Archive for the ‘divine’ tag
As I was meditating this morning as the sun was rising, a thought crept into my brain. I tried to breath into my body, to focus on each part of each breath in order to gently dissipate the edges of this thought that came creeping. But, it was to no avail. The thought took form and called on me to honour that thought. So, I listened to that still voice that at times decides to grace me, a voice that is so different from the regular chatter that seems to occupy so much of my thinking. The voice suggested that I set aside Hollis’ book for a moment and return to Jung’s words and listen. That was it. With that, silence returned and I fell back into a meditative state.
With meditation done, I had forgotten about the voice and the message for a while as I engaged back with being present in my physical reality and got prepared for the day and making sure that I finished my morning routines. Then, I approached my collection of books on the shelf rather than doing some cyberspace surfing and connecting. I picked up one of my books that looks at Jung’s words on a theme, this particular book looking at what Jung had to say about mythology. Then, I opened the book at random and found these words:
” . . . the hero myth is an unconscious drama seen only in projection, like the happenings in Plato’s parable of the cave. The hero himself appears as a being of more than human stature. He is distinguished from the very beginning by his godlike characteristics. Since he is psychologically an archetype of the self, his divinity only confirms that the self is numinous, a sort of god, or having some share in the divine nature.” (Jung, CW 5, par 612)
This year two hummingbirds have been visiting the flowers in the garden. I did manage to capture this image even though the birds are quick to depart as soon as they sense the presence of someone approaching. It’s not much different than when I am trying to deal with the inner world.
The best I can do is to suggest what it means to me, for me. Even then, words don’t quite capture what I want to say in terms of images that are fleeting and almost hardly there at all. The word numinous is the best I can do. When I use the word numinous I am speaking of something that is spiritual, mysterious and awe-inspiring. If one thinks of the feeling that washes over one in a great cathedral in the midst of light and music and performance, one has been visited by something numinous, a touch of the divine.
At those moments when I find myself catching these fleeting magical moments, I am filled with an awareness of a spiritualism deep within. How do I recognize this? Well, it has to do with something resonating, a confirmation within.
And so, I continue to use the camera to capture images. And in looking at these images following the moment when something fleetingly catches my eye, I am often amazed at what I see in these images that had been hidden in plain sight. And these images then nourish my soul just like these flowers nourish the hummingbird.
With evening rains becoming a normal occurrence in the semi-arid region, I find myself taking a larger number of “puddle” photos as the images found within those puddles become a living alter world that draw one into a participation in the fantasy of those alter worlds. How is it that in “looking down” into a watery underworld, I see the sky, clouds and trees? In looking down, I am also looking up. There is something “deep” in this awareness, something that I need to think about for a while. While I am thinking, I want to share a few words about fantasy with you, words from Kahlil Gibran’s book, A Tear And A Smile:
“Life carries us hither and thither and destiny moves us from one place to another. We see not save the obstacle set in our path; neither do we hear save a voice that makes us to fear.
Beauty appears before us seated on her thrown of glory and we draw nigh. An in the name of longing do we defile her garment’s hem and wrest from her the crown of purity.
Love passes us by clothed in a robe of gentleness, and we are afraid and hide us in dark caves, or follow her and do evil things in her name.
. . .
Wisdom stands on the street corner and calls to us above the multitude, but we deem her a thing without worth and despise them that follow her.
. . .We are near to earth, yet the gods are our kin. We pass by the bread of life, and hunger feeds off our strength.
How sweet to us is life, and how fare we are from life!” (Gibran, “Fantasy and Truth,” A Tear And A Smile, pp 61-62)
I could have written more of these words here, but it is time for my words. I bought this little book in 1971, about two years after buying and reading Gibran’s book, The Prophet. After choosing today’s photo, for some reason I reached for A Tear And A Smile which has been sitting on my bookshelf untouched for almost forty years, and almost immediately found this passage. For me, it was a pulling together of quite a few of my thoughts posted here that have been following the innate spirituality of humanity and the presence of the Divine within.
I would imagine that few passing by the puddle posted above, would be drawn into its depths and find there life, beauty, love and wisdom. Looking at the photo, one might get confused by the wall of asphalt that borders the sky, and likely deny its presence as it doesn’t “fit” preconceived notions. Or else, what this puddle offers us in fantasy is rejected and dismissed as simply being a fuzzy reflection of reality found in an ordinary puddle. When one walks through life blind to the numinous on the edges of almost all that is seen, felt, heard, touched and scented, one is barren. One is left holding onto false truths, not even half-truths about who he or she is, about the purpose and meaning of life. And in anger for not finding a purpose and meaning for life, one denies, dissembles and destroys.
I know for myself, truth about who I am is found when I enter into the realms of fantasy. And there I find so much more than truth. Thank you, Kahlil Gibran for helping me to remember.
“Je pense, donc je suis” better known as “I think, therefore I am” “Cogito ergo sum” are words that are relatively famous, words spoken by René Decartes in 1637 about the time my ancestors were making their way to New France (Canada). This is the only truth any of us really knows, the fact of our own personal beingness. It is only through an emerging personal consciousness of “self” that the world and “otherness” begins to take shape. As one thinks the relationship to otherness expands and becomes: “I think, therefore I am, therefore you are, therefore God exists.” Without consciousness, there is nothing else.
“Incarnation thus understood becomes an alternate description of what Jung means by “the relativity of God” (Jung, 1921, pp. 242–244; 1954, p. 381). Put succinctly, Jung is contending that only in human consciousness can God become self-conscious and so relativized, at least, in relation to a God conceived as an absolute and transcendent self-sufficient divinity “wholly other” than the human (Jung, 1953, p. 11, n. 6). The “relativity of God,” thus understood, also provides the deepest meaning of human suffering. Relativization implies that divinity must divest itself of its transcendent remove and suffer in historical humanity the resolution of its unresolved eternally conflicted life. It is no wonder that Jung (1954) would write that “God wants to become man but not quite” (p. 456). Even for deity things were less painful in eternal but unconscious bliss. With the realization that the pain of becoming conscious is the same pain in the human and the divine, humanity has to face the fact that its deepest historical meaning and suffering is the redemption of God at the insistence of a God who creates human consciousness as the only locus in which the divine self-contradiction can be perceived and resolved.” (Dourley, “Jung and the Recall of the Gods”, Journal of Jungian Theory and Practice, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2006, pp 47-48)
This is actually quite an understatement for any conscious human (is there any other kind?). It seems the more we become aware, the more we suffer. This is why there is a real belief in the expression “ignorance is bliss.” I have often read the bible as well as a number of other books on religious thought, as well as listening and reading about other stories of creation. In each of these it is consciousness that marks the beginning of relationship, especially the relationship with self. Without consciousness, one “is” without awareness of self. In discovery of self, one then is able to discover others, an act of separation. Before consciousness, there is no separation between self and other, all just is. And this includes whatever it is that we call the Divine. The Divine, God, self and other – all enmeshed without consciousness. Too much here to think about, to wonder about for a small post. Perhaps more deserves to be said later.
“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” (Bible, Genesis 1)
The beginning – a darkness, a formless void – unconsciousness. And then there was light – a separation from the darkness – consciousness. The beginning begins with the dawn of consciousness. Think about it for a while. If not, this was not the beginning at all. How do we account for the creation of darkness, what came before consciousness? From whence this entity called God?