Tuesday, July 19, 2011


When speaking of inner experiences I had especially the year beginning in mid-August of 1985, some ask me, " Jim, what did you learn?" This essay is an effort to give some of  the answer to that question from an intellectual standpoint and hopefully in an understandable way.

                               INDIVIDUALITY CAN EMBRACE THE WORLD

This essay is an attempt to bring together the implications of some of my experiences of what Carl Jung described as direct experience of the 'Collective Unconscious' nearly overwhelming consciousness. This began and was strongest for me in mid-August 1985. This kind of experience parallels the dynamics of classic accounts of 'religious' type conversion ranging from that of Peter and Paul in the New Testament, that of Scrooge in A Christmas Carol and the children in the movie ET. Such stories of uncommonly intense human inner experience are recorded as many other historic and literary examples through the ages.

                                  EGO-CONSCIOUSNESS ---- INDIVIDUALISM

I think we are near the end of a long era of increased value being placed on what can be called Individualism. Individualism is a mind set, a perception and value system where the central experience of consciousness, called the Ego, is considered the center of personality. Persons are taught to think, feel and act from the personal Ego. Especially in the West a highest value is placed on the meaning of this ,taken for granted, experiencing of the world and life. Ego is that reality which a person typically means when they say, 'I' or 'me.' We have not been encouraged to think of ourselves as potentially being something more or different than our direct sense of 'me', our personal ego.

The content of the individual Ego consists primarily of ones conscious awareness of the present and all remembered past experiences, both inner and outer. This changes with age. Through such an Ego we each continually compare incoming experience, thought and feeling with what we remember from our own past. We experience this Ego as ,'mine' and we have a vested interest in adding to it, expanding it and caring for it. This is the agreed purpose of most formal education. People who are somewhat psychologically aware, a number that has been significantly growing in the past century, are generally convinced they need to protect the Ego, to strengthen it against the assaults of ideas, beliefs, feelings and fantasies that it continually comes up against from the outside world and from ones inner world. Even if a person does not have a strong catalog of values, such as a formal religion, he/she still highly values the personal Ego and is aware that it is under assault by beliefs, ideologies and peer pressures to conform to someone else's wishes, plans or truth. A basic assumption is the stronger and more conscious the ego can be the more it can help one to be in control of one's personal and public life. So in the West every person has been well taught to live out of their own personal Ego. I also include in this situation those persons who believe there is an absolute truth or permanent revelation from 'out of this world' that has been defined for that person and his/her religious group as the absolute Voice of God. Such a common religious resource is also a part of a person's conscious Ego. Religious, family and other social group training are important parts of one's experience and thus part of the fabric of his/her Ego. These along with other remembered interpretations of life, ideas and feelings are part of one's Ego anchored in their conscious personal/collective past.

To live out of one's Ego is to always live in one way or another 'against the world' at large. To a predominant extent the wider world and all that is outside of 'our' personal Ego is viewed as something to 'stand against' , to 'control' as much as possible, and to 'protect' oneself from. Such attitudes are evidence that a person is constantly living from an 'Individualism' frame of reference. I would guess most Western people would recognize this pattern of Ego based Individualism in how s/he lives daily life.

The development of a stronger personal Ego seems to have 'had' to happen for human consciousness to develop in its content and strengths over the past millennia. The individual's sense of a personal Ego has greatly expanded over the past 300 years with the focus on the 'objective' world emphasized in the 'Age of reason' and by a growing scientific view of the world. Some of the parallel movements in culture along with this development of Ego strength are cultural patriarchy, a sense of 'subduing' and controlling and 'using' the earth/world to enhance the Ego's sense of power/security. The Ego in us has a 'me and mine' bottom line. That 'me and mine' generally includes ones family and various communities one embraces and in which s/he feels included. But, it does not look favorably to the 'whole' and to the 'All.' Other parallels with the development of this Ego Individualism are strongly held emotional values related to family, tribe, group and nationalism. Multiculturalism easily falls into this pattern as well. In the Individualism of our Western culture one side of a large number of 'opposites' have been more valued in support of this Ego. These include 'the particular over the whole'. 'thinking over feeling', 'masculine over feminine', 'control over acceptance', 'material over the spiritual', 'taking from over contributing to', 'status quo over change', 'producing over being' and seeing oneself, others and the particulars of nature as ' separate objects ' of creation rather than parts of a living whole.

