Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Golden World

(Here is the rough version of one of the pieces I'm still in the process of writing about this powerful CD collection from Sounds True. My only complaint about it is that it ended. I hope there will be a Golden World Part II.)

In this CD collection, revered author and Jungian analyst, Robert Johnson, offers us wisdom from his life and his vast reservoir of psychological knowledge. At 85 years old, he seems at times to struggle for breath. He speaks slowly, thoughtfully and with depth.

He is surprisingly vulnerable and open about sharing his vulnerability. His books, such as He, She, and We are some of the best in the field. One might expect him to be more distant, personally covert and linear. He categorizes himself as an introverted feeler; that is, an inner-directed person who relates best through feeling.

A series of synchronicities led him to Zurich, (at age 26) where coincidence brought him to the Jung Institute and analysis with its then founder (not Carl Jung who neither believed in nor ever set foot inside the institute.)

However, Mrs. Jung taught a class there on the Grail Myth, and Johnson was able to secure a meeting with her in which he related what he considered an important dream that his own analyst refused to hear.

Soon after, he received a call from Dr. Jung.

"Come to my office," Dr. Jung told him in English. "I want to talk at you."

And talk at him, he did. Having heard Johnson’s dream, Jung was able to lay out a future for the young man that Johnson still believes saved him years of missteps.

He talked to me in my typology, Johnson says. He characterizes Jung as an extroverted thinker, that is, someone who sees life in a linear way and is energized by the presence of others.

Jung possessed such remarkable intellect and intuition that he could relate to Johnson, not only in English, but also in the language of feeling, which is where the young man was most at home.

"Quit the Institute," Jung told him. "The best way to learn my work is through a private tutor."

Further, he advised him to embrace his introverted nature. "Do not marry but lead a life that allows you to follow a more internal path."

He saved me years of trying to be something I’m not, Johnson tells us.

Jungian typology:

Jung broke personalities into basic types. (I’ve heard that he borrowed some of this from the language of astrology.)

Most cultures have concepts for air, water, fire and earth which also correspond to these typologies.

Thinking, Feeling, Intuitive, and Sensate.

Jung also added introversion and extroversion as distinctions. A simple test to see whether you’re the former or the latter: as a generality, do you withdraw to replenish your energy or do you replenish your energy by being with people? Introverts tend to withdraw, extroverts seek company.

No one is all one type or all another but we tend to fall closer to one category than another. Thinkers are logical and linear; feelers relate through emotion and gut sense. Intuitives tend to know things without even knowing how or why they know. And sensates tune into the physical world and draw their conclusions from there.

To learn more: The four Ego Functions ...

Like many Jungians, Johnson believes countries fall into types, as well. America, he says, is an extroverted thinkers’ world. We reward the person behind the microscope. But we’re impoverished in terms of feeling and our language reflects it.

As an example, he cites Sanskrit, which has 96 words for love compared to our vast lexicon of words for the mechanistic world. India, he tells us, is an introverted feeling nation with all the positives and negatives that entails.

One quirky positive: riding a bike in India, a complete stranger on another bike will hold your hand for a time and then let go as your paths diverge. No words need even been exchanged.
The negatives include: caste systems, treatment of women, lack of facilities for clean water.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Notes from Caroline Myss' Essential Guide for Healers Part II

"Intuition is not a visionary skill that makes sure nothing ever goes wrong in your life!" In fact, Myss believes that your intuition tells you how you mismanage power."

She claims that we are imploding from all the intuition we ignore. "Right now," she demands, "stop and list all the positive things your intuition is telling you to do that you ignore." Transformation can be achieved by risking the smallest changes.

Intuition is about bringing congruence between the heart and mind. Without it, she says, we're a mess!

Fear of success, she scoffs, is ridiculous. Instead she redirects the listener: Where are you not following your guidance? Where do you lack integrity?

If you hold yourself back so you won't upset others, rest assured that "Everyone's feelings are hurt if you change their plans for your life." Inevitably, as we change, those around us must re-evaluate and change, as well.

Can You Be Invisible?

Can you be a silent presence, simply observe, absorb, and if necessary, transmit? Can you work in anonymity, or is your ego engaged in seeking glory?

Seeking glory is different from appreciating a thank you.

Do you listen within and take the actions that are instructed for your own life? If not, then why should anyone listen to you? And why would you be given even higher voltage information for others?

Healer As A Calling

Callings require transformation. That doesn't take the place of healing training. Start anywhere, she tells us. You need the discipline to be schooled.

Decide what is appropriate for you and don't compromise. For example, she doesn't heal children and no amount of cajoling will induce her to shirk that personal boundary.

You can never promise an outcome. Healing only has a capacity not a promise. Don't mix friendship with clients or you're mixing your agendas.


Where did we get the idea that "to serve God" we must be poor? Healers need to break through this myth and create a template of abundance for ourselves and future generations.


Don't hug Caroline Myss unless you're a close friend or relative. "You don't see bank managers hugging their clients," she says, so who created this idea that healers have to hug people?

It's like having three hundred people (her audience) lay hands on you. Why would anyone want to be left with all that unconscious energy?

Healer Not Mother

She cautions us to clarify the difference between the mother and healer archetypes. While the mother may be all loving and willing to take on your aches and pains, the healer is a conduit for the ineffable.

This requires incredible stamina and an ability to channel energy that moves faster than a disease. The healer may not be a soft and fuzzy kind of person, there to hold your hand.

In fact, the healer is most likely a flawed human being, someone with his or her own issues to work on. As stated in earlier, one can be a flawed human being and still be fully empowered as a healer.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Notes from Caroline Myss' Essential Guide for Healers

"Get a back bone, not a wish bone." Caroline Myss

Myss explores the healer archetype, and breaks through the myths that have clustered around it. All the literature she found for healers talked about how to heal others, and here she wants to instruct us about healing ourselves.

Her intention is that healers see and evaluate themselves realistically. Further, she wants healers to benefit from their own compassion, the very healing energy they share so freely with others and often fail to lavish upon themselves.

Luminaries as diverse as Shakespeare and the Oracle at Delphi commanded us to "Know thyself." Myss asserts that the healer must know the who what and why of herself in order to become and remain a powerful vessel.

We cannot respect our limits or work faithfully through our limitations if we are blind to them. We will be unable or unwilling to set boundaries for ourselves and inevitably overstep the boundaries of others.

You need to know yourself well enough to know what you can and cannot do. Therefore, you have the ability to say no to situations and people that are inappropriate for you. For instance, she will not heal children, though she doesn't tell us why.

There is a myth, she says, that healers are mystics. Her years of study and years in the field tell her this is untrue. However, she believes all mystics are healers and she cites biblical passages to support her contention.

You can be a 9-5 healer, i.e., someone who practices a skill, such as massage, and goes home at the end of the day feeling you have helped clients without having gone core deep.

She calls this the "eau de toilette" version and considers it completely legitimate.

