Path of Soul

Transformation of the soul as revealed art & archetype — based on the writings of Carl G. Jung

Cosmic Man

WLA_vanda_Vishnu_as_the_Cosmic_Man

Vishnu as the Cosmic Man (Vishvarupa), Jaipur, Rajasthan- c. 1800-50. US Public Domain, Wikimedia

In the Introduction to the Second Section of Symbols of Transformation, Carl Jung addresses the nature of ‘creative divinity’ (para 183), elucidating its various archetypal forms. One such form is seen in a 19th Century paining of the ‘Cosmic Man,’ as shown above. Jung speaks of the ‘Cosmic Man’, drawing upon passages from the Shvetashvatara Upanishad:

“Without feet, without hands, he moves, he grasps; eyeless he sees, earless he hears; he knows all that is to be known, yet there is no knower of him. Men call him the Primordial Person, the Cosmic Man. Smaller than small, greater than great ….” (cited in CW5, para. 182, emphasis added).

The Cosmic Man is an archetypal figure, representing the cosmic form of all forms and of all deities. The Shvetashvatara Upanishad  speaks of  Purusha, the Cosmic Man:

“That Person, no bigger than a thumb, the inner Self, seated forever in the heart of man, is revealed by the heart, the thought, the mind. They, who know That, become immortal. Thousand-headed, thousand-eyed, thousand-footed is Purusha. He encompasses the earth on every side and rules over the ten-finger space.”

The RigVedic deities are emanations of the Cosmic Man. Jung speaks of Rudra as an archetypal forms of the “life force” (para 176). Rudra “rules all the worlds by his powers.” He is “the Protector.” Having created the living soul he offers “the Golden Seed” of “enlightenment” and  “gathers all beings together at the end of time” (from the Shvetashvatara Upanishad). Jung says: “behind these attributes we can discern the All-Creator,” confirming the idea in the following passages:

“Beyond this is Brahma, the highest, hidden in the bodies of all, encompassing all. Those who know him as the Lord become immortal. I know this mighty Person (purusha), who is like to the sun, transcendent over darkness. Those who know him truly pass beyond death; by no other road can they go. He is in the face, the head, the neck of all, he dwells in the heart of all things, all-pervading, bountiful, omnipresent, kindly (Shvetashvatara Upanishad).”

The ‘creative divinity’ of the Cosmic Man is not only transcendent to life, but also immanent to the living soul: “he dwells in the heart of all things.” Through these passages, Carl Jung illustrates “the important point that God is contained in the individual creature” (para. 177).  According to the sacred texts whoever knows this “is immortal.” There is a parallel passage in the Katha Upanishad showing that God dwells in the heart:

“That Person in the heart, no bigger than a thumb, burning like flame without smoke, maker of past and future, the same today and tomorrow, that is Self.”

These ancient Hindu texts point to the sacred nature of the divine, both transcendent and immanent. “No bigger than a thumb,” God dwells in the heart as the “Self.” In the image below, we see the Hindu Deity Prajapatti. The image is an attempt to portray the creative activities of ‘Prajapati.’ Pattni (2006) speaks of Prajapatti:

“Prajapatti’ is the infinite eternal supreme God for profound Wisdom of the soul. Prajapatti (Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesh), the trinity God offered the eternal profound wisdom of the soul.” (Pattni, p.267)

The deities offer the ‘eternal profound wisdom of the soul.’ And this wisdom leads to the knowing that the Cosmic Man is the cosmic form of not only the deities, but of the living soul. The difference between human creativity and divine creativity is that while divinity creates material things, the living soul create images and ideas of things. We, like the Gods, are creative beings capable of transforming ourselves, each other, and the world through our ideas and images.

An attempt to depict the creative activities of Prajapati; a steel engraving from the 1850's, with modern hand coloring Source: ebay, Dec. 2006. via Wikimedia.

