Wednesday, August 31, 2011


DREAM: There was an organized convention of some kind. It was in a fine dining room and the food was well prepared and delicious looking. The dream centered on the man who was president of the organization. He looked like Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the house. I had found what in the dream that it was a common thing for a man to have what was like a sealed pre-tomb. It contained the will and other desires of a man of prominence. It would be opened only after he had died. I had disrespectfully managed to unseal 'Newt's' pre-tomb. I had pulled out a colorful rock that filled in much of an  exposed cavity in his sealed tomb. I came to him before the ceremonies began. I held up the rock asking if this looked like something that belonged to him? The look on his face was of a man whose deepest personal secret had been revealed. He did not deny where it had to have come from. He seemed to  know I knew more about him than he wished and that this meant  his time of power was over. I also asked someone else to drape a black velvet banner over his lectern signifying the death of  this dangerous kind of  immoral will to power.
Ancient Cave Likely Used As A Tomb
REFLECTION: This is a most unexpected dream. I'm not comfortable with it.

It is as up to date now as the daily news but it is anchored in ancient archetype. The whole idea of a sealed tomb enclosing powerful secrets and precious colored rock is very archetypal. Our present day abuse of power is just a new version of an eternal archetype. Even Jesus is described as heroically entering the bowels of the earth to set things straight and of overcoming all kinds of political and social injustice in high places. So the dream brings us to our present experience of such need and solution.

I can only think it is speaking of a kind of illegitimate self serving power that is prominent in American politics, and that threatens to disturbingly shape America's future.( This is a true rational threat but I do not see how such ill-willed power can prevent consciousness raising legitimate power from having its present way with our cultural situation. That is my hope.) Such a grasped for illegitimate power gives its type of leader a kind of 'godlike' approval of themselves. I do not know Newt Gingrich. The dream is not about him personally but the kind of self aggrandizing power that his image represents in the dream. This kind of  untoward power today is 'self righteous' and is often blatantly religious. It can be found in either major party but is more and more openly prevalent in parts of  the so called 'conservative movement'. It is conservative in the sense that it seeks to keep America stuck to the past, including the shameful aspects  of it's past. It often does not acknowledge these facts about our country and calls anyone who owns up to them  unpatriotic.  It claims that it is always seeking to be loyal to the 'founding fathers' and to the 'original documents' as if such historic resources do not have to be continually reassessed and interpreted by rational thoughtful present day people. This is simply a front for wanting the country to be one that favors the power structures, especially of white male men, of the  pre-modern and modern eras. 
Banjo Lesson by Henry O. Tanner

This painting I think beautifully pictures the correct use of human power. The older man is seen as genuinely empowering the youngster. The one with power is not the center of what was happening but he recognized that it was the young boy who was. The only motive of the one with power was to do 'right' by the one he was to serve and empower. When such a sense of power is lost (in any and all levels of hierarchical structures)  then its use becomes  for self benefit rather than for the one(s) it is to serve. It becomes harmful and costly to all involved. It is a most subtle form of serious evil.

Much self serving political power claims for its authority conventional shallow minded popular Christianity. It would claim to use biblical documents in a similar way it professes to be faithfully using the national documents. Not realizing that all ancient documents , including scripture, must be reassessed and more thoroughly understood in the present than they ever have been in the historical past. Some present social issues that drive this self willed power the strongest is the desire to prevent the natural evolution of the practiced human rights of people of color, of modern immigrants, and of gay -lesbian people. A good number of congressmen of this leaning have lived together in a Washington D.C. Apartment called C-Street where they apparently fortify their unholy views of power with their version of Bible Study and Christian Fellowship. Several of the congressional 'marriage scandals' of recent notoriety have come from this group of men. These same men have used 'family values' as a major part of their appeal to their political base. ( I have no doubt that these men are sincere in their thought that they represent true Christian values. It just shows how 'unconscious' and hypocritical people in power can become without a serious self critical personal life and an open minded value system.) Anyone in a troubled marriage deserves the empathy of caring people. But when men have made their political career based on judging the personal moral lives of others, including those who have been unfaithful in marriage, it brings hypocrisy into sharp relief. This is the type of hypocrisy that Jesus so strongly warned religiously inclined people about.

This evil underbelly has become quite exposed in such power brokers' efforts to undermine the presidency of Obama. With only mild attempts to conceal racial motives they question the President's legal right to a be citizen much less to be President. This is through the continued questioning of Obama's legitimate birth place. A good number of republican congressmen refuse to tell their racist minded followers that such is absurd and is steeped in racist sentiment. Unfortunately, for the many healthy people living there, much of this thinking is rooted in the South. It seems that where slavery most took place and had such an immediate value in local economy and social status is the place where the seed of racism continues to be the strongest. But there are like-minded people no doubt in every part of the country.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Some of these same congressmen used the Hispanic- American Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the supreme court by the president to show the same kind of nearly open racist viewpoint and disposition. Here, with the help of several radio talk show hosts, they actually (no doubt unconsciously) ended up charging Obama with reverse racism. The very expression of 'reverse racism' should be taken as veiled reaction of genuine racism. It is against anything that raises the fear that America will indeed, if she takes the moral road before her, eventually become a nation that is not dominantly white. This seems to be the ultimate fear that all of these actions and reactions is a futile effort to curtail.

Obama's recent response, which I see as an objective statement of 'reasonable' judgment has fueled this kind of flame. He said the police responded 'stupidly' to the Cambridge incident of the black man being arrested after only entering his own house. The man reacted with some rage at being arrested for only being in his home. To me this was clearly, though unintended and consciously only doing his job , an officer's action that was steeped in and under-girded by a system of unconscious racist judgment.

White Americans still have a huge difficulty having an understanding of what such frequent actions mean to people of color. For a black person to not react with some rage would be a further sign of how far we yet have to go before the 'color of skin' does not not affect how the law is carried out. It was very appropriate and positively symbolic for the president to have a 'beer moment' with the two involved and himself who had given such a pointed assessment of the situation. Only a white person or one who has bought into a prevailing kind of racism would not be sympathetic to and 'understand' the 'need' of Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. to react vociferously when treated as if he were a burglar.

