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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Reality – CREDO LIV

Was it John Lennon who quipped, “Reality is what’s really going on while we are busy thinking it’s something else”? I can’t remember, but it seems a propos this frightening October of 2008. There is, it seems to me, another way of looking at it. Astrologically, the tension is between the outer trans-Saturnian planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, which means the impact is collective, global and of historic proportions. This hints that the real agenda might have to do with our collective consciousness.

When in doubt, go back to nature! The alchemist Agrippa wrote, Virtutes divinae in res diffusae, divine processes [powers] are diffused in things. I used to write this at the top of every blackboard at every lesson I gave. So, the reality of our global financial angst may, in a strange way, be alerting us to the necessity for a collective wake-up call to the awareness of the inner psychic reality of the following:

It takes a duality, the physical opposites of a father/mother, to combine to make a new life. When these unite a mysterious “pook” I will call the gift of Life, occurs and, in due time, we are delivered, taking our first breath. This proves to me that we do not create ourselves! Each of us comes into this world, an individual, naked, owning nothing, and for the rest of our lives dependent on others and the duality of the manifest world of nature. We are subject to time and space, breathing in and out, waking/sleeping, eating/pooping, night/day, and loving/hating and on and on. We acquire, use, and discard things, and lately, it seems, become greedy for more and more money, power, sex, and property – so much so that we go into karmic and financial debt to acquire them.

When my son, Timothy, was about fourteen, he substituted for me by baby-sitting a Jewish child one night. The parents kindly told him he could raid the kitchen if he wanted a snack. As he did so, his eye fell upon a leaflet from the service of the local synagogue. It contained a memorable story which he quoted to me the next morning:

A Rabbi congratulated a youth on his Bar Mitzvah and asked him what his plans were. The boy replied, “To finish school.” “Then what?” “College.” “Then what?” “A job, a car, maybe a wife ...” “Then what?” “Kids, a house, maybe a promotion.” “Then what?” “I guess, grandchildren, retirement, maybe Florida ...” “Then what?” asked the Rabbi. The boy began to squirm, “I guess I’ll kick the bucket!” “Ah so!” smiled the Rabbi, tapping his nose. “Is that all?”

This, in a nutshell, is the warning of an unconscious life lived in identification with one’s ego. It is like a horizontal life, interrupted only perhaps vertically by the religious rituals attending birth, adolescence, marriage, procreation, and death. Which if sketched out geometrically:


Baptism > Confirmation > Wedding > Procreation > Funeral

        Moon- ego

birth > puberty > reproduction > menarche > death

[n.b. The whole diagram fits into a circle symbolizing Spirit.] Jung’s ‘Self’ for me is analogous to the individual wick in a candle holding the flame of the Divine Guest common to us all.

A Tibetan lama pointed out the dreadful mistake the English language makes in making opposites of Life/Death. The true opposites are Birth and Death, and both of these are part of a greater LIFE.

If you notice from the diagram, the rituals invite the Sacred to participate in the Physical. At such times we may be caught up by the archetypal and moved to tears. And this actually can be done symbolically at any moment of our lives by making the sign of the cross, which esoterically means touching the Third Eye chakra n joining it to the Heart chakra and inviting Spirit to come into the horizontal of our bodies. In the Orient, they fold hands and tap the points in reverence. The great power of Islam is the daily practice of flexing the spine and the collective power of prayer in common five times a day. This is practiced only in Christian monasteries and convents today. Kneeling.

Back to the topic of Reality! Maybe the positive to be found in today’s crisis is a potential awakening of the Collective Consciousness of humanity that things get left behind at death but their hidden abstract meaning offers us a wealth of wisdom which we get to keep. Nature, and even cups and pencils and blocks and windowpanes, are mute teachers lying all around us, once we join the outer shell with its inner meaning! Having eyes, we do not see. The key is so simple – “Look with the eyes and see with the heart,” as Petrus Bonus, another alchemist, said was the secret to finding the Philosopher’s Stone. You turn nouns into verbs (processes). Ask an egg what it does! This is the gift of leading a symbolic life, which Jung implored us to do! In so doing, we glimpse the true Reality!

Take a moment. Stop reading. Look up and take in where you are, what you have in your possession or environment and realize that all the value lies in your projection upon it. You are making it conscious. As Jung mused, “How does the sofa get into my head?!

When my darling husband died, the shock for me was his toothbrush, his dressing gown, his pen on a letter on his desk. We leave every blessed thing behind! So now globally we are threatened by losing our money, our property, and all those physical things we craved and went into karmic debt for, while all the time nature’s wisdom lies neglected, abused, and unappreciated. Our focus has been totally misdirected. We have not realized that the reality we think is real is hiding the true Reality. “There is another world and it is hidden in this one!” So to live what Jung termed the Symbolic Life is to change the definition of a sacrament by one word – “A sacrament is an outer and living sign of an inner and spiritual meaning!” This is a ‘grace’ indeed but is clearer and takes it out of the various religious rituals that symbolize yet limit it from offering it to all of humanity willing to accept the free gift of Wisdom revealed in the manifest world. Nature doesn’t give a hoot if you are a Catholic or a Muslim, Hindu or even atheist! When I dreamt that Jung shouted, “Consider the obvious! I did!” it sure got me started.

May this be the collective gift hidden in all the current despair, fear, and suffering of so many, the world over. May we discover the Reality of loving one another and getting a kick out of simple things, like cracking the shell of a peanut ! Ha! Or why gifts are so often wrapped in something else ... even by us!

It’s what double-dipping of consciousness can do to cheer us up!


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