Currents of the Spirit

The yogis call this one unified essence Shiva. The force of creation within this absolute is the Divine Feminine

I am beginning to weave together some of the many lines of thinking that have been creating forward movement in my life. Comprehension along the way requires deliberate effort, and while we may understand how a particular device operates, or how a mathematical formula represents a physical law, comprehension of a creative process or a complex idea like consciousness, while attempting to unravel how its many facets come together in a conscious, creative result, and how the many elements of that human experience of consciousness come together, requires an even more deliberate and persistent effort.

We may feel at some point that we have apprehended some fundamental grasp of these elements, but not have any clear idea of how to express them. Comprehension does not, in every case, lend itself to an articulation of what has been comprehended. It is an essential element of the creative process to work out these details, and then to share with the world-at-large in a way that can lead others to comprehend as well.

The intuitions of forward movement in my life are of some concern for me presently. There is a fair amount of mental and emotional confusion accompanying my life of late, and it feels entirely possible that movement, in the form of “currents of the spirit,” underneath the surface of my phenomenal existence, is influencing awareness.

Maura Holden : Painting from the Hypersea of Spirit Maura Holden, born in Pennsylvania in 1967, is emerging as one of the most powerful and interesting visionary or sacred artists of the present time. Combining both excellent draftsmanship with a lucid sense of colour, Maura depicts the secret vistas of the collective psyche.

The words flow out of me at times, and yet, often fall short of the actual feelings. The urgency of the feelings can be overwhelming, often containing great power within me. There are no set parameters within which I can predictably operate, nor can I easily determine always the breadth of my responses to the intuitive nature of the feelings. As is often the case, these feelings seem right in my heart and mind, but do not in every case make sense to me in the context of my daily life. The disparity between what is taking place within me, and the events of the world around me, is often puzzling.

While there is much that is yet to unravel for me, I am now beginning to sense more vividly the undercurrents of the spirit at work within me. It has not been, at every moment, an especially pleasant experience, but I am oddly reassured by this realization. The sense of a spirit within me is strong, and when there is movement within me, I quite often am fully aware that it is active at that moment. It has provided many illuminating and enriching experiences, but I have also had to endure some fairly intense emotional pain as a result of this awareness. My heightened sense of empathy toward others has brought me to make contact with and to be drawn toward certain individuals, who appear to me to be in need of some sort of compensatory movement in their lives, and interacting with them has resulted in both the achievement of balance and the rewards of success, as well as anxiety resulting from my inability to achieve momentum, or from interventions that had an adverse effect. Having a capacity for empathy does not come with a guarantee that I will always know what to do with such a profound connection to others.

Empathy IV by Helenka

I have struggled long and hard to engage certain other spirits with whom I feel this profound connection. My initial instincts have consistently led me to these individuals over the years, and in nearly every case, there is a clear response to my empathetic efforts, but occasionally no clear resolution of the circumstances. I generally have no trouble discerning how I feel, but sometimes become frustrated by my inability to engage these others. Several times, I have begun badly, or been misunderstood, or expressed myself poorly, and the results have been unsettling to say the least. Even in cases where I have had good effects on the lives of others, the progress I have made has come at a heavy price.

There is still much more for me to learn, but I feel strongly that I am on the path. Interactions with others have always been at the heart of my best and worst moments, but I feel fortunate to have gained in perspective over the years, and hope that I can begin again to move forward on the path of reconciliation.

Our Secret Wish For Life

Well established artist, Kathy Ostman-Magnusen lives in Hawaii where she expresses her life passion through painting and sculpture.

Our Secret Wish For Life

There is a beauty rising in my dreams.
Her face is pure joy; her heart is still mending.
She gives all she is without restraint.
The child within me runs to her
As I cry out my tears,
And hope to feel the softness
In her heart as it beats
Against my ear in our embrace.

My heart aches in time with hers;
The pain is shared as I tremble
To the rhythmic beat,
And deeply inhale the scent
Which accompanies the soothing sigh
Of her loving arms around me.
I dare not speak or move;
I do not want this moment to end.

