The Genius of Genealogy

•January 12, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Genealogy is only one of many ways to satisfy a deep-seated yearning for truth and mystery. However, the Family Tree is perhaps the most primordial way to connect with our roots — not a choice but a biological given of our existence — the living mystery of life.

The Tree of Souls is a fundamental mytheme. It is arguably among the oldest shamanic practices and tropes, and therefore the foundation of magic. The conjoint heartbeats of the ancestors is the core rhythm, the drumbeat of time on the stretched canvas of flesh. That song is our prayer.

Rumi tells us, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” To be satisfied in life we must combine inner and outer, the deep inner wisdom with focused activity in the world. Tracing our own genealogy, climbing up and down our Tree of Life, gives us potential for both.

“The Middle Plane, between the Upper & Lower World , that the Celts call the “Thin Place” is where the center of gravity shifts away from the Ego and its functions into an interim position…to attending to the hints of the self.” (M.-L. von Franz, Psychotherapy)

Grasp Your Legacy
But we must seek out our family tree to learn its hidden secrets, find its dead ends, and recast the contents of our personal and collective unconscious. Jung noted in his own process that, “The mystery showed me in images what I should afterward live. I did not possess any of those boons that the mystery showed me, for I still had to earn all of them.” (Liber Novus, Page 254).

Your genealogy project can bring the past to life in ways you could not have imagined. Can a family tree give meaning to your life? Only if you infuse it with intention, value, and love. We invest in the message and are very involved and left with powerful residual impact. We may take the divine steps back for our own souls with corresponding results for our own well-being. But we may find in the process we become family stewards, bards, genwriters, or storytellers.

Well of Souls
Genealogy is a means of achieving empathy, of digging our own well of souls. Our undifferentiated ‘well of souls’ in the secret chambers of our hearts becomes more and more specific. We detect the current below, realizing the presence of something.  The content is a resonance between the stimuli and the stored and storied material in our psychobiology.

Voices of the Transcendent
`The many voices of the psyche’ is a transcendent ordering principle and aspirational or integrative position that may have a healing, unified or pluralistic agenda — different ways to understand one’s life.
Both the regressive and progressive perspective have their own type of wholeness, even if the mytheme differs.

Joseph Campbell said, “What is it we are questing for? It is the fulfillment of that which is potential in each of us. Questing for it is not an ego trip; it is an adventure to bring into fulfillment your gift to the world, which is yourself. There is nothing you can do that’s more important than being fulfilled. You become a sign, you become a signal, transparent to transcendence; in this way you will find, live, become a realization of your own personal myth.”

Genealogy as a mythic image functions to connect the ego and the transcendent Other. Subjective images are powerful because they can be experienced symbolically.

Binary Ancestor Designation System
The logic of Nature is a natural discrete binary system of consistent generativity —
bifurcating arborescence. Relations identified by the terminology may form a system of relationships. … of symbols (the generating elements).
Without pedigree collapse, a person’s ancestor tree is a binary tree, formed by the person, the parents (2), the grandparents (4), great-grandparents (8), and so on. However, the number of individuals in such a tree grows exponentially and will eventually become impossibly high. For example, a single individual alive today would, over 30 generations going back to the High Middle Ages, have or roughly a billion ancestors, more than the total world population at the time.

This apparent paradox is explained by shared ancestors, referred to as pedigree collapse. Instead of consisting of all unique individuals, a tree may have multiple places occupied by a single individual. This typically happens when the parents of an ancestor are related to each other (sometimes unbeknownst to themselves). For example, the offspring of two first cousins has at most only six great-grandparents instead of the normal eight. In some cultures, cousins and other relations were permitted, encouraged or required to marry. This may have been to keep kin bonds, wealth and property within a family (endogamy) or simply because there was a limited number of potential marriage partners available. Among royalty, the frequent requirement to only marry other royals resulted in a reduced gene pool in which most individuals were the result of extensive pedigree collapse.

We enter the cave below the rock of reality to the reality of psychic manifestations. “We are standing in between two worlds, a visible tangible world, and the other invisible world, which somehow has a peculiar quality of substantiality; but very subtle, a sort of matter that is not obvious and is not visible, that penetrates bodies and apparently exists outside of time and space.

It is here and everywhere at the same time, and yet nowhere because it has no extension; it is a complete annihilation of space and time, which makes it a very different thing from our conception of an obvious world.” (Jung, Visions Seminars, Vol. 1 Page 206)

As Meister Eckhart said, “When the soul wishes to experience something she throws an image of the experience out before her and enters into her own Image.” We go internal but come out with new information based on our experience. Personality widens with unconscious supplementation. Resilience builds throughout life, and close relationships are key.

We are standing in between two worlds, a visible tangible world, and the other invisible world, which somehow has a peculiar quality of substantiality; but very subtle, a sort of matter that is not obvious and is not visible, that penetrates bodies and apparently exists outside of time and space.

It is here and everywhere at the same time, and yet nowhere because it has no extension; it is a complete annihilation of space and time, which makes it a very different thing from our conception of an obvious world.” (Jung, Visions Seminars, Vol. 1, Page 206)

We can reclaim this most ancient genealogical practice and non-visible environment that allows us to gaze at a thing without seeing it. With each generation we enter a new level of interaction. Some branches of our tree clearly announce themselves as living forces of myth, which shows the nature of our life journey. Figures of the gods carry the idea of immortality, the image of ommortality.

Enhancing our self-awareness, genealogy makes alienation obsolete by retrieving lost unconscious energy. What has haunted us now informs us, activated both by initiating and responding to joint attention The mythic impulse is contained in allegory and symbolism that are clearly not literal.

The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place diminishes. Instead of a single answer there are many tacit replies. As a structured metaphor and technology, genealogy  amplifies or intensifies our faculties increasing the value and quality of our inner life. Are you willing to enter the Tree?

Passing Through
Genealogy opens an inner space, and can be an immersive experience, a virtual reality where we suspend certain disbeliefs and entertain other hypotheses. Jung implies that what is not material now is ‘spiritual,’ and we find those explicit spiritual roots in our family tree. “Experience of the inner world has for its object the phenomena of the psychic background, which in itself is so indefinite or so multifaceted that it can be expressed in an infinite variety of forms.”

At the dawn of mankind the Dragon constellation Draco was at the northern center of the heavens, overhanging the stellar system of the zodiac and its vast Precession drama. Jung tells us how family images spontaneously come back to us: “[The] dragon comes into the category of the great animals in the background who seem to regulate the world. Hence the mainly theriomorphic symbols for the signs of the zodiac as dominants of the psychic process.

“Naturally the phenomena observed in the background are not always archetypes; they can also be personal complexes which have acquired excessive importance. Father and mother are not only personal entities but also have a suprapersonal meaning and are frequently used as symbols for the deity.

