Archetype in Action Organization
- Parent Category: Tools to Change Society
- Category: Jungian Topics
- Created on 20 April 2014
- Last Updated on 20 April 2014
- Published on 20 April 2014
- Written by Jenna Lilla, MA PhD BCC
- Hits: 244
We are in deep winter: days short, nights long. Father sun seems so far away, mother earth lonely. All the creatures mourn in winter. They burrow in their little holes and mourn the lost days of sun. Mother nature proffers so little in winter. The animals seem to know that. They go within and await her spring, her bosom, her blossom. All the world will rejoice when light and earth rejoin in their holy union. It is then, that life will burst forth in divine celebration. The animals frolic, make love, build their little nests, hatch their eggs– life is born of union.
But we, us human souls, are on another cycle. While our bodies may follow such creaturely cycles, seeking union in bodily form, our souls follow a different cycle entirely. In the depths of winter the divine child is born. On the darkest of days we celebrate the birth of the divine child.
What is the divine? How might we know it? Carl Jung provides a unique perspective. The divine is a divine couple: mother and father of souls. In Symbols of Transformation, Jung speaks to the soul, leading us on a path of soul. This is not your normal everyday path. God is not some distant icon, some idealized figure in the sky. This is a phenomenological path: the soul comes into form insofar as it lives and knows. This is Gnosis. And what are we to know? Many things, but first we shall start with our divine parents.
The first parent we shall meet is God the father: God is “love.” God is there for us, loving us, guiding us from the beginning. But Jung warns us that we need to be careful of any overdetermined images this idea might provoke:
“The language of religion defines God as “love,” there is always the great danger of confusing the love which works in man with the workings of God” (para. 98)
To know God we must move beyond God as image. We must know God, see God, feel God. It is through this act of knowing that the soul is born. For the “God-concept is not only an image, but an elemental force”… a “primitive power”…(para. 89). God’s love is a “creative force” (para 198). God’s creative force is love, bringing forth the soul through love. Jung says:
“the procreative urge– which is how love must be regarded from the natural standpoint– remains the essential attribute of the God (para.87).
And it is on the darkest nights of winter that God’s creative urges wells up to give birth to his child: the divine child. Christ is God’s child. But God is not alone. God is always with the mother, through she may be hidden or transparent. Jung says:
“The God-image is a complex of ideas of an archetypal nature, it must necessarily be regarded as representing a certain sum of energy (libido) which appears in projection. In most of the existing religions it seems that the formative factor which creates the attributes of divinity is the father-imago, while in the older religions it was the mother imago… In certain pagan conceptions of divinity the maternal element is strongly emphasized.” (para. 89)
At times culture favors the father, at times the mother. But nevertheless, they together are the two ‘formative factors’ of psychic life. Jung says:
“How am I to be creative? Nature knows only one answer to that: Through a child (the gift of love).” (para 76)
The child is born, ‘the gift of love.’ Nature births us into world. The divine couple births the soul into the eternal. In the Christian myth, the divine child is born from the virgin womb of the mother Mary. In 431 the Council of Ephesus said that Mary is Theotokos: “God-bearer”, “Birth-Giver of God”, “the one who gives birth to God.” God and the mother are the two ‘formative factors’ within psychic life.
The divine couple births us into divine world. These are psychic facts. Jung says: “God dwells in the heart, in the unconscious” (para. 89). In the footnote Jung adds: “The psychic fact “God” is a typical autonomism, a collective archetype.” The two Greek words, “auto-nomos”, speak to a God which lives by his/her own rule. God is within the unconscious, and yet autonomous, living by his own rule within our hearts.
Here, within our hearts, God procreates with the Mother, the divine vessel, giving birth to a possibility: call it the divine child, the potential of the soul. This divine birth within is no easy task. There is something within us that wants to kill it off, a murderous instinct within psychic life. The revelation of the divine child is so disastrous, so threatening to the old guard, that it must be killed. According to the Gospel of Matthew 2:16–18, Herod ordered the execution of all babies in Bethlehem, desiring to assure the death of the divine child.
[Herod] “gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old or under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.”
The divine child must outlive the murderous instincts of the superego. Our soul must survive the murderous rage of the envious tyrant who seems to rule the inner world. The murderous superego does not believe in the potential of our own soul. He does not trust in the good, in the enduring. He cannot see the soul’s potential: the child of the divine mother and father. It is our spiritual labor to protect the child. To be like Joseph, listening to the angels, protecting the child.
