Matter of Heart, A documentary on CG Jung

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I recently watched a documentary about Carl Jung on youtube called Matter of Heart (1986). It is a good primer on Jung’s Analytical Psychology.

I urge you to click the link to this video and take the time to watch this 1 hour and 45 minute video on what I believe to be the most important message on psychological and spiritual growth of our time.

Perhaps his most important message is that psyche is really real. In fact, psyche is the only real thing in this world; everything else is an illusion. In this idea Jung began the marriage between the eastern and western philosophy of psyche.

These Jungian analysts have a urgent message about saving the planet from ultimate catastrophe. coppia cerca uomo Confront your shadow, reconcile the opposites within, and wrestle like Jacob with god itself. (This is what Jung called the individuation journey.) And then, and only then, do we have a chance to skirt by the looming world wars threatening all life on this planet.

How Deep Do Dreams Go?

Here is a talk I gave on March 15, 2014 to the All Reality group in Santa Monica.
I speak about the split between ego and soul, how this shows up in dreams, and then move into the inner world by talking about lucid dreaming and astral projection.

Putting the Star Woman in a Jungian Context

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In this post I will ground the Star Woman in Jungian psychology as a guiding archetype for the Aquarian Age.

There are eight critical archetypes in Jung’s individuation process. Four are part of the personal world (microcosm / earth) and four are part of the collective world (macrocosm / heaven).

The four personal archetypes are: persona, ego, shadow and the trickster. The four collective archetypes: are animus (or anima for men), Self, serpent, and Sophia. (If you click on the figure it gets bigger.)

The Personal Archetypes

The persona is the face we show to the world; it can also be understood as the roles we play in society. The ego is our identity/personality, the “I” that we think we are. The shadow, is our alter-personality; it is composed of all that we think we are not. The trickster is the first inner male character a woman meets on her individuation journey. Previously Jungians have simply classified this figure as the animus in compliment to the man’s anima. However, in my research by female authors, e.g. Helen Luke, and my personal experience, a woman meets the trickster first. Clarissa Pinkola Estes in Women who Run with the Wolves names the trickster the predator in her second chapter. This character appears to initiate women into her inner creative world and higher levels of consciousness. (I will write more about the trickster in another blog post.)

The Collective Archetypes

The Self represents heaven, and the serpent represents earth. They are the first opposites created, light and dark, spirit and matter, etc. The animus is the women’s inner world personality, and Sophia (Star Woman) is the personality of the higher self of the earthly collective.

Most spiritual traditions regard ascension (serpent to Self/God) as the very essence of the soul’s journey. This is why I, tongue in check, call Jung’s individuation process the resurrection of the serpent in alignment with Gnostic beliefs. uomo cerca donna Siracusa The spiritual and collective evolutionary task presenting earthlings at this time is to sacrifice the hubristic ego to the guidance of the Star Woman.

I could write a book on these first few paragraphs. (Oh yeah, I did! It’s called my dissertation.) Many volumes have been written about the archetypes of Jung’s individuation process, one of my favorites is Murray Stein’s Jung’s Map of the Soul. This blog post is only about one of these archetypes — donna cerca uomo Vicenza Sophia/The Star Woman.

Why the Tarot

Before I launch into explaining the Star Woman, many may be wondering why the Tarot? In fact, Jung was interested in several divination practices like the I Ching and the Tarot. Both of these systems are signposts for one’s individuation journey. The I Ching also known as the Book of Changes documents 64 different changes in the cycle of life. The Tarot documents 22 stations the fool makes on his way to universal consciousness. I have in a previous post been discussing earth’s individuation from the Tower card to the Star card in the Tarot.

uomo cerca donna Legnano I said all this to put the Star Woman in context so that I could say a few words about her importance in the Aquarian age, the entering millennium.

The Star cards in the Tarot

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The card on the left is from Aliester Crowley’s Thoth deck; and the card on the right is from the very popular Rider Waite deck. It is not my intention to talk about the differences, however, the guiding card for me is the card on the left, Lady Freida Harris’ surrealist’s depiction of the Star Woman for our times.