Her definition of healer extends past the healing practitioner. If you are a healer you will transform your environment whether you're flipping burgers, or teaching school. It's simply who you are.

Eleanor Roosevelt was a profound healer for our country, and a role model for women. Her courage and her ability to contribute made a difference in the world.

Healers are expected to be all things to all people all the time. If you, as a healer, do not know yourself as a flawed person who has particular talents, you will be taken by the ego.

You can be a flawed person, she tells us, and a fully empowered healer. "I specialize in it," she says, in one of her few revelatory remarks.

What I don't like about her style is the angry, arrogant tone. She doesn't say we are this or that; it's always you. And her assumptions about you aren't good.

You aren't doing your inner work, eating right, exercising. And if you neglect your inner voice, why should anyone else trust you?

She abhors the burned out healer. In what other profession, she asks, do you find such a massive burn-out from what is considered someone's goodness?

Being a healer does not make you inherently good. Everyone has a shadow and it's the healer's job to integrate her own.

Otherwise, you will have a private agenda, such as being needed, or being superior; and your private agenda will compromise your work and cross everyone's boundaries.

Don't get too full of yourself, she instructs. If the gods want someone to be healed, they can send them to the corner store for a can of cat food and that cat food will heal them.

You are merely a channel. Strengthen yourself so you can be a clear channel and ready to take on what's given to you.

The Wounded Healer:

Can one be an elegant healer without experiencing a call? Can you provide a healing presence without seeking credit?

The psychic wound will bring you to your knees. It will convince you that you are completely alone, causing everything you depended on to fail you. This "gutting," as she calls it, removes all the old perceptual wiring.

The up side: once you've surrendered and let go your attachments, you can become a sturdy vessel. You will trust inner guidance over the chatter from the world.

You will not compromise what you know in order to win temporary favor or companionship. If you endure this kind of wound, you will have the capacity to maintain your center no matter what temptations arise.

The pain of the wound has to be so great that you would willingly let your old world dissolve. And with it dissolves all the beliefs about what can and cannot be healed.

This journey, she tells us, will require you to tolerate a light that would implode a body that was unprepared. Mystics have always had experiences of seeing the light before transformation, even at times being blinded by it.

Myth of the Wounded Healer:

Myss makes a distinction I hadn't heard in this way before:

All wounds are not the psychic wounds of the healer. Some are simply the lessons of earth school. From our earthly perspective, life's issues look insoluble. From the soul's perspective, we are simply learning and growing.

For instance, a divorce can be traumatic, but it doesn't necessarily gut one to the core and demand complete rewiring of perceptions.

Feeling lonely is different from feeling as if you have no place in this world. The psychic wound convinces you that your world is gone and no amount of tinkering could restore it.

Self-Esteem is the Access to Love:

Here she makes another unique distinction. Self-esteem is more powerful than love. Without self-esteem all you have is connivance to get somewhere.

You can only reach love through self-esteem. Everything else is ego and agenda.

She defines self-esteem as the ability to hold yourself in enough respect not to compromise who you are for affection or survival.

(End of Part 1. More to follow...)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Way of the Heart

Jung In Ireland: Andrew Harvey was set to give a lecture entitled "The Way of the Heart" but became ill and had to cancel.

Instead, each of the presenters expressed a take on the topic. Here are some of my notes.

Jan Bauer:

Connect through the shadow. If we try to be perfect, we're invulnerable, not touchable. We become humanized through our errors and imperfections. When there is a chink in the wall our friends fly in to help us.

We connect through light as well as paradox of light and shadow in our sometimes silly and sacred humanity.

It would be wonderful to be able to accept our whole shadow, all the faux pas, and own them, even if someone were to recite them.

Dr. Tom Lavin:

Listen within. His dreams revealed he needed a heart bypass. He was able to have that done in time to save his life.

All the archetypes are within. We need the tension of opposites, such as comedy and tragedy. Full life is able to embrace what the self gives today.

You can own the fact that you live and live deeply.

Dr. Maureen Concannon: The Irish way of the heart. Neart is divine energy that pervades everything.

(I googled neart and it also listed it as strength, strength in unity.)

Sowen (Irish for spirits) are in costume, not speaking. Can't be recognized. You could be dancing with a spirit.

"Only when we are alone can we find the other present in us." She mentioned or recited the Prayer of St. Francis.

Rumi: "There is a light beyond..."

Dr. Aryeh Maidenbaum:

"Who looks outside dreams,
Who looks within, awakens.

Sometimes the only thing worse than changing is not changing. (Brendan Kenneally)
"Only that which changes is true." ~Jung

You have to be open to change to have a real life.

Death and the midlife crisis. Aryeh gave a fascinating talk that was personal as well as psychological but like much of this conference, you truly had to be there for the experience.

He spoke about similarities documented between death and the midlife crisis. My notes weren't clear so I took this from

by Jean Coleman, MSc Consultant Clinical Psychologist

In 1965 Elliot Jacques, coined the phrase "midlife crisis," in his article: Death and the Midlife Crisis. Journal of Psycho-Analysis 46.

Jacques maintained that the pattern of midlife crisis is often seen in the lives of writers, composers and artists. Their early work flows easily from pen, brush, chisel or whatever. In the second half of life, things progress more slowly and with more of a struggle; but the results are more meaningful, stronger, in many peoples eyes, they are greater works of art.

Shakespeare’s earlier works had a lighter, often more comedic style; but it is his later works of tragedy that have the deeper messages. So also with musicians and other artists. Jaques would maintain that the great work of Bach, Constable and Goya emerged in mid-life.

Jacques studied ‘some 310 painters, composers, poets, writers and sculptors of undoubted greatness or genius’. In this study, he found a tendency for creativity either to cease, sometimes the person actually died, or subsequent works were changed in nature. The quality of work is no longer a spontaneous expression but becomes a ‘sculpted creativity’.

There is no longer a need for obsessional attempts at perfection, because inevitable imperfection is no longer felt as bitter persecuting failure. Out of this mature resignation comes the serenity in the work of genius, true serenity, serenity which transcends imperfection by accepting it.’

Levinson (1976) also comments on the link between resolution of the crisis and continuing effective creativity, ‘Men such as Freud, Jung, Eugene O’Neill, Frank Lloyd Wright, Goya and Ghandi went through a profound crisis at around 40 and made tremendous creative gains through it. There are also men like Dylan Thomas and F. Scott Fitzgerald who could not manage this crisis and who destroyed themselves in it.
A study of 310 important creative people (Mozart, Rodin, etc.) indicated that they had a marked tendency toward crisis in midlife.

Aryeh ended with a quote from the Talmud:
If I am not for myself, who will be?
If I am only for myself, who am I?
If not now, when?

Guy Corneau:

Led a powerful heart meditation. You had to be there!

Noirin Ni Riain:

My notes aren't clear. Brigit: The Happy Heart is True

The Developing Mind, by Dan Siegal, power of relationships to heal.

