“Thank you for being the friend you’ve always been to many of us.”*

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I met my friend Patrick for coffee yesterday.(1) It was a rainy, blustery, cold day up here in the mountains. Patrick is a very interesting man. He is maybe 70ish. He is both American and French. He was born and raised in France but came to the U.S. in his twenties. He has had a very interesting life to say the least.
As we sat there in the coffee shop he almost could not stop talking. I am not complaining as I am not a big fan of listening to myself speak. Its not that I don’t like my voice, its that repeating what I know already cuts me off from learning. I learn more with my mouth closed.
imagesWhat I learned during the couple of hours we spent sipping espresso and coffee was that Patrick had had a major breakdown a few years ago. He thankfully had not lost everything But he was just coming out of a depression. He was grateful that I had invited him for coffee.(2)
I also noticed that he had a similar experience to mine with his family surrounding his depression. A couple of his nephews, who he invited into his business, were apparently working to take away his business from him.

What do I glean from all of this? Is it that much of the abuse in our culture is perpetrated on those who are ill. Abuse is perpetrated on those who are physically ill as well as emotionally ill. My experience is not the subject of this blog, but needless to say a “family,” member took advantage of my wanting to be fair when I fell into my depression.

What sucked is that I could not fight back. It is not that I could not afford to protect myself, its that I did not have the psychological will to do it. It sucks to write and read this but it is true.

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I did not give Patrick advice. After learning of his situation, I just listened. He was talking because he needed to have someone besides himself hear his trouble. All I could do was tell him I heard him and if he needed to chat about this I would love to meet for coffee again.

We all want to be heard. Our fucking isolated world leads so many of us to not have anyone else to hear them. I am so grateful for my friends, almost all of them made because of my time in A.A.

finger touching nose of baby

123 RV, SA, WC, JM, AF, PA, SR and say a prayer for the Colonel

* My friend the Painter I call him(since we are anonymous here so as not to violate the 11th tradition) sent this to me the other day when we were texting back and forth about a mutual friend who is/was suffering with a major bout of depression. I pray I can live up to the Painter’s words
(1) We met at a wonderful newish coffee shop up here called Infused run by a dynamo named Jamie! If you are ever up on Cobb or Loch Lomond check them out. Infused is in Loch Lomond. There is also a great coffee shop called Mountain High Coffee which is in Cobb
(2) I gave him some Peets “Ethiopian Super Natural,” coffee. You could see the joy in his eyes when he smelled it. Apparently the French are snobs when it comes to coffee, TOO!

“We are ghosts or we are ancestors in our children’s lives….

jess-and-oatie“…We either lay our mistakes upon them and we haunt them, or we assist them in laying our burdens down and we free them from the chains of our flawed behavior.” (1)

I pray I made the right decision to do what I did with my daughter.  I have never written about my relationship with her here, or if I did, it was a cursory mention of the facts of our separation.  But I am here today to talk about it.  Why now?  I don’t have a fucking clue why I was not able to do this before today.  But here goes.

When my meltdown started in 2007, I could no longer run from the what the medical world calls my depression.

One of the effects of that event was that I left my marriage of 18 years.  Why is not what matters here.  But as a result of that decision my ex spouse did some things that necessitated us having to go into Court to deal with the “custody,” of my at the time 10 year old daughter.

The court ordered me to do “reconciliation therapy,” with her before I could see her.  I did not then and still to this day do not understand why they did it.  But I attempted to set up the therapy with a court approved therapist.  But the problem with this is the therapist made some allegations about me that I was not willing to let stand.  I told the therapist that if she insisted in the premise that I abused my daughter, then I wanted her to call the cops and report this alleged abuse and we would deal with it that way.  I knew a therapist has a duty under CA law to report to law enforcement any suspected abuse.(Jay told me.  You will learn about Jay later on down the post)

The therapist said she didn’t think that was necessary.  I asked her who had made the allegations.  She wouldn’t tell me.  I said I was not willing to have the fucking elephant in the middle of the room that I abused my own child since it would have been a set up and I would never be able to disprove a negative.

So needless to say re-unification therapy didn’t happen.

But to be honest, one of the straws that broke the camel’s back of my marriage was my ex didn’t think Jessica needed therapy. You see, I saw my daughter doing what I did when I was her age.   She was disassociating when the tension was expressed between my ex wife and myself and I knew that if she didn’t get help she would suffer from those deep seated emotional conflicts that lead many of us to drink or use as alcoholics or addicts.

