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.

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