I love the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. For me it stands out from the other 51 weeks in a year like a peaceful Zen garden amidst chaos, a special oasis where I attend to soul needs that require annual closure.
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.
Although main-stream Mayan scholars do not believe the Mayans were predicting physical doom, others thought the world might end this day, perhaps due to an interaction with the black hole at the center of the galaxy, or Earth’s collision with a previously unknown planet. At the very least, some people prepared for wide-spread natural catastrophes that would dramatically alter our way of life.
Jung scientifically compared his inner life and that of his clients with the myths and symbols of various wisdom traditions. Campbell developed some of Jung’s themes. Their imaginative work shed much-needed light into the darkness of our contemporary collective unconscious. Following are some natural laws they midwifed into our awareness.
Once I saw life as a well-marked road with a clear destination. Or an upward trek to a distant mountain peak. One day I’d arrive at that light-filled place and be finished. Or it was a spiral whose circles would get smaller as they rose higher until only a small, still point was left. I told myself I’d keep digging until a dazzling light illuminated everything I needed to know. I’d write a book that would answer all my questions and say everything I needed to say.
Whether we know it or not, you and I are on a journey of transformation. The same is true of our species. From the moment of our conception, natural forces of growth and change we could not see or control were in operation, heating, intensifying, distilling, softening, dissolving and transforming fixed aspects of our cells, minds and bodies. They still are.
In my youth, many of my family’s elders still held strict religious views which forbade work, movies, dancing, or playing cards on Sundays, and they disapproved of people who did these things. Sundays were for church, home, family, praying, Bible study and resting. Although my parents loosened up a bit in their religious views, they, too, were good, responsible, well-meaning, church-going people. Right beliefs, good deeds, and behavior beyond reproach were what counted.
Well, somehow I messed up and published two copies of the same post at two different stages of writing and with two different titles! “A Good Christian” was the earlier title, then I changed it to “Religion From the Head.” That was meant to be the only post. So I’ve erased the text of this version but am leaving the title here as […]
My friends: I recently came across a post titled “What Everyone Needs to Know About the Highly Sensitive Person” from the blog Taming the Invisible Dragon by Sloan Rawlins. With a shock of recognition, I discovered that Sloan, whom I’ve never met, has written a description of herself….and me! Until now, I had no idea there is a name for people like us. It is with great pleasure and a deep sense of gratitude that I share her post with you. Thank You, Sloan, for shedding light on yet one more of my inner mysteries.