded in the desert, who only knows how to draw a boa constricter 
digesting an elephant, to draw a sheep.  And I think what the little prince 
wants is that proverbial lamb who is as gentle as a lamb. But nothing could be 
more difficult. None of the sheep he draws pleases the little prince. They are 
either violent rams with big horns or too old. The little prince disdains the 
gentleness that only comes with extreme age.  So the pilot draws a 
parallelogram, the box in which the sheep is sleeping,  to the little prince’s great 
"I do not know how to draw the solution to insoluble problems  It is still 
sleeping in the bottom of the box; but a box over which persons who have drawn 
close to each other keep watch. I have no idea other than the idea of the idea 
that one should have. The abstract drawing of the parallelogram – cradle of 
our hopes. I have the idea of a possibility in which the impossible may be 

From Levinas, Alterity and Transcendence

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Dreams, Gentle Whispers, and Peace of Mind!

It's one thing to talk about dreams, it's quite another to actually take them to heart and follow their inspiration. With a new book out, I've been listening to them; but, really taking them to heart has been a challenge. Outside voices from the book industry have said do this or do that. Dreams come and offer guidance in gentle whispers.

Gentle whispers from dreams mean that there is genuine inspiration coming our way. We don't have to have nightmares to get the message if we listen to the whispers. A couple of times I've gone back on what my dreams have whispered regarding my book. My soul has patiently waited as I then learned from what could have been avoided had I listened. It took energy from me to go through this, but I learned what I needed to learn. I also learned to listen and follow the gentle whispers of my dreams despite outward urging from others to do this or that, all contrary to the gentle whispers of dreams.

Peace of mind returns when we listen to the gentle whispers of dreams. We become realigned with Self. When the alignment with Self is interrupted then the mind is fractious, anxious. Alignment with Self, as happens when we listen to the gentle whispers of dreams, brings in peace of mind.

Well, I feel back on track with my writing and a new book making its way through the world. It's a good thing to move with and live with the peace of mind that comes from listening to the gentle whispers of dreams. Last night, as I dreamt, it was clear that innocence was being restored and my soul righted. Back on track, with a new and replenished sense of self making its way through the world, is a good thing and it comes with peace of mind.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Trauma--Shattered Mind, Soul Possessed!

Trauma shatters mind. You turn against yourself. The world feels hostile, frightening. "The Core of 'Mind and Cosmos' ", a recent New York Times article by Thomas Nagel (2013.08.18) makes the case for mind, what depth psychologists call soul, as intimate to nature. William James wrote of God as intimate soul. Intimate soul, intimate God, intimate Nature symbolize the reality of that which is immense and yet nearest and dearest. Nagel states that mind transcends empirical science, cannot be bound by objective facts. Soul is a subjective reality intimately affected by all aspects of life including trauma.

Trauma victims have told me, "I've lost it", "My mind's blown", "My soul is gone".  They go on to say, "I'm in shock", "My life is over", "I can't go on". Trauma reaches into intimate realms of soul. It shatters reality. Demon Dis of ancient myth flies in through psychic cracks generated by trauma. Dis sets disturbance into mind. Not dealt with, emotional pain can become demonic, the personality taken over by something described as "bigger than life." The soul becomes possessed.

People become their depression. They become their pain. They become their trauma. People become traumatic to be around. They are souls possessed.

Possession by a psychological complex, felt as an intense mood state that grabs hold and won't let go, can be personified and projected. An acquaintance shared, "I had a ghost or a spirit follow me when I was with my ex-husband. He was harmless but a prankster. He liked to turn the television on and off. Turn the lights in the house on and off. Play with the animals. Actually, I think he was with my ex-husband, because when my husband left so did the ghost."

A traumatic relationship that leads to divorce may have been the place of a haunting. A soul possessed, one troubled by demon Dis, can project that foul energy, sensitive souls picking up on it and personifying it as a ghost...a seeing into relational and intrapsychic realities in a spiritual manner. Whatever the cause, trauma can shatter minds and relationships, leaving behind energies that need to be dealt with, eventually expelled or exorcised via human caring and understanding that leads to growthful change. Souls possessed can come from traumas to unearth what needs attention, face the ghosts or face the haunting!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Trauma, Demon Dis, and the Soul!

Hot off the press, Trauma and the Soul, by my friend and colleague, Donald Kalsched, Ph.D., delves into trauma, the soul, and the demon Dis. I think I'm going to contemplate this area for a while on this blog. In particular, today, I am drawn to the body as container of repressed pain and trauma. Kalsched explores the myth of the god Dis, the penultimate demon of negation, the one who divides body from soul during trauma.