An attempt to depict the creative activities of Prajapati; a steel engraving from the 1850′s, with modern hand coloring Source: ebay, Dec. 2006. via Wikimedia.

References:

Carl Jung, Cw 5, Symbols of Transformation (in US Pubic Domain, first published 1912)

Jyotikar Pattni, A Flight of Delight- 2006

About Jenna Lilla

Exploring the soul's passion through art & archetype.

29 comments on “Cosmic Man

  1. Ganesh
    February 6, 2014

    Very nice an inspiring article, Jenna! :)

  2. Ganesh
    February 6, 2014

    Thanks for following “Known is a drop, Unknown is an Ocean”. You are most welcome. :)

  3. Rob Two-Hawks
    February 8, 2014

    Jenna…Yes,the Cosmic Man,the Imminent Divine,the Dweller-Within-the-Central-Heart.The mystic journey from mind to heart does ”seemingly” quarter and destroy the mind…but only so that wisdom & compassion may arise.It’s the vital demolition and re-decoration along the way to Selfhood…the crumbling which Rumi speaks of which leads to a ”field of wildflower”s..Your writing here beautifully synthesizes the Imminent/transcendent paradox with an assist from the East.Many thanks as always…

    • Jenna Lilla
      February 8, 2014

      Thank you Two-Hawks for your attention, for your ability to understand, to care. This idea of the mind, or the ego, is complex. We need the ego for discernment, for rationality. But from Jung’s perspective we need more than ‘just’ the ego, we need the soul. When the ego come into union with the soul, as in the holy marriage, wisdom and compassion arise. Your way of being expresses such a knowledge. So, I want to elucidate the life instincts, the appreciation of union, over and above any idea of destruction.

      Thank you again for offering yourself in this ongoing conversation of the heart.

  4. Rob Two-Hawks
    February 9, 2014

    Jenna…Thank you for your heartfelt & rich response as always.Forgive me for my occasional references to the ”crumbling” for it’s presently the region I inhabit.To resist that reality now would be to embrace a false journey. And yes,I truly appreciate your focus on instinct and union here.After all,the crumbling doesn’t exactly serve as the best inspiration for a deeper Soul embrace does it?While the Soul doesn’t favor descent or ascent,or difficulty over ease,it’s trajectory is clearly integration and union.The Soul has served as my church for most of this life and will remain so.I’ve learned to embrace and endure the darkness but the depth longing is for this union and the mysterious light it promises.At this point I’m perceiving it all more from the perspective of Tagore: …”FAITH IS THE BIRD THAT FEELS THE LIGHT WHEN THE DAWN IS STILL DARK.” We may have different vantage points but we are on the same Soulful road and it is a good solid road.I am grateful for that and for such a Soul-fertile conversation.When most of my old reference points are gone this conversation of the heart is so deeply appreciated!

    • Jenna Lilla
      February 9, 2014

      Two-Hawks,

      I love what you have said, “While the Soul doesn’t favor descent or ascent, or difficulty over ease, it’s trajectory is clearly integration and union.” I am so thankful that you have such knowledge, and that we can have a conversation. The soul is a representative of the feminine principle, I will talk about this in my next post. With this she offers gentleness, tenderness, love, creative regeneration, and a path towards a rebirth. I am contemplating such gentle creative transformation in my own life, allowing it to be the principle which guides me. This does not mean I do not respect your path, only that it creates an opportunity for a conversation concerning the various paths of transformation. I hope to learn from you. The alchemists often talk of dissolution: there are some an amazing passages in Anatomy of the Psyche by Edinger in this regard. But more and more I am allowing the gentleness and simplicity of the soul to be my guide.