This is the way that injustices that are being swept under the rug by  powerful Politics must be reacted to if change and justice are to have their chance to happen. Humans have to speak up in ways that may appear to be 'over reactions.' There was no way the professor could have been a 'gentleman' about the situation and  retain his own personal dignity and reputation as a teacher about the present nature of Racism in America. I doubt it was just chance that the police happened to make their mistake in this black man's home. Professor Gates was especially prepared to react with full human dignity just as Rosa Parks, in her own quiet way, once did on a Birmingham bus. I would guess this 'Gates incident' will go down in history as another turning point of raised consciousness regarding the receding of racism in the American legal system.
Professor Henry Louis Gates

But at his very moment many white Americans do not come close to viewing this incident the way I have described it here. My guess is that most blacks would understand what I have said but know that you can only push justice so far in any given situation. It is sad that most white's are concluding that the President misspoke. That is the only way they can 'handle' it. He did not misspeak. He spoke a much needed rational judgment in the midst of a racist minded power structure. He spoke as not only a social leader but as an ethical leader as well. His words are another needed blow against the the kind of power structure that people like the central figure in the dream are determined to keep alive as their 'kind of America.' Jim Hibbett

IT IS FINISHED, FOR WHOM? WHEN? date uncertain..response to Edward Fudge

Hi Edward. You make very clear the orthodox interpretation that always pictures Christianity as a 'once and for all' event.  The great single  moment worthy of our full honor  is all in the past. A past  which we are not a part of. And it also makes  all else  hinge on a big future event that will be the end of it all except for eternal bliss. No more will there be any  resemblance of what we have been taught  that the amazing life force is actually like and that living  well and courageously  is what we can all most admire. It says all of that will be gone.  This is indeed  a way, when so interpreted,  that Christianity is different from the other competing religions of that day and part of the world.  Of course this is always heralded as a 'good' thing and for its time it obviously won, for good reasons,  the most  hearts of that part of a very suffering world. 

It Is Finished.
The other competing interpretations  like some of the former 'nature'   and 'knowledge/wisdom' religions did not interpret Jesus' death or resurrection as  the final and 'end all'.  But  like nature Jesus' life went the  full circle of birth, maturing, overcoming hardship,  accomplishing its sacred purpose, dying and being restored or resurrected. He must have also gone through an inner spiritual development that had similar stages. We now can recognize those developmental stages through the advance of psychology and some supporting sciences. This matches what we all see in nature and what we each experience in our own lives and the natural  life that is all about us. The orthodox interpretation by making it an 'end all'  also had to claim that it was a superior world view for all time  and the 'one and only' real ticket to harmony with and acceptance by God.

Others interpreted ,some still do , Jesus as gloriously  and courageously(as you describe) 'finishing' his human/sacred journey. But they did not interpret this as him having also done it completely for us.  It is less of a vicarious suffering than orthodoxy makes of it. It is a suffering that is far closer to us, and like us,  than that. Jesus was seen as a reliable model for the  general path of the successful human life... the faith that even orthodoxy brings to us is that we can 'be like him', not because he does it for us, but because he assures us it can be done. Because he was seen to be 'hungering, thirsting, cramping, fatigued in body and mind' and suffering to put it mildly, but still crossing victoriously the finish line....we can have confidence, for we in the very same humanity, carrying the same image of God, in a million different ways ALSO  can complete this part of the cycle of life triumphantly. I personally cannot think of anything more to ask or expect from my experience of being alive and  being certain to physically die. We each deserve, for Christ is our model, to have just as successful death and resurrection (actually many of them as no doubt Jesus did)as the story is saying that Jesus had. I truly believe that we need so much to see how the story tells us our own story, and the story of all of nature, as much as it does of Jesus' specific story.
Oil gushing from the 12 inch riser pipe on the sea floor, almost 5,000ft down.

 I'm living with grief but hope now as the  amazing pristine Gulf of Mexico gasps to stay alive. I'm not ashamed to use my understanding of the Christ story to see potential death and yearned for restoration happening there again, similarly as it happened with Jesus. This makes death and resurrection a very NOW thing. And it is happening Now in and around each of us.  To relegate the actual power and dynamics of our religious belief to the past and future is a horrible waste, not to mention a sign and  kind of  death without hope of the present meaning of life.

It is in our own story that we actually find out what the story of Jesus is all about. We miss something very important I think when our religious viewpoint and our interpretation of Jesus is primarily about a past event and a future one. Then the present is hardly taken seriously at all. This is one of several downsides of  the view of Jesus that prevailed without much questioning of its adherents,at least for more than a 1500 years. It seems to me that to  help people think that Jesus necessarily said these exact words or the others in the gospel of John is actually another way that the past is made more holy than the present. This actually leaves  the present as a rather dry desert and hardly worth a comment. The question that the story invites is ,' when and how do we experience saying, 'It is finished'?  Jesus, we can likely agree,  really lived in the moment, and really lived fully. He was not attempting to fulfill any specific religious story or expectation( that was the work of others who later wrote about him). As John puts it Jesus was all about having and sharing  'abundant life' NOW, as well as securing a good piece of the future for those to come.  We can surely glean from the gospel writings just how fully and lovingly human he was and can take that as good evidence that we, living from the same Spirit,  can do the same in our own unique way. The world is always waiting for someone to be that fully themselves which always means a good measure of honesty, courage and love. That is really the only thing, I suspect, we all totally admire and long to happen for us and others. None of us, I suspect,  are really turned on to a future when there will be no need for courageous loving and living in our human context, yet that  is exactly what orthodox Christianity points to. That is not, I suspect, what the post modern person is honestly looking for. It just isn't. I see this in all kinds of people including those coming out of every kind of church and temple on Sunday morning or Saturday.  We think we 'should desire' that orthodox view of the hereafter but with just a little reflection we would see what we would lose and how bored we would quickly become. No, we do not need a  'one event did it all' interpretation of Jesus anymore.  I know I don't. And what people say of such does not sound very convincing anymore. It sounds like a sermon but not like life.

New Heaven And New Earth
The problems of this present world of God's are too full of need  and  unfulfilled potential  for love and beauty and courage for a story that anchors itself in the past and future beyond this world only to really be the 'good news' that is needed.

The 'new heaven and new earth' symbol of Revelation need not be an 'end all' but a reminder that the nature or creation and the Human is to always be moving into a truly new and different future from what anything has yet been. Christianity interpreted that way rather than a 'once and for all accomplished' symbol could help humanity embrace the twenty first century and beyond.

The spirituality that is a part of God's work as experienced in  nature and our natural selves, and that comes forth in present day/night  dreams and visions of  all kinds of humans is never a story of ' a one time determining event',  or a  'one and only and forever' interpretation of reality. I appreciate   the orthodox Christian story  and certainly have been blessed/informed by it but it has reached  a time when it needs to be appreciatively transcended. Not by some superior 'one and only' religion as Christianity's most influential followers made of it, but by the very foundations that  produced this amazing, but not final and only, redemptive   turning point in God and  Human's continuing story. The source still lives within us  all because we are all still connected to the living 'Collective Unconscious' from which all that is has come, even the amazing  Trinitarian description of the Godhead in Christianity.  It is from this truly eternal  source that we can get glimmers of how our treasured story of Christ came to be what it is and how it still calls and presses us to look at it afresh with the help of resources that God has placed within grasp of each of us. Thank you for your essay Edward and  Blessings, Jim 

On Tue, 04 May 2010 19:00:00 -0400 "Edward Fudge" <> writes:

Edward Fudge

Click here to view any of 1100 past gracEmails on 100 popular topics.