So I was left with this fucked Hobsons choice.  Either I could “admit,” I abused my daughter, or I would not be able to see her.  (Gratefully, Jessica has been in therapy since about a month after I left.  She has had a therapist for the last 8 years and I am grateful for that.)

For my birthday every year, I give myself a one hour session with Jessica’s therapist. After a year in therapy, I asked her therapist, since I am not going to admit a lie as a premise for any sort of me seeing her again,  what could I do to make it so my daughter had as stress free a childhood as I could help her have.  I am aware that my meltdown has caused her a lot of stress and she has struggled.

But I didn’t know what to do.  So Jay, my daughter’s therapist looked me in the eye and with tears in his eyes, said I know you wont want to hear this but I think the best thing you could do for your daughter is to let her go. FUCK NO I said.  He then explained to me that my daughter was too enmeshed with her mother to be able to carry the tension of having a relationship with me at the same time.  I asked him how long did I have to “let her go?”

Again, struggling to get it out, Jay said that I had to let her go with no expectation or goal of seeing her again. I begged, tried to bargain, ranted, raged, yelled and did anything I could to not accept that sitting in that office in Novato.  But after about 10 minutes of me projecting every bit of fucking shadow I could at Jay, I just stopped and  cried.   I cried the rest of the session and I cry now as I write this.  I have never wanted to say or face this openly except in a cursory fashion in AA meetings, with close friends, or with my therapist John Jack.

So I have not seen my daughter since early 2011.  She was 10 when I last saw her and is 18 now.  Glenn Fry is singing “You’re  a Part of Me, I’m a Part of You,” on the radio as we speak.  I cry every day for my daughter.  I miss her so much and a part of me feels like it died that day.

But I pray that Jay knew what to do that day I made that decision.  I trust that he is looking out for my daughter’s best interest, even at my expense.

I pray my daughter does not have to carry the burdens that I laid on her.  I pray that her troubles are not from me making her carry all of my ghosts.

Thanks Renee for always being there on this issue.  123 RV, SA, PH, DH, JDK and a special prayer for the Colonel today.  He needs love and support as he trudges his own road.

I have never acknowledged this but that is Jessica in that picture.  She was with her dog Oatie when I took that picture.

(1) This is a quote Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway Album

P.S. I just re-read this and apologize for the rambling way I wrote it.  I don’t want to edit it but wanted to apologize for the somewhat unconnected way it was written

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“Love is never security; love is a state in which there is no desire to be secure;…

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it is a state of vulnerability” (1)

I am learning about this one!   What I realize most of my depression is about is needing to feel secure.  When those deep seated, sometimes quite forgotten emotion conflicts come up, not if but when, my default position has been to find security.  Why?

I think because I needed to create these fictions in my mind that made me feel secure in my own mind!   There is nothing “wrong,” or negative about that, wouldnt you agree?   The problem for me was that I continued to create an image of what was going on in my present reality based on those constructs I created so long ago.

hillmanOne of the biggest gifts of the last few years has been my exposure to the works of Jung and particularly, for me, the works of Hillman.  I learned about 30 years ago from people like Bradshaw, Mellody, and  Joseph Campbell, whose writings helped me more than any Big Book, that I did not have to live in the contsruct that everything in the world was literal and my p181600_2a_400fault.

 

  But back to Jung and Hillman.   My exposure to depth psychology and my breath work with my deceased buddy John Jack (whose picture I could not find) got me in touch, (again since I thought I had “dealt” with this stuff 25 plus years ago in ACA) with the biggest and probably oldest construct I have (many today call it denial) which blocks me from being with people in the way I want to be with them.

I recently had a great opportunity to put all of the work I had done in the last 7 plus years to test.  What happened and why I see that I did better than I have ever have is not important to this writing.

jess-and-oatieWhat I noticed and observed, almost like a third person narrative, was my old construct,(“old tapes’ in recovery jargon) was not as dominant as it had been in the past.  I was conversing with this amazing person and was able to be present in a way that I have not had the ability to be present with in a long time, if ever.

What is important is that I was able to see my “SELF” wanting to project onto this person a series of beliefs and assumptions that had nothing to do with the present. The gift was for the most part I was able to be present and not buy into my shadow’s construct of what was present, but to be able to say to myself that what I was thinking had no basis in fact.  I appreciated my fear coming up and acknowledged it to myself.

But what I got to do was be open and available to intimacy in a way I had never been able to be present for EVER!

lavender-labyrinthjpg-33b96e17e96c5811_largeI had a willing and what seemed to me to be a beautiful person who was being present and open.

