The Journey…..

“The act of consciousness is central; otherwise we are overrun by the complexes. The hero in each of us is required to answer the call of individuation. We must turn away from the cacaphony of the outerworld to hear the inner voice. When we can dare to live its promptings, then we achieve personhood. We may become strangers to those who thought they knew us, but at least we are no longer strangers to ourselves”.

James Hollis, The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Midlife (Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts, 59

Our own unique individuation process leads us, if followed, along a spiritual path. This may well differ for individuals but this is necessary.
Ultimately we need to trust in ourselves and that if we truly follow our heart’s compass then we can become whom we are meant to be.
There will be struggles of course, times when we may feel lost and alone, filled with self doubt and confusion. This too is part of the process. The spiritual seekers of old have well documented the challenges that one faces, but there is no growth without pain. As individuals we frequently underestimate our strength and tenacity which can lead us to turn to distraction from the cause or even complete abandonment of our path.

However it is my experience that unless we continue then our life will remain less than fulfilled. The hero in us calls for us to stand alone if necessary and separate oneself from all that does not resonate with our souls. Only then can we stand strong in our knowledge and belief that our lives are authentic and our actions just.
For myself, my friends, colleagues and family more often than not believe me to be quirky and perhaps a little crazy and therefore humour me.
But as I have ‘grown’, I have found that I am no longer dependent on any one thing or person to help define me. Through the individuation process one becomes an actualised and independent entity who is a true rendition of one’s inner self. You become invulnerable to life’s rigors and the childish chatter of the ego.

With this comes a creative and playful aspect to living. A pure enjoyment of life, uncomplicated and unburdened of fear or doubt, we celebrate every moment with an open heart and joyous gratitude.

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An Anomalous Life…..

Ever since I can remember I have had anomalous experiences. These along with many other synchroniticous events have always hinted to me about the presence of something ‘other’ than what is ordinarily percieved in ordinary day to day life.
I have long since stopped sharing these episodes with others as it would appear that they are not common to many people. That is most individuals believe that I am either joking or are simply more unhinged than I appear already!!

This empathic trait of mine seems to allow me to access to the sensing of other energetic phenomena not common to others. A few examples follow, please indulge me as I would appreciate your thoughts –
– as a child I have a distinct recollection of conversing with a kind of Lilliputian group of people who lived in my house. They also had a german shepherd dog.
– Seeing fleeting glimpses of seemingly spirit like persons drifting across my bedroom
– have lived in many ‘haunted’ houses where soap has flown off window sills, doorbells rang where there were none, seeing part or whole human figures who passed through solid objects, shaking beds and creaking floorboards with no physical explanation to state just a few
– hearing ‘voices’ / partial conversations when no one was around
– feelings of being watched whilst visiting some ancient sites and having had later looked at the photo’s observed small, gremlin type faces in the undergrowth.

I have come to accept these things as ‘normal’ now and I simply smile wryly to myself at any further incidents, usually speaking aloud to whatever causative factor I percieve it to be.
It sometimes feels that I am in some way a catalyst to these events and are integral to them.

There are also varieties on this theme too whereby synchronitic occurrences take place or simply just odd situations occurring.
I once had a kundalini type experience whilst I was walking through a local park on a beautiful, sunny Autumn day. It was quite unnerving and on the way home I took time to peer into a nearby river. There for the first time I saw an eel swimming in the clear water. Following a bit of evening research I discoverd kundalini was described as a snake found at the base of the spine. Also that the symbol ouroboros related to some aspects of my life at that time.

It seems that the Universe may have many messages for us but we need to be open to them and be able to somewhat objective in their analysis in how they may relate to us.

” Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have the eyes to see”.
Carl Jung.

I would also add so are anomalous experiences 😊

Adventures in Empathy…………?

Having awoken I go through my usual morning routine.
Strong , hot coffee with the usual breakfast cigarette sitting on the decking looking out onto my ramshackle garden.
Providing my dream time has not been excessively infiltrated by seemingly high definition, Kafkaesque imagery my mind usually starts the day in a kind of tabula rasa modality. That is to say ‘not a lot going on’.
Taking in the dank,early morning air my mind gradually fills with a mixture of recent memories, vague plans for the day an reflections on recently read articles that have instilled in me a sense of intrigue.
These thoughts start off innocuous enough.
– An excerpt from an interview with Carl Jung where he discusses the tendencies of intuitive introverts which seems to me a pretty accurate description of an empath
– A recollection of yesterdays evening walk around a nearby ancient hillfort as the Sun was setting on the horizon. Searing sunlight blazing ochre behind the clouds redolent of seams of lava breaking through the Earth
– A mentally sketched plan to get out and do a little photography hoping to catch some images of Summers tentative withdrawal making way for the initial tendrils of Autumn subtly tinging Natures landscapes.

