Mythopoetic Imagination

“My soul, my soul, where are you? Do you hear me? I speak, I call you–are you there? I have returned, I am here again. I have shaken the dust of all the lands from my feet, and I have come to you, I am with you. After long years of long wandering, I have come to you again….

Do you still know me? How long the separation lasted! Everything has become so different. And how did I find you? How strange my journey was! What words should I use to tell you on what twisted paths a good star has guided me to you? Give me your hand, my almost forgotten soul. How warm the joy at seeing you again, you long disavowed soul. Life has led me back to you. … My soul, my journey should continue with you. I will wander with you and ascend to my solitude.” – Carl Jung – The Black Book

“Now let me dare to open wide the gate / Past which men’s steps have ever flinching trod.” – Goethe

Carl Jung used mythopoetic imagination to describe his inner explorations of his unconscious mind. This term was coined by Jung. Humanity has a rich heritage and history of mythopoetic writing. What is it? From Liber Primus of Liber Novus: Seeking Visions in the Desert, “I wanted the proof of a living Spirit and I got it.  Don’t ask me at what price.”  I have been studying Jung’s experience, tracing my own over his. I think it is a path within all can and will walk. Jung says in The Black Book, “And I found you again only through the soul of the woman.”

I can only say, I too found my soul again through the soul of a woman. Fitting to share such a synchronicity with the man who coined the word “synchronicity”. His story is my story and my story is your story and yours is mine. Round and round we go. Do we believe all the other stories about us or do we write our own? This is what led me to Jung. Here is a man who has obviously asked himself the hardest questions. He looked in the darkest corners of his own soul and the collective soul of humanity. I see sincerity and life in his writings. He explored the Anima and Animus, Eros and Logos, and the mystery of their conjunction. It is incredible what he has given us through his lucid transcription of what he said are his visions, not contrived, spontaneous visions from nowhere. In a world gone mad with reason, can there still be room for such experience? We must always make room.

Jung found the doorway to vision.  Later in life he called it “Active Imagination.” What did he do, what happened to him?  And what is mythopoetic imagination? Is it delusion, or the doorway to a lost dimension of reality? Is it ultimately subjective, or a reality collectively manifest in human experience? Through the lens of history and our personal experience, using our imaginations, we can tap into similar realms of mind our ancestors have. What have we lost disconnecting ourselves so far from such a direct experience of reality? I will leave it to you to decide for yourself if there is any Truth to our collective or individual visions. I believe there is great wisdom hidden in plain sight within the patterns of our minds and how we see and experience the world around us. Jung felt our collective unconscious was made up of the dead and we are the dead reawakened to try again to solve the riddle of life.

The reality around us seems very stubbornly real and we would collectively agree it is real. Is The Real some point in space? Or is The Real something you are? It can be disorienting and dangerous to leave the ground of the agreed upon reality, but personally I highly encourage it, not to be different, but to find the Truth about yourself. There is no greater use of your time than to seek your source, the source of your own myth. Many have lost their way, quite out loud as well, on the journey to find themselves. It is frowned upon as self indulgent to seek yourself in most organized religions, but that could not be farther from the truth, but as people quiet their minds today, they are finding out things about themselves. Keep it simple they say, well it is not simple and it takes all types to make a rainbow, but it’s a rainbow bridge we must forge together across an ocean of ignorance to get beyond this delusion we call reality today.

All points lead back to the center, true for every mandala every made or life lived.

The human brain appears to be wired to experience the Universe in a direct and some would say, mystical way. You come in contact with the same visions the insane and mystics have often spoken of when you are quiet long enough or in a Zen moment. They can come bubbling up from the unconscious mind when our minds are of all things, quiet! Why do you think we keep ourselves so busy? Mystics have said this is a connection the right brain has to a reality outside of time and space, that enfolds our world we experience here with our senses. Others believe life is a prison to be escaped. All are probably true in part. What is your experience?

