By Steven Bancarz| Dreaming was an extremely important part of the Native Culture. It was woven deep into their tradition and their spiritual practice. Children would be taught to remember their dreams from an early age so that they could decode them and extract guidance from them. But wh
From the most ancient times, human beings have practiced disciplines of psychospiritual transformation with devoted energy and intention. Modern systems of psychotherapy are the inheritors of three great traditions of transformation, in which the human is seen as engaged in purposive processes of exploration and integration in many realms of consciousness. In this essay I describe some of the common methods used, as well as the major metaphors for transformation.1
One possible definition of shamanism is that it is the disciplined approach to what has been variously called "non-ordinary reality", "the sacred", "the mystery", "the supernatural", "the inner world(s)", or "the otherworld".
Psychologically speaking, one could say these expressions refer to realms of consciousness that lie outside the boundaries of our usual and ordinary perception. The depth psychologies derived from psychoanalysis refer to such normally inaccessible realms as "the unconscious", or "the collective unconscious". This would, however, be too limiting a definition for shamanism, if "unconscious" is taken to refer to something within the individual, i.e. intrapsychic. Shamanic practice involves the exploration not only of unknown aspects of our own psyche, but also the unknown aspects of the world around us, - the external as well as internal mysteries.
There are three traditional systems of consciousness... (Click title for more)
"Crazy" . . . In the presence of environmental horrors, the word leaps to mind. Depleting the ozone is "crazy," killing off the rhinos is "crazy," destroying rain forests is "crazy." Our gut feeling is immediate, the judgment made with vehemence. "Crazy" is a word freighted with strong emotion. Inflicting irreversible damage on the biosphere might seem to be the most obvious kind of craziness. But when we turn to the psychiatric literature of the modern Western world, we find no such category as ecological madness. The American Psychiatric Association lists more than 300 mental diseases in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Among the largest of DSM categories is sex... (click title for more)
Via Bonnie Bright
Wounded Healer: An archetypal dynamic that may be constellated in an analytic relationship.
This term derives from the legend of Asclepius, a Greek doctor who in recognition of his own wounds established a sanctuary at Epidaurus where others could be healed of their ‘wounds’.
Those seeking to be cured went through a process called incubation. First they had a cleansing bath, thought to have a purifying effect on the soul as well as the body. Uncontaminated by the body, the soul was free to commune with the gods. After preliminary sacrificial offerings, the incubants lay on a couch and went to sleep. If they were lucky, they had a healing dream; if they were luckier, a snake came in the night and bit them.
The wounded healer archetype can be schematized by a variation of the diagram used by Jung to illustrate the lines of communication in a relationship...(click title for more)
amandaseesdreams:Please enjoy this wonderful post from Fran Kramer that speaks to the importance of witnessing and honoring the sacred energy found in the body, meditation and in dreams….basically, all of my favorite things!
"My purpose tonight in speaking is to suggest that the re-inclusion of the ancient world view expressed in the American Indian statement "all my relations" is precisely our greatest hope for the future, ecologically and psychologically. I'll say a little bit about the situation we are in. I would describe it as nothing less than imminent global catastrophe. Ecocide if you will. As a species we are destroying our life support systems. The air is becoming increasingly unbreathable. The hole in the ozone grows larger. Water becomes undrinkable, the oceans are dying, the soil is eroded and turning non-arable. Toxic nuclear waste is leaking into all three elements just mentioned from unthinking, short sighted attempts to harness the fourth element, fire. No one escapes the daily recitation of the facts of planetary destruction in the media. They are voluminous. But whether it is the loss of a hundred species to our ecosystem a day or the destruction of old growth forests equal to the area of Pennsylvania each year or even the information that due to pesticides sperm counts of American males today are 50% that of their grandfathers, we seem to respondto these facts with...(Click title for more)
Via Bonnie Bright, Mary Trainor-Brigham
“ The Huichol Natives live in Mexico and are still honoring their traditions which were never infiltrated by the Spanish conquistadors. The are the only group of Natives that are still practicing the...”
Via Mary Trainor-Brigham
Joan Chodorow, dance therapist, analyst and analyst member of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco combed through volumes of Jung’s writings and lectures to bring us this collection of Jung’s writings on Active Imagination. Fascinating for me was the insight into the many different names Jung used for this process – transcendent function, picture method, active fantasy, active phantasying, trancing, visioning, exercises, dialectical method, technique of differentiation, technique of introversion, introspection and technique of the descent – before settling on the term Active Imagination.
Chodorow introduces the topic, beginning with Jung’s ‘Confrontation with the Unconscious’, following his break with Freud in 1912/1913. During this period Jung entered a period of disorientation and intense inner turmoil:
“He suffered from lethargy and fears; his moods threatened to overwhelm him. He had to find a way, a method to heal himself from within. Since he didn’t know what to do, he decided to engage with the impulses and images of the unconscious.” (p.1)...(Click title for more....)
THE ancient myths are not dead; they live on in the stories people tell about their own lives.
While the old gods do not show up by name, they are there in spirit, in the struggles and triumphs that people depict as the key episodes in their lives.
New work by psychological researchers shows that in telling their life stories, people invent a personal myth, a tale that, like the myths of old, explains the meaning and goals of their lives. In doing so, they match - quite unwittingly - the characters and themes that are found in the old myths.
For example, one research subject, Tom H., depicted his life story as a saga in which he was a warrior like the Greek god Ares. Tom found himself in constant battle -with other children, relatives and people in authority. The main struggle of his life... (Click title to keep reading)
We are still accepting a cultural value that annihilates the Earth. If we don't change, we are going to our own extinction. This is precisely what addicts do.
NR: You have said we have to overcome our addictions before we can connect to nature. Does our refusal to confront our addictions lead directly to our destruction of Mother Earth?
MW: I think so, yes. As children many of us feel a deep connection to Her. But our culture warps our natural instincts. That warping leads to addictions. But there’s a suicidal drive in the addicted individual and in the addicted society. Our planet is coming up against the wall.
Yet, despite all the horrors we have created, we are still doing precisely what we know will be ultimately destructive. Denial! Denial! We are still accepting a cultural value that annihilates the Earth. If we don’t change, we are going to our own extinction. This is precisely what addicts do. Addicts—in other words most of our society—pretend there’s nothing wrong. As they laugh and talk and plan, they deny their dying souls. That’s what we’re doing to the planet. We fight about things that won’t matter if we are extinct... (click title for more)
In 1973, Norwegian philosopher and mountaineer Arne Naess introduced the phrase “deep ecology” to environmental literature. Environmentalism had emerged as a popular grassroots political movement in the 1960s with the publication of Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring. Those already involved in conservation and preservation efforts were now joined by many others concerned about the detrimental environmental effects of modern industrial technology. The longer-range, older originators of the movement included writers and activists like Henry David Thoreau, John Muir and Aldo Leopold; more mainstream awareness was closer to the “wise-use” conservation philosophy pioneered by Gifford Pinchot. In 1972, Naess made a presentation in Bucharest at the Third World Future Research Conference. In his talk, he discussed the longer-range background of the ecology movement and its concern with an ethic respecting nature and the inherent worth of other beings. As a mountaineer who had climbed all over the world, Naess had enjoyed the opportunity to observe ... (Click title for more)
Via Bonnie Bright
“ ... and what the soul is, alsoI believe I will never quite know.Though I play at the edges of knowing,truly I knowour part is not knowing,but looking, and touching, and loving,which is the way I walked on ...-- Mary Oliver, Bone Post-Jungian James...”
Via John Halstead, Mary Trainor-Brigham
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