Might John himself have heard it, the final word of Jesus when he bowed his head and died? We cannot say for sure, although John reports it in the Gospel that bears his name. When we consider what Jesus has endured—the scourging and pummeling, the crucifixion itself, the cramping and hunger and thirst, the utter fatigue of body and mind—we might marvel that he utters any words at all. But despite it all, he does. He opens his mouth and says it: a single word in Greek, though in English three. He says it, and someone hears it, whether John or not. And John, sensing that it was important, writes it in his Gospel. “Tetelestai,” says Jesus: “It is finished.”
This is a cry of victory and not defeat. With this word, projected by his final breath, Jesus crosses the finish line. Though weak in volume, he claims a mighty triumph. With four syllables Jesus signals the successful conclusion of a life devoted wholly to the Creator. Faithful in life, he is now faithful in death. Through this faithful life and death, the divine Rescue is a reality. New Testament writers regularly use the past tense when speaking of the Rescue operation. God displayed Jesus publicly on the cross as an atoning sacrifice. He reconciled us to himself in Jesus’ fleshly body.
The Creator saved us and abolished death by the death and resurrection of his Son. Jesus made purification of sins and obtained eternal redemption. The Lion from the tribe of Judah has overcome—in the form of a slaughtered sacrificial Lamb. By his sacrifice Jesus has purchased people for God representing a cross-section of humankind. The gospel is news and the news is good: it is “the good news of your salvation.” The divine Rescue has been accomplished and the Creator has reconciled the universe to himself. Jesus did it and he declared it with his dying breath: “It is finished. It is finished! It is FINISHED!
(This gracEmail is condensed from chapter 37, "It is Finished," of Edward's new book The Divine Rescue (The gripping drama of a lost world and of the creator who will not let it go). To order a personal, signed copy, click here (or go to
Copyright 2010 by Edward Fudge. Permission hereby given to reproduce, reprint or forward this gracEmail, but only in its entirety, without change and without financial profit.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

DREAM: JESUS WITH CLOWN FACE..january 4, 2011(edited august 30, 2011)

INTRODUCTION: I've taken some days to record and  reflect on this dream. It was very disturbing as the contents of the personal and Collective Unconscious contents can certainly be as they confront our ego- consciousness. At our conscious level we are always trying to 'see' and 'spin' things positively with our most emotionally felt values being kept in tact and highly valued. But the unconscious does often upset this effort, sometimes to present presently strong values in very different, more complete and whole ways. And ,at least at first, it can be disturbing and frightening. So with this dream.

DREAM: I was pastor in a large modern Suburban fundamentalist church. It was shaped like a dome. I was in the round sanctuary. A former friend and Church of Christ elder was there. (I'll call him Carl.)Two snazzily dressed preachers were present. I was standing at the pulpit thinking how unlike these men I was. I really was, at least, theologically. Apparently they and Carl knew that I was agreeing to murder a man in a ritually prescribed way. It was like I then I suddenly 'woke up' to what I was agreeing to do and I was shocked at the horror and immorality of it. I walked down to the floor and looked at a  face of Jesus which was at the very center. It was a 'clown like' face of Jesus built into the ceramic floor. Its clown mouth was open with an astonished expression  on it's clown face. I said to it. " I can't do this. I won't." The clown Jesus' mouth began to move and  Carl's voice came out of it. This was a horrific experience to see Jesus presented this way and so real. It was very disturbing. Carl's voice through Jesus accepted my statement and did not object to my change of heart and intention. An image of Carl then went ahead to say, " I tried to kill him myself(the one I was about to ritually murder) twice after I knew he beat (name of a woman I did not hear)his wife. I tried to slit his throat."

REFLECTION: Clown dreams in general are often scary and other worldly.  A clown always gives us the eerie experience that we don't know for sure what its intentions are or who is the real person behind the mask. Bad things can happen when we are 'behind our masks.'  Here Jesus is pictured as a clown and takes on that negative other worldly aura. Carl( now deceased), one of my closest Christian men friends through the years and a strong member of my former Clear Lake Church of Christ ministry may represent a possible dark side of Christianity. (People imaged in dreams generally are not being spoken of personally in any way. Their image is simply the way the dream source is getting me to best receive it's theme. This is the case with Carl.) The dream surprises me by using a very sincere Christian as also representing the shadow side of our religion. I have observed and experienced some of the dark side of all parts of Christianity and the conservative branch has displayed its negative to me in real life quite strongly. It is implied that in some church environments Jesus has been reduced to a clown, to one who performs for our pleasure and who's narcissistic interpretation can allow people to do that which is often the opposite of good. This 'Jesus' has a dark and frightening side.  I had another  Jesus dream 'vision', in the fall of '85 in Florence AL, where a Jesus image turned into a  two-horned beast as I came closer to it. The dream is not suggesting at all the real Jesus of Nazareth was actually evil but that  the religion that organized around his memory has often clothed its own evil and dark side with the image of the Christ. What better way to conceal evil than to shroud it with a good outer image.  
Jesus spoke in powerful symbol  of  the dark side of humans being like, " A white washed tomb that inside are dead men's bones or a cup we brightly clean only on the outside. " Then he exhorts as he consistently does regarding life, " First clean the inside of the cup."

Positively the Jesus clown face and Carl's voice accepted my argument against the ritualized murder. Yet Carl expresses that there are times he thinks murder is justified, when a man has beaten his wife. This all sounds as if it is unrelated to the way we consciously think of our Judeo-Christian religions. Yet a casual reading of the O.T. shows this kind of willingness to kill and murder, both by the religious heroes and also by the O.T. God Yahweh. Many of the behaviors considered sinful by Yahweh, such as dishonoring parents or committing adultery, especially by a woman, were punished by harsh killings. Such a dream reminds us that religion has a very treacherous and dark element to it, as do many images of God. Perhaps there is nothing new here, I am just being hit between the eyes with the fuller nature of life, God and of the Collective Unconscious. Like my culture I have become desensitized and do not see these negative realities in our Sacred stories in the Bible. Also our nation still more strongly supports capitol punishment than any other industrialized nation. And many 'Christian' Americans will say they are proud of it.  That record  recently got roaring applause during the presidential debates.  There are still situations where people of color, minority and gays/lesbians  are at risk of physical and emotion abuse/harm in our society. There is a developing movement of hate against Muslim Americans in parts of our country.  Many individuals have strong emotion that violent justice is an important value of our nation. And it appears more and more obvious that under collective blindness we will place our youngest and strongest citizens on the alter of unnecessary wars, to both murder and be murdered and maimed. So it is no wonder that the Collective Unconscious will call attention to our  culture's dark side by showing us its own.
New Life Family  Dome Church -Biloxi, Miss.
Fortunately this dream also presents a strong symbol of wholeness and unity encasing and maybe containing this whole scene so it does not totally overwhelm consciousness(which can mean some kind of schizophrenia.) It is the round dome ( very female) shape of the church and the Jesus(still the most living single religious icon of our culture) figure is at the very center of it. This all is a 'mandala' configuration. This Jung found to be the highest way a 'complete' and 'whole' picture of the reality of a situation can be presented, thus an image of God. This center point is where I and the image of Jesus meet. And as unnerving as the image and the content are, Jesus and my ego are in agreement that I will not do the murderous deed I was previously intending, most likely even with a 'good' but unconscious conscience. The Christian story abhors the picture of pilot declaring himself not responsible and distanced from the murder of Jesus, but we tend to be blind when our religion or our nation is involved in similar behavior or is silent in its presence. The dream leaves many moral themes and questions up in the air. It does not really say that wife beating does not deserve some severe consequence but it does not make clear just who, human or divine, can take on such horrible responsibility.

