So if we follow the laws that are in our own nature, they will lead us to the right end….
You have got to trust yourself with your own experience, because, according to the natural law, it will lead to a state of completeness. I do not speak of a state of perfection—that is prejudice—but of completeness, which seems to be a kind of growth and which contains all the spiritual values one can wish for. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 395-411
Who am I under the layers of accrued civilization? Who are you beneath the parental rules, spoken and unspoken? Your ancestors’ expectations. The religious commandments. The school’s teachings. Your family’s political leanings. The laws and standards of your culture.
What are we beyond the roles imposed upon us from outside ourselves? Dutiful child. Receptive student. Generous host. Polite guest. Observant driver. Obeyer of rules. Returner of favors. Healthy eater. Efficient worker. Responsible parent. Informed citizen. Promise keeper. Subservient wife.
What’s left when you lie naked and alone under the moon and sun? What belongs just to you, the unique soul that has lived in your bones and flowed through your blood and energized your mind and body since before you remember? What is that special something you were born with; the thing that lights the fire of your passion and urges you to grow into something more than you were trained to be?
“Passion is like a light switch. When it is turned on it triggers a domino effect of other success characteristics.” ~Tom Corley, http://richhabits.net/passion-trumps-everything/
Consciousness takes its origin in passion…. [T]hrough the fire of passion, in the pre-psychological condition when you cannot and do not reason, when you surrender completely and allow your pain or emotion to have full sway, you then become purified, then you become yourself. This is the test of the gold; the true gold will show its quality in the fire. And this is again the alchemistic idea; [one] becomes the true substance. That higher consciousness is the consciousness of the Self. Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 395-411
The evolution of our species and advances of science have bestowed the gift of elderhood on more and more of us. As our physical energies inevitably wane I believe we serve ourselves and our world best by using this time to “follow the laws that are in our own nature.”
Brian Carlin, one of my favorite poets, says it much better than I can in this poem from his book, A Skinful of Dust, winner of the 2011 erbacce prize for poetry. Enjoy the dance.
Dance of the Seven Veils
In the beginnings on cold stone,
inscribed and unmoving,
hard altars of the soul laid sharp
smartly hewn and clear are what we are —
carved hearts of bone.
Veils of obligation and subsequent years
lay in elegant folds,
pastels of tracing papers grazing,
obscuring to greyed intention laced
as nylons glaze the skin,
layer and hazy layer grace the days,
obscuring meaning with style.
Where removal of this is not to strip
or slip to floor but to descale and flake,
to pare and make each sliver of accrued you
rip the skin and yet not bleed,
to part you from the useless mesh
of learned mortality’s flesh
and leave instead in ivory
the you before you learned to speak.
Thank you for the inspiration for this post, Brian.
Image Credit: Dance of the Seven Veils, Pinterest
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