Sunset: Take a moment for consciousness. Sun rise is the new day. Make your own ritual and make time for it every day.

Astrological Psychology

Jung took many of his innovative ideas from astrology (typology, for instance). Archetypal figures are the planets. Venus has been the Goddess of Love since the ancients.

Jung's daughter Grette said that her father put her in the role of home/mother. At 15 she became gravely ill. Jung came to see her and actually saw her and listened to her.

Out of that meeting, she was freed of the mothering role and became an astrologer.

Grette also mentioned that the children did not like Toni Wolf. They wrecked her hat. (related in a private interview with Dr. Maureen Concannon.)

Dr. Concannon insists that we are terrified of the powerful feminine. She does not refer to leaders such as Margaret Thatcher, whom she characterized as a man in drag.

Horrific murders and wars, she said, are the result of having lost contact with the feminine archetype of the great mother.

Currently we're experiencing the manifestation of the dark goddess. (My notes from this lecture are spotty.

Dr. Concannon's flow was a bit hard to follow. She seemed to be in the midst of her own transformation and admitted that she could not follow her usual highly prepared and rational style.

Regarding the dark night of the soul, she quotes Scott Fitzgerald: "It's 3:00 in the morning 24 hours a day."

Christianity in Ireland: The druids became priests (so there was no war) but they kept the idea of a feminine deity. The white deer is the druid.

Three branches of Irish Christianity. (A bit spotty here) Bridit's kept ancient traditions of Ireland. Druids involve nature rituals. (Brigit's day is February 1st.

How the Irish Saved Civilization (during the dark ages, peace reigned in Ireland) Druids created a Christianity of peace and druidic knowledge.

Early Irish Christianity is based on the Coptic Christians and connected strongly with the land.

From Noirin ni Riaian:

Brigit is the patron of healing, poetry and smiths craft. Imbolc is her season.

Where is the center of the world? Where you stand.

February 1 is Brigid's day
February 2 is Christian Fest of Mary (Candle mass)
February 3rd - Blaise - (?) Feast for blessings of your throat?

Brigid was born on the threshold - The threshold is a place of possibility.

The Crone was once the lover to all the Kings of Ireland. Hills are rocks that fell from her apron.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Growing Into Real Power

Growing Into Real Power: When Living Itself Becomes A Friend

Notes from Dr. Maureen Concannon's lecture - 2007 Jung In Ireland Conference

When an archetype (such as the goddess) is withdrawn from the collective consciousness, it becomes hidden in our unconscious and we become afraid of it.

The goddess stood for things we're now afraid of. For instance, she rules over death (death is generally a tabu subject.)

4,500 B.C.: Horse-riding warriors (Kurgens) from the Russian Steppes moved west. Unlike their intrusion into the rest of Europe, they didn't enter Ireland until 600 B.C. This gave Ireland 4,000 years longer than the rest of Europe to remain a nature and matriarchal society.

The Law of Nature: Respect and honor what you have or it will be taken from you. Ireland has a pact with the goddess. If Ireland wars, or disrespects the land, the goddess divorces him and pestilence falls. This has been true throughout Irish history.

Disease in the earth is in us too. (This is also the shamanic viewpoint that Alberto Villoldo discusses in his books, and in the lecture I attended in New Mexico. If we stay in balance with nature, we ultimately remain in balance within.)

Ireland is currently highly prosperous and the agreement with the goddess is being forgotten.

Fairies and little people: in 600 B.C. they took everything underground. But now everything underground is coming back up. Leprechauns were not formerly considered small.

At one time children used to be birthed in the open, in stone circles under the sky so they could connect with the sky.

So much we can't do until midlife because we're not at that point of integration.

(Part II to follow)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Listen With the Ear of the Heart

Theosony: A Time For Listening Obediently to the Sounds of the Ear of the Heart
Dr. Noirin Ni Riain

The human ear never sleeps. It provides 90% of sensory energy to the brain. Within 135 days of impregnation, bones in your ears are almost fully formed. You hear sounds inside and outside the womb.

We hear in all directions all the time. We hear in darkness. There are 7 primary colors and 30,000 nerve fibers. The earth is vibrating in b flat.

Your voice is only known to you as its linked between the Eustachian tube and inner ear. Hearing is the Cinderella of the senses. The eye is always favored. Ear muffs are rare but sunglasses are generally assumed.

Why the neglect? Some say it's patriarchy. Women are better hearers than men. Our ears look like little fetuses.

We live in an eye-centered world. Martin Luther said, "We must put our ears where our eyes are."

"Listen with the ear of the heart." St Benedict

How does one hear the sound of the divine in mid-life and beyond? (Mid-life commencing by age 35)

No human being is deaf to the sound of god.

Listening anew is the work at midlife. Listen with the ear of the psyche.

Meister Eckhart said, "We hear without sound."

There is the archetype of the monk in each of us.

Theosony is a neologism for voice of God, silence of God. (Neologism like brunch equals breakfast and lunch.)

H-ear-t. Midlife is a time for clairaudient listening. It is a time to shake off what is bad and dead in us.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Vocalist and scholar Dr. Noirin Ni Riain

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Beyond the Mask

Dr. Tom Lavin, “The Art of Growing Wiser”
Jung in Ireland 2007

In the second half of life, the body declines, but the soul rises. As elders we have the ability and responsibility to mentor others because we now know from experience that everything passes; this is something you don’t know when you’re younger.

Growing wiser is an art and there is an energy growing bestows. There’s no gold watch to commemorate this passage.

Art actually points beyond itself to a deep place of wonder that can literally take your breath away. It magnetizes the soul.

We need this sense of dream time and astonishment. Journeys allow us to maintain vibrant contact with the extraordinary. For our sanity we need to take journeys out of the ordinary, into the extraordinary and back again. This also infuses life with more passion.

Traditionally people’s biggest fears: there’s not enough, need to hold on, being alone, death.

The ancient wisdom of the Tao says we will always have enough, we can let go, we’re never alone, and dying is like coming home.

Dr. Lavin recommends Sages Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu (Steven Mitchell translation). He opens it synchronistically, i.e., allowing the universe to guide him to the right page:

Today’s page: “The sage does not retire from life. The sage retires from unhappiness.”

Retirement, Dr. Lavin says, is about doing what we should always have been doing, living with joy. As the Tao says,” Retire from the strain of seeking security.”

Jung wrote The Stages of Life in which he mapped many of life’s crucial turning points.
One gift of Jungian psychology is that it guides us to gently turn at those points, and therefore keep moving and growing.

Rilke said: “I live my life in widening circles.” We have to take the time to grow wiser, to participate in active imagination, to experience liminal space. We can get stuck in certain stories and images and need to push to the next thing.

