“I long to live in the only place I truly can live.”

11144416_974787355951548_7417282000083361679_nWell the 10 day retreat ended on Sunday morning!.   Ten days of noble silence!   Ten days of meditation.  Ten days of what might be  called “mindfulness,” meditation.

I went to the Northern California Vipassana Meditation Center,* which is just a few miles from where the devastating “Valley Fire,” near Cobb Mt. and Middletown, CA took place less than 2 months ago. For ten days I could not talk,(and if you know me, you could just imagine how interesting that was for me!) and all I could do is meditate, eat, sleep and shower, and that was all I 11709487_911521702258127_1817418095548286627_ndid.  They would awaken you at 4 a.m. and you started meditating at 4:30.  The meditation ended at 9 every evening. We had about 12 hours of meditation a day. You only had fruit to eat after 12 noon every day.  It sounds so arduous doesn’t it?  Or does it sound easy?

But when you live alone, like I have for the last few years, it really isn’t that hard not to talk when you are at home.  It is when I am in the outside world that I talk or when I am on the phone.  I guess being on the computer like this would be considered talking.  You were not supposed to bring in _MG_0994any reading or writing utensils.  You were not supposed to use a computer or any device to communicate with the outside world.

One would think it would be hell.  But when I stood back and looked at the experience, I realize that an argument could be made that it is the life we lead that is more hell-like than the 10 days I was there.

The meditation practice would be body centered meditation if I had to define it.  You were to focus your mind on the your body.  Starting from the tip of your head and going all the way down to the tips of your toes, you were to “connect,” in my words, to the rest of your body.

20150801_063116 (2)Now I dont know about you, but I have spent a lifetime ignoring what my body “says” to me.  I have put layer upon layer of trauma and the effects of trauma between me and my emotional connection to my body.  I had to to survive.  I had to dissociate from the abuse by “leaving,” my body so that I could psychologically survive.  I weep as I write this.

So to tell a middle aged man, who has studied this thing called depression as best as I could in the last 5 years, that it was paying attention to your body that was going to be the thing that was going to help you heal, gave me quite a challenge.  I think I understand the dis-ease depression and have said for a while that the PTSD I suffer with is the foundation for the “mental health,” problems that I have.

So to be told that it is by paying attention to your body, for almost 12 hours a day for 10 days in silent meditation, that you were going to be able to heal in a way(s) that you could not heal before, would most probably for most people present quite a challenge.  But because one of the greatest gifts I have received on the journey was body centered breath work, I knew I had found another tool to help me.  So when I learned what the practice was, how to meditate, I was in heaven!

_MG_4425_2It was not easy.  The mind always wants to say “f— this sh–,” when presented with solutions that dont include it being the leader.  So I knew when I was learning the breathing technique that I had come to the “right,” place. I might write more about it later.   I would highly recommend it to those who suffer from “mental health,” issues.

The opening quote is something that came to me when I was at the retreat.  The answer is my body.

finger touching nose of baby https://www.dhamma.org/en-US/schedules/schmanda

“Their appearance is like an interruption or even an intrusion into your life.”

tumblr_luxczfdocB1qzxyqfo1_400This thing was not a interruption in my life. It was a brick wall that I could not climb over, slink under, go around or even bust through. Little did I realize that the only thing that would save me and I mean literally and metaphorically was to embrace it.   Thomas Moore defines it as a “an unnamed urge that pushes you in a certain direction.”

So I was and am still faced with this dilemma.  I want to be back in the high life as Steve Winwood would say.  But I know that I was given this depression to learn how snowyto do the Ggods work and help those who are suffering in ways I can only imagine.   My dear friends Willem3655 and the Fanatic suffer in ways I can only imagine.  I can hear them when they tell me their struggle but I cannot understand it based on experiences that are the same.  I dont think I have suffered like they have.

But these relationships are the ones that are the ones that mean something to me.  It is not that the other relationships in my way-aheadlife have less meaning.  But I was talking about it in a “meeting,” last night.  I truly believe that I was led to live in the area where the “Valley Fire,” went through to help those who have lost their houses to rebuild them. Just as I was led into depression to help those who suffer, mostly in silence, from a life sucking energy that cannot be overcome by will power alone.  Because if it could have been, just ask my friends if I would have overcome it or not.  Just like I could not stop drinking or drugging on my own, I cannot overcome depression on my own.

Jackson Browne says in “For A Dancer,” ” And somewhere between the time you arrive and the time you go may lie a reason you were alive but you’ll never know.”  That is how life normally feels  for me.   Except for as Moore says, this force is “the force behind your tenacity of your yearning.” What I yearn for is to help heal from the emotional malaise we seem to have but consistently seem to ignore as a culture.  400px-FlammarionIf 30% of the people who helped write the big book’s stories committed suicide, there is a problem.*

And damn it, my friends who are the dearest thing to me, save one person, are suffering in ways that are incomprehensible to the “normal” person, but are suffering still the same.