Returning to the kitchen I remember that I’m nearly out of coffee.
I carefully consider as to whether my need for further caffeine outways my apprehension of walking to the local shop and getting involved in the outside world so early in the day. Having donned sunglasses and a thin cotton hoodie I deem that the need for coffee is greater.
Walking out on to the street I realise that I was perhaps a little unprepared for the subsequent inundation of stimuli from the outside world.
– The roar of car engines as certain drivers manifest their ire and frustration in the manner of their driving
– A radio station on high volume from a closely parked car carries the news of abject suffering of women and children in a not so far away land ( my heart withers slightly on hearing this )
– A father roughly pulls his child by the arm and loudly berates him in front of commuters, the child’s only sin being that he is a child, full of energy, intrigue and playfulness. I know the child feels pained , vulnerable and hurting but still looks at his father in unwavering love
– An elderly lady hobbles precariously just ahead of me. As I pass I smell the odour of stale alcohol from her. Her rheumy eyes seemingly out of focus, unable to acknowledge my passing. Many an amount of alcohol she has consumed in an attempt to dull her past pain, to drown out those unbearable feelings of despair wrought upon her by others misdeeds. What was once her crutch had become her ultimate demise, lost in a world of welcome drunken incoherence.

I suddenly find myself at my front door having relinquished the hazardous trek. I had apparently decided somewhat unconsciously that this was something that had to be done later, probably when it was dark.
That brief journey had left me breathless with ever escalating feelings of anxiety and overwhelm. In the past I would probably have remained in that raw state for the remainder of the day however now that I am aware of my empathic predisposition, I am able to quickly ground myself with mindfulness and meditative techniques.
Empathy is indeed a double edged sword.
It can give us the ability to become sensitive to the most beautiful and exquisite aspects of our lives but also to the darker aspects of ours and others souls.

Self Fostering

Many of us I know are well aware of how modern western society either by accident or design ( or a combination of the two ) undermines the individuals predisposition to authentic spiritual growth.
The influence of our peer groups and the inherent wish for us to be accepted by those around us can distract us from our natural, personal needs in terms of fulfilling our spiritual potential.
The proliferation of electronic gadgetry available that provide novel and immersive experiences in an easily attainable manner can provide us with a short term fix of stimuli. This however is at the expense of longer term goals which may require some degree of dedication and effort.
The seemingly endless narrative of businesses advertising their goods in order to boost your attractiveness to others, to make you more efficient, to improve your material life and even to ‘ make you more spiritual! ‘

I think this probably stands for most people the world over, but few are more aware of this disparity than those of us who are considered empathic and / or have had numinous spiritual experiences that do not align to society’s norms.
We know that we do not ‘ fit in ‘, we are aware that what most individuals seem to seek or enjoy are not truly shared by ourselves.
Everyday conversation with the majority seems largely inane, insubstantial and rather tasking. This often makes us seem aloof, preoccupied and disinterested but this is because we so often are unable to share our pertinent experiences as most would not come anywhere near to grasping what we aretrying to communicate.
We sense something deeper albeit sometimes difficult to ascertain what exactly. It may be from synchronicities, spontaneous insights, anomalous events or personal intuitive revelations about the world around us.

I personally am not a stranger to the above however I hadn’t realised how actually disengaged from my spiritual growth I had become. I always considered myself ( in human terms as opposed to advaitic ) as a reasonably grounded person when it comes to living life authentically.
The revelation came about when my family went on holiday leaving me to my own devices at home alone. Along with this I was forced to take time off work due a foot injury. Being actively engaged both mentally and physically in work and family activities ( on reflection ) probably occupied 90%ish of my waking hours.
Subsequently whereas most of my day was largely task orientated. it then became mostly self directed.
The first few days I kept myself busy by doing odd jobs around the house but soon I found myself with vast amounts of time to fill.
Now with the week is almost over I have discovered / rediscovered the following:
– That I do not ‘ need ‘ to fill my time with activity but that I can simply enjoy the subtly quiet sensuality of the moment
– Just how much of my time is actually taken up with the usual day to day chores leaving little space to mentally, physically and spiritually breathe
– The ongoing pressure that I put upon myself in order to complete tasks to alleviate the stresses of others
– How much the effect of being around others for long periods can easily derail important self care.

