With our preference for the conscious ego’s rational processes above all our other functions, western culture tends to devalue the psyche’s natural, intuitive, imaginative processes. This split between the rational mind and nature created the seriously dysfunctional attitudes and practices which have brought us to the brink of destruction.
By the 1970’s, Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time (1962) was a staple in youth literature throughout North America. As an adult in 1977, I fell in love with it while doing research for the Children’s Literature course I taught. Considering that it was published in the pre-internet/social media era, this modern fantasy was arguably as popular with young readers in the 1970’s and 80’s as J.K. Rowlings’ Harry Potter series was with millennial youth.
Holiday Greetings to all. It’s a week before Christmas, so there’s still time to order books for the readers on your list. In case you’re looking for ideas, here are some of my recent favorites. They’re all wonderful. Enjoy.
As you can see, the search for enlightenment cannot be compartmentalized into one domain, but requires cooperation between every part of us in every domain in which we function. I stress this point to dispel the common misconception that putting all our spiritual eggs into one basket—traditional religious participation and belief—is the only way to attain enlightenment.
Fascinated by the inner forces that influence human attitudes and behavior, I’ve spent years trying to understand archetypes. Nobody can describe them with any certainty because they are deeply unconscious. However, there are many theories based on research and careful observation of human nature. My perspective is based on Jungian psychology. Like Jung, I think of the […]
It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to my guest blogger, Elaine Mansfield. Elaine and I met about 15 years ago at the Winter Park Jung Center where her husband Vic made a presentation about his newest book. Talking over dinner afterwards, Elaine and I discovered that we had many interests in common, including dreamwork, women’s issues, and mythological studies.
The archetype which represents the union between the Lover and the Beloved is the Healer. Healers develop the kind of love that takes energy, courage, and mindfulness. Capable of being honest about their emotions, healers are willing to be vulnerable. They invest their good wishes and positive intentions in others all the while knowing they risk the possibility that their love will not be returned, that the objects of their love might reject them, abandon them, or die.
Many who are fascinated with the psyche have tried to draw clear boundaries around the archetypes. I’ve worked on this for years in search of a framework that could help me understand myself, and I’m passing on what I’ve learned because it’s been useful; however, nobody knows for sure how closely our descriptions fit reality. In truth, it’s not possible to fully understand.
Sometimes we mistrust our instincts so much that we can only like ourselves to the extent that others esteem us. Sometimes we’re so afraid of our hidden emotions that we try to escape through intellectualizations or addictions that divert our attention. Sometimes we shield ourselves by conforming to the letter of the law, or by letting conventional wisdom be our guide, thereby allowing others to define reality for us.
Love and pleasure are related to the instinct for sex. For primitive humans, whose struggle for survival must have consumed almost every waking moment, sex was probably the only activity that took them away from the daily grind of work and provided emotional satisfaction, if only briefly. Even today, most people still find it extremely difficult to separate their desire for love and pleasure from their desire to have sex with another human being.