To Everything…There is a Season

time enemy

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

Time is my enemy now. Not only does it often seem to be in short supply when the work of writing begins for me, but over the years, it has been so heavy-laden with intrusions which divert me from the task, that many times, I have found myself near despair. Recently, I have only been able to manage short bursts of productive effort, and with all the chaos of late, I have been so frequently interrupted by a host of other considerations, it seems amazing to me that I’ve accomplished anything at all.

Modern technology has made great strides since the time I began this work, and I have been fortunate to have access to materials and resources that have helped me to make even the meager progress I have managed so far. With only a very limited budget over the years, and many competing priorities for the funds that were available, it has only recently become possible to acquire the tools needed to truly begin to construct a comprehensive summary of what has occupied me for more than thirty years now. At first, much of the work was recorded on hand-written loose-leaf papers, and whatever else I could get my hands on. Unfortunately, many of my original papers have been lost after moving and all the various changes which occurred in those years. However, I was able to preserve the core elements of the writings in the subsequent revisions and copies which I recorded in a series of paper-bound journals that I kept relentlessly during that time.

In recent years, as I was able to acquire a computer and access to the digital world, I was able to preserve and store the accumulating documents on compact discs, along with the many photos which were taken during the early days of my struggle to come to terms with the extraordinary events which led to my ongoing investigations. This blog represents my best efforts to gather the materials from my research and writing, and to make some kind of sense of it all.

Secret Double Magritte
Secret Double by Magritte

“If a man sits down to think, he is immediately asked if he has a headache.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson from a journal entry in 1833

In the autumn of 1973, I experienced what C.G. Jung described as “an eruption of unconscious contents,” which led me to create a document entitled, “The Beginning, The Foundation, The Entrance.” Although I did not recognize it as such at the time, I have gradually come to view the experience as a pivotal event in my life, and I have spent much of the time since it occurred attempting to decipher the meaning contained in the document. The bulk of the document’s contents remained poorly understood by me for many years afterwards, and only in recent years have I finally begun to comprehend it more fully, and to begin to place it in a broader perspective. Magritte’s image above seemed an appropriate illustration of what felt like an agonizing struggle to reveal the inner workings of the process, which I subsequently engaged in attempting to discover what it was that erupted from within me.

Reviewing the cryptic writing in this document has always been problematical for me, as doing so not only reminded me of how it came into existence, but also of how much I struggled to make some kind of sense out of what initially seemed like a “stream of unconsciousness.” Over the years, even though the opportunities to spend time on the writing have been far fewer than my own inclinations would have provided, I have devoted every available temporal and mental resource in the service of enhancing my understanding of both the experience itself, and of the content in the original document. My temporal life during this time, all too often, “pushed” active pursuit of my goals to “another day.” Forced to find ways of getting to the research, I resorted to recording my incremental progress and my relevant observations in those journals, which at least provided a consistent location where I could continue to work as time permitted.

collective unconscious

According to the famous Swiss psychiatrist and scholar, C.G. Jung:

In addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature, there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually, but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents. It is man’s task to become conscious of the contents that press upward from the unconscious.”

After several exposures to what Jung described as “unconscious contents,” in my early twenties, it became apparent to me that a greater comprehension of my own cognitive processes was necessary if I was ever going to come to terms with the inexplicable nature of these extraordinary personal experiences. The learning process has engaged my own consciousness in ways that have been both rewarding and challenging. In the coming months, it is my goal to organize and communicate this process, as a means of formalizing a theory which will summarize and bring together all of the many pathways which I have been traveling these many years.