Dr. Lavin encourages us to read The Wisdom Paradox: How Your Mind Can Grow Stronger as Your Body Grows Older by Elkhonon Goldberg. (see book list below) He also cites an article from Time Magazine that tells us certain aspects of the brain only form after a particular age.

You can be wise and isolated but not lonely because you are partnered from within. Wisdom is a gift and the earliest forms were the feminine. We don’t have images for the deepest energies inside us.

As we’ve grown, we’ve also rejected parts of ourselves we’ve outgrown or never liked. Jungian psychology is inclusive and Dr. Lavin encourages us to let back in our rejected selves. They had virtues, even though we’re glad we’re not them any more.

“Forgive those selves that make mistakes and begin to like them.” This heals the struggle with the polar parts of our personalities.

We’re on a collective and a personal journey but the collective is all about mediocrity, fitting in, not standing out. It does not encourage individuation.

This may have come from Wendy Donniger’s lecture: It’s ironic but a lot of what we become happened as a result of suffering, yet as parents we want to protect our children from suffering. The world presents it to them anyway.

Check out these books and venues:

Sages Tao Te Ching

The Wisdom Paradox: How Your Mind Can Grow Stronger As Your Body Grows Older

"According to New York University neuropsychologist Elkhonon Goldberg, brains get better in key respects as they get older. Moreover, he argues in The Wisdom Paradox, people can do much to ward off the debilities associated with aging."

Jung in Ireland and other programs:

Glossary of Terms: (Compiled by Daryl Sharp, Inner City Books)

Archetype: ...Universal and recurring image, pattern or motif representing a typical human experience. Archetypal images come from the collective unconscious and are the basic content of religions, mythologies, legends and art. They also emerge...through dreams and visions.

Collective Unconscious: The deepest layer of the unconscious, which is ordinarily inaccessible to awareness. It is universal and non-individual...The contents of the collective unconscious are the archetypes and their specific images.

Persona (Latin) Actor's Mask: It is the partially calculated public face an individual assumes in relating to others. The persona is derived from the expectations of society and the early training by parents and teaches. It is the role one plays in society, useful both in facilitating contact with others and as a protective covering, but inhibiting when one identifies with it.

Synchronicity: A term coined by explain the occurrence of meaningful coincidence...whenever an inner psychic happening (dream, vision, premonition) is accompanied by a corresponding outer physical event which could not have been causally connected with the former.

Unconscious: That portion of the psyche which is outside conscious awareness. The unconscious expresses itself in dreams, fantasies, obsesive preoccupations, slips of the tngue and accidents of all kinds. Jung distinguishes two layers of the unconscious containing the universal patterns and images called archetypes.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Jung in Ireland: Removing the Mask

Presenter Guy Corneau standing with me at the last night's party. (I hate this picture of me but am trying to be less vain!)

The following picture: Presenters Jan Bauer and Guy Corneau, good friends and great presenters. They're sitting with the oldest person who attended the conference (age 85). Youngest was 18.

Dennis Eamon Young Photography 2007

“How can I allow myself to be myself in my own life?” To nourish the soul, we must create without expectations. ~Guy Corneau

Friday, May 11, 2007

Jung in Ireland: Removing the Mask

Jung in Ireland Conference 2007
Mid-Life and Beyond
Part I

“Harmony is singing any note your neighbor isn’t,” said Dr. Noirin Ni Riain, Irish vocalist and true Celtic spirit. Music, which is innate to the soul, was certainly intrinsic to this conference.

The first night as many of us gathered under the stars to witness the lunar eclipse, Noirin led us in spontaneous song, while Jungian analyst and author Guy Corneau guided us in reflection.

And the Universe took us through its magic. I actually saw the moon spin, but that’s another story for another time. Apparently, one of us was sending up spirals of energy that I somehow felt, but seemingly so did the moon.

Here is a small overview of what I learned: I saw therapy in a new light, and certainly a possibility for Jungian analysis I hadn’t previously recognized.

What came through strongly for me was the potential for therapy to go beyond our personal issues with our parents. (“We all had the wrong parents,” Guy Corneau declared and then exemplified how the standard birth process and the birth trauma itself are responsible for our existential angst.)

I heard the possibility for therapy to provide a kind of magnificent container in which an individual could incubate, grapple with and work toward living authentically. This is a process Jung called individuation.

Since this was a conference about issues we deal with at mid-life and beyond there was an assumption that we were no longer in the struggle of establishing the ego or our initial steps as adults.

We talked about masks. Wendy Doniger’s lecture, “The Woman Who Pretended to Be Who She Was,” captured the essence of this idea about being and becoming one’s self when in fact we are a multitude of selves.

Ms. Doniger differentiated our many selves from multiple or borderline personality disorder, for instance, by asserting that people with those disorders are all mask without a stable sense of self, and in fact are hollow inside.

As a side note, she commented that “there are masks [i.e., certain ways of being] our parents bequeath to us, simultaneously making us incapable of wearing them.”

Another involuntary mask may be imposed upon us by society. Stepin Fetchit, the character who epitomized a racist stereotype, exemplified the mask of servitude. Ms. Doniger also mentioned how the Irish people might act particularly Irish around us, or tourists in general, in order to fulfill an expectation of “Irishness.”

She further asserted that every woman since Pandora has masqueraded as a woman.

She believes that we are likely to choose the mask that matches the mask of the person we’re trying to please. In fact, she said, we fall in love with people who love the self we prefer to be.

Emphasizing paradox, she said, every lie covers a truth. We love and hate, know and do not know. Masks conceal and reveal.

Guy Corneau reminded us that if we’re not careful, we can mistake ourselves for our personas; “the mask rigidifies,” he said, and one no longer knows one’s true self.

Further, he posed questions, such as: “How can I allow myself to be myself in my own life?”

And in a subsequent lecture on overcoming fear of change: “What do you recognize in yourself, by yourself that gives you your own vitality and desire for life?”

“How can we nourish the creative self without relying on depth psychology?”

Mr. Corneau urged us to “decontract," to find a more expansive path that answers the needs of the inner self. He encouraged us to use tools such as dreaming and imagining.

Carl Jung practiced something he called active imagination, a process that many consider essential especially during mid life. This is when we dialogue with inner figures or dream characters. It’s been extended to include pottery work, sandplay, breath work....

The breath can lead us into a liminal space. By liminal space I mean the place between worlds which we experience just as we’re drifting off to sleep, or barely yet awake. In this place we have greater access to the unconscious.

The unconscious is expressing all the time. The more we try to supress it and act like we think we "should," the louder it may sound to get our attention. This reminds me of the Emerson quote, “What you are stands over you and thunders so loudly that I cannot hear what you are saying to the contrary.”

We may be blind to parts of ourselves but others can see them quite clearly. And those unconscious parts may be running the show. The more we explore these underworlds, the less they will have to rattle us to get needed attention and introspection.