In my dreams, the world is hidden
Beyond our desires, beyond our limits–
There is an infinite bounty of love
And perpetual longing to satisfy;
We cannot know what every dream contains.
Only fly through the possible absurdities
Until the moment we awaken and realize–
The dream is our secret wish for life.

© May 2012 by JJHIII

Darkness and Light

Life recently has brought me to contemplate the aspects of life in its moments of what we often describe as “darkness,” which we all experience in one way or another if we attend faithfully to the opening of the world within us. All my life, I have been periodically experiencing this darkness, this opposing aspect of my inner life, and like many of us, have been attempting to avoid it whenever possible. To this day, I often lean toward avoiding the sometimes unpleasant realities that accompany my secret longings and moments of despair or sadness, acting in ways that refrain from provoking unpleasantness most of the time. I tend to suppress my longings in my daily existence, contenting myself with the relegation of them to a rich fantasy life, certain that engaging them in full would undoubtedly obliterate whatever degree of sanity I possess. I do not reject the dark night–I simply endure it silently.

In an article by M. Holden, “Light Who Loves Her Sister Darkness,” she advises us not to “reject” the night and hope for a life led completely “in the light,” as there are “as many ways to be lost in the light as in the dark,” and she reminds us, “Since day and night contain the seeds of one another, there is no darkness unrelieved by the coming dawn, and no stark, sun-ridden day without her stash of mystery.”

And yet, the darkness seems so unappealing, the unknown so frightening at times, and the uncertainty of it all, at times, so maddening. The reference in the article to what Jung described as “The Shadow,” sent me back to my reference section containing Jung’s “Aion: Phenomenology of the Self,” to re-read the section on the archetypes and their characteristics as elements of the “collective unconscious.” The nature of the shadow, “can be inferred,” Jung suggests, “from the contents of the personal unconscious,” and “involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real…They have an emotional nature, a kind of autonomy, and accordingly an obsessive, or, better, possessive quality.”

M. Holden makes the further point that “The light of consciousness inevitably casts a shadow, as does sunlight in the natural world,” and she astutely notes that “For every thing that consciousness enlightens, it darkens something else.” We tend to attribute light with “goodness,” and to see the dark as “bad,” but in fact, “this darkened, fertile part of ourselves has much to teach us.”

Jung quite often addressed the contrasts of light and darkness in his writings, and as M. Holden pointed out, he agreed that “…we subdue the chaotic, uncontrollable elements of the natural world at the price of its fertility, just as we cast out the darkness in ourselves at the price of our own wholeness.” Jung found his interests in psychiatry and noted in his autobiography that among his friends, he encountered only resistance to the subject–a curious, hard resistance that amazed him, and wrote, “I had the feeling that I had pushed to the brink of the world; what was of burning interest to me was null and void for others, and even a cause of dread.” My own inclinations align more closely with philosophy, while being passionately interested in the cognitive science of consciousness. At the heart of the challenges in bringing these ideas together, is not so much the resistance that Jung spoke of, as it is the element of uncertainty, which is only truly possible to dispel and experience subjectively. There are certain aspects of human consciousness that can only be verified “experientially,” but not tested “empirically,” and there are also empirical studies being undertaken which can cast “light” on the subject of consciousness, that are not experienced directly. It is my belief, that when combined, these sometimes disparate elements could very well produce a more encompassing view.

“Without the darkness of the storm, the sun can call nothing to life.” – M. Holden.

There is no way I can get to where I need to go without finding out where that is. My heart and mind tell me I am not there presently. I seem to find my footing for only brief periods, and even stand occasionally in the light from the distant star which is my destination. I see it in my dreams; I feel it in the swelling of emotion in my heart; I sense it in the longings that won’t go away; I hear it in the strains of music which touch me deeply for reasons difficult to articulate; it pours forth from me as I write passionately in moments of inspiration; it is buried deep within me, and it is as distant as the light from the heavens.