In this way the religious view of the world, thrown out at the front door, creeps in again by the back, albeit in strangely altered form-so altered that nobody has yet noticed it.” (Letters Vol. II, Pages 604-605)

As we enliven our tree it enlivens our depths. Here the lands of the dead and the living intersect. Here, in a dimension of existential and psychological truths that underlie mythic process, we come to grips with perennial questions and mystery. Perhaps the most important way of connecting with the ancestors is the act of tracing the genesis oneself so that each part of the discovery process has a chance to work in us and on us imaginally over time.

Time means a past and a future, and so the individual is only complete when we add his actual structure as the result of past events, and at the same time the actual structure taken as the starting point of new tendencies. (Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 137)

Jung links “the discontent of civilization” with distancing ourselves from our historical roots, and loss of connection with our past. He felt that crucial connection fostered individuality which counteracts mass-mindedness. Knowing the historical family via the collective unconscious [and genealogy] is crucial to psychological health and self-knowledge, in Jung’s theory.

“The less we understand of what our fathers and forefathers sought,” he comments, “the less we understand ourselves, and thus we help with all our might to rob the individual of his roots and his guiding instincts, so that he becomes a particle in the mass […]” (
Jung, MDR).

It is in humanity’s best interest, then, to reconnect to this past, as the “ancestral psyches” within each of us can shed light on contemporary circumstances and situations (Jung, MDR, p.237). It is equally important, however, not to become lost in these past images, not to be “imprisoned in these memories” (MDR, p.320).

Representational Demands
The family tree is a nexus of historical and underlying mythological narratives which give birth to additional interconnecting narratives. Science offers some alternatives to supernatural appearances in dialogic inner speech. The brain’s conversations with itself can now be mapped, but may be more than that.

Just because some people experience pathological auditory hallucinations doesn’t mean all audialization is pathological.
We naturally can form a mental concept of a sound impression without ‘external’ agency. Some people can imagine whole symphonies. Information is made more comprehensible by perspective switching and rendering it as sound.

Findings show that  forms of inner speech exist which can be both phenomenologically and neurologically distinguished from the silent commentary of a single inner voice. Contributions of inner speech and forms of mental imagery create vivid inner dialogues. Even Genesis describes a creation of spoken words rather than acts.

“Inner speech has been implicated in important aspects of normal and atypical cognition, including the development of auditory hallucinations. neural activation for inner speech involves conversations (‘dialogic inner speech’) with single-speaker scenarios (‘monologic inner speech’). Generation of dialogic (compared with monologic) scenarios was associated with a widespread bilateral network including left and right superior temporal gyri, precuneus, posterior cingulate and left inferior and medial frontal gyri. Activation associated with cognitive and dialogic scenarios overlapped in areas of right posterior temporal cortex previously linked to mental state representation.”

Inner speech is a complex and varied phenomenon. In behavioral studies, everyday inner speech is often reported to be involved in self-awareness, past and future thinking and emotional reflection, while in cognitive research, inner speech appears to fulfill a variety of mnemonic and regulatory functions. Inner speech may reflect the endpoint of a developmental process in which social dialogues, mediated by language, are internalized as verbal thought. Following from this view, the subjective experience of inner speech will mirror the external experience of communication and often have a dialogic structure, involving the co-articulation of differing perspectives on reality and, in some cases, representation of others’ voices.

Time alters us and our perceptions. Many experience the bittersweet feeling of arriving in the future without being able to tell our past self how things turned out among the hypothetical conversations that play out in our heads. Perhaps all our ancestors are ‘talking’ but nobody is listening. And even if we do, we may be frustrated others are unable to relate to the experience.

On the other hand, the plot of our life, flaws, and anxieties may begin to make more sense. Awareness of our perspective enlarges, personally and historically. We realize each ancestor has a life as vivid and complex as our own, and that it takes a long time to forge a deep relationship.

Family Battlecry
Genealogy is a feeling and a challenge, a lost art of ancestors returning with a vengeance. The mottoes on heraldic arms are actually battlecries. Just as the Scots shouted their clan genealogies before battle, our family tree is a declaration of our intention to ‘continue to be’ and to continue in our traditional ways venerating our forebears. They recited their clan genealogies in Gaelic, shouted their war cries, then attacked.

Clans are family groups and their sept branches are all blood relatives. Highland families had a traditional seannachaidh, who could recite the descent of that particular family and state its relationship to other families in the larger clan.

For 2000 years in Alba, the Senchai, Seannachaidh, or Sennachie 
[sen-uh-kee] have woven the clan’s present members with the history, honor, deeds and lineage of those who have gone before them. These loyal and respected clansmen are appointed by the clan chief as professional storytellers of family genealogy, history, and legend.

Both a Pict and Gael tradition, this ancient position is a Genealogist, Historian, Bard, Orator, and tribal Herald.
The office of Ri-seannachie had supreme jurisdiction in matters of genealogy, and the duty of preserving the Royal pedigree. Each clan had its own Druid priests and judges under the chief Druid of the Pictish High King.

Disembodied Information
In the ‘Cult of the Severed Head’ in Provance, a head carved in stone was the repository of the soul and could live on and continue to speak to the living and make prophecies. Such heads
represented a medium for communication with the Other World, hinting at an older Celtic mythos and tradition — cult of relics, cult of the head.

Bran’s severed head continued to speak to his followers who returned it to Britain. King Arthur dug up the head, declaring the country would be protected only by his great strength. Brân the Blessed was like the Arthurian  Fisher King, the keeper of the Holy Grail. He has a mortal wound in the leg (Brân’s wound was in his foot) but stays alive in his mystical castle due to the effects of the Grail, waiting to be healed by Percival. In the Welsh version of Perceval, Peredur son of Efrawg visits a mysterious castle, but finds only a severed human head, not the Grail. Some said the Grail had the power to restore the fallen, like Brân’s cauldron.

In Norse myth, Mímir (Old Norse, “The rememberer, the wise one”) is renowned for his knowledge and wisdom but is beheaded during the Æsir-Vanir War.
Odin embalms the head of Mímir with herbs so that it would not rot, and spoke charms over it, which gave it the power to speak to him and reveal secrets to him. He keeps Mímir’s head with him because it divulges information from other worlds. It recites secret knowledge and counsel to him.

But cults of Southern France may not correlate with those of Britain or the Neolithic era and elsewhere as a coherent practice. Skull relics are still worshiped there with candles. T
he medieval town Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume has a basilica and crypt dedicated to Mary Magdalene said to contain the blackened relic of her skull.

Neolithic Jericho practiced burial of loved ones under their houses. Sometimes the severed head was removed and the skull buried after defleshing. Faces were reconstructed with plaster to retain the identity of the family member. Individual facial features were made with red and black paint. Some eye orbits were inlaid with shells and the skulls were decorated with hair and mustaches.

