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man's search for meaning, II
November 27, 1999
2:25 am
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kitten
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Oh, and Tez, the Swastika also has a place in Celtic tradition...as a part of Brid's Cross. Everything comes somehow back to the feminine...I think Jung even knew that. To come back might mean accepting the emotional side of one's being--not separating away from the intellect. I think by viewing the emotional part of the brain as primitive prevents you from seeing the total picture. Maybe it is the old brain, but there are valuable clues tucked there. Woman has the power of life and death...when man destroyed the matriarchy and continued to burn women at the stake he only buried those clues further.Nothing mystical--that is just a word to cover up fears. Maybe you dear, Tez, should seek your own Grail. Peace.

November 28, 1999
1:54 am
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i think all this brain-storming shouldnt go to waste... how about writing a book on all of this ... maybe new things will come up.. new theories... new ways... new whatever ...

November 28, 1999
4:52 pm
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Cici.
You said, "……perhaps because they deny what deep down everyone knows..." It seems to me that in society there is a hell of a lot of denial going on. Ernest Becker wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning book, some years ago now, called "The Denial Of Death". He claimed that we are a death denying society; that much of our activities are driven by the unconscious desire to avoid death. Perhaps this is why we find the ravages of old age so repugnant. We are a youth adoring society. I know that when my mother died most if not all of my grieving was for my own mortality; the realisation of which was driven so effectively home by that event. If Becker is right, then it seems that most of us are chasing rainbows.

Is it unduly morbid to meditate on one’s own demise and to try to find meaning in it? Or do you think it is better to make hay while the sun shines and delude ourselves that we live forever?

November 28, 1999
4:53 pm
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Kitten.
You said, "Didn't Jung say we HAD to embrace our shadow self...to truly know one's complete self?" He surely did. He went much further. He gave humanity a very dire warning. He stated categorically that if mankind didn’t embrace their own personal shadow then individually they would be condemned to act the shadow out. As a further warning, Jung said that if the personal shadow was not embraced, then the collective shadow would emerge and wreck havoc upon humanity. Pol Pot, Rwanda, Koscovo, the Holocaust etc are all examples of the collective shadow running riot. At the end of his life, Jung was quite depressed about the future of humanity. He apparently suffered from ‘visions’ of the future in his declining years. His last writings have been suppressed by the family.

Only yesterday I was told by a longstanding male friend that he had just learnt that another one of our old and respected male friends had sexually abused three of the sons of that same longstanding friend when they were children. My friend wanted to kill the abuser for what he did to my friend’s sons. All these years, I didn’t suspect the abuser of paedophilia. The abuser was recently married and is in a supposedly heterosexual relationship now. The abuser, when finally cornered, has admitted all. He is trying to maintain that it was ‘nothing really’. He is still denying his own shadow. He was molested as a child himself and cannot face up to that and his consequent predilection for little boys. Sexuual ‘imprinting’ seems to be very permanent.

I see that Jung is right. Had this abuser been able to accept and embrace his own shadow completely, then he would not have had to act out his sick fantasies to the detriment of young boys who are now condemned to carry that burden throughout life. I am finding it hard to be judgemental. I feel very sad about the whole affair. Generally speaking, humanity seems unable to learn about and therein control the programming of its own psyche.

I wonder why the perversions seem to be a male preserve. Or are women just as badly affected but hide it better and get caught less? After all most people snigger when a woman gets caught molesting young boys as did one locally recently. I think she got off with a warning and a suspended sentence. Are women just as damaged as men? What do you think?

You said, "…Maybe you dear, Tez, should seek your own Grail…" Has there been a time when I haven’t been seeking? I am not a Christian so the Holy Chalice holds no interest; however Christ’s words "…seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened unto you…" does hold the promise that we as individuals can find a way back through the ‘one way mirror’ to our own ‘Selfhood’. For every answer there seems to be yet another question!!!

