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

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underworld

In Greek Mythology, the underworld is called Hades, as is the god who reigns there. The underworld is the place where the souls of the dead go. In Shamanism, the shaman’s soul leaves her body in a state of trance and she travels to either the underworld or the overworld. Usually for the purpose of healing others. In contrast to the overworld, the underworld is dark, low, turbulent, difficult to navigate and emotionally ‘heavy’. It is said to be very difficult to travel to the underworld and impossible to return, once there. In most traditions there is usually a very dangerous river one has to […]

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 […]

Longing from a vanishing world

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the message

‘We must allow ourselves to be disappointed, which means the surrendering of me-ness, my achievement. We would like to watch ourselves attain enlightenment … with miracles and earthquakes occurring and gods and angels singing and so forth. This never happens. The attainment of enlightenment from ego’s point of view is extreme death. It is the ultimate and final disappointment. Treading the spiritual path is painful. It is a constant unmasking, peeling off of layer after layer of masks.’ – Chogyam Trungpa, from The Myth of Freedom Blessed evening It was a beautiful autumn evening. We were sitting outside on the patio under the trees in […]

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 […]