Wednesday, June 15, 2016

RESPONDING TO THE ORLANDO MASSACRE... June 12, 2016

The Orlando massacre is bringing many of the nation's burning issues together. It is easy to look for and present simple answers rather than workable and fair ones: LGBT community being under attack from fear born out of religious or social phobias, Discrediting the Muslim religion as a whole, Broad brushing immigrants negatively, including ones who are not yet full citizens. Cherishing the notion of easily available guns, including assault weapons. Also our need to find better, clearer ways to keep guns out of the hands of persons known to be at risk for using them in human violence.

Here is an important awareness I don’t hear stated often. All religions that originated in the middle east.. Judaism , Christianity and Islam have often emphasized human 'obedience' to higher authority. This as an inner  spiritual practice for the devout is a key to all world  religious . This principle, so practiced, can also provide important levels of  stability and safety to a surrounding society. But taken to inappropriate extremes as  outer commands,  'obedience'  has often caused persons  to accept horrendous attitudes and acts as 'God's Will'(whether killing, invading, denying rights of or marginalizing anyone seen as different); and then turn against their human neighbors with violence, demeaning words and conduct. These three religions in their healthier aspects encourage people to think soberly, to ask questions before acting or 'obeying' in ways that are obviously harmful to others or self.

So we are rightfully concerned and should notice anytime persons of any of these three religions in their various forms get too caught up in 'obedience' , taking their ancient texts too literally, and thus stop responsible thinking and discernment. All our religions have the capacity to bless humankind or to bring harm. And all have done both at various times and places. This is simply the complicated truth..(And it is sadly true that unspeakable approved violence is found in all the religious texts and easily becomes an excuse for violence to those caught up in unthinking 'obedience.')


Every well informed religious person remembers constantly that God equally loves and is active in all Humankind, not just our religion, our family, or our nation. We need to cultivate from our various religious heritages a view that 'God So Loves The World' and of "Peace on Earth, Good Will To All'. These central teachings of common care and responsible relationship are also central to all the world religions and we should hold each other to account, within and among our religions, in preserving them as our mode of life in America. For these have been foundational commitments to each other from our beginning.


Saturday, June 4, 2016

A DYNAMIC TASK OF OUR AGE, INTEGRATING THE MALE AND FEMALE PRINCIPLES

I'd like to say something  very practical about Jungian depth psychology. And how it  has much to offer psychologically/spiritually  in explaining and navigating  our chaotic and urgent  times.

 Carl Jung, Swiss M.D.,  research/theoretical  psychotherapist, suggested  a hundred years ago  that we are moving from a prolonged  age when the 'masculine principle' has been  dominant; that of conquering, penetrating, breaking down, differentiating and analyzing  everything. Reason more than feeling and intuition  being of high value for example. 

This was needed for that age of development in Western Civilization:  colonization, industrial revolution, scientific medicine, modern   technology and two fateful world wars are some of the outcomes, both positive and negative.  Now the 'feminine principle' is seeking to correct that long, but in an evolutionary  sense necessary,  over abundance of the 'masculine principle' energy. 

Both principles are part of every man and woman's deep psyche. A woman can have an over balance of the masculine attitude as  likely as a  man for example.  Jung would suggest there has been an excess of 'masculine principle'  energy  in most every  aspect of  social expectations, religion, economics  and politics. It is   more natural, thus easier by her nature,  for a woman to be in touch with the 'feminine principle' than it is consciously  for a man. But both, from cultural and sometimes religious influence,  can miss developing  it to the  degree needed for adaptation today. In general all persons stand in  need to further recognize and integrate in our age the 'feminine principle'  and the attitudes and behaviors that flow  from it.  The 'feminine principle' has to do with healing, uniting and smoothing the way, of accepting and valuing differences in people,  of not seeing difference as an alert to violence or to fight or flight. But to stand in the middle so to speak, to be a bridge and not a wall in human commnication and relationships.
Bridges Are Symbolic Of  The 'Connecting Work'  of the Feminine Principle