November 28, 1999
4:55 pm
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Eve.
You said, "Could it be that you put emotion on one side and intellect on the other side and let them play win-lose games in your 'self'" I don’t think so. I generally have no trouble identifying, acknowledging and feeling my emotions. I understand emotions as the recall of emotional memories. I see emotional memory - as opposed to contextual memory - as being often the result of US and CS paired conditioning in childhood. Negative emotional memory recall is very often the result of unconscious triggering of primitive fight, flight or inhibition fear responses. Very, very often such responses are highly irrational and maladaptive. I seek to learn how to both recognise and control the very earliest stages of the recall processes rather than to give vent to such inappropriate responses. But I also seek to find ways of helping others in very practical ways to overcome difficulties in their lives. I have had regular ‘referrals’ that over the years has maintained my motivations in this direction. I was pleasantly surprised when my partner told me how much I had changed over the last 12 years of our relationship. I am only interested in that which ‘works’; I find theory for theory sake makes me nauseous. But theory that aids practice is invaluable.

You said, "…Cooperation is the way..." At all levels of interactions, both within the psyche and between individuals, I totally acknowledge the truth of this statement. Integration of the psyche as opposed to cognitive dissonance is the aim of most if not all mental health professionals. The best method to integrate the psyche is where psychologists differ.

You said, "…I was aiming at with my question how to best recognize pain or suffering, to me it's emotions that lead the way…" For many years, I went around with knots in my stomach without even knowing it. I ended up with stomach ulcers. One day many years ago, whilst stopped at traffic lights, I suddenly became aware of the constant state of tension in my muscles. I realised that I was in a permanent state of fear. Ever since, the origins of the emotion of fear and its many permutations has interested me. I have done much - with a lot of help and education - to reduce the level of fear within myself. When I think of the suffering associated with that fear, I think of the sleepless hours desperately trying to plot the downfall of so many imaginary ‘ememies’ or trying to plan how to manipulate this person or that to protect ‘myself’ from ithe imaginary disasters that were looming on the horizon. When I hear the word ‘suffering’ the endless circular thinking called ‘worry’ springs also to mind. For me somehow protecting myself from the ‘future’ and the effects that the ‘past’ has upon it is always involved in my suffering. It is the futile attempts to control the future that causes most of my suffering. I guess that this cognitive component does stimulate an emotional response that is very unpleasant. This is probably also a major factor in the ‘suffering’. Living in the instant whilst still planning for the future seems to alleviate a lot of suffering. Acceptance of ‘what is’ gets rid of the rest. Easy said; NOT easy done. What d’ya reckon?

November 28, 1999
5:00 pm
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Guest_guest. How are you going, mate! Long time no see :).

A book? I already have 60,000 words in 13 chapters written. Procrastination, fear of rejection, and perfectionism all stop me from taking the next step in the publishing process. Deep down a little voice tells me that it is an 'ego trip'. 🙂 One day maybe!

November 28, 1999
9:36 pm
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Heyyy... how're you doing? Well, me... see my thread (the new one..searching for ppl. who have recovered) I still have a long way to go...

When i first read what you said stopped you from writing the book, i laughed ... becoz it seemed so familiar to me... 🙂 .. but then when i got seriuos.. you must write the book... say to yourself 'I'm gonna write this book no matter what happens and i wont give a damn whatever anyone ways (to deal with the fear of rejection)'. Yeah Yeah, as if *I've* done all of this .... 🙂 ..

Take that Ego trip ...maybe it'll be something like a cool roler coaster ride .. who knows... but i think you *will* write the book one day... when its compiled and all ... good luck... and best of all, i want you to write this book so that you overcome all these things and emerge as a cool strong person... and then atleast i'll know someone with these things recovered and i'll have a real example for me and so it might be easier for *me* to recover... pretty selfish of me , eh?? :))

November 28, 1999
9:50 pm
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Oooops.....2nd para, end of 3rd line...typo: " whatever anyone *says* " ... sorryyyy...