      • Rob Two-Hawks
        February 9, 2014

        Jenna…I would wish you nothing less than a gentle creative transformation and respect your need to follow this gentle simple way.I really enjoyed the writing on the ”Mothers” and the wisdom of how Libido serves as the key to this realm.And so it is.Edinger said that in states of depression and despair the Libidinal energy sinks into the depths.And as we know dreaming and active imagination often serve as more positive and conscious means to travel there..In whatever form Libido descends,when it does it also activates the unconscious and causes an increase in dream,fantasy and other material.My own experiences at depth,past and present have made me very aware that with a deeper archetypal contact(..or ”swim in the Mothers’ Realm”)images and ideas are powerfully organized & re-organized.The result,of course,can be an incredible creative outpouring.The Mothers’ Tripod,the Grail Cup,or Finn MacCool’s Salmon Pool are all known for their creative abundance.Goethe’s legend of Faust is a goldmine of imagery that’s clearly about our difficulties in reconciling the opposites.It begins with Faust selling his soul to Mephistopheles because of his obsession with possessing Helen of Troy.As Jung described,at first Faust experienced evil results.After any long and deep swim within the Mothers’ Realm a moment of Temptation arrives.After assimilating significant creative and other powers the ego often desires to employ them for it’s own gain.Faust fully faced the temptation and then opted for serving others instead. Meanwhile,Goethe was more than familiar with this territory and it’s requirements.He knew that the Dark Night served to purify the Soul beyond the need for any further temptations.At first Soul will widen us but it will also continue to reflect our ego’s dreams and fantasies.The crumbling then enters to instill the desire for a ”higher order of lovemaking”.Goethe emphasizes this with his closing lines from ”The Holy Longing”:…SO LONG AS YOU HAVE NOT EXPERIENCED THIS–TO DIE AND SO TO GROW–YOU ARE ONLY A TROUBLED GUEST ON THE DARK EARTH. All paths eventually travel here(..the Buddhist,the shamanic,the mystical),and yet,all will by no means choose the full journey.And that’s a good thing because someone has to drive the bus and someone has to build the road.Speaking for myself,the state of exhaustion near the bottom of the Mothers’ Realm is causing serious doubts about the ability to finish the journey.And yet,it’s been the same for all who have traveled at this depth. And so it’s quite appropriate that the most mysterious and potent archetype of Death/Rebirth precedes contact with the Self isn’t it?As Von Franz noted,the Wounded Healer is also the archetype of the Self.That is deserving of a deep contemplation.Jenna,remind me next trip to take a ”gentler simpler road”.This one will make anyone weary-beyond-weary but it’s also a bit late for another option.Thanks for providing such a beautiful mirror!

        • Jenna Lilla
          February 9, 2014

          Two-Hawks,

          Thank you for this lovely expression of knowing. I must say that although I have never met you in person, I appreciate your capacity for reflection (for both self and others). You have so much to offer this world, and this offering seems to have arisen from your ability to transmute life’s challenges into gems of wisdom. Please continue to share with us your gems, those pearls beyond price. They are deeply appreciated; You are deeply appreciated.

          • Rob Two-Hawks
            February 10, 2014

            Jenna…Your own capacity to see,hear and appreciate has served as a most welcome mirror this morning.At a certain depth within this Mothers’ Realm one begins to feel ”invisible” to this world.At such times even a wink or a nod from topside can feel like Grace,After traveling here Rilke wrote: …”IT’S POSSIBLE I AM PUSHING THROUGH SOLID ROCK/..IN FLINTLIKE LAYERS,AS THE ORE LIES,ALONE./..I AM SUCH A LONG WAY IN I SEE NO WAY THROUGH,AND NO SPACE;/..EVERYTHING IS CLOSE TO MY FACE,AND EVERYTHING CLOSE TO MY FACE IS STONE.” And yet,he goes on to acknowledge that his ”great grief cry” will enable the master to break-in enabling his transformation.But sometimes,the master enters with a sliver of light through a fine crack in flint via just one Soul’s capacity to witness and acknowledge.Thank you again for that today!The deeper one goes the greater the paradox.Given that, I just love Soulful poetry that captures the difficulty of descent while also holding the promise of emergence Whether crumbling to facilitate wildflowers or cooking with Rumi’s chickpeas the naughting/dissolution is not-for-naught.My deeper thank you today arrives via wise words to that end from T.S.Eliot: …”IN ORDER TO POSSESS WHAT YOU DO NOT POSSESS/YOU MUST GO BY THE WAY OF DISPOSSESSION./..IN ORDER TO ARRIVE AT WHAT YOU ARE NOT YOU MUST GO THROUGH THE WAY IN WHICH YOU ARE NOT.” Jenna,despite being tied-up in the ”knot of naughting” a smile accompanies the light that slipped through this morning’s flint,You are deeply appreciated as well!Smiling like the Cheshire Cat……