This thing is called our  Daimon.  Hillman talks about it as does Moore and I am sure others.  It is the thing that has led me down this path which I hillmandont have a clue of where I am going. But it is here and it is real.  The reason I trust that it is real is the statement by Moore where he say that it is “[t]he guidance offered by an inner wisdom, More an impulse then a thought.”

You see I was a content attorney getting rich in Marin and here I am about to move into an area where a fire devastated people’s lives and when I am up there, I know it is the place I am supposed to be.

123 RV, SA, HF, PH, PA, JO, Dwight, TL, TS, and Happy Birthday Cynthia!!!

All quotes from Thomas Moore’s book “A Life at Work.” * If you want to know how I see this condition read, D.H. Lawrence’s “The Healing.” It was the first post on this blog and remains the way I see the dis-ease we live with in this culture.



“To find out what is truly individual in ourselves,…”

69206_494942070555213_1624619172_n “… profound reflection is needed; and suddenly we realize how uncommonly difficult the discovery of individuality is.”

Okay this is going to be a rant.

I am so sick and tired of not knowing who I am and what the hell I am doing here on this thing called earth.  If the Ggods have a clue I wish they would include me in their insights.  I have just taken a day of reflection(not working) and this journey through depression SUCKS!

My friends have to live with pain, psychotic breaks, shame and fear!  I live with all of them except maybe psychotic breaks.  Why?  So I can live 20150902_182534 (2)this life of what feels like aimless wandering from day to day, reaching and grasping for something that gives my life meaning and purpose.  What the hell is that all about?  What is so crucial for me to know about myself that I have gone into this five years of what seems to me to be, again, aimless wandering, searching for an answer to questions that I don’t even know.

“The best… work we can do is to withdraw the projection of our shadow onto others.” I dont know if I am better at this than I 11707660_974787155951568_4667623480132897462_nwas before the depression took over.  You see I live, when I am not conscious of those and what is around me, in my mind.  Not in my brain, which knows life is wonder full and awe full and the place where I dont have to live in fear. I live in a house of mirrors, that at the slightest provocation, can render me helpless and hopeless.

” I am concerned with the woes of the world and their causes, and I at least try to do something about them.”  I feel that I can help those who suffer from what are called “mental illness,” problems in life.  But I dont feel like I am doing enough to help my 11907367_880476258701734_723295981690581222_nfellow sufferers.  I know that there are way more who suffer from this dis-ease than are in the mainstream consciousness.  I was told a while ago, by a man who is a student of AA history, that 6 out of the 20 people who wrote stories that were included in the back of the “Big Book,” of A.A. committed suicide.  Thirty percent of the original people who had “recovered from a seemingly hopeless disease,”(1) killed themselves after getting sober.

Now I see why this blog is titled the way it is.  We get sober and then we suffer from the maladies we drank over.  But back on 11665402_10152853758167167_7660227498252654124_npoint.  There is a part of me that wants to save every man and woman from going through what I have had to go through. It sucks.  But the dis-ease makes me not share this or step out and really take on the energy that benefits from our malaise.

Well starting tomorrow afternoon, I am off line from the outside world for 10 days.  COMPLETELY!

Hmmm, maybe that is why I wrote this angry blog.  So I would not not have to feel the fear the coming adventure brings.

123 RV, SA, JW, PH, PH, AMA!

11942118_879974405418586_1067961703083782043_oAll quotes from Carl Jung except (1) which is out of the big book of AA.  I also want to thank the Allman Brothers for playing Mountain Jam, which is what I listened to the whole time I wrote this blog.

finger touching nose of baby100_1607

“Reason” is, notoriously, not necessarily ethical…”

11709487_911521702258127_1817418095548286627_n“… any more than intelligence is.” When I was practicing I called the law “The church of reason.”  I did so because the law believes it is a reasonable person standard that is the norm for behavior.  At least in criminal law it was.  I do however believe that is was all of the law that used the “reasonable person,” standard to predict what “normal” behavior was.  The underlying premise, which was never nor is it ever articulated anywhere in a treatise that everyone follows, is that someone, or a group of people can decide what is the behavior that is going to be determined to be deemed “reasonable.”

630431Now I dont have a problem with a large majority of what is reasonable, but when it comes to “mental health,” issues, I dont believe that those who have not suffered the debilitation that comes from Treatment Resistant Major Depressive Order(just using my own classification as a benchmark)  can create any “reasonable person” with Treatment Resistant Major Depressive Disorder to be able to articulate any sense of what predictive analysis let alone treatment they can come up with.

godafoss-waterfall-of-the-gods-iceland-pome-acroI will give an analogy that I think is applicable.  I have an “uncle” who is a professor of psychology at a very prestigious university.  He is a man with a Ph.D and he is renowned in his field.  However, he is not even aware that his suffering, which is not in his conscious reality, is clouding his ability to understand what and how people suffer from those deep seated, sometimes quite often forgotten emotional conflicts.  I tried one time to talk with him and hopefully get him to see that his  shadow was getting in the way of helping others who were as neurotic as he is/was.(He had a nervous facial tic that was so prevalent that he went to a doctor to get medication for it instead of seeing that it was a manifestation of his dis-ease. His weight was another issue he could not see as being related to his inner self.) But he would have nothing of it.  He let me know that he was highly educated and knew more than others did about psychology.  I said nothing because I could see that he needed to be “right,” instead of being helpful.  That is what reason can do for us.

20140708-182105-66065695.jpg“Clearly the anti-mythological trend is due to the difficulties we have in clinging on to our previous mythological tenets of belief.”  We hold onto reason because we have lost the ability to see that the mythical animals and other heros of worlds long ago have been replaced by one iconic hero whose life was an alegory is now seen as a literal historic event that truly took place in the exact same way that those who were “followers,” of his said  it did.

Mt._St._Helena_lgTo the victor goes history.  But the iconic life of the one “true” mythical hero we espouse as being a literal life does not allow for the mythical creatures that our heros of mythological times slayed and befriended to be considered.  This takes away imagination and when it is gone, then the vacuum has to be filled with something and we now have the “reason,” of men from over 2000 years ago telling us what really happened there.  The taking away of the imagination has other effects.  People stop seeing life as a mystery that needs to be lived and see life as a journey that will hopefully get us into a place “better,” than this world.

dsc09201The power of reason can allow us to strip the earth of the resources in it, since we no longer see the Ggods and Ggoddesses  as being from the earth.  Our only Ggod lives on a cloud high up in a place where we should aspire to go. But using reason, did not the Ggod we think created this thing called earth give it to us for us to glorify in this Ggods name?  Why are we then harming it and  concomitantly ourselves.

This whole one Ggod is poppycock!  Okay I apologize to all my friends who believe in “it.” It is a great myth though!

123 RV, SA, AMA, FB, HF, JW, JEW, PH, PA!


Quotes from Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 482-488

I get so much from this blog.  I hope you can too.  http://carljungdepthpsychology.blogspot.com

“I don’t want my thought to be put into a rationalized system.”

imagesThere is a big part of me that no longer wants to write my words down.  I think as I am getting back to being in my body more and living from a sense of action and not necessarily thought, I am more able to live in the moment. This helps my depression in that I am not perseverating as much about the mundane things in life.(Which most things are, dont you think?)

So what I am sensing is a change is how I see the “other,” which is really a change in I see me.  I am less willing to put up with the nuances in life that are detrimental to my emotional well being.  I have to say that one of the biggest pet peeves of mine is the absolute lack of humanity that corporations have for 10347232_10201917599660507_5224584867827727870_nthe individual.

“When a hundred intelligent heads are united in a group the result is one big fathead.” (1)  I am easily irritated when those who work for the corporate mechanisms treat another human being the way they do.  Their assumptions that they are the ones who are never mistaken and that the individual, in this case me, is the presumed mistake maker is astounding and lacks even the sense of decency interactions “should” have.  How easily the individual who works for the corporate mechanism directs all responsibility  back to the individual person.

dsc09491“The danger of individual analysis is the neglect of social adaptation.”(1) I am not interested in operating in the social realm that much of what we call life is about any more.  It is not that I want to withdraw from life.  No it is the exact opposite.  I want to live life and what I see going on around me is life less in many ways.  The fear that permeates my friends, and my self in a less limiting way than it used to be, is created in this system where we compete, almost ruthlessly, to “get ahead.”

“The sense of security is increased and the sense of responsibility decreased when one is part of a group.”(1)  I want to share moments with those around me that mean something.  I want to live in loving kindness and it is less and less available when the fear of the world is what dominates.

finger touching nose of baby1393852_909291559087829_6429478004072054840_n“Many people who write books, novels or poems, work at night, when the day world is gone.” I am about to set out on an adventure for the next few weeks that will keep me away from all technology.  I am blessed and a bit scared also as I have become a slave to technology more so than I have been since before I went to college.  I will let you know the results of my technology “intervention,” in a couple of weeks.  I believe that I need to write down my story for those who would come behind me in this world called “mental health,” issues.  The work I am doing building lately is a part of the preparation for me to write down my story.  The retreat I am about to go on is also part of the preparation for the writing.

It is time that people see people like me as more the norm than the exception. People who suffer from the deep seated, sometimes quite forgotten, emotional conflicts that persist below the level of consciousness are more in number than the culture wants to acknowledge.  Why, I dont know.  But there and many I know of, and many I dont know of who are suffering to live in this world the way it is.  It is my duty to help them.

10312474_785985181440900_5662887777018086031_nI just re-read the whole article.  The first paragraph was written about a week ago.  I have come full circle!

(1)Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 217-221.  Other quotes by James Hillman

123 AMA, HF, RV, SA, PA, PH, JM, EP, JW, JEW!


” It is more trouble for us to speak really simply than to…”

20131024-174341.jpg” …speak in a rather complicated and roundabout way.” What is the reason that we use words in such a way as to leave a conversation less satisfied or educated than when we started.  I had a conversation with a friend the other day and in 2 minutes more was said about our lives in a true sense than was said in the previous two hours.  I am not saying that the previous two hours was anything less as far as shared communication about who we are and what we think, but in the end, the clarity that came from those two minutes was priceless for me.  Why?  Because they made it all very clear where we were in our relationship.  Wonder full!

“Only numinous experiences retain their original simplicity or oneness which still gives us intimations of the Unus Mundus.” I african-ibexam sitting here this morning at 3:41 a.m. and I am struggling with the sense of what this is all about.  When this happens, the
Ggods give me the statement above in my email.  Numinous.  What does it mean.  I looked it up and the definitions included the words spiritual, religious, divine and the word that most describes how I am trying more and more to view their world as; mysterious.

I drove through the fire area again.  I had to go and see if the house of a new friend I had made was still there.   As I drove up curiousitythe highway from Middletown(where the press focused it’s efforts on) to Cobb (where the conflagration really took off) I saw literally thousands of trees cut and laying off the side of the road.  There were so many that they had started moving down off the mountain and spreading them out in the open fields next to the highway.  I was awestruck by the amount of dead wood sitting by the side of the highway. (It was dawn so it was a little magical almost to see them lined up like pieces of lumber in a lumber yard)

lazy-red-pandaSo when I got up to the road where my friend lived, I turned up the hill and starting going up.  When I was by the road there was still houses and they seemed like they were alright.  This gave me hope as I started up the hill.  Then I saw the first burned out house.  Having driven through Middletown, I held out hope that the destruction would be random.  But as I drove further up the road, it became clear that there was no random saving of houses.  I drove by about 50 burned out houses and had to turn around.  I could not stomach to see what was above me on the mountain.  You could see the mountain from about 10 miles and almost all of the trees had been burned down.  Not the leaves burned and the trunks remaining.  No the fire up where my friend’s house used to be burned so hot that it burned the trees up and even burned the earth it was so hot.

dsc09491So I turned around and sadly went back down the mountain.  I did not need to see the rubble of my friend’s house and I am glad I didn’t.  I paid an emotional price just trying to go and see his house.  I was telling my friend Willem3655 about the experience and realized how sad the whole thing is.  All you smell when you get into Middletown and all the way up the mountain to Cobb is the smell of death.  Burnt death.  Yes for the people who died, but we lost much more than that.  We lost a place where people called it home.  Cobb will not be the same for decades.  There are places where the fire was so hot, it literally burned everything in it’s wake.

black-and-white-border-collie-pupsThat is so mysterious to me.  Why some houses and not others?  Why level a whole community like the fire did?  It makes no sense to me.  I can hear the argument that it is all random. But if there are truly Ggods out there, why pick my friend’s house and not the people a quarter of a mile away?  I have no answers just trying to make sense of such a mysterious travesty.  People who had lived on that mountain their whole lives lost everything.   A man in his 70’s who I befriended one day no longer lives where he lived for almost 50 years.  It makes no sense to me.

20131101-063008.jpgI believe what Campbell said, that Ggod is a metaphor for all that is beyond intellectual, it is that simple.  We dont get to make sense of the mysteries that unfold around us.

Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 508-509

123 JW, PA, PH, RV, SA, JW, JJE


The Healing.

10576235_1478792175702340_1648178438_nI am not a mechanism; an assembly of various sections.
And it is not because the mechanism is working wrongly, that I am ill.
I am ill because of wounds deep to the soul, to the deep emotional self
and the wounds to the soul take a long, long time, only time can help
And patience, and a certain difficult repentance,
Long difficult repentance, realization of life’s mistake, and the freeing oneself from the endless repetition of the mistake
10256520_10152566504701294_2329275829221975349_oWhich mankind at large has chosen to sanctify.

Written by D.H.Lawrence.  This was the first post on this blog and is being revisited for obvious reasons.

123 RV, SA, Jeanette, PA, PH, KH, JW.

finger touching nose of baby1393852_909291559087829_6429478004072054840_n