November 28, 1999
11:04 pm
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Tez,
Back to the Grail comment...that has nothing to do with religion. The grail is another form of the
"cauldron"...a symbol of the devine feminine. Read a book--one of my favorites--called The Crone by Barbara
Walker. It explains many of my thoughts...

November 29, 1999
10:48 am
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We fear death, perhaps in excess. There was a time in our history as a species when we embraced death. Things would be better, we thought, in the afterlife, pressed to the bosom of the father. In the Middle Ages, when Christianity ruled more so than any political creature, death was seen as the gift of the righteous.

Now, we live in a society that rejects the tenents of organized religion. We reject the idea that happiness can be an external force. Of course, true happiness IS a well from within. But have we gone so far that we fear what comes for us? We don't have the righteous pretentions of the faithful. We lack the strong belief that our actions will gain us favor in the eyes of our "Lord." What can we say we had faith in? Ourselves? That smacks of narcissism to the highest degree. What can we say we dedicated our lives, body and soul, to? Me?

We were raised in a society that stressed the cult of you. In a place that put highest emphasis on you to yourself, even in child rearing philosophies. Perhaps we do not raise our children, but only "let them grow." Let them grow into what? Little monsters? That find it OK to go on killing sprees? Wow. What successful parents. We raise our children, now, to be themselves. Only to be influenced by popular music and movies to the point that they claim their very actions are controlled by popular culture and the media? What happened to independent thinking?

November 29, 1999
4:45 pm
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Tez,
your last question first, living in the instant while planning for the future, that certainly is quite something. And the real bugger is: keep looking and appreciating for whatever this future brings, don't get angry with your future, just because it does not fit your expectations. Yep, that's what I'm trying to do as well. And I try to laugh when I fail, not get angry.

And what worries me most are these stomach aches that you seem to konw as well. It worries me, and makes me inquire. Do you have the feeling that now you have resoved that issue for good? Not the reason for the fear, but the tendency of the self rather to go and give oneself stomach ulcers or something else (in my case it was sleeplessness, beeing bitchy and not understanding why, finally stopping to eat completely for days), than to go and sort things out. How can you make sure that it will not happen again, with something else. How are we supposed to realize that we are in denial, when that's what denial is all about: not realizing that you are in trouble. I would also say of myself that I am aware of my emotions most times and that I try to handle things intellectually when possible, but still i sometimes catch myself
trying to hang on to some insubstantiated belief about whatever, and the main reason for that is fear of change, and the consequence is suffering. By the way, who are US and CS (must be a stupid question, but?).

I find that theory, almost any theory can be pretty useful. The better thought out the more. But all theories to me are just tools and sometimes I have to learn how to use them. Like with real tools it depends. Some things you can only think when you have a proper nomenclature for them, like you couldn't drill holes in a concrete wall without a machine built to help you. And then again, having our nomenclature defined sometimes keeps us from looking outside the system, in spite of all the proofs that no theory can ever be complete (when I want to plant a rose, I can search my cars toolbox as long as I like, I won't find a shovel, that is in the garden shed). And what's worse: quite like with a normal material toolbox you can choose to carry every tool you might eventually need, just in case (and need a pickup to carry all)or you can settle for a minimalistic "survival kit" of tools. And why not keep a stock of convenient tools at home, just in case but carry only a light repair kit with you for everyday purposes that you are accustomed to and can easyly work with. This way you won't get stuck in the middle of some wilderness and find that you brought all your tools and forgot the manual. Eve

Cici,
It would be a good goal to try and be able to embrace death, but - at least for me - not on the conditions of a medieval catholic Christian believe system, because it sounds so much like frightening people into behaving well. If you behave and suffer through your life, everything is going to be better on the other side, else even the death would not be relieve and not be the end. Don't you dare to die and try and embrace your father when you've done something wrong and haven't sought approval of the church before you die. Nah, not for me.

