Sep 062016

When we hear the word commitment, most of us think of obligation and restriction. After all, modern life is already so heavily structured,  we’d much rather ‘see what happens’ and ‘go with the flow.’ So we may avoid making commitments. Or if we do make them, we keep them ‘soft,’ in the event that something shinier comes along. We change careers an average of 7 times in adulthood, half of all marriages end in divorce, [read more…]

May 122014

There’s a famous story that Robert Bly tells about Carl Jung who, whenever a friend reported enthusiastically, ‘I have just been promoted!’ Jung would say, ‘I’m very sorry to hear that; but if we all stick together, I think we will get through it.’ On the other hand, if a friend arrived depressed and ashamed, saying, ‘I’ve just been fired,’ Jung would say, ‘Let’s open a bottle of wine; this is wonderful news; something good [read more…]

Nov 152013

The unconscious is not some repository for psychic junk, but has an unfathomable intelligence which inclines it to growth, not for growth’s sake, but for the long view of harmony and wholeness. The parts of us that are lost, ignored or rejected are felt as missing to the unconscious, so it works urgently to retrieve them by producing dreams. Remembering our dreams, and responding to them accordingly with our life choices, is a process Carl [read more…]

Oct 042012

The single most healing practice for those who fear that “Evil” exists outside of oneself -in the form of malevolent spirits & other entities, like Satan – is the integration of one’s own shadow. Or what I call Shadow Eating. Most of us have been raised to be moral, good & agreeable, but we have also been putting all of our “unacceptable” qualities in what Robert Bly calls The Long Black Bag we drag behind [read more…]

Sep 262012

As Joseph Campbell famously says, “Dreams are the private myth & myths are the public dream.” Indeed Campbell and other mythologists, such as those delightful Jungians, discovered amazing cross-cultural motifs in Fairy Tales. Those patterns, (or what we now call archetypes), are found repeatedly in stories from around the world, seemingly unconstrained by geography or epoch. Imagine for a moment that you could strip your ‘local’ story down to its bare essence, to find what [read more…]

Jul 182011

You dream of an owl and the next morning one swoops by your windshield. You are feeling grateful for a friend’s support when the song, “You’ve got a friend” comes on the radio. You finally quit an unhappy job and are offered a great opportunity the same afternoon. Not only are spirit and matter connected but they are, as Carl Jung puts it, “two different aspects of one and the same thing.” All of us [read more…]

May 052010

Without Eros, we forget the teachings of our ancestors which connect us to the eternal. We lose the very thing that gives us substance and brings accountability into our lives. Without a sense of location in nature and the family of things, we set a slow apocalypse in motion.

Oct 252007

  Every self-respecting superhero has an arch-enemy. No matter how strong you get, there will always be a personal kryptonite that drops you to your knees, reduces you to tears, keeps you up all night churning, or causes you to behave badly. Even if you’ve grown wise to it, somehow it still manages to swallow you up. And once you’re inside its belly, it’s all you can do to breathe until it decides to spit [read more…]

Oct 122007

I once had a dream that a blind fool began wreaking havoc in my community with his eccentricities. He sang so loudly, people put their fingers in their ears. He danced like a madman and knocked things over with his drunken pirouettes. He really knew how to clear a room. Somehow, I was the only one who liked him. When we were alone, he turned to me and whispered, “Don’t choose things that are familiar [read more…]

Sep 142007

There is an old parable that says if you meet Buddha on the road, kill him. However cryptic, the teaching warns that if you think you’ve made contact with your ultimate guru, you have great work ahead of you to integrate their qualities into yourself. You must ‘kill’ off your admiration for the teacher outside of yourself by learning to become your own expert. Dreams, by their very nature, teach us to do this with [read more…]