No judgments. Instead ask, “How am I like the person I judge? Where is that person in me?” No one is perfect. Perfection is nothing to strive for, it’s a waste of time. Instead, strive for balance, humility, compassion and a lack of judgment of others. In this way know and accept the fullness of the self.
Father’s sperm sows Mother’s egg. Mother’s body fleshes out Father’s spirit. All human life issues from this primal happening. The basic archetypes of mother and father traverse the full breadth of human life, from creator to created to beloved.
Children first encounter these powerful building blocks of human life in their personal parents who generate, sustain, and protect their lives. Freud enshrined this primal nursery scene of dependence and love upon omnipotent parents as the core playing field of life, such was his conviction of the immutable powers and attraction of one’s family of origin.
Jung went on to demonstrate how the mother and father archetypes are projected beyond parents onto gods, the sun and the moon, kings and queens, presidents, authority figures, friends, lovers and spouses. As children grow, the numinous energy of the mother and father archetypes extend into encounters with people and objects in the world beyond the family crucible.
With the dawning of adolescence and the emergence of sexuality young people begin to experience desires and compulsions that generate fixations of falling in love. The object of these projections, the one wanted, is imbued with the numinous energy and need that harkens back to the primal archetypes of life: Mother and Father.
This numinous energy projected upon a desired other may be experienced as ecstatic bliss, terror, anxiety, paralysis or even aggression, the drive to conquer that which feels too powerful. Way beyond adolescence we may still tremble at making contact or feeling worthy enough to approach the one who embodies the god/goddess energy of these projections.
In ancient times rights of initiation to facilitate an individual’s ability to mature into an adult capable of making contact with a coveted other were commonplace. The Dionysian Mysteries of Ancient Greece and Rome were just one of the many cults serving this function.
In our modern rational world, we no longer value the transformative power nor the necessity of formal initiation rites to facilitate the maturity needed to take on the deeper challenges of meeting and fully connecting with a blessed other. The task of initiation in the modern world takes place in the inner sanctuary of the human psyche and body, often through the guidance and support of a knowledgeable therapist.
The call to initiation is frequently encountered in the anxiety, terror, longing, and excitement—all numinous energy—of a potential relationship. The stages of the initiation process are directed by the problems encountered in approaching a relationship.
Often, the first problem is the power of the projection itself. The desired other may be experienced as a god or goddess whose glow is so powerful that you feel unable to actually look directly into the solar rays experienced as emanating from this human form. Perhaps the heart pounds so hard it can be heard out loud; perhaps the vocal cords seize up, unable to make a sound. These are the presenting problems.
Perhaps this desired person appears in a dream with a loving, welcoming smile and you are drawn into sensuous embrace. Upon awakening you feel warmed, in a state of grace. Perhaps you spend the day immersed in the communion of the dream-memory, generating more and more fantasies of delight. Perhaps this secret romance goes on for weeks, a love affair with an inner god/goddess image in your private world of fantasy.
Suddenly, one night, this dream lover may appear in a new dream with another date. You are no longer desired! The impact: devastation and depression.
What is the lesson here from the god/goddess?
Perhaps you have been lured into the trap of feeling entitled to own this living figure whom you have enslaved in fantasy to attend to your sensual desires. Perhaps the god/goddess is teaching that this is infantile behavior, an adult expecting the one-sided attention appropriate only in the nursery.
Furthermore, the god/goddess may also be pointing out that nothing has really been achieved, as no real or substantial contact has been made with the human being so powerfully pined for.
Another dream may then issue forth that signals you to be a hero, to cross a raging river despite the odds. The prompting of such a dream might be challenging you to be your own hero, to shield your eyes from the overpowering projection of the god/goddess and actually make small talk with the real human person of interest, to go beyond your comfort zone and put it out there.
And so, the initiation proceeds with the waking task to approach the desired one, as well as the private task to cease indulging in infantile fantasy and face the reality that genuine contact with a human being requires getting to know them, in a down-to-earth way.
The various tasks of initiation are many sided and are determined by the specific needs of each individual unique personality. The temples of initiation are alive and active within our own inner beings. We encounter the gods and goddesses of those temples in many of our human relationships.
If we remain uninitiated we will experience ourselves as children, still needing the sustenance and protection of others. This returns us to the vicissitudes of Freud’s Oedipus complex, projected onto our adult relationships, which will continue to present us with all kinds of challenges.
Best to take up the journey of adulthood, launched successfully by an active engagement of ego with the vicissitudes of the primal archetypes that guide us all on the road to maturity.
That’s what it’s all about, folks!
A blog by Chuck Ketchel, a man of knowledge; one who knows that he doesn’t know
Reason lacks passion, passion lacks reason. Reason issues from the light of consciousness. Passion hails from the many moods of the moon.