            • Jenna Lilla
              February 10, 2014

              I am happy that we can commune, and that we can bring our offerings of the soul to each other and all others…

            • Rob Two-Hawks
              February 11, 2014

              Jenna…this is a shared happiness and possibly one day we’ll talk about the mystery of ”instinct” as it relates to it’s source…the Self.I’m now being re-fashioned within instinct’s crucible so I find it fascinating that you keep bringing this incredible topic up recently.Dare I employ the word ”synchronous”?

            • Jenna Lilla
              February 12, 2014

              Two-Hawks,
              I would be delighted to hear anything you want to offer concerning “the mystery of instinct as it relates to its source.” This is the heart of my task, and I cherish your thoughts.

            • Rob Two-Hawks
              February 12, 2014

              Jenna…I’d be more than happy to share more on ”instinct” as I’m now perceiving it.It’s a huge & mysterious subject,of course,so I’m not sure how you’d want to approach it via the blog.I could offer small pieces but if I get rolling with this it’d be lengthy.In 2013 I wrote several essays to remind myself the creative brain was was still sound & alive.The last one was just post-Christmas and was titled ”Instinct”…a sort of glimpse of the trail the Soul now travels.Not much has bubbled since then as I’m inside the territory moreso than contemplating it.More will arrive I’m sure as most of the libido is in the depths right now…and you know how the story goes once it re-surfaces.An appropriate image of touching creative instinct in it’s purest form might be the mystery occurring inside the chrysalis(..or the mummy,for a good Egyptian.)So,let me know how you might want to approach this and then I’ll decide what to share and consider the form.I’m happy to hear this is ”the heart of your task” and will also enjoy seeing how that translates in terms of your own Soulful experience and quest..

  5. Jenna Lilla
    February 12, 2014

    Two-Hawks,
    You are always welcome and encouraged to continue the conversation with me here on the blog. I enjoy all of your insights. I wonder if you might also be interesting in blogging? It is really up to you, how you want to offer your wisdom and gems to the world.

    • Rob Two-Hawks
      February 13, 2014

      Jenna,,,How do I put this?As simply as I can: …The deeper one travels into the Mothers’ Realm…the less energy/libido available topside.You know.I see books and possibly a blog in the future,but right now,I’m suffering from a state of extreme adrenal exhaustion.One aspect of that is a very compromised short-term memory.Another is that while I’m very close to the creative fire…the energy to translate that is minimal.So,I can grasp whatever I read/write but just can’t remember much after a few pages in.It’s been a few years since I can sit down to enjoy a book so I feed myself small stories/articles to keep things working topside.The upside is that whatever I write appears to derive from Soul if but in a more haphazard form than when I function on all cylinders.I guess you could say the best I can do now is leave some breadcrumbs-along-the-trail.Which is why I follow your blog but can’t now read SoT…HA! Whatever,I’ll share some pieces on instinct a.s.a.p. to see if we’re on the same page here if that’s O.K.

      • Jenna Lilla
        February 13, 2014

        Two-Hawks, I am thankful that this is the place that you have chosen to leave your breadcrumbs… or shall I say gems, or seeds. Such seeds from the soul blossom forth in the heart. Musician Ali Maya offers a chant that speaks to such an idea:

        “May I walk the path of my life so that all which comes to me as seed goes on to the next as blossom and all that comes to me as blossom goes onto the next as fruit.”