To nourish the soul, we must create without expectations. Creativity for its own sake takes us into the vital pulse of life. It doesn’t mean we’ll get praise, sell paintings or find our pictures plastered on the cover of Vogue. It’s not about what we do, but the spirit in which it is done.

Mr. Corneau reminded us that we come into this life to live and have fun, not simply to work. As noted, he proposes that the standard birth process removes us from our instinctive inclinations and patterns us to rely upon others.

For example, tests have shown that when left to their own devices, newborns placed upon the mother’s belly, will within 45 minutes find their own path to the breast. We can contrast this with the more typical structure in which the umbilical cord is rapidly cut and the baby is swept into the care of doctors and nurses on whom the newborn must now depend.

Mr. Corneau suggests that in order to come back to ourselves, we need to feel.

One way to restore feeling is to connect with nature. Trees do not ask you to dress up for them, he said. They stay with you in the act of being. How often do we lose ourselves when we feel we have to be someone or meet a set of expectations?

We learn to compensate. Rather than recognizing our true needs, we’ve learned to substitute something easily accessible that’s actually more of a distraction from the underlying desire.

For instance, we substitute food, alcohol, cigarettes, or even television for genuine connection, conversation, and intimacy. “The best compensations are those you can buy at the corner store and carry with you,” Mr. Corneau stated.

One might also call these substitutions addictions. Author and analyst, Jan Bauer explained the etymology of addiction. It means to lose your voice.

If you have lost your unique voice, how do find it? How do you change? We don’t change because we “should,” Ms. Bauer told us. We change because the pain of staying the way we are is greater than the fear of the unknown.

Ms. Bauer introduced us to Ananke, the goddess of necessity and the consort of Khronos (time). Interestingly, Ananke is the only goddess without a physical image.

As an illustration, Ms. Bauer mentioned a client whose lifestyle was at odds with his image of himself. He believed he should change. Ultimately through his dream work and therapy, he realized that an authentic life for him might be quite different from what he thought it should.

“The way we lead our lives tends to some deeper necessity,” Ms. Bauer said. And this point really struck me. It implies that we need to take time and observe ourselves without judgment so that we can truly see who we are and what matters to us, and not simply try to force what we think should matter.

We all know what we should do, but how often do we do it? Rather, we’re apt to struggle with the ideal and punish ourselves for failing to live up to it, often by further indulging the very compulsions we were trying to avoid.

Necessity, Ms. Bauer told us, brings order out of chaos. Further, many of us have quirks and talents that demand we serve different gods from the ones society may currently honor.

She contends that real change takes time, someone to witness it, and necessity. Clearly, there is no change without necessity. If we weren’t facing global warming, would we be actively conserving energy?

It takes time to internalize change; there’s a mixture of progression and regression as we assimilate new information.

Ms. Bauer contrasted this more prolonged sense of time (the time one might spend in analysis perhaps) to the weekend seminar that seems to promise instant gratification.

My experience with short seminars, such as the Landmark Forum, or Est, is that it does facilitate powerful insights and possibly even rapid transformation for people who are willing to fully participate.

However, in order to sustain those intense realizations and inaugurate new behavior, work needs to happen over time. Reinforcement of the new concepts and support from others facilitate the process from the initial “aha” moment to something that can be assimilated, lived and genuinely expressed.

And if there is no necessity for change, why would we ever bother?

Seeking, Ms. Bauer told us, is an innate instinct and necessary for survival. As we seek and explore something new, dopamine is released into the system and there is an increased sense of pleasure.

Clearly, as we age, necessity changes. Old ways of being begin to feel flat. Discontent can push us to seek more fulfillment. If we’re willing to look within, our discoveries may surprise and enliven us.

If we continue to push down our discomforts or cover them up, we may find ourselves in the more classic mid-life crisis. We can dye our hair, find younger partners and racier cars, but that won’t feed the inner life, though it may for a time dazzle, delay and confuse it.

The second half of life is an important threshold that needs to be honored. Ananke calls us to wholeness. How will we respond?

Monday, April 9, 2007


Mystical Irish Dolmens

Dennis Eamon Young Photography 2006

Poulnabrone is one of Europe's best known and most photographed Dolmen (Portal Tomb) structures, dated at approximately 5,500 years old. It is part of The Burren, an ancient limestone plateau which covers most of county Clare in Western Ireland. The thinking is that it was formed at the end of the last ice age. Along with its austere beauty, it hosts 1,000 species of flowers which draw their sustenance from the underground waterways coursing through the subterranean caves flourish there. (a website for more info on this dolmen)

Kilmogue: Below is the portal tomb I visited and it felt magical to be in its presence.

Photograph by Kimberly Fox

Kilmogue: Here is the sign that led to and explained this portal tomb:

Photograph by Kimberly Fox

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Notes from 2005 Jung In Ireland

Jung In Ireland 2005 Notes
Opening Lecture by Jeffrey Raff:
Second Sacrifice and Birth of the Self

Second Half of Life

35-40: Change in relationship to psyche, selfSymbols of Transformation (volume)
Psychic energy could run through a number of channels, including sex but not limited to it (This idea led Jung to break with Freud)

There is a demand these phases make and consequences.

Self - whole range of psychic phenomenon in a human being
Personality is mostly unconscious
Equals the god image within us
Self guides all the psychic impulses that are occurring
Most people – self is functioning at a weak level, specifically if not looking at dreams, etc.
Latent self – individuation transforms latent self into powerful manifest self

Begin to feel an inner strength that was not there
Ego comes into relationship with the self

Pay attention to the self and its messages

Individuation depends on ego’s relationship-self

Demands attention in second half of life
Meet demands of first half and second half respectively

First half of life is about the development of ego

Ego learning to adjust and adapt – leaving family, getting a job

Ego asserts itself, leaves home and deals with the world

Take psychic energy invested in mother and invest it into the world (adolescence)

Or negative, devouring unconscious forms – helpless, dependant

Sacrifice (Nut?) your mother in order to make that transition into the world
Have to kill this image

Energy released progresses into outer world

Second half
Things begin to feel flat – outer endeavors become tiresome

Regresses into the unconscious

Energy flows backward- can go all the way back to collective unconscious

Sacrifice the World (Hindu horse sacrifice)

Sacrifice all the energy (what you have built) you’ve put into the world
-fairly important dreams
Archetypal – needs to be dealt with

Our culture doesn’t honor this phase

If you don’t go into it – men- motorcycle, younger wife
Women – surgery

Flow with the process – introverted period

Second Sacrifice

Unconscious is active and alive in a way it’s never been

Has a message but the message is unknown

Fantasy images – dreams *active imagination, major tool
Contact and make conscious

Ego needs to turn within

Self is trying to make itself manifest, presenting material you need to make that known to you

Active Imagination – Principle means self manifests
Ancient history

*Experience unconscious in a waking state –
Conscious interaction with them, find a way to record them
Dancing, painting, dialogues