The notion of a ‘cult of the head’ remains controversial, but it is a fact we imagine it was so.
This powerful trope brings to mind cults of martyred saints who carry their immortalized heads. The Templars allegedly worshiped of the severed head of John the Baptist they called Baphomet, who talked to them and possessed “divine wisdom
.” Personifications of disembodied metaphysical entities are an ancient equivalent of media ‘talking heads’ as culture leaders.

What we can take from this practice is the primacy of the psyche for personification of the unconscious — the multiple personifications or perspectives of psyche. We spontaneously personify psyche all the time, without effort since it is a psychological necessity. Personifying allows the image to work on us — a potential way of knowing what is hidden in the heart. A grounded ego uses personification for growth.

To personify something from the unconscious is to treat it like a person with a sort of inherent autonomy motivated by purposes and intentions. We even lend it a voice and bond with it. Personifying in archetypal psychology is “the spontaneous experiencing, envisioning and speaking of the configurations of existence as psychic presences.” (Re-Visioning, 12)

Personifying is a way of making subjective experience, passionate identification, and indwelling images more tangible through conversation and relationship in symbolic form. Hillman (1975) called it “an epistemology of the heart, a thought-mode of feeling.” It imagines what’s inside, outside,
and makes this content alive, personal, and even divine.

We personify that which we love. This is the natural expression of mythic consciousness to mythic consciousness. Illustrious ancestors aren’t just statues of greatness. Through this spontaneous activity of psyche we enter myth “as if” it were real.

Such non-directive thinking or “soul-talk” is the key to understanding archetypes as both guides and different parts of ourselves. “Loving is a way of knowing, and for loving to know, it must personify. Personifying is thus a way of knowing, especially knowing what is invisible, hidden in the heart,” Hillman says in Re-Visioning.

“Personifying is a way of being in the world and experiencing the world as a psychological field, where persons are given with events, so that events are experiences that touch us, move us, appeal to us.”  “…all the figures and feelings of the psyche are wholly ‘mine,’ while at the same time recognizing that these figures and feelings are free of my control and identity, not ‘mine’ at all.” (Hillman)

“By means of personifications my sense of person becomes more vivid for I carry with me at all times the protection of my daimones: the images of dead people who mattered to me, of ancestral figures of my stock, cultural and historical persons of renown and people of fable who provide exemplary images–a wealth of guardians. They guard my fate, guide it, probably are it. “Perhaps–who knows,” writes Jung, “these eternal images are what men mean by fate.” We need this help, for who can carry his fate alone?”

Hillman notes that personifying is a creative function. Whether it is done pathologically or intentionally, it functions to “save the diversity and autonomy of the psyche from domination by any single power, whether this domination be by a figure of archetypal awe in one’s surroundings or by one’s own egomania. ‘ (Re-Visioning, 32)

In the family tree we don’t require the physical relic to honor the deceased, including the heads of the household. “To keep the light alive in the darkness, that’s the point, and only there your candle makes sense.” (Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pp. 133-138)

Jung stated, “It was as if my tools were activated by my libido. But there must be tools there to be activated, that is, animated images, images with libido in them; then the additional libido that one supplies brings them up to the surface.

If I had not given this additional libido with which to bring them to the surface, the activity would have gone on just the same, but would have sucked my energy down into the unconscious. By putting libido into it, one can increase the speaking power of the unconscious.(Jung, 1925 Seminar, Lecture 5, Pages 37-45).

The Big Tree
Doing one’s own genealogy, even if it has been done before, is the best way to integrate and digest it.
The ancestors do not really live today but are not fully dead either as living images. We can ensoul our growing branches best in the context in which they arise.

Relying on the work of others removes us a step from the core of the process; it might stimulate imagery, but it’s more like reading about a journey than making it oneself. Much of the nuance and functional relations are lost — the chaos, the struggle, the blind alleys. The healing work requires direct engagement for familiarity with the holistic image as well as the details of each family encountered.

Arguably, the family tree is the necessary foundation to psychological integration. We begin a long, slow circulation among the many branches of our tree. Jung says, “The circulation is not merely movement in a circle, but means on the one hand the marking off of the sacred precinct, and on the other, the fixation and concentration.” (CW 13, Alchemical Studies, Pg 25).

The circulation of blood in the arteries mirrors the circulation of sap in the tree, and the circularity of cosmological or metaphysical thought — analogical thinking that links the macrocosm and microcosm, above and below. The ancestral field has an immediate effect, both healing and challenging, on our whole lives.


•November 26, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Jungian Genealogy for Everyone

•August 18, 2015 • Leave a Comment


Approaches to Genealogy

Your own BOOK OF THE DEAD is written in your DNA.
Deciphering its inherent meaning is a Quest for the Grail and the journey of psychological transformation. We instinctively engage in semi-conscious conversations with these ephemeral figures from our past and find, perhaps to our surprise, that they inform us with a hitherto unknown wisdom or perplex us with unsolvable riddles.

A pedigree is a symbolic hologram of our intertwined histories and structure — interacting waves upon waves of generations in the ocean of humanity. Because the ancestors number literally in the thousands, we come to understand the transformation is within the unfolding therapeutic practice, rather than contained only in each of the historical or fictional figures.

Genealogical research is a complex process that uses historical records and sometimes genetic analysis to demonstrate kinship. Reliable conclusions are based on the quality of sources, ideally original records, the information within those sources. Ideally evidence is drawn, directly or indirectly from primary or firsthand information.

In many instances, genealogists must skillfully assemble indirect or circumstantial evidence to build a case for identity and kinship. All evidence and conclusions, together with the documentation that supports them, is then assembled to create a cohesive genealogy or family history.

Genealogists begin their research by collecting family documents and stories. This creates a foundation for documentary research, which involves examining and evaluating historical records for evidence about ancestors and other relatives, their kinship ties, and the events that occurred in their lives. As a rule, genealogists begin with the present and work backward in time.

  • Rational
  • Spiritual
  • Psychological
  • Psychic
  • Legendary
  • Mythological
  • Irrational
  • Delusional

Some approaches are overtly Christian, or they may have religious overtones even for a non-religious person. Others will come to the subject with a pagan background or an affinity for the ancient ways. Paradoxically, we find ancestors listed from other ethnicities and religions.

The Prophet Mohammad often appears in Western royal lines, as do the emperors of the Han Dynasty, Attila the Hun, Turks, Khazars, and Xiongnu shamans of Siberia. We share roots with the Basque, Moors, Turks, Pashtun, and sub-Saharan Africa. A balanced approach to the heritage will not obsess on particular areas of the lineage to the exclusion of others, nor veer off into cos-play like fantasies of legendary beings. Genealogy shows your multi-ethnic heritage as well as a range of spiritual beliefs.

