Tag - meaning

Surviving loss

My mother is 73. Last year August my father passed away and she was left alone after 52 years of marriage. A few months later, due to miscommunication, all the trees in her back garden were cut down. She was devastated. Three weeks ago, she was attacked, robbed, tied up and left for dead. She was only found two days later. She is now moving to a retirement village when she gets released from hospital. She has suffered a tremendous amount of loss. Her husband, her...

What is in a Name (?): of Roses, Storm-breakers, and a Jung Man

“A rose by any other name... “ is not a rose actually, it may look like a rose, smell like a rose, draw blood as a roughly grasped rose is want to do, but, you will grant, it simply cannot be a ‘rose’. A passage (a footnote to be precise) from Jung’s essay on synchronicity[1] made quite an impression on me when I came across it a few years ago. It has to do with that very strange phenomenon, we encounter...

What Story are You Telling (?): a Peek Behind the Scenes of Personal Narratives.

I want to share an exercise with you that I have found to be quite illuminating.[1] This exercise, seemingly very simple (almost simplistic), provides a powerful tool to examine the nature of the story you are telling. This exercise can help you to: Locate yourself and your narrative. Discover what archetype/s you are constellating in your personal narrative. Better understand what it means (i.e. how it feels and influences) to constellate an archetype in your narrative and sense of identity. Perhaps most importantly learn how to...

This Meaning Making Business

Anja is currently reading Les Lancaster’s Approaches to Consciousness[1] and she told me that, according to Les, we have all been “Jewish-ified” :-)[2]. This idea is based on a claim that in bringing psychoanalysis to the world, Freud was really re-imagining the Jewish tradition of the spoken Torah. As I understand it, the Rabbi’s business was (is) not only the transmission of teaching contained in the Torah, but also an ongoing exposition of his dialectical relationship with the Torah. This...

Man on Wire: Living without a Safety Net

I had the opportunity recently of watching the documentary Man on Wire[1]. This was actually the second time I got to watch this, the first time I saw it was a couple of years ago, when it first came out. To the best of my knowledge, this is the same team that gave us Searching for Sugarman. In Man on Wire, as with Sugarman, what emerges is the story of an extraordinary life; a life which inspires us, a life which...

Searching for Sugarman: a study of the Individuation Process

Sugar man met a false friend On a lonely dusty road Lost my heart when I found it It had turned to dead black coal Silver magic ships you carry Jumpers, coke, sweet Mary Jane Sugar man you're the answer That makes my questions disappear Sugar man 'cos I'm weary Of those double games I hear Sugar man, Sugar man, Sugar man, Sugar man, Sugar man, Sugar man, Sugar man Sugar man, won't you hurry 'Cos I'm tired of these scenes For the blue coin won't you bring back All those colors to my...

Of Butterflies and other Symbols of Transformation

I have a butterfly in a bottle on my desk. It is not a real butterfly, it is fake. There is a wire attached to it and it is battery operated. When you tap the top of the bottle, the butterfly flutters and flies and flaps its wings. It is absolutely convincingly real. I LOVE it! I am fascinated by it and it is a symbol for me. Perhaps it is the ingenuity of the design, or the fact that it is...

A Roadmap of the Soul

Although not our natural state, I believe in the possibility of a truly meaningful and fulfilled life. A life lived with a sense of profound excitement and awe; a life where the depth, complexity and beauty of the cosmos live in us. I don’t suggest that suffering is not a reality, or that I have personally reached such an elevated state of consciousness. I suggest rather, that much suffering we do endure is illegitimate and that: a meaningless existence, boredom, lack of purpose, a passionless...

The Fantasy of Shirley Valentine

A friend of mine recently went overseas for 10 days to visit some family. Soon after she returned, she confessed that she felt overwhelmed at home. She wanted to go back to Europe and leave her children with her husband. What it was that made her feel this way? I also feel sometimes like running away. Small kids, teenager and husband can take its toll. Especially around 5 pm (suicide hour) when everyone wants something from you and it is not all...

The experience machine and Jung’s symbolic attitude

I heard from one of my lecturers at Wits recently about a book called Better never to have been: the harm of coming into existence, written by a local lad, Professor David Benatar, HOD of the philosophy department at the University of Cape Town. As the title suggests Benatar proposes that it is far better never to be born; that one is irreparably harmed by coming into existence. The two arguments that Benatar offers for this view are: 1.By bringing someone into...