 Ironically I see the 16 other GOP candidates'  incapacity to stand up to D. Trump's  outrageous hateful  statements and extreme  flip flops an indication of these competitors not having yet a well developed feminine side(This may be  typical of a majority of men at the present time).  We would have seen a very different story. They did not exhibit  the skill of engaging in a 'feminine principle'  way. Instead  they  experienced him as an overwhelming, threatening  masculine force and meekly  allowed him to take over the discussion with his contradictory and divisive message. This is a  serious development in any democracy which depends on  open, honest and safe communications.  A strong dose of the 'feminine principle' at work, as I will explain,  was needed on that debate stage where the masculine was  overpowering.
Walls Of Division Are Symbolic Of The  ' Masculine Principle' At Work

Ideally if the others had been more 'in touch' with the feminine principle they would have in a clear and absolute way called him out from the  start. Because  part of the feminine principle is like if a mother's child is about to be harmed or kidnapped, she will retaliate  quick and absolutely to put an end to it.  This is seen in a mother bear regarding her cubs. Mess with her cubs and you will hear from  her, not tomorrow but  right now.  The true feminine principle  is not anything to mess around with. It will intervene promptly against any damaging  falsehood and  intimidation of every kind.  In this sense it has  'fire in its eye' and tolerates no  slick effort  to scam and mislead regarding human well being.  We lack this America. We let the bully, intimidator and the boisterous  have their way with the community. We stand aside for the most economically leveraged to be 'in charge' as if they know best  for what is needed for everyone. These are the disastrous short comings of the male principle gone too far.

We lack a full measure of well developed  feminine principle but it is gaining strength;  not to conquer the necessary male principle but to bring it to a healthy balance with the feminine.  This feminine  'end the nonsense' attitude  is in contrast to  male planning, strategizing  and   conquering  behavior toward others so effective in the past age  What did not happen on the  GOP debate stage during this primary  is one  indication of  the deficiency of   'feminine protective principle'  at work psychologically in our culture.  From the psychological perspective  both  men and women of our culture in general  stand in need of , and evolution is pushing us, discovering and implementing the feminine principle,   to bring about  a new personal and collective balance of mind and heart  in  our culture. (BTW,  the Christian gospels can be interpreted as strong feminine principle teachings  but they have instead  traditionally   been used to reinforce the 'male principle'  attitudes of Western Civilization.)
Donald Trump

Another  practical observance  of depth psychology is that  of the naturally occurring 'woman's  movement' of  the past five  decades involving  women finding and integrating  their 'inner masculine' selves,  just  as men have been pushed to discover the 'feminine within'.  This has been showing that women can be just as strong  objective  thinkers, planners, leaders  and  conquerors as any man. A Hillary Clinton is an 'in our face' example and symbol of this capacity in woman. Naturally the emerging 'feminine principle'  will be the target of much resentment and attack no matter who the personal woman is that carries its  psychological energy.  Humanity does  not make great social/psychological/spiritual  changes without an internal  fight. Also such cultural changes are far greater than any of the individuals involved. There is a 'greater than us mind' of evolutional type  reality that pushes and invites us to higher levels of consciousness. No actual  man or woman is perfectly developed and balanced in this ideal way.  We can only be moving toward it, cooperating with it, not resisting it. And I sense hopeful  signs that many persons are doing just that.
Hillary Clinton

The key according to Jungian thought is for there to  be a  steady move toward the proper balance of 'male and female psychological/spiritual   energy principles' in women and men personally  and in the collective consciousness. This is the way that men stay and become  'really'  men and women are 'really' women.  Men and women  remain truly   different   but each can and is now called to  develop  those psychological  awarenesses and attitudes of the contrasting principle  as needed.  Only through this kind of inner  development  are  men and women  together, in complementary fashion, being  enabled to  engage the  new needs  and problems of our  post modern age.