WORK CAMP AT ANILIO, GREECE
Work camp ending at Anilio before our Yoga, Writing & Art begins today. And glad to have a zen shot of me painting this wall! It’s the characteristic lime-wash you see all over Greece, and also has been quite a meditation that got me thinking how a clear boundary, like what comes uncontaminated from deep in the heart, allows an opening to what is growing boundless and free. And so many of our sufferings come down to the walls we build being made of old material we no longer need, but we keep maintaining them because the views they block out at some point have made us safe or important or whatever. So the same with our politics. With no clear transparent values, how can we have a perspective on the real needs of the planet? And without an open clear view from the outside, from another person or culture, what’s to stop us just whitewashing these old walls we’ve labelled ‘good’ to keep out the ‘bad’ and history repeating itself again?
Jung believed the only way forward is to meet the nature of our own wall or conflict. This quote has travelled with me for some time now and it’s beginning to make some sense!
“The goal of human striving in the individuation process is the recognition of the Self, the regulating centre of the psyche. That recognition relativizes the ego in the psychic structure, and initiates a dialogue between conscious and unconscious. ‘The only way the Self can manifest is through conflict,’ writes Marie Louise Von Franz. ‘To meet one’s eternal and insoluble conflict is to meet God, which would be the end of the ego with all its blather.’
“If the ego rejects that conflict, then the soul is contaminated by the ego’s desire for more and more power or wealth or happiness. The result is ego inflation. According to Jung:
‘An inflated ego is always ego-centric and conscious of nothing but its own existence. It us incapable of learning from the past, incapable of learning from contemporary events, and incapable if drawing right conclusions about the future. It us hypnotized by itself and therefore cannot be argued with. It inevitably dooms itself to calamities that must strike it dead.’
“Paradoxically enough, inflation is a regression of consciousness into unconsciousness. This always happens when consciousness takes on too many unconscious contents upon itself and loses the faculty of discrimination, the sine qua non of all consciousness.”