A woman, naked and kneeling on her left knee, pours from a vase in her right hand silver waters into a river, by which grow roses, the haunts of coloured butterflies. With her left hand, she pours golden waters over her head, which are lost in her long hair. Her attitude suggests the Swastika. Above flames a great star of seven rays. (Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot: An Authoritative Examination of the World’s Most Fascinating and Magical Tarot Card by Lon Milo DuQuette, p. 143)

The Star Woman as Guide for our Chaotic Times

The Star Woman is the medium connecting the collective with the personal, heaven with earth. “She is concerned with both, and through her ministrations the two interact creatively” (Nichols, p. 295). This is a critical statement because it puts earth and heaven on equal footing. This brings to mind Jung’s essay called “Answer to Job,” where he posits the necessary incarnation of Jesus Christ to learn what man knows that god does not. The ancient Emerald Tablet, the touchstone of alchemical texts and Egyptian/Hermetic philosophy, states “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing.” In this statement we see, again, the mutuality of heaven (Above) and earth (Below) in the creation of the Unus Mundi (One Thing). (Let me note here that Jung’s work on the Anima Mundi, the soul of the world, is the Star Woman.)

Personally, this means your inner soul figure (animus for women) mediates between the Star Woman and your ego.

The Aquarian age is a time when the veil between the physical world and the spiritual world is very thin giving anyone and everyone access to their higher psychic faculties. This is the goal of Jungian psychology. “Jung contends that man’s salvation lies within the depths of his psyche, and that each of us must labor in his own individual way to discover and free the golden essence which lies buried within our psycho-physical nature” *Nichols, p. 297).

From where I sit it looks like we are being prepared for another war in the Middle East which has the potential to irrupt into World War 3 with Russia. This may be the final fall of the old structures represented by the Tower card in the Tarot. While the desert religions believe this is the harbinger for their Messiah(s), I believe, as Jung did and many post-religious people do, that the savior is within.

The Healing Elixir of the Imaginal Realm

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Dreams give us the puzzle pieces of our lives. It is our job to figure out how to put them together to make meaning in our lives.

Well that is how I ended up on the couch in the home of a very gifted Quantum Healing Hypnotherapist (QHHT) trained by Dolores Cannon named Tina Saelee. This 3-hour experience was like dreaming on steroids. However, no drugs were involved. This experience was life altering for me. It brought the imaginal realm (see post about accessing the imaginal realm), that I had only read about in Jung’s work, particularly his uomo cerca donna Novara Red Book, to life for me.

It was a dream about a two critical figures manifesting in our collective psyche that lead me back to Dolores Cannon’s work. In the Quantum Healing Hypnotherapy session with Tina I met these two characters — the Trickster and the Star Woman — again. (I will write more about these characters in another blog post.)

I wrote about about the Tower and the Star cards in the Thoth Tarot deck when I knew deep in my bones that this message must get out. I also knew that more people must experience for themselves the healing elixir of the imaginal realm.

The Age of Aquarius which is represented by the Star card in the Tarot deck is here, now. The Tower structures of society are failing and we have a choice, will we choose to stay tuned into the dying tower world, or will we choose to tune into the Aquarian world? It is a choice, you must make now! And this choice requires attunement to the imaginal realm.

Jungian analysis and Jungian life coaching (which is what I do) relies heavily on the imaginal realm, also know as the dream world, to heal the ego of its neurotic defenses and to connect one to their soul. The world around us is bereft of intimate and soulful connections, especially to our higher self.

Jung said the face you turn to the unconscious (imaginal realm) is the face it turns to you. In other words, when you experience how really real it is then it becomes your best friend and guide. Now more than ever, to get through the chaos of the world around us, we must turn inward to our spiritual guides.