‘Messianic complex’ describes the phenomenon where individuals claim self-awareness of their proclaimed role as a ‘savior’.
Like those who claim to be Jesus, non-religious “Magdalene addicts” are prone to channeling her, or even claiming to be her. But most of these channelings are highly idealized and full of truisms.

The phenomenon is a complicated psychological problematic developed within a cultural group. In Jungian psychology a complex is a cluster of psychological energy that centers around a particular element that has developed partly through the disposition of a personality and partly through life experience (Jacobi). These energy clusters act as partial personalities within the psyche and are often unconscious and somewhat autonomous.

They don’t reflect the deeply Gnostic belief in the evil of matter, the drive to perfection, or the demonic dominion of the Archons. Or, if they do embrace such ideas, they likely heard it on some internet show from a highly idiosyncratic speaker, invariably trying to sell his or her book. Somehow they all have a theory.  But no one has made good on such claims yet.

They may be the victims of misguided inner authority. We can pick up misconceptions and self-delusions in the search for the soul. The faddish appearance of such identifications (a lived trance-state) is a social trend, and the meme-like nature of the Feminine proclamations reveal that this is a collective phenomena, not true individuation. It shows the collective influence of pop culture and the archetype on the psyche, no matter what you call “Her”.

A relationship with the archetype can be primitive or sophisticated. James Hillman expands the concept of complex by adding a concept called personification to individual complexes, treating complexes as characters or entities within the psyche, with the proviso that it is not meant to be literal.

Jung’s complexes and James Hillman’s concept of personification permit the unconscious images to converse with the individual psyche in ‘imaginal dialogue‘. They manage to incorporate feelings, imagination, and metaphor, which other sciences reject.

Sociological identification, including intense physical reactions, and relationships between the body and the psyche, can be independent of linear historical inheritance in a culture that is a product of ideas rather than location or blood inheritance and also experimental. Emergent imaginal content is metaphor for thinking about experience, including experiences tied to intense belief structures.

When you don’t know what a symbol is, it appears split-off, as ‘other’. It attempts to enter consciousness in the expressive arts. Collectively, spiritual conflict is worldview warfare — irreconcilable differences in belief, including the structure of the Cosmos. But only creative emotional and cognitive comprehension of the inherent meaning of experience leads to individuation and self-realization — the Grail.

Jung spoke of such creativity:

“The creative process has feminine quality, and the creative work arises from unconscious depths–we might say, from the realm of the mothers. Whenever the creative force predominates, human life is ruled and molded by the unconscious as against the active will, and the conscious ego is swept along on a subterranean current, being nothing more than a helpless observer of events.

The work in process becomes the poet’s fate and determines his psychic development. It is not Goethe who creates Faust, but Faust which creates Goethe….The archetypal image of the wise man, the saviour or redeemer, lies buried and dormant in man’s unconscious since the dawn of culture; it is awakened whenever the times are out of joint and a human society is committed to a serious error.

When people go astray they feel the need of a guide or teacher or even of the physician. These primordial images are numerous, but do not appear in the dreams of individuals or in works of art until they are called into being by the waywardness of the general outlook.

When conscious life is characterized by one-sidedness and by a false attitude, then they are activated–one might say, ‘instinctively’–and come to light in the dreams of individuals and the visions of artists and seers, thus restoring the psychic equilibrium of the epoch.” (Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul).

Every creative person is a duality or a synthesis of contradictory aptitudes. On the one side he is a human being with a personal life, while on the other side he is an impersonal, creative process…The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purposes through him. As a human being he may have moods and a will and personal aims, but as an artist he is ‘man’ in a higher sense–he is ‘collective man’–one who carries and shapes the unconscious, psychic life of mankind. To perform this difficult office it is sometimes necessary for him to sacrifice happiness and everything that makes life worth living for the ordinary human being.”


Emotionally appealing truths are sandwiched into idiosyncratic notions ranging from the speculative to the fantastical, and trap many individuals like flypaper, because our minds love a good story. The brain feeds on stories, but the wrong stories just lead us down the garden path into ancient worlds that never happened, and mythic scenarios that were never meant to be taken literally. Accepting such beliefs uncritically is precisely the opposite of what Jung recommended as individuation.

Such false beliefs tend to cluster around an individual’s personal issues and complexes, but are mistaken for and confounded with historical, philosophical and scientific ‘reality’. Much of the “self-delusion” can be linked to exposure to memes functioning as emotional strange attractors or cultural artifacts or fallout,, as well as pre- and pseudo-scientific notions of by-gone centuries, and lack of understanding of standards and discernment.

The self-narrative may not match the reality. It’s a truism that mediocrity (gaps and gaffs in awareness) boasts the loudest. Through hysteria, lack of critical judgment, and naive enthusiasm, a false idea can be hyped by the mainstream media to the point of not only looking entirely plausible, but even certain.

A world view is a set of presuppositions (or assumptions) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously) about the basic makeup of our world. Everyone has a world view, whether he can explain it or not. It can be likened to a pair of glasses through which one views the world. It is important to have the right prescription, or reality will be distorted. Modem man is faced with a supermarket of world views; all of them claim to represent reality, but they are points of view about reality — mental constructs, beliefs.

To construct our own worldview we are still confronted with the old formula – the cosmological creative and destructive cycles of time. Cosmology is the study of the origin and nature of the universe.  Ontology studies the nature of being as being and existence.
  We have to fit the pieces together from epistemologies and psychodynamics into some sort of cumulative understanding. Some basic epistemological agreement about the phenomena under examination is needed. Metaphysics abstracts universal conceptions. Some of these grand narratives are more fanciful than others.

We can be sincerely convinced of the utterly wrong. Why do we continue to accommodate the irrelevant and easily falsifiable? Are we conscientious about our own self-delusions or simply unconsciously immersed in them due to a delusional perspective on our own misguided “gnosis” and obsessions with misguided theoretical perspectives? Even conscience is no ineffable guide to inner authority. There is no shortage of new myths to capture our attention. Dreams tell us who we are, collectively and individually.

If Inner Authority is linked to authentic power and wisdom, we need to examine our personal interaction with inner wisdom figures (archetypes) and values in order to create lives of positive action that arise from deep inner wisdom. Most of us shirk such important inner work, substituting a fantasy of transformation and mindfulness. Delusional self-improvement projects are aimed at adorning the ego.

People claim to hear messages that ring in their hearts as truth, or ‘resonate’ with material that confirms their own tacit or recognized beliefs, but most it originates in cultural conditioning and memetic patterning. All we hold is a piece of the Mystery. Buzzwords such as True Nature, intentionality, and mis-identified integrity compound the situation. Premature spiritual fixation can just as readily be a form of transcendental escapism.