This Individualism enacted by living from the Ego is always working hard to take the past into the future rather than being open to the future as a continually unfolding 'new creation.' There has been, I think, a growing frustration happening in the Western individual and collective psyche as this way of viewing and living from the Ego has become less effective in creating a meaningful, satisfying and hopeful way of life. More specifically Individualism no longer creates the expected experience of life which is tied strongly to the past. The more individuals and culture try to apply the past to the future, the only way the Ego knows how to live, the less it leads to life being meaningful and of 'one piece.' This has been increasingly experienced in private, family, and public life. It is at the basis of the national 'political and social polarity' most everyone is frustratingly aware of. This lack of 'one piece' refers to a growing awareness that life lived through the Ego creates the reality that the 'objects and persons' of the world are more and more separate, isolated, self limited and 'individualistic.' Living from the Ego has also led to the situation where democratic government has grown less able to provide practical oversight and regulation for financial systems, disaster response, and use of the military. More and more people are seeing that human 'leadership' ,as the Ego perceives it, no matter the sincerity or intelligence is unable to be effective. Another way that Individualism has come into its own is often proudly referred to as the American spirit of 'rugged individualism.' This phrase captures the essence of the Individualism I am describing. The phrase purposely pits the individual against the world and its parts. The growing fear that the 'American Dream' is increasingly less attainable for most is another way Americans are presently face to face with the dark side of bravado Individualism.

Jacob Wrestles With Angel of the Lord. Bonnat 1876
This critique of Individualism developed by humans living out of an ever strengthening Ego is not intended as a moral judgment on us as individuals or as a culture. It is simply a statement of where we are, an explanation for why so many of the institutions and systems of the past are no longer working effectively as ways for humans to picture a hopeful way of living. It is a matter of human psychological and spiritual development, a necessary development of the past that now has turned negative and incomplete for the present needs of society. I am suggesting that Individualism has now become an ineffective mode and place from which to live our lives.

 I am not disparaging the well developed Western Ego. In fact it must always remain in tact and serve as a gateway questioner of the material that wells up from the much broader Collective Unconscious. When the Ego breaks down in this function then the severest kind of mental illness happens. Such dangerous times for an individual would be similar to what is described as the 'temptations of Jesus' and Jacob's 'wrestling with the angel.' Each of these encounters is presented as necessary preparation for the fullest living out the destiny of these two individual lives. The personal Ego must function as a critical onlooker and questioner but it must realize that it is not the center or most extensive aspect of the human personality. Only the 'Self' can be recognized as that and then can only be partially realized.

As I try to 'get a feel' for living and experiencing from a place, other than individualism, I find it is most natural to drift quickly back to some form of Individualism perspective of living. I suspect this to be the case for most any reasonably informed American who would try to 'move on' from such an individualistic approach to life. This means if such a 'mode of living' is to change it will require conscious effort and ' strong new perceptions' on the part of individual person. Religiously, this 'new perception' may be referred to metaphorically as 'new birth', 'repentance' , 'new creation' or even the 'mind of Christ.'

                                       'INDIVIDUALITY'- 'SELF'- 'CREATIVE I'

My theme here is that we are at the time in history when conscious and unconscious forces have gathered to motivate us to move away from the imbalance  of Individualism toward a different center to live from. We can call this new potential point of view 'Individuality.' To experience ones Individuality in contrast to his/her Ego Individualism would represent a newly possible paradigm for where a person chooses to live from. Individuality can come into a person's awareness by the Ego consciousness experiencing a dramatic inflow of content from what Jung has called the 'Collective Unconscious.' From ancient times such an experience has been described as 'religious' in that it involves some kind of strong 'numinous' experience. The human Ego experiences the 'numinous' when it seems to have been directly affected inwardly by some outside force that is a higher wisdom and power than any human Ego. This is usually first experienced as the Sacred approaching from without but in time a person can recognize that what seemed from outside is a part of ones unknown inner resources activated. This can also be understood as the direct presence of content from the 'Collective Unconscious', the source from which the personal Ego consciousness must have evolved originally. Dreams, visions and revelatory experiences are capable of providing the individual Ego such an experience. This kind of experience teaches the Ego that it is not the center of its assumed 'me' as it had once believed, but that there are 'semi conscious' and 'unconscious' aspects to one's personality that now demand to be acknowledged and honored in how one lives and relates to the outer world. As Jung put it, "A person is confronted that he is not the master of his own house."