People who have been scathed by emotional, spiritual, physical, sexual trauma encounter Dis, sometimes in the form of bodily symptoms that mainstream medicine can't diagnosis or effectively treat. I've found that at times, there are reasons in a person's background, perhaps dating to childhood, for chronic body pain and various ailments. The dark archetypal energy of Dis separates us from psychic pain so that we  can survive. Dis distances us from what is unbearable, too much to admit to consciousness.

Dis can also refuse us access to the emotions of anger and fear so necessary in the working through of trauma. Dis is the inner persecutor who blames us for our sufferings. So often I've heard patients say, "But, it was my fault. If only I hadn't been that way then it wouldn't have happened." This attitude of self blame represses true emotion of outrage to an inner hell place that then threatens us with ongoing misery since it is never worked through.

Dante, in the Inferno, describes Dis as the vilest monster at the center of Hell. Psychologically, he is one who generates dissociation, disintegration.  He shoots us full of the chronic sense that everything, including our very sense of self , is coming apart at the seams. Dis disintegrates, dissociates, disempowers, disconnects, propagates disharmony and disease.

However, Dis can also inspire a displacing of Dis. Plainly put, it's miserable to keep trauma locked up and hidden. Doing so makes life a living hell. Consciousness, motivated by a healthy desire for mental and physical relief, and a willing moving into true feeling that has been denied or repressed, potentiates healing. The ongoing narrative that emerges in the living of misery and chronic body pain, the psychic story of Dis within the context of experienced trauma and the soul, echoes the adage that when the mind is in pain the body cries out.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Soul Care and a Happy Mind!

Soul care yields a happy mind. After over thirty years of professional practice in depth psychology and over forty years of personal dream tending, I've come to the conclusion that caring for the soul takes us into a strange realm of contentment and well being. Happiness of this sort is not common. Soul care requires patient and tender devotion to the psyche. As we cultivate such devotion through sensitivity to self and others and by consistent dream tending, there comes a gentle but definite knowing that all is well.

I've heard colleagues and acquaintances argue about happiness, some saying it's superficial or irrelevant. Their fierce manner and twisted expression betrayed an underlying frustration. Often, in hushed tones, they'd complain about disturbed sleep, chronic conflicts, and a host of physical ailments.One psychoanalyst recently commented, "Well, after all, Freud did consign us to everyday misery being about the best we can hope for." I knew he had missed out on a vital facet of life experience, evidently unknown to Freud....happiness.  Happiness, when denied and thus never integrated, turns south and morphs into legions of suffering.

Patients who heal and learn to tend soul gradually, sometimes incrementally, experience consistent happiness. The archetype of happiness reveals herself in dreams as a flush of oneness with self and the world. My own Native American influenced cosmogony (my grandmother Pueblo Indian and medicine woman) looks at unnecessary pain and disease, to include unhappiness, as resulting from a disruption in harmonious cosmic patterns involving gods and spirits, people and animals, the archetype of nature herself.

Tending the soul by asking what caused imbalance, what disrupted natural life harmony, may yield corrective insight so that we return to a harmonious cooperation with nature and life that brings soulful well being and happiness.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Drug Cocktails, Brain, and Soul!

New York Times Sunday Dialogue article (May 26, 2013)  about medication and psychotherapy struck a few soul chords. Medication works for as long as its taken. There is no doubt that it can prove necessary and helpful when treating severe and chronic mental pain. However, drug cocktails don't fix soul misery and the need for meaning and wholeness. Seasoned therapists know when to use drugs, when to refrain, and about the need to guide the sufferer along deeper and darker paths of soul to find authentic and long lasting healing.

To go for mere brain change confuses fixing the outside and then thinking this changes the inside. A deep soul  shared her experience: "I needed the medication so I could stabilize, but then my dream said the pills had done what they could do. I had a new hairdo that was sprayed hard with hairspray. Tiny flies and mosquitoes flew around and in and through the pretty looking hairdo. It looked good but was loaded with tiny bugs. I felt good because I wasn't feeling the craziness that was inside me.  Drugs helped me to stabilize. Then, I needed to wean off the drugs and get down to soul work."