Obviously I am not suggesting that we all leave our families and relationships and go and live in a cave on a faraway island somewhere. But what I do suggest is that we take time to reflect on our lives and how we live them. And that we give due consideration to ourselves, otherwise we can easily become disenchanted and unfulfilled and our perfect, individuating souls become lost in the machinations of modern society.

On The Couch………….

Having worked in the mental health field for many years I have had numerous conversations with various psychiatrists and psychologists around being empathic. Also about the role of numinous spiritual experiences in individuals.
The article that follows albeit a theoretical scenario is a fair precis of the my interactions with professionals both at work and in my own therapy, although a little ‘tongue in cheek’ at times.
I will refer to myself as Mr P and the health care professional as Mr T.

Mr T: “Hello Mr P, how can I help you today”?
Mr P: “Well it’s kind of complicated. It’s probably best if I give you a brief overview of my experiences to date.
Firstly I find myself to have strong empathic tendencies. I belong to a few empath groups in order to share our experiences as they seem to be somewhat unique amongst the general population.
Mr T: “Could you elaborate please”?
Mr P: “Of course. You see I have a high degree of energetic sensitivity. This means that I can pick up on subtle energy frequencies from people, places, objects etc. I may for instance feel another person’s emotional state, pick up on spiritual entities or sense inter dimensional activity. Previously before I knew that I was empathic I had great difficulty managing my emotional and mental health as I would unknowingly get ‘infected’ by someone’s emotional state and presume it was my own”.
Mr T: “Mmm, I see. Is there any other, how shall we say, special powers you may have”?
Mr P: “Just to clarify, I don’t particularly feel that I have special powers. I consider myself as just a little’different’.
I have had and still have strong spiritually numinous experiences.
These have taken the form of Kundalini / Advaitic or non duality episodes”.
Mr T: “Are they not aligned to the Hindu faith? But you are an English Caucasian”?
Mr P: ” Indeed they are. However they seem to be part of my spiritual growth. I am very much have the mindset of Carl Jung when it comes to individuation and personal spirituality”.
Mr T: “Are you aware that in psychiatry a belief that a person has which is not aligned to their culture or sub culture could be seen as delusional”?
Mr P: “Personally I believe that understanding to be over inclusive”.
Mr T: ” Mmm. So then, in what way do you find these personal traits problematic, if at all”?
Mr P: “Most of the larger problems came before I understood I was empathic as I stated previously.
I suppose the main problem, if you can call it that, is the feelings of isolation at times. It’s difficult on occasions to live in a society on a day to day basis that you don’t fit into.
For instance, I am frequently overawed by the beauty of Nature just by being in my garden. The verdant green of the lawn, shimmers of sunlight flickering through the trees casting animated shadows across borders. The small patch of daisies all leaning towards the sunlight seemingly in reference. It’s the frequent inability to share these sensual experiences leads the more human side of me to feel sad.
I suppose in essence there are two aspects to my personality. The more aware ,realistic spiritual side of myself and my more egoic part which wants to indulge the more human side of me”.
Mr T: ” Do you think that there may be two personalities within you?”
Mr P: “No, not at all. Just different aspects of my assumed whole”.
Mr T: ” Well Mr P, I feel that although you don’t seem to meet the exact criteria for most treatments,I can offer you a little something to help reduce these experiences then you may feel more ‘normal’. Some medication perhaps?”
Mr P: “Actually, no thank you. Our chat has actually helped somewhat in that I now appreciate even more than ever that I am extremely lucky to have such a sensitivity. I would rather live with it’s drawbacks than for anything to change.
Oh, by the way. Just a thought but do you think that you could prescribe medication for the many others who do not seem to appreciate the divinity of living a life on this Earth. I think that may help me more in the long term?”

On Being a Dystopian Protagonist

Dystopia –
an imaginary society in which social or technological trends have culminated in a greatly diminished quality of life or degradation of values.
( Webster Collins Dictionary )

I have a few issues with the many definitions of dystopia. Ironically because if I was a dystopian protagonist, I would have. My main issue being the assumption that this society may be solely imaginary or imagined.
I am not a stranger to feeling isolated and alone in Western Society, after all, being both an empathic and a spiritually minded individual lends to not sharing similar proclivities to those around me. Add to that, that I have a rather indefinable organic, non dualistic, animistic understanding of existence pushes me further to the periphery of society.

