Ruminations on ‘God’

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On God

‘Theology takes Gods literally and we do not. In archetypal psychology Gods are imagined. They are formulated ambiguously, as metaphors for modes of experience…. They are the lords of the soul’s realms of being…. The soul cannot be, except in one of their patterns. All psychic reality is governed by one or another archetypal fantasy, given sanction by a God. I cannot but be in them.’ – James Hillman, from Re-Visioning Psychology When we truly hear the above quote from James Hillman, we ‘see’ that we cannot speak of soul without attending to the meaning of ‘God’. It means Psychology inevitably dances intimately with Theology. […]

On the inside of God’s face

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archetypes

‘Religious experience is absolute; it cannot be disputed. You can only say that you have never had such an experience, whereupon your opponent will reply: “Sorry, I have.” And there your discussion will come to an end.’ – Carl Gustav Jung, from Psychology and Religion Archetypal Psychology The psychology infusing the culture from where these pages are written is called Archetypal Psychology. Therefore, a central question is, ‘what are archetypes?’ Some say they are really no less than ‘the gods’ or different aspects of God. Others emphasise that they are ‘patterns for life and death from which all that exist are born’. That they pre-exist […]

The artful lovemaking of darkness and light

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Lovemaking darkness and light

‘Some say that all gods and all living creatures originated in the stream of Oceanus which girdles the world, and that Tethys was the mother of all of his children. But the Orphics say that black-winged Night, a goddess of whom even Zeus stands in awe, was courted by the Wind and laid a silver egg in the womb of Darkness; and that Eros was hatched from this egg and set the Universe in motion.’ – Robert Graves, from The Greek Myths The one and the many What are creation myths if not stories and patterns for the rebirth of soul? That our consensus culture utterly […]

Love is transgressive

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love is transgressive

‘When love beckons to you, follow him, Though his ways are hard and steep. … For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. … But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure, Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor, Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.’ – Kahlil Gibran, from The Prophet Taboo Those who are absorbed by the values and culture of their society often experience others who follow their […]

‘Seeing’ the world

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Seeing the world

‘Arrogance and habitual patterns are obstacles to experiencing drala. In order to discover magic in the world, we have to overcome the individual neurosis and self-centered attitudes that prevent us from experiencing the greater vision beyond ourselves.’ – Chogyam Trungpa, from Shambhala, the Sacred Path of the Warrior Description of the world It is striking how people often behave in ways that are contradictory to the truths they proclaim to believe in. Of course, we easily notice this in everyone else, but rarely see how we do it ourselves. But this simply illustrates how much of what we do and say are ripples emanating from […]

Fundamental uncertainty

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Federica Gionfrida

‘And so long as you haven’t experienced this: to die and so to grow, you are only a troubled guest on the dark earth.’ – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, from The Holy Longing We are going to die. Our continued existence is uncertain in every moment. And if we’re absolutely truthful with ourselves, we have to acknowledge that we really do not know what will happen to us as we die and after we die. Whatever our beliefs. For believing is not knowing. None of us have gone through the passage of death, yet. The more deeply we drop into being truthful with ourselves about […]

The unfathomable vastness of being

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Unfathomable vastness

‘You cannot discover the end of the soul, even if you travelled every road to do so, so deep is its meaning.’ – Heraclitus Our being in this world is a gateway for deepening into awareness of the vastness dwelling in existence. But who or what is this vastness? Who reside there? What is the presence we experience when we touch into it? What is this ‘place,’ this live source, this sacred river that flows inside the very essence of being? And how do we open to being deeply intimate with it, while avoiding being consumed by its sheer force? And, how do we maintain […]