Turn over a new leaf each morning. Promise the self to be fully present, to hold onto integrity, honesty and truth and to live each moment to the fullest, unafraid, unhampered by judgment and deceit. Let the self experience life to its fullest so that the fullness of the self may be expressed. In this manner a life is well lived.
Charge yourself with carrying out acts of kindness. Intend that your day be a day of compassionate thought and loving action toward self and others. Remember that you are a part of all things, the Earth and its inhabitants and energies, and of nature itself, a part of the wholeness. If one part of the wholeness is kind, loving and compassionate so is more of the whole equally so. In this manner establish a proactive approach to life. As subtle as it may seem, your energy affects everything around you. Take advantage of having a positive effect today.
With the best intentions begin the day. Let your own inner light rise with the morning sun and bring it forth with the spirit of your intent to have a day of wonder, beauty and gratitude. For all you are naturally granted, the ability to experience a new day and to be open to what may come, be thankful. There is so much going on in the world to worry about, but for this moment count your blessings and start the day on the right foot, setting it down on your true path of heart, the one you find yourself on this day.
Prepare yourself each day to accept what comes to challenge you; be ready for anything so that nothing overwhelms you. Expect the unexpected and know that you can handle it. In this manner nothing will ever be too much but will only be the next lesson in this life, following up on what you experienced and learned in your previous life.
All of your lives are interconnected, building one upon the other, so that what you are challenged with now is appropriate and will lead you into your next most profound and meaningful process of growth and evolution. Contemplate that and know that you are on the right track.
Perfection is wholeness. Wholeness is the four-sided mandala: 4 directions, 4 seasons, 4 stages of life, etc. Winter is pregnancy. Spring is birth. Summer is fulfillment. Fall is death.
The decay of Fall provides the seeds and nourishment for new life, as the life cycle completes itself and begins anew. Nature teaches, in this most basic way, that life feeds upon life. The shamans of ancient Mexico called our world a predatory universe, not as a judgment but as nature’s destructive truth.
Evil is branded the demon, and it may present as such, but it is a necessary part of the life cycle, a fundamental part of our wholeness. Archetypes are the primal patterns that generate the life cycle. Archetypes populate the deepest level of the human unconscious, what Jung called the collective unconscious.
Joseph Campbell realized that in world mythology, which personifies the organizing influence of the archetypes upon human behavior, the hero archetype has a thousand faces. Local cultures thus dress the core archetypes in local clothing and masks, but beneath the surface all the different variations can be reduced to the same universal archetypes.
Despite the culture or religion, the hero is always sacrificed, changes form, and is born again into new life. Once again, nature’s fallen resurrects in the new life of Spring.
Archetypes insist on being propitiated. We must appease their energetic imperatives or suffer the agonizing consequences of their wrath. For example, depression is often the withdrawal of life energy by a neglected archetype. If we refuse a rite of Spring, like Daphne our life might harden into a frozen tree.
Modern humanity has forgotten its natural roots. The animal has been confined to the darkness of the basement, in the area of the psyche Jung called the shadow. While humanity luxuriates in its advanced technology, the animal in the shadow plans its escape into life. Here’s how Jung described the ravaged animal’s escape in Nazi Germany:
“Like the rest of the world, [the Germans] did not understand wherein Hitler‘s significance lay, that he symbolized something in every individual. He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody‘s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.” *
Projection of one’s disowned self onto a political leader renders one the sacrificial victim of a wrathful archetype. Victimhood is experienced as both the ecstasy of the entranced and the rage and hate of the rationally disenchanted. In both cases one is drawn into emotional bondage by the archetype.
In either case, the truly disenfranchised is both the personal and collective shadow, the neglected animal and the natural world, the Earth. This is a universal collective problem for humankind, not simply an issue of polarization.
The archetype of the shadow is just that, that which lives in the darkness. This is both the truth of our disowned lives, as well as the archetype of our unlived wholeness. To propitiate the shadow, we must bring the light of our consciousness into the darkness and discover the fullness of who we are.
In waking life, our journeys into darkness require us to own and release the intensity of our emotions in a safe place. Beyond release is the full knowing and acceptance of all we have done, light and dark. Finally, the darkness will reveal the changes we must make to align ourselves with our wholeness.
If we can suffer the Fall, reveling in its final colorful act, and have the patience of a pregnant Winter, new life will surely arrive, to be nourished in the Spring and brought to fulfillment in Summer, as the life cycle perfects its wholeness.
Seeking perfection, Chuck
*Jung, C. G. (1946). Fight with the Shadow. In The Collected Works of C.G. Jung (Vol. 10). Princeton: Princeton University Press.