Archive for May, 2016

20 Quotes from Carl G. Jung…..and some articles and thoughts including an excerpts from his work, The Red Book

May 22, 2016 - 1:11 pm Comments Off on 20 Quotes from Carl G. Jung…..and some articles and thoughts including an excerpts from his work, The Red Book

20 Profound Quotes By Carl Jung
That Will Help You To Better Understand Yourself
and Some excerpts from Jung’s writings including
The Red Book

by The Minds Journal Editorial · April 19, 2016

One of the things I love about Carl Jung is the fact that he was a deep philosophical thinker who examined all aspects of the self when writing about the human experience. As you will see in the quotes below, Jung was clear on the notion that we are spiritual beings, and that having a spiritual relationship with oneself truly helps us to understand the deeper aspects of who we are.
To some, this idea translates to religion — to finding solace in the existence of something greater than yourself — but I believe this to be a fickle form of spirituality, and one that does not truly help a person get to the core of who they are (or, alternatively, who they are not).
According to “Carl Jung was one of the creators of modern depth psychology, which seeks to facilitate a conversation with the unconscious energies which move through each of us. He contributed many ideas which continue to inform contemporary life: complex, archetype, persona, shadow, anima and animus, personality typology, dream interpretation, individuation, and many other ideas. He had a deep appreciation of our creative life and considered spirituality a central part of the human journey.”
This summation of his life and work connects deeply to what Collective Evolution is all about, and shares much in common with what inspired me to create this platform in the first place. In putting together the quotes in this article, I gained an even deeper appreciation for Jung and his work, as I uncovered the conscious themes that were apparent throughout his teachings. He was clearly a deep thinker with an intimate knowledge of his inner being.
Jung also had an appreciation for astrology which, over the past few years, I’ve begun to understand more and more and see profound value in. I’m not talking about opening your daily paper and reading your generalize horoscope, however, but true astrology. Something many of us have never been properly exposed to and thus don’t understand the real meaning of or value. (Maybe we’ll have to make a short documentary on this one day!) Note from PEL: Please see my listing and descriptions on astrology on my website pages…
But enough on my own musings — onto the quotes! Here are 20 from Jung that I feel not only serve as an accurate representation of his work, but also provide much to reflect on.

20 Profound Quotes By Carl Jung That Will Help You To Better Understand Yourself
1.”One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious.”
2. “Don’t hold on to someone who’s leaving, otherwise you won’t meet the one who’s coming.”
3. “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
4. “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
5. “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”
6. “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”
7. “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.”
8. “If you are a gifted person, it doesn’t mean that you gained something. It means you have something to give back.”
9. “Mistakes are, after all, the foundations of truth, and if a man does not know what a thing is, it is at least an increase in knowledge if he knows what it is not.”
10. “Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
11. “People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls.”
12. “Loneliness does not come from having no people around, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.”
13. “Depression is like a woman in black. If she turns up, don’t shoo her away. Invite her in, offer her a seat, treat her like a guest and listen to what she wants to say.”
14. “A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.”
15. “Your perception will become clear only when you can look into your soul.”
16. “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”
17. “What you resist, persists.”
18. “A dream is a small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul, which opens up to that primeval cosmic night that was the soul, long before there was the conscious ego.”
19. “We may think that we fully control ourselves. However, a friend can easily reveal something about us that we have absolutely no idea about.”
20. “Everything about other people that doesn’t satisfy us helps us to better understand ourselves.”

“If you give up your self you live it in others; thereby you become selfish to others, and thus you deceive others. Everyone thus believes that such a life is possible. It is, however, only apish imitation. Through giving in to your apish appetite, you infect others, because the ape stimulates the apish. So you turn yourself and others into apes. Through reciprocal imitation you live according to the average expectation. The image of the hero was set up for all in every age through the appetite for imitation. Therefore the hero was murdered, since we have all been aping him. Do you know why you cannot abandon apishness? For fear of loneliness and defeat.”