        I am very appreciative of all of the insights you offer, they blossom in my heart. What is important is that you make it through this trying time, building up your energy and strength. I hope you have found a good doctor to advise you in this process.

        I am looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts on the spiritual aims of the instincts, whenever you are ready to share…

        • Rob Two-Hawks
          February 13, 2014

          Jenna…Thank you for Maya’s beautiful chant!As Michael Meade likes to say,,,”Throw yourself like a seed,” I chuckle at the ”good doctor” idea.I’ve sure knocked on many doors over many years but it appears the wounded healer often walks a strange solo road…as per the requirements of the Soul. As for the adrenal exhaustion,that’s not yet an ”accepted” medical condition by the A.M.A.and alternative treatments are beyond this coyote’s budget.I’m very tired tonight but would like to share a small piece from recent writing which I hope will seed a productive instinctual dreamscape.Thank you for your kindness and compassion!

  6. Rob Two-Hawks
    February 13, 2014

    Jenna…A small piece describing important symbolism through which Ancient Egypt perceived ”spiritual instinct”. // …@ Ancient Egypt symbolically expressed this idea of the divine nature and the instinct that’s seeded within in a very beautiful manner.The many initiatory rites and practices aimed to bring these higher possibilities into full flower and manifestation.Prior to human incarnation the ram-headed neter Khnum was said to fashion the person and their twin/double upon his great potter’s wheel.Two small beings were depicted that appeared quite identical yet outward appearance betrayed their deeper and more soulful qualities.At birth only one twin would be born into the world of time and space.The other would remain behind within the spiritual realms until the auspicious moment for it’s manifestation.That aspect was known as the Ka/Spirit while the first-born twin was known as the Ba/Soul.This acquires considerable sacred and psychological meaning when it’s understood that at the heart of Egyptian initiatory process was expressed in the idea that…”THE BA MUST RECOVER IT’S KA.” In the 18th dynasty this incredible alchemic process evolved to it’s apex at Luxor/Thebes within the reign of Pharoah Amenhotep III.The cult of the Royal Ka was the center of all sacred activity during this period and the Royal Ka was considered to be composed of 14 separate ka’s each representing a specific quality of creative nourishment or vitality.The health of Egypt as a whole was seen as dependent upon the vitality of the King/Pharoah so the focus upon the Royal Ka is understandable.This same theme describing the relationship of the King’s vitality to that of the Kingdom is later revisited in the incredible stories about the Grail/Fisher King.However,in Ancient Egypt these practices were an alchemic or psycho-spiritual reality while at the time of the Grail stories all had devolved to the stuff of myth and legends.What takes all this deeper within the mystery of libidinal instinct is the awareness that what Ancient Egypt viewed as the ”Ka”…Carl Jung saw as the ”Self.” The soulful pattern seeded within before birth is the very instinctual knowing encoded within the Self.Past or present the evolutionary journey to recover and realize this sacred instinct remains the same.The methods and means may differ but the path to individuation and wholeness is the same.By grasping more of this Jung’s deep fascination with alchemy gains considerably more meaning and substance.And,I can only imagine what else he might have discovered if he had access to the Ancient Egyptian alchemic wisdom rather than the medieval remnants such as the Rosarium.

    • Jenna Lilla
      February 14, 2014

      Two-Hawks,

      First, let me again say I am sorry to hear of this trying time for you. Maybe it is not my business, but we are communicating and you have shared with me. In return, I am compelled to say that it is always beneficial to have someone skilled to help in the healing process. Unfortunately, I cannot offer anything in that regard, only my compassion. What I can offer is my appreciation for all of the wisdom and insights you have offered and continued to offer on this blog. I appreciate the myth of Khnum, and your interpretation is wonderful. The first thing I notice in this myth is that Khnum is ram-headed. We also see the ram on the chest of Phanes. Agni too is accompanied by a ram (I will write of him in my next post). The ram seems to be a common image of instinct.

