Lightmind Extract 042
These are some great posts, thanks!
Julian, I love the phrases that you used: “self-hating fantasy” and “resistance of our humanity”. I think you’re really getting to the heart of the matter there. Would love to see more discussion of this, and also of religion-as-effort-to-“fix”-our feelings of shame, self-hatred, unworthiness, etc. It’s the attempt to engage with that business that I think makes the work of Jack Kornfield, Welwood, Almaas, and the other folks that Jim mentioned upthread of such paramount importance at this time in our culture.
Also, rather interestingly, some stuff that I feel is very relevant to the work that these people are doing comes from a kinda unlikely source; a non-transpersonal, non-“spiritual”-ly-oriented psychiatrist who I guess made somewhat of a name for himself in the late sixties and seventies. One Theodore Issac Rubin, who was a big fan of Karen Horney, for whatever that is worth.
Recently I stumbled across some of his books more or less at random, and have been working my way through them. I think this passage from his 1982 memoir, Thorough My Own Eyes: An Awakened Unconscious may be relevant to Julian’s post…
“The inner laws, the rigidity, the compulsivity, the loss of spontaneity is, as Horney believed, part of a search for glory. But this search is largely part of an attempt to transcend death. Giving up the need to transcend human limitation helps to mobilize human spontaneity. Getting off any of the culturally prescribed routes to godlike status- power, wealth, perfectionism, martyrdom, pure goodness, pure freedom- returns us to spontaneity and the possibility of developing all kinds of new aspects of our selves. But for this to take place humility is necessary, the humility inherent in accepting the human condition with all of its vagueness, confusions, vulnerability, limitations, and death itself.”
Another passage could almost be from the pages of one of Kornfield’s books:
“I suppose tenderness involves treating that which is received both from ourselves and from others with great care and non-judgemental respect and compassion, and with full awareness that ‘nothing human is alien’ to anybody. Tenderness stands against harsh judgment, competition, vindictive triumph, and the whole right/wrong equation. Where tenderness is practiced, people are less interested in who is right and who is wrong, and more interested in understanding each other and helping each other to better understand one’s self.”
Anyway, I don’t know much about this guy other than the autobiographical content of his memoir, and the brief biographical info on the bookjackets, but I’d say that this isn’t too shabby coming from a guy who was a columnist in Ladies’ Home Journal. Am I totally ignorant here? That is, is this just standard seventies-era “I’m OK, You’re OK” popular psychology, or is this a cut above that kinda stuff? At any rate, I’m impressed. Also, the first section of his memoir is a very poignant recollection of his growing up in an island fishing community and his wonderful Japanese neighbors who were apparently Zen Buddhists. (Don’t worry, it reads much better than how I’m describing it)
Julian, (and anybody else), I would love to hear more from you regarding working with the shadow, and the treasures hidden therein. And, though I realize that this is likely work best done in concert with a therapist, I would appreciate any book recommendations in that area…beyond Jung, Robert Bly, Hillman…
Filed under: A.H. Almaas, Jack Kornfield, John Welwood, Lightmind Extracts, Psychospiritual Growth, Shadow | Leave a Comment