I know what I’ll be thinking about on December 31st as from the comfort of my home I watch the crystal ball being lowered in Times Square. Along with the birth of Baby New Year I’ll be celebrating the Births of my children whose lives fill me with joy, and of my grandchildren who have brought new blessings of hope, joy and love into my life.
For many years, literal belief in the doctrines of my religion (Christianity) was enough to satisfy my spiritual hunger. But the strain of containing my beliefs in a tightly enclosed, left-brained compartment labeled “Religion” while repeatedly coming up against a Mystery that encompasses the entire universe eventually wore me down.
Amidst all the bustle I wonder how many of us actually experience the love, joy and peace that is the promise of Christmas or profoundly connect with its underlying psycho-spiritual meaning. And what is that meaning? To find it we need to use the symbolic language of mythos.
At the age of ten I dreamed my hero, the Lone Ranger, shot me. This big dream was more real than any other I’ve ever had. I was devastated to think he hated me so much he wanted to kill me and I couldn’t understand why. I had practically worshiped him, his beautiful horse Silver, and his trusty partner Tonto; yet he shot me! The injustice of this was intolerable!
When we project a dysfunctional King and/or Queen onto those from whom we expect nurturing, our behavior will be confusing to them and problematic for us. When they don’t give us exactly what we want from them—and many of our wants are unconscious or conflicting—we will misinterpret their words and motives and believe they are flawed or don’t really care.
Our ideas about God come from us. For approximately the last 5,000 years the West and Near East have projected our masculine archetypes—King, Warrior, Magician/Scholar, and Lover—onto a male God who is…
Our God-images originate in the psyche’s archetypal patterns. For example, we’re all born with Mother/Queen and Father/King archetypes and every culture has attributed the qualities children associate with their parents to a Great Mother Creatrix and Great Father Creator. While their myths differed from culture to culture, the same characteristics of ultimate power, knowledge and authority always appeared.
The fear of God’s retribution has haunted me most of my life. I believe it arrived at the age of 11 when my father died of his third heart attack. Since he had divorced my mother three months earlier to marry another woman, I must have concluded that death was God’s punishment for betraying Mama and leaving us.
As I’ve noted before, my grandchildren are very fortunate to attend a truly excellent school that stresses the importance of diversity and puts its money where its values are in a variety of ways. The following video about a very special Thanksgiving celebration for the third-graders is one example. It features the people and customs of the Moscogee tribe of Native Americans. I hope you enjoy it.