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The transformative powers of artistic expression are found in diving into the depths as well as the reflections of its surfaces.
In this time of activity-driven approaches, interventions and evidence-based protocols, how do we help individuals not only find reparation, but also find wellness through exploring the deeper terrain within the human experience?
According to Shaun McNiff, the arts are one pathway and the media of depth psychology. His seminal book, Depth Psychology of Art, written nearly thirty years ago, reminds us that art making is not only a manifestation of the psyche, it is also "a deep and psychologically intelligent process" that occurs with spontaneity and surprisingly transformative outcomes.
And paradoxically, as McNiff notes, depth is also on the surface of creation, a more immediate reflection of what is... (Click title for more)
Special thanks to Jane Johnston for the cover art, a ritual Mandala entitled “Surrender.” Jane writes:
Jung observed mandalas, or sacred circles, depicted in art worldwide are representations of the self, and that drawing these circles assist in the containment and integration of life events.
Engaging in a deep inquiry requires a large container, and a year long meditation of painting a sacred mandala while holding a particular question is challenging, surprising, healing, truthful, connective and transformational. This form of self inquiry disrupts binaries, deepens self-awareness, and knowledge of the relationships between all things is gained allowing for a more realized wholeness.
The mandala is structured in such as way as to allow the painter access into progressively deeper levels of awareness, consciously moving through personal obstacles/defences. Both the inner and the outer world is engaged... (click title for more
Nobody on their deathbed says "I wish I'd spent more time at the office." Take off your masks. Live, the time is now.
MOYERS: But aren’t many visionaries and even leaders and heroes close to the edge of neuroticism?
CAMPBELL: Yes, they are. Tête à Tête
MOYERS: How do you explain that?
CAMPBELL: They’ve moved out of the society that would have protected them, and into the dark forest, into the world of fire, of original experience. Original experience has not been interpreted for you, and so you’ve got to work out your life for yourself. Either you can take it or you can’t. You don’t have to go far off the interpreted path to find yourself in very difficult situations. The courage to face the trials and to bring a whole new body of possibilities into the field of interpreted experience for other people to experience – that is the hero’s deed.
CAMPBELL: The reference of the metaphor in religious traditions is to something transcendent that is not literally any thing. If you think that the metaphor is itself the reference, it would be like going to a restaurant, asking for the menu, seeing beefsteak written there, and starting to eat the menu.... (Click title for more)
In 1994 in the Ardeche region of France, three explorers pulled rocks away from a tiny opening at the base of a cliff and opened the door to another world. Inside the deepest recesses of what turned out to be a 1300-foot long cave were remarkable images of animals painted there by humans living 30,000 years ago (Herzog, 2010).
The images are remarkable in their style and beauty, virtually perfectly preserved in the near airtight conditions of the cave. Lions, bears, bison, reindeer, mammoth, rhinoceroses and other beings line the walls in almost three-dimensional form, many captured in dynamic action--hooves raised, mouths, open, legs bent midstride--as if they were living beings.
Today, it is easy to take language for granted. The majority of the civilized world both reads and writes, allowing communication in very specific topic and form. But what is it to “have language”--be linguistic creatures? What would life... (Click title to continue reading)