Often and it’s mostly metaphorical, mystics speak of our reality as an illusion, a swirl of natural and unnatural energies within a real thing. Einstein called what we all agree is real, a stubborn optical delusion. So, we are the created, manifest thing. The Source was whole before and independent of us, but we are of that. The Mystics say the unconscious mind is our collective consciousness. Jung is a modern educated man who mapped this space and went half mad. You can not cross into the unconscious with just the mind and thoughts of a man or woman. Jung was a Father of modern Psychiatry and Psychology ironically. He opened himself to intense personal exploration. He was trying to understand the visions and insights that he was experiencing spontaneously, but he had to hide much of it with his strange writings. These visions could make sense to a scientist who might explain the common experience is due to the similarity of our brains structure. He did not consider himself a Mystic or Gnostic in the open. Science cannot go any further than the objective empirical facts will let them. Beyond fact is the realm of the mystic floating in an ocean of emptiness and love,  only accessible through direct experience requiring much patience and focus. The feeling of being in it often happens through spontaneous creativity or moments where there is no thought of the self.

Most Westerners today have no direct conscious experience of this awareness or the connections between all things. As a matter of fact, awareness of this aspect of ourselves is suppressed for the sake of law and order. There lies the tension between personal subjective experience and what we can objectively understand about the world. The Mystic goes within where most fear to tread. To the mystic who explores reality through direct subjective experience of it, this is The Way or The Great Work. We are all called to it naturally. This knowledge of the Universe belongs to all of us. Our exploration into our unconscious can be seen in the esoteric and occult writings from across history, especially in poetry and literature from the past. Poetry provides a view of the time from an emotional perspective. Gilgamesh is an awesome epic poem from the ancient past that provides us an example of our most ancient imaginings and struggles. We can clearly see our fear of Death driving Gilgamesh. It was the first great epic poem written down we have that has survived from the ancient past, dated about 2000 BC.

I would propose that mythopoetic writing and creativity is the key to integrating fragmented parts of yourself. We are playing hide and seek with the pieces of our self. Hey, you might find the meaning of life along the way. I sit at the feet of another in this area, Carl G. Jung. He pursued several personal experiments where he explored his unconscious mind. He threw himself into it over decades and recorded his journeys in the Red and Black Books and many other paintings and drawings.

I personally had 2 strong visions recently. I imagined Man and Woman an allegory for the union in the Garden of Eden, but to reenter, I saw man and woman take off a rainbow bodysuit. Just unzipped it and walked in. I knew they were taking off their knowledge. I saw Abraxas, the manifest God of antiquity Good/Evil-Light/Shadow, spinning all the people that have every been into a golden thread through its movement through space and that thread was used to hold the Universe together. I saw these visions very plainly and vividly in my mind before I knew what they meant for me. I followed and researched the symbols and words I found and they led me to other things. We can not be afraid of the visions we have, dark or light. They mean something and are trying to tell us something. We should explore them.

As far as mythopoetic imagination goes, Jung is up there with the most clear voices of Humanity in my estimation. Dante and Blake would be proud, well, they probably wouldn’t be proud, but they would stand with Jung. Jung came into contact with some powerful internal visions he shared through applying the overlay of history to his experience. None of us stands alone, never have, never will. You want to play with Man, come on down to Earth, or play the terrible or loving God in Heaven.

There is no end to this drama.

So do not flee from Abraxas, do not seek him. You feel his coercion, do not resist him, so that you shall live and pay your ransom. The works of Abraxas are to be fulfilled, for consider that in your world you yourself are Abraxas and force your creature to fulfill your work. Here, where you are the creature subjugated to Abraxas, you must learn to fulfill the work of life. There, where you are Abraxas, you compel your creatures.

You ask, why is all this so? I understand that it seems questionable to you. The world is questionable. It is the unending infinite folly of the Gods, which you know is unendingly wise. Surely it is also a crime, an unforgivable sin, and therefore also the highest love and virtue.

So live life, do not flee Abraxas, provided that he compels you and you can recognize his necessity. In one sense I say to you: do not fear him, do not love him. In another sense I say: fear him, love him. He is the life of the earth, that says enough.

You need to recognize the multiplicity of the Gods. You cannot unite all into one being. As little as you are one with the multiplicity of men, just so little is the one God one with the multiplicity of the Gods. This one God is the kind, the loving, the leading, the healing. To him all your love and worship is due. To him you should pray, you are one with him, he is near you, nearer than your soul.

