Living between realms: Embodying


Second in series of three articles ‘Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering.’ – Carl G. Jung, from Psychology and Religion: West and East   In the first article, we saw that what Carl Jung viewed as the path of becoming an authentic individual, involves much more than changing our philosophies, beliefs or correcting our ‘errors of thought’. Deep and lasting transformation of our being involves processes that shape us at the core. Such change has to be imprinted on a body level; it has to be embodied to be lasting. We saw that for this to occur, requires that we ‘stay close to […]

Living between realms: Individuation


First in series of three articles ‘The effect of the death experience is to bring home at a crucial moment a radical transformation.’ – James Hillman, from Suicide and the Soul Castaneda’s Don Juan taught that ‘death is the only wise advisor we have.’ Even though Castaneda’s path is fundamentally different from ‘a path of soul’ in many ways, his ideas often touch authentically into the realm of archetypal images, and so resonate with profound meaning. Whether death is our only wise advisor, may be a worthwhile enquiry. But is there not something deeply profound about the idea that death is our ‘advisor’? It is […]

Underworld of shadows


‘What has no shadow has no strength to live.’ – Czeslaw Milosz, from his poem Faith ‘Love crowns you and crucifies you’ Shadow is the darkness that my simple act of being here casts across the earth. The more I walk in the light, the starker my shadow. It is the evil I am, but which I don’t see. The vehement energy with which I deny my evil reveals its presence in me. Especially, the evil in others that pains me so, reflects its hidden shadow in my own being. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of it. But usually, without noticing, I cover over what I […]

Spiritual materialism

‘The mind can wind up embroiled in very unhealthy states of mind. And easily get caught up in what might be most appropriately described as delusion. Although we would not see it that way. … [We easily] zone along on auto-pilot most of our lives. Meanwhile thinking, “Oh, yeah, we know what’s happening. We know who we are and where we’re going.” … How much do we actually know with certainty, who we are? … All of this are just obsessions around self-centeredness. … From that point of view, it is not like meditation is saying, “you should know who you are.” It is much […]

Divination and prediction


‘The role of the shaman, is to be able to contact the other world, to be in touch with the forces which affect this world. The shaman goes into a trance whereby he or she is able to move between the worlds and to answer questions or seek help.’ – Martin Palmer, from Tao Te Ching Divination and prediction It is unfortunate that in our culture, divination has been ‘bastardised’ into being a tool for prediction. Because, divination in its true form was never meant to be used in this manner. The true purpose of divination is to see the meaning of our existence against […]

Consensus culture

Consensus culture

‘Something in the psyche wants to subvert whatever is there, turn it under and upside down, examine it from the bottom, find some odd detail that will capsize the accepted view, … the cultural assumptions by which we live but which we do not see clearly. Still a romantic at heart, I want nothing less than to change the culture, to make it a psychological, soul-serving culture. But changing culture can be done in small ways, just as small snapshots may be just as compelling and significant as billboard-size blow-ups.’ – Lyn Cowan, from Tracking the White Rabbit Consensus culture is a culture of rules […]

Crafting a sense of soul


‘[P]sychic reality can only be grasped through non-rational awareness … [by] the fool (in the positive sense) … who does not follow a straight path, who surrenders the security of a rational, one-sided attitude … [whose] spontaneity is not destroyed by the tension between opposites, and so can follow every path, without being determined by reason or collective norms.’ – Françoise O’Kane, from Sacred Chaos Spirituality and transcendence Most of the various schools or centres of spiritual and metaphysical teachings breed cultures of goal-directedness, of achievement, of levels of advancement and hierarchies, of progress and of linear formulas for how we should change or be […]

The path

The path

‘Footfalls echo in the memory Down the passage which we did not take Towards the door we never opened Into the rose-garden. My words echo Thus, in your mind.                                                 But to what purpose Disturbing the dust on the bowl of rose-leaves I do not know.                                                 Other echoes Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?’ – T.S. Eliot from […]