The Next Step


brain_power_large“Spirit and matter may well be forms of one and the same transcendental thing.” ~Carl Jung. CW 9i; par. 392.

This week between Christmas 2016 and the New Year of 2017 is the first in almost seven years that I didn’t schedule a Tuesday post on Matrignosis. I’m still trying to figure out why, but one factor is undoubtedly that I’m struggling with physical, emotional, and spiritual burnout from the presidential election and holiday preparations. As a result, I’m recovering from my second nasty bout with bronchitis in two months.

Determined to get the rest I obviously need this week, I had no conscious plans to write a post until after the new year. But this morning I awoke from a dream:


A new government has taken over.  It is banning free speech and singling out intellectuals and other ‘undesirables’ on trumped up charges.  I’m feeling worried and frightened. Our only hope is in one extraordinary man who secretly leads a resistance group. I see his slogan, “We Will Survive” written in large bold letters on a large surface in a public place and take great hope from it.

I have to tell Fred.  He’s been distracted by work and doesn’t know this has happened. I find him and tell him with tears welling up in my eyes, “I have terrible news about the government!” I consciously add the words ‘about the government’ because I want to prepare him to hear something alarming but don’t want him to think the news is about any kind of immediate threat to our loved ones. I fear for our world.

So this is it. The core issue beneath everything I’ve been thinking and doing and trying not to think about or do in recent weeks. My intuition and feelings are in a high state of alert and as an introvert I’ve been trying to keep them under cover, both for my own protection and others. But the Self won’t allow me to ignore this any longer and sent me a dream to make me face it.

How am I going to respond to a situation that feels like a terrible threat to our country and world? How can I be sure that what I say or do will be helpful and not harmful?

cononley_09If you always do the next thing that needs to be done, you will go most safely and sure-footedly along the path prescribed by your unconscious. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 132-133.

After recording my dream I reread recent posts, looking for threads that might suggest my next step, my next post.

From The Invisible Cord: “Awakening from a long sleep during which our egos have been unconscious of our inner truths, and moving into a more mature way of living and loving is what Christmas is really about.”

From The Two Sides of Surrender: “Positive surrender frees you to live to the fullest with all the life energy you have at your disposal without wasting it on denial, escapism or self-hatred.”

And, “Healthy surrender is not a victim’s descent into lethargy. It is a warrior’s ascent to compassionate action which causes the least possible harm to others. It requires…restraint until you acquire the wisdom to know what must be done.”

But when will I know what must be done? Until now, my actions have been guided by this thought:

 “Your voice is too weak for those raging to be able to hear…Thus, do not speak and do not show the God, but sit in a solitary place and sing incantations in the ancient manner.” ~Carl Jung. The Red Book, p. 284.

Perhaps this is part of the reason I could find no words for a Tuesday post this week. But I am unusually mindful of these words from The Invisible Cord:  “…all opposites, outer and inner, are bound to each other by an invisible cord which is as real and essential to us as our heartbeat.”

There is an absolute, eternal union between God and the soul of everything. The problem is that Western religion has not taught us this. Our ego over-emphasizes our individuality and separateness from God and others. ~Richard Rohr Meditation, Dec. 17, 2016.

Mystics like Francis and Clare lived from a place of conscious, chosen, and loving union with God. Such union was realized by surrendering to it, not by achieving it! ~Richard Rohr Meditation, Dec. 17, 2016.

After citing the above I wrote: “If you’re not a religious person, just replace the word “God” with any or all of these three: Life. Love. Reality. It’s all the same thing.”

Still looking for guidance, I picked up a new book I’ve been wanting to start and chose a page at random. There I read,

“We’re standing in the middle of an awesome mystery—life itself!—and the only appropriate response before this mystery is humility.  If we’re resolved that this is where we want to go—into the mystery, not to hold God and reality but to let God and reality hold us—then I think religion is finally in its proper and appropriate place.” ~Richard Rohr with Mike Morrell, The Divine Dance:  The Trinity and Your Transformation, p. 73.

‘We’re standing in the middle of an awesome mystery.’ ‘Western religion has not taught us this.’ ‘I think religion is finally in its proper and appropriate place.’

‘Show the God.’

I think you can expect more of this from me in the coming months.

Image credits:  Brain Power, Cononley_09, Wikimedia Commons. 

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, Inc.

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23 Responses

  1. I couldn’t but wryly smile at the irony that Trump, who made fake news an acceptable political tool will put dissidents in jail using “trumped up charges.” As one who was put on detention in Cuba 56 years ago for toilet paper and soap hoarding, and who saw some of Nixon’s minions use them on dissidents, see the treat as real. After all, Putin would be a good teacher.

    1. We need to hear more from people like you who have lived and suffered under hyper-authoritarian and repressive regimes about what it’s really like. We also need a better understanding of why and how this could be happening in our country, and how to prevent it from getting a stronger foothold. Thank you for sharing your experience and perspective here.

