A student asked his Chinese master for a definition of the GOOD. The master replied,"If a man is JING (untranslatable Chinese term for a man or woman who is Whole, or Complete), he need not concern himself with the GOOD. He (she) IS GOOD."
Sunday, March 30, 2008
In becoming whole, you must start where you are, even if waking up only half an hour before your death. You don’t have to power your way through every step. All that is required is to make the unconscious conscious. You must learn to live your unlived life. Speaking it aloud to another human being – the ancient practice of confession – that is enough to redeem a sin. Of course, it is morally good and right to repair what you can in outer life, but psychically, the only requirement is that you become aware, put the opposites back together. As noted earlier, I am not referring to some indiscriminate wholeness, but rather your particular relationship to everything else. You become more whole by working through the specificity of your life, not by trying to evade or rise above the particulars of your life.
Posted by ruhljohnson at 8:37 PM
Max Lerner, in writing of his experience of two successive cancers followed by a heart attack, titled his illness narrative, Wrestling with the Angel. He began by wrestling with his disease, determined to emerge the victor. Lerner asserted a powerful will to survive, assembled his medical team like a field general preparing for war, and delighted in confounding the dire predictions of his doctors. But in the process of fighting his illness, this most active and assertive of patients also learned the limits of his own will. He came to realize that he was wrestling with unfathomable mysteries just as the Bible’s Jacob had wrestled with an angel. Reflecting upon this, Lerner wrote: As I looked out at the opposite bank, at the river and the tugs, it came to me that I no longer was sad about them, nor did I envy the people I saw. Instead I felt elated. I was part of them and they part of me, part of the same enterprise of life which flowed out of me into an indefinite future, as the river flowed ... When you learn transcendence not in the books but in the experience of a fight for life, it takes on a different meaning ... For myself, I find all sorts of things now --even “profane” things--to be sacred ... If I had to sum up in a phrase the difference my illness made in me, it would be that I have become the familiar of the sacral, and that every day of my life has learned to carry its own transcendence."
Posted by ruhljohnson at 7:56 PM
In serious illness, the limitations of willful control become apparent. One sees how precarious and arbitrary conscious constructions really are, how one’s plans, habits of personality, and the rules by which one lives can be washed away like sand castles. Yet the suffering ego is capable of building bridges to unseen shores and thereby can consciously participate in the incarnation of a mystery, recognize a continuity, and perceive a connectedness. This involves mythic experience and the spiritual realm.
Posted by ruhljohnson at 7:53 PM
Friday, March 28, 2008
“WE MUST BE ABLE TO LET THINGS HAPPEN IN THE PSYCHE. FOR US, THIS IS AN ART OF WHICH MOST PEOPLE KNOW NOTHING. CONSCIOUSNESS IS FOREVER INTERFERING, HELPING, CORRECTING AND NEGATING, NEVER LEAVING THE PSYCHIC PROCESSES TO GROW IN PEACE…OBSERVING OBJECTIVELY HOW A FRAGMENT OF FANTASY DEVELOPS. NOTHING COULD BE SIMPLER, AND YET RIGHT HERE THE DIFFICULTIES BEGIN. APPARENTLY ONE HAS NO FANTASY, OR, YES THERE’S ONE, BUT IT IS TOO STUPID. DOZENS OF GOOD REASONS ARE BROUGHT AGAINST IT. ONE CANNOT CONCENTRATE, IT IS TOO BORING, WHAT WOULD COME OF IT ANYWAY, IT IS ‘NOTHING BUT’ THIS OR THAT. THE CONSCIOUS MIND RAISES INNUMERABLE OBJECTIONS.” (C.G. JUNG, SECRET OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER, PAR 20)
Posted by ruhljohnson at 4:52 PM
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life--daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct .... These tasks, and therefore the meaning of life, differ from man to man, and from moment to moment .... Questions about the meaning of life can never be answered by sweeping statements .... No man and no destiny can be compared with any other man and any other destiny .... His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.
Posted by ruhljohnson at 3:25 PM