Thursday, July 20, 2017

Triad of Perceptions of the Self

Triad of Perceptions of the Self
“He dreamed that he was walking through a vast wasteland. He heard steps behind him. Anxiously he walked faster, but the steps too become more rapid. He began to run, the terror still behind him. Then he came to the edge of a deep abyss and had to stand still. He looked down; deep, deep down, thousands of miles below he saw hell fires burning. He looked around and saw, or rather sensed in the dark, a demonic face. Later on, the dream recurred exactly as before, except that instead of the demon the dreamer saw the face of God. And when he was almost 50 years old he had the same dream for the last time, but this time panicky fear drove him and he jumped off the edge of the abyss into the depths below. As he fell, thousands of little square white cards floated downward with him from above. On each card, in black-and-white, a different mandala had been drawn. The cards floated together into a kind of a floor so that he did not fall into hell but found a firm landing about halfway down. Then, he looked back, upward to the edge of the abyss, and there he saw his own face! The pursuer in the dream is the Self, which appears first as the uncanny, then as God, then as the dreamer himself. In the final dream, which evidently brought with it the solution since it did not recur, the similarity of ego and Self, one the mirror image of the other, is underscored.” …………..Dream of a patient of Marie-Louise von Franz
A powerful depiction of the state of one’s consciousness exhibited through dreams at different stages of one’s life. The three images that the dreamer sees are three different self-perceptions of one’s own self. In Jungian psychology the shadow was an important aspect of the psyche. The shadow is the ‘unconscious aspect’ of one’s personality  with which the ego does not identify itself and usually is largely negative. This is predominant in the first version of the dream as the dark demonic face that follows him to the abyss.
There are, however, positive aspects which may also remain hidden in one's shadow (especially in one’s inferiority complex, anxieties, and false beliefs). To know yourself completely, you must accept your dark side. To deal with others' dark sides, you must also know your dark side. The face of God which the dreamer sees is the positive nature of one’s true consciousness.
We always live in the turmoil and contradiction of trying to relate to these two aspects of our psyche. The jumping off the precipice indicates the plunge into the process of individuation. All mystics go through the dark night of the soul in their individuation process wherein one’s true spiritual nature is realized and united with the universal consciousness.
As Jung explains the more consciousness gains clarity, the more demanding its content becomes and this can be equated to the slippery steep slope of darkness or the abyss as seen in the dream. The individual who has embarked on the process of individuation courageously takes the plunge knowing well that at the end of the plunge he will discover his true identity.
The white cards with mandala are the symbols displayed in one’s intuitive opening up of higher conscious experience, the integration of which finally reveals his own face or his own Self. A mandala is the symbolic representation of the universe in a microcosm. The four portals employed in a mandala symbolizes the four dimensions in which our human consciousness resides. The first requirement for transcendence of consciousness is a perfect balance in spacetime in which we exist. The inner circular patterns based on their intricacy and symbols and colours employed aids our meditative reflection to transcend to higher meanings.
I would like to end this short article with a quote from the same author with whose quote I started:
“The mandala serves a conservative purpose—namely, to restore a previously existing order. But it also serves the creative purpose of giving expression and form to something that does not yet exist, something new and unique. ... The process is that of the ascending spiral, which grows upward while simultaneously returning again and again to the same point.” …………. Jungian analyst, Marie-Louise von Franz, C. G. Jung: Man and His Symbols, p. 225
In my 2006 article in my website I had referred to this oscillation between or spiralling between the human and Divine plenum in the following words:
“As matter encounters singularity at the event Horizon and as the soul encounters the timeless dimension of divine essence or the Zen concept of Sunyata wherein one reaches Satori or enlightenment, we are all talking the same language of manifest creation standing at the very threshold of a true realisation of its current created status and yet knowing that this is illusion or Maya and our destiny lies beyond this creature horizon.”[1] ……….Tiburtius. B
Human existence is on a plane of ‘returning origin’ of our humanity. But this cannot be a permanent presence in our base material and physical nature but a constant ascendency, a spiralling upward journey to our authentic higher nature, for spiritual replenishment. Due to this diligent exercise our returning origin shifts upward towards a new level of transcendence.
Love to you all

[1] http://www.livingspark.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/CREATURE-HORIZON.pdf

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