Subsequently one could assume that, from my viewpoint, I wouldn’t feel particularly comfortable with the world around me as it stands.
Saying that however I know of many, many people who share the same disillusionment with the way the Western world has ‘developed’ over the past fifty or so years.

Going back to the definitions of dystopia, I find they relate more to today’s societal structure than at any time in the distant past.
The dystopia ( I believe ) has occurred in a multifactorial / multifaceted manner. Though I know many believe in conspiracy theories relating to the mind control of the populace and the supposed power held by hidden organisations. They may, to some extent, indeed be true, but I can only really go by what I percieve.
Certainly it seems that we are nearer to a dystopian society than a utopian one.

It seems to me that social and technological trends have indeed led to a diminished quality of life and degradation of values.
Whereas countries and states had their own cultural identity, their own unique ancestral imprint that helped define them and make them who they were. It seems that due to mass commercialisation via the internet / cable and satellite TV/ radio / etc etc much of the world has become a monoculture of materialism.
There are cases where the introduction of television and other technologies have adversely effected the mental health of those cultures who were previously naive to such things.
Add to that the current social media epidemic that encourages the promotion of self ( via ‘selfies’ with or without filters ), littered with advertisements about how to boost your looks / wealth / social standing by engaging with different groups and products. There is even some credibility in ‘false news’, where the suggestion of its existence implies some degree of validity!!

Also the amount of young ( and not so young ) individuals who spend vast amounts of their life being ‘entertained’ by gaming or preoccupied with other similar technological devices. People using technology to gain revenge on others or videoing acts of violence and depravity.

Don’t get me wrong however, there is some good come out of the advances in computer science and its ill but it seems largely uncontrolled and has undoubtedly changed massively the way people live their lives over recent years.

Even when I was young I took social trends to be the ‘norm’ and sacrificed some of my authenticity in order to be more accepted by my peers and this was without all the commercial brainwashing and societal conditioning of today.
However, this I have not done for a long time.

So, what’s all this to do with anything?
Firstly, as an empathic individual I feel others unhappiness and frustration and believe me it seems to have increased immensely over recent years.
I urge people to find ‘themselves’ amongst the array of stereotypes being forced on them, either openly or insidiously. Everyone has their own truth inside of them, we just need to discover it. You do not need anyone to agree with you or you to falsely agree with others to maintain one’s mental and emotional homeostasis.

In fact, in some ways you could say that we have a moral obligation to not do so.

“Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the
man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself”.
Source: The Undiscovered Self, chapter 4 (1957)
“It is the individual’s task to differentiate himself from all the others
and stand on his own feet. All collective identities . . . interfere
with the fulfillment of this task. Such collective identities are
crutches for the lame, shields for the timid, beds for the lazy,
nurseries for the irresponsible”.

Carl Gustav Jung.

Societys Zombie Apocalypse…….?

Most days I get by.
I get by thanks to my undying belief in the purity and glory of life.
In the knowledge that all is transient, all is interconnected and that all is one.

However at times my human heart tires, my spirit is dampened by those that would seem to be other than sentient. It is an unavoidable aspect of existence and one that thankfully only briefly clouds my vision until personal clarity and equanimity resume.

These instances are only ever caused by my fellow man.
By those whom –

– Prefer to persecute and criticise others in the aim of inflicting pain and percieved personal gain.

– Much prefer the idea of an anthropocentric existence to a holistic, empathic world view.

– Those individuals who would invest their time and energy in order to display their personal financial wealth in order to fill the empty rooms of their soul and to feed their ego with the transient.

As above , there are those that would use their position in society to promote themselves and reduce others.

There are also those that due to them living an almost voluntarily blinkered life, consumed by materialism, satiated by the toys given them by society.

– Those whose eyes are affixed to their mobile phones, who wander the Earth using technology as a window in which to frame the infinite complexity and divinity of the world around them. That also blind them from her entreaties for compassion for herself and her kin

– The dead eyes of the many television viewers soaking up without question all that is programmed into them via satellite networks

– those whose preoccupation with building a wall of amusement and distraction around them will never hear the cries of help from others, feel others pains or seek to understand and nurture those individuals who need the sustenance of warmth, love and belief that may have otherwise been available.

Despite the indifference, negativity and sometimes active resistance of others to experience or entertain any other philosophical or psychological standpoint, I will quietly go my own way. By subtle actions, quiet words and compassion, I will stand my ground and hopefully make some difference for the benefit of those that would require it.