Shouldn't we try to accept and embrace death - not as what we hope it might be (the door to the great big yonder)- but as what we know it certainly will be: the end of the only life we can be sure of. It would help to make things clearer, harder too, but when we start to accept that we have only this life, we are bound to try and make it as good as we can. And what is so frightening about it? All things come to an end, and if we are lucky we can leave with the content feeling of a completed life, like the feeling of a job well done, only more. Couldn't eternal life be much worse? For me, this implies that I start looking for ethics, rules that make a good life possible for the individual and for the community. And when I look at what I do and why, I find a lot of ideals and goals that are also in the christian commandments and in the classical philosophers' rules for a good life. I just don't like to go round believing in them, just work on them, use them as tools to achieve a whole life and see what we'll get. This is a very individual approach to life, especially for me, who believes that we are basically what we make ourselves. Our believes about the world rule our perceptions, our reactions and relations, we construct a large part if not all of our reality ourselves. But I think "individual" in this case does not mean selfish or narcissictic. At least not for somebody intelligent enough to realize their own mistakes. It's more like scary, because I have to rely on myself, however flawed I am. And it is optimistic, because all I have to do to make it better, is find the right tool, ask the right question and start to change the world from within. Sometimes I might even reach out to others and share - tools, believes, feelings, fun, fear, and happiness - remembering that most likely the other ones are also struggling hard to make lifes ends meet. eve

November 29, 1999
8:21 pm
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Yes Tez you are on a ego trip, but it is all unworthy you pretentious fool, you are so full of s***!

November 30, 1999
5:03 pm
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Observer.
Thank you for your comments. They give me yet another opportunity to learn about myself, For that I am grateful.

November 30, 1999
5:05 pm
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Cici.
First of all, let me say that you express your ideas and beliefs very well.

You asked, "What happened to independent thinking?" The fight to think independently is a fight against the very conditioning that has taken place within the ‘self’ over a lifetime. To think independently, we are forced to question every tenet of every belief that we hold dear to our psyche. We have to question the very ‘scripts’ by which we live our lives. Starting by first creating a ‘tabla rasa’ in the mind, we have to recreate ourselves from scratch. Is this at all possible??? I wonder if the best we can do is to struggle against our ‘programming’ by observing and rejecting obvious irrationalities in our thinking. By discarding blind adherence to the tenets of the ’faith of our fathers’, I have done just this.

Speaking of the ‘faith’, I think that you have accurately described western man’s spiritual journey. I think humanity is evolving spiritually. We first have to remove the shackles of the past. We are doing this. The resultant ‘spiritual vacuum’ is fertile ground for ‘new’ thinking - even if only pseudo independent in character. You highlighted this spiritual vacuum that generally exists in the western, materialistic world when you said, " What can we say we dedicated our lives, body and soul, to? Me?"

Central to this dilemma, resulting from discarding old irrational superstitions and beliefs, is the widely held belief that the "me" is separated from the other "me’s" and from the absolute "Me". The basis for this belief is the blind faith that our sense organs give a ‘true’ picture of the ‘reality out there’ being external and totally separated from our body. It is this body consciousness that deludes us all, including me.

If one starts from the position that the individual human being is a separate entity then the inevitable conclusion of hard logic is that the individual is a victim of some cruel cosmic game(The early Greeks and Romans seemed to hold this concept of a cluster of vying deities meddling in human affairs in a capricious and sometimes malevolent way). Thus, one is forced to believe that either there is no God and all is the result of ‘ blind’ nature, or there is a very conditionally loving and sometimes capriciously cruel God. The difficulty with the former belief is explaining the origins of nature and its exquisitely magnificent laws. The difficulty with the latter is - given that God is conditionally loving - reconciling the omniscience of God. From a logical perspective, conditional love and omniscience are incompatible concepts.

If there exists only the "Essence or Ocean of Life" and all of physical existence is a ‘Thought’, a ‘Dream’ then everything falls neatly into place. The separate Thought that is ‘me’ is not really separated from the Thought that is ‘you’. Neither ‘you’ nor ‘I’ am separated from the Mind that is doing the Thinking or Dreaming. No injustice can exist. All becomes a great cosmic game in the Mind of God ‘knowing’ all things from beyond space and time; including what it is like to experience an illusory life - within the equally illusory space-time cause-effect continuum - as uniquely as ‘you’, ‘I’ and all the other "I’s" do. Because of this uniqueness, each and every living thing then becomes infinitely and intrinsically valuable in the Mind of God.