I, your soul, am your mother, who tenderly and frightfully surrounds you, your nourisher and corrupter; I prepare good things and poison for you. I am your intercessor with Abraxas. I teach you the arts that protect you from Abraxas. I stand between you and Abraxas the all-encompassing. I am your body, your and Abraxas the all-encompassing. I am your body, your shadow, your effectiveness in this world, your manifestation in the world of the Gods, your effulgence, your breath, your odor, your magical force. You should call me if you want to live with men, but the one God if you want to rise above the human world to the divine and eternal solitude of the star.”

~C Jung; Red Book; Appendix C.

Philemon

Recommended Readings

Image – Chaos Monster and Sun God – base relief from Austen Henry Layard’s ‘Monuments of Nineveh, Second Series’ plate 19/83, London, J. Murray, 1853

Daydreaming Abraxas

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Abraxas – Jung’s driving force of individuation

“Remember, beloved devotee, the double tail of the serpent that forms the legs of the solar rooster of Abraxas. The entire process of the Great Work consists of releasing oneself from the enchanted rings of the tempting serpent…”

“That which is spoken by God-the-Sun is life; that which is spoken by the Devil is death; Abraxas speaketh that hallowed and accursed word, which is life and death at the same time. Abraxas begetteth truth and lying, good and evil, light and darkness in the same word and in the same act. Wherefore is Abraxas terrible.” – C. Jung

Cosmic Consciousness can be experienced by anyone willing. No one, I mean no one, has a corner on the Truth. It is our Truth. There is no one competing. There is no reward.

All must stand in the Light. All must be weighed and sifted. We seek to ascend to the Pleroma again and nothing less. We do not seek wholeness, we discover our wholeness.

Behavior and belief are fine guides, but we must experience Gnosis. Life is an allegory teaching us how to embrace our inner Light.

The union in the bridal chamber of our heart is where we unify our internal Animus and Anima, Male and Female aspects.

This union of opposites provides the energy needed to delve deep within and allows us to confront the world in balance.

This is the mystical foundation of today’s spiritual experience. We seek union with our source and nothing less. All of this should be confirmed by your own experience.

How to achieve this, you must through patience and focus grab a hold and hold fast. There can be no fear and faith, you must know yourself.

Strike that thick cloud of unknowing the separates the creator and the created. Learn to read the signs and hear what is being whispered to you in every moment.

I have come across some who speak of life as a prison. No, this is simply not my experience. It has been an adventure. And everything has helped me find the center.

I seek the naked experience of the inner Light. Simply, I have found the Kingdom of God within.

Passions are like dogs, accustomed to licking the blood in a  butcher shop. If you ignore them, they will bark and howl. Repentance for the Esoteric is metanoia, change of mind.

We have a deep Hidden Wisdom tradition in the West. We are truly blessed to be alive today and allowed to freely explore these ideas and ourselves. You will find what you seek.

It is simply incredible the bounty of knowledge passed down through the ages, but it can only be unlocked in the heart. Only by the renewing of our minds and spirits can we see.

I wish your inner eye great vision and that you find an all transforming all consuming knowledge of your place in the Universe. Nothing exists in the Universe not found in us.

The Mysteries hint at the higher reality. You must die to find life beyond yourself. It is not Christ’s resurrection, but our own that we are experiencing. All is swirling and metaphor.

Receive and be Love. Be free from passions. Find the inner fire. Be still. Rest.

Love Is My Only Gospel

The only sin in life is Separateness. Love is the only thing that can bring wholeness and truthfully nothing else would exist without the eternal presence of this natural Love. I write here to explore and celebrate this awareness. The journey to self-realisation is a pitted and painful road until you realize there was is no pain and no one feeling the pain. That is the simplest way I can state The Great Mystery. You can find the answer for yourself.

There is nothing more important I can do than to balance the opposites within myself and in shifting polarity and aligning with the Absolute, the mind of the Absolute comes into focus.

One is astounded to find it’s thoughts at the root of yours and you may feel like a marrionette even, but after awhile a dance may ensue.

You are all invited to the dance.

Align yourself with your True nature and you will find an amazing thing. Life does become effortless. I tell you, nothing else is worth your time or focus here or beyond space and time. Following the path inside will lead you to someplace else.

I am lost in the swirling reality of Love awakened from the Kali Yuga. If you want to know where I AM, I AM right here with you in every breath, you were never alone nor could you have been. Love was all that was real in the end.

