Sunday, August 08, 2010

Collaborating with Psyche

We collaborate with soul/psyche to produce the life that is truly our life to live, to realize our destiny within the context of our living that fate has dealt us. It is a partnership all the way. The path is one of negotiation and compromise, and neither side, neither world—conscious and unconscious, physical and spiritual, soma and psyche, external and internal—can dismiss the other side, world, or insist on running the show to the exclusion or submission of the other side, world. We all drive the boat together on its path through the sea, which means that conversation and cooperation are essential components of our life together.

How do we converse, cooperate, with the internal, invisible, spiritual, world? Have you ever heard of prayer, perhaps? The foundational characteristic of prayer is openness. We are open to what needs to be said, to what we have to say. How is it with you right now? To be open to how it is with you, to be receptive, to be aware, accepting, attentive—to realize how it is with you to the point of being able to spell it out, to articulate it from the depths—is one aspect of prayer. And where does this happen in our experience? In the therapist’s office, not in church. In church you get formulas. You get clich├ęs. You get exactly what you got last week, and the week before. You get “every head bowed and every eye closed.” You don’t get honesty, authenticity, genuineness, realness. Nobody says how it is when they pray in church. If you seek a place to be open to the core, you don’t go to church. That’s something that has to change. We are working to change it.

Another aspect of openness is respect for that which opens to us. We are not alone. This is the fundamental spiritual proposition. If we are all alone, what’s the point of being here? We are here to address spiritual reality and our physical relationship to it, with it. The visible world is grounded on the invisible world. That’s the central premise of spiritual development. If you take that away, what is there to develop? If the world that can be seen, and touched, tasted, smelled, dissected, labeled, weighed, measured, fenced in and sold off is the only world, what are we doing here? If there is no invisible world, we are wasting our time talking about spirituality. If the physical world is the only world, there is no spirituality. There are only chemicals and brain cells. No invisible world. No spiritual reality. And I have nothing for you, but. If there is more to life, to our lives, than meets the eye—and if intuition and creativity and whatever is at work in what we experience as grace, providence and synchronicity reflects a connection with that “more”—then we might present ourselves to the reality of the invisible world, prayerfully open to that which opens to us.

The posture, the attitude, the orientation of openness—to that which is within us, how it is with us, and to that which is beyond us, which is more than we can ask, or think, or imagine—is the key to conversation and cooperation with the invisible world. In order to see more than meets the eye, we have to look beyond what meets the eye, and be comfortable with the postulate that the physical world is not the only world. In order to see, hear and understand, we have to look, listen, ask, seek, and knock—and wait to see, and hear, what happens and where that leads.

In order to collaborate with the soul/psyche and cooperate with the invisible world in the life that is our joint life to live, in the destiny that is our joint work to realize and fulfill within the context and circumstances that define our living, we have to take up the practice of engaging the mystery of the invisible world with imagination and openness. “Practice” means regular and recurring. We sit. We articulate how it is with us as deeply and as clearly as we are capable of perceiving how it is with us. And we listen, look, for what might be heard, seen.

Here is where imagination comes to play. What spontaneous images, scenes appear to you? Take note of them, become interested in them. This is where prayer as I am proposing it differs from Buddhist or Transcendental Meditation. In meditation you are taught to dismiss the images that appear and return to your mantra as an “image clearing device.” In prayer as I propose it, you follow the image. You engage the image in dialogue. You say something on the order of, “What are you doing here, now? Why you? Why now? What do you have to say to me, to show me? What do you have to teach me, tell me, about what I’m doing or what I need to be doing?” Interview the image. See where the image leads you. Become curious, inquisitive, imaginative. Explore what the image brings to mind. This is engaging the invisible world and being open to what it might have to say to you.

Of course, this flies in the face of everything the world of normal, apparent, left-brained, rational, logical reality stands for, but. Are you going to open yourself to the possibility of the reality of the invisible, spiritual world? The world that is the ground, the source, of art and music, creativity, intuition, grace, providence, synchronicity? Are you going to experiment with your life as the proving ground of the reality of the invisible world? Are you going to start with the proposition that there is more to living than meets the eye, that there is a particular life with our name on it, a character that is ours to develop, a destiny that is ours to fulfill, which comes to us from beyond us, from beyond our rational, logical ability to make up and make real? Are you going to get to work seeing if there is anything to what I’ve been talking to you about for the last seven years? What do you have to lose?

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