I have said all along is that all I want to be was conscious.  Well, I walked through an event that I give myself credit for being present for 95% of the time.  It is not perfect but damn, it is better than it has ever been

123 RW, RV, DH, PH, SA, JM, WC, MB, BT, JDK

(1) Jiddu Krishnamurti

“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

“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.

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“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!

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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

” 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

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“It is the immature who are preoccupied with the search for maturity.”(1)

k3646710You see that is it.   I want to live and love as if I am mature and I am not.  So because I think I “must,” be mature or something is wrong with me, when I start to interact with others, it does not have to be women necessarily, I start to doubt that what I am and how I feel about life is valid.

hillman“Loving in safety is the smaller part of loving.”(1)Yes this is bothering me.  You see since I have this mother complex and these abandonment issues, I operate in the realm of my interactions with women based on trying to make it safe for myself.  What usually happens for me is to love and live with one foot out the proverbial door at all times.  This means I cant be present.  Not for her even though that may be true eventually, but I am not present for me during the time when the relationship is a mystery and a sense of raw presence that is so damn uncomfortable..  I spend time allowing my mind to play all these silly gymnastics about situations that are not real and probably will never  be.

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10557264_662786280484161_4110228984934593219_nThis is what trauma does.  It makes me steal my  own vibrancy, my  ability to wonder and more than anything my ability to be present.  When a women I meet is interesting, I believe that I unconsciously start setting up the separation that has come about in every relationship.
You know all I want is for someone to know me.  For a woman to take the chance and be open to me being real.  With all my foibles, failures and successes.  Someone to take the chance on me to show them that I am as loving and supportive a man maple-tree-stouffville-ontario-fallenflowersas can be found.  I am not saying that I am more loving and supportive, but I believe I treat people better than I ever have, and I believe I treat women with more of a sense of wonder and interest than I ever have.

“I would love to live like a river flows,…”  “…carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.”[2] You know when I used to go tubing down the Trinity ever summer, it was always a journey.  I was present at what was happening in front of me, because if I didn’t stay present all kinds of harm could come to me.  That is what life is still about at many levels
But unconsciously living out of fear is the worst thing I have ever done.  My mind is not my best savior.

fort-bourtange-groningen-netherlands-jan-koster(1) James Hillman (2) John O’Donohoe
P.S. I know people can disagree with me.  I expect and understand that.  However doing some sort of therapy when talking about my writings is counter productive.  What your opinion is about what I do is really none of my business .  I appreciate your efforts to reach out to me. But if what you are going to say is how I am and what Im doing and what is working for me and could work for me, I respectfully request that you not post it on this site.  Much of what I do is think about things, ideas, metaphors and their images.  I share my idionsynchrocities with you as best as I can. Thanks all

“Recognizing the shadow is what I call the apprentice piece,…”

2009 Mt Shasta to Oak street 018It is extremely difficult and definitely not supported by my culture to openly discuss and dredge up those deep seated emotional conflicts that persist below the level of our conscious that created violent twists to our behavior and altered our lives for the worse.

As an example, I will just say that being asked when I was 8 and was crying about MLK being shot, “when are you going to grow up?” by my Dad created such a conflict in me and has tremendous power overme brad and Maria me today when am not conscious.  So, right then, consciously and as well more strongly, unconsciously, I decided that I could not act out my emotions.  I had to act grown up to be considered normal and be loved by my father.*

Now being grown up at 8 is a wonderful concept, but virtually impossible emotionally as far as I am concerned.  But damn if I was not going to get my father’s approval.  So I started acting as if. When Bobby Kennedy was shot a few months later,  I was devastated. I mean crushed.*  But I knew that I 21263_535442463161020_1722702204_ncould not show it when my Dad came home…and I didn’t. Isolated and without any context and any lack of depth of character and I would argue soul, the event of that day, when MLK was shot, effected my life from then on a very significant way.

“… but making out with the anima is the masterpiece which not many can bring off.” Because when MLK was shot, I was told that my acting in sadness, empathy and a sense of woundedness of that part of me that really was expressive and open with my emotions was wrong.  Men did not show emotions like that because it made us look weak.  As I sit and write this a tremendous sense of deep sadness and pain washed natures-craftwork-lighting-ajaytao-1over me.  Me having to become this stoic rational self led me into law, which I call the “church of reason,” because emotions and empathy have no place in the law.

No wonder I almost died by being an attorney.  I was trying like hell to honor my father’s haunting emotional deprivation and live like him.  I write all of this to say that I feel more today than I ever.  Please dont think that I am talking about being happier, which I have to say I am mischievous-smile-ajaytaofinding more and more joy in my life..  I am talking about feeling my pain, sadness, joy, empathy and more acceptance of life being a challenging journey through the effects of the PTSD I have had to harbor in my body for my whole life.

