Tag Archives: bridges

Chuck’s Place: Nature’s Bridge

Sixty years ago, C. G. Jung predicted: “…The trend of the time is one-sidedness and disagreement, and thus the dissociation and separation of the two worlds will be accomplished. Nothing will prevent this fact. We have no answer yet that would appeal to the general mind, nothing that could function as a bridge.” *

The sunrise, a natural bridge between night and day…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Through her fury now, nature is forging a path of heart to bridge the great divide. Nature’s floods are pressing the human spirit to rise to the oneness of overarching love.

Nature’s strategy is apparent: Saturation. As one storm passes the next will soon arrive. In rapid succession the floodgates are overwhelmed. Human resistance is leveled as nature exacts her toll and reshapes our world.

Ego is slipping in empty rhetoric. Exhaustion and utter necessity are compelling ego to shift from its tales of power to instead see the true needs of the self, the populace, and the world. Survival now requires dedication to the truth.

In truth, nature teaches that a city founded on the principle of unlimited growth, with such an extreme concentration of resources and toxins, is no longer safe.

The time of the metropolis is over. No walls can hold back nature’s guiding imperative. Human ingenuity must learn humility to make peace with nature. This is living in the Tao. In the Tao one recognizes and occupies one’s proper place. To resist what is is merely a sandcastle bridge. Going with nature’s flow is the only way to go.

Within the self, the fire and fury of the animal disrupts cerebral hegemony. The floods of passion and emotion stir beneath the belt and threaten even the greatest defense, reason. Reason is no match for anxiety and fear. It’s time to bridge the divide within with a sustainable bridge. The ego metropolis is slipping. Time to make way to solid ground.

Would that the fire and fury of aggressive energy could be contained by reason and détente! But the joint rhetoric and escalating nuclear tests join nature’s fury with hair-trigger threat.

The dissociation and separation of worlds that Jung speaks about in the above quotation are the pairs of opposites within the human animal, the inner worlds of the rational ego and the unconscious, nature’s way. Sixty years ago Jung was worried that we would not find our way to reconciliation of these dissociated parts before it was too late. Indeed, the human animal has been neglected for far too long while the ego and reason have ruled. The apocalyptic release of the stored energies of the animal, previously satisfied in the cinema, can no longer be vicariously contained in theatre or fantasy. Nature demands attention.

How can we reckon with nature within our personal hologram?

To begin with, we must claim ownership of our own animal nature. When our boundaries are violated we must recognize the fury of the animal within us. When we are hungry we must recognize the primal hunger of the animal within us that perhaps craves a juicy fat steak on a bone. We must recognize our animal narcissism—me first, I have no interest in sharing. We must acknowledge the depths of our sexual desire, perhaps the most disowned instinct of our modern time. We must acknowledge our insatiable power drive that always wants to dominate, or wants more of something.

If we can acknowledge the passions of the animal within us we can bring it home, as opposed to hating it and projecting it onto those we would like to blame for our woes.

Of course, owning the barbaric, murderous, philandering, self-centered impulses of one’s inner animal creates a tense inner domain when pitted against higher reason and the values of the human spirit. A most tense opposition is sure to arise. But if spirit can suspend judgment and appreciate the instinctual knowledge of  its rowdy animal partner, and safely live its needs, an inner bridge of balance might be achieved.

The technology of the Greek and Roman Dionysian festivals, as well as the Christian traditions that followed them, found a way to ritually act out the orgiastic impulses of sexuality, murder, and eating of the flesh and bring them into spiritual harmony with the higher values of the human spirit. Even today, Carneval is still celebrated in many countries. And Mardi Gras, within the boundaries of our own United States, offers the opportunity to bring into balance the desires of the flesh and the desires of the spirit, days or weeks of revelry followed by days or weeks of spiritual contemplation.

Nature now is delivering a barbarous onslaught through floods and rage. The human spirit finds itself communing with nature’s impulses  by reacting in loving concern and heroism. Such loving response balances and bridges the divide.

Inwardly, we can personally express the fullness of our passions in our creativity. Perhaps we must allow ourselves to write about or paint the forbidden, the unacceptable. Perhaps we need to commit to the ritual of sacred sex in a contained yet fully lived way. Perhaps we must allow our rageful impulses to be expressed, setting boundaries and allowing our true feelings to be spoken. Perhaps we must devour our food with the frenzy of a wild beast—to hell with civilized decorum! Belches included! Perhaps at least ritually once in a while!

Perhaps, as well, we must learn to sacrifice. Sacrifice is an inherent imperative in our own nature that must also be lived. For parents to let their children go into the world they must sacrifice them to life. Fasting, letting go of something, not acting upon an impulse, acquiescing to the flow of life are all forms of sacrifice. Nature demands limitation and  sacrifice of spirit ambition that is not in accordance with her laws.

Through creating personal rituals we can contain our raw impulses until a set-aside sacred time and space, where we can then allow ourselves to live them out in some ritual symbolic way. Spirit containment of animal impulses that joins sacrifice with lived impulse forms a solid bridge to joining spirit and animal in higher communion.

These are tools for the individual to employ to bring animal and spirit into new balance. Though nature has taken the lead in forging a new bridge with spirit through the storms we face, we are all empowered to contribute to this bridge in the privacy of our own lives. Perhaps we can give Jung the answer he longed for, before it’s too late.

