This is the essence of what I learned from Dr. Carl Jung: Listen to your interior intelligence, take it seriously, stay true to it, and -- most importantly -- approach it with a religious attitude. The psychological term for this is individuation, discovering the uniqueness of yourself, finding out what are and are not. It is your particular relationship to everything else. You get to the whole only by working through the particularity of your life, not by trying to evade or rise above it. This is a truly religious life.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
A friend recently reported a dream:
I am in a house, perhaps a house of worship. Some nice people are somewhere in this house. Jordis Ruhl (recently deceased) and "her mother" enter the house. It is now my house. Jordis says she wants some clothes to wear. She looks good, though shorter now. A good figure, I think. I tell her that I am surprised that she wants clothes, and I apologize that there is not much of her stuff left, just spring clothes. She chooses some accessories such as belts, scarves and jewelry. I again express surprise that she would want these things, since I thought she was in a spiritual form now. She says, "Oh, no. I have a real body, and I still want pretty clothes." I wonder why I was not told about this new type of body that exists after death. We would most certainly want to know about this. End of dream.
Death is such a mystery. We are not designed to fully comprehend it, perhaps. As another friend advises, "Our minds slip over it, as if the idea were Teflon coated."
Death brings up profound questions. Where does the profound richness of life go when someone dies? Does it dissipate into darkness? Our dreams suggest otherwise. The deep psyche shows no signs of ending with physical death. We die, and we do not die. When the dew drop falls into the ocean, it is no longer a dew drop, but is it gone?
Posted by ruhljohnson at 3:55 PM
Sacrifice is an important concept for anyone interested in leading a religious life, but most people today seem to think that sacrifice means giving something up, such as candy at Lent. This is how shallow our religious sense has become. Sacrifice really involves the art of drawing energy from one level and reinvesting it at another level to produce a higher form of consciousness.
Learning the value of meaningful sacrifice is not the same as denying pleasure or practicing asceticism. There is a wonderful saying from the Judaic tradition suggesting that every legitimate joy you deny yourself on earth will be denied you in heaven. This speaks to the false spirituality of asceticism. Trading in one thing to get something better is not a spiritual act at all; in fact, it is highly egocentric. You shouldn't make a sacrifice in hopes of getting something back from God. I see many people who pray so that God will make things to the way they would like, or go to church to achieve some social standing or some other worldly goal. This is not sacrifice. A sacrifice should be suffered simply because it is necessary for the transformation of consciousness -- to get beyond the wishes of your ego, not to satisfy those wishes in some backhanded way.
Posted by ruhljohnson at 3:45 PM
What is the greatest wonder? That death comes yet man lives each day as if he were immortal. Death does not exist. The wind of life flows from the infinite. The infinite drinks death. When death itself is destroyed, one contemplates infinity. -- Krishna's advice to Arjuna in The Mahabharata
Posted by ruhljohnson at 3:40 PM