“To live oneself means: to be one’s own task. Never say that it is a pleasure to live oneself It will be no joy but a long suffering, since you must become your own creator. If you want to create yourself then you do not begin with the best and the highest, but with the worst and the deepest. Therefore say that you are reluctant to live yourself The flowing together of the stream of life is not joy but pain, since it is power against power, guilt, and shatters the sanctified.”

Though you want to flee from yourself so as not to have to live what remains unlived until now.But you cannot flee from yourself. It is with you all the time and demands fulfillment. If you pretend to be blind and dumb to this demand, you feign being blind and deaf to yourself. This way you will never reach the knowledge of the heart. The knowledge of your heart is how your heart is. From a cunning heart you will know cunning. From a good heart you will know goodness.
So that your understanding becomes perfect, consider that your heart is both good and evil. You ask, “What? Should I also live evil?” The spirit of the depths demands: “The life that you could still live, you should live. Well-being decides, not your well-being, not the well-being of the others, but only well-being.”
C.G. Jung, The Red Book

The psyche is the greatest of all cosmic wonders and the sine qua non of the world as an object. it is in the highest degree odd that Western man, with but very few and ever fewer exceptions, apparently pays so little regard to this fact.
Swamped by the knowledge of external objects, the subject of all knowledge has been temporarily eclipsed to the point of seeming nonexistence.
C.G. Jung, 1946 Collected Works 8, para. 357

Not nature but the “genius of mankind” has knotted the hangman’s noose with which it can execute itself at any moment.
C.G. Jung, 1952

Nothing worse could happen to one than to be comletely understood… One would be instantly deprived of one’s personal raison d’etre if one were. I’d hate it myself… Understanding is … at times a veritable murder of the soul as soon as it flattens out vitally important differences. The core of the individual is a mystery of life which is snuffed out when it is “grasped.”

“The living spirit grows and even outgrows its earlier forms of expression; it freely chooses the men in whom it lives and who proclaim it. This living spirit is eternally renewed and pursues its goal in manifold and inconceivable ways throughout the history of mankind. Measured against it, the names and forms which men have given it mean little enough; they are only the changing leaves and blossoms on the stem of the eternal tree.”
C.G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul
In the final analysis, we count for something only because of the essential we embody, and if we do not embody that, life is wasted.
C.G. Jung.

Synchronicities are those moments of “meaningful coincidence” when the boundary dissolves between the inner and the outer. At the synchronistic moment, just like a dream, our internal, subjective state appears, as if materialized in, as and through the outside world. Touching the heart of our being, synchronicities are moments in time in which there is a fissure in the fabric of what we have taken for reality and there is a bleed through from a higher dimension outside of time. Synchronicities are expressions of the dreamlike nature of reality, as they are moments in time when the timeless, dreamlike nature of the universe shines forth its radiance and openly reveals itself to us, offering us an open doorway to lucidity.
He who enters into his own must grope through what lies at hand, he must sense his way from stone to stone. He must embrace the worthless and the worthy with the same love. A mountain is nothing, and a grain of sand holds kingdoms, or also nothing. Judgment must fall from you, even taste, but above all pride, even when it is based on merit. Utterly poor, miserable, unknowingly humiliated, go on through the gate. Turn your anger against yourself, since only you stop yourself from looking and from living. The mystery play is soft like air and thin smoke, and you are raw material that is disturbingly heavy. But let your hope, which is your highest good and highest ability, lead the way and serve you as a guide in the world of darkness…
C.G.Jung The Red Book Liber Novus.

Spiritual Principles of The Samurai

May 22, 2016 - 12:32 pm Comments Off on Spiritual Principles of The Samurai

Spiritual Principles of the Samurai

By Jonathan Davis on Friday May 6th, 2016

Cultivating the ethics of honour, discipline and mastery

For nearly 700 years in feudal Japan approximately ten percent of the population lived as samurai ‘retainers’, a warrior class that lived in service to their respective provincial lords. The Samurai lived their lives by a code known as Bushido, which was based on a combination of Zen and Confucian principles and emphasised loyalty to one’s master, respectful ethical behaviour and self-discipline. Elements of Bushido emphasise compassion, benevolence and other higher qualities held by the Samurai that are worth emulating. So what can we learn from these ancient warriors that might help us with our personal evolution in the modern world?