As within, so without,


*C. G. Jung, Letters Volume II, p. 385

A Day in a Life: Thresholding Time

The energy of the day... Photo by Jan Ketchel
The energy of the day… -Photo by Jan Ketchel

I was quite affected by Jeanne’s message the other day, Transcendence Through Fully Living, stirred to “inhabit my beingness in a fuller way,” as she suggested. Maybe I’ll get a tattoo or a piercing, something daring, I thought. Maybe I’ll cut my hair, make a drastic change, do something to reflect the energy I feel coursing through me, I thought. Then I stepped back and let the energy settle. No, I thought, that’s not what she means. She means own yourself, be yourself to the fullest, be who you truly are. She means live what is inside on the outside now, I decided.

I had a busy day. I selected the clothes to wear with great care. My energy was buoyant and that helped me decide. I wanted my clothing to reflect what I felt inside, my beingness, in a fuller way. I felt good as I left the house in the clothes I had selected. I was in many places throughout the day. I had to travel a bit. I listened to beautiful chanting as I drove, turning the volume up high. I noticed that the day was flowing along nicely.

Afterwards, as I headed toward home, I decided to play a little game with myself, letting the traffic lights guide me, leaving my return route open to guidance from the universe. I have used this technique many times. It was especially important when I was learning how to release my tight hold on controlling, obsessive behaviors, when I was doing my recapitulation and learning how to acquiesce to life itself. When confronted with which route to take, I’d simply let the lights guide me. “If the next light is a green arrow, I’ll take it. If it’s a red light, I’ll go straight.” I have had many transcendent experiences as I’ve played this game, like a virtual map suddenly appearing out of nowhere, a video game that I have never played before.

As I played this game on Monday, green arrows lit up my way, determining which routes I was to take. My energy was still good. I was still flowing along with my chanting music blaring. Suddenly a large shiny black raven swooped in front of my car, seemingly out of nowhere, from the left. Had I been going just a little faster we would have collided. I had no fear, I didn’t even brake, we simply crossed paths. He carried something round and red in his beak. I got a glimpse and then he was gone. Oh, I thought, that’s don Juan, Carlos Castaneda’s benefactor, raven/crow energy, an omen. My first thought was ominous, my second thought bright. I let it be a good omen.

I was on the approach to the bridge, crossing the Hudson, coming up to the toll booth. I let a car merge in front of me from the right, a little blue car much the same color as my own. I was patient. My thoughts went to the man that Chuck and I had met at a checkout line in a store the other day, jokingly suggesting that we pay for his small purchase. He used to be generous himself he said. He used to pay the toll for others crossing the bridge behind him when it was only 50 cents, but now that it’s $1.50 he doesn’t do it so often.

The man in the little blue car stuck his hand out the window and handed the toll collector two dollar bills. He seemed to be talking, taking his time. I waited. I saw him hand the collector another dollar bill. I wondered what he was doing. Can you buy a second passing? It seemed odd. Maybe he was asking for change?

I had my $1.50 in hand as I pulled up to the toll booth and opened my window. The toll collector, with a tone of wonder, told me that the man in the little blue car had already paid my toll. “Oh! Thank you!” I said, delighted, as he opened the gate and I sailed right through. I waved to the man in the blue car ahead of me, wondering if he saw me thanking him.

As I continued my drive home, I took note of the events of the ride, the decision to let the lights guide me; the raven bearing its gift, the merging car, the thoughts going through my head, the gift of the toll. All these synchronicities were significant, but they alone were not the message. They were just signs from the universe leading me to understand the true message. What was it? It took me a little while to get it. I had to recapitulate my experiences to grasp the deeper meaning.

There is always some kind of bridge to cross up ahead... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
There is always some kind of bridge to cross up ahead…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

I was back home when it finally dawned on me. I was about to cross a bridge, the symbol of connecting worlds, of bridging the disparate selves into a new self, to “inhabit my beingness in a fuller way,” as I had intended when I’d dressed in the morning. The energy of my intent was flowing, the gate simply opened before me, free access was granted, sending me over the crossing. Had I not set my intent to let the universe guide me, none of those things would have happened. In fact though, I had been on the threshold of transcendence all day, steeped in the intent of the channeled message from Jeanne.

We have all been on that threshold of change for a long time; it’s the times we live in. While on that threshold we struggle, just as our world struggles now. We see these struggles in so many areas. We must face our struggles, confront our challenges if we are to evolve. And when we are ready, when we know that it’s time to cross our bridge, if we let the universe be part of our process it makes the crossing a lot easier. I found this out. The next challenge is to keep going over all the bridges in the same manner, fully alert and aware, reading the signs and acquiescing to the journey as it unfolds. We must allow transcendence to become a natural and acceptable part of our lives. It’s not really that hard, and the magic of it is both invigorating and joyous to experience. As Jeanne says, let a little joy in!


P.S. Just a note to say that the next day I had to face all red lights! The message that day was: PATIENCE! And indeed, as the day unfolded, patience was required, but I found it was an effortless process, as I quite easily flowed without frustration. I read the sign and let it become important. In acquiescence, I have learned many great lessons. Be well. Be flowing.