Friday, August 8, 2008

The Gold

"The Gold is found in the shit." -Carl Jung

Evidently, he actually said this in Latin but I cannot find the Latin for it anywhere so any of you Latin geniuses out there who can send me the information about the quote, I would be ever-so-appreciative. Anyway, it is a perfect quote to run across on the week of concealment and revelation. Carl Jung's idea (Well, one of his ideas, of which he had many!) was that he ego is like a small boat floating on the ocean of the unconscious. And the water of the unconscious is often muddy, murky and seemingly foul. But hidden (concealed, if you will) in those murky waters is the gold of our True Self, the answers for our happiness, the source of highest expression. Additionally he believed that the truest form of religious praise and worship was for each of us to be that True Self. (Revelation) Very cool, huh?

Many traditional yogic practices try to help us rise above the murky water of the unconscious and renounce the darker forces within us. Obviously this has some value, particularly if we are acting out those forces in destructive ways. But from the Jungian perspective (Which is decidedly Tantric, don't you think?) we would actually go into the darker realms because that is where the Gold really is. Most religions and societal norms and injunctions just give us a set of rules to follow and so what is "right" is defined externally. And this can be a trap because it skips the step of inner inquiry where we get to find out "What is my right?"

Tantra, invites us to dive into the muddy water to find our "right" from the inside out, not from a set of imposed rules. It is wilder, it is uncertain, it is most certainly messier, but I am figuring it is a more exciting way to live. I had a therapist once who told me a story that when she began Jungian analysis, her therapist looked at her and asked, "Do you want to be good or do you want to be whole?" So like that.

Yesterday was a fun day. Anne and me met with our new friend Heide. Heide is an Iyengar Yoga teacher who teaches at Castle Hill (Check her out!) and we met in Montana. How great is that? Take a trip to Montana to met a friend who lives in Austin. We did a practice, then I went to a therapy appointment and then I taught my classes. So fun.

We did a back bend-forward bend sequence (Conceal the heart, reveal the heart) at 4:30 and then we worked on Vira 2 at 6:00. (By the way, everyone in the room was down to a 90 degree angle in the front leg by the end of class so please stop telling me this cannot be done in an average class! Fine, your seniors classes can have a pass, but in the average hatha class, really, NO EXCUSES!)

Kelly, Susan, Kim, Jessie, and Karuna all double- dipped which was great.

Then Kelly and I went on a date to the Clay Pit (thanks Lisa for the gift certificate I finally used up! We got two meals out of it!) and ran into Mark and Susan while we waiting. So we invited them to eat with us since we got seated before them which was really delightful. I think Susan and I managed not to totally dominate the conversation with yoga-geek talk. At least for awhile!

Okay, so off to walk the dogs, get a practice in and get ready for the weekend with Darren. Bring a swimsuit and ring food to eat and bring a few changes of clothes. It is going to be hot and sweaty and packed full of people. I cannot wait!


The Frosolono Patriarch said...

You may recall that while we lived in Rye, I took a 12-week (weekends) course at Wainwright House entitled, "Receptive Listening". Jungian theory, etc. formed the major basis for this course.

One anecdote from this course that might be supplemental to your Jungian comment in today's blog: A young Swiss physician insisted on going though analysis with Jung. At each session, Jung asked the physician about his dreams and he consistently reported not having any dreams. Finally, after many sessions, the physician with great enthusiasm reported a dream - that he had been immersed in a pile of shit with which he continuously smeared himself. Jung refused to engage in any further analysis with the physician with the comment, "Some people should never undergo analysis."

I can agree that the gold often is in the shit and that the unexamined life is worthless. Nevertheless, this physician must have been so psychologically disturbed, perhaps innately evil (?), that Jung could do nothing for the guy without risking letting a monster loose on the world and/or destroying the physician.

We're making progress on the house but have called a halt to further renovations in preparation for celebration of Andrea's birthday tonight.

Love to all,


Pamela said...

The comment "do you want to be good or do you want to be whole" reminded me of a similar quote. I know I've told you this story but a marriage counselor that I know said something along the same lines: "Do you want to be right or do you want to be married?" His comment was more in reference to the inability to want to change and/or adapt to the need to do things differently for the sake of our partner: "It's not fair. This is how I am & they knew it when they married me. Why should I have to change?"

His response: "You're right. It's not fair. Do you want to be right on do you want to be married?"

Not sure it's quite the same thing, but that's what I though of.

See ya soon in sunny San Marcos!