From the Tower to the Star

towerstarcards

The collapse of the twin towers sent a wake up call to my soul. From that moment on I have been faithfully following my soul’s path, not my ego’s wishes.

I’m sure it’s not news to say — We’ve come to the end of the road and find ourselves in Rome, the alpha and the omega of our monotheistic times.

We have played the story all the way to the end and find every aspect of our collective lives near death, i.e., atmosphere, Bible, banking, culture, democracy, diplomacy, energy, economy, ecology, earth, evolution, finances, government, humanity, healthcare, insurance, justice, Koran, life, meaning, medicine, money, Newtonian physics, which is the basis of most of our planetary systems, news, oceans, patriarchy, psychology, quetzalcoatl, regulations, religions, science, society, soul, space, sports, time, universe, vision, weath, xanadu, Yom Kippur, zeitgeist.

One could crumble under these facts, or continue in a collective, pathological, and psychological defense of denial to save ego from the truth of soul’s existence. Why not? Denial and other distortions of reality have gotten us this far. I believe it is time to resuscitate life on earth and reconnect with our soul and the soul of the world, what Jung called the Anima Mundi.

I also believe there is a map to the chaos we find ourselves in.

To understand what’s next for our planet, I turn to the 17th card in the Tarot Deck — The Star (Ray of Hope) which represents the dawning of the age of Aquarius, and follows the Tower card.

Many have said we are moving to a more feminine way of life. This return spirals up from feminine unconsciousness to feminine consciousness.

The Star is a nature priestess who connects heaven and earth following the alchemical text the Emerald Tablet’s doctrine of correspondence, i.e., as above, so below. This is similar to the restart button in Revelation where chapter twenty-one speaks of a new heaven and a new earth.

The Star Woman reveals herself in her nakedness, without a mask, without clothing. She helps unite our outer world with our inner world. Her arrival suggests the end of Patriarchy on this planet, and the beginning of our connection with the dimensional universe, from the narcissistic I to the empathetic we, from logos to eros, from the physical to the subtle, and so on.

The answers to our earthly foibles lie in the subtle realm, not the physical realm. The patriarchal ego must die, giving rise to our eternal soul.

HighPriestess_Thoth

I started writing this post yesterday, last night I dreamed I was anointed a priestess before I sang in a contest to complete my doctoral work. Interestingly, I am an ordained minister but I have, heretofore, not embarked on my ministerial work. I have had several dreams this month (April 2013) suggesting it is time for me to speak up. In every dream I have fallen in the face of my collective task because I was isolated and alone. The transition I am facing requires isolation in the alchemical vessel. This process will give rise to a new aquarian self.

To become the Star Woman is my new task. Wish me luck!

As I wrote these last lines, Jung’s scarab appeared in my window. OMG!
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A few days later, I went to past-life hypnotherapist and learned my relationship to the Star Woman. I am to scribe the universal laws for the new earth coming in now as the aquarian age, however, I must get over my Cassandra Complex. More to Come!!!

Eastern Spirituality and Western Egos

I’ve been asked many times about the differences between what Carl Jung taught and the lessons in Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge. So I thought I would get out a quick blog post explaining the differences as I see it.

Perhaps the most important difference concerns the development of ego in the west as rugged individual versus in the east as one part of a greater whole, be it family, society, or universe.

This difference is why Jung said almost a century ago that westerners cannot slap eastern spirituality on top of a western ego and expect enlightenment.

I make a strong distinction in my teachings about the ego and the soul as two distinct and different entities in the psyche. (See previous blog post about Ego and Soul.)

In the east transcending the ego is part and parcel of their cultural development; in the west we are our egos. Therefore, it makes sense to heal the ego and bring it into relationship with our souls; this is the path of Jungian individuation. As earthlings we need both, ego which is responsible for our physical being and soul which is responsible for our spiritual being.

In Jungian circles we call this dialectic relationship the ego-soul axis. Everything Chopra is talking about refers to the soul part of this equation.

As I’m sure you have experienced in your meditation ego is bouncing around all over the place with plans for the future, or ruminating on past events. Your experience of the eternal soul and its connection to Source occurs in those fleeting spaces between ego’s obsessions.

Meditation is a practice to increase the spaces in your psyche where soul can enter your life.

There is one last distinction between Jungian thought and Chopra’s teachings related to Source. In Jungian Psychology the Self or Source has intentions for our soul on earth which becomes our purpose in life to fulfill. Chopra’s teachings has ego intentions asking Source for fulfillment. I believe the truth lies between these two extremes. We have a distinct purpose to fulfill on earth, and if our intentions align with this purpose then Source will fulfill wishes.

Psyche aims towards Wholeness with a Religious Fervor


Carl Jung lists nine occasions for successful termination of analysis in the (1953/1968) “Introduction to the Religious and Psychological Problems of Alchemy.” However he says, “there is a relatively large number of patients for whom the outward termination of work with the doctor is far from the end of the analytical process” (p. 4). It was in his investigation of these cases that continued the conscious-unconscious dialectical relationship after termination that his “belief that there is in the psyche a process that seeks its own goal independently of external factors” (p. 5) was confirmed. According to Jung the unconscious in these individuals was aiming towards wholeness with a religious fervor. This took the work further than a purely medical consideration into the realm of religion and alchemy.

Jung took up the task of resurrecting the soul of the European Christians seeking wholeness from the superficialities presented in the current expression of Christianity. While he did not blame Christianity he saw the veneration of the object of Christ as that which prevents the Christian from “reaching down into the depths of the psyche and giving … a wholeness. … the divine mediator stands outside as an image, while man remains fragmentary and untouched in the deepest part of him” (p. 7). By separating man from Christ with dead symbols and rituals Christianity has perpetuated the neurosis he sought to cure.