I am pleased the dream shows me stating that I will not do such a thing. But a general statement about dreams is that 'everything in the dream is you.' The most that can be said is that my conscious ego would not willingly choose to participate in such a thing but every person has unconscious realities that s/he would be appalled by. Often the words and behaviors that come from a person when they begin to 'lose their normal conscious ego' with age or dementia reveals aspects of ones unconscious that we, and they, would have never imagined. Such is a very common observation of 'good' people and not the exception. Seeing the darker aspect of ones self, or the human ego in general, or one's group; then accepting, facing and integrating it is the meaning of psychologically/spiritually dealing constructively with ones own shadow. It is a significant  and necessary step in our movement to greater consciousness and  spiritual development.

Such a dream may be suggesting it is up to our conscious involvement with these images that hold the final answer as to the kind of world we will build. That we humans ultimately, by acknowledging and really hearing the voice of the Unconscious, determine what the future of the world will look like. But this can only be done 'successfully' by genuinely hearing, no matter how unpleasant, the voice of the Unconscious which through the ages has been called the 'voice of God.' That voice is not a simple light, clear and glorious voice as this dream fully demonstrates. It has all this but is conditioned also by a very real shadow.

Surely a key concept the dream is teaching me is that all things are more complex than our presently developed 'normal' reasoning thinking ego would ever want to believe; that all things, no matter how 'good', have their shadow that is closely attached. The only way that 'good' can ever really dominate the human situation personally or collectively is for the shadow to be seen, acknowledged and allowed to have it's voice. Repression of all kinds, in the long term, only strengthens the power of the dark side. This whole dream speaks of the 'whole' breadth of reality both in 'this world' and the 'unseen world' to which we each are intricately connected.

ORIGINS OF CHRISTIANITY #3 ...december 22,2010(edited august 30, 2011)..response to Ed Fudge

Hi Edward. I'm just returning home from all night working at the hospital. Edward, do you see the point of view that all of the items you list are equally well explained by the creative writers, sitting with their O.T. scripture, 'seeing'  and reading Jesus into these O.T. pieces and writing them into his  life to create the living archetypal story?  This was not deceptive writing but creative writing born of the extreme stress of loss and hopelessness;  loss of the Jewish temple, holy city and religious institutions at the hands of the Romans and loss by the Hebrew  Christians of the murder of the one they had come to have such love and high hopes for, Jesus of Nazareth.

Roman Depiction of the looting of the Jerusalem Temple of 70 CE.

 In such tumultuous times creative people unknowingly bring forth the archetypes of the deeper collective archetypes. These writers did not  know they were being so inspired. They were simply struggling to make sense out of the tragedy their people were passing through. Their work such as  the canonical gospels( many others  were destroyed or lost) became the creative and archetypal foundation of the Christian movement; first as separate autonomous groups with various interpretations and  gospels of Jesus, and later as a consolidating religious/institutional world-wide power. 
Your first paragraph and continuing is a pantheon of powerful metaphorical, mythological descriptions of  the life and works of the  more general archetypal hero that were applied to Jesus decades after his death. These were not written to chronicle the literal details of the human life drawing them forward. This is the language of Spirit. This is religion coming into being. And a wondrous religious it did become, not only lifting its founders out of despair and becoming a world wide movement of the like there has never been.  We can love and appreciate that human life who did undoubtedly choose to die for his love of downcast people who had been oppressed by Rome and by the colluding religious Hebrew leaders. We can rightfully and naturally be drawn to worship the Sacred  trans-personal source of these  archetypal descriptions that then quickly grew up around that life. 
I'm convinced that nothing of the Spirit is lost in  this way of viewing this same Biblical material  in its own natural, not supernatural, way of becoming the support structure of a new religion. Even with this approach only the word 'miracle' is fitting  to describe this amazing process.  But it was all part of a natural unfolding of  the expressions from the Collective Unconscious  bringing in a whole new configuration of archetypal energy  to 'change the world.' I suspect even more that very much can be gained. We can take this view and not have to have our post-modern psyche split into those opposites that rob one of  more authentic and honest living. Life that is a balance of both  ones outer material , informed by science, life and rich inner life fed by the same  archetypal source that has nurtured life and consciousness from the mists of antiquity.  This kind of information about the N.T. scripture and how it originated , instead of keeping separated, unites 'natural and supernatural', 'flesh and spirit', 'past and present', 'the human Jesus and the archetypal Christ', 'Human and God', 'conscious and unconscious'  to name a few.  It makes it very possible and reasonable that we are now a part of  some kind of similar national and global  process of new archetypal energies reconfiguring the world as it last  did 2000 years ago. Only this time we can be far more conscious of what is happening and even more enlivened, worshipful, and astounded.   This to me is truly 'good news', truly a freeing  and challenging gospel for our times. 
Blessings, Jim


Edward Fudge

Jesus "fulfilled" the Prophets' inspired predictions, but he also filled full the highest prophetic dreams, ideals, aspirations and hopes. For example, the virgin Mary conceives a son (Isa. 7:14 in Greek), who is born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2-5). Jesus is born to be the consolation of Israel and a light to the nations (Isa. 42:6). The infant Jesus escapes from Herod, then returns from Egypt (Hosea 11:1). Bethlehem's infants are slaughtered amidst great weeping (Jer. 31:15). Thirty years later, John announces in the wilderness the coming of the Christ (Isa. 40:3-6). At Jesus' baptism, the heavens are torn open as God prepares to save his people (Isa. 54:1). The Spirit descends on Jesus, anoints him as the Messiah/Christ and commissions him for his mission (Isa. 61:1-2).
Jesus takes God's light to Galilee by the Sea (Isa. 9:1-2). He heals the sick -- bearing our sicknesses and diseases (Isa. 53:4). Jesus' teaching divides families (Micah 7:6), although his ministry is quiet and restorative in intent (Isa. 42:1-4). He teaches in parables to hide the truth from the insincere (Isa. 6:9-10). Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a lowly donkey (Zech. 9:9). There he cleanses God's Temple in holy indignation (Isa. 56:7; Jer. 7:11), chastens the religious establishment with his parable of the vineyard (Isa. 5:1ff) and predicts Jerusalem's destruction involving an Abomination of Desolation (Dan. 11:31).
The mob captures Jesus and his disciples scatter (Zech. 13:7). Judas returns the 30 silver pieces, which buy a potter's field to bury indigents (Zech. 11:12). Jesus is beaten and bruised, his head pierced with a crown of thorns, then crucified, and after his death, his side pierced with a spear (Zech. 12:10). But his piercing and wounds are for the salvation of his people (Isa. 53). He is buried for three days and nights (Jonah 1:17) then wondrously raised back to life. He ascends to heaven and receives kingship at the right hand of God (Dan. 7).
Weeks later, at the Feast of Pentecost, God pours out the Holy Spirit from heaven for all Jesus' followers and announces salvation and the commencement of the Last Days (Joel 2:28-32). One day Jesus will return in person and in power to bring about the Restoration of all things. This will include the conversion of Israel (Ezek. 37:24-28), the death of Death (Isa.25:7-9), the peaceable kingdom in new heavens and new earth (Isa.11:5-9), the universal knowledge of God (Mal. 1:11), and many more blessings foretold by the prophets.

