A Global Community of Life



Inner City Books's photo.

This morning I was checking my Facebook page when I came across this image and a quote, both of which knocked my socks off. They were on a site I follow called Depth Psychology Alliance. The post was made by Inner City Books, the premier publisher of Jungian books. I know this because in the first frenzy of my introduction to Jungian psychology, I ordered, received, and devoured about 20 Inner City books. Since then I’ve acquired many more.

In those days, there was no internet, and only a handful of universities taught courses in Jungian psychology. So my only sources of information about my new passion were books and a course of study called Centerpoint, which sent audio tapes and printed materials via snail mail. And nobody but the few people in my group had ever even heard of Carl Jung.

Internet Story:  A few weeks ago, Susie, a childhood friend from Michigan I last saw 59 years ago, found me on Facebook. What do you think was one of our first topics of discussion?

“Oh, Jeanie, by the way,” she wrote me.  “Have you ever heard of Chandler Brown?  She’s a friend of mine who wrote a book called Questpoint:  The Journey to Myself.

I was thrilled. Questpoint was the name of  Centerpoint’s initial course offering, an introduction to Jungian psychology that groups could study without having to commit themselves to the entire four-year program. I loved that course. It changed my life.

I ordered the book so I could write about it here and discovered it was co-written by Elsom Eldridge Sr. He was affiliated with the original Centerpoint Group and is now the head of the Centerpoint Foundation International. And he lives a couple miles down the road from me. Seriously. Small world, huh? That kind of stuff happens all the time now that we have the internet!

So on to the quote. It’s from Marion Woodman, one of the shining lights of Jungian Psychology. It was taken from her book Conscious Femininity, by Inner City Books. All her books are rich in extraordinary insights, especially about our understanding of women and the feminine parts of the psyche, but this quote grabbed me where I live and I couldn’t get it out of my mind.  Halfway through the day when I sat down to write this post, it popped up again. That’s when I realized I needed to add it to today’s post. You’ll know why in a minute.

“Commenting on a mandala whose center was left empty, Jung said that its center was in the new era, the era which we have now entered. We are the observing center of the mandala which now revolves within human consciousness as consciousness expands to encompass the globe. The globe is a mandala whose center is us, whose center is the consciousness we bring to it.

Needless to say, the “us” at the center of the global mandala is not the unredeemed patriarchal ego which has ruled the planet since its human discovery as a globe. We who live in the center of that mandala are both masculine and feminine, united in a partnership of equals. That union, which I have spoken of in these interviews, transcends without denying gender; gender is the differentiated manifestation of the oneness that transcends it. To call the us at the center “androgyne,” with its primitive associations, is inadequate to what we as conscious beings now are and as world citizens are becoming. Perhaps a better understanding lies in the concept of human identity coming into consciousness through recognition of otherness not as alien other, but as the instrument of recognition itself.

The feminine is the instrument of the recognition of the masculine, as the masculine is instrument in the recognition of the feminine. The one is present in the other as the instrument of consciousness itself. Toward the emergence of that consciousness in both men and women, these interviews and articles are in a multiplicity of ways addressed. A Self endlessly differentiated through the work of individuals unites us all in a global community of life we are only now beginning fully to discover.”

So why did I write about this today? Because ever since last Tuesday, when my new video series about looking at your dreams from a Jungian perspective came out on Youtube, the internet’s power to educate and unite us in a “partnership of equals” in a global community of life has been the default setting in my mind.  I thought about it while I looked up a recipe on my iPhone for apple and sausage stuffing. I thought about it at Thanksgiving dinner when I talked with some of our guests about things we’d seen about each other on Facebook.  I thought about it when I took a picture of the 12 pies we set out after dinner on my iPhone and posted it on Facebook.  I thought about it today when my trainer told me he liked my new videos on Youtube.

Ever since I made my keynote speech about my book, Dream Theatres of the Soul, at the IASD summer conference, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with the video footage. With the help of Dawn Jensen, my social media trainer, and Rachelle Mayers, a communication, media and production professional, we came up with a format of five short videos, each from 8 to 12 minutes long, featuring the key points of my speech.