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt,where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” (Matthew 2:13–15)
Joseph sees the angel of the Lord, and the angel says that he must flee Egypt, symbol of tyranny. We must leave behind the tyranny of Herod ruled by fear, finding a place for the soul’s birth, and protecting the soul so that it may grow.
JENNA LILLA, MA, PhD, BCC offers a creative reading of Carl Jung’s texts, limning the path of soul. She works with Jung’s texts in creative manner, playing with ideas from a spiritual perspective while staying true to core archetypal insights. She holds a Doctorate in psychology and a Masters degree in rhetoric and communication. She is also a Board Certified Coach. She has worked as a counselor, life coach, college teacher, research assistant, and conceptual editor. She says, “At heart I am a mystic.”
- Parent Category: Tools to Change Society
- Category: Political Activism
- Created on 20 April 2014
- Last Updated on 20 April 2014
- Published on 20 April 2014
- Written by Arlene Goldbard
- Hits: 319
For a year and a half or so, I’ve been an advisor to a new and exciting project, the US Department of Arts and Culture , which is demonstrating the public cultural presence we need in this country by performing it. Watch Deputy Secretary Norman Beckett explain it in a video clip .
My role is Chief Policy Wonk, a title I love. Today, the USDAC launches a call for 12 Cultural Agents. Here’s how the press release described it: “This move signals an exciting new phase in the growth of the fledgling department. Drawn from a dozen different communities across the country, the twelve new Cultural Agents will embark on a process of training and community-building, culminating in the co-creation of ‘Imaginings.’ These arts-infused events will invite local participants to imagine and enact the world they wish to inhabit in 2034.” More information at the USDAC website : the deadline to apply to be in this first cohort of Cultural Agents is March 24th, and anyone can sign up anytime to join the USDAC mailing list, take the pledge as a Citizen Artist, and take part in other ways.
This locally based work is just part of the USDAC “sandwich.” On one side, grassroots organizing to engage and affect local communities in their own conscious cultural development; on the other side, a national vision of truly democratic cultural policy and intervention, fueling that local development and much more. In between, a vibrant national conversation about culture as the container for national and community renewal, about cultivating the imagination and empathy we need to create a future we want to inhabit.
Nationally, we foresee a range of related initiatives rolling out over time:
• A cabinet of key leaders committed to USDAC values to monitor, comment on, and propose alternatives to existing cultural policy and initiatives.
• Videos, publications, social media and other communication initiatives to stimulate and nurture the necessary new national conversation.
• A crowd-sourced project to derive an encompassing national vision from which a new cultural policy proposal will be synthesized. It starts with the Imaginings described above.
• Training initiatives, online dialogues, and other resources for local cultural development made accessible via the USDAC website.
• Eventually, think-tanks and conferences engaging cabinet members and others who care about culture and democracy in envisaging the best strategic approach to adoption of new cultural policy—to making the USDAC not just a performance, but a reality.
Read the Statement of Values at the website, and keep returning as more and more resources will be posted there for sharing.
If the USDAC name sounds familiar, you may recall my blog from back in October 2013 when deranged right-wing commentator Glenn Beck got wind of a USDAC press conference performed at the Imagining America conference. That shows the incredible power that culture in the service of democracy can have: even a hint and the opponents of equity, pluralism, and participation are in a panic! I’m looking forward more to the friends the USDAC will make than the enemies it might annoy, but either way, I can’t wait to see what evolves.
Right now, the USDAC is a volunteer effort. The core conceputalizers and organizers of the project are used to that, though: in an undernourished climate for artists, it’s many artists’ path to hustle for sustenance so as to do what they love. Perhaps we’ll have resources to pay people one of these days, but right now, what we have to offer is connection, awesome in-kind support, and a little materials stipend for the selected Cultural Agents. Worth the hustle, I think!
Many of my fellow USDAC stalwarts are young enough to be my grandchildren, though happily, I haven’t noticed them giving me the side-eye when I reminisce about advocating for cultural democracy over the years. Some things take a long time to ripen; we never know when the fruit will drop. In the meantime, I’m “Pledging My Time,” courtesy of Bob Dylan.
Arlene Goldbard says of herself: I am a writer, speaker, activist, and consultant. Listings prior to January, 2002, were carried out in my capacity as a founding partner of Adams & Goldbard, an organizational and cultural development consulting firm.