This more expansive center of the personality I am calling  Individuality or the 'Creative I' is the product of the maturation process Jung calls Individuation. He also refers to both the 'cause and result' of Individuation as the 'Self' and describes it as a process that could never be totally completed. This is so because the part -'the Ego' can never enclose the whole- 'the Collective Unconscious' or the 'Self.' The two are like a water drop compared to the ocean.   To fail to acknowledge the existence of such forces or to not take them seriously in daily life would be to live a non 'religious' life and to risk  a one sided, unbalanced psychological life. It would also mean the attempt to live fully out of one's personal Ego. This 'broader than' Ego understanding of personal  identity makes it possible and reasonable for one to choose to live from a wider view of oneself, a view that is kept in awareness even when it cannot be directly accounted for or observed on demand. This would mean to live out of something bigger and broader than the Ego Individualism humans have traditionally felt themselves to be. Again, this new and different 'center of personality' has been called the 'Self' by Jung and also the ' Creative I' by other philosophers and spiritual teachers.


For practical purposes, I believe, to experience the 'Self' is to experience what most humans mean by 'God.' To consciously live from the self would be to live in what is commonly called the 'will of God.' No such experience would ever give any individual a full definition of God or say anything about a God from where the 'Self' may originate. But the concept of the 'Self' affords an 'explanation', even for the non-religious, for the numinous kinds of phenomena involved in reports and stories across time and cultures of the Sacred being present. The 'Self' would represent where God and Human are consciously experienced as united and sharing a common interdependent life.

My Ego had, I'm convinced, such a qualifying experience as I've mentioned above beginning slowly about 1982 and taking on a large inflow of unconscious content in the form of , for lack of any better words, 'visions' and 'revelations' beginning in mid- August of 1985. I think in my efforts since then to live in my family, community and professional life I have been a self experiment in trying to live out of this new place rather than from my personal Ego. I am confident that many others have had similar experience even in the remote past. And I believe that this is now destined to be the essential way of living and relating to the world and will become commonly practiced. That is if human life is to head in the direction of its highest spiritual/psychological evolutionary potential. I can claim no more than minimum success in this experiment to live differently. To the extent I have in ways and at times moved beyond my Ego centered Individualism,which I believe we all do even if not consciously, it has been thrust upon me by my particular life circumstances. I was quite 'pushed' into experiencing the state of mind I am here calling Individuality in contrast to Ego centered Individualism. Of course my Ego has had to accept the challenge as a good thing and has chosen to cooperate to a significant extent.

The characteristics of relating to others and the world from this place of the 'creative I' or 'Self' has a wide range of experienced phenomena. Some are in direct contrast to living and relating from the personal Ego, Individualism. I will attempt to share some I have experienced. One of the first ways I described is the impression that one is living on some kind of 'automatic pilot.' This results in a decrease of the individualistic perceptions  of 'deciding', 'controlling' or 'planning' what one's actions and behaviors on a given day or moment will be. Long term imagining also takes on similar characteristics. One is not as easily startled or upset when something does not go as planned. There is an accompanying feeling that how 'it is going' is, for now, 'how it should be going.' One still imagines and plans what his/her tasks and movements for the day will be but is very open to that changing based on 'what the world brings to the situation.' One still desires to be responsible but what that means may vary from what the Ego alone would say. This is one way that the Ego is not given as high a place as before in ordering the events and expectations of life. This is a very different way of living, thinking and relating to the world. Such a way runs the risk of appearing to Ego dominated persons as being irresponsible or unreliable but I have not experienced that as the outcome. One can actually become convinced they have been far more responsible to the 'deeper' needs and tasks of life by desiring to align oneself with the 'Self' than with the more narrow Ego personality.

Some other parallel movements in culture with this development of the 'Self' as the center of personality are a heightened sense of the feminine element in the structure of all reality. There is also a stronger sense of ' following' and 'cooperating' and ' conserving' the earth/world resources to enhance all human life. The 'Self' in us has a ' we and us ' bottom line. This 'We' potentially spreads to include all humanity and all that is in the world. Individuality is drawn to considering and imaging the 'whole' and the 'All.' Other parallels with the development of Individuality are the leveling down the values related to claiming superiority to 'my' family, tribe, group, religion and nation. The acceptance of the mutual equality of other persons and cultures is seen as an important first step toward the day that the single multi-culture of humanity will carry our strongest emotional attachments and devotions. Individuality engenders a strong sense of relativism with respect to all dogmatic statements of universal belief, rules of morality and claims of eternal unchanging truth. Yet Individuality takes a strong uncompromising stand on issues of justice in its own given time and situation. An example of this that I personally experience is, "It is always urgent that behaviors by individuals or groups that perpetrate physical, psychological or economic harm, abuse or oppression on others should be called 'evil' and well hearted people will seek to correct it." In the Individuality engendered by the 'Self', Western culture will gradually experience a harmony and a reunion of a large number of 'opposites' that Individualism is driven to keep apart. These include 'the whole embracing the particular', 'thinking and feeling', 'male and female', 'self and other', 'power and form', 'Spirit and Flesh', 'Eros and agape', 'material and the imaginal(spiritual)', 'receiving and giving', ' sexuality and spirituality, 'work and play', 'being and doing' and seeing oneself, others and the particulars of nature as ' a connected web ' of creation, as parts of a living whole.