      What I hear you saying in your interpertation is that the Self is made up of various aspects, such as the ba and ka. In Jungian terms, we might speak of persona and the anima, or ego and soul. Or possibly we might speak of the integration of various complexes. You are addressing Jung’s insight that myth offers guidance on this process of integration, and that the soul’s instincts are vital in this process. As you said: ‘The soulful pattern seeded within before birth is the very instinctual knowing encoded within the Self.’

      Thank you again for sharing…

      • Rob Two-Hawks
        February 15, 2014

        Jenna…I’m glad you enjoyed the mini-mythology,and yes,the Ram is a common image of instinct.In ancient Egypt the cult of Amon/Amun took over in the 12th Dynasty.Amon-Ra then absorbed all the qualities of the old solar gods and more.This was all triggered by the entry into the constellation of the Ram(Aries) around 2200B.C.Ram statues & imagery can also be seen in other cultures with this astronomical shift.Egypt’s Amon takes various forms but is often seen wearing black & white Ram’s horns and his primary attribute is that of the ”primordial and hidden creative power”.That’s appropriate given our focus on instinct & creativity. ///
        A few comments about my physical & spiritual condition: Again,thank you for your concern & compassion.And once again,I’m not expecting you or another to offer anything in that regard.A short history: …I was traumatized to the point of coma in ’67.Following that I became a medical & psychological mystery/guinea pig for many years.I had every bizarre diagnosis in the book,and of course,none fit and all were later removed.P.T.S.D. didn’t become an official diagnosis until 1980.There was only one ”expert” in my region(then,and now)and he refused to work with me because I wasn’t a veteran.Meanwhile,I’ve tried everything from Reichian work to acupuncture to Holotropic therapy to you name it.I became symptom-free only after entering on the shamanic path in ’92.I remained stable(..and beyond)for the next 19 years until I collapsed from adrenal fatigue.I collapsed in deeper ways as I’ve shared and remain there 2 plus years later.I’ve been inside counseling for the last 3 years for support.Nope,there are no Jungians here in Appalachia and conveying Soul to a neo-Freudian is quite challenging.I continue this nevertheless because I have a compassionate therapist that trusts my process and avoids trying to ”fix/normalize” me.As I’m sure you know,trying to normalize someone inside an authentic ”spiritual emergency” or dark night experience is anything but helpful.As for the adrenal exhaustion,again it’s not yet an accepted diagnosis.Meanwhile,what help I can access via medicaid or out of pocket isn’t helpful.I’ve tried herbs,hormones and glandulars throughout the past 2 years and they only aggravate the situation.Within late stage adrenal exhaustion ”paradoxical” reactions are very common and remedying the situation is a very delicate & difficult process.Even among endrocrinologists only a few have much skill here.So yes,it’s very frustrating but I’ve learned to take it day-by-day.Jenna,the rest is beyond the scope of this blog so I’ll leave it at..”.IT’S COMPLICATED”.// ..I’ve continued to sharehere for 3 reasons: …The Soulful subject mater:…the desire to feel some anchor to the world while going deeper;…and your ongoing encouragement in that direction.I’ve also noticed many comments between us lately but less from others…so possibly,I’ll retreat for a bit and just enter now & Then.Jenna,you deserve a wider audience and it was never my intention to monopolize this discussion.Still,it’s difficult resisting commenting when one is actually living-the- mythology.Thanks again for your patience and respect!

        • Jenna Lilla
          February 15, 2014

          It pains me to hear of your trauma. It bring to my heart a sadness for you and for all the trauma in this world, as I wonder why a living soul must face such tragedy. If your life offers us any insight, then tragedy must offer the potential for transformation of the living soul, as long as we are aligned with the spiritual instincts, choosing life and unity over death and destruction. At least this is what Freud and Jung have taught me.