Finding a role model
Whether you are a warrior, an artist or a business person, the first samurai skill worth adopting is the ability to ‘construct’ a true master to learn from, even if a living example of a true master doesn’t exist or isn’t accessible in the culture of our modern day.
According to Master lttei… one should look at many people and choose from each person his best point only. For example, one person for politeness, one for bravery, one for the proper way of speaking, one for correct conduct and one for steadiness of mind… If one perceives a person’s good points, he will have a model teacher for anything.
– Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure

Finding a true master to study with The Masterless Master
Miyamoto Musashi is without a doubt the most respected samurai warrior to have ever lived. Widely known as the masterless master, Musashi is likely to have achieved this level of high esteem through this very principal of assembling the best elements from less-than-perfect role models. Musashi was undefeated after sixty duels from the age of 16 to around age 60, when he retired to a cave and wrote what is widely considered the most important text of the samurai era:
The Book of Five Rings.

From one thing, know ten thousand things
One of Miyamoto Musashi’s most well-known concepts is: ‘from one thing, know ten thousand things’. In essence, this implies that by learning to become a master at one skill, we learn the very process of mastery itself; knowledge which can then be transferred to other skills.
From one thing, know ten thousand things… Neuroscience is starting to verify this concept when delving into the role of motor neurons and the transferability of learned skills. Learn to do something with one part of the body, like the right hand, and you will learn the same skill more quickly on the left hand, because the skill can be transferred to other control centres in the brain. More broadly, we also see this evidence of this when people find it much easier attaining their second, third or fourth university degree, or learning third and fourth languages more easily after having gone through the challenge of learning a second.

What we call mastery was merely discipline
In the present day we have the idea, according to Josh Kaufman, that we can become functionally ‘good enough’ at any given skill after about 20 hours of practice. To go from being pretty good at something to achieving mastery, the learning curve gets a lot steeper. According to Malcolm Gladwell, we can become a master at anything if we put in 10,000 hours of practice. This equates to 1000 days of practicing 10 hours per day. Musashi, however, said otherwise:
Practicing a thousand days is said to be discipline, practicing ten thousand days is said to be refining. What Musashi refers to as ‘refining’ equates to roughly 100,000 hours in comparison (if a person were to train for 10 hours per day). A samurai would actually hone their skills continuously for all of his waking hours and sleep in readiness to defend an attack at any moment.

The pressure of life-and-death stakes
Why do we remember so clearly not to put our hand on a hot stovetop? It’s because we’ve evolved to remember when something is painful. Our brain creates more myelin coating around those neural pathways that we consider important, and pain is our body’s way of saying it’s really important not to do that painful thing again. A thicker myelin coating causes that neural pathway to become more permanent. It’s important on a survival level to avoid pain so our brain and nervous system prioritises this and we build strong, well-insulated neural pathways so that we remember how to avoid more pain in the future. There is perhaps nothing more important than avoiding our own death. Perhaps this a key to getting our brain to create the strongest neural pathways of all.
The pressure of life and death stakes
It’s hard to find a better example of self-discipline throughout human history than that of the samurai or ‘bushi warrior’. They used the threat of imminent death to sharpen their senses and their resolve; paradoxically, they were also constantly readying themselves to give their life for their lord at any moment.
There is a saying of the elders that goes, ‘Step from under the eaves and you’re a dead man. Leave the gate and the enemy is waiting.” This is not a matter of being careful. It is to consider oneself as dead beforehand.
– Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure

For the samurai, this wasn’t a conceptual exercise. Buddhist monks may meditate on facing a horrific death for the purpose of learning to remain at peace in the face of such a challenge, but the samurai were facing actual death on a regular basis.
This kind of confrontation, which rewarded a moment’s relaxation with instant death, required awesome patience and concentration, a kind of discipline that can only be acquired after years of training under the guidance of a master. In time, this code of ethics with its stress on patience, frugality, and constant self-improvement, permeated all levels of Japanese society. It became part of the social ethos of Japan.
Commentary in The Book Of Five Rings (1982, Bantam)