Both the strategies of “transcendence” and “reduction” are expressions of bad faith — i.e., forms of self-deception and escapism that seek to deny the realities of the human existential situation. Self-delusion may be self-evident but few give themselves a reality check on it and doing so is compounded by our own psychological blindspots. This is a form of escapism or neo-mythology.

The depth psychological approach is about psyche, which brings with it a sense of the sacred. It is a way of incorporation that assimilates what has been considered the “Not-I” into the core of being. It is informed by the Hero’s Journey and many of the iconic tropes of the royal genealogical lines. Archetypal psychology has experience dealing with parental images and ego development, as well as life passages that might intertwine with genealogical interest and the predictable crises such as childbearing, mid-life, aging and confronting mortality.

Jungians claim that, “A psychologically-oriented approach to spirituality and a new God-image are emerging alongside the Judeo-Christian tradition. This form of spirituality expresses itself from the depths of the psyche, and stresses personal experience rather than belief or sacred texts. Depth psychology gives us a contemporary way to express this evolving step in the history of religious consciousness. Sometimes a new language enables things to be said that have yet to be articulated, and depth psychology is providing this voice.”

Traditional ideas about God and religion do not always express the individual’s personal spirituality, because one may experience the sacred in ways that are not fully articulated in the traditional teachings. For people who are committed to a traditional religious practice, depth psychology can deepen their relationship to the tradition and their understanding of its archetypal underpinning. (Corbett)

Ancestors & Archetypes, 2015 new

•August 18, 2015 • Leave a Comment


Facing Your Ancestors

Descent From Antiquity
Families are bound together eternally. The power of genealogy is the power of story. This is  the story of the family and the diverse characters that populate the many branches of our family tree. These are stories that matter, that preceded your corporeal existence. This story reveals how things came to be as they are — as you are.

Genealogy is a story we tell ourselves about ourselves. The stories of our ancestors open us to deeper experience. Our personal story is embedded in our larger inherited story and culture. Genealogy helps us connect more deeply with our unique story and meaning in life beyond a personal story. It is a mythic archaeology that connects us with that which has given us shape, opening a path to transformation.

Genealogy is the narrative of a pre-modern world. It has its roots in the ancient theogeny of gods and goddesses, divine-king lists and The Bible. Ancestral gods and ancestral religions developed over eons and are as old as particular branches of mankind — gods of the blood. Astrologically determined gods and goddesses can often be found at the roots of dynastic houses. Royal houses claimed power through descent from ancestral gods.

Gods are difficult to destroy or conceal. Fictitious lines of descent blend indistinguishably with medieval forgeries. Some divinities may originally have been historical persons or war-chiefs, now lost to the mists of pre-history. Seedlines codify ancient ethnic identity and empires. Later, royals added them to their lines to bolster their claims to divine rule and the founding of thrones. Genealogy was a geographical and spiritual compass.

When Rome Christianized in the fourth century, it cut off the mythic corpus, and demoted gods to human status and allegories. The medieval period filled the gap with tales of the Holy Grail. The pagan content of mythology was codified in the mid-fourteenth century in Boccassio’s Genealogy. Later, the Carolingians used such works to justify their right to rule, also citing the spurious Donation of Constantine, which the Church used to justify the appointment of rulers.

Traditional genealogy considered these mythological inclusions best-practice, yet it may be more of a psychic than historical “fact” — the product of a collision between pagan and Christian societies and their reconciliation. Historical time required a linear descent, even if it masked pagan roots at the theological fringe. Even if medieval genealogies connecting ancient kings to Adam are pure invention, they retain certain psychic values that are part of the archaeology of the collective unconscious.

The Tree of Life
Our personal genealogy is a process of self-discovery and self-knowledge with its own procedures and measures of ‘truth.’ It seems ironic that technology is allowing us to retrieve such essential aspects of our own humanity. Curiously, genealogy is the second most popular online subject, second only to sex, much like sex precedes procreation.

Your family tree is an encyclopedia of human nature. Genealogy doesn’t give our lives context; it is the context and material ground of our existence. The Tree of Life carries the evolution of the world, gives life to the universe, and understanding or consciousness. Life originates from and disappears back into the Tree. The Kabbalistic Tree of Life is a symbol of the process of creation and inner wholeness.

Jung said (CW5, para321) that, “The tree of life may have been, in the first instance, a fruit-bearing genealogical tree, and hence a kind of tribal other.” It was a central symbol of spiritual unity, wisdom, beauty, love, strength, and the power of the Universe rooted in the divine. Nietzsche pointed out that as with both people and trees, “The more one seeks to rise into height and light, the more vigorously do one’s roots struggle earthward, downward into the dark, the the deep — into evil.”

The tree is an early symbol of spiritual development and our own immortal character, the living structure of our inner self — transcendence to lofty heights. Below the surface, the subtext remains, “Who is this person having these experiences?” We are literally and symbolically the “fruit” of the Tree of Life. We need a powerful new story for our relationship with the Earth: we are, indeed, part of nature and not separate from it in any way. Genealogy helps ground us in this paradigm and helps develop our sense of deep time and rootedness in contemporary life with a global perspective.

The World Tree
Within 5-7 generations our family tree meets up and merges with the World Tree. This is especially true for American Colonial descent, where the progenitors and their droplines are well-known. Once you research back to your Gateway Ancestors who immigrated, you can easily find the lines that connect back as far as professional genealogists have determined and merge even further with fictional, legendary and mythological characters.

Outside of genealogy, the World Tree is often related to shamanism. As a link to ancestral spirits, it is an integral part of the shamanic cosmology. The World Tree is a bridge that connects heaven, earth and underworld. When a shaman “climbs the tree,” he or she ascends into the Upper World and the creative sources of power — to the gods, to the zenith of heaven. The philosophical tree represents a sublimation of our spirit. The shaman receives intercessory messages.

In some ways the World Tree is identical with the shaman. Creatures can appear in the Tree, including snakes, birds, goats, and other totems and signs. The World Tree is a tree of initiation, ordeals, astral or mystic flight, vision quest, and fate or destiny. The shaman mediates between humanity and the spirit world, and in a simpler way, the genealogist performs a similar symbolic service, especially when interpreting a pedigree. To be cut off from the sacred tree is to be cut off from the spirit world, a condition which is likened to ‘illness’ and requires healing for loss of soul.

The serpents in our Tree are the individual lines of descent from various common ancestors. They lead us to question who and what we are, what we know, and what we thought we knew about our roots. They offer us Knowledge. They are part of the larger truth — that we are born and we die — and we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. Yet, Jung said we fear our serpent as we fear the numinosum. He concludes, “All we have to give the world and God is ourselves as we are.”