Phew!! What a mouthful in a nutshell. Does any of this ring true for you?

November 30, 1999
5:07 pm
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Eve.
You asked whether I have got rid of the knots in my stomach and you asked, "By the way, who are US and CS (must be a stupid question, but?)."
. The answer to the first question is yes most of the time. If I stress myself then they do return. The knots in the stomach and the tight neck and jaw muscles are part of the body’s way of getting ready to fight, run or immobilise.

Now to the second question: Fight, flight or immobilisation are physiological responses of the body’s fear arousal system in dealing with the perception of a threat. They are unconditioned responses (UR) to a threat which developed in humans and other animals as a result of evolutionary survival drives.

If we see a snake, we are exposed to an unconditioned stimulus (US). This means that we didn’t learn to fear snakes; it is already in our genetic programming from birth (an archetype). However, if at the same time, someone next to us passes out on seeing the snake, the sight of a person passing out might become a conditioned stimulus (CS) which can be paired, in us, with the unconditioned stimulus (US) of seeing the snake.

At some future time the sight alone of someone fainting might provoke the conditioned response (CR) which is the same as our unconditioned fear response (UR) to the sight of the snake. We will be unaware at that future time of why we felt fear just because some one fainted in front of us. We may rationalise and justify the irrational fear by saying "I was fearful because I was unsure of what to do."

As infants and children we learn to fear many things as a result of such pairing of conditioned stimulus (CS) with unconditioned stimulus (US). For example, as infants seeing fear in our mothers stimulated unconditional fear in us. Whatever was around at that time is very likely to become a CS and evoke fear at some time in adulthood. Another good example is a father’s fear producing a conditioned fear of loud angry male voices in us as a child. Consequently in adulthood whenever our boss raises his voice in anger we might irrationally feel a conditioned fear response.

In my childhood every time my young sisters screamed my father came up the stairs and flogged me. His irrational argument was that I was to blame because I was either causing the problem or not fixing it. Now in adulthood I have a pathological desire to literally strangle any child that I hear screaming. I am conditioned to experience great fear on hearing a child scream. I cannot stop the fear arousal. However, because I now understand where the fear is coming from, I am able to shut my angry urge to ‘fight’ down very quickly. What is happening in me is the recall of an emotional memory of the fear of my father. I quickly sooth the ‘remembering child’ within me by telling ‘him’, that I am a big man now and will protect ‘him’ from a flogging from anyone. Then, usually I quickly settle down.

Regarding the physical control of my bodily responses to perceptions of threats, you asked, " Do you have the feeling that now you have resolved that issue for good? ….. How can you make sure that it will not happen again, with something else." - Well… my state of mind governs my anxiety states. If I am vigilant and maintain a constant background awareness of how I am thinking and feeling, I can usually correct any fear build up (as indicated by tension in my jaw, stomach, neck etc muscles) before it causes either an angry outburst (fight response) or a retreat into isolation and avoidance of others (flight response) or self-pity and depression (immobilisation response). How I correct such fear responses is by nurturing myself as a good mother and father would a little child. I tell myself how well ‘we’ are going. I show my inner ‘child’ that ‘we’ have an nice home, money in the bank, a good partner, health, intelligence etc. I count my many blessings. I face the fear head on. I ask myself what is the threat that I perceive. I do a ‘reality check". If there is some situation that is rationally causing the fear I deal with it immediately. If not then I know that I am responding to a CS and have an emotional memory recall. I go into ‘parent’ mode and this usually does the trick.

