A PATH WITH HEART: Difficult Problems and Insistent Visitors

As you continue your soul work you will eventually discover the repeated patterns of thought, feelings and sensations what Jack Kornfield called the “Insistent Visitors.” In this video/audio blog post I take you through four basic principles for dealing with these difficult and repeating problems.

The four principles are: Expand the Field of Awareness, Come to a Full Awareness of the Feelings, Discover what is Asking for Acceptance, and Open through the Center.

A PATH WITH HEART: Stopping the War

In this chapter (chapter two) Kornfield likens the war in our head between all the ego voices to the wars in the world. He suggests the way to have peace in the world is to stop the war inside. He suggests that adapting to our society leads one into denial and addiction saying

We use addictions to support out denials.

To wake up to these voices can be overwhelming and depressing, but if you persist you will eventually find peace inside. The most important thing to remember when you begin to pay attention to the voices inside is to simply esercizi per allargare il prepuzio notice without judging. It’s important to potencia novelo szerek NOTstart a war with these voices for that only exacerbates the war.

In Jungian terms the process of paying attention and accepting “what is” is called taking back one’s shadow because what gets denied gets repressed into our unconscious. It distorts reality. So to take back one’s shadow is to see wholly.

Another important point in this process of “stopping the war” is to kirurško povečanje penisa NOT identify with the voices. You are the observer of the voices; that is your true self. The voices have created the false self or what Jung called the persona.

Here is the audio portion for chapter two.

A PATH WITH HEART: Did I Love Well?

In the next several blog posts I am adding an audio note. My intention is to take you through a book I consider to be fundamental to spiritual development. Each blog post will cover one chapter in the journey. I encourage you to read or re-read my blog post called Reading with Soul in Mind before getting started with this series of blog lessons.

The first book in this series of masaj pt marirea sanilor In Depth with DR BREN: Lessons from her Soul Journey is Jack Kornfield’s A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life. I chose this book because it teaches the fundamentals of getting to know oneself, both ego and soul.

This first audio blog post is on Chapter One: Did I Love Well?

Journaling with Soul in Mind


A common exercise life coaches assign is journaling. And the common response is UGHHH! I think that’s because we instantly recall the diary from junior high school we used to record our secret feelings about the guy we had a crush on and the girlfriend we hate for stealing him away from us. This is the same diary that our younger brother found and read at the dinner table embarrassing us in front of our parents.

However, journaling is not a diary of what we did for the day. From a Jungian perspective the point of journaling is not so much about what we say, as it is about how we say it. Journaling in Depth is a practice of calling our ego into relationship with our soul, a practice that is as important as exercise and meditation on the journey of individuation.

The critical skill for journaling is asking questions. In fact, journaling is really a practice of inquiry. Once I start journaling I find soul slipping in, which it must do to get past the rigidity of ego, with brilliant questions and insights. Ego wants the answers now so it can file it into unconscious standard operating procedures. In contrast, soul strives for wholeness so it will ask questions that compensate for the one-sidedness of ego.


For instance, let’s say you are writing about why you erupted in rage when your boyfriend forgot to pick up lemons on the way home. As you describe the event your thoughts start spinning all these stories about him and perhaps you get angry all over again. That’s okay, but that is not the point of journaling. At some point I hope soul slips in a question about you and your rage.

The point of Journaling in Depth is not to reinforce ego’s war with your boyfriend. It is to question your unconscious automatic patterns of thoughts and behaviors giving you a chance to withdraw your projections, own your shadow, and learn to consciously choose appropriate responses.

Ego is always looking for data to reinforce its beliefs. And I promise you any time you erupt emotionally out of proportion to the event [rage about lemons? come on!] a projection from your shadow needs to be withdrawn from your boyfriend.

The place to start in this example is the stories that got spun about why your boyfriend forgot the lemons. He never listens to me, I have to do everything all the time, he forgot on purpose to embarrass me, etc. [Another clue to discovering a projection is when you use extreme language like always and never.]

The questions to ask yourself are: Is that true? What is the evidence to support your claims? Are there alternative reasons he forgot the lemons? To find wholeness you must be able to see the events and stories you spin in your mind from every side.

If the point of meditation is to build awareness in the moment and to rid the mind of worries and phantom dialogues with others, then journaling can be a meditative process. For me that’s exactly what it is, a meditation; it helps me get rid of what I call the “monkey mind,” a mind completely lost in thought, by bringing the monkey into relationship with the soul.

If “monkey mind” is a left brain affair and meditation is a right brain affair, then journaling as a meditation process can be a way to tame your anxiety and integrate the left and right hemispheres of your brain which helps in healing depression.

In conclusion, I recommend handwriting your journal. Why? Because it helps you slow down and really BE in the process, and it involves the body — where Wisdom resides. Finally, please be sure to hide it so your brother won’t read it at the dinner table and embarrass you in front of your boyfriend.

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.