If you don’t feel loved, look around you and at yourself if you can and feel your breath, believe me, you are loved beyond all imagining. I love you too, you are me and I am you, me is we, in Love there is no separation possible. That is my Gospel.

Image source – Dorian – Kali Yuga

You Are Beyond Space and Time

When the student is ready, the teacher will come they say. I have found this to be true. All you have to do to begin to explore your inner being is to turn the eyes you have focused outside, inside.

That’s it.

I want to present some things I have been learning from many sources about my Self in the hope you will rise to meet your Self and find your own answers. I feel that I found a new life mid way through this one. It’s the strangest thing. My bio is not needed. I am you. What you struggle with is the same for myself.

I found a way to face life wholly from the inside out, which will lead you into a conversation with the Universe and your Self. Truth be told, you need no religion. Devotion is a fine way to know yourself though, but the big heavy Truth I have found is not a Truth at all. We are the Truth. Convenient, huh?! There is no path and there is even no one here needing it. Simply, we are the thing we seek. This seems counterintuitive possibly to you.

I AM THAT

You are beyond time and space. I have come to know and accept that the world around us is not as it appears and it cannot be True reality. It is an illusion, as is the sense you are a unique individual. So there are those two big things to get past, last thing, there is also only one Being in our Universe and we are part of THAT. Now this is hump we have to get everyone else over. I don’t know how, maybe 10-20 people will read this, but the volume is rising. I like our odds, myself and many have awoken to this reality and are exploring.

Q: Why would one seek answers inside themselves?

A: Curiosity. Boredom. Guilt. Fear. Perhaps your mind is unsettled. Perhaps you are suffering or feeling pain. You might be the source of pain for someone else. Or if you are like me, all of the above was true. I also had a feeling something was calling me, singing to me actually.

From I Am ThatNisargadatta Maharaj – Chapter 33

“When you demand nothing of the world, nor of God, when you want nothing, seek nothing, expect nothing, then the Supreme State will come to you uninvited and unexpected.” – Nisargadatta Maharaj

You Are Beyond Space and Time

NM: I am not bound by your dreamlike world. In my world the seeds of suffering, desire and fear are not sown and suffering does not grow. My world is free from opposites, of mutually distinctive discrepancies; harmony pervades; its peace is rocklike; this peace and silence are my body.

NM: Just see the person you imagine yourself to be as a part of the world you
perceive within your mind and look at the mind from the outside, for you are not the mind. After all, your only problem is the eager self-identification with whatever you perceive. Give up this habit, remember that you are not what you perceive, use your power of alert aloofness. See yourself in all that lives and your behavior will express your vision. Once you realise that there is nothing in this world which you can call your own, you look at it from the outside as you look at a play on the stage, or a picture on the screen, admiring and enjoying, but really unmoved. As long as you imagine yourself to be something tangible and solid, a thing among things, actually existing in time and space, short-lived and vulnerable, naturally you will be anxious to survive and increase.

But when you know yourself as beyond space and time — in contact with them only at the point of here and now, otherwise all-pervading and all containing, unapproachable, unassailable, invulnerable — you will be afraid no longer. Know yourself as you are — against fear there is no other remedy. You have to learn to think and feel on these lines, or you will remain indefinitely on the personal level of desire and fear, gaining and losing, growing and decaying. A personal problem cannot be solved on its own level. The very desire to live is the messenger of death, as the longing to be happy is the outline of sorrow.

The world is an ocean of pain and fear, of anxiety and despair. Pleasures are like the fishes, few and swift, rarely come, quickly gone. A man of low intelligence believes, against all evidence, that he is an exception and that the world owes him happiness. But the world cannot give what it does not have; unreal to the core, it is of no use for real happiness. It cannot be otherwise. We seek the real because we are unhappy with the unreal. Happiness is our real nature and we shall never rest until we find it. But rarely we know where to seek it. Once you have understood that the world is but a mistaken view of reality, and is not what it appears to be, you are free of its obsessions. Only what is compatible with your real being can make you happy and the world, as you perceive it, is its outright denial.

Q: How can one remain happy among so much suffering?

NM: One cannot help it — the inner happiness is overwhelmingly real. Like
the sun in the sky, its expressions may be clouded, but it is never absent.