As a speaker, workshop leader, and writer my aim for fresh takes on subjects that matter intensely to audiences and participants. Please see Talks & Workshops and Essays & Articles and for more information.
As a consultant, I have worked with a wide variety of public and private agencies, most of them involved in cultural policy, artistic production and distribution, and cultural development planning and evaluation. My consulting work integrates research, writing and editorial services, planning, program development, group dynamics, organizational restructuring, and cooperative problem-solving. Please see Consulting for more information.
- Parent Category: Jungian Topics
- Category: Feminine & Masculine
- Created on 18 April 2014
- Last Updated on 18 April 2014
- Published on 18 April 2014
- Written by Dr. Michael Cornwall
- Hits: 702
Because I have, with curiosity, observed my emotions and the emotions of people I serve as a therapist for over thirty five years, I have come to believe that our emotions are really the basic source of what we can rely on as guiding truth.
Sometimes when we get in touch with an emotion such as sorrow or anger, that has been buried, there is a flood of emotional energy released that can be very liberating.
It seems in those moments we touch down into the wellspring of sincere expression of emotional truth.
But in my work with people and in my own life, I try to foster a stance of trying to be aware of our moment-to-moment emotional truth as much as possible, every moment of the day.
Living in this very complex, demanding, stratified modern society has produced an epidemic of personal alienation. There is often a tragic gulf between our emotional experience and our awareness of it.
The famous age of reason dictum “I think therefore I am” also shows how the role of science and the life of the mind permeates our lives, and relegates emotional experience to the realm of an irrationality that can’t be trusted.
I believe that every word, image, dream, hallucination, memory, bodily movement and facial expression is born, is actually created out of the ever present underlying mammalian flow of subjective, pre-symbolized emotional experience.
If that is true, then the accuracy of our symbolic meaning-making processes of word and imagery formation that we develop in childhood, hold the keys to us either truly knowing our second-by-second emotional truth, or experiencing a distorted version of it.
Do the word and imagery stories we tell ourselves accurately capture the emotional truth that has sparked them into life?
How can we for example, tell ourselves and others we are feeling happy when we are in fact desperately lonely or afraid?
We distort and lose our emotional truth when we repress it, bury it, avoid it.
When we self-medicate, it is always to not experience the full force of our emotions.
One in five Americans are now taking a psychiatric medication.
One in four women are now taking a psychiatric medication.
All of those medications suppress, modify, or block emotion. They are designed to do that.
Millions of us take other drugs, both prescribed and illegal, and drink alcohol to numb or avoid our emotions.
We compulsively gamble, eat, work, watch TV, live on Facebook, watch porn, live in our heads, and have unrelated sex to avoid our emotions.
Fear, shame, guilt, hatred, boredom, rage, grief, hopelessness, self hatred, loneliness, panic, abandonment, and desperation are all emotions we often don’t want to experience.
We so often don’t want to name, claim, express or endure these so-called negative emotions.
If we consciously run from them or unconsciously repress and deny/distort them, we lose touch with what is true about our lives.
But if we run from them or distort them, we become detached from that emotional wellspring that is also the source of joy, love, excitement, bliss, ecstasy, serenity, peace, wonder and awe.
So, tapping into the flowing currents of our ever present emotional truth takes courage- and self love.
Real freedom is living moment by moment in our emotional truth, because in that deep end of the pool we can say “yes” and “no” to who and what we want and don’t want in our lives.
I love to help people be able to more fully feel and express and live their emotional truths. To the extent I can live that way myself, I feel fulfilled. It’s a daily challenge.
Life is short. We can get it right for ourselves. One day at a time. Freedom is possible.
An Alternative Understanding of The Nature of Madness: I want this blog and the discussion it generates to help deepen our understanding of the mystery of madness and to help us learn ways to lovingly do self care when we are mad, and how to lovingly respond to others when they are mad.
- Parent Category: Politics & Rhetoric
- Category: Political Psychology
- Created on 17 April 2014
- Last Updated on 17 April 2014
- Published on 17 April 2014
- Written by Skip Conover
- Hits: 698
The disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight No. 370 last month gives us a very clear example of how the news has died, and how media tycoons like Rupert Murdoch can control major voting blocks of the global electorate. Human beings cannot stand uncertainty. We need there to be an explanation for everything in our world, no matter how specious, or we feel uneasy.
