Last weekend I presented a Friday night lecture and Saturday workshop on Healing the Sacred Divide for the CG Jung Society of Sarasota. The material for both presentations came from 25 years of ongoing inner work.
With my 1989 discovery of Jungian psychology and the healing value of dreamwork, I started paying attention to images and symbols that felt important. Over the next five years of intense study I recorded and worked on hundreds of dreams and wrote two books. Both featured meaningful symbols that were helping me make sense of my life.
As I continued to write and teach at the Winter Park Jung Center throughout the 90’s, I devised and tested what I called The Partnership Profile. This is an assessment tool to help people understand where they lie on a continuum between the opposites of masculine and feminine archetypal energies. According to Jung, we all contain both, and wholeness is a function of valuing and integrating both into our awareness so we can live with balance. The symbol I chose for The Partnership Profile was two interlocking circles with the unifying mandorla in the middle. I used it again on my first website, then on my newly revised website, and most recently on the cover of Healing the Sacred Divide.
Why this symbol and not another? Why am I so drawn to it? I finally found the answer last weekend.
I began my Friday evening lecture with the Big dream I had at the age of ten. In it I was walking along a railroad track toward a point on the distant horizon when Tonto took me to see the Lone Ranger who was standing below the left side of the tracks. As I waited to hear what my hero wanted to tell me, he shot me. When I woke up screaming I vowed I would never forget this devastating dream of betrayal.
Fast forward to Saturday’s workshop. My last topic for the day was “The 9th Gift of an Integrated God-image: Mandorla Consciousness.” This is when we begin to travel the psycho-spiritual path which Lao-Tsu, father of Taoism, called the Middle Way of mindful thinking and living.
In our discussion about whether or not this is enlightenment, I shared a huge awakening experience I had at the age of 27 when I was suffering a crisis of faith. After a leader in our church prayed for me I had a vision of a pillar of vibrating blue light that stood between me and the altar for over a minute. Not only did this convince me of the reality of the Sacred Mystery, but it made me wonder if I had reached enlightenment! After all, it was a blue “light!”
I hadn’t of course! But that’s a subject for another post. I’m telling you this now because when one of the workshop participants asked me what shape the pillar was, I stood up to demonstrate with my hands. “Well, it was a tall pillar, about this size and shape…..” “Oh,” said the woman. “It was a mandorla.”
It took a moment to sink in. The train tracks in my Lone Ranger dream represented my spiritual journey. I would strive for the rest of my life to walk in that middle, mandorla-like space between two opposite but interconnected rails. Seventeen years after that dream my first powerful awakening also featured a mandorla. And I didn’t see either one of them until last Saturday!
What does this tell me about the Soul’s journey? That becoming fully conscious takes a very, very long time. So long, in fact, that it may continue into eternity like those tracks in my dream. As it’s taken thousands of years for humanity to evolve to our present level of awareness—which anyone with eyes can see is far from complete—so may each individual soul need eons to evolve into its fullest potential. If what physicists say is true—that energy is never lost—than that includes soul energy.
I find it very reassuring that my journey is far from over, and I look forward to the next leg, whenever and wherever it may take place.
Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc. Ebook versions of The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are also at Amazon, and at Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and Diesel Ebooks
It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure. The very cave