And now I’m thrilled to tell you they’re done. And what’s been on my mind all week is that none of this would have happened without the miraculous educating, connecting and uniting power of the internet. I wouldn’t have made a video of my speech because I wouldn’t have had a way to show it to enough people to make it worthwhile. And none of you would ever have seen it, and I wouldn’t have found my friend Susie, or the book Questpoint, written by her friend, or the exquisite yin-yang image from Inner City Books, or the quote from Marion Woodman.

Nor would I have received the best gift I could have ever gotten from my big brother, a retired head of production at a Tampa TV station.  This dear man who’s been reading and copying all my posts for five and a half years called me from North Carolina to wish me a Happy Thanksgiving.  And to say, “Oh, by the way.  I just binge-watched your dream videos on Youtube. And Jeanie, I think I get it now.  I think I understand what you’ve been writing about!” All of this and so much more has been made possible by Grandmother Spider’s web.

So today I’m celebrating the internet. Because, human consciousness is, indeed, expanding “to encompass the globe…a mandala whose center is us, whose center is the consciousness we bring to it.”  And I’m so thankful to be a part of that, and to present these new videos which I hope will add to your expanding consciousness and to our global community of life.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries?list=PLMS7ZEV9HgLz1wuOVOCkDrLx6YR7ZfQSU&w=560&h=315]

You can also find the series called Dreams as Guides to Self Discovery  on my website and at this link:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMS7ZEV9HgLz1wuOVOCkDrLx6YR7ZfQSU   Or simply google Youtube, Jean Raffa.

Jean Raffa’s “The Bridge to Wholeness” and “Dream Theatres of the Soul” are at Amazon. E-book versions are also at KoboBarnes And Noble and Smashwords. “Healing the Sacred Divide” can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications.

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0 Responses

  1. Another truly excellent post Jeanie! Me, I moved toward to the internet later than most eleven years ago yet quickly caught up and what a journey it’s been ever since! In Jungian terms I recognise that I often encounter my personal ego, persona, shadow, anima/animus and Self here in this incredible global community … and what an incredible opportunity for deeper exploration that gives me!
    Oh, but to recall those days prior to the www, when on a regular basis, I would visit many a bookshop (so rare these days!) to buy bags of books to take home and devour … yet never quite finding the books I really ached for, the subjects I wanted to read about, the ones I had no language for, nevertheless thirty years prior to joining the internet, Louise Hay unquestionably pointed me in the right direction.
    I really enjoyed reading all about the synchronicities you mention and relished your fantastic YouTube videos! Intercity books are my favourite ever Jungian books and I have around fifty of them now, and still collecting although many are out of print today you can still find the chance second-hand copy if you dig deep enough. I love Marion Woodman’s book, ‘Bone’ is my all-time favourite of hers.
    Grandmother’s spider web … Oh I love how the presence of the internet deepens this beautiful Goddess myth! We are not separate beings, never were, for both terrorist and holy one connect here. Maybe at times, on the very same page! Both expressing aspects of our personal/collective consciousness … a place where evil with its dark whip resides alongside good with its loving heart. Blessings, Deborah.

    1. I too have met myself everywhere I go on the net! Our personae seem to play an especially big role in our communications, as we all show others only the parts of ourselves we want them to see. Of course, that’s normal, but seeing how others present themselves on the web has been a great education in what I show others. It’s that awareness that I’m after. So yes, “what an incredible opportunity for deeper exploration that gives me!” It’s so easy to believe you are what you show the world when you only have a small circle of close, like-minded friends, but when your audience is the world, you gain a global perspective on yourself that’s far closer to the real you.
      The closest I got to what I wanted to read about in the 70’s and 80’s came through books by people like Rollo May, M.Scott Peck, and Gary Zukav (the Dancing Wu Li Masters was a favorite), but my discovery of Jung opened up a whole new world of literature, not just Jungian, but physics, feminism, mythology, and so on. My primary teachers are still books, and one of my major practices is still underlining, 🙂 but I can’t beat the internet for connecting me to a wealth of new teachers and being an efficient guide to the kind of information I’m looking for.
      I love your line, “for both terrorist and holy one connect here.” “Here” being not just the internet or web page, but in us too. I think that’s a major gift of the internet to the growing consciousness of those who can see and admit to this truth.
      Thank you for watching my videos. I’m glad you liked them. I hope you’ll share them with your like-minded friends. Blessings, Jeanie

  2. “but when your audience is the world, you gain a global perspective on yourself that’s far closer to the real you” wow, that’s awesome, you’re such a great writer, love, love, love your thoughts on this matter!
    Although I only have a small following on Twitter I have retweeted this post and your other video post as I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on your depth of knowledge and sharing. Blessings, Deborah.