Discipline that can only be acquired after years of training
The importance of the present moment

Attaining undistracted awareness of the present moment, and remaining in that state somewhat indefinitely, was a common goal of the bushi warrior. The possibility of death at any moment was used as a fuel for cultivating this single-pointed awareness.
There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the present moment. A man’s whole life is a succession of moment after moment. If one fully understands the present moment, there will be nothing else to do, and nothing left to pursue.
– Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure

Through a process of trial and error (with error, in this case, equating to death), the samurai came to understand that there is a time-delay between the senses experiencing something and the mind registering the experience. They discovered that the masters of their art were the ones who put their thinking mind aside.
There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the present moment
If you want to see, see right at once. When you begin to think, you miss the point.
– Zen Master Dogo
The process of training involves the mind training the body with so much repetition that the body learns the skill. Then when the skill is needed, the body will respond without needing the mind to engage. This means there is no time delay.
A retainer [samurai] is a man who remains consistently undistracted, twenty-four hours a day, whether he is in the presence of his master or in public. If one is careless during his rest period the public will see him as being only careless.
– Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure

While we in our modern lives may not face the possibility of death at any moment, we can recognise that the act of learning to be the most centred and aware version of ourselves during daily practice is only the beginning. Learning to extend this ability to bring forth the best, most awake version of ourselves into the periods of time between doing our daily practice may be a better long-term goal to strive for, so that we eventually remain at this level of presence at all times.

On a number of occasions in The Book of Five Rings, Musashi mentions taking the martial lifestyle to advanced levels of spirituality. In fact, his path of ‘Heiho’ means ‘path to enlightenment’. For instance, one of the nine concepts to live by in Musashi’s version of the bushido code is: perceive that which cannot be seen.

Perceive that which cannot be seen
This relates to the fact that in Japanese culture in general (and particularly for a warrior in a life-or-death situation) one must be able to show their tatemae, or surface level intention, and hide their honne or true inner intention.
Perceiving that which cannot be seen, at least in-part, is about cultivating intuition in order to ascertain an adversary’s true intention; despite it being hidden. This is the difference between ken, ‘observation of the movements of surface phenomena’ and kan, ‘profound examination of the essence of things’.
…if you are deeply committed to the eventual mastery of this path, if you practice day and night polishing your skills through and through, then you… can attain such freedom and such power to perform miracles. You will attain supernatural powers. This is the secret of Heiho.
– Miyamoto Musashi The Book of Emptiness

The Book of Five Rings actually consists of five books: Earth, Water, Wind, Fire and the Book of Emptiness, which unlike the other four, distils its wisdom into only two pages. The meaning of kú is emptiness; that which cannot be known is kú.

Earth, Fire, Water and Wind
This is similar to the concept at the beginning of the Tao Te Ching: as soon as one tries to talk about the tao it is no longer tao. Likewise, in Judaism all texts refer to ‘god’ as ‘g–d’ in an attempt to make sure that no one ever mistakes the signpost for that which the sign is pointing at. So it is a paradox that Musashi recognises in suggesting that emptiness cannot be known, but then following on from the last quote with a seemingly contradictory line:
By knowing form one knows emptiness. This in short is kú.
A word describing the emptiness or the oneness can never encapsulate the vastness of what it describes. To me personally, kú is describing what Taoists refer to as the ‘wu chi’; the underlying oneness that our physical reality of separation and duality exists within. The Book Of Emptiness points to us coming to experience the ‘oneness’ or ’emptiness’ through our experience of physical reality.
The commentary in the Book Of Five Rings (1982, Bantam) shares:

The underlying oneness of our physical reality of separation and duality exists within [Musashi] is suggesting there is a higher order of experience than the one you are on now. The emptiness is really a fullness, the realm of all possibilities.
In my opinion, this speaks to the common ground between ancient concepts such as the wu chi of the Taoists; the atman–brahman state of the Hindu tradition; and the quantum possibilities that have not yet collapsed into one solidified reality in the quantum realm.