The coolness of reason separates itself from the chaos and passion of nature. Reason seeks to create and impose order. Passion issues from the instincts of the body, from which it emotionally imposes its will.
Reason cuts off passion at the throat where rising emotions seek to overpower the brain, the home base of reason. We call this a tight or sore throat, psychologically it is dissociation.
Passion cuts off reason in the belly and the bowels, refusing to digest the will of reason. We experience this physically as indigestion and IBS, psychologically as anxiety.
Reason is associated with the brain, the engine of abstraction, the organ of our body least associated with nature and feeling. Reason is responsible for the creation of our technological world, as well as the order we create in civilization. Reason is considered our highest evolutionary achievement.
Passion, associated with instincts, imbues emotion with cascades of numinous energy. The delight of eating, the ecstasy of sex, the blood thirst of war, the agony and ecstasy of parenthood are all endowed with the passion of instinct.
For centuries reason has grown in power; frankly, to the point of god status. Reason is antithetical to belief and the irrational, to the unprovable, so that though modern humans might still affiliate with religious traditions outwardly, the individual and collective compass for life is still reason.
Within the individual the conflict between reason and passion results either in depression, where passion is lost, or compulsion, where passion overtakes reason’s restraints.
The conflict between passion and reason in our collective world is currently being expressed through the breakthrough of a passionate leader who creates fire and fury wherever he turns.
For many, this powerful emergence provides the relief and release of long suppressed passionate emotions. What has amazed the rest of the world is how unreasonable this passionate leader can be and yet be so dearly cherished by so many.
The real lesson here is how disastrous it is to neglect passionate instinct. Eventually it will break through, with a vengeance. And reason is no match for its wrathful coming to power, which can go so far as to bring us to the brink of destruction. Take note reason: Suppress passion and risk an orgy of destruction.
This is not a Trump diatribe. Trump embodies a pagan energy that invites and incites passionate expression. C. G. Jung identified a similar breakthrough into the collective German psyche in the 1930s as the restless wandering pagan god of storm and wind, Wotan, who unleashed the passion and frenzy responsible for the atrocities committed during World War II.
Though leaders must be held accountable for their actions, it is equally true that the latent readiness in the populace to respond to passionate incitement reflects a burgeoning readiness to erupt.
What is constellated in America is a resurgence of a suppressed passionate energy at war with reason. And reason still believes that logic trumps passion. Time and time again Trump teaches us how easy it is to dismiss reason, simply by calling it bad, so bad.
Without entering into the argument for the need for regime change, I cut to the real crux of the problem: the reconciliation of reason and passion.
The technology of Christianity that sought to control the passion of sexuality was compensated for by the overarching shadow of its disowned sexual instinct emerging in sexual abuse, which haunts many religious institutions. What is suppressed will find its way out somehow, often in a most exaggerated, destructive way.
The technology of reason that once governed our political process and national identity is succumbing to hair-trigger instinctual rule. Clearly we need a new technology of balance.
To contine to project badness outside of ourselves is an archaic technology certain to end in destruction. To impose the technology of reason over passion results in, and will continue to result in, a stalemate and an escalation of tensions. To simply bury statues is like burying the pagan gods—beware the revenge of Wotan.
As is my proclivity, I turn to the individual, as the hologram of the world, to truly solve the issue. Passions must be lived, somehow. If reason is to remain in charge of life, it must honor and live alongside its passionate partner, consciously allowing the irrational to renew its connection to nature. This is a task for every individual to solve within themselves, and within their relationships, if we are to achieve a new balance in the world.
Passion hates limitation, but so does reason. Perhaps if reason can agree to limits, passion will comfortably acquiesce to limits too. Imagine these two opposites in harmony. Wouldn’t that be something?
If our country can come together and collectively enjoy reason and passion facing off in a solar eclipse, surely we can bear the tension of this standoff within ourselves and find our way to higher consciousness.
The old technology to go to war within and without to relieve the tension of reason vs. passion needn’t be our fallback solution. We are ready for new evolutionary possibilities. Explore them within the self, advance the world.
This week’s audio message from Jeanne advises us all to sit with what is, to bear the tension of life as it seeks to reveal to us something important. It’s a personal and a universal issue that we must all bear the tension of as we seek fulfillment and wholeness.
Point to yourself before pointing to others. Judge yourself before judging others. Condemn yourself before condemning others. What you see in others is only what you harbor in yourself. Somewhere, in some form, all that you despise in others is found in yourself, for you are human too. What disturbs you in others shows you the work to be done within yourself. Be grateful for that which disturbs you, for the people in your life who bring you pain and discomfort, for they are your teachers, showing you where your own deepest dilemmas lie, all that you must face on some level. Be grateful for them and ask yourself: How am I like that? It’s probably the greatest question you can ever ask yourself.