The Yin and Yang of Spirituality

The Rights of Every Child

Carl Jung is famous for having brought the concept of working on shadow elements within the psyche into Western psychotherapy, although the process of self-therapy, self-transformation and psychic self-evaluation with subsequent spiritual elevation is indeed a very ancient practice. Advanced practice was perhaps considered to be found mainly in the realm of shamanism, priesthood and other high level spiritual roles. However, ancient civilizations and cultures integrated the identifying and processing of shadow characteristics also into their general spiritual and cosmological belief systems, but we find that these aspects are often not featured in popular spirituality today.

By having become relatively unconscious of the depth and nature of the individual shadow (which is a back-door to the collective shadow), behaviours and tendencies related to it have become more socially accepted. Unfortunately, the commercialization of spirituality means  that the positive, pleasant and easy elements of being spiritual are usually focused upon. The deeper, underlying issues often remain unexplored, so the necessary (challenging) transformation processes are not always engaged with and the shadow elements remain active or are only temporarily resolved. This means that modern forms of spirituality often serve predominantly as spiritual entertainment or forms of escapism without reaching its full potential.

Perhaps if we had been paying more attention to the collective shadow elements within our societies (as a priority) since the end of the Second World War, as Carl Jung had strongly suggested, we may have been more prepared for some of the crises we are experiencing at present and those yet to come. However, as Jung’s also said, large portions of society remain blissfully unaware of how world peace and stability hang on a fine thread (back then and now). We have never been this connected as a species in our entire history and so distracted at the same time, mostly by choice.

As Carl Jung explained in a documentary interview (Matter of Heart), we are all uniquely born with certain characteristics within a certain historical and cultural context. We each have a personal responsibility to reach the highest state possible as an individual person within that context. By doing so we participate fully and play our part to the best of our ability as individual elements within the large organism that us humanity, in the theatre of life and the universe.

The very first step is having respect for yourself (your Self, not your ego) and that process starts within. The nature of that respect is respect for your higher-self and that higher self can take a third person view to approaching and resolving internal and external conflicts. The advantage of the third person view is that almost everything can be viewed as “theatre”, (but) with a proactive, problem solving objective in mind. In other words, the spectator is observing in order to learn how to improve, adjust, or resolve his or her own approach or behaviour by comparing with what is being observed. Without taking the third person point of view, what is being observed is often copied instead of transcended.

The higher-self is beyond the ego and has a much wider perspective and expanded comprehension. By living our lives from that position we are the closest we can get to non-duality on a permanent basis. A person who is peaceful within, will shun conflict. A person who comes from the heart, won’t have the heart to harm another – and will motivate others not to do so either. Those who have maintained (and have respect for) their traditions and values within their own countries, will have respect for others who have maintained theirs within their countries.

Mutual respect amongst nations is the bedrock of international peace and stability, but it relies on everyone participating equally. Similarly, for democracy to work a respect for its institutions is required. Over and above that, democracy relies on a certain level of morality being present within those that ascribe or commit to it and also on a basic understanding of what democracy means in the first place.

Within the framework of international cooperation and conflict resolution, in a balanced world, nations who come from histories of dominance would do their best to refrain from returning to or repeating such history – and take the High Road. Nations, cultures or groups with histories of having been harmed or persecuted or wronged, would refrain from enacting retribution or turning to the same methods as those who have harmed them – and take the High Road. This of course is a tall order, but when we observe and learn from the theatre of history, taking the high road is the only road which will lead to genuine progress and spirituality, as opposed to a false sense of progress (“progressiveness”) to the disadvantage of others and at the cost of perpetuating the cycle of violence indefinitely.

By considering the rights of children, within the context of various conflict zones around the world and also within our own societies in relation to what they are exposed to, we may be able to reflect on how far we have drifted away from our claims of being humanitarian, peace-loving, democratic and a force for good. Perhaps it is time for all peace-loving peoples to request their governments to kindly de-escalate all tensions which could potentially lead to major conflicts and the harming of civilians and children. We owe it to the future of a stable and balanced world. We owe it to the future of our children and to their children’s children. Not least, we owe it  to our higher-selves and the legacy that we leave behind.

“The human being who starts by withdrawing his own shadow from his neighbor is doing work of immense, immediate political and social importance.” – Carl Jung (as quoted by Sir Laurence v.d. Post)

Archive Photo: Mural, Belfast, N. Ireland (2005).

By Jean-Jacques M.

Also see: Shift Of The Stages

This article was originally posted at GypsyCafé.org

© 2016. All Rights Reserved.


What is Enlightenment?

The Wall

Theatre

Theatre has many objectives. It can entertain or educate or both. It can mesmerise or bring consciousness. It can motivate and inspire. It can provoke or shock. Theatre holds a mirror up to reality and can evoke inner change. Theatre can be evolutionary. It all depends on how we engage with it. By merely passively observing the play in front of us no (positive) transformation can or will take place. When we engage with it we can either do so positively or negatively.