This Individuality enacted  by living more directly out of the 'Self' is always working hard to be open to the future 'current of time' as a continually unfolding 'new creation.' By not being hard-wired and anchored to the past it also recognizes itself and others as 'unfolding new creations.' The Ego is asked in this new approach to relating to the world to cooperate with the broader 'self' by 'giving up', even with much grieving, its dependence on the intellectual constructs  and institutions, as functioning in the past, as effective ways to build  the future. The dependence the Ego has to the past which it needs to release and grieve for reminds me of Jesus' statement to people whose Ego was tied tight to their Abrahamic lineage. Jesus' sharp response was that God could 'raise up children of Abraham from these rocks.' He was teaching that new ways of living in new eras must always come from the life of the earth and from the unknown future, not from reconstructions of past dependencies. And that humans only discover the right future by being fully open to it as a promising living unknown.

Jesus said, 'you can't put new wine in old wine skins.'
The metaphor that, 'new wine cannot be contained by old wine-skins' is the same teaching. This does not mean discarding what has been learned and what has been supportive of life in the past but to not rely on these, as they are, as the needed foundation for the incoming future. The future is not to any longer be defined and made known by the past but is to be allowed to be the 'unknown arriving'  it actually is. Instead of the 'world' needing to be 'controlled' and  'stood against' as with Individualism the world is seen as far more a personal reality rather than primarily a material and mechanistic one. Nature is respected as containing a genuine wisdom that is to be related to with respect and friendship rather than something to be overcome, subdued, or used for only the human Ego's benefit. All of this demonstrates the potential change in Western human systems and attitudes moving away from patriarchy, and it's claim to privileged superior masculine power, to a renewed balance of the eternal feminine and masculine principles. Our systems, bureaucracies and organizations will take on an atmosphere of this Individuality as persons working in them and funding them become more fully and truly 'Individuals.'

B.P. Oil Pipe Rupture In Gulf of Mexico April  2010
The World when approached this way is seen as something living, not as  a mechanistic group of unrelated objects or related only by linear cause and effect. I think one might become more conscious of  his/her movement toward living from Individuality rather than Individualism  by exploring your actual feelings about the BP Oil rupture in the Gulf. If your feelings include a genuine sense of sorrow and grief at the Earth's great injury you are approaching the  World as something living. If you feel some anger  like you would feel if a family member were injured by a reckless medical procedure then you are likely relating from Individuality. I've heard some people speak of being angry at the Earth for releasing all this oil thus acting in ways that take something from our collective Ego. This would be a demonstration of ego Individualism in the driver's seat. There is a difference in grieving for the Earth and being disappointed that we are being  deprived of something we  value only for ourselves. The first is Individuality related, the latter is  from Individualism. The latter  would be being angry at a loved one for becoming sick or losing a job and thus being a 'problem' for the Ego's intentions. Or being angry at and blaming the victim(s) of crime, oppression or abuse, even if that victim were yourself.

I could have written most of this so far without reference to religious concepts. I would not have had to reference scripture or use the terms Sacred and God. But the meaning of Sacred is strongly implied in the concept of living from the 'Self' rather than the 'Ego.' I described the 'Self' as coming into awareness, at least to some humans, by a numinous kind of experience. Such experience  nearly compels  a person, without limiting his/her sense of choice, to acknowledge there is always 'more to their own personal identity than they can be conscious of.' This is the classical essence of the 'religious' mind set. This is very parallel to the way that religious texts have described 'living by the Spirit' and 'walking by faith, not by sight.' Yet, I do not think it is essential for a person to have a numinous experience or consider themselves religious in order to embrace 'living out of Individuality.'  But only time can tell if this paradigm turns out to naturally 'fit' what is reasonable, challenging and worth the effort of experimenting with for the person who feels a strong aversion to 'religion.'

