Surface or Depth . . .
We often say we want to grow. The question is are we willing to do what it takes. It’s easy to read books or hear talks or read blogs. It’s hard to look within, take stock of ourselves and quietly apply ourselves to genuine soul work. It requires movement away from what we’re used to, surface, and descent into what we are not, depth.
I’m finishing an article about Freud’s interest in the occult. In many ways, he preferred this area of study to psychoanalysis but was afraid to go further for fear of academic rejection. He stayed on one plane, that of the personal unconscious, and refused to deepen into the transpersonal unconscious, the spiritual dimension of life. I believe this may have contributed to what he termed the misery of everyday life. When we stay on the surface, stuck with where we’ve been and not letting go and changing – deepening - then misery results. The mystic balances and heals the mundane just as everyday realities ground the mystic.
And then there’s Jung – what a prophet of the mystic, and what a disappointment! The man who proclaimed the wholeness of the self yielded to the collective pressure to form an institute bearing his name. The one who said, “Thank god I am Jung and not a Jungian” actually agreed with the ordination of followers who are called Jungians. How silly we can be as a species. We know there’s another way, the way of truth to self and depth of experience, and yet yield to superficial ways that bring acclaim – not even a tepid handclap in the thunderous immensity of the transpersonal universe.
And now we come to our daily life. Surface or depth? When we’re in pain, we’re willing to consider what we haven’t. We’re willing to open up and see so that we’ll feel better, so the pain will stop. But, the telling time really comes in the daily living. To be able to choose depth, truth to self no matter what others say or how they pressure us. This is depth. Surface bids us go for the tepid pat on the back, the weak handclap of those who in the light of the transpersonal universe are wisps in a cold ethersphere, passing and then no more.
Waking up on the first day of the new year, I remembered a dream. It spoke of forces from my past, professional groups demanding allegiance, old family dysfunctional relationships demanding allegiance, friends who demanded adherence to their “liberal” liberal way of seeing things. In the dream, I saw from a distance what had once been so up close and personal. A breath from the transpersonal flow of all things swept through me, and I turned and left the scene, ready to move on with my life and new decisions regarding surface or depth.