ORIGINS OF CHRISTIANITY #2 ..december 19, 2010..(edited August 30, 2011)

The great story of Joseph points to Jesus (Jesus' adoptive father was also a son of Jacob, both Josephs were chaste men, both were dreamers, both saved lives by escaping to Egypt). Moses prefigures the Messiah in details of his birth (wicked king, dead babies, magi/magicians, special child; see Ex. 1-2; Matt. 1-2; Luke 1-2); in his journey from Egypt through the water, into the desert and to a mountain (Matt. 1-5); the wondrous rock which provided water (Ex. 17:6; 1 Cor. 10:1-4) and in Moses' prophetic role (Deut. 18:15; Acts 3:19ff). So also do the Tabernacle with the Glory of God (Ex. 25-40:34; John 1:14; Heb. 9:1-12), the priesthood (Ex. 28; Heb. 7:26-8:2); and the sacrifices (Lev. 1-5; Hebrews 9-10).

Edward, Does it not make more natural sense that the N.T. writers , in their effort to describe the phenomenal impact that Jesus had  directly on them(more likely  on  previous generations than the writers themselves), 'saw' Jesus in these cherished stories and of their heritage and interpreted Jesus in light of them? Was this not a totally natural way for the brightest Hebrew  minds  to 'work with' and interpret  the hope and love that they had in Jesus, who had been murdered right in his prime; simultaneous with the physical, religious and political destruction by Rome of the whole Hebrew religious culture? We can hardly appreciate the spiritual despair and economic desperation of the times when these gospels were created.   This kind of creative interpretive writing was not uncommon then.( I can offer as a far less complex  example what has come  out of me. However foolish some my think  my writing is, it a direct result of the crumbling of many of the most cherished assumptions, hopes  and values that sincerely under-girded the first half of my life. Look at all the writing, from an otherwise non writing person, motivated by  the need  for a more suitable explanation of my faith that has poured out of me the past two decades. ) Extreme times can bring forth unimagined human creativity and new interpretations of life. The gospels are such creative work at a collective level. This is how a new religion came into being. It developed this way.

Look, for example,  how different the gospels are as you move from the first written Mark to the last John.  Mark says nothing about a virgin birth in Bethlehem or heavenly star or wise men and nothing about appearances of a bodily resurrected  Jesus. He simply ends his gospel with an 'empty tomb', a powerful symbol going beyond words and rational explanations. It  left its readers wondering in awe.  When Mark was used as a basic outline ten years later Matthew another Christian community  began to add these stories and 'Luke' continues such a  piling up of archetypal O.T. based   story when he writes in still the following decade. These were originally stand alone writings.

John's  'words of Jesus'  coming another decade later no longer even sound like the words of a real human, certainly not a sane and balanced one. The Jesus in John is the near fully archetypal and mythical Jesus the Christ, no longer is a purely human Jesus of Nazareth hardly discernible.  This discernment of the two Jesus in the gospel are helpfully referred to as  Pre and Post Easter Jesus by Jesus scholar  Marcus Borg (Two of his excellent books is  Meeting Jesus Again For The First Time and The Heart Of Christianity.) 'John', whose gospel has always been considered quite different,  selects his own  themes,  for example one is  " Jesus the I am." He then has Jesus say many  "I am"  metaphorical statements to build his essay's  theme and structure. (Sadly one of them has become the foundation that keeps  many Christians from being able to genuinely embrace people of other religions, something that Jesus consistently did. I refer to " I am the way , truth, and life and no one comes to the father but by me." It is most unlikely that Jesus of Nazareth ever uttered this specific statement as beautiful and meaningful as it is.)  The author using the theme of the 'I AM' was declaring  to all Jewish readers that Jesus superseded even the heroic Moses who was told to refer to God as, I AM in the Exodus story.  He is also saying that who was at first believed to be only Jesus of Nazareth is now only  mythic-ally explainable to some  Jewish communities as being  nothing less than some kind of  an incarnation of the eternal 'I AM.'

A majority of the gospel stories, including the 'miracle' ones, are O.T. stories the Hebrew people were so familiar with reinterpreted and applied to Jesus.   For example the threat of baby Jesus being killed  causing the family to rush to Egypt is a take on the 'baby Moses' death threat story  in the O.T. Such examples go on and on. These are not fulfilled 'ahead of time' specific prophecies of  Jesus as often taught but they are the creative writers 'seeing' Jesus in these stories and writing them into his life. The O.T. stories was their only  natural resource through which to offer their  archetypically inspired explanation of how their forbears had  'seen nothing less than God' in the presence, words and love of this Jesus from Nazareth.  This can cause the post-modern human jaw to drop with wonder and astonishment as much  any miracle story could invoke in our forebears.

Such a natural understanding of the nature and origin of scripture can be  the basis of  our present day gospel.  The  gospel writers  all wrote with a Greek translation of the  Hebrew Old Testament before them along with some of the  'gospel'  material  that already been penned.  As mortals they even accepted the mistakes in that Greek translation as being accurate, such as the Greek  mistranslation of Issiah's word for "young woman' as  'virgin.'  Luke and Matthew even use that mistaken translation as the basis for their whole new story of a 'literal virgin birth.'  Because John's author uses such high metaphoric and symbolic language the Gospel of John  did not easily make it into the cannon of  accepted 'inspired writings' because of its  'Gnostic' character. John's Gospel's  difference from the others  is obvious from its opening lines  which are anchored in the 'Logos' of Greek philosophy and also Gnostic religious concepts.

I would add also that most of the wonderful stories you list are well explained, instead of concrete history,  as  coming  from the deep resources of the Collective Unconscious evidenced by the fact most  have appeared  as the very same theme with different dress in the cultures and religions of all time. The archetypes when active, even more so in more ancient and more generally  unconscious times, have spun the various ways humans have interpreted the literal concrete outer world, giving new meaning, shape and purpose to human life. This is how the archetypes of the Collective Unconscious work.  This, to me, is a far more acceptable  way to understand the complex nature of the  arrival of the  Christian religion from it source in the life of  one, Jesus of Nazareth.  And no one can say that the  reality of the Collective Unconscious has not been posited by a reality beyond itself that is rightly called  God. I imagine that most people who clearly see the sound evidence of the postulate of the Collective Unconscious as the source of human religion also believe it likely there is something we know nothing directly about hat has, as it were, posited  the Collective Unconscious in the first place. None of this makes void a belief in God, in the Sacred. Far from it. But it makes faith in God far less needing to be defended as 'as believing the unbelievable' thus insulting  the hard-won present scientific understanding of the material world. This kind of information makes 'believing'  more honest and meaningful  for post modern humanity.