Good and evil unite in the growth of the Tree. It combines masculine phallic representations with feminine nurture and growth. We are the serpent of wisdom, the union of good and evil, in our own Tree. Genealogy is a ritual in which we climb up and down through the branches of our tree in deep remembrance, an exercise in ‘time travel’ that expands our consciousness.

Mircea Eliade and Joseph Campbell wrote exhaustively on this Tree as the center of the world, a vertical World Axis or dimension that symbolizes the capacity for non-ordinary experience, including shamanic trance that reinforces community links with cosmic consciousness. The Sacred Tree as such a center is potentially everywhere. The drum, like the heartbeat of the community is a means of climbing the tree and contacting the spirits. Campbell called the cosmic tree a wish-fulfilling, fruitful symbol of fertility, regeneration, and immortality.

We need to know that we have a history of continuity  that is profound. Our bloodline is our connection to Creation. We follow the steps created by the bodies and minds of the past. Our artform goes back to antiquity and is the measure of man. In this way we penetrate our own unknown origins and the culture of our ancestors. We think, feel, remember, and imagine. Memory is  a form of imagination.

As existentially powerful as science or religion, genealogy can expand our worldview and help us weave our own coherent narrative. It helps us unravel our emotional inheritance. Sometimes what the forebearers did somehow becomes our story. We can re-imagine the whole planet as our ancestral lands. It helps us grasp how we are holistically embedded in a vast seamless web of life, a world alive with cosmic spirit, as counterpoint to death, tragedy, destruction, and despair.

Reading our genealogical lines is ultimately a heuristic process — one requiring deep research and circumspect interpretation. But, connecting with the vitality of our lineage — the living sap of the Tree — elevates the mind and sublimes the thought. It is less about a “me generation” story than a grand “story of us” that ranges beyond illusions of time, space, and ego. We can cultivate the Elysian Fields of our ancestors to good effect. Thus, genealogy can be a transformative art. The Grail is a Mystery and the search for it a Quest for self-actualization, a way of initiation.

If we are too literal about it, we see only a string of corpses. But if we truly assimilate our heritage, we alter it creatively and give life to it through our individual understanding. We can bring our genealogy into meaningful dialogue with artistic and cultural disciplines. Genealogy is arguably one of the most “grounding” activities in which we can participate. From this fertile ground springs the acorn of the soul. It’s an old Platonic and Jungian idea that the soul picks the father and mother of the child…and thereby the direct ancestors.

The ancestors are the symbolic and material ground of our being. Psyche is not in us; we are in it which is everywhere. Jung pointed out in Letters Vol. II that without psyche we can neither know nor believe. We learn to center, reflect, and listen to voices within. The Great Work of genealogy is a small price to pay for turning the unconscious lead of uprootedness into the psychological gold of knowing one’s true origins.

We live in relative autonomy but remain enmeshed in the epigenetic memories of our particular family. Our rich descent is about NOW, as much or more than it is about what has gone before. Our personal mythology is shaped in our formative years. The ancient myths live on in the stories we tell about our own lives. The old gods are there in spirit in our triumphs and struggles. Myths pertain to the primordial gods and goddesses, while legend is about historical human heroes.

Our life stories are personal myths that emulate the characters and themes found in old myths. We act on mythic archetypes without knowing we are doing it. We choose our identity as well as the shape and direction of our lives through such such scripts. When we resonate with our ancestors, it helps us make sense of our own lives.

We are cast in the natural form and and semblance of those who came before us. We must each answer the call of the Ancestors to the adventure of self-discovery in our own way. Group approaches generally devolve into the lowest common denominator, as Jung describes. We can approach our lineage in the spirit of individuation. In the genealogical matrix of personalities, each ancestor has a potential effect on our consciousness. Naturally, that potential will not be realized in full because many of our ancestral lines will stub out sooner or later in the dead ends of unknown individuals and lost family lines.

The Royal We
Because they were recorded better for historical and other reasons, noble and royal lines are more available. Anyone tracing to royal roots will meet and share the same medieval pool of progenitors — the “usual suspects.” It is only natural to identify with some more than others, depending on how we resonate with their stories, for good or evil. In Letters Vol. II, Jung said, “We think it is enough to discover new things, but we don’t realize that knowing more demands a corresponding development of morality.”

We may find ourselves in a participation mystique, or project our feelings onto them, or even become ‘possessed’ or fascinated by certain individuals and their qualities or deeds. For example, The Da Vinci Code fad has produced a group of fantasists riveted to alternative stories of Mary Magdalene and Jesus, while ignoring even their most recent ancestors, who are probably as, or more influential psychologically-speaking. In the worst cases such unconscious identification can lead to dissociation, ‘possession,’ and dysfunctionality. In an ideal world, genealogy supports maintaining our basic integrity, giving new meaning to “knowing who we are,” and how deeply we are tied to self, world, and others.

Some people even develop compensatory personas based solely on such spurious connections. Our interpretations of our genealogy may lead to a lowering (abaissment) of consciousness, while others expand awareness. But we cannot retrieve the worldviews of pre-literate, agrarian or feudal societies to solve today’s problems of the information age and global society. The problem compounds when we try to grasp the functional realities of ancient civilizations and cultures. What we do experience is our fantasy images of what those individuals and times might have been like. Images are the basic experience of psyche. These images are our prima materia.

Personal Mythology
In The Interior Dialogue (2009), Stanley Krippner describes personal mythology as “… an approach to personal transformation using the development of participants’ personal stories about existential human issues for self healing and personal growth. There are also cultural, institutional, ethnic, and familial myths which influence our personal myths.

We use our stories as personal myths. Often they can be found through our dreams, where we are often informed long before we know intellectually. There are four factors that influence personal myths: biology, culture, interpersonal experiences, and transpersonal experiences and how to work with them. By identifying, evaluating, and transforming dysfunctional myths, beliefs, and worldviews, and working with them you can transform them.”

We live in a time of many competing mythologies. Genealogy can help us clarify personal, characterological, and familial issues. Our genealogy becomes a psychologically constructed reality. We have no real experience of ancestral habits of thought and expression nor by-gone eras of strife, order and disorder. Sentimentality, nostalgia, and confabulation are poor substitutes. Others spout idiosyncratic doctrines or cliche prophecies based on their so-called supernatural connections. Such raw mythologizing is a far cry from the aesthetic pursuit of personal mythology, as described by Krippner, and others.

Your Genealogical exploration is an archetypal Journey during which you travel back into the worlds inhabited by your ancestors. Some people are rationally motivated to find and preserve their lineage for the family. Others are emotionally driven by conscious and unconscious needs. Those who take a religious approach will emphasize legendary ‘holy blood’ aspects. Those who are fascinated with myths and tales may embrace them as ‘real.’
We can often not put a face to our ancestors, but we can give them back their names, and thus FACE our ancestors in the most direct way possible, with honor and respect.