You asked, "…How are we supposed to realize that we are in denial, when that's what denial is all about: not realizing that you are in trouble…" I guess one first has to have the realisation that the "truth" about yourself "will set you free". Secondly, you have to have the deep realisation that "it is OK not to be OK". (embracing the ‘shadow’ in Jungian terms). Then the curtain guarding the unconscious will part ever so slightly. Introspection during such quiet times of reflection will expose small portions of your irrational hidden beliefs and thought processes. Growth and liberation from the bondage caused by old long standing neurotic thoughts and feelings follows as such beliefs change. BUT it takes a lot of patience, concerted effort and determination. It is my impression, that few people seem to have the stamina. Since deciding to change my self, I have been at ‘it’ for 27 years. My partner remarked how much I’ve changed for the better during the 12 years since she has known me. Something is working for me.

However, I am often criticised by many people for my analytical nature. But I also use meditation as a non-intellectual means of finding my truth. However, my intellect guards me from the dangers of such things as Waco, Jonestown, and irrational fundamentalism of any kind. I disregard such criticisms of using the intellect; my path is my path. If others choose other paths that’s OK by me. I realise that we are all unique

November 30, 1999
5:11 pm
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Kitten.

I will keep an eye open for your book references. In the mean time, I am not sure if I am interpreting your last response accurately. I have the impression that you are coming from a ‘Wicca’ viewpoint. Your Brid’s cross reference is my basis for that impression. Am I right?

Your references to the ‘feminine’ would seem to indicate that you favour a ‘right brain’ way of ‘knowing’. Therein, are you proposing an intuitive, feeling approach in dealing with life’s vicissitudes? If so, I would certainly agree with that as being a valid approach. I think a balance between left and right brain activity is the ideal though.

Your reference to the ‘cauldron’ has me guessing. At this juncture, I have surmised that you are drawing a right brained image of the ‘superior’ power of witches to look into the ‘cauldron’ of life and to ‘see reality’ as it ‘really’ is. Am I reading your posting correctly? Or am I way off track?

November 30, 1999
5:17 pm
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Guest_guest.

Thanks for your encouragement, mate. I hope all is going well in your quest for attaining a high self-esteem. It isn't an easy road for people like us who were not optimally parented, eh. That probably includes most of the human race. 🙂

November 30, 1999
11:51 pm
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Sorry, Tez, but you gave the typical male response! Whenever patriarchy does not understand the divine feminine, they bring up the idea of Wicca.

Brid's Cross is Bridget's Cross, one of the saints in Celtic folklore. She was the great mother goddess of Ireland. There is still a shrine to her in Kildare. She represents mother, inspiration, healer, protector, and warrior. Men seem to forget that we started out as a matriarchy. You could see that children came from one particular woman...the man's involvement was unclear. Men may have impregnated women from other clans, but stayed with their mother's or sister's as protector. It was only when we began to own things that the idea of passing things along precipatated the concept of male lineage.Since property came mostly thru war, a man's activity, property would be passed onto sons. yet certain cultures still hold onto the idea of mother as the symbol of clan belonging.

The cauldron is not a withces brew symbol, but the symbol of women as a vessel, capable of creation and energy. Sometime pick up the lid to a boiling pot of soup and look into the center. That swirling is like the female power of life. The beginning and the end. Food nourishes--lack of food kills. Get the point?

And no, I'm not saying to be one sided, but rather you
MUST embrace the feminine in order to be whole! Creative force gives direction...a starting point. As babies in utero we all start out as female...and men look for the rest of their lives for a way to return to the safety of the womb(the return to the feminine).
Therefore...don't think only in a linear fashion, look into the cauldron for self...I believe there are many anwers burned into our collective memories that we need to examine.

December 1, 1999
11:11 am
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BTW, Tez, I think you are neither pretentious or "full of s***". You are merely one who thinks deeper. Sometimes people fear this, because they are afraid to look into the darkness and trace the outlines of what they know exist. Hostility, I have always thought, is the highest form of ignorance. (Besides, my dad always said..."Profanity is the effort of the feeble mind to express itself.")