It is, I strongly believe, a mistake for us to not now see the kind of writings the gospels by their very nature are as well as the O.T. ones.  The gospels  are not biographies or on the spot reporting at all.  They are brilliant, creative, yes inspired in the wonderful natural meaning of that word , well after the event writings. They are works designed to sell  or evangelize the very real phenomenal impact that this most  unusual, so far advanced and mature for his day, but precisely what was needed, human being had  on a few which grew to be many.

I realize when one has a predetermined assumption, as I and most of the people I know have had,  that we must think of the Bible as miraculously produced otherwise we are not of faith, causes  what I suggest to be heretical in some circles. But nowhere do these documents and their very nature or from what we glean from Jesus' actual attitude and priorities  insist or even suggest that we must 'believe the unbelievable '  because we are 'told to.' Or  believe what  'denies our God given actual experience and responsible intellect as human beings.'  We can claim this knowledge of scripture's nature and   remain ones who live by trust in Jesus, thus as authentic post-modern Christians. This fading view of the Bible as 'Perfect and Total Book of God'  and its miracle stories and 'proofs by fulfilled prophecy'  have been made litmus tests, by much Christian  orthodoxy, for what it means to 'have faith' or to 'be of faith.'. That is what I strongly reject and am saddened for it twists, or refuses to untwist in light of present objective learning,  the Jesus story so  that it becomes less relavant  to the mindset and psychological state of the ordinary thinking person of our culture today.

Wishing you a joyful Christmas Season, Jim

On Sun, 19 Dec 2010 03:59:00 -0500 "Edward Fudge" <> writes:

Edward Fudge

New Testament Scriptures are the primary witness of Spirit-enlightened men to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the implications of that story for humankind. These Christian writings also are a reflection upon the meaning of the older, Hebrew Scriptures in the light of Jesus Christ. The Jews divided their Bible into the Law, the Prophets and the Writings, and named it all the Tanakh--a word formed from the Hebrew words for Law, Prophets and Writings--all foreshadowing and prefiguring the Messiah and the great rescue he would accomplish (Luke 24:27, 44-48).
Reading the Old Testament points us to Christ, beginning with Creation (Gen. 1; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:14-15) and Adam (Gen. 3:15; Phil. 2:5-9; Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:20-22, 42-49), and Noah and the Flood (Gen. 6-8; Matt. 24:36-39). The patriarchs point to Christ, whether Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3; Gal. 3:8-9; Gen.14:17-20; Heb. 7; Gen. 17:5; Rom. 4:17, 23-25), Isaac (Gen. 22:2ff; John 3:15; 8:56) or Jacob (Gen. 28:10-12; John 1:47ff; Gen. 49:10).
The great story of Joseph points to Jesus (Jesus' adoptive father was also a son of Jacob, both Josephs were chaste men, both were dreamers, both saved lives by escaping to Egypt). Moses prefigures the Messiah in details of his birth (wicked king, dead babies, magi/magicians, special child; see Ex. 1-2; Matt. 1-2; Luke 1-2); in his journey from Egypt through the water, into the desert and to a mountain (Matt. 1-5); the wondrous rock which provided water (Ex. 17:6; 1 Cor. 10:1-4) and in Moses' prophetic role (Deut. 18:15; Acts 3:19ff). So also do the Tabernacle with the Glory of God (Ex. 25-40:34; John 1:14; Heb. 9:1-12), the priesthood (Ex. 28; Heb. 7:26-8:2); and the sacrifices (Lev. 1-5; Hebrews 9-10).
The pagan prophet Balaam spoke of the distant-coming Christ (Numbers 24:15ff). Finally, Israel's covenant with God prefigured Jesus Christ, with its covenant stipulations which Jesus kept, its covenant blessings which Jesus earned, and its covenant curses which Jesus bore (Deut. 28; Gospels). And Joshua, the successor to Moses, pointed to Jesus Christ, whose Hebrew name was the same as his, and who led God's people to their promised land (Deut. 31:7; Matt. 1:21).

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ORIGINS OF CHRISTIANITY #1.. december 17,2010..note to Edward Fudge

 Edward, At first reading you sort of lose me here.(His essay is below.) It makes full sense to me that the  early Christians, along with all Jews, were  struck down and hopeless by the destroying of Jerusalem and then even more, for the Christian Jews, by Jesus' death. The one they had indeed come to love and find new meaning in their life through, but meaning that could only come, they believed, through his bodily presence with them. Instead he had been killed as a marked criminal by the Romans with Hebrew leadership colluding. Out of that hope destroying turn of events came the creative work of  'seeing' him and his most exceptional character and life in the pages(and stories) of their sacred book.

A Modern Resurrected Christ Image
At first it brought them to believe and expect him to come bodily back, he was surely not dead, he couldn't be. This is not unlike our own initial reactions to untimely loss of a loved one.(And it no doubt was a bodily resurrection that they first expected and longed for.)  But Jesus' life  quickly began to take on meaning not for just a family or one small group but for  a multi-group  of 'believers.' His life and even more his death sparked strong archetypes in the Collective Unconscious. He became, in a rather short space of time, more than mortal Jesus of Nazareth could ever be. He even became through such living archetypes stirred up, to be nothing less than God.  By the time of the first gospel, the interpretive mass  consciousness had found a way to turn hopeless, downtrodden, broken hearted people into survivors with a new hope, direction and purpose. This is the power of the Archetypes, however we think of them originating, at work . This is their function when there is not rational means of finding meaning and hope, to give meaning to the despairing meaninglessness that  occurs in humans when  the previous archetypes  are no longer alive and active.  This is the process of  religion making that still is possible and likely , although no doubt in some ways different , today. Humans have come to be  able to 'understand' at least generally how this kind of  eruption of the Collective Unconscious is able to produce individual  and community religious experience but we have not out grown it or our need for it. It still is  able to happen, even if  in a more conscious way.(It for sure still can and is happening in unconscious ways but that can lead to bad results as easily as to good ones in our age. For example the archetypes can become alive in political movements. When so politics will become unconsciously driven as strongly and emotionally as religious ones. Politics in fact  becomes religion as in the case of extreme political movements today. Nazism is an example of far more than the fringe of a culture being 'possessed' by a destructive collective archetype.)  The capacity of this process to positively lift the hearts of  despairing and hope shattered humanity today is as possible and as needed as ever before. 

