Saturday, June 19, 2021

Larger, More Meaningful

Lay down your money and you play your part
Everybody's got a h-h-hungry heart
Bruce Springsteen "Hungry Heart"
      We all hunger for something that no amount of food, drink, accomplishments, homes, cars, trips, etc can ever satisfy for long. How many who, upon reaching their career goals, with lots of money, possessions etc are completely devastated to discover that they feel even more desperately empty & hungry than ever.
      “… we live in a very odd historical moment: there has never been a time in the history of our species when so few of us have paid attention to the world that surrounds us. … Without attentive immersion in the larger-than-human world – the exact immersion for which we are biologically adapted – we dissolve into individual and collective malaise.” Thomas Lowe Fleischner 

“As we travel through life, we are all seekers
after something larger than ourselves…”
Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer PhD
      “The object in meditation and all of our contemplative disciplines is silence. But… that silence is in order for you to perceive something other than yourself — what you’ve arranged as yourself to actually perceive this frontier between what you call your self and what you call other than your self, whether that’s a person or a landscape.” David Whyte

     There are different experiences as a result of meditation practice. “There’s the progressive deepening & growing level of experience which is really a development of consciousness, which changes the way we perceive the world, which changes the way we feel reality, deal with good news or bad news, and so on. 
     And there are other moments when there’s a sudden, unexpected, beautiful flowering, eruption or manifestation. 
     But the combination of these two kinds of experience is found in meaning. What we need today, desperately, is meaning. If you go on the internet, I suppose you could get caught down a rabbit hole searching for meaning in terms of an explanation or exposure to conspiracy theories – this is the meaning of this and that.
     I have a friend who has worked with the dying for all of his medical career. And he observed of course that some people died well, and some people died painfully and in agony. And he came to realize, as others have done, that the big difference was found in the question of meaning. He’s come to the conclusion that ‘meaning’ means the experience of connection, deep connection. Ultimately, it’s not just a connection to your life’s work, or money you’ve created, or the degrees you’ve accumulated, or successes you’ve had, but the connection is with people, and with your self - your deeper self. And that’s why, when people are dying, they want to reconnect with people they’ve hurt, or people they’ve become alienated from. And this reconciliation in the last days of their lives is a liberation – a transformation of consciousness.”
     Laurence Freeman interview:

     “James Hillman has wisely observed that people come in to psychotherapy not only to relieve their painful symptoms or trace the historical roots of their traumatic woundings, but also to find an adequate biography, by which he means a story that honors the ineffable sources and soulful foundations of their own unique, irreplaceable lives. In addition to understanding the source of their injuries, and working these through with a therapist, they are looking for a new and larger narrative – the true story of their soul’s dual destiny on this earth as citizens of two realms. 
     Ironically, trauma survivors are in a unique position to claim this larger vision because they are often forced prematurely into non-ordinary reality – a spiritual and often mentalized world that helps them survive the unbearable pain of their early affect relationships. They become what James Grotstein calls ‘orphans of the wheel.’ But simultaneously … they become avatars of the ultra-real.”
     Donald Kalsched. “Trauma and the Soul. A Psycho-spiritual Approach to Human Development and its Interruption.” Routledge, 2013.

Sherose Island Rocks!

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