It also mean that I get to experience many of those emotional conflicts at a “different,” and “deeper,” level.  But by doing so, I am able to live life and yes, it is amazing that the next few words are going to come out of my mouth, and love those who are in my life with a level of caring that I did not believe I had in me any longer.

Coming full circle to that eight year old boy who was crushed when MLK was shot is a gift I have always held onto as a part of me that was beautiful is a wonder full thing.  In the moment it does not feel very “good,” but I would not trade a moment for this experience, even as tears roll down my cheeks.

10526038_663870803709042_5332401051197838708_n123 Steve, Rhonda, Renee, Tom S, Tom L, Pat, Jeff V, Jerry M, Ed P, Colonel, the Painter and especially my dear friend the Leprechaun!

*That is me in the picture to the right  I am in the front left of the photograph.  I could not have been more than 9 in the picture as that is my little sister who is eight years younger than me.  I would be smoking pot on a regular basis within 1 to 2 years!!!!!

**  Now it is not hard to see why it crushed me so.  Some man, an adult figure in my life, albeit only through the medium of television, was talking about loving and being kind and was more than anything exhibiting it. As an 8 year old boy, I saw a man who was trying to help the world be a better place, and this was the antithesis of what I was living under as far as what a male role model should be.

100_1607  In case you didn’t meet Baron, please meet Baron.  He is the guardian of this blog and of all of those who suffer. He seems so loving and kind in the picture, doesn’t he?

Quote  from Carl Jung– Letters Vol. II, Page 481

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“The mind cannot establish or assert anything beyond itself.”

10256520_10152566504701294_2329275829221975349_oWhat is the reason that I can’t understand this simple principle. What is the reason that I can’t understand that my mind is not as big as it thinks it. Is it not insanity for me to believe that because my mind says I am not worthy, that I am not worthy.  You see one of the biggest fallacies I believe, yes I believe, is that my mind is my brain.  Wow, is that the biggest joke since…well since I believed that people were actually going to be nice and loving and kind in the world. I was disabused of this hopeful and loving way of life dad and grandpaby my grandfather early on.  He used to love to come  to our house when I was a young boy and tease us until we cried and then laugh at us for crying.  Please, dont feel sorry for me, because that is just an image about the ghost that I have made him into.  However, when I was 8 years old and all the men of my family, my Dad and two uncles and I were riding in the Hearst to bury Grandpa and they were all crying.  I said out loud,  “why is everyone crying for Grandpa?  He was mean and not a very nice man”  Needless to say that did not go over well, because you dont say anything “disrepectful,” about the dead.  As an aside, where the hell did that myth come from, that you dont say anything disrespectful about someone who is dead?  If that is true, then why do IMG958148 (2)still look at Hitler as the genocidal maniac he was.  Shouldn’t we just forgive and forget?   Can anyone answer that historically. I am afraid that I know where it came from, but dont want to make that argument unless I know it for sure.

“You are more than what you think you are.”  [1] I find that when I engage fully with other people from a depth psychological perspective that I truly am expressing Who I am and more than anything else is I am not trying to express my “self.” I was CP41782056engaged in a wonderful conversation with a friend yesterday and there came a point in our conversation when I wanted to give them “the right answer.” Yet I knew that if I did I would do nothing more than subjecting them to my interpretation of their reality. I was going to make them see them my mind was able to know more than their’s did about their own problems.

hillman“Psychology has no self-help manual for its own affliction.”[1]  I am seeing a favorite site in depth psychology turning into a commercial site.  I wont say which one, you might know Deb, and it saddens me.  You see I see depth psychology as one of the major vehicles which can assist people into a level of healing that is unattainable through the other modalities of therapy.  Why, because it allows a person to go within themselves and learn about their true Self.  Then when I see the site I believe had/has the best chance in doing that become commercialized, it saddens me.

ajaytao-me-myself“Let the flame of anger free you of all falsity.”  After I read what I just wrote, I have to tell the truth and say, it angers me that my favorite depth psychology site is become commercialized.  Many people, Hillman, Woodman and others have made it their life’s journey to try and help heal the world.  Now some person or other persons has made it about money. Why cant healing the world be enough.  I would trade all the money in the world if people could not have to live in fear.  For them to have “High Hopes,” as Bruuuce says.

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Title quote by Carl Jung [1] James Hillman[2]John O’Donohue