Sunday, 31 July 2016

"Bidden or unbidden, God is present" - Carl Jung, Psychiatrist, 1875 - 1961

Emotional release in a vivid dream woke me suddenly. I had been embraced by a relative from Canada, middle aged, overweight, grey haired, like my Father. He came to the door of a house in which I was staying. Outside and on the doorstep was thick snow. I have relatives in Canada, but I have never visited, so I did not know this person. But the dream had a quality.

It was cathartic and tailored, not random and associative, ascending a chain of mental associations. In it, I had been moving down a well decorated corridor while looking for a way out through a toilet door.  So... Canada was a metaphor for another world, one I don't understand, in which I also have relatives.  Paradise. 

Paradise was communicated using thoughts I do understand.  Snow is a symbol of a pure dimension, and the search for a toilet, a symbol of the call of nature. Looking for a door to take you from nature to paradise is useless, someone must come in and show you the door, for you to see, go through. Jesus did this in human culture, the dimension he showed is here, only you can't own it or imitate it.  The Bible is full of God talking to people through their dreams. But beware whenever religion, important as it is, becomes what Jung called in his "Memories, dreams, reflections," a defence against you experiencing God.

“God isn't someone else” -------------- Thomas Merton, Monk, 1915 - 1968

The question of what we mean by ‘I’ really matters for happiness, because what most of us trust as 'I' is actually only a mirage, a mental self-image, and if we prefer this to unconditional happiness, we have conditional happiness – it depends on the transient weather of approval, control, health, and success. The selfless wonder of being, on the other hand, is eternal.  If it seems to me there is no such thing as unconditional happiness, ‘seeming’ and ‘me’ may be the problem. Psychiatry knows this. It drugs self. Psychology retrains it. Spirituality says there isn’t one. 

Deny self, said Jesus (Matt 16:24). So if one believes in a separate life, one will suffer it. Nor can we maintain good body sensations and deny bad ones. They all pass, transient processes, perceptions with them. People who can’t let go of 'I' don’t see groundless unity. But a person who can let go of ‘I’, enters the Being in relationship whom no-one has ever seen (John 1:18).  This is an act of faith in the infinite mystery who really is. The only way to find this ‘I’, who is the true I am, and also God's name to Moses, is to go through life's desert +

“God is infinitely simple” ----------------- Thomas Aquinas, Theologian 1225-74

Once upon a time, there was no time. There was no such thing at half past three, or ten to five, or nine twenty. There was intimacy with the universe. You ate when you were hungry, and you rose with the daylight.  Then we invented clocks and chopped life experience into separate objects of perception. Life became mechanisedWhen this subjective experience became noisy words, objective timeslots, we progressed technolgically, but also we regressed. Where there were eternal waves, the unified field of Being that Jesus' parable describes, this was replaced by temporary things, disturbances that do not go to the end of the world, never mind beyond.

Then came a perpetual lack of time, and with it, anxietyBut during activity it is still possible to re-renter the silent state in which the cosmos is a perennial flow, like water. Psalm 19 describes it: “Day after day the heavens pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” So if the heavens have no speech, but they still use words when using words, consider not speaking. “Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace.” Proverbs 17:28. So, THINK. Is it true, helpful, inspiring, necessary, kind?