Thursday, December 1, 2011

you know you are in trouble when...

...someone says, "I can tell you must be busy. You haven't been blogging."

Yikes. It's true. Good news. Bad news. Life is full.

so... I am going to run something old. I've been helping Lee with some copy for his website and promo material and very much in touch with Depth Psychology (which is a HOT topic with the opening of several artistic pieces - the broadway play "Relatively Speaking" by Woody Allen, Ethan Coen and Elaine May  = which we saw and is hysterical!, the new movie about Freud and Jung called "A Dangerous Method" - god knows when it opens in MSP - it opened in NY and LA last week, and the death of James Hillman which brings his work to bear on the gestalt of it all.) Okay back to the point. So I am thinking Depth Psychology and yet am too busy to write because my days are filled with furniture plans and fabric samples.

But, here is a piece I wrote a five years ago and it is still meaningful to me. I continue to believe we must "go down" to find ourselves - go "inside" not out.  So... here you go: hope you enjoy. This is as good as it gets when I have to go quote a living room for a meeting tomorrow.....


Zan, standing, center with lifelong friend Oliver sitting at left.
Top of Highland Bowl in Colorado a few years ago.
The context:  I am in the middle of reading a book by a Jungian analyst, Robert L. Moore, which is knocking my socks off. It is called The Archetype of Initiation (subtitled Sacred Space, Ritual Process and Personal Transformation). Sounds suspiciously esoteric, I know, but I have been interested in Jung’s work for some time and especially the roles of myth and ritual in our lives. Moore’s position is that the need for ritual is hard-wired in humans. We will seek it, for better or for worse, in an attempt to manage our inborn grandiosity, which is overwhelming to us, and to find our place in the cosmos. 
My twenty-year old son, Zan, sent me this photo by email from a trip he had just taken to Colorado with a group of friends. Story has it they went to the top of the run and then walked another hour up the mountain, often careening narrow paths to reach this peak.  Zan stands in the center here. The young man sitting on the left, Oliver, has been his best friend since they were in first grade. They all seem to be looking around, as individuals, not as a group in this moment.
I don’t see just a bunch of guys taking a break on the mountain, preparing for the next run down the mountain. I see sacred space and young men creating a ritual, a tiny little hero’s journey, proof to themselves and each other that they are worthy…with the mountain peaks encompassing them, nowhere to go, but down.
Our infantile grandiosity carries us toward the heavens. It’s called “the Icarus complex.” But a maturing soul knows the real journey for a human - not a god - is down, deep and internal. And so, we create rituals that test us and carry us to our depths.  Some take physical form. All activate our psyche and soul. Even though this ritual may be unconscious in this moment, it is rehearsal for a later test, a greater one.
I love this image. How innocent and unwitting our youth…yet, how divinely inspired it can be. For me, even in mid-life, there are still mountains to descend.


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