 It may be that the symbols generated by the same archetypes of the Christian age can find new life, even when they have become 'broken' and  even now somewhat understood as to their origins?  I certainly can still feel my heart lifted by watching a nativity story, or from images of chosen  sacrificing love even though  I do not believe in the literalness of the supra human details presented in many of our Sacred stories. I do not feel duped that  I once took them literally. But I understand that  increased consciousness was bound to begin to undermine that ' kind of belief' eventually for us all. And I feel  now a deep need  for me and my culture to once again find  not only heart felt  but head  consistent   connection to our spiritual dimension as human beings. The religious making factor is not dead but how we have historically been receptive to it has. Our task is to humbly accept our situation, be open to every avenue of  intellectually acceptable knowledge, even that which challenges our previous religious convictions and beliefs; and to again 'wait' for the direction that can only come from the unseen world of the Collective Unconscious or from God(whose definition for us is certainly changing due to increased human consciousness.).

Again, I'm  not sure of your main thrust here. It seems a bit different than  typical orthodoxy. I hope it is not coming from a need to shore up the literalness of the projected  archetypes that happened around the person of Jesus. For to do so is to, however unintentionally, try to find spiritual treasure with determined will power and effort to control the archetypes rather than to be open for God to  be 'born again'  in us today. To have such new birth will not be by returning to a literal and physical interpretation of the  upsurge  of the Collective Unconscious archetypes regarding Jesus that has served humanity well  but whose ripple is no longer capable of doing what it once did. We must accept that one beloved  world view is dying or greatly shifting in meaning  before we can experience a new and more appropriate one  being born. This is the heart of the post modern situation in our Western Cultures. It is truly a time of unprecedented change for good or ill. Blessings, Jim

On Fri, 17 Dec 2010 14:48:56 -0500 "Edward Fudge" <> writes:


It is not as though the Jews were waiting, Bibles in hand (underlined and highlighted) for a long list of specific messianic predictions to be fulfilled. Had that been so, any would-be Messiah could simply copy the agenda, contrive the fulfillments, and claim the position for himself. Indeed, certain sensationalist authors have accused Jesus Christ of doing that very thing.
As Christians, we believe that Jesus is the Messiah foretold by the Jewish prophets, but New Testament writers speak of "fulfillment" in a greater-than-simplistic way. The better way to say it is that the events that together comprise the story of Jesus "fill" the Old Testament "full" of meaning. But that is known by faith, and faith is better understood in retrospect.
God's way of fulfilling tends to frustrate prophetic program-planners, whether in the first century or in the twenty-first. On the one hand, some of the most popular expectations did not materialize at all. Messiah did not thunder in on a white horse and chase out the Romans. The nations did not send representatives to Jerusalem as a world capital. The Pharisees did not inherit the earth.
On the other hand, what did occur took everyone by surprise. There is no evidence that anyone read Isaiah 7:14 and understood that the Messiah would be conceived by a virgin. To Rabbi Saul of Tarsus, Jesus' death on a cross proved that he was NOT the Messiah. Not even Jesus' closest and most perceptive disciples understood (much less "expected") a bodily resurrection back from among the dead. Even today, most professing believers in Jesus are clueless about the pause in the end of the world--although that vision permeates and shapes the whole New Testament.

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DREAM: LOVE'S TROUBLE...september 4, 2009..(edited august 30, 2011)

I've ignored this dream all day but need to give it some honor. It is not a pleasant one. I dreamed that all were shocked that a well loved couple in a conservative church were to be divorced. They were both viewed as outstanding people and an ideal couple who 'had it all.' They both contribute to the good of their communities and have several children still at home. I was astonished and saddened also to hear it had already been finalized. What is worse, it then became obvious that a majority of the couples in the church were at a similar frightening crossroads. The amount of marital unhappiness and discontent was startling. I was aware of the great personal and communal tragedy if more and more people were divorced. Then the dream showed that this was the state of marriage in general throughout the land . I was having to ask myself, ' What would happen if everyone who is unhappy in marriage were suddenly divorced?' The consequences seemed horrible for children, for personal finances, for the loss of full community and the social well being of these individuals and family members as they went through such a stressful life change and adjustment. The dream ended with these very unpleasant thoughts.

What Has Happened To Us?

 REFLECTION: I was glad it was 'only a dream' when I awoke. Unfortunately I would need to take the dream as saying much truth about the state of marriage now. We would all likely be sadly surprised to know how many sincerely married individuals are having a serious lack of inner joy and satisfaction in their marriage experience. To many the sadness is too hard to even admit. It is hard to be honest when so much is at stake. Many have lost the joy of sexual intimacy which is initially very important to most who enter marriage. Many handle this cloud of disappointment by not thinking about it, focusing on other aspects of the marriage, or especially focusing on having and rearing children. I've believed for a very long time that an ongoing ecstatic erotic intimacy is likely the greatest happiness and ongoing boost to life that is humanly possible and that is a common potential. Our amazing U.S. constitution seeks to provide all an equal opportunity for the 'pursuit of happiness'. It is nearly considered irreligious to suggest that mature sexual intimacy is likely something needed for the majority of people's highest happiness. I think many a young person intuits the importance of a shared intimate life but they soon run into a dead end. Often that dead end is in marriage. All to often the expectation of a life propelled by shared mutual sexual intimacy is shattered within a few years of married life. Most come to say to themselves or aloud, 'Well , sex is just not what one expects. We make way too much of it. We just need to grow up and get over it.'

I think when people see no way to 'return to Eden' (the topic of a recent dream) they simply 'settle for less'. There seems to be no alternative. This is what Freudian-ism, which the West is thoroughly entrenched in whether we know it or not as individuals, has always said will happen in human life. That the joy of sexual intimacy turns out to be only a 'dream' , 'fantasy', 'wishful thinking' and not at all a significant potential life long reality. I've written about this in several essays and will not retrace those steps. The unconscious source of this dream is simply affirming to me that I am correct in this intuition that there is a need for a giant evolutionary step in human consciousness. One resulting in the possibility for humans to experience regularly , both in and out of bed, the personal joyful erotic intimacy that is hinted at in parts of the Adam and Eve myth of the Garden of Eden and directly in the Song of Solomon Old Testament poetry. We are all in this together the dream seems to imply. There are certainly times in every life that being with a love partner simply is not possible, best or preferred. There also have always been individuals, many of them among those who have brought great gifts to human kind, who have lived celibate lives, whether by conscious choice or as the natural unfolding of their lives. But every thoughtful human has a strong interest and stake and hopefully desires that others are having such advanced intimate relationships at any given time in our culture. For the healthy and healing effects of such love spread far beyond the couple's intimate life. It creates an atmosphere in which children and adults alike can better thrive and grow in body, mind and spirit.

