Tao

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tao

Tao is a Chinese word that means ‘road’ or ‘path’. But from around 1300 BCE in China, the word started taking on more spiritual meanings. Some of the spiritual texts have survived down to our time, e.g. the I Ching. The spiritual meanings of the word are ultimately indefinable. These include, ‘the way that leads us beyond ourselves.’ Or, ‘a path or discipline of self-transformation.’ Or, ‘the way of Heaven’. Which involves sensitivity to and awareness of a kind of sacred river with its origin in what does not exist (or ‘non-being’). Yet which flows through, and animates all that exists. And which is ultimately […]

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. […]

The golden mean

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The golden mean

‘Rectitude is a matter of making the innate tendencies of things conform to their natures.’ – From The Classic of Changes, A New Translation of the I Ching as Interpreted by Wang Bi, by Richard John Lynn Buddhism outlines a path through which we may loosen the grip of suffering on us, called the eightfold path. The first of these eight practices entails a shift in perspective and is called ‘right view’. It is also the foundation for the other seven. Without right view there can be no right intention, right speech, right action, right effort, right livelihood, right mindfulness and right absorption. It entails […]

‘Seeing’ the world

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Seeing the world

‘Arrogance and habitual patterns are obstacles to experiencing drala.π 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 […]

Crafting a sense of soul

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soul-making

‘[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 […]

Fear – our first teacher

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Opening to fear

‘The importance of fear has been given too little true psychological attention. … The biblical statement that fear is the beginning of wisdom is significant. … Fear is not merely something wrong, to be overcome with courage … but is rather something right, a form of wise counsel. … Love stirs fear. At the deepest level of fear eros appears. … Fear seems an inherent necessity to the eros experience; where it is absent, one might well doubt the full validity of the loving.’ – James Hillman, from The Myth of Analysis Opening to fear Fear is a most common emotion. Yet, few of us […]