Thursday, April 17, 2014

Suspended Between Pair of Opposites

“To take up one’s own cross would mean to accept and consciously realize one’s own particular pattern of wholeness.” This invariably involves being suspended between successive pairs of opposites (like a veritable crucifixion), with its attendant suffering, and repeated death/rebirth experiences of the ego as it learns to bow to the demands of the Self. However, consciously “carrying one’s life” in this way also provides the possibility of discovering the meaning of one’s unique, individual life and participating in life’s larger purposes. It means the possibility of discovering one’s vocation and one’s own myth, that story which helps to make meaning out of the mystery." .............. Edward Edinger (Edinger, Ego and Archetype, p.135)

To those of us who have been invested with the gift of greater discernment and deeper enquiry, every mystery in religious tradition must evoke the desire to undertake the tortuous journey which most faithful will not dare venture into. When Christ narrates the parable of the Talents in Matthew chapter 25 and in Luke chapter 19, we should take heed of the warning that to those more is given more is asked off and there is darkness that awaits those who do not dare invest their talents into deeper enquiry. This unfortunately is not understood and totally ignored by organized religion. Going into the historical dimension of the Gospel writers, Matthew wrote for the Hebrews and Luke wrote for the Greek communities. Both these cultures were deeply rooted in mythical tradition and their spirituality heavily depended on deeper interpretation of mythical symbolism.

Psychologically, Christ's life represents the various phases and unfolding  of the Self as it undergoes incarnation in an individual ego, that is, the various stages of the process of individuation and in the final culmination of being merged into the Divine.
When we withdraw our projections from an outward historical or metaphysical Christ then we wake up Christ within. If Christ remains outside us, either as an example of an ideal or as an external object of worship only, the deeper levels of the soul are never engaged.

To bear one’s own cross would mean to accept and consciously comprehend one’s own particular pattern of wholeness. This invariably involves being suspended between successive pairs of opposites (like a veritable crucifixion), with its attendant suffering, and repeated death/rebirth experiences of the ego as it learns to bow to the demands of the Self. This journey began in the Garden of Eden, when the choice was made to taste the polar opposites of good and evil. Everyone of us is engaged in this turbulent journey in this valley of tears (suffering). We are nailed to the material dimension and yet in this inescapable physical existence caught between good and evil. we have the capacity to life up our eyes and say: "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." ............Luke 23:46

Without a symbolic appreciation of Christ, his life, his crucifixion and his resurrection  or any other aspect of Biblical narrative, religious concerns are made insignificant by literalism. This in turn is the spawning ground for fundamentalism which, in spiritual matters, is tantamount to the death of the soul. In addressing Christ as a symbol of the Self, Jung challenged the Church to recover its symbolic life. Failing to do that, the Church will remain a minor voice in speaking to the deep spiritual longings of modern men and women. Furthermore, it may unwittingly undermine the reconciliation and peace-making processes it desires to promote in the world.

This is the message for this Holy week.

Love to you all

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