What is it, do you think, that separates us from each other? Ideology? Physicality? We cling so eagerly in sexual union to one another, almost as if we long to be unified. And in religious orders, nuns, priests and monks seek perfect unification with the Lord. Drug addicts (I know from experience) seek to lose their own identity in the Epiceurian delights of excess. Why is it that we seek this loss of self to "the greater"? Is it because we seek a return to the self-less-ness of childhood? Lack of personal responsibility? Argh!

I don't know where I'm going with this, I'm just going...What is God but the master of fates? The greater consciousness that holds the fabric of reality together, the loom that holds the threads that are you and I and everyone woven into the fabric of the mass consciousness? In this I see a reason for everything. Why are things as they are? Perhaps because they must be.

If you believe in fate, the dilemma of the good God or the bad God who is capricious and uncaring disolves into nothing. Suddenly, everything is part of a greater plan that I in my small human mind cannot bear to comprehend. Sort of like Plato in "The Allergory of the Cave." Were I to be exposed to the light of knowledge now, I would be blinded, afraid, my legs shaking, sweating...I would go mad. Perhaps that is insanity.

I can only chip away at the wall of the cave, occassionally seeing a glimmer, a spark, a thin ray of understanding. I seek to one day look at the sun until I am no longer blinded by the light. Maybe that is when we can die in peace?

December 1, 1999
3:19 pm
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kitten, I'm glad to see you back!

and I also love the swirling cauldron of feminine power(and what a nice metaphor that one is). Eve

December 1, 1999
4:51 pm
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Kitten.
Thanks for your very interesting response. I have no problem with agreeing with most of it. That with which I am not in agreement is not because I disagree but because I haven't thought it through yet.

In particular, I agree that men need to "embrace the feminine in order to be whole!". However, I would also add that women need to embrace the masculine. I see that a harmonious balance of the animus and anima is the optimum human being.

Also, I whole heartedly agree with your statement that "men look for the rest of their lives for a way to return to the safety of the womb (the return to the feminine)." I think that this is one of the reasons that men are often genitally focussed in sex. The vagina holds a 'mysterious' fascination beyond that dictated by normal sexual drives.

Also, battle hardened soldiers often die screaming for their mothers. I suspect that we all have deep seated emotional memories (not contextual ones) of being in the security of the womb and on our mother's breasts. At this time our every need was met and our individuation was yet to happen; we were still 'connected' to the Universal Mother, the Ocean of Life. Many of us who were insecurely attached in infancy, crave a return to that security all of our lives. We practice meditation, rebirthing, reparenting, drugs and all sorts of techniques trying to recapture that lost state of bliss. But, oh! how it makes the wheel of sharp knives spin in playing the game.

Further, I feel strongly that our society's adherence to the concept of a patriarchal God is one of the main reasons that so many religions put the 'fear of God' into their followers therein creating so much neurotic fear and guilt.

You said, "... don't think only in a linear fashion.." I don't think that I do only think linearly. I have been told several times that I am a lateral thinker. I create electronic circuit and packaging designs in a very lateral way. Creative programming in which I sometimes indulge, requires lateral thinking. However, when confronted with irrational beliefs, often a linear step by step approach is required to show how 'flawed' a psychologically damaging belief can be.

As I said above, I seek to use the right brain as well as the left. (Animus + anima) For me, right brain knowing involves going into deep meditative states wherein the self (ego) is 'lost' for a short time. Thoughts cease, and there is an experience of being encompasses by the Ocean of Love, in the Womb of all life. The 'knowing', that results, cannot be put into words. Thus, it seems pointless to engage in discussions of that type of 'knowing'. Using the left hemisphere, where language resides, seems to indicate the use of the intellect in engaging in any serious discussion about such issues.Invariably such discussions will fail to convey what that right brained way knowing entails.

I agree that the pendulum has swung too far to the left (masculine) but let's not have it swing too far to the right(feminine). Let's have it harmoniously oscillate about the centre. Viva la balance. 🙂

December 1, 1999
5:23 pm
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Cici.
Thanks for your very insightful thoughts about the very beneficial response of 'Observer'. I actually used it to my great advantage. I was able once again to practice my nurturing of my inner child. I felt compassion for the hurting little child that must reside inside Observer. Cie la vie.