Every client and friend who has experienced the Quantum Healing Hypnotherapy this month has been blown away by the imaginal realm. Tina Saelee is offering a discounted rate to all my clients.

At the end of June I am offering a workshop (donations only) to help everyone process their Quantum Healing Hypnotherapy session. I will help people understand the archetypes activated in their psyches, understand their karmic blocks, and demonstrate how to keep the channel open to their higher self.

Turn off the TV, tune out the news, and tune into your higher self. This adventure is way better than anything Hollywood or mass media will feed you.

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.

The Individuation Journey

The heroine crosses the threshold, leaves the safety of her home, and goes in search of her self. She journeys up hills and down valleys, wades in rivers and streams, crosses dry deserts and dark forests, and enters the labyrinth to find what is at the center of her self. Along the way she meets ogres who trick her into going down dead ends, adversaries who challenge her cunning and resolve, and obstacles which she must avoid, circumstances to overcome. She needs a lamp, a lot of thread, and all of her wits about her to make the journey. – Maureen Murdock in The Heroine’s Journey


Everyone’s soul and journey is unique. DR BREN has developed a unique approach to helping people reconnect with their souls and to dare to live their lives fully and meaningfully.

LISTEN TO YOUR SOUL

When soul learns you are interested in the journey of life, she will begin to send dreams and fantasies hoping you will be curious enough to take the step towards learning her language. Soul speaks symbolically and she sends the symbolic clues to healing your split between her and your ego. If you love mysteries you will never be bored with learning the mysteries of your own soul’s life.

DR BREN helps you understand and respond to the symbolic mysteries of your soul.

TURN YOUR CHILDHOOD DEFENSES INTO GIFTS

Most likely you are living your life in the past. Your life has been scripted by what has happened to you thus far. Your ego learned long ago in childhood what was safe and what was unsafe, developing strategies all along the way to avoid danger and maximize safety.

DR BREN helps you to identify the childhood strategies that are not serving you anymore, choosing strategies that are more appropriate for the demands of your adult life.

INTEGRATE YOUR SHADOW

Jung's Model of Psyche

Growing up in American society many parts of our selves have been denied expression and repressed into the unconscious. In depth psychology we call this the shadow. The shadow needs you as much as much as you need the shadow to live a full and meaningful life.

DR BREN helps you reconnect and integrate the lost parts of yourself.

BALANCE YOUR FEMININE AND MASCULINE ENERGIES

Anima, the Latin word for our feminine soul, has been pushed into the depths of the unconscious while the masculine spirit (also known as ego) soars to unsustainable heights. Identification with the masculine (spirited ego) and denigration and denial of the feminine (soul) deeply embedded in religious doctrines perpetuates this unnatural split forging a dangerous one-sided obsession with perfectionism, rationality and good as godly and everything else as evil. These out of balance forces (good/evil, spirit/soul, masculine/feminine, rational/irrational etc.) not only threaten our survival but every living species on this Earth.

DR BREN helps you to excavate and integrate the feminine and masculine energies into a fully integrated being.

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 notice without judging. It’s important to 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 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 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?

Evolution is a spiraling process between the Eternal and the Now

The conflict to be resolved in our era is — the rift between those who believe that evolution is an upward and outward linear progress in time and space, and those who believe evolution is a spiraling process inside time and space, bouncing between the eternal and the now, between the unmanifest and the manifest, between the archetype and the complex, between the godhead and his co-creator, Sophia, for its ever-changing identity. The former believe the future is unknowable, the later believe the eternal is unknowable. So the former chases after the future, and the later chases after creation.

I am in the group that chases after creation because we believe this is the way to know the eternal. This is a central tenet of Jungian psychology; and it is what separates the Freudians from the Jungians. Is the origin of Ego connected to the Self Archetype [God] or is the ego simply a construct created in the battle between pleasure and pain? If you quiz the biologists, who profess the latter, you will find they do not see their domain springing from physics.