                                                EMBRACING THE WORLD- LOVE

My title says that Individuality Is Able To Embrace The World. I see this as the essential change that needs to be made by human beings in this new era of evolutionary development. Individualism has led humans to increasingly  'turn away' and even to 'turn against' the world outside themselves in a million different ways. But the Individuality spawned by the 'Self' places a high value on the world and all that is in it. It seeks to not turn away even when the world and its creatures, plants and natural forces are frightening and behave as total unknowns. In short this newly arrived Individuality 'loves the world.' So much that it stands ready to relate to her , care for her and even to jealousy  defend her against any ignorant abuse that threatens her. As you notice my description of the world has faded  into a 'she' and I am convinced that is as healthy  as can be. Even our historically   patriarchal society has continued to call, even if disparagingly, life forces in the world, 'mother nature.' Also, I notice that this paragraph 'sounds like' an Erotic kind of involvement of the individual toward the world. The Greek Eros is definitely alive in the dynamics of Individuality 'loving the world'; far more than the Ego's distanced , objective style of relating to the world.

This new Individuality owns itself as participating in both Spirit, which reaches to the high and lofty Logos with its search for order; and Soul, with its instinctive life rooted deep in the life of the earth and matter. And what's more Individuality thinks of the earth, and the world also has having Soul. And that our human soul and that of the world and matter are deeply and timelessly related. This is why Individuality looks at and  approaches life and the world from a very different place than the time honored past-bound Ego does. Individuality sees the world, not our human past, as the primary source of the future. It looks to the world as a friend. Individuality aspires to not bow down to any idol, to anything less that what is the 'All in All.' It sees as idolatrous any finite definition imposed upon the ultimate meaning of the Sacred, of God, of the 'All in All.'  It knows that the ultimate Sacred is beyond  Ego comprehension and that the Sacred must be considered as including  all that is, has been, and will be. Individuality lives life with arms open facing the World and facing the future as unknown, and confident that if the greatest good has ever been experienced it came from the unknown future, not the clung to past.

Nearly every known ancient religious thread has some way of acknowledging the feminine underpinning of all that is, the Great Mother , the feminine Wisdom.  This feminine source of wisdom and creativity is often referred to as Sophia. The Sacred as Sophia is an image to which our developing Individuality can relate to as a living World. Sophia  seeks to be made more conscious Herself through the avenue of human consciousness, a process which always involves the mutual suffering of God and Human stretching toward increased mutual consciousness. So as we choose to embrace the World from our Individuality we can do so in a mutual relationship with Her. The future of the earth and of humanity is a co-creation of Human and Sacred, each being fed by and dependent on the other. This is the way the 'Self' can be consistently also called the 'Creative I' that is recognized as  the fuller identity of each person, as well as a conscious experience of the Sacred. Below are some statements of Sophia from  the Old Testament. I think such texts are in harmony with the invitation to Western humans to now begin living out of their own Sacred formed 'Individuality' and to move away from the time honored 'Individualistic' approach to life. Hear Sophia speak as imaged  in Proverbs 8: 1-17. (This is from a translation where 'Wisdom' is, I think, more accurately translated 'Sophia.' I have taken the liberty to make the passage gender neutral by changing 'men' to 'humans.')

1] Does not Sophia call,
does not understanding raise her voice?
[2] On the heights beside the way,
in the paths she takes her stand;
[3] beside the gates in front of the town,
at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
[4] "To you, O Humans, I call,
and my cry is to the human sons and daughters.
[5] O simple ones, learn prudence;
O foolish Humans, pay attention.
[6] Hear, for I will speak noble things,
and from my lips will come what is right;
[7] for my mouth will utter truth;
wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
[8] All the words of my mouth are righteous;
there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
[9] They are all straight to him/him who understands
and right to those who find knowledge.
[10] Take my instruction instead of silver,
and knowledge rather than choice gold;
[11] for Sophia is better than jewels,
and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
[12] I, Sophia, dwell in prudence,
and I find knowledge and discretion.
[13] The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil.
Pride and arrogance and the way of evil
and perverted speech I hate.
[14] I have counsel and sound wisdom,
I have insight, I have strength.
[15] By me kings reign,
and rulers decree what is just.
16] by me princes rule,
and nobles govern the earth.
[17] I love those who love me,
and those who seek me diligently find me.