Enable the ego to encounter the unconscious in a conscious condition

Transcendent function
2 conflicting ideas are united in a symbol

Logical person starts having feelings but has known logic, meet an inner figure (in active imagination) who teaches you

Hold the tension and move through discomfort, feeling and thinking into a new image
Transcendent function creates a third entity from the two
Union of ego and unconscious = self

Feeling of being guided and strengthened by something greater than one’s self
Active imagination – conscious and direct interaction
Analysis is the process in which you teach analysands active imagination

Second Half

First half= ego growing and strengthening

Second half – has to sacrifice itself

Ego resists self-sacrifice

Ego must sacrifice its dream of all power

Can’t rule the unconscious any more
Can terrify people – crazy, loss of control
Pay attention to what the unconscious is telling you
Profound transformation available

Self sacrifice and re-entry into the mother (archetypal great mother)
Unconscious is now in partnership with you
This growth is endless
Ego will feel surrounded and supported by divine presence
Rootless = failure to meet these challenges

Some people able to simply avoid these challenges
Paying attention – incredibly powerful tool ego has at its disposal
Attention is blood

Incubation heats up unconscious
No alchemist then alchemy doesn’t occur

Inner figures are real entities
Process that needs your help to transform
Take these figures seriously
Not living for ourselves anymore but for everybody – create Tikkun
All the unconscious forces

Second half confronts death, spiritual transformation; connect with the divine in some way
Respond to demands of inner voice – active imagination twice per week (15-20 minutes)
Ego resists
Return to the world in a transformed way.

Pay attention to what’s happening, going on in your body, fantasies
Why now?
Dialoging with figures
Consc suffering – particularly in the world’s pain
Reflective of your own
This is our purpose and gives life meaning

Personal myth – self will tell you something that suits you perfectly
Dialogue A-B until C

Sacrifice ego’s position of total dominance

Meditation is great way to start active imagination

“Empty nest gives you the chance to lay an alchemical egg.”

When sacrifice not done, then life makes it happen
Walking willingly or being dragged by the self
Death of a parent

Coming to birth of self is the most profound mystery you may ever experience.

Talmud: “Dream uninterpreted is like a letter unopened.”

Jung said the best way to age is to live as if you’re immortal.

“Purpose of a problem is not to be solved…but to experience it.” – Jung

New perspective of your consciousness – it’s really not a problem any more
(I see this as a facet of how I do psychic readings)

(My thoughts: What this tells me is that there is a divine and perfect order that we often fail to see, but if we utilize every experience as if it were meant to be, our lives will take on a rich, transcendence.)

Claire Dunne: Carl Jung, Wounded Healer of the Soul

The psyche is, by nature, religious according to Jung

Personality 1 – By nature
Personality 2 – Created to fit in

“Why be a second class Jung when I can be a first class me?”

“I’m glad I’m Jung and not a Jungian.” Jung

Authenticity. We need to become our complete selves.
Perfection is a masculine concept
Completion: feminine wholeness

Death of a Woman by Jane Wheelwright (look up?)

“Doubt and insecurities are indispensable components of a complete life.” Jung (letters)

Deep in the psyche you must meet the spiritual.
Self can appear as images, such as wise old man, priestess.

“People, even theologians, are embarrassed to talk about God.
It is more polite to talk about sex.” - Jung

John O’ Donohue: The Art of Balance

Gift of the mind is the greatest gift
“In time of peace the warlike person attacks himself.” Nietzsche

Quality of presence of mind
Grey-blue light, pools of silver – epiphany and brightness were eventing themselves

Balance and middle way only make sense as constructs

Balance that is truly formed,not frightened paralysis

Experience is structured with loyalty to duality

Where the dualities meet-at a threshold–vigorous placeEach of us is a force field, which makes us more interesting than chairs, doors, windows, intensity of isnessWhat are you leaving out in yourself that’s dying to talk to you?

Sophia Institute in California

A soul is a bloody dangerous thing to have.
Disturbing, yet imagination loves duality

We are imagined by ourselvesYour knowing of yourself is an act of imagination

Introduce yourself as anyone you want

Imagination loyal to wholeness and wholeness – opposition inevitably invited

Hospitality to miracle of thereness,

As if identity were equivalent to biography

“It’s easy to choreograph a fairly flat life but it’s such a waste.”
We can get so lost behind the facades of respectability that it completely masks that we are totally lost.”

Substantial magnetic ordering in us
Subtle form of who you are will begin to love? Live? After itself
Poem will start misbehaving and define itself

Let the complexity of yourself emerge – natural coherence of rhythm
Great respect for the unknown within us

If we brought the same hospitality to the things we don’t like about ourselves

(Tempkin Museum in San Diego)

“It is on no map; no true place ever is.”

Always a shape of presence latent in the chaos

Finding the myth in the mys

Emergence of form to the imagination that welcomes it and can receive it
Balance is a living thing. It has passion – requires loyalty to the opposing force (art of balance)

Balance is a grace
Adventure of being doesn’t offer you security; anything can happen to you
Need to go down beneath turbulent waters to the still place
Unseen force
Priestliness of the human heart
“There’s something about being in the rhythm of a thing; it looks after you.”

John O’Donohue: Midlife – Invitation to a New Sensuousness

Takes us longest to reach what is nearest

Come home to being a body and like it

Vows to themselves – a wedding to one’s own body

Awakening simultaneously act of distance and act of nearing

Broken, exiled relationships to one’s own body and yet rare to see someone
Who didn’t belong to the body they were in
What declarations are visible in me?

Irony is that we’ve never seen our own faces.
Mirror exercises: what I glimpsed in myself that I never suspected

We are a threshold between visible and invisible

Without the visible we’re boring

Last secret is secret of privacy

Geography of psyche revealed through rhythm of the body

Incredible that we’re not totally invisible

Death scraped tracings on the invisible

Visibility sister of vision

Visibility maturing to invisibility

Invisibility claiming space

Belief in invisible – you should have no fear

“If we let our bodies alone they would have an incredible belonging with nature.”
Rilke: In difficult times you should always endeavor to stay close to one thing in nature.

Liturgy that starts with the toes
Psyche and spirit – when you attend to both rhythm words incredible logic of darkness in eros of the body

Don Patterson, Scottish poet: all of the body almost speaks
Daniel & Siegal: Developing Mind – Brain is learning, self-activating organ

What enzymes are up to in their private time

Orchestra of the body speaking to the little broken string

Yes there will be music again

Sophistication of senses in us

Everything pivots on individual integrity allied to some kind of natural belonging to our body – Home

Mindfulness that unfolds in your senses

Bring a consciousness to your body – Under a mindful gaze, the world deepens
Ask yourself – what did I really see?

Listening. Being visible is like having a day off

Which of my senses do I not give fair pleasure? Take an afternoon and take that one out.