  2. Thanks for your words. This is indeed a time when everything for us all is out of balance. I’m watching events in the USA from England and can only see things falling into chaos over there and here. The other day I was struck by a thought ” No act of kindness is ever wasted.” Any act of kindness no matter how small brings something new into the world even if just for a moment. This is surely a time for us all to be aware of the need individually and collectively to keep these values from being swept into darkness. If not now, when . We all have to find our own way of doing this and perhaps your blog is an spark of light and kindness. I hope you feel better soon and that your strength and spirit find renewal in the new year. Kind Regards Gary

    1. Hi, Gary. I agree with your thought that “No act of kindness is ever wasted,” and appreciate your suggestion that my blog might be a spark of light and kindness. I fervently hope so. Thank you for your well-wishes and kind regards. Thank you most of all for sharing your helpful thoughts here. Jeanie

  3. Unbelievable I dreamt of Trump and his entire family last night. In the dream pictures of each family member were being decoupaged. I wonder if his entire family is going to be overlooked as real people and only a pasty representative? Any thoughts on an interpretation?

    1. Thank you for sharing your most relevant dream, Silver Foxx. I too am struck by the timeliness of it, as if new thoughts on this election are beginning to emerge in our collective awareness.
      Thoughts on the dream; The Trump family as a pasty representative of reality? Overlooked, as in ‘not taken very seriously, or seriously enough?’ Those could certainly be meaningful ways of viewing this dream image, and not just meaningful but potentially dangerous if we see this as a dream for all of us. I’m concerned about both.
      A decoupage is an ornamental, somewhat artistic attempt to ‘gloss over’ images to make them appear more attractive while disguising the flatness and dryness of a paper image…. And a paper image has no depth or real substance. It’s just a copy of the real thing, a mask that covers a wealth of unexpressed, unexpected, and potentially undesirable truths.
      So if this dream were mine, I’d see this image as having any or all of these meanings. I’d be interested in knowing if anyone else has any additional thoughts on this.

    1. Thanks for the reassuring words, Skip. As you may have noted, this dream feels like a call to action…my own particular brand of action, which is writing, and to expand it into new areas. I appreciate your support so much.

  4. Dear Jeanie, Thank you so much for this wonderful post. I fully resonate with your dreams and echoing words as I awaken myself from a long, deep sleep. After (hopefully!) positively surrendering throughout my own nine months of burning, darkness and ashes, I decided to simply withdraw … to fully rest and recover. And life, well life within a matter of weeks, became simple and full again.
    I love your description of the Warrior’s compassionate ascent, when she chooses to rest rather than continuously burn herself out – how confirming it was for me to read of my own experience in your words. For during my descent I didn’t know what to do, so I sat tight in surrender, and deep silence until Christmas Eve, when the light returned and a poem flew out of me.
    Jung’s words fit perfectly into my experience as my voice became too weak (for the raging to hear) so I sat alone, silent, in the pregnant darkness, and prayed for the light and my voice to return. It’s great to read your inspiring words again! Blessings always, Deborah.

    1. Dear Deborah, you’re most welcome.
      We all have different ways of coping with and processing our dark times, and the time it takes for the light to return also differs from individual to individual. But beneath it all, there seems to be an archetypal pattern that has helped many people throughout the ages who stumbled on it and followed it. From your description it appears that you followed this pattern.
      You burned through nine months of darkness and ashes, faced it consciously, and withdrew to rest and recover. You “sat alone, silent in the pregnant darkness and prayed” for help. You conserved your life energy without wasting it on fruitless worry or effort, tolerated the tension without doing anything rash, and humbly surrendered to the unconscious, trusting it to do its job without interference from ego or other people.
      Speaking from experience, (I went through the same process in a big way many years ago and have undergone a few much smaller and far less intense versions of it since), I can say that this is a healing and wisdom-making way. Each time I’ve had to remember to surrender and trust that the light would return once the Self had done what needed to be done. The process never ends, but it gets easier each time.
      Not everyone has to go through this, but those who do are inevitably empowered to make their own unique contributions to humanity in their own way. And with each contribution they make—each healed relationship, insight, act of understanding and compassion, kind word—they add something valuable to collective consciousness for the benefit of all.
      You are a Spirit Warrior my sister, whether anyone else ever knows it or not. And by listening to your own voice, following your own star, and making your own creative contribution, you will make a difference. And that’s a very good thing.
      Love and blessings,

      1. Thank you so much Jeanie for your most generous, and wonderful reply. You describe well the ancient, archetypal pattern of Soul Evolution … where I encountered a wordlessness that was beyond explanation. Nothing comes, as the voice (and ego) are entirely lost, and rightly so the Soul cries! How reassuring it is to read your deep knowledge, wisdom and insights of this encounter. Thank you for holding the beacon up high as I emerge and sharing your light.
        Oh my Goddess how I resonate deeply with the ‘Spirit Warrior’ within, having felt the power pulsate every time I listen to my own voice, and follow my own star. I’m starting to feel that it’s time to pick up my pen, my sword, once more. Love and light to you dear sister, Deborah.

