free as wind
A Newsletter from the Center for Sacred Psychology
Vol III, October 2006
Children's Corner    |    Warrior's Hoop    |    Elder's Circle

For a century the science of human behavior has explored the mysteries of why we do what we do in a variety of forms, from laboratory experiments to studies of the ecological validity of theorists from Freud and his protégée, Carl Jung, to the current evolution of biological psychiatry. While much has been discovered that has relieved anguish and suffering, the basic questions that have challenged those interested in the human predicament continue to escape scientific reductionism. For much of the last century science attempted to limit inquiry to

This thing we tell of can never be found by seeking, yet only seekers find it.

- Abu Yazid Al-Bistami

 observable phenomena, with basic assumptions that did not allow for mystery. In Jung's words that was not very honest science.

Some contemporary theorists recognize that the need to incorporate the wisdom literature from all cultures is essential if one is to effectively help those who seek relief from their suffering, whether it manifests in biological symptoms or is that chronic suffering of growing despair that comes from living someone else's version of what this life is supposed to be. Fifty years ago,

The psychoanalyst Erik Erikson described his observation of people who ended their lives with one of two generalized attitudes, either wisdom or despair. It is the search for wisdom that leads to fulfillment in having lived life authentically. The term philosophy means "the love of wisdom." Jung offered that effective psychology is applied philosophy. The process of assisting another to Self disco-very, much like a midwife, is the practice of psychospirituality.

 

It is a demanding commitment to look in the mirror and know that you are on the right road and that you like the man or woman that you are and that you are becoming. It is a call to be nothing less than who you truly are. The fruit that is offered includes the experience of inner peace but it is far more than that. When one sees this world clearly inner peace is not a constant. To see the suffering, the indifference, and the violence we cause one another and the earth is to feel the pain empathically. The difference is that one does not drown in that


suffering nor escape in the variety of addictions modern life offers. Rather, in the words of the philosopher Joe Campbell, one "learns to participate in the sorrows of the world with joy." One becomes a healing agent, a spiritual warrior who lives in kindness and compassion and action. If you are fortunate enough to know an Elder who has lived with this kind of authenticity, you see the possibility of truly being human. In the words of my mentor, Reb Zalman, anyone can grow old, it takes effort to become wise. Using methods from ancient traditions, such as dream work, the I Ching, and the Socratic method, just to name a few, facilitates the

Survival is the second law of life.
The first is that we are all one.

- Joseph Campbell

discovery of one's Mystery. The psychospiritual tradition offers the bridge between science and spirituality that leads to this wholeness and joy.

You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth.

Evan Esar

Sending Peace,
                     Doug

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