Why have CNN, Fox News and other "news" reporting organizations devoted so much time and money to the reporting of the MH370 story? Why has Mary Schiavo, former Inspector General of the Department of Transportation become an international celebrity? The answers to these questions are very simple. Several "news" stories have reported that the viewership of most major "news" outlets has increased substantially because of the mystery. Media organizations, peopled by no fools, at least almost none, give us "news" stories that bring eyeballs to their advertisers, whether or not they provide new information and regardless of other important news in the world.
Why are we humans so interested in the MH370 mystery? A very large percentage of the population of the world with access to television fly somewhere regularly. Without an explanation for the mystery of MH370, we naturally feel anxiety about what it means for our own lives. If we are honest with ourselves, very few of us really care about the lives of those lost.
The mystery happened to people few of us would ever meet in a lifetime, in an area of the world that is far far away from everything we know. Many more important stories have been hidden from view, until they were too hot to avoid, and even now they take second billing behind MH370.
Though the Russian takeover of Crimea can be regarded as an event leading to a new Cold War, few of us even knew anything of significance was taking place in Ukraine for the months leading up to Russia's seizure. The media had us more interested in whether Shaun White would win another Gold Medal in the Olympics in Sochi than whether a new threat was emerging to our national well being.
The human mind cannot accept uncertainty. From the time we are born, we have to find the answers. As a newborn, one of the first things we notice is that we are hungry. We don't know much, but we must find the answer to the question of how we will solve that existential problem. Fortunately, a benevolent goddess, our Mother, supplies the answer from the cacophony of things that are happening to us after the trauma of birth. As a result, we become bonded to her for life.
After we've answered that question, we go on answering questions about our existence for the rest of our lives. The MH370 mystery is no different. If we often fly in airplanes, we cannot feel comfortable until we know what threat it represents, and can evaluate the danger to ourselves. Without an explanation for the disappearance of a very large airplane, many of us will feel major anxiety the next time we board an airplane.
Think of all of the explanations our controllers in the media have offered to us in the last month. They have our minds spinning with uncertainty. The pilots were overcome by a terrorist or an explosion in the equipment; the pilots had criminal intent themselves; a third party called the airline and threatened to detonate a nuclear, biological, or chemical weapon onboard if the pilot did not fly to a remote location somewhere in the world, where the passengers are being held hostage; space aliens abducted the plane; and many more. I expect the "History" Channel to start airing the space alien theory on incessant documentaries at any moment.
Yes, gradually the story will start to recede from the headlines, but this MH370 mystery will have interminable pulling power for the media until it is fully explained. They can trot out a "new theory" any time they want to divert our attention from something that is actually of real importance to us, like what is happening in Syria. Ah, did you forget that the bipolar halves of the Muslim world are tearing each other apart, and the outcome will have significant impact on our personal fortunes and the health of our sons and daughters for the rest of their lives? Where is the reporting on that?!
It's times like these when I feel like a steer with a ring through my nose, and I'm being led to the slaughter by the benevolent men who have been feeding me from their Wall Street penthouses. I know it, but can do nothing about it. I'm trapped in a herd that doesn't even know where we're going, nor do they really care. What to do?!
No worries! The Army-Navy Game is on, and then I'm going to Home Depot and Giant to pick up a chain saw and a lemon. [That's called avoidant coping.] Let the kids and grand babies worry about their own future!
Metaphor Credit: I acknowledge the brilliance of Professor Sheldon Solomon of the Psychology Department of Skidmore College for the "chain saw and a lemon" metaphor. Dr. Solomon is a leader in The Ernest Becker Foundation and one of the early proponents of "Terror Management Theory." He taught me about avoidant coping during an interview we had in 2005.
- Parent Category: Tools to Change Society
- Category: Jungian Topics
- Created on 14 April 2014
- Last Updated on 14 April 2014
- Published on 14 April 2014
- Written by Jean Raffa
- Hits: 471
As a young married woman I was utterly captivated by the film, Blume in Love, for reasons I didn’t understand. The same thing had happened three years earlier when I read my all-time favorite book: The Magus, by John Fowles. Why did I find it so incredibly fascinating? Did it have anything in common with Blume in Love, or were these just random coincidences? I didn’t know then. Forty years later, I do.
