Previous month:
April 2020
Next month:
June 2020

May 2020

Everything you need is within you...

 

The day you are born a seed is planted. The seed is your unique gift to the world. It wants to grow, transform itself, and reach its full potential. It has a natural energy that you can tap into. It is up to you to make the seed thrive, to express your uniqueness and share your gift with the world. 

You have a destiny to fulfil. And, the stronger your drive to achieve your full potential the more likely you are to succeed.

AcornFailure to thrive usually means you have succumbed to an opposing force - social pressures to conform, family misguidedly directing you to their choice of career path. You end up choosing a career path that isn’t what you truly want. Your heart won’t be in it and you become increasingly less engaged. You start to see pleasure as something that is obtained outside work.

You have a voice within that emanates from your individuality and it calls you to a particular form of work or career. If you learn to listen you will develop a sense of your vocation. You will see it as a journey with twists and turns rather than a straight line. Some side routes will pull you more than others and eventually you will find a particular field, niche, or opportunity that suits you perfectly. It will feel right. And, because you are doing what you love you will learn more quickly and more deeply. You will have a sense of purpose and direction. 

In order to truly thrive you must love the subject and feel a profound connection to it.

But what if you have someone in your life that constantly holds you back and stunts your growth? Don’t be with them, don’t make them the centre point of your life. If you stay with them you will be a cowering creature who is just a shadow of the person you really are.

Please support my work by visiting my shop at Jane Redfern Art or by making a donation through Paypal With much love and appreciation. Thank you ❤️

Becoming conscious and easing anxiety

 

“See, how cruel the whites look,” said Hopi elder, Mountain Lake. He was speaking to Carl Jung who visited the Pueblos of Taos, New Mexico in 1925. “Their lips are thin, their noses sharp, their faces furrowed and distorted by folds. Their eyes have a staring expression; they are always seeking something. What are they seeking? The whites always want something; they are always uneasy and restless. We do not know what they want. We do not understand them. We think Indian Artthat they are mad.”

Carl Jung asked the elder why he thought the whites were all mad.

“They say that they think with their heads,” he replied.

“Why of course. What do you think with?” Jung asked in surprise.

“We think here,” Mountain Lake said, indicating his heart.

This undercurrent of constant unease started long before Western industrial civilisation. It was there in the time of Jesus, and the time of Buddha, and long before that. “Why are you always anxious?” jesus asked his disciples. “Can anxious thought add a single day to your life?” Buddha, echoed this by teaching that the root of all suffering is to be found in our constant wanting and craving.

Resistance to consciousness is a collective dysfunction – a behaviour pattern developed over generations in our families – and it is intrinsically connected to our loss of awareness and forms the basis of our dehumanised, unconscious industrial civilisation. Freud also recognised the existence of this undercurrent of unease and he wrote about it in his book Civilisation and its discontents, but he did not recognise the true root of the unease and failed to notice that freedom from it is possible. This collective dysfunction has created a very unhappy civilisation that has become a threat not only to itself but also to all life on the planet.

Freedom from this unease is possible by becoming more conscious - or individuated - which I will cover in future posts.

Please support my work by visiting my shop at Jane Redfern Art or by making a donation through Paypal With much love and appreciation. Thank you ❤️

There is nothing with which we are not linked

We are all rooted in deep, invisible ground…somehow connected with animals, trees, mountains, meadows, and running water. We should draw from this a sense of security and the conviction that here is solid ground on which we stand.

LinkedGradually, we can learn to welcome moments that both move and stimulate us. And welcome too, all the different feelings and moods, happy or painful, which arise from them and follow in their wake.Once the bustle of life dies down we are left just with the thoughts and feelings inside us. If we pause, listen, watch, and feel, we can really enjoy those moments. We can start to understand that our feelings and moods and intuition are the beating heart of our link with the world. We can breathe more deeply and know that our mind has really begun to exist.

These tiny, almost insignificant, moments can change us. They are a silent metamorphosis, fragments of existence, like feathers of life drifting down from the sky. They are moments that can thrill and transform us.

