Living between realms: Individuation

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Between

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

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shadow

‘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 […]

Divination and prediction

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Divination

‘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 […]

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 […]

Consensus culture

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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 […]