          Thank you for understanding the limitations of our interaction: all I can offer is my compassion for your experience and my gratitude for your wisdom gained and offered. If my blog provides a place to share, then please take that opportunity. The blog is not limited by any monopoly, and I do not seek an audience, only the heart’s truth. What I am limited by is role and time. I am writer here, not a therapist; and I am limited in my time constraints. That being said there is much space here for you to share, as long as you understand the limitations on my side.

          I am attempting to begin to work on a larger ‘book’ project, and with this my time for comments may become more and more limited. I only have so much time for writing in each day. That being said, I learn very much from you. Your grasp of the mythic arcana is wonderful. You are helping me through your free association, and some of the metaphors your are offering are bound to make it into my larger writing project. From my point of view, I am privileged to have your offer up many wonderful myths, metaphor, and ideas. You help me toward my only aim: understanding how we as a society can connect to the life of the soul, so that we may collectively choose life and unity over death and destruction.

          • Rob Two-Hawks
            February 15, 2014

            Jenna…
            I truly appreciate everything you’ve shared here and am excited to hear you’ll be focusing on a book.I also know the creative passion and energy which that requires.I know the realm of limitations as well for I now am bound by that as deeply as is humanly possible.So,I’ll honor your needs here but you must decide how much you want to grasp about instinct from my experience and perspective.My grasp of the ”mythic arcana” and more doesn’t derive from years of study,but rather,initiates from so much time spent inside the crucible of the collective unconscious.Coma opened the door while the shamanic path provided the tool,maps and lights.
            If anything I’ve shared has helped you or another I’m grateful for that.We are all mirrors to each other when open to the possibilities.Meanwhile,you’ve helped to rekindle my own appreciation of Jung and are now quickening my own experience and fascination with spiritual instinct.As for how to ”collectively choose life and unity over death and destruction..oh my.As you well know the art of holding the tension of the opposites holds the key to that reconcilation/resolution.Death and destructive urges become allies once fully embraced..I’m traveling through deep layers there now as I seek to embrace my own weakness,poverty and failure,It’s been quite a surprise to discover that that full acceptance of these as they deepen would prove more difficult than embracing layers upon layers of anger,rage,grief and shame.But so it is.After all,it was my strength and commitment to healing that carried me through all these years.Yet now as ego collapses further,the adrenals empty and the dark night thickens I begin to live the paradox at a more alchemic level.Rumi said failure was the key to the kingdom.Rumi was right.Alexander Lowen wrote that no one transcended their neurosis until they accepted their failures.Lowen was correct.My strength took me through the underworld and more but it will not take me or anyone through the needle’s eye to the Self.As the monk Thomas Green said,you arrive there by floating rather than via swimming.It took the riptide a very long time to teach me this.
            Jung approached this great mystery when he wrote: …”ALL OPPOSITES ARE OF GOD,THEREFORE MAN MUST BEND TO THIS BURDEN;AND IN SO DOING HE FINDS THAT GOD IN HIS ‘OPPOSITENESS’ HAS TAKEN POSSESSION OF HIM,INCARNATED HIMSELF IN HIM.HE HAS BECOME A VESSEL FILLED WITH DIVINE CONFLICT.”.Jung’s long wrestle with the Book of Job helped take him here.I’d also like to think think that he sat with this line and some fine wine late one night: ”I FORM THE LIGHT AND CREATE DARKNESS;I MAKE PEACE AND CREATE EVIL;I THE LORD DO ALL THESE THINGS.”(ISAIAH 45:7) This is the ”other face of God” which the shaman-mystic comes to know very well within the dark night.In the seeming absence of the Holy they each live the Book of Job and undergo the personal crucifixion which leads to the ultimate reconciliation of all opposites.The shaman’mystic’s Unitive Vision is the mysterious doorway to the full recovery of the Hidden Pattern within.It is also the way to the recovery of the instincts that know,,,just who we are,for what we were created,to whom we belong.The Lapis is within the Lead and as Edinger so beautifully put it: …”WHAT THE DREAMER CONSIDERS MOST DISREPUTABLE WITHIN HERSELF IS IN FACT THE SUPREME VALUE.THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE INNER INFERIOR MAN/WOMAN SERVES AS THE WAY TO THE SELF.”
            Jenna,I’ve went long again and yet barely scratched the surface.I did so because I’m now off on a sabbatical to more deeply face and embrace the despised weakness within myself.I’ll do the alchemy and will catch-up again once I emerge and recover some time & space beyond my own present limitations.All this reference to humbling and naughting reminds me of a favorite astrological symbol/sabian as presented by Dane Rudhyar.It’s the symbol for Virgo 2 and reads: …”A LARGE WHITE CROSS DOMINATES THE LANDSCAPE.”(The wisdom and compassion which only the experience of suffering and isolation can bring.)I get it as it’s my natal Mercury position.I get it as I’ve lived it.As Rudyar put it…”THE EXPERIENCE OF THE CROSS DOMINATES THE MYSTIC PATH THAT LEADS TO INITIATION.THE MIND MAY BE LEFT BEHIND AND SEEMINGLY DESTROYED..YET THIS IS A LIBERATING ORDEAL.” Of course,it’s not a popular theme,approach,or p.o.v but it’s also true that we’ll each only truly choose ”life and unity” when we each embrace our ”despicable me.” Ha,think I’ll watch the movie again.Thanks for being you!