Jung recognized the difference between Western and Eastern religions were their object focus. While the Western man was focused on the external objects leaving his living soul unacknowledged, the Eastern man was focused on the internal objects of his soul often leaving the external world devoid of spiritual meaning. Jung names the differences between the Western and Eastern man.

Western man is held in the thrall by the “ten thousand things”; he sees only particulars, he is ego-bound and thing-bound, and unaware of the deep root of all being. Eastern man, on the other hand, experiences the world of particulars, and even his own ego, like a dream; he is rooted essentially in the “Ground,” which attracts him so powerfully that his relations with the world are relativized to a degree that is often incomprehensible to us. The Western attitude, with its emphasis on the object, tends to fix the ideal – Christ – in its outward aspect and thus to rob it of its mysterious relation to the inner man. (p. 7-8)

In this distinction Jung saw the need for the Westerner to follow an introverted path like the Easterner toward the inner man. Furthermore Jung saw that the extraverted focus contributed to the void and the devaluation of the Westerner’s soul.

Christ the ideal took upon himself the sins of the world. But if the ideal is wholly outside then the sins of the individual are also outside, and consequently he is more of a fragment than ever, since superficial misunderstanding conveniently enables him, quite literally to “cast his sins upon Christ” and thus to evade his deepest responsibilities – which is contrary to the spirit of Christianity. Such formalism and laxity were not only one of the prime causes of the Reformation, they are also present within the body of Protestantism. If the supreme value (Christ) and the supreme negation (sin) are outside, then the soul is void: its highest and lowest are missing. The Eastern attitude (more particularly the Indian) is the other way about: everything, highest and lowest, is in the (transcendental) Subject. Accordingly, the significance of the Atman, the Self, is heightened beyond all bounds. But with Western man the value of the self sinks to zero. Hence the universal depreciation of the soul in the West. (p. 8)

Jung is not suggesting the European should starting meditating and seeking gurus in Indian. In fact, he was quite vociferous about the problems of slapping an Eastern religion on top of Western psychology. I suspect he was using the introverted attitude of the Easterner as a validation that religion is also (to say the least) a psychological problem. Jung knew he was impinging on the territory of the theologians; and he knew he would be discounted by his medically-oriented colleagues. Yet he felt it necessary to traverse these grounds exclaiming “A little more Meister Eckhart would be a very good thing sometimes” (pp. 9-10)!

Jung was fortunate to have the financial means and Freud’s shoulders to stand on allowing him to reach into the forbidden territory of religion. Jung could do nothing less than pursue wholeness albeit quite antithetical to the scientific inquiry which throws out what does not fit. His search for repeatable patterns, the way to give his work validity in the sciences, brought him face-to-face with world myths and religions where the repeatable themes were recognizable Jung warned that “an exclusively religious projection may rob the soul of its values so that through sheer inanition it becomes incapable of further development and gets stuck in an unconscious state” (p. 10). He finds it inconceivable that “soul” could be thought of as “nothing but” and psychology as some wholly-untouchable other separate from religion. Jung said,

Even the believing Christian does not know God’s hidden ways and must leave him to decide whether he will work on man from outside or from within, through the soul. So the believer should not boggle at the fact that there are somnia a Deo missa (dreams sent by God) and illuminations of the soul which cannot be traced back to any external causes. It would be blasphemy to assert that God can manifest himself everywhere save only in the human soul. Indeed the very intimacy of the relationship between God and the soul precludes from the start any devaluation of the latter. (pp. 10-11)

In this short statement Jung elevates the devalued soul to an intimate of God who might on occasion receive dreams and illuminations from God via the psyche. Jung even goes so far as to conjecture that “this correspondence [between God and the soul] is, in psychological terms, the archetype of the God-image” (p. 11). As an archetype this puts the material squarely in Jung’s psychological province. This completes his argument for rescuing the soul robbed of its nourishment by Christianity, trapped in the unconscious and unable to move towards wholeness which opened his inquiry into alchemy.

In the introduction to Jung’s Psychology and Alchemy he suggested that alchemy was

rather like an undercurrent to the Christianity that ruled on the surface. It is to this surface as the dream is to consciousness, and just as the dream compensates the conflicts of the conscious mind, so alchemy endeavours to fill in the gaps left open by the Christian tension of opposites. (1953/1968, p. 23) [CW 12, ¶26]

Jung saw alchemy compensating for the Church’s one-sided obsession with good to the exclusion of evil. He saw the executed (and externalized) symbols of Christianity come alive in the laboratories of alchemists. To Jung these ancient texts were a gold mine of symbols compensating, completing, and bringing the Christian consciousness to wholeness.

Jung wrote,

This was a time when the mind of the alchemist was still grappling with the problems of matter, when the exploring consciousness was confronted by the dark void of the unknown, in which figures and laws were dimly perceived and attributed to matter although they really belonged to the psyche. Everything unknown and empty is filled with psychological projection; it is as if the investigator’s own psychic background were mirrored in the darkness. What he sees in matter, or thinks he can see, is chiefly the data of his own unconscious which he is projecting into it. In other words, he encounters in matter, as apparently belonging to it, certain qualities and potential meanings of whose psychic nature he is entirely unconscious. (pp. 227-228)

To Jung the unconscious projection of the alchemist’s psychic content onto matter was a “Passion Play” of a different kind.