Your knees have had experiences that your elbows know nothing about

(My thought: real way to be a psychic is to be a poet of the moment and the invisible)

This must be from Areyah “He who says something in the name of the person who said it, redeems the world.” Talmud

Christina Mulvey: Images that Heal

“The years when I was pursuing my inner images were the most important in my life – in them everything essential was decided.” -C.G. Jung, Memories, Dreams and Reflections

“The challenge seems to be staying true to one’s own tune within the orchestra of life.” – Christina Mulvey’s tape

You can understand with your mind but unless you connect with your heart, nothing really changes – Jung

Pay attention; healing images are there all the time

Stand the tension of opposites in our own being and wait and listen,
Pay attention. I’m important enough to take the time and space
(Jung v.16, pg 489)

How do we accept what we are? -Christina

“The sorrow that cuts deep leaves more space for joy.” – Gibran

The self is the one we could rest in and nest in if we would allow ourselves
Mostly it’s the accumulation of work that makes the difference

We’re terrified of what we might do

Do what you can, not what you think you can. – Jung

It’s not about smoothing but honoring and respecting

Persona – outer mask

“All shirts are wrinkled in a different way but all smooth shirts are very similar.” – Christina

“All true things change so only that which changes remains true.” – Jung

“To have someone who just delights in the wonder of you is a wonderful gift.” Senter (from our group)

Christina wanted to stop her work at the Jung Institute in Zurich. Combining thinking and feeling, she questioned why she should do this. In truth, she was afraid to go on.

Very relevant for me at the conference, times I feel blocked and I don’t want to go on, do anymore, and in truth, why should I? But what happens if I recognize fear coming up and simply continue?

Claire Dunne: “Mother Ireland”

Granddaughter of Noah led here (to Ireland) 50 women, 3 men
Feminine principle in this country is natural

“To be natural is to be holy.” John O’Donohue

Carl Jung: “The psyche is by nature religious.”

Of the land – pagus

Deer is a sacred animal, like the swan

We come from the earth, not the earth from us, thus she is mother

Jessica Power (writer) “I sometimes think we pass life by.”

Michael Danes (writer) mythic Ireland

Human and divine=living between two worlds

Winter as chaos initiating (gestating?) rebirth

Go into the darkness – form a relationship with it.

“You cannot go through the Rockies and remain small.” Claire
Pilgrim At Tinkers Creek

St Brigid = 3 elements in one
Derry = sacred oak grove
3 patron saints
She’s the third and amalgam of three different layers, elemental fire goddess
Royal daughter of the god “(Daigido?) worshipped by poets
Christian saint – Mary of Gael

“Landscape has a secret and silent memory.” Jung

Myths are stories of psychic process of death and rebirth

Recommended Reading: Symbolic Landscape by Paul Deveraux

Maisey Cavanaugh: when we go out in the bush we don’t talk, we listen to what the land is telling us

A.E. Russell – Shining beings – midworld
Opalescent beings – heaven world

Manisha Roy “Aging as Initiation”

Midlife – last chance for puberty rite that we miss in the west
Natural process of initiation

Initiation is at the core of human experience – cyclical process, can’t control death.

Carol Pearson, Archetypal Stages of Hero’s Journey

Happy child = innocence story
Teenage = seeker story

– innocent and orphan are two sides of inner child

Warrior/caretaker are two sides of inner parent

Midlife Transition: Seeker, Destroyer, Lover, Creator

Return: Living the stories of Ruler, Magician, Safe and Jester
If you haven’t connected with their stories, you may have a hard time moving through them

Psyche type = hardware

More software than we even know how to use

Free upgrade of our archetypes (Johnny Depp movie Don Juan de Marco– sees bigger picture)

What stories have you been living?
What stories still want to be lived?
What stories may you be resistant to living?

drudge/caretaker- self sacrifice

Innocent – optimism denial

Orphan – realism, wounded child empathy self-destruction

Move into archetype, become less dependent on original imprinting

Caregiver martyr enabler take care of one’s self

Warrior soldier set a goal and go after it winning –

work to death for something of great value

Principle set a boundary, akido – deflect violence

Midlife is liminal space

The Hero’s Journey (Carol Pearson)

Hero’s journey is an initiation into the reality of the soul’s journey. It requires us to establish and then let go of control over our lives, to put aside our horror at confronting death, pain and loss.

To experience life’s wholeness we must let go of sentiment, safety and predictability. Even our own concern with physical safety, effectiveness and virtue. We move out of the duality of good and bad, me and you, right and wrong and into a world of paradox.

Different morality from ego’s. Ego wants the world to make sense.

The journey requires us to put all these desires aside and see the soul’s truth that essence of life is mystery.

The soul’s truth does not necessarily make any sense from a rational ego point of view. It is good to be healthy, wealthy and wise but what makes us alive and real is journeying into the central mysteries of life where we learn about death, dissolution, sex, passion, ecstasy, and to see the beauty of it all.

Preparation of the journey is about learning to be strong, moral and healthy but the journey itself is about experiencing the great mysteries of life—death, passion, birth, creation—as mysteries.

There is no punishment for failing to connect with one’s soul except the ever present sense of meaninglessness in one’s life.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Overcoming the Fear of Change - Notes from my Workshop with Guy Corneau
Jung in Ireland 2007

Universe is constant change, as we are. Change for more happiness, express gifts - permission after mid-life to go this route.

What is the change I can bring about to allow me to have more joy?

Life is expression. What got in the way of expressing who we are?
Fear needs to be witnessed. Observe first device nature - signal danger - functional fears: Examine and observe it so you can go beyond it.

Security Measures: We move less. How much time is devoted to what you want to do as opposed to the necessities?

How we manage not to feel fear? Compensations. We put one need in place of another. Substitute a drink for intimacy with another. Compensations are the expressions of fear of change.

We develop a personalities to get our needs met - means of survival.
Fear of abandonment - Develop an agreeable personality, compliant, defending oneself against the repetition of problematic situations. Mask rigidifies, lacks fluidity. We identify with it. This is how we're recognized and rewarded.

The more you use your personality to get from the outside, the greater the loss of yourself you may recognize - prison-lose yourself.

Intensity, novelty are basic drives. One side going to security, the other pushing toward intensity. We need stability and adaptation.

Watching TV - questions aren't present. Addiction has to do with availability of a thing. Best compensations are things you can carry with you or buy at the corner shop. It answers the existential fear of not existing. Compensations becomes a demand. Observe the mechanics. Where is the ignored passion? The deeper self?

Compensation buys status quot. Change = immediate discomfort but may be satisfying in the long run. Shadow side - if I stop overworking, need to be creative to fulfill.
Write a letter to compensation, 1. acknowledging gratitude for its help, 2. yes but if I didn't do this, what could I use to replace it that would be better for me?