Some folks, of course, need to stay on medication due to the severity of their problems. Soul work can be done while on medication as long as the drugs don't deaden human feeling. This happens when a person is over medicated. All in all, we can say that drug cocktails alter the brain, depth therapy alters the brain, but only soul work heals the human psyche.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Good Enough Mothers, Magic Makers, and the Invisible Realm!

On this Mother's Day 2013 I thought up a little post about mother's, will, and the invisible realm. In the womb of the mother life is nourished. In the womb of mother, womb of life, the realm invisible to the eye, life starts, is nourished, and one day departs into the visible world. Psychic potential depends on will. Will takes us to the door of potential, states William James, father of American depth psychology, but forces from the invisible realm are what usher us in. No amount of strain, pushing, forcing, or ego coercing brings results without forces from the invisible realm of the deep unconscious mind, the spiritual world, coming to create what once did not exist.

Mothers, good mothers, those who aren't and don't need to be perfect, can be all right with being good enough, in the words of depth psychologist David Winnicott. Good enough mothers are light bearers of all that is right in the world. They are there not only when they have to be but when they don't, just because they want to and care to. Such a wondrous being told me, "When I look at my children I know they are their own little selves. They are life filled, and my work is to nourish the unique life in each of them and try not to get in the way." That statement made such an impression on me since it came from a deeply spiritual and practical woman. She went on to say that her everyday spirituality very much was about caring for her children, her marriage, and herself---to the best of her ability, not perfectly, simply good enough. That's a magic maker mother!

Now, to get back to William James and the invisible realm, it seems to me that mother's are indeed magic makers. They step forward, by an act of will, whether conscious or not, to the door of motherhood. They are there not only when they have to be but when they don't, just because they want to and care to. I believe that the mother's spiritual energies then come to move forward with that which has been requested. One mother, a dream sensitive soul, said, "I dream about my children. My dreams help me with what's needed when. And, they also help me to know my limits." She knew that being a good mother doesn't require perfection, just the will to be good enough. Invisible forces, spiritual energies, come to aid via instincts, dreams, deep feeling and love in being about the business of good enough motherhood--true makers of magic in the world because they are there not only when they have to be but when they don't, just because they want to and care to.

Good enough mothers are magic makers of everyday life!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Diseased Sense of Self---A Cry for Help!

When psychological symptoms hit hard, like a Mac truck running straight into the center of your gut, then we can be sure that the self is in trouble. The New York Times article,  The Problem With How We Treat Bipolar Disorder,  dramatizes a woman's struggle with bipolar disorder and how she came to see that more than medication intervention, she needed help for her diseased sense of self. A diseased sense of self slams us with symptoms aplenty---depression, anxiety, substance abuse, sexual disorders, unending relational conflict!

After years of hospitalization, drugs, this woman finally confronted the psychological reality of the self. By turning within, acknowledging personal demons and what they have to convey through the antics they spring into our lives, we begin the process of true healing. Hospitals and drugs, not ends in themselves, only help to the degree that they facilitate the process of inner healing.

Patient soul searching in the company of a depth psychotherapist sheds light into dark realms of mind. A sincere woman expressed it wisely, "During hypomanic states I thought I was seeing so clearly and doing so much. Then, I'd crash and my mind would break into a million pieces. Once I stopped the running, and found someone to take the journey with me, I discovered things about myself and my life I didn't like and had to change. I'd been running for years. I'd run and crash and run and crash---that's bipolar disorder. Now, I watch myself. I start gearing up and I know it's time to go slow and turn inside, listen to what I need to hear and learn about myself."

Dark states of mind are loaded with healing potential. Depression, substance abuse, sexual disorders, relational conflicts really are gifts. They come to say, "You're unhappy for a reason. Take some time, look inside, discover what you need to so as to make the changes you need to." C.G. Jung, Sigmund Freud, William James, the great fathers of depth psychology, would bid us onward into deep realms of psyche and there come to terms with the fact that running from self ends in "breaking into a million pieces"; whereas, coming face to face with self offers the chance to unwrap the gift life has presented us.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Painful Relationships...Transformation in the Offing!

Painful relationships scream for attention. They challenge us to figure out the meaning. Do we work things through? Is that possible? Do we let them go even though there's been weeks, months, years of familiarity? Peering into darkness, into what isn't known and what isn't guaranteed, carries a certain dread of being wrong. But, we need to consider that doing nothing, purposelessly lingering in misery, definitely counts as one of the worst and most assured ways of going down a psychic dead end and waking up with a blistering emotional headache.