My prayer is that several decades of cultural sexual confusion, ' grasps at sexual freedom' and cynicism by both the religious and secular institutions of America is leading to a transformation, resulting in movement toward human sexuality delivering its promised joy to human couples throughout the world. The impact for good in this is beyond imagination. Such a shift in consciousness could be the beginning of some solutions to the major problems presently threatening Humanity. The dream is taking the symptom of divorce and of couple unhappiness extremely seriously. It does not offer any rational simple answer. Especially does it not imply that couples just need to be more sincere, work harder and live up to their vows, or maybe take a cold shower. 'Will power' is never the answer to love problems. This is true because this is a spiritual aspect of every human life. It invokes the need for the deep forces and archetypes of the Collective Unconscious to become appropriately activated and alive in our collective consciousness. It is probably the spiritual problem of our day. Gathering and teaching true facts regarding human sexuality is essential and important( and there are strong forces, mostly religious, in our culture that oppose even that.) But only a spiritual awakening and a leap in individual and collective human consciousness can bring about the needed change. A change that would be equivalent to people being able to 'see' the god/goddess in themselves and in their beloved. The 'Song of Songs' is a good resource to get in touch with the Eros quality of sacred/human love. A willingness to boldly let oneself consider this is not only about 'just fantasy' but a description of spiritual/psychological forces that seek to become more conscious in each of us.

The dream is accepting the tragedy of the familiar experience of 'lost love' in the intimate life of individuals and couples and implies that a 'new awakening' or a ' natural miracle type experience ' is needed for love to find its way to the private lives of suffering bewildered couples and those who have hopes of eventually having a love partner. I personally wait also for such transformation, for my own extended personal happiness as well as for all my human brothers and sisters. Jim

Note: I have been asked, 'Jim, how is it that you as a divorced and now long time single person can have so much to say about the potential of human joy through the shared spiritually erotic joy of intimate love partners.' It is true, I do not speak from outer experience. My short and truthful answer is that in the months and years following what in Jungian language is referred to as a spiritual 'confrontation with the unconscious' , overtime it became embedded in my psyche( heart,soul, mind) that I had 'somewhere, somehow' lived a full life time in such a love relationship that so much of my writing seeks to describe. I came to what may be considered a 'gnosis' (inner immediate knowledge) of the details of a fully developed intimate love relationship between real man and real woman over the course of a long human life. Some would find it tempting to speak of this as a possible 'past life' experience. It does not exactly strike me that way. But this became, through no conscious effort of my own, a part of my psychological reality. It is just there like so many memories and nuances of my actual outer life experience. So in this, strange to the 21st century mind, way I am speaking from experience, inner experience. The love I describe had the sustained meanings of Agape(unconditional dependability-loyalty), phileo( a strong unworked for deep 'liking' of the beloved in unique details) and living Eros(strong sensual desire and longing to be physically near in all of life's situations). All of this is sensed as coming as sheer gift though surely it must have been consciously and thoughtfully lived day in and day out. How such an internalized reality can be I never expect to understand. I can only say that I have lived these last several decades as one who 'has known through it being implanted within me as if it had fully happened' of what the potential for human happiness through such love is.

Mechthilde of Magdeburg experiencing Eros
It did help me to discover more than a decade ago the personal chronicle of a 13th century young lay church woman, in the order of Beguines in Germany, who describes in much detail the inner Eros filled love relationship that she experienced and remembered. It became the foundation for her life long practical service to her fellow humans. Her name was Mechthilde of Magdeburg. This has offered me at least the comfort that something similar has happened elsewhere and has been described. What I am describing as a deeply embedded prior relationship is perhaps the primary inner result on me of the direct encounter I had with the 'Collective Unconscious' beginning in August '85. Such an experience is also what has always in all cultures been referred to as an 'experience of the Sacred.' Were someone telling me this story I would not know what to make of it and would likely know I had no way to compare it to anything so could not possibly make any judgment about it. That is how it is with me now also. It is just that the story being told happens to be mine. This has been kept most private for at least 26 years. 
From 'C.G. JUNG, PSYCH. REFLECTIONS' by Jacobi and Hull
This reflection by Carl Jung seems to allude to the kind of experience and results that I am attempting to describe here:

I believe it has been, for reasons beyond my comprehension, somehow spiritually/psychologically necessary for me to live without this great joy alive in my heart being outwardly realized. This I suspect is in order for me to more fully personally comprehend what it also means to live without it after being conscious of what is perfectly humanly natural and possible. But something that has escaped humanity to a great extent right up to this time. So I have lived these decades anticipating that it still may, in ways I cannot imagine, be realized in my outer life. I do not know that such will happen and consider myself fortunate for just 'knowing' and reporting to others that it can possibly be the lot for humans in general. My dreams frequently have a person referred to as 'church woman' who seems to be an actual real woman, in contrast to the female 'anima' that I describe as an important psychological function. The 'anima' in my dreams is never depicted as a sexual relationship but she very definitely is interested in and supportive of honest human sexuality. But for now it is clearly impossible for me to tell if this 'church woman' does refer to some real woman in my future or is another representation of the 'anima.'

Theologian Paul Tillich defined love as, 'the reuniting of that which belongs together but has been separated.' I think I have had a full inner and living experience of the sense of both the original union, the long separation and now live anticipating the reunion of such whole love. Such love in any of these phases of its progress or cycle can only be described as a gift and grace of God.

With such thoughts I have reached the outer bounds of anything I know about the meaning and power of love. I will add that all the material that has come to me via dreams , 'visions' etc make clear that such love does not end with a couple living in joy only for themselves in isolated bliss away from the troubled crowd. But such love will most certainly turn its life and joy toward the outer world of humanity and its wounds and needs. Because the ones who experience this love know it is a love that has come from and is in honor of what might be called the World Soul it is not just a private matter. So this is not a selfish love that my inner world has brought awareness of but a love that, without losing itself, 'loves the whole world' just as the central Christian, and no doubt other world faiths, confess, 'God so loves the world.'

It is difficult for me to believe that I have decided to place this supremely personal aspect of myself into a public venue. I fear for its misuse perhaps even against me. I am doing this because I believe it is about far more persons than me and maybe does not even concern my outer life at all. After all I am now 67. I think it is an expression of hope and love that has issued from our Collective Unconscious through my unique life circumstances. Thus it is not a private possession of mine to keep forever to myself. And I'm confident that many others have some similar experience of such realities. And so that is why I am compelled to make it available to this extent. I think this speaks to the suffering and trouble of love that is described in the dream above. If we are made to live in such love than being somewhat estranged from it must surely be a deep source of human suffering and woundedness, perhaps especially in our time when it may be more within our conscious human reach than ever before. If someone I did not know asked me to talk about this further I would likely refuse. However I suspect that I share this need and desire, at various levels of consciousness, with many many of my fellow humans and I can only say it must be right that we inwardly long to give and receive such love for our own sake and that of our world.

I am just struck at this moment that I have referred to a recurring female in my dreams as 'church woman' and that is also the way I chose above to designate and identify ' Mechthilde of Magdeburg' of 12 century Germany. Such a straight forward 'synchronicity' from the unconscious may be saying there is some kind of connection 'across time' in these two women? Jim 

P.S. The reader may want to read also the blog post 'The Greatest Of These.'
and  'A Reformation Of Love'