Enlightenment

“Enlightenment doesn’t occur from sitting around visualizing images of light but from integrating the darker aspects of the Self into the conscious personality” – Carl Jung

“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness of other people.” – Carl Jung

When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate. You meet your destiny on the road you take to avoid it. – Carl Jung

What is the connection between theatre and enlightenment?

Read the Full Post at GypsyCafe.org

By Jean-Jacques M.


Shift of the Stages

Recoleta Angel

All the world’s a stage. As actors in the theatre of life we are all here to play our part(s), consciously or unconsciously. We find ourselves present at this time during a significant transformation stage. In the old, but still present age it felt like the stage had been set and most of us were simply reading our lines. It was perhaps not always understood why we were in the theatre in the first place. In the incoming age our destined roles are more clear and the new paradigm is more fluid.

Roles are changing. Transitioning actors are becoming scriptwriters while watching themselves on stage. They are rewriting the script and adjusting their parts.  A drama, currently scripted to end in tragedy is being rewritten into a coming of age tale of transformation, rebirth and altered fate. This is a multi-dimensional theatre and shifting actors are becoming aware that by being in this stage, they are also present in others.

Read Further…


Building the New World Within (9) -What is Progress?

Thoughts are like traces of Birds in Heaven

Berlin Wall, Germany. Photographed by JJM.

“We are living in what the Greeks called the right time for a ‘metamorphosis of the gods’, i.e. of the fundamental principles and symbols. This peculiarity of our time, which is certainly not of our conscious choosing, is the expression of the unconscious man within us who is changing. Coming generations will have to take account of this momentous transformation if humanity is not to destroy itself through the might of its own technology and science” (Carl Gustav Jung, 1957: The Undiscovered Self, p.110).

Jung was suggesting that we should not get completely carried away with technology and science, to the extent that we lose sight of ourselves (our Selves). Being unconscious and excessively distracted could preclude us from doing just that, because without taking stock of ourselves from time to time, there can be no self-awareness and without self-awareness there can be no self-knowledge. Without self-knowledge, we would not become aware of “the unconscious man within us changing“. This change that Jung was referring to was related to the collective unconscious of humanity entering into a time of transition, the faint beginnings of which he could already sense in 1957.

Continue Reading at GypsyCafe.org

[4122 words]

by Jean-Jacques @ Gypsy Café

© 2016. All Rights Reserved. Gypsycafe.org


Peruvian Selection

People, Landscapes, Churches & Ruins

Girl with Alpaca - Peru

Girl with Alpaca – Peru

I patched together an itinerary by working out a route which would connect the main places I was going to visit (Arequipa & Colca Canyon, Puno & Lake Titicaca, Cusco & Inca Trail) with coach journeys in-between, which would include stopping at various points of interest along the way..

Read More and View 20 Photographs

Visiting Peru
Photography by Jean-Jacques M
Copyright © 2016 – All Rights Reserved – Gypsy Café


Inca Trail Highlights

The Classic Inca Trail
Peru, South America
Parts 1 & 2

Inca Trail View 5

Llactapata (aka Patallacta) – originally used for crop production and storage. Elevation: 2840m.

Winay Wayna

Wiñay Wayna – In Inca times this site was the last rest and cleansing point before arrival at Machu Piccu. Elevation: 2650m

Part 1 – Read More and View 17 Pictures

Part 2 – Read More and View 17 Pictures

The Classic Inca Trail – January 2016
Photography by Jean-Jacques M
Copyright © 2016 – All Rights Reserved – Gypsy Café


Inca Design & Technology

Inca Design, Architecture and Technology
Machu Piccu & Ollantaytambo
Peru – South America

Inca Technology: Intihuatana - an ancient sun dial (solar clock) at Machu Picchu in Peru.

Inca Technology: Intihuatana – an ancient sun dial (solar clock) at Machu Picchu in Peru – also know as: “The Hitching Post of the Sun”.

While in Peru in January I found myself at two sites where examples of Inca architecture, design and technology could be observed in its finest form. Immediately noticeable was the combination of strength, functionality, durability and visual appeal. Aesthetics always played a role for the Inca, although it took much, much longer than today to construct buildings, walls and cities.

The Inca’s were not short on technology either and at Machu Picchu, which was once the educational centre of the Inca empire, we can see an Inca sun clock [Image 16], an Inca mirror [Image 17], which was also used to see the reflection of the stars at night, and an Inca Compass [Image 24].

Read more…

VIEW 24 IMAGES

Visiting Peru – January 2016
Photography by Jean-Jacques M.
Information from guides & internet research
Copyright © 2016 – All Rights Reserved – Gypsy Café

 


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