Such a broad essay must say something about the reality of evil. The problem and place of evil is an essential concern in this approach to living through human Individuality. I will simply say for this essay that I believe the location of evil is much more complex than the Western Ego has perceived it to be. In private and public life learning the subtleties of evil takes time and patience. But it is always urgent that behaviors by individuals or groups that perpetrate harm, abuse or oppression on others should be called 'evil.' The victim(s) of such evil deserve the assistance from well-hearted people at all levels to stop these evil behaviors with minimal if necessary harm to the perpetrators. Evil has become more complicated with the strengthening of the personal Ego of all humans the past three centuries and accelerated more with the arrival of contemporary organized terrorism. Evil is real but seldom is found unattached to what is good. Jesus is pictured as addressing the problem of separating evil from good when they are like growing plants in the same environment. That is for sure the situation in the world now. And a most difficult challenge for a person is to recognize the ways that evil appears in our own attitudes and actions. This requires facing our own shadow aspects and is the only way that we can more nearly prevent ourselves from only seeing evil in people and the world outside of ourselves. Evil is not primarily about breaking certain paternalistic rules of accepted behavior as the West and orthodox Christianity has tended to define it. It is not so simple. The Ego approaches dealing with evil from the past and its constructs as it does with all of life. Individuality and living from the 'Self' provide a far more nuanced and likely significantly more successful approach to dampening the strength of evil. So that what is healthy and of love can take stronger and stronger root. The approach of Individuality to most present day issues of living, including evil, is significantly more indirect and takes into account many more factors, semi-conscious and unconscious, than the most developed assembly of personal Egos can begin to imagine.

The call to live from Individuality rather than Individualism is a call to 'love the world.' So I wish to close this essay with thoughts related to some potential ways to imagine love as a powerful force to change the world. This is a goal and longing of most recognized religion and human ethics. I still believe that a meaningful way to conceptualize love is with the three primary Greek words of Agape, Phileo and Eros. And as one Christian passage emphasizes we are best able to love when we have experienced being loved. I remain convinced that  a person  experiencing being loved in a way that encompasses being 'Faithful to'(agape), being 'liked'(Phileo) and being 'bodily desired'(Eros) is a primary way that a person can be moved to an awareness of the 'Self' and the 'creative I', to living from Individuality. Such a love encounter between humans is far more than something between two persons. It is potentially a Sacred/Human event par excellence.  It would be spiritually/psychologically healthy to image a third party to such love as the living World(or Soul of the World.)  Such love is beyond anything the human ego can rationally comprehend or establish on its own. I believe every time persons are intimately related in this threefold aspect of love that the potential for non sexual creative  love  in the world increases exponentially. Where such an expanded experience of love happens these individuals are nearly certain to turn back to the whole world, the macrocosm that has been recognized in the microcosm of such love, with the kind of open embrace toward the unknown future that is described above. Such love experienced would realize the New Testament claim that, 'God so loves the world.' And I think that such love moments touch off extended potentials of non-sexual love experienced as friendships, mentoring, parenting and enriched political and  international relationships. All I have said in this essay  is in hopes of encouraging others to a greater and fuller experience of love for oneself, others and the whole world. May the world be embraced by the Individuality, and the mutuality of love that grounds it, which I hope is presently developing in humans around the planet.

This essay was prompted, in addition to my inner personal experiences, by the book Love And The Soul, creating a future for earth. I know little about the author Robert Sardello. I found the book to be challenging regarding these topics. I felt him to be writing very authentically. He says many things that elicit important questions which is an indication of one deserving to be read. I have not read him necessarily always agreeing but he has given me motivation to share the above thoughts. His work helped me to organize many of my own thoughts and experiences. Other readings that have influenced this essay include Eros Toward The World by Alexander C. Irwin, the treatment especially of 'patriarchy' and 'sacred erotic power' in Journeys By Heart by Rita Nakashima Brock, The Erotic Word by David M. Carr, Psyche As Sacrament: A Comparative Study of C.G. Jung and Paul Tillich by John P. Dourley, A New Earth, Awakening to your life's purpose by Eckhart Tolle, When God Was A Woman by Merlin Stone, especially the chapter on the mystics in A History Of God by Karen Armstrong and the writings of Carl G. Jung. I wish to emphasize that these readings or others have not been my primary source. But my own inner experience has. These and many other wonderful writers have given me better words and metaphors with which to express what I have learned more directly from nature. For that reason I am drawn to them like a magnet.

I agree with Robert Sardello that expressions on this kind of topic are easily viewed as so much new-age baseless ego chatter unauthenticated in human experience and critical intelligence. I hope what I have written will not be grouped with such material.

Jim Hibbett June 23, 2010(edited July 18,2011)

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