Archive for the ‘Guilt’ tag
I have to admit that I haven’t been doing as well as I thought since the day my mother died. I had thought that I was prepared for her death knowing that it was coming and having had a week-long visit with her in order to say our good-byes. It took four days for the tears to finally come and allow the pressure to ease up.
I descended into a darkness. I felt an intense guilt about still being alive even though it seemed a part of me had died; it was almost as if the creative inner force within me, my very soul had died. I wanted to disappear, forever, into that darkness. I was forgetting to breathe. A vise had seized my lower stomach and was squeezing for all it was worth and all I wanted was for it to stop, for stop to the pressure and pain.
But, I was not alone through this. My good wife was there as well. It is not easy being with one who is often not in this world. That we were on holidays, whose dates were of our choosing more than a month ago, when my mother died was yet another blessing though it tainted the idea of this being a holiday. I didn’t have to bury feeling even more while I would have gone through the motions of teaching. I had a time, space and place to go through this process.
Meditating at least twice a day while here in the Philippines, having adopted this routine of a morning meditation on the balcony and an afternoon meditation in a secluded beach location where the sound of the waves add to the meditative experience, has provided me no small measure of additional release. Now, with this post, it feels as though there has been a shift and I am now emerging out of the darkness.
Today’s photos were taken by my wife. The scene is a cliff-side cave quite a distance south from where we are staying. The rock was hard and sharp, but for some reason, this was okay. At least it let me know that once again, I can feel.
This photo was taken in a local church a few weeks ago. In reading the essay on spirituality and modern man, I thought it appropriate that one of the modern men of history was represented here. Jesus left the ground of the collective to open up a doorway to the future through being fully present during his time. He became the carrier of guilt for the collective. And in the process, a new myth was created, one in which humanity was given a new set of traditions that allowed people to unconscious in a more modern framework.
“An honest admission of modernity means voluntarily declaring oneself bankrupt, taking vows of poverty and chastity in a new sense, and – what is still more painful – renouncing the halo of sanctity which history bestows. Te be “unhistorical” is the Promethean sin, and in this sense the modern man is sinful. A higher level of consciousness is like a burden of guilt.” (Jung, The Spiritual Problem of Modern Man, Modern Man in Search of Soul, 1933)
Well, I don’t know about anyone else, but I am not ready to give up eating healthily, having access to you through this medium or having someplace secure to hold my bed. As for giving up the pleasures of sexual union? Not very likely. I might be getting older, but I still find the act of making love to be a taste of heaven.
As I read this chapter, I worry about how Jung’s words might be influencing my thinking about “modern man.” Before getting too far into the chapter I thought that I was perhaps somewhat along the path towards this destination. But now, how can I trust myself with what Jung says? I know that I am not a saint nor will I ever be a saint no matter how “saint-like” I have tried to be throughout most of my life. Yet, to claim to be a “sinner” and to “renounce the halo of sanctity” can be a back-handed way of asserting that I am a modern man. Sometimes I think that this journey should be made in a state of intellectual innocence.
And how does all of this influence you? Do my words and Jung’s words pull at you and tempt you to see yourself as a modern man or modern woman? I know Jung’s words tempt me, a temptation no less than that suffered by Jesus near the end of his time. Yet, in denying, do I do this out of some false humility, some sort of sneaky trick in order to have others proclaim me a modern man? It is too easy for me to become swelled with self-proclaimed importance, even if no one agrees with any such claim I would dare to make. And so I think that perhaps I should have left well enough alone and sat still here in silence leaving all of this left unsaid.