  3. Thank you, Deborah, for being such a generous spirit and like-minded sister who travels throughout Grandmother’s web, sharing what she knows and is learning. Blessings, Jeanie

  4. Lovely post Jeanie thank you. Jung’s contribution to the world is incalculable. It’s been so valuable to me, ever since we had our own first Centerpoint group here in South Africa, many many years ago. I can’t even remember how long ago it was… the post Jungians have further broadened the field and emphasised the necessity of so much that we ordinarily overlook …
    What I find exciting is the growing awareness of the masculine and feminine needing each other – the first the proactive force, the 2nd the receptive, creative and energising force. Together, they’re a powerhouse. We can start to let go of the over arching patriarchal attitude that is still embedded in our bones but at least come to an understanding of its influence and detriment.
    Ah reading … I thank my cotton pickin’ socks that I was a reader from an early age ..
    Scott Peck was great – I’ll never forget “The Power of the Lie’ – it knocked me sideways. I re-read one of his lately, I forget which one, it was a debate on euthanasia inter alia .. Edward Edinger is one of my favourites, Marion Woodman, June Singer, von Franz – the list is long. Right now, in our reading gp., we’re studying Seven Sermons to the Dead .. prior to that we studied The Red Book .. prior to that I can’t remember …
    I look forward to listening/watching your video tapes, thank you so much for making them available!

    1. Susan. You are a sister Centerpointer! I don’t know very many. Here we go again with the magic of the internet!
      Yes, the post Jungians have made an incalculable contribution to our growing awareness of ourselves, our need for psychological growth, and the meaning of our lives. And as you know, I too see partnership between the masculine and feminine as our hope for the future. When I look at this from a historical perspective it’s obvious that humanity is moving in that direction, but it can be hard to hold onto that vision in the midst of these turbulent times. However, knowing that profound change is always preceded by chaos, both psychologically and historically, brings meaning even to the worst of it.
      I love and share your author mentors and appreciate your mention of them here along with a few of your favorite books. Sometimes I’m asked for author/book recommendations and I know some people will find these helpful. In my early Jungian years I also found John Sanford and Robert Johnson enormously helpful, indeed, enlightening. Sanfords’, “The Kingdom Within” and “Dreams: God’s Forgotten Language,” were pivotal starters for me.
      Love and blessings,

  5. I also appreciated our small world and deep internet connections this week as Deborah connected me with a forgotten video of my husband which ended with the idea of Ubunto, “I am because you are” or “I am because we are.” Internet has connected me to so many in so many places who share my interests, whether it be grief, Jung, or health. It’s a wonderful help for my hearing impaired life.
    You are a consummate teacher, making “esoteric” ideas easy to grasp. Your audience is the world. (And I know how much that positive feedback from your brother means.) You’ve wisely made bite-sized digestible pieces so listeners can chew a while before going on. I’ve only watched the first, but look forward to watching all of them.
    Our world is alarming and easy communication can have demonic consequences. You remind us of all the potential good and all the good that is already available.

    1. Elaine,
      How interesting that your comment about the demonic consequences of easy communication came just after I wrote the above reply to Susan. We are certainly on the same wave-length this morning. The potential for good in all this is a hugely important point to me. It is here, in us and in others. But it takes a chorus of voices from those who see it to remind those who don’t, to bring hope and guidance. Humanity’s shadow will always be with us, but we don’t have to succumb to it. We can each strive for more growth, self-knowledge and consciousness. This is the key to healing ourselves and the world.
      Thank you very much for your kind remarks about my teaching ability. They warm my heart. YOU warm my heart, my dear friend.
      Love, Jeanie

  6. I like how the screen in your video opens and closes preparing us for a new thought. Or the next thought. From Mandala to Internet to Elephant to Cave to Fear. A great posting with many rich insights. Thank you.

    1. Thanks, Steven. I was fortunate to find the woman who put these videos together. She’s extremely talented and came up with all these effects on her own. I love the subtle “rattle” sound she put in at the beginning and ends of the dreams. I didn’t see the connection between my video and the elements of this post at all. I appreciate the affirmation and insights.

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