            • Jenna Lilla
              February 15, 2014

              Two-Hawks,
              Just a brief note for now…
              I believe that many of the ideas that you have mentioned are an aspect of the life drive. Each is an aspect of the process of unity, as psychic unification. The death drive is a turning away from that unification process. This is based on a combined Freud/ Jung theory.

            • Rob Two-Hawks
              February 16, 2014

              Jenna…
              Yes,the awesome vitality of the ”Life Drive.” As Thoreau so wonderfully put it…”FAITH-IN-A-SEED”.

            • Rob Two-Hawks
              February 16, 2014

              Jenna…
              I’d love to explore that combined theory.I by no means worship at the feet of dissolution and death…but I do rejoice at the breaking of the seed which leads to germination or the death of the bud that enables the rose.As Rumi put it: …”THERE IS A NECESSARY DYING,THEN JESUS IS BREATHING AGAIN.”

            • Jenna Lilla
              February 17, 2014

              Two-Hawks,
              Indeed, your examples address aspects of the life drive as long as they lead to further growth and integration. I believe this is why Jung did not use the ‘death’ drive and instead spoke of the ‘other’ drive. In this way, all oppositions hold the potential for psychical integration.

            • Rob Two-Hawks
              February 17, 2014

              Jenna…
              Indeed!And via whatever terms we employ…it’s the same process.Of course,it’s impossible to hold the tension of opposites and then reconcile them without bringing both polarites together.This was just beautifully depicted in your essay on Agni with the ”creative/destructive” nature within the element of fire.Ancient Egypt described the same with the neters Sekhmet and Khonsu.Both were major forces for healing as well as for destruction.Note that they did not refer to creation/destruction as the working polarity.Why? They were forces assisting in rebirth/re-creation rather than ”first cause” creation.Alchemic language(..ancient or more modern) does not shy away from the language/terminology of dissolution,putrefaction or death.Meanwhile,I also appreciate Jung’s reasons for employing the term ”other” drive if he was considering other polarities than life/death.

            • Jenna Lilla
              February 18, 2014

              Two-Hawks,
              Thank you for this wonderful conversation. I really enjoy taking about the forms of the life instincts. The instincts are at the heart of the path of soul.

              I believe that the comments on Cosmic Man closed today (Comments close automatically after 14 days.) I look forward to more conventions soon…

Comments are closed.

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