psychosis ~ the dragon on the hero’s journey

Jung, on the subject of integrating psychosis:

The reason why the involvement looks very like a psychosis is that the patient is integrating the same fantasy-material to which the insane person falls victim because he cannot integrate it but is swallowed up by it.

In myths the hero is the one who conquers the dragon, not the one who is devoured by it.

And yet both have to deal with the same dragon.

Also, he is no hero who never met the dragon, or who, if he once saw it, declared afterwards that he saw nothing. Equally, only one who has risked the fight with the dragon and is not overcome by it wins the hoard, the “treasure hard to attain.”

He alone has a genuine claim to self-confidence, for he has faced the dark ground of his self and thereby has gained himself.

This experience gives him faith and trust, the pistis [the faith] in the ability of the Self to sustain him, for everything that menaced him from inside he has made his own.

He has acquired the right to believe that he will be able to overcome all future threats by the same means.

He has arrived at an inner certainty which makes him capable of self-reliance, and attained what the alchemists called the unio mentalis.

~ Carl Jung, CW14, Para 756

shamanism, a technology of knowledge production

Fabiane M. Borges, an essayist, researcher and PhD in clinical psychology, in a web article called “Technoshamanism and Wasted Ontologies”, says about shamanism,

When we perceive shamanism not as tribal religions or as the beliefs of archaic people (as is still very common) but as a technology of knowledge production, we radically change the perception of its meaning.

I like this, a ‘technology of knowledge production’. This definition is nice and clean, not loaded with cultural connotations. The article goes on to detail some practicalities of embracing shamanism in a globally connected world, but I especially like how the title makes the connection between the idea of knowledge production and ontology, the study of being. It’s not just any knowledge that shamanism produces, but knowledge of the nature of being and existence.

psychiatric drugs are not cures ~ far from it

Due to limitations in the dominant (biomedical) psychiatric paradigm ~ from A Prescription for Psychiatry by Peter Kinderman:

role of the biomedical specialist defaults to making inaccurate, unreliable and invalid diagnoses and issuing prescriptions for psychiatric drugs which, as we saw in the previous chapter, bear little systematic relationship to the diagnosis, are in no real sense ‘cures’ and seem to cause nearly as many problems as they solve, at least in the long run.

MatrixBluePillRedPill

Ralph Waldo Emerson, on genius

To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men,—that is genius. Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense; for the inmost in due time becomes the outmost,—and our first thought is rendered back to us by the trumpets of the Last Judgment. Familiar as the voice of the mind is to each, the highest merit we ascribe to Moses, Plato, and Milton is, that they set at naught books and traditions, and spoke not what men, but what they thought. A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages.

the Western Way of consciousness evolution

“Mankind, more than is realised, is an expression of the part of the earth upon which he subsists. A rose of the West should not aspire to bloom like a lotus of the East.” ~ Gareth Knight, The Rose Cross and the Goddess, as quoted in The Western Way: A practical guide to the Western Mystery Tradition by Caitlín and John Matthews, from which I quote the following:

Magic, as we understand it, did not exist: the whole of life was magical, in one sense. Yet there was nothing within creation which was truly supernatural. These seemingly contradictory statements are resultant upon any attempt to enter the Foretime ~ wherein life was infused with the numinous nature of the gods ~ from the standpoint of today ~ wherein everything is explicable from a scientific premise.

Before we make that attempt we must understand where we are in relation to consciousness, for the Western Way is very much the path of consciousness and its evolution. Symbolic truth is as true now as it was in the Foretime, yet the means of that truth ~ often conveyed by image, story or music ~ changes as the consciousness of humanity evolves. According to the prevailing consciousness at any one historical cross-section of linear time, so will different levels of symbolic truth be revealed. The development and evolution of human consciousness is the motivating factor in the Western Way; it is the impulse which sets seekers upon the path, from shaman to scientist, determined to find the unifying factors of physical or outer life with spiritual life. The capacity to understand and equate these factors is dependent upon the level of consciousness brought to bear upon this search.

The first steps upon the way are taken within the Native Tradition [as compared to the Hermetic Tradition] where tribal or collective consciousness prevails: out of the tribe emerges the shaman who experiments with individual consciousness ~ the next step ~ by means of identifying with the numinous quality of creation as personified by the gods, by synthesising this experience and transmitting it in an appropriate form to the tribe. The necessary next step to individual consciousness is one which cannot be taken simultaneously by all: this evolution takes many generations and is partially achieved by the presence and work of the shaman and a growing body of initiates who have already begun to make the transition within the tribe. The Native Tradition of any country takes its people on the long journey from tribal to individual consciousness, just as its Hermetic or esoteric Tradition attempts to lead people from individual to cosmic consciousness, in which evolved humanity will perceive its collective responsibility. (Figure 2.)

Native Tradition ~~~~~~~~~~~>>> Hermetic Tradition

Tribal consciousness ~~~>>> Individual consciousness ~~~>>> Cosmic consciousness

The task of religions, both old and new, has been to inculcate this evolutionary process through the means at its disposal. The varying success of this movement can be gauged by a quick mental reconnoitre through one’s own life experience to date. In the Foretime this search was begun by means of contact with the mineral kingdom and with the earth’s vital energies, which led on to an understanding and personification of these energies with god-forms. While the Native Tradition works from the immediate and familiar forces of the earth towards an evolved understanding of a cosmic plan or single, centralised Deity, it is the way of the Hermetic Tradition to perceive the cosmic and hierarchical forces which motivate the universe and identify their operation within elemental and imagined god-forms, as we shall see in Volume 2. [Volume 1 being “The Native Tradition”.]

Currently, the Western World is still struggling to throw off the last vestiges of tribal consciousness which have not yet worked themselves out. The revival of the Old Religion under the form of the neo-pagan movement and renewed interest in the Native Traditions of many lands are resonances of this struggle: it is one wherein the best of the ancient ancestral wisdom is retrieved and the unregenerate forms discarded as inappropriate. We shall be looking closer at this phenomenon in Chapter 5 and assessing the development of the Native Tradition since the Foretime. But before we can follow the way of the earth and of the gods, before we take ship for the Otherworld, we must enter the world of the Foretime ~ the ‘once upon a time’ of our ancestors.

caveman politics

from Ego: The Fall of the Twin Towers and the Rise of an Enlightened Humanity
In the not-too-distant future, our current political discourse will be seen as bad theatre, reminiscent of the physical bashing of cavemen.
~ Michael W. Taft and Peter BaumannBaumann
Makes me think of the few times I mistakenly watched Question Time.
ego_twin towers and enlightenment