To all of the many wonderful readers and visitors here, I extend my best wishes for much success to you all in the coming year……

The Life of the Individual

a man alone

http://sonhonosonho.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/euridice/

“The great events of world history are, at bottom, profoundly unimportant. In the last analysis, the essential thing is the life of the individual. This alone makes history; here alone do the great transformations first take place, and the whole future, the whole history of the world, ultimately spring as a gigantic summation from these hidden sources in individuals.” – C.G.Jung, 1934

Recent events in my life have shaken me to the core. In spite of all my efforts to come to terms with my very human nature, and to understand and appreciate more fully the human experience, I still struggle to comprehend it all. Even in view of what might be described as a degree of progress toward a greater understanding, my life as an individual continues to require additional reflection and contemplation, in order to approach the transformation that Jung addressed in the quote above.

fig18baby3.5mos

Our individual lives are, to some degree, a mirror of the development of all life on this planet. Our beginnings are microscopic; our progression as a fetus in the womb has many of the features and developmental qualities of the life forms which existed prior to the emergence of our own species; our development from a child into adulthood is marked by sequential growth through physiological stages, levels of consciousness, accumulation of knowledge, and sophistication through experience. With only a little effort, one could draw many parallels from our individual growth as a person, to that of our collective development from a primitive, upright mammal to modern Homo sapiens. I also feel strongly that the metaphor could be extended to the generations of advancement in human consciousness, which in many ways has accounted for our continued survival as a species.

mayan-pyramids

Looking at the events in the march of humanity from ancient times demonstrates a progression that could be compared to the maturation of a human child into adulthood. Two-thousand years ago the Mayans built pyramids in Mexico and Central America and developed their own version of a hieroglyphic writing system, mathematics, and a functional calendar.

kumtura
http://en.hellochina.com/archives/category/beautiful-china/historical-sites/page/10

More than a thousand years ago, Buddhist worshipers dug by hand the caves of Kumtura in Western China, hoping to attain advancement in the next life, painting elaborate portraits of the bodhisattvas on domes constructed in the shrines.

ANASAZI

Seven hundred years ago, tens of thousands of Anasazi Indians practiced ancestral religious rituals on the Colorado plateau, suddenly abandoning their cliff dwellings around 1300 A.D., leaving behind symbolic artwork on the sheer rock walls.

girl-frozen-for-500-years

As recently as five hundred years ago, in the Peruvian Andes, a young teenage girl was ritually sacrificed on the summit of Ampato as an act of worship to the “mountain gods.” Slowly, the world of the ancients started to unravel and the ancient models of Aristotle and Ptolemy eventually gave way to the heliocentric solar system of Copernicus, the laws of planetary motion of Kepler, and the gravitational theory of Newton. This momentous revolution in human awareness brought with it an upheaval of almost every long-held conception of cause and effect in the world. Humanity began to re-evaluate their individual experiences in relation to these changes, turning away from age-old mythologies as a means of coming to terms with the inexplicable, setting the stage for the accelerating momentum towards a more comprehensive perspective.

language-and-writing

http://robinsafblibraryblog.com/2012/08/09/homework-help-language-writing/

In virtually every culture in the world people have progressed socially and gained psychologically from the individual perspective achieved through introspection. Once Homo sapiens acquired this capacity, they began to see themselves as part of a much larger and more expansive world. They started painting images on cave walls, indicating a growing comprehension of who they were, and developing a whole range of skills which enhanced their survival. Over thousands of years, as our comprehension grew, so too did our ability to gain from a greater understanding of ourselves. Once writing and formal grammatical language became commonplace, and humans had a way of expressing this understanding, the awakening to an inner world of thought provided the foundation for the many great intellectual achievements of human history.

Some of the greatest minds in that history, from the ancient world of Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato, through the epoch of Newton, Galileo, Da Vinci, and Shakespeare, all the way through to the modern world of Descartes, Darwin, Emerson, and Einstein, not only embraced the value of introspection, but also left us a record of the results of their contemplation in volumes of notebooks and journals which are rich in the benefits gleaned from their individual “self-reflection.”

Through the acquisition of self-knowledge and the nurturing of our inner worlds, we can attune ourselves to the realm of what can be, and through determined effort, eventually create an environment conducive to shaping future events. In this way, each individual contributes to the currents that steer them, and that is our doorway to tomorrow.