Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sundays: Rest and Relax

I am a Jungian - which sometimes feels like I'm admitting I'm either schizophrenic or Shirley Maclaine - -but it seems to be the best explanation to me of the complexity of observable patterns of both a temporal and spiritual nature in myself and others. I've spent most of the day moving between completing the Sunday chores of cooking for the week and catching up on my laundry and curling up by the fire to reread a couple of short books. The first, by Robert A. Johnson Lying with the Heavenly Woman: Understanding and Integrating the Feminine Archetypes in Men's Lives was as interesting the second read as the first but nothing there driving me to post. The second was by James Hollis Creating a Life - Finding Your Individual Path. I've become a bit of a Hollis groupie over the last few years knowing full well that describing oneself as a Jungian groupie is a bit of an oxymoron. Anyway, these paragraphs from Chapter 4, People's Stories are worth the effort to key.

"Each of us lives out a story, a dynamic narrative whose only consistency is that we somehow show up in each of the scenes. While the plotline may be unknown to us, there is one. It is composed, of course, of genetic, familial and cultural antecedents which are present at the moment of birth. I am not suggesting any notion of past lives. There are those who sincerely believe in past lives; I remain unconvinced. The principle known as Occam's Razor still applies. The medieval philosopher William of Occam argued that when multiple explanations are possible, the one requiring the least embellishment is to be preferred. In short, there are many other ways of accounting for these unconscious determinants, whether biological, social or psychological, than the elaborate structure required of the past lives thesis.
The stories we live out are capable of alteration by fate, by the influence of others and occasionally by conscious choice. The narrower the frame of consciousness, the greater the personal chronicle plays out as fate. As Jung has observed, what is denied inwardly, will come to us as Fate. As we can only be partially conscious at best, much of the fate we would deny or decry, we have unconsciously elected. This is why patterns occur so often in one's life, even though one is rationally obliged to admit that no one else made him or her choose that person, that path or that behavior."

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