We then proceeded to an exercise (which I've misplaced) that I believe is in his book: Le Meilleur de Soi. This book is currently still only in French but you can access his other books: Here are two I read in English and felt that I was learning a lot as I read them!
Lessons In Love: The Transformation of Spirit Through Intimacy
Absent Fathers, Lost Sons: The Search for Masculine Identity

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Hero’s Journey (Carol Pearson)

The Hero’s journey is an initiation into the reality of the soul’s journey. It requires us to establish and then let go of control over our lives, to put aside our horror at confronting death, pain and loss.

To experience life’s wholeness we must let go of sentiment, safety and predictability. Even our own concern with physical safety, effectiveness and virtue. We move out of the duality of good and bad, me and you, right and wrong and into a world of paradox.

Different morality from ego’s. Ego wants the world to make sense.

The journey requires us to put all these desires aside and see the soul’s truth that essence of life is mystery.

The soul’s truth does not necessarily make any sense from a rational ego point of view. It is good to be healthy, wealthy and wise but what makes us alive and real is journeying into the central mysteries of life where we learn about death, dissolution, sex, passion, ecstasy, and to see the beauty of it all. Carol Pearson's website

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Living On Purpose

Here are my notes from Mark Thurston's afternoon workshop on February 4, 2007

Edgar Cayce On Personal Transformation And Your Soul's Calling

“Courage is the decision there’s something more important than fear,” Mark Thurston said while we were getting seated for the workshop. He was telling us about his journey to Mullingstorp ( and what it catalyzed for him in terms of transformation.

(If you click on the above link, you'd better be able to read Scandanavian languages.) It sounded as if the creators of Mullingstorp synthesized many of the leading edge technologies for change in order to create their own version.)

Mark Thurston is a genuinely entertaining story teller who uses self-disclosure in a comfortable and appropriate way. The awakening he experienced at Mullingstorp refocused his work back to the heart, and not just the intellect. He realized that the body needed to be honored as a bridge to spiritual life and growth.

There are two kinds of change: Self-improvement, which is like polishing what we are, making things a little better, or Transformation, which is awakening to a radically difference sense of who we are.

As an analogy he pointed to the square floor tile. If it turned into a cube, it would still contain the square but it would be dimensionally altered.

The alteration he experienced was allowing the heart center to warm the intellect.

Not everyone realizes that 2/3 of Edgar Cayce’s work consisted of health readings. The other third were life readings. Cayce invited people to do their own personal research and not just accept his ideas. He believed that maintaining a posture of exploration is how we grow and change. This ideology is practiced at the Cayce Foundation today.

Your Soul’s Calling: How you live your calling will change as you change, for instance as you mature. If you wonder whether there’s anything left for you to manifest, consider what Cayce told a confused client, “If there weren’t a next step that you could be doing with your life purpose, you wouldn’t be allowed to be on the earth.”

Mark then discussed Cayce’s steps in conveying a soul portrait of the person for whom he was giving a Life Reading:

Discourse on the importance of setting an ideal. An ideal is not a “should” but is a guiding principle at the heart of your life. It is motivating, expresses your values and feels right to you.

He then provided an inventory of talents, skills and aptitudes. We all come as gifted individuals; we stumble when we compare ourselves to others.
Mission Statement: A sentence regarding how the talents and abilities could be used in service.

Application – Plan

Signposts appear as feedback that you’re living your purpose

When Cayce read for a young man who was still troubled by bedwetting, he linked bedwetting with the boy’s past life during the Salem Witch trials—you have to hear the story rather than have me recreate it. Let's just say that dunking in that life was involved.

Cayce mapped a path for the boy and cautioned the parents about shifting their child’s experience before the age of 14 or the boy would end up sabotaging his true soul calling.

We were then asked, “What is your bedwetting problem?” Where do you sabotage yourself or detour from your true calling?

This led us to the topic of what Carl Jung called the shadow. The shadow is the part of ourselves we're blind to and often appear as the things about other people we dislike. It's a reflection of something unconscious that is within. We can either transform our issues or project them onto others.

In order to fully explore these unconscious aspects of ourselves, it is essential that we set a spiritual ideal and a commitment to meditate. That will provide a kind of container.

Cayce once asked in a reading: “What’s more real, Christ love or the essence of love that can be found even in the vilest of passions?”

And then answered: “They are one and the same.”

One signpost that you are living your soul’s calling is joy. See others benefiting from your life. It’s not about quantity of people. There is a ripple effect.

If you nurture a particular kind of sensitivity you will see how all of life is purposeful. This allows a kind of wonder or awe rather than cynicism.

Synchronicities are wonderful signposts. (Meaningful coincidences that let you know you are in the rhythm and flow.)

Ideally, you’ll feel that you are tapping into an energy bigger than yourself, the presence of God.
One of Mark’s teachers, Llama Govinda, asked, “In what way do you experience your own lack of wholeness? For example, if you are lonely, than you are missing the ingredient of Divine companionship.

If you feel trapped, then you can experience the divine as freedom. Your brokeness is restored through your connection with the Absolute/God/Divine.

Human will has been reduced to willpower. Yet human volition is at the heart of how we grow, change and transform.

Cayce speaking about soul energy/life force: Mind is the builder, will is the individualizer, your sense of who you are.

Will is often asleep and we simply react to life.

We then did the exercise I usually dread in which we're partnered with another person and are asked a repetitive question. Each time you answer the question you are given a neutral thank you and then asked again.

Apparently at mullingstorp you would have to spend hours or even days on a question, depending upon the evaluation of your progress.

Our first question: What calls to you?
Second repetitive question: What serves you on your journey?

This is the first time I’ve experienced this exercise as having a purpose and not just being about getting us to nothing or to the idea that we really don't know.

Being a committed listener for the other person, not only allows them to feel heard and received, but also opens the space for new ideas to surface.

Life can be about waking up in a spiritual sense, which requires will.

How can we develop healthy will?

In The Art of Will, Assagioli observes 7 qualities of will. Mark has taken these and rearranged their order so they correspond with the chakras. (Chakras are centers of consciousness in the body-interaction of mind and will.)

He’s also added what he considers is the distortion that’s mistaken for healthy will.

First Chakra: Dynamic vitality to life – without it, one is sluggish, fatigued.
Distortion: Bursts of energy and collapse.

Second Chakra: Affirming self discipline. Balance of yin-yang.
Distortion: Repressive, self-negating. Holding oneself back from expression rather than moving toward a goal.

Third Chakra: Courageous initiative. This also takes in prudence and wisdom.
Distortion: Recklessness.

Fourth Chakra: Patient persistence.
Distortion: Stubbornness

Fifth Chakra: Decisiveness or wishy-washy
Distortion: Decision-making that’s done too quickly, inappropriate timing, or getting stuck in options

Sixth Chakra: Focus and concentration or can be scattered
Distortion: Obsession
Healthy will sees things in a wider context

Seventh Chakra: Oneness-Harmonizer, Synthesizer

The mind typically works by making distinctions. Will can synthesize life for us.
Distortion: Blender that doesn’t allow respect for all the individual parts

Where you feel something missing is your growing edge.