Old mystics purported that we only love God to the degree that we love the person we love least. Translated out of old religious speak, we might consider that truth to self urges us to take stock of what makes sense and what does not regarding the people in our life. A capacity to reach understanding hallmarks keeper relationships. If we can't, over time, reach a meeting of mind and hearts, then maybe it's time to move on.

Moving on from relationships that don't work open up potentials for new avenues of relational growth. "I was scared to death to admit that I'd been stuck for a long time. My dreams showed me as a teenager in high school, going from one emotional drama with this man to another. I knew this was happening because the relationship couldn't be unstuck. Psychologically, it was a high school crush relationship. My psyche screamed with pain." This highly conscious woman had been blindsided by emotional need, but eventually said good-bye to a go-nowhere relationship and drew a deep emotional breath, opened her mind, and trusted that just as her psyche screamed in pain it would also guide her into relational meaning.

Painful relationships indeed scream for attention; however, the good news also rings through loud and clear that where there has been darkness there is also potential transformation in the offing! In the words of William James, the father of American depth psychology, "There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision." So, the message of the day has to do with listening to life's whispers so that it needn't scream.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Eternal Flow!

Life is about itself and we are part of that eternal flow! That is enough reason to live today with gusto and yielding to what the moment brings. People so often say that they don't know why they are alive or what life is all about. Life is about itself and we are part of that eternal flow!

"Art borrows nothing and has no other source than the soul in the midst of the world surrounding it. Its essence is unknown and its goal is art itself." These words of French twentieth century artist, Odilon Redon, in his manuscript, To Myself: Notes on Life, Art, and Artists, inspire us to consider that life and soul are one reality. The goal of now, this moment in which we abide, is none other than knowing the pure art of soulful living in the now, the eternal flow of whatever comes our way in the moment. It is part of what is and that is life, the eternal flow of soul.

When we flop ourselves onto dry land, get out the eternal flow of soul, we lose contact with our source. Energy loss, unhappiness, a sense of moving through the day grudgingly, happen when we've flopped ourselves out of that eternal flow that is soul. Up to half of our population suffers from regular depression. Making our way back into the waters of soul bodes well for healing from depression. We know we're getting close or are there when the symptoms begin to clear and we experience ourselves back in our own depths, once again content and well.

There is no merit in suffering for sufferings sake. Misery in this life won't get us to bliss in the sweet bye and bye, as is promised in some religions. However, unhappiness, if heeded as a message of longing for return to one's source, to soul, can motivate us to look within, discover how it is that we need to set our lives right. Thus, the purpose of life is not some religiously bent suffering for sufferings sake, but is about living soulfully, participating in the eternal flow of soul, moving into the pure art of soulful living. Again, in the words of Redon, to include the art of life, "Art borrows nothing and has no other source than the soul in the midst of the world surrounding it."

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Prison of Belief!

Healthily, the way it's supposed to go is that belief is to supposed to set us free. When it doesn't then it makes sense that reconsidering things is in order. Guilt, fear, force, shame can't be the way to make lives better and people more loving, creative, and conscious.

Religion, psychology, art, all manner of spiritual practice, and sexuality are charged with numinous energy that can compel people to either find themselves, or else (horror of horrors!), lose themselves. Loss of self takes place when we no longer think for ourselves. We can end up thinking like everyone else, whether they are artistic geniuses, Jungian or Freudian therapists, yogic gurus, or passionate lovers unless we rather fastidiously take into account the guarding of our own mind.

New York Times article,  Going Clear (12.20.13) , explores the power of belief within an organized religion and how it literally corrupts human nature. Rather than engaging in spiritual encounter that heals and transforms, individuals find themselves succumbing to group think, a terrible loss of self and mind. A professional colleague on hearing of my upcoming novel, The Unholy (release date Spring 2013), said ".....the dark side of religion?'s all dark." I went on to say, "Even saying that is too much. People need to have their own experience of what works for them and what does not. That leaves us free, or else we run the risk of dictating that all manner of one thing or another is bad." We want to encourage exploration, experience, psychic freedom.

Prisons of belief are built when all manner of this thing or that are judged all good or all bad. Excluding obviously destructive ideologies and actions, ideas and practices are in large part neither good or bad. It depends on what we do with what we have and what life has dealt us to deal with. Healthily, it is the nurturance of inner truth, what sets you and me as individuals on the path of a free mind lived without knuckling under to threat from external forces that demand compliance, that ultimately unbinds the human psyche and lets loose consciousness!