What do I think separates us? I think the illusion created by our sense organs separates us. My eyes, ears and sense of touch tell me that I am in here and others are out there. If we were bodiless and unbounded spirits we would find it far harder to believe in our separation.

You said, "We cling so eagerly in sexual union to one another, almost as if we long to be unified" I think that sexual union is the only way most of us know in our attempts to unite with the cosmos. My response to Kitten, in which I agree with her, makes the point that in sexual intercourse etc we are trying to reclaim our earliest infant memories of the intimacy with our mother in the womb and soon thereafter on the breast ; that is, to re-experience the ecstatic feelings of security that go with those memories. During those times I believe that we hadn't yet broken our intimate 'connection' with the Ocean of Life.

You said, "Why are things as they are?" Because the Ocean of Knowledge is in the act of 'knowing' both the extremes of fear and love and all that lies in between beyond the illusion of time.

You said "......I can only chip away at the wall of the cave, occassionally seeing a glimmer, a spark, a thin ray of understanding. I seek to one day look at the sun until I am no longer blinded by the light. Maybe that is when we can die in peace?"

Once we 'know' who we really are as opposed to only 'thinking' who we are then I 'think' that the game is over for us - but I don't really 'know'.

The great mystics of history seem to write little; much was written about them by others. I think that it was St Thomas Aquinus who at the end of his life after a vision, said "all that I have written is but straw" and never wrote another thing. Why? What did he see? Was it because he knew the futility of trying to blow the whistle on God's game with Himself?

December 1, 1999
10:39 pm
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Tez,
your statement about the need for women to embrace the masculine reminds me of the statement white society often makes about non-white society. That "they" need to understand "us". Well, women live in a male world. Just like entire communities of non-white people grow up watching Leave it to Beaver, etc., we as women grow up knowing every nuance of male society. Then, you might question, why don't we understand you better? We do...that's the big secret! There is more to that statement, but I'll leave it there for now.

As to dying men calling for their mothers...how true. When I was ten, my father was in charge of a large military hospital where they brought in the wounded from Nam. From there they would be shipped up and down the east coast. Anyway, in the triage area, I would hear many of the men calling for their mothers, Using the terms of their childhood: mama, mommy, mamitta, etc
Often they would rock themselves back and forth while calling out to their illusions. Even at ten, I knew there was some sort of power that overwhelmed them.

A few years ago, in front of my house, two boys ran their car into a tree. Both had been drinking. It was a raw, bitterly cold night. I ran out when I heard the sirens pull to the end of my driveway, dressed only in a thin robe. Standing there I watched those young men die, unable to help them. My husband came out, attempting to pull me inside. I refused. I could not feel the cold. I only knew that out there, somewhere a mother who thought her son safe, was losing a part of her being to death. I prayed and smiled, thinking, or imagining how happy she probably had been at his birth. Now, here I was, watching as he was being returned to the womb of Spirit. I knew that someday my own son would die and I would not be there, but some other woman would be--helping him to the other side. That dear, Tez, is the power of woman.
Alpha and Omega.

December 1, 1999
10:41 pm
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Eve,
Thank you...I am back, but who knows for how long?

December 2, 1999
10:59 am
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There is a world in and around us that we chose not to see. Our perception of reality as dictate by societal norms does not allow for the parameters of this reality. Once you twist your view of the world, or something else happens (Godly visions?), things are revealed to you that are inexplicable.

Perhaps the horrors that were revealed to him were too horrible to relay. that is theburden of the visionary. We know the story of Cassandra, the visionary doomed to have none of her prophesies believed...doomed to know of the fall of Troy and tell of it and yet watch it happen.

We live in a world of doubters, I sometimes think, people preoccupied with presidential elections and movie stars, debating whether or not Arnold Schwazenegger's career is still alive. What does this world have to do with visionaries?

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