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Monday, September 27, 2010


When I was a teenager, the summer I spent with my grandmother in La Jolla, California, I had an early intuition: Virtue is really enlightened insight! Many years later, after a not especially virtuous life, I began to see the profound wisdom of this. I had grown up with religious assumptions of sin, guilt, if not hell, and that being virtuous was a trade-in for Brownie Points to heaven. This was the standard cultural background for being “ “good.”

Today, almost 88, and a lot wiser, I have learned that if one takes the message on its own worth, eliminating all religious aspects, it becomes a matter simply of common sense. Cause and effect! If you lie, you won’t trust anybody. If you hate, you will make enemies. If you steal, you will fear loss, etc. On the other hand, as I have written elsewhere, “A mistake is a loop in consciousness made to expose a greater surface to experience.” A tree does not grow like a telephone pole; it needs leaves, which grow on branches. It’s as if each leaf, exposed to the Sun of wisdom, is an Aha! helping the tree of life to grow.

So the concept of virtue noted above has to be redefined. The word’s origin comes from vir, Lat. for man. According to the dictionary, Plato distinguished four cardinal virtues: prudence, fortitude, temperance, and justice. Christians apparently termed these the “natural virtues” and added the supernatural, theological, or Christian virtues of faith, hope, and charity, or virtues infused by God.

All of these smack of Pollyanna, and, as I suspect, Jung would point out, ignore the Shadow of the opposites in the unconscious. This very day, yet another spiritual “Bishop,” a pastor, with a congregation of 25,000, is accused of sexually deviate behavior on the sly. This is a common theme, alas, and from the sad tale of the Roman Catholic priests, it seems to be a warning to all of us. Christ gave it the term of being a “whited sepulcher.”

Perhaps, such religious leaders start out sincerely and, as the kundalini force starts rising, it gets stuck in the first two chakras, which rule sex. Come to think of it, there are plenty of such characters who misuse the third chakra of “power”! The Inquisition is a collective example of that: In trying to exorcize the “Devil” in sinners, the “Devil” entered them! There is a huge difference between good and “good”. . .

Jung put it in psychological language but pointed out essentially that trying to be too “good” is bad for you. So what are we to do!! Perhaps the answer is just to be kind. That word in Old English was kinde and Dame Kinde was Mother Nature! In short, be natural, humble, and thoughtful of others – no Brownie Point agenda.

Not namby-pamby, mind you. “Tough Love” can also be kindness. We need to remember the Milk Stool Principle” (CREDO XXXVIII), that trinity of Love, Wisdom, and Power. Power actually can be a force for good when guided by Love and Wisdom. Think of Jesus chasing the moneychangers out of the temple.

Astrologically, Taurus (money) and Scorpio (sex) are opposites, and Jung advises us to try to balance all opposites, positive and negative, consciously. If we don’t, the rejected one falls into the Unconscious and gets projected out onto someone or some collective group and causes havoc.

If you imagine that I know the answer to all this, think again! Honestly, I only can raise good questions. But here is a prayer:


O Holy Sophia, Holy Wisdom, Holy Joy
hidden for so long
come forth and reveal yourself in the world
and in our souls!

Help us to see with a loving eye
Help us to hear with inwit and intuition
Show us how to be natural and kind

Show us how to find ourselves in one another

Lead us from who we think we are
to who we really are

Let us learn from the flowers
that we need not strive so hard
Teach us to allow that Light from within
to unfold us as a gift like your Rose.


P.S.: I realize that I may have referred to some unfamiliar concepts and terminology in this Credo! Note the words and google them. You won’t be sorry! In his autobiography, Jung refers to his curiosity being the words Why? and How come? which led him from passive acceptance to positive understanding. And look at the results!


Anonymous said...

Dear Ionadove, you inspire me and I adore your wishes to you, with love from Santa Cruz California, Lilith

saba quraishi said...

I love you Ionadove. Your blogs are like dear friends and are so apropos every single time. I love the entomological information you share. I am 48 years old and busy mum of four and always more angel beings. How do I improve my vocabulary. I love language, words and their origins but know very little.

Love, hugs from Newtown Ct. Saba Quraish

Joann Wheeler said...

I have read most of your work, and often the blog revisits an idea or a concept -- but this is new! The invocation is so beautiful and I will use it! Tomorrow is my 59th birthday, and this is a great gift!

Suzilearningpeace said...

THANK YOU, Ms. Howell... I wrote you a note a few months ago and LO and BEHOLD, I received a personal message back from you... Your books and tenderly offered insights have been a great blessing in my life and now at 52 years of age, I have the joy of having received a personal note from you. Forgive me for "gushing" with happiness, but then, I am a Sagittarius! : )

May you be blessed today and every day,

A friend,


spt said...

Dear Alice,

In 1995, when I was in a major transitional point in my life, I heard you speak at a Journey Into Wholeness conference, I read all your books and I traveled to your home for a reading, which profoundly affected me.

This summer, I was in another period of major transition and did a google search for you, but did not find you site. I remembered your advice to create a Centerpoint study group and have started one this fall.

Once again, trying to catch a glimpse of the shadow within my soul, I said to a friend "it is so hard for I am such a Pollyanna." She advised I use this as a portal to try to catch a glimpse of that elusive force within my unconscious self.

I googled "Pollyanna and Jung" and it led me to your blog. What a find! What synchronicity. I am so pleased to have found you and see that you are still sharing your wisdom.

Your comments help me know I am on the right track and I would so appreciate any advice as to how to open the door a bit wider.

With admiration and affection,

Sally Thomason