Honour and Bushido
Above all else, the bushi warriors of Ancient Japan held themselves to a standard of being unquestionably honourable.
In the Hagakure, there is a tale of a samurai who is asked to testify in court. When asked for proof that what he was saying was true, he firmly stated if his word was not believed then he would immediately commit seppuku (ritual suicide) in front of the court. He was willing to give his life in a moment’s notice as security against the validity of his word; he was samurai. His word was not questioned further. For me this story exemplifies that the core of samurai culture was about being honourable.
There is a duty to be in service not only to their Lord, but to the wellbeing of the people and the good of all.

The Spiritual Bypass Phenomenon

May 22, 2016 - 12:29 pm Comments Off on The Spiritual Bypass Phenomenon

How to Know if You’re Spiritually Bypassing

By Jonathan Toniolo on Wednesday May 18th, 2016

Can Spirituality Damage your Growth?

I first heard about spiritual bypassing on one of my favorite podcasts, The Duncan Trussell Family Hour. For those of you that haven’t had the privilege of hearing Duncan orate, it’s kind of like listening to a raspy hybrid of Alan Watts and Jim Breuer — wise enough to capture your attention, with a certain stoned goofiness that keeps it all playful.
Duncan talks about spirituality in nearly all of his interviews — most guests will happily indulge him in doing so. Naturally, spirituality is a big reason why people tune in to the podcast. So it took me by surprise when he mentioned that spirituality, as a set of ideas and practices, could actually be self–sabotaging.

Spiritual bypassing, a term coined in the early 1980s by psychologist John Welwood, refers to the use of spiritual practices and beliefs to avoid dealing with uncomfortable feelings, unresolved wounds, and fundamental emotional and psychological needs. The concept was developed in the spirit of Chögyam Trungpa’s Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, which was one of the first attempts to name this spiritual distortion.
According to teacher and author Robert Augustus Masters, spiritual bypassing causes us to withdraw from ourselves and others, hiding behind a kind of spiritual veil of metaphysical beliefs and practices. He says it “not only distances us from our pain and difficult personal issues, but also from our own authentic spirituality, stranding us in a metaphysical limbo… a zone of exaggerated gentleness, niceness, and superficiality.”
We hide behind a kind of spiritual veil of metaphysical beliefs and practices.
We hide behind a kind of spiritual veil of metaphysical beliefs and practices.

My Own Bypassing
In Masters’ groundbreaking book, Spiritual Bypassing: When Spirituality Disconnects Us From What Really Matters, he writes:

“Aspects of spiritual bypassing include exaggerated detachment, emotional numbing and repression, overemphasis on the positive, anger-phobia, blind or overly tolerant compassion, weak or too porous boundaries, lopsided development (cognitive intelligence often being far ahead of emotional and moral intelligence), debilitating judgment about one’s negativity or shadow side, devaluation of the personal relative to the? spiritual, and delusions of having arrived at a higher level of being.”
Before listening to Duncan wax lyrical about this, I never imagined there could be such subtle and complex consequences of pursuing spiritual matters. And thinking that I, a cautious and sincere spiritual seeker, could be suffering such consequences seemed equally absurd. But after reading the detailed description of symptoms, I knew it applied to my situation. I realised that at a certain point in early adulthood, I had perverted spirituality into a defense mechanism — a mechanism that enabled me to disavow any negative quality or behavior in myself.
I recall a few specific patterns taking place:
Whenever I became anxious, I would immediately reach for the nearest Eckhart Tolle or Alan Watts text on my bookshelf. Instead of sitting with the anxiety and checking in to see if it was coming from an innocuous source, I would quickly find refuge in spiritual philosophy.
I would strive to maintain the appearance of someone who is constantly at peace with oneself, even though inside I may have felt like the weight of the world was crushing down on my soul. This kind of faux spirituality had a complete stranglehold on my speech and behavior and caused intense cognitive dissonance.
Whenever I had done something hurtful or wrong to another person, I would rarely take responsibility for it. I deflected that responsibility by saying things like “that person just needs to grow spiritually” or “it’s just an illusion anyways” — all in a naïve tone reminiscent of the time I thought I was a bonafide professor of quantum physics.
The process of realising when you’re to blame in any given situation is no easy task. But spiritual bypassing enables one to ignore that difficult process altogether. It led me to believe I was always right because I was more “enlightened” than all the ignorant sheeples who just couldn’t see the damn light. But the harsh truth of this spiritual arrogance is that I was ignoring the pain I caused in others because I was ignoring a similar pain in myself.
I strived to maintain the appearance of someone who is constantly at peace with oneself.I strived to maintain the appearance of someone who is constantly at peace with oneself.