Q: If happiness is independent, why are we not always happy?

NM: As long as we believe that we need things to make us happy, we shall
also believe that in their absence we must be miserable. Mind always shapes itself according to its beliefs. Hence the importance of convincing oneself that one need not be prodded into happiness; that, on the contrary, pleasure is a distraction and a nuisance, for it merely increases the false conviction that one needs to have and do things to be happy when in reality it is just the opposite. But why talk of happiness at all? You do not think of happiness except when you are unhappy. A man who says: ‘Now I am happy’, is between two sorrows — past and future. This happiness is mere excitement caused by relief from pain. Real happiness is utterly unselfconscious. It is best expressed negatively as: ‘there is nothing wrong with me. I have nothing to worry about’. After all, the ultimate purpose of all sadhana is to reach a point when this conviction, instead of being only verbal, is based on the actual and ever-present experience.

Q: Emptiness and nothingness — how dreadful.

NM: You face it most cheerfully, when you go to sleep! Find out for yourself
the state of wakeful sleep and you will find it quite in harmony with your real nature. Words can only give you the idea and the idea is not the experience. All I can say is that true happiness has no cause and what has no cause is immovable. Which does not mean it is perceivable, as pleasure. What is perceivable is pain and pleasure; the state of freedom from sorrow can be described only negatively. To know it directly you must go beyond the mind addicted to causality and the tyranny of time.

Q: What about witnessing?

NM: Witnessing is of the mind. The witness goes with the witnessed. In the state of non-duality all separation ceases.

Q: What about you? Do you continue in awareness?

M: The person, the ‘I am this body, this mind, this chain of memories, this
bundle of desires and fears’ disappears, but something you may call identity,
remains. It enables me to become a person when required. Love creates its own
necessities, even of becoming a person.

Q: What is the relation between reality and its expressions?

NM: No relation. In reality all is real and identical. As we put it, saguna and nirguna are one in Parabrahman. There is only the Supreme. In movement, it is saguna. Motionless, it is nirguna. But it is only the mind that moves or does not move. The real is beyond. You are beyond. Once you have understood that nothing perceivable, or conceivable can be yourself, you are free of your imaginations. To see everything as imagination, born of desire, is necessary for self-realisation. We miss the real by lack of attention and create the unreal by excess of imagination. You have to give your heart and mind to these things and brood over them repeatedly. It is like cooking food. You must keep it on the fire for some time before it is ready.

Q: Am I not under the sway of destiny, of my karma? What can I do
against it? What I am and what I do is pre-determined. Even my so-called free
choice is predetermined; only I am not aware of it and imagine myself to be free.

M: Again, it all depends how you look at it. Ignorance is like a fever — it makes you see things which are not there. Karma is the divinely prescribed treatment. Welcome it and follow the instructions faithfully and you will get well. A patient will leave the hospital after he recovers. To insist on immediate freedom of choice and action will merely postpone recovery. Accept your destiny and fulfill it — this is the shortest way to freedom from destiny, though not from love and its compulsions. To act from desire and fear is bondage;

…to act from love is freedom.

Toy Box World

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We are in the darkness; nameless things with no memory—no knowledge of what went before, no understanding of what is now, no knowledge of what will be.

We live in a barrel, a dark depository where are kept the counterfeit, make-believe pieces of plaster and cloth, wrought in a distorted image of human life. But this added, hopeful note: perhaps they are unloved only for the moment. In the arms of children, there can be nothing but love. A clown, a tramp, a bagpipe player, a ballet dancer, and a Major. Tonight’s cast of players on the odd stage—known as—The Twilight Zone.” – Rod Serling

I Can See

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Form is Shadow

Meaning the Sun

A Knowing Song

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Sharing some words from a recent song I am enjoying a lot.

You are forever pure
You are forever true
And the dream of this world can never touch you

So give up your attachments
Give up your confusion
And fly to that space that is beyond all illusion

It is good to step into the unmanifest world of non-being at times away from the world of form. It takes will and intention. We need a break every now and then and need to remember what is Real and Illusion. Don’t forget to lose yourself every now and then and don’t get stuck in the dream too long.

Image – Michael Parkes – Guardian of the Desert