We create our own ultimate narrative of our genealogical story based on our self-image, beliefs and worldview. Because the ‘spiritual’ romantics embrace connections others consider ‘false’ or non-historical, the rationalist genealogists have moved toward removing or cutting off lines they consider ‘fictional’. But they cannot cut off the deep root of the collective unconscious for which these ancient ideas are ‘real.’ For example, immortality may not be ‘real’, but our unconscious behaves as if it is so. The unconscious believes in immortality, even if we don’t.

There is a simple solution to this polarization. Taking a psychological approach to the family and world tree de-literalizes the legendary and mythic lines. We can simply retain their fructifying and life-giving potential without making them into unsupportable ‘facts.’ Jung said, “mythological motifs are ‘facts;’ they never change; only theories change,” (Letters II, p. 191). We can’t deny their existence by pruning them from the World Tree.

Archetypal psychology has worked with such material to provide a viable model for approaching the integration of these ancient figures into our conscious lives. If we apply the methods, we cannot fail to discover archetypal motifs. It isn’t a system as much as a way of “seeing through.”

If we apply depth psychology methods conscientiously, we can avoid most of the literalization, projection, and ego inflation that affects many amateur genealogists who fail to comprehend the material in a way that reflects best-practice. Instead our approach to the “as if” real portions of the pedigree is poetic and deliteralized, and doesn’t seek to retrieve the past as much as live more fully with it. We can “evoke” and “constellate” such material within the hermetically sealed process of Jungian Genealogy.

In one sense, all these lives are yours, but not in the individual new age sense of past lives. You will meet characters of all psychological types, and perhaps re-member your passed lives: villains and heroes, the famous and infamous, saints and sinners, priests and warriors, fair maidens, bastards and bold knights, kings and queens, genius and psychopaths, and a host of supporting ancestors. And they will all be your gr-grandparents.

We may judge, deny, or reject some ancestors while having an instinctive rapport with others. They help us reveal our shadow traits as well as self-actualizing capacities. In most cases they lived in a far more challenging world in which to survive, much less thrive. Their lives can inform and inspire us. The trail back through history can be followed in our lines of descent. History becomes personal. Your sense of time, depth, and intimacy expands. Our whole being, our whole body is an intergenerational as well as personal memory down to the cellular, genetic, and epigenetic level.

If to ‘worship’ is to show honor or give devotional attention or adoring regard, then in genealogy we can ‘worship’ our ancestors, without taking that too literally. We can respect, honor, and attend without being consumed in the labyrinthine matrix of the dead or in their many conflicts, infidelities, and vile deeds. We can view the sketchier, legendary parts of our pedigree with an imaginal eye.

Deities and Demigods
This is not concretized personal genealogy, over burdened by the literalized personal conflicts and traumas of the family system. Neither a lie nor a fantasy, it is our underlying archetypal genealogy, without the suffocating pressures of personal genealogy. This allows psychic movement within the archetypal possibilities and situations behind their images. Are Uranus, Aphrodite, Hercules, Isis, and Odin really our “ancestors”? Such deities and demigods represent our transpersonal potential. Are they really in our blood, or the roots of the psyche?

This is the traditional way of showing forth the ancient shared connection with our common roots — with the collective unconscious, including the gods and goddesses that appear at the foundation of our genealogies. We learn the family trees of godforms in school, but not their specific relationships to our drop lines. Many of the deities are related in more than one way. Stories of gods and creation are not just about the past. They are about us now.

Ancestral Braiding
Our ancestral lines braid together through marriages and migration. Our histories are woven together in cross-cousin and foreign marriage bridges. Long royal genealogies include nearly every war and clash of cultures throughout history. You will have progenitors on both sides of many battles. There will be persecutors and victims, even genocides. While bordering on factual our historical gleanings may or may not be accurate.

We may find it hard to absorb that whole timeline of human turmoil at such a personal level. It takes time to digest and integrate as the actual stories of your ancestors, especially when they fade into myth and legend. They may not be historical facts, but psyche has its own facts and effects on our beliefs and behaviors. Genealogy reflects the psychic facts of our protracted existence. Psychic realities are expressions of soul cultivated by imagination.

Tracing one’s lines becomes a meditational activity. Finding the homes and stories of ancestors helps us flesh them out and imaginally travel back to their times and places. Many of these simple tasks have the ritualistic effect of helping us grow closer to the ancestors — to those whose names we can now readily recite and place.

One’s entire pedigree symbolizes the totality of the Self and its transcendent nature. But no one can integrate the wholeness of the entire self because that would limit it. Jung said, “in reality its experience is unlimited and endless.” Biologically, we do not contain or express the genes of all of our ancestors, and our specific combination that does manifest is what makes us unique individuals.

Ritual, Dreams, and Imagination
We can expand our awareness further with ‘dream genealogy.’ Jung said, “In the deepest sense, we all dream not of ourselves, but out of what lies between us and the other.” We can gather information about our ancestors in our reveries, dreams and shamanic journeys. ‘Big dreams’ can reveal elusive family history. By entering the world of the ancestors, we tap our deep unconscious, collective memories, intuition, vision, and wisdom.  Lucid Dreaming and Dream Walking have been used by some to open ancestral connections.

Rituals, such as a simple ancestral altar, to more elaborate enactments or recitals are an option. More than faith, habit or even magic, Jung saw rites as psychologically effective symbolic acts, “giving expression to the archetypal expectation of the unconscious.” “Rites give satisfaction to the collective and numinous aspects of the moment, beyond their purely personal significance.” (Letters II, p.208-210)  Acts of imagination can also be seen as rituals that enrich our perceptions.

We can edit or amend our family story as we gain a more accurate understanding our lines and the past. We are a ripple on the ocean of this past experience. We can move systematically back in time or take quantum leaps into other realities. Other optional methods include hypnosis or even word association. Those with “Second Sight” will draw from those experiences while others try to foster that ability. Perhaps one of the most productive techniques we can use is the dialogical method, such as that outlined by Ira Progoff in his works on journaling.

Some seek answers to questions, while others seek only the Mystery in the darkness. We connect with something greater than ourselves, finding more than we know. Art integrates the material and spiritual. Artistic expression in all forms is another way to let the ancestors in, to give them a voice or presence — to receive a blessing or healing. Genealogy is an evolving construction of our inner reality.


Whole Person Transformation

•December 28, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Individual consciousness is only the flower and the fruit of a season, sprung from the perennial rhizome beneath the earth; and it would find itself in better accord with the truth if it took the existence of the rhizome into its calculations. For the root matter is the mother of all things.” — C.G. Jung, Symbols of Transformation
Whole Person Transformation

A perennial theme of humankind, transformation as a basic change in character, cognition, and direction has been explored in religion, psychology and art. Rites of passage, as a summons to wisdom, can include a psychological and sacred dimension. It addresses the question of how a person finds a personal path worthy of the soul. We’re taught to strive for this mythic “thing” at the physical, mental, and spiritual level. Transformation is thorough, radical and dramatic — a power that can be deployed for good or ill.