Jung understood the importance of our connection with the earth. He said: “At times I feel as if I am spread out over the landscape and inside things, and am myself living in every tree, in the splashing of the waves, in the clouds and the animals that come and go, in the procession of the seasons. There is nothing with which I am not linked.” MDR P225.

In nature, nothing is isolated. If we have lost our connection with Nature, we have lost our connection with ourselves.

Please support my work by visiting my shop at Jane Redfern Art or by making a donation through Paypal With much love and appreciation. Thank you ❤️

Change yourself, change the world

Carl Jung loved to tell the story of the Rain Maker, which he was told by Richard Wilhelm, the first man to translate the I-Ching and bring it into the western world.

Richard Wilhelm was in a remote Chinese village that was suffering from a most unusually prolonged drought. Everything had been done to put an end to it, and every kind of prayer and charm had been used, but all to no avail. So the elders of the village told Wilhelm that the only thing to do now was to send for a rainmaker from a distance. This interested him enormously and he was careful to be present when the rainmaker arrived. He came in a covered car, a small wizened old man. He got out of the car, sniffed the air in distaste, then asked for a cottage on the outskirts of the village. He made the condition that no one should disturb him and that his food should be put down outside the door. Nothing was heard of him for Fish Yin and Yang three days, then everyone woke up to a downpour of rain. It even snowed, which was unknown at that time of year. Wilhelm was greatly impressed and sought out the rainmaker, who had now come out of his seclusion. Wilhelm asked him in wonder: "So you can make rain?" The old man scoffed at the very idea and said: "of course he could not”. "But there was the most persistent drought until you came," Wilhelm retorted, "and then -- within three days… it rains?" "Oh," replied the old man, "that was something quite different. You see, I come from a region where everything is in order, it rains when it should and is fine when that is needed, and the people also are in order and in themselves. But that was not the case with the people here, they were all out of Tao and out of themselves. I was at once infected when I arrived, so I had to be quite alone until I was once more in Tao, and then naturally it rained!"

The idea that if one is in the “Tao” then one’s path in the external world is unencumbered, and, inversely, when one encounters a disturbance in the world, it is usually indicative of an inner disturbance. 

If we think psychologically, we are absolutely convinced that things quite naturally happen this way (such as the rainmaker’s ability to create rain). If we have the right attitude then the right things happen. We don’t make it right, it is just right, and we feel it has to happen in this way. It is just as if we were inside of things. If we feel right, that things must turn up, it fits in. It is only when we have a wrong attitude that we feel that things do not fit in, that they are strange. If someone says that in his surroundings the wrong things always happen, it is him who is wrong, he is not in Tao; if he was in Tao, he would feel that things are as they have to be. Sometimes we find ourselves in a valley of darkness, dark things happen, but dark things belong there, they are what must happen then; they are nonetheless in Tao.

Taoist ethics are concerned less with doing good acts than becoming a good person who lives in harmony with all things and people.

If we want to live well we should take all our decisions in the context of the Tao, trying to see what will fit best with the natural order of things.

Taoists thus always do what is required by events and their context, but they only do what is required, no more.

But what is required may be a lot less than modern Westerners think. From the perspective of classical Taoism, Western humanism makes the mistake of assuming that the ability to intervene in life's events translates into a moral duty to do so.

Humans are indeed capable of intervening in life's events, but the evidence of life, which humans constantly ignore, is that such intervention is destructive to all involved and that we therefore have a moral duty to refrain from taking such actions.

So, in theory at least, Taoists tend not to initiate action - but wait for events to make action necessary - and avoid letting their own desires and compulsions push them into doing things. Good behaviour is an essential part not only of self-improvement but of improving the world as a whole.

The Taoist ideal is for a person to take action by changing themselves, and thus becoming an example of the good life to others.

They should develop themselves so that they live their life in complete harmony with the universe. So the philosophy is not to do good things, but to become a good person.

Changing oneself in that way will make the world a better place because as a person behaves well towards other people and the world, the community will respond by becoming better itself.

Please support my work by visiting my shop at Jane Redfern Art or by making a donation through Paypal With much love and appreciation. Thank you ❤️