Reinforcements From Our Culture
Masters writes:
“Part of the reason for [spiritual bypassing] is that we tend not to have very much tolerance, either personally or collectively, for facing, entering, and working through our pain, strongly preferring pain-numbing “solutions,” regardless of how much suffering such “remedies” may catalyze. Because this preference has so deeply and thoroughly infiltrated our culture that it has become all but normalized, spiritual bypassing fits almost seamlessly into our collective habit of turning away from what is painful, as a kind of higher analgesic with seemingly minimal side effects. It is a spiritualized strategy not only for avoiding pain but also for legitimizing such avoidance, in ways ranging from the blatantly obvious to the extremely ?subtle.
The subtlety of recognition seems to be the root of why this affliction is so widespread and under-diagnosed. Psychologist Ingrid Mathieu also notes this subtlety in her article Beware of Spiritual Bypass:
“Although the defense looks a lot prettier than other defenses, it serves the same purpose. Spiritual bypass shields us from truth, it disconnects us from our feelings, and helps us avoid the big picture. It is more about checking out than checking in — and the difference is so subtle that we usually don’t even know we are doing it.”
Part of the reason for spiritual bypassing is that we tend not to have very much tolerance for pain.We tend not to have very much tolerance for pain.
Considering our culture generally shuns negative emotions, it’s no surprise many of us respond to those emotions with repression. Prominent manifestations of repression, such as alcoholism and drug addiction, are forms of relief whose conspicuous quality makes them easier to identify and intervene.

Spiritual bypassing, while seemingly more benign, is much more difficult to notice because it’s guised in the appearance of wholeness and wisdom. It’s much harder to recognise our repression when we’re chanting “Om Shanti” on a regular basis or repeating positive affirmations that “everything is okay” or “all is love.”

Yoga, meditation, psychedelics, prayer, affirmations, deeply engaging with the present moment, etc. are all incredibly powerful spiritual tools if used appropriately. But sometimes, and if we’re not careful, those things can end up masking deeper issues lingering both inside and outside of us.

Spiritual Bypassing is a manifestation of repression, as is alcoholism and drug addiction.Spiritual Bypassing is a manifestation of repression, as is alcoholism and drug addiction.
To me, spiritual bypassing is fundamentally about taking a so-called absolute truth — such as “everything is okay” — and using it to ignore or deny relative truths — such as the grief we feel when we lose a loved one, or the shame that arises when we fail at something important. On the personal and interpersonal level, sometimes everything isn’t okay. And that’s okay.

That may seem trite, but in the context of spiritual bypassing, it’s a platitude that I feel requires frequent repetition. Before we can heal our pain, we have to be honest about it and accept it — which is ideally what spirituality should help realize. As Masters suggests, this is certainly easier said than done and requires a level of vulnerability which most of us are uncomfortable with.

Nonetheless, if we grant validity to the many claims that spirituality is shaping the evolution of humanity, it seems wise to confront the intricacies of our own bypassing sooner rather than later. Doing so could not only prevent years of developmental stagnation, but also help implement new angles of self-awareness that our world so desperately needs. Acknowledgment and acceptance were the first major steps for me, and I sense a deeper spirituality is following in their wake.