I’m not sure if we can prove one way or another that spirit came before matter, or visa versa. I think this is the one, and only, place faith is required. Certainly we can read through the documents of anthropologists and archeologists and see the preponderance of material supporting the theory that spirit gave birth to matter. However, only those who are inclined to read and believe these reports will get it. It seems so obvious to me. To follow the opposing argument back to its roots you find a belief in chaos, in meaninglessness, and man’s superior ability to tackle both, or to be lost in existentialism. And therefore the man, or corporation, who has the loudest proclamation will win.

And if one believes this to be truth, then Nature has no voice; women’s intuition has no voice. The irony of this silly progression in irrationality is their biological origins were abandoned. How does one say biology is the beginning of everything and then abandon nature’s laws? Perhaps only those prone to illogical thinking can explain this, or those prone to ruling the world like the stupid lords before. But those who have investigated their rational and irrational ways of being along with their socially embedded beliefs will not fall for these paroxysms of stupid atheists and scientists.

If you have a choice – then choose life not death, choose humanity not corporations, choose self not ego, choose We not I.

A Cure for the Midlife Crisis

The Midlife Crisis

How to recognize a midlife crisis?

  1. You have the desire to start over.
  2. Your marriage is stale.
  3. Your career is less than adequate.
  4. Your life seems rudderless.
  5. You feel more impulsive than ever.
  6. You just bought a brand new red convertible.

The midlife crisis has less to do with the passage of time than it has to do with psychological experience. That is, the ego achievements of the first half of life have been accomplished: you have a wife/husband, children, pets, home, career, car, Ipad, etc. But what you don’t have is happiness. It is at this specific moment in your life that you begin to wonder about your legacy – what impact will you have on the world?

The midlife crisis is a wakeup call sent from your alienated soul. The first half of life is the domain of ego. Childhood patterns developed to protect the ego unconsciously run your life. Up until now you have been living what I would call a societal egoic life. The rules and roles that run your life, unconsciously, are not your own. To say to someone — you are a chip off the old block — is very true. Until you consciously choose the values, roles, and rules you will live by, you are simply a chip off the old societal block. Who you think you are is what Jung called the persona, the mask you show the world. Midlife is the time to emerge as a unique individual soul.

It could be said that acting out the midlife crisis — having the affair, changing careers, buying the red convertible — is a defense against the reality of death. Said differently, the existential task of midlife is to make sense of your life before you die. This means a transfer of power from the unconscious ego, to the conscious soul. Death is a reality that is easy to deny in the first part of life, but cannot be denied in the second part of life, although there are huge industries — plastic surgery for one — built around helping you continue to deny death. That aside, death creeps in with every wrinkle, every gray hair, the flabby belly, the hormonal changes, and aging children.

So what is the cure for the midlife crisis?

SOUL CONSCIOUSNESS!

The consciousness I am referring to is a state of being. It is not your identity (social persona); it is not your ego-consciousness; it is not your shadow (the part of your self you deny and repress). It is your ever-present self-awareness. Ego is focused on objects, obsessed with the past and the future, and leary of the present moment. Soul, on the other hand, is eternally present, alive and moving towards wholeness — its evolutionary purpose. Ego speaks in language; Soul speaks in symbols. Ego’s purpose is to protect the self from harm, and propagate the species. Soul’s purpose is to create, to love and move towards wholeness.

Jung outlined several steps in the project of one’s soul journey, a process he named individuation. They are:

  1. Encounter with the Shadow
  2. Encounter with your Soul-Image
  3. Encounter with your God-Image
  4. Emergence of the Self

I will talk more about these stages of individuation in another post. For now here is James Hollis, the author of The Middle Passage, identifying the end of the midlife crisis:

We know we have survived the midlife crisis when we no longer cling to who we were, no longer seek fame or fortune or the appearance of youth. The sense of life as a slow taking away, the inexorable exeperience of irreplaceable loss, is transformed by relinguishing the old ego attachments and affirming one’s deepening descent into the mystery. (Hollis, 1993, p. 113)