Friday, May 15, 2009

With Friends of Jung


:: friends of carl jung ::

Tonight's lecture by James Hollis, a long time favorite of this Jungian congregation, is another one of those I'll keep mulling over, thinking back on. This was the last lecture of a memorable season, so I'll go the extra mile and toss up some pictures. Sleep first though. It's been a long day in River City.

I was interested in his rap about casinos, highlighting Atlantic City and Las Vegas as the giant destination spots, compared to Orlando, New York City or even Mecca.

I'd imagine that has something to do with the high repeat visit rate. You go to Mecca maybe once in a lifetime, whereas visiting a casino easily becomes a habit, especially for those within commuting distance.

His points were non-judgmental in that the entire tangible reality may be considered so much "myst" i.e. "bling" (translating from "vanity" in the King James version of Ecclesiastes, which he compared to the Iraqis' Gilgamesh -- older yet, and with similar teachings).

Like most Jungians, he had a kind of "ego puppet", a character he'd bring out in his stories, a whiner and complainer eliciting laughter from the audience. We mostly consider the ego a bumbler and stumbler in this western creation myth.

The deeper mysteries, the divinities, needn't be ego-friendly.

We need to keep limber and not let the semi-paralysis of fear dictate our decisions, such that fear sucks all the life out of living. Obedience to fear gods (and goddesses) is a big part of life, true, but remember your calling and use the 2nd half of life to repair to your center and live from your soul.

By 2nd half of life, he didn't mean chronologically. Whenever you're able to gain that observational space within which you observe how your infantile reflexes are your own biggest obstacle sometimes, that's an example of "2nd half" living (paradoxically, we may experience more of this as children, "grow out of it" as adults).

He also spoke very intelligently about the gift that "otherness" brings, precisely this otherness -- and so the power to kindle transformation in self awareness.

Certainly this is true for me: I've learned the hardest, best stuff in workouts with friends (both physical and metaphysical), an unfolding process, not a one time affair.