The Magus, published in 1966, was an instant success and is considered one of the top 100 best novels of the 20th century. The film which came out two years later is another story. This from Wikipedia: “The film was a critical disaster…Michael Caine himself has said that it was one of the worst films he had been involved in…because no one knew what it was all about. Woody Allen has made the comment that if he could live his life over again, he would do everything the same except for seeing The Magus.”
Who understood the message of The Magus in 1968? Certainly not the general public. Even Fowles kept working on it until 1977 when he brought out a final version. Interest in psychoanalysis and mystical philosophy was growing in the West, but most of us, including women and some truly bad guys, still had the ego-driven mentality of a teenaged boy who wears the persona of a tough, white-hatted cowboy who defends the weak and is always on the side of right — even when it’s obvious to everyone else that he couldn’t be more wrong.
But the 100th monkey had hopped into a sinking canoe and we were in for a tumultuous ride down a raging river. The denizens of our collective unconscious had gained so much power that they were erupting in shocking phenomena: racial unrest, the Beatles with their Eastern religion and psychodelic drugs, the assassinations of our leaders, college sit-ins, the peace symbols and flower power of Haight-Ashbury’s hippies, the dissolving of the sexual double standard, violent protests against the Viet Nam War, and the charismatic and feminist movements.
Here’s my psychological explanation. Humanity had spent about 5,000 years developing and fine-tuning the ego, left-brained logos, and our masculine sides. All of this was a necessary part of our evolution, but then, in the first half of the 20th century, we experienced two devastating world wars, several smaller ones, and a new invention called “television.” Seeing his dark side reflected on the nightly news finally woke macho Old King Ego up. So he climbed down from his high horse and kissed Sophia, the sleeping Queen and High Priestess of the psyche who symbolizes feeling wisdom that comes from experience. We were evolving, getting back in touch with Eros, our feminine, caring, relationship-oriented side, and chaos always precedes times of great change.
So what does all hell breaking loose in Western society have to do with The Magus, Blume in Love, and me? Nicholas Urfe is near suicide due to an unauthentic life marked by unfeeling treatment of women. He’s drawn into the spell of a mysterious, magician-like man who uses a beautiful woman and an unconventional method to teach him how to feel again. Blume gets back in touch with his feelings when his desperate love for his Sophia-like divorced wife rekindles his feminine side. Like them and my society, I too was having unusual experiences that were arousing my inner feminine. Few from our generation knew what was happening, and many misused their new freedom to feel with disastrous results, but those who seized it and survived underwent life-changing initiations. Could it be that the dark Age of Unfeeling Reason is finally taking its place among the other dinosaurs of Earth’s chequered history?
Dr. Jean Raffa is an author, speaker, and leader of workshops, dream groups, and study groups. She maintains a blog called "Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom." Her job history includes teacher, television producer, college professor, and instructor at the Disney Institute in Orlando and The Jung Center in Winter Park, FL. She is the author of three books, a workbook, a chapter in a college text, numerous articles in professional journals, and a series of meditations and short stories for Augsburg Fortress Publisher.
Her most recent book is Healing the Sacred Divide. Her book The Bridge to Wholeness: A Feminine Alternative to the Hero Myth (LuraMedia, 1992) was nominated for the Benjamin Franklin Award for best psychology book of 1992. Reviewed in several journals and featured on the reading lists of university courses, it was also picked by the Isabella catalogue as a must-read for seeking women.
Dream Theatres of the Soul: Empowering the Feminine Through Jungian Dreamwork (Innisfree Press, Inc., 1994) has been used in dreamwork courses throughout the country and is included in Amazon.com’s list of the Top 100 Best Selling Dream Books, and TCM’s book list of Human Resources for Organizational Development.
Filed under: anima,Archetypes,Beloved,Ego,Emotions,Evolution,Feminine Energy,Jungian psychology,Living,Love,Masculine Energy,mysticism,Psychology,Relationships,sophia,Spirituality,symbolism,The Magician/Scholar archetype,The Wisewoman Archetype,uniting opposites,Wisdom — jeanraffa @ 12:01 am
Tags: Archetypes, Blume in Love, consciousness, ego, emotions, Jungian psychology, King archetype, logos, Love, Mystery, psychological awareness, relationships, Self knowledge, Sophia's sacred spark, symbolism, The 1960's and 1970's, the Beloved, The Magus, the shadow, the unconscious self, Wisewoman archetype