  5. Thank you Jeanie very much. Firstly, I’m sorry to hear about the bronchitis and wish you full recovery. Maybe this was She who was calling you to rest and thus ‘allowing’ your dream and its reflections to come to this beautiful post.
    The quotations are extremely powerful thank you – and your own ones from your more recent posts. For the moment as I’m writing, I wonder about surrendering to the opposites. By that I mean surrendering to the knowledge that we each contain opposite poles without necessarily acting on the extremes. For us each to acknowledge that the task of reconciling those opposites begins with us. Individually. As within, so without. I guess on the larger scale we can see or sense the drama playing out on the world stage, where it is possible that unconscious unbridled forces are unleashed – and it is not easy staying still and silent –
    ‘If you always do the next thing that needs to be done, you will go most safely and sure-footedly along the path prescribed by your unconscious’. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 132-133.
    This is an especially inspiring quotation – they all are. This one emphasises listening to the unconscious, as guide. And we CAN do that by paying attention to the dream.

    1. Thank you, Susan. I agree that the bronchitis was an intervention from She who was calling me to rest so She could do her work. It appears that in this regard, I am a slow learner, as I tend to overtax myself every year about this time. I console myself that I can see this pattern, and that I’m finding it easier to give myself permission to back off at a time of low libido combined with my ego’s strong need to “do.” But so far, the “doing” still usually wins and I pay for it. Oh well, baby steps are better than no steps at all! 🙂 Much love and good wishes for the New Year!

      1. A blue bottle stung me on the beach 5 hours ago- the ongoing pain is terrible and has forced me to slow down. I can’t believe this has happened. So to bed with pain killers to keep the throbbing pain at bay – do I give thanks to She for slowing me down? Maybe –

        1. Whoa! I’m so sorry for the terrible pain you’re suffering. The synchronicity of all these things coming together on Matrignosis yesterday and today is pretty incredible: Silver Foxx has a Trump dream the same night I have mine. You suggest that my being sick for a while might be a message from Her asking me to slow down and listen, and then this happens to you and you hear the same message! The meaning? Surely part of it is meant to show us that some of us are definitely tuning in on the same wavelength these days…… Stay tuned in? Keep listening? Things are stirring in the Collective Unconscious/Field/Force? Hoping for speedy relief from the pain. Sending you love and healing energy. Jeanie

  6. To contribute to the conversation. A friend, who had been hearing the refrain rest, step on her son’s skateboard. She’s now laying in bed in “forced repose.” Antonio

    1. Unbelievable, Antonio! Something is definitely going on in the collective unconscious of those of us who are commenting here. So the meaning or message? The common thread is ‘rest.’ So my thoughts are that it has to be something like, Rest. Trust. Listen. Stop wasting your energy trying to “do” something big right now. Tolerate the tension of ‘not doing’ until the time is right. For those of us tuned into synchronicities, perhaps we’ll have more of them with a different theme, like ‘act,’ when that time comes…. 🙂 Thanks very much for adding to this conversation.

  7. The “trumped-up charges” grabbed me, too. Then the power of your ideas led me to receptivity and resolve. After reading this a few days in a row, I feel less discouraged and more motivated to find what I can offer this suffering world. Thank you, Jeanie.
    I’m sorry you’ve been sick twice since the election. I’m having a rough time with Meniere’s symptoms, especially disequilibrium and fatigue. The body mirrors the outer world.
    In reading your post, I remembered my last two dreams, Dec. 26 and 28th: “I discover new rooms in the upstairs of my house which I’ve never seen before. They’re being remodeled. One leads to a hallway and to other parts of the house. I show Vic these rooms with a sense of wonder and hope. I notice many big windows in these rooms, each covered with blinds with daylight seeping through. The windows promise long beautiful views when the remodeling is done and the blinds are gone.”
    We will survive. Now to discover more about those rooms and those divine views. May we all have a Peaceful New Year.

    1. Elaine, I’m very touched and grateful that this post helped you feel less discouraged and more motivated to find what you can offer this suffering world. Thank you for letting me know it helped.
      I’m sorry you’re having a rough time with Meniere’s symptoms. I agree that the body mirrors the outer world. I have certainly been feeling mental and physical fatigue too, and while I don’t have physical disequilibrium, I’ve felt it psychologically. As I reread my post prior to responding to you, I was struck by Richard Rohr’s words: “to let God and reality hold us.” That feels important. Accept Love, accept Reality. That’s all I need to do. In this regard, I see ‘acceptance’ and ‘surrender’ as two sides of the same attitude: humility in the knowledge of my ego’s inability to do anything of lasting import by itself.
      I’ve had the ‘new rooms in the attic of my house’ dream many times, and have come to love this motif, as I know it means new spaces are opening up in my mind and hopefully in my heart as well—although I believe that upper rooms refer more to thoughts and ideas, and that the heart only enters the picture in my dream ego’s feelings about this new development: i.e. your sense of wonder and hope. A lovely sign. As is the multiplicity of windows with light seeping through and the promise of beautiful long views when the remodeling is done and the blinds (blinders?) are gone. A lovely, hopeful dream to enrich your outlook in days to come.
      Yes, We Will Survive. For me this assurance from my dream applies not just to my physical body, but to my Spirit/Soul essence as well; because insofar as energy is never lost, just transformed, my life energy is also assured of survival, whether embodied or not.
      Thank you for writing. I echo your wish that we may all have a Peaceful New Year.

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