This morning I woke up thinking about Jung and the messages of Ted’s Portrait. The painting dances with dreamlike colorful archetypes and symbols inspired by the alchemists and Carl Jung. It seems to be saying we need to burn out all of our impurities to experience the joy of the gifts from the Garden. It is saying, we are guided by the collective unconscious winding through our Soul burning and draining impurities and integrating colorful missing pieces. The missing pieces come from the unconscious going to the conscious on a crooked path to individualized and authenticity. The Self is realized while living in harmony and balance. I believe The Ted Painting is demonstrating that process. As impurities are draining out, the beauty of The Garden is able to enter the body of consciousness. The sadness symbolizes compassion and concern for a planet of suffering and destruction. The drops of blood are colored with the wisdom of the Scarab’s contribution of synchronicities and intuition.
I am not sure if this is what the artist intended to say through this Portrait. The beauty of visual art is that the observer finds what is needed from the unconscious. It may not be the same message of the artist, making it even more valuable. The artist is exposing his beliefs and it is received in a way that is meaningful to another demonstrating Oneness. I may not understand the symbols of Greek Mythology because I have never studied Mythology, but I can still be influenced by the message because the characters live in the collected unconscious as archetypes.
The following is what I believe today about the Spiritual journey to Self. I believe it may differ somewhat from what the artist is saying. It comes as a collection of my journeys through Jungian Psychology, Buddhism and Metaphysics:
I believe rather than a burning of impurities, the journey to the Garden is an awakening process. We awaken to know we are One with everything because God is all there is( metaphysical). We are the Garden and already there. I change the Jungian concept of good and evil being on a continuum circle to a circle of light and darkness. I believe it is our delusional view of life coming from the story of the Serpent, the Apple and Adam and Eve that creates suffering. As the archetypical story goes, once Adam and Eve ate the apple they became subjects of judgment living in a dark delusional world of good and evil. We have been brainwashed by a culture that teaches separation through the concept of good and evil. When we awake to Truth we understand that what we have been looking for isn’t being good or better, we know we our true nature is Love. Our path is to live in the light of non-judging and connectedness.
Jung's work is beneficial because I do believe in the collective unconscious as a means of tapping into the Truth on our journey to understanding Self. When we sleep at night, we go to a place where we can encounter all that is in the way, blocking us from Truth and the Garden. When we wake in the morning, we wake up to Ego and the head which is always spinning some kind of grand false story we learned about good and evil and separation. If I stay in semi-awakeness, then I can catch the messages of truth before head takes over. It is a state of consciousness that brings wisdom. I can reach this same state of consciousness in meditation,by experiencing a painting, reading poetry, watching a meaningful play or movie, getting lost in the senses of nature. These are the times we can tap into Universal truth wide awake.
Let’s throw in the metaphysical concept, that you get what you believe and you create your own reality. If you believe in the lies of good and evil and separateness, it becomes your reality. You see all things as good or evil including self; you live a life judging everything as either good or badl, pleasant or unpleasant. If you no longer judge and believe only in Oneness united in Love than that is what you begin to experience and create. When you replace judgment with curiosity, the world of duality ends and you experience the peaceful state of equanimity.
Carl Jung and the alchemists are not wrong. We don’t have to move away from their teachings; we can build on them and use them as tools for awakening. It is through self-awareness that we can master Self and awake to a new reality. We can begin to transform out of the traps of cultural domestication by replacing competition with compassion, doing with being. We understand projection and replace it with self-awareness. Judging others is replaced with recognizing the divinity in all. Synchronicities become our divine guide posts. I think people who use the concept of synchronicity do not realize this is a Jungian term coined by him. Jung helps us to understand the differences that come from processing information internally and externally eliminating the need to judge others or expect them to handle communication, conflict or meetings the same way we do. Jung gives us the understanding that Self needs the complete development of anima and animus in equal balance. He honors the need for highly developed feminine and masculine traits in both women and men. Jung gives us tools for greater awareness with dream work, unveiling the deep secrets of the unconscious. I believe Jung’s work and the alchemists who influenced him can lay a foundation for awakening.
When I reject the concept of good and evil, I can create a new reality. Instead of burning the impurities of evil through analysis, I awake to the divine nature of myself and all people. It is a process of awakening out of the dark nightmare of our culture. It does not happen quickly because there are many cultural traps hanging out waiting to trick us into believing the lies.The darkness of these cultural traps can be negotiated through the use of practices. Mindfulness provides us with many practices promoting compassion, non-judgment, self-awareness, and equanimity.
As we transform our belief in separateness and judgment through an understanding of our true nature, we move through life recognizing the true nature and the divinity in all. We begin to see all humans with more compassion with no need to label their behavior as good or evil. Our labeling is based on our own biases and projections, hidden in the darkness of our subconscious. We navigate a circle of consciousness from illuminating brightness to deep darkness. We all live someplace in that circle and each of us have times of great light and great darkness.
I believe there is another key to living in the light and that is allowing our emotions to be our messengers. A difficult emotion is a warning sign letting us know where we are and what is happening. Strong judgment of another is another cue to look within self to see what is being projected. When we can observe our emotions as a witness, we are already finding the way out of darkness. We actually are on a higher level of consciousness when we become the witness. When you know what is going on, you can use the practices and tools you have acquired to crawl out from under the false beliefs and fears. You regulate and learn from you emotions rather than act out. Even though we all fall into darkness from time to time, self awareness through an understanding of emotions allows us to know where we are.
I believe when we have spent a lot of time in the light, we develop more compassion and passion to work toward a planet where all living creatures live in unity and Love. We can become agents of change working for global peace and justice for all.