The free will that is conscious choice is linked with the passion and capability to understand our own belovedness or our own passion for the belovedness or our own feeling of the Beloved’s passion for us.
All of this determines a great deal about our will. Why? Because the more we feel into the love, the more our free will to do the right thing – or the thing that He wants, which is the thing that is in the best interest of our own souls – becomes primary to us. This is not a moral or religious realization but a realization from the heart. When we fail to realize this, we have no free will.
Free will is a manifestation of love. The choices we make from that love strike at the very heart of the existential reality of every single individual on this planet. Somewhere inside of everyone is that love and a choice to either turn away from or to embrace the Beloved, despite what pain has occurred in our lives.
This is such a private moment, and it can change. In one moment, we can turn away from the Beloved for unknown reasons even though the passion is there. The next moment, we may turn back. The unfoldment to the place where the passion and the desire and the choice are fully alive is a process.
To accomplish a deeper revelation of our love for the Divine and the Divine’s love for us takes time. It is not a question of making choices, as in doing something our therapist tells us to do.
Of course, if we make choices that are not what the Animus wants us to make, it does not necessarily mean that we are bad students. Maybe it is because we have not gotten deep enough in the passion to receive the revelation of the heart.
The issue of pain is a complicated one, like the issue of fear. There are different types of pain just as there are different types of fear – all these feelings are there for different reasons and often have different purposes. Sometimes, the purpose for pain is obvious, that things have happened in our lives that caused pain or caused the soul to have pain.
Then there are things that we have done to others or to ourselves that have caused us pain. We do not necessarily acknowledge this pain, perhaps because it is too painful or we feel too much guilt.
But when we get past the guilt, sometimes we are able to know that we are forgiven. We are free to feel our failings or to feel the pain of things we have done to others.
To feel that forgiveness, we must step into our pain and our regret without blame, without judgment.
This allows us to catch up with our own souls. What the soul felt in the past about what happened and what we have done, is what we need to feel. The soul feels all of this, even when we do not. We need to catch up with ourselves by feeling everything our souls have felt.
Catching up with ourselves in the past is saying, “Oh, this is what I felt when this happened.” As we do this, we become more and more congruent with our souls. Where we feel shame, where we feel entitlement or where we feel justified around things that are not of our souls, these places become barriers to the real authenticity within us.
Does this mean that we go to the people we have hurt and tell them what happened in the past? If we cheated on someone, do we tell our current husband or spouse? These are tough decisions that cannot be answered for anyone.
Most importantly, we need to feel it for ourselves. Acknowledgment of pain allows forgiveness. And even if what we did was necessary, if we have soul pain, we need to feel this in order to grow. The mind wants to always say, “I did what was right, why should I feel pain when what I did was justified?” The soul does not judge. It only feels. The soul feels what is.
When we judge our feelings of pain and go to guilt, this is not of the soul. Guilt is where pathology comes creeping in. Forgiveness is so important because of this – we can stay in the guilt or we can take our pain to the Divine.
Taking that pain to the Divine ensures that we can acknowledge our pain for what it is. It ensures acceptance of ourselves and our own soul’s hurt for what has happened.
It is through the process of forgiveness and love that takes place when we reveal our pain to the Divine, that the healing of that pain can come. Through this healing, we can come back to our selves.
If we do not allow that process and we feel the pain of our mistakes, we can become trapped in them and fall prey to nihilistic pain. Nihilistic pain is pain without end, where there is no forgiveness and no hope for forgiveness.
The soul always knows forgiveness because forgiveness is part of Divine love. Whatever has happened, it can be felt and it can be forgiven.
Once we feel the presence of the Archetypes, we know the truth. From that moment on, no matter what we do, we are never the same. Even if we run the other way, even if we refuse to face into it.
Once we feel this, we feel what this work can be. Until that moment, it is all in our minds. Our minds can play with dreams and symbols and metaphors and collective unconscious and interpretation forever.
But when we feel that presence, it is like a lightning bolt crashing through our psyches. Like electrocution. It shatters all of our ignorance for that moment. We might forget, of course. We will. We may never remember again.
But in this work, this moment can be the beginning of the end of pathology and the beginning of a new life. If we make the choice to face into it.
Often, when we feel the presence, we may have a follow-up dream that has the potential for the killing of some pathology in us. This does not happen randomly. It does not matter if we are atheist or devoutly religiously – we simply feel it in our bones. This can open the process of Dying to Self because His love provokes us to engage the enemy like nothing else does. This is why the love of the Divine is so initially destructive.
It is like Jacob fighting with the Angel.
One of the steps of this work is that we become like Jacob. We come to a place in ourselves where we fight or we are at war with ourselves. But really, we are at war with pathology; we are not at war with God. It is courageous to be Jacob, no matter how difficult a process, for Jacob never doubted the existence of the Angel.
Once we have a connection with the Divine, even if only for a moment, our illusions are shattered and we feel the truth of that moment, even if we struggle for the rest of our lives to obtain it or to refuse it. That is our choice. We can be Jacob, if we are willing.
If we do not know that feeling, however, if we do not know the presence of that love, we can battle all we want, but we will be like Don Quixote, battling windmills. If we do not know the Divine, then we are just guessing.
Every dream has the potential to show us how we are Jacob struggling with our Angel, within ourselves. We need to be aware of the Jacob factor of our egos. We are not as bad as we think. But we are not as good as we think, either.
We all fight with God. If we think we are not fighting with God, however, we are in the worst shape of all. It is important to acknowledge that fight. We may judge ourselves for fighting, pathology may want to shame us for it, but we are really fighting for our lives.
Jacob is a holy man because he fights for his wholeness. If he did not fight with the Angel, he would be lost.
We all start out lost. We have to realize that our conflict is between God and ourselves, whether we are facing into our traumas, our hurts, or whether we are focused on issues that really do not matter. Perhaps it is the history of our existences, our past lives. No matter what we face, we must have the courage at some point to acknowledge that struggle.
We have to strip off the illusion of how wonderful we are and how terrible somebody else is or how terrible we are – the whole gyroscopic lie. Who cares who is right and who is wrong? The fight is the fight within ourselves.
It is a difficult step. We struggle to reach the place where we are willing to be Jacob, but then we want to be right or wrong, or we want to run. We do not stop and say, “Wow! This is one hell of a fight. Do I really want to be in this?”
Being Jacob is fighting the good fight. We do not have to be perfect. We do not have to figure anything out. This is Jacob’s gift. God’s gift to Jacob. To commit to where we are – to commit to our struggle, to our fight.
How many people are willing to stand in their fear and not react? It is the trickiest thing of all because fear invokes fight or flight. We have been trained through tribal generations who faced lions in the jungle – we get scared and we jump. Our whole physiology is about threat so we associate fear with threat.
But what if fear is not about a threat in the psychological world, in the spiritual world? What if fear is an opportunity to reclