“Follow your bliss and the universe will

transparent-river-malaysia“…open doors for you where there were only walls.”[1] I am scared.  I filled out an application to enter into a PhD. Program in Depth Psychology with an emphasis in Jungian and Archetypal Studies.   It is a real paradox in that I believe that the modality I want to study is outdated and not serving the needs of the culture any longer.

“If the fundamental principle of psychological life is differentiation, then no single perspective can embrace psychological life, and norms are the delusions that parts prescribe to one another.”[3]

adelie-penguin-south-shetland-islands-antarctic-peninsulaThis is where we are.  I am so glad for Jung/Frued and the rest. I might still be drinking/using and/or ingesting whatever” thing” I could use to not feel had it not been for them.  I am so glad when  Erica, who was sitting there in that office in the Napa Valley almost 26 years ago, said “I would love to work with you Jim, but you have to stop drinking and using first.”   It was not more than a couple of days before Ggod lifted the compulsion to use and drink. 

abandoned-city-matsuo-kozan But we are working with information systems and stimulus overload that no one could have imagined when the Jungian paradigm was at it’s most effective.  Now we have drugs, drugs and an occasional therapy session as your HMO dictates.  We are really just masking the symptoms and assuaging the “deep seated…emotional conflicts that persist below the level of consciousness,” by the methodology that we are using. 

If the parameters are such, then what can we do to increase the individuals chance of overcoming, or at the least allowing the healing processes to take place and hopefully start to change the way we are looking out at our own world.

splendid-swansBut like Hillman says, “The whole world is sick….and you can’t put this right by having a good therapeutic dialogue or finding deeper meanings. It’s not about meaning anymore; it’s about survival.” That sucks.  We are living to stay alive?  Are we not hear to do what needs to be done, to live out Ggod’s will for us?  Isn’t our charge to make the world better, at least more empathetic than it was before we got here?

 Notice I am not talking about doing any sort of behavioral therapy.  We in AA know that those ordered to come to AA by the nudge from the judge, who are ordered to go by the judge, usually don’t make it because they don’t want to be there.  I don’t believe that you can think your way into better acting.  I do however think you can act your way into better thinking. I act based on my emotional state and view of the world.  It is that simple. 

african-sunset-leopard“Each person enters the world called.”[4] I really thought I was put here to be the best criminal defense attorney around.  I thought that by making the government be honest, to make the laws truly enforced, I could make the world a better place.  I might have.  But when my depression took over, I could not get up to go to Court any more.  I had no fight in me.  I was talking with a dear friend today and I commented that I wanted that fire back.  Not the fire to take on the government because for me that was really not emotionally rewarding.  I could not reach my clients and help them change their lives no matter how hard I tried. 

mount-st-helens-portland-keith-skelton“If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s.”[2] It sucks that no one I know has blazed this path.  Trust me, I am not saying that there aren’t smarter and more experienced people than me, and I quote them all the time, who have chopped down some of the forest that lies ahead of me.  But they did it in a different area of the forest than I am in. They just made it so there is a little light on my path, it is not clear.

trolls-tongue-norwayI am grateful that my Doctor diagnosed me about 3 years ago with depression.  I am angry at him also.  I am grateful for the Leprechaun and I wish at one level I had never met him.  You wonder why?  Because they have made it so I get to deal with that “stuff,” I have been running from my whole life.  The stuff I have been” depressing.”

 [1] Joseph Campbell [2] Joseph Campbell[3] James Hillman[4] James Hillman

123 RV.  Forgiveness comes from humility, permission from fear.

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10 thoughts on ““Follow your bliss and the universe will

  1. Dear Jim,
    I’m so glad you are excited about applying to your program. I do not believe that the work of those who inspire you is dead, it’s just living in different places now. The translation of psychotherapy is “to serve the soul,” and the counseling today tends to be behavioral in nature. Jungian, archetypal, and transpersonal psychotherapy is practiced, but available only to those who can pay significant fees out of pocket. Regrettable, but that doesn’t mean it is not worth doing, and there are ways to volunteer time to bring some ideas to others. The other place these ideas live is in the field of spiritual teaching.

  2. I wish you good luck and I also hope you are not series in thinking that the archetypes can ever be outdated. The are eternal and they constitute themselves anew for each age, each generation. Interesting post!

    • Monika,
      How old are Jungian’s archtypes? Less than 100 years old. A tiny amount of time historically. What I am saying is the methodology doesnt fit the needs of the world in 2013.
      Thank you for the kind words as always.
      Jim

      • Dear Jim, his theory may be young but it describes age-old truths, at least I believe that. He did not invent the word archetype. Also think about Plato, who had similar ideas.

  3. Monika,
    I am not necessarily disagreeing with you. I am just concerned that this approach is not working any more. In the U.S. alone they say depression is going to increase by 50 percent in the next 20 years. Are the externalities of our economic system responsible? My opinion of causation, just like archtypes as a viable concept of reaching the people who suffer, doesnt matter.
    So yes I am doing better, after walking through this hell called depression. But it was not psychotherapy that gave me the relief I needed the most. When I see my friends still suffering with it and the methodology used to treat them not working, I must do something about it.
    I dont think I can ever eviscerate the therapy I have done from my journey. I can also say, so what that I am better.
    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” — Jiddu Krishnamurti
    And yet if you blame “society,” they will figure out a way to marginalize you. So I will do what I can, and try and challenge the paradigm I am in and see if we can do it better.
    I more follow Hillman’s idea when he says it is not enough to be getting better individually when all around you is dissociation. That is similar to Krishnamurti’s statement above.
    Thanks for the kind words and the inspiration to write more.
    Jim
    .

  4. I have been away from here for a while… hiding, not thinking, running from all the stuff, but it is worthwhile coming back here, although hard.
    I feel guilty when not writing and so avoid reading, but I’m glad to have read your posts the last few days. They wake me up, make me think, show me that it is alright to fear, but not to hide, not to let that stop me.
    I think you will thrive when studying the PhD and I wish you all the best with that. Although I know little about the subject, what I have read in the past interested me greatly and I’m going to explore more.
    I understand your doubts about this approaching having a place in society today, but it is certainly worth studying and exposes you to many other ideas, etc.

    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
    I will remember this. It rings true to me.

    Thank you Jim.

    Emma

    • Emma,
      Thank you for your honesty. I have missed your writings. I am glad you are back as I like to connect with people who openly voice their struggles. I am taking baby steps out of my fear. Depression is about for me the “de-pressing” all of those feelings that keep me scared and alone.
      Terrence Real writes in his book “I dont want to talk about it any more,” that the way out of depression is to learn to care about and for our self.
      That my friend is a tall order for me. I am doing it and I thank you for loving and kind words.
      Please keep coming back.
      Jim

      • There will be times I hide for a while, but I will always come back. Soon, eventually, I will write again.
        Baby steps are good. I convinced myself today that I do not need to jump into anything with two feet… just keep walking, one foot in front of the other…

  5. Hey! Continue to use the somewhat lit path your own to light paths for others… we all have to walk our own path but we all should share the light if it makes the walk a little more bearable or possible.

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