Classically, ‘transformation’ describes the path from initiation to liberation from social conformity, helping us let go of the worn out to find deep dialogue with psyche, adventure and renewed life. The process is mediated by symbols and imagery. If they arise organically ego is transformed; if they are imposed ego is hijacked. Solitude is the furnace of authentic transformation. Personal growth is an individual process of self-determination. In this sense, it is incompatible with group programming. But the real self as divergent perceptions and dynamic understanding of interrelationships is dangerous to tradition, the church, the state, and the crowd.

In psychology, transformation has been curiously defined as “the procedure used when unconscious desires or urges are costumed in order to emerge in consciousness.” Psychobiological transformation is a key theme in depth psychologies. It begins at the point where there is no hope and lead through overwhelming challenges, fraught with depression, fragmentation, resistance, symptoms, pain and anxiety. We are at our most vulnerable at the threshold of transformation.

The key to personal transformation is story transformation. It is symbolic, life-changing — a massive reorganization of attitudes, behaviors, and meaning. Metamorphosis is the classic metaphor of major life passages and restructuring. Latent potentials emerge and outworn characteristics decline. Some qualities are hidden until our true nature is revealed as a new form of life and self-identity.

Imaginal psychology urges us to move beyond the monotheistic myth of self-domination by the abstract concepts of a rational heroic ego, self, or god. James Hillman noted the ego too is an image. It makes problems to solve them with will and intentionality, but that is an illusory perspective. Consciousness is not based on concepts of ego or self, though it has been identified as such. Archetypes generate the transformational images and the universal material of myth and drama, but they bear the mark of personal and cultural conditioning. They provide archaic and timeless meaning.

Hillman dubs ego a “myth of inflation”, not the secret key to the development of consciousness, but a source of fallacies, defining its literal fantasies as reality. In A Blue Fire (pg. 34), he suggests, “placing in abeyance such metaphors as: choice and light, problem solving and reality testing, strengthening, developing, controlling, progressing.” He condemns new age insistence on transformation – sloughing off the old self and interpretive schemes for an idealization that is essentially another self-delusion.

Jung (CW 12, par. 32) cautioned that we must be alone to find out what it is that supports us when we can no longer support ourselves. Only this experience, he said, gives us an indestructible foundation. “Individuation and collectivity are a pair of opposites, two divergent destinies. They are related to one another by guilt.” He concludes, “we must be able to stand alone vis a vis the unconscious for better or worse.” (Letters, Vol 1, p. 458-459) Jung also notes, “Individuation is just ordinary life and what you are made conscious of.” (Letters, Vol. 1, pg. 442) It isn’t rare, but it is a move toward self-actualization or self-realization.

The path from the oblivious to self-aware life is beset with obstacles. How do we know what a genuine transformative experience is? We transform ourselves by every act of self-knowing. Jung felt that self-realization was a natural process of transformation, orchestrated by the unconscious. The infinite depth of dynamic reality informs our worldview and personal sovereignty. Such is the journey of meaningful solitude into silence, ratified by the perennial wisdom.

Krishnamurti said, “To stand alone is to be uncorrupted, innocent, free of all tradition, of dogma, of opinion, of what another says, and so on. . . .What matters is to understand for oneself, not through the direction of others, the total content of consciousness, which is not conditioned, which is the result of society, of religion, of various impacts, impressions, memories — to understand all of that conditioning and be free of it. But there is no “how” to be free. If you ask ‘how’ to be free, you are not listening.”

Kahlil Gibran claimed, “Knowledge of the self is the mother of all knowledge. So it is incumbent on me to know my self, to know it completely, to know its minutiae, its characteristics, its subtleties, and its very atoms.” Yogananda suggests that self-realization is “to know truth through yourself, and not through others.” Ramana Maharshi says, “your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.”

The Dalai Lama says, “With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.” Rumi was poetic: “I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my Soul.” Hermann Hesse and others, such as Thoreau, Emerson and Whitman, echo this approach in their own writings.

Hesse felt that, “We must become so alone, so absolutely alone, that we withdraw into our innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for in our innermost soul, we know ourselves to be one with all beings.”

“Transformation connotes a more-or-less dramatic shift in the context of an individual’s meaning system, beyond any attempts to re-brand or commercialize the field. Real transformation takes place in the furnace of the heart. However, institutional transformation can mean an imposed or enforced social change. In McLuhan’s vernacular, the “invisible” environment of new technologies creates an “erosion”, not enhancement, of the conscious and unconscious — by means of “audience as workforce.” We unconsciously conform to such environments. The subconscious works on emotion. Business strategy is transformed into emotion.

Transformation is a model of a process. In this theory, personal and social transformation promotes self-actualization and compassionate service. Radical change involves new habits, range of emotions, and worldview — concerns, interests, goals, ambitions, and behaviors. A reordering of values can change the basis of self-identity. Significant transformation can mean a radical reorganization of one’s identity, meaning, and purpose in life — a turning point — transformations of earlier worldviews. Embodied transformation sustains over time. Wisdom to know the difference between one’s ego and one’s Self is embodied in your individuality.

Or, does holistic repatterning just mean structural transformation of old elements into a new configuration in the internal landscape — a restructuring of psychic space? Only a profound change in structure creates something new. Infiltrated consciousness is such a result, changing how we perceive the world and act on those perceptions.

Organizational strategies and state or corporate coercive transformation don’t serve the individual. For them, imposed transformation means collaborative, consultative, directive and coercive manipulations. Ultimately, it means international competition and state formation. The state exerts coercion for control.

Iona Miller Frontier Science Articles

•September 18, 2014 • 1 Comment

Frontier Science

Enlightening Holograms

Published Articles Log
Holographic Archetypes
Science-Art, Chaos, Coincidence, Creation

Iona Miller

Quantum Brain-Mind Problem Examined

•September 18, 2014 • Leave a Comment
On the Quantum Aspects of Brain-Mind Problem
Iona Miller 2014
The brain-mind problem is also known as the mind-body problem and by extension mind-matter. How the mind relates to the brain has classically been discussed in terms of monism and dualism-that the mind and brain are one or that the mind and brain are separate. It has long been suggested that the brain functions as a sort of transducer from the universal to the particular. Quantum and sub -quantal phenomena may play an important part in the brain’s transducer function
.Further, our physical theories and narratives , rooted in philosophical notions about the interface of psyche and matter , also serve a symbolic function If the unconscious is a magical powerhouse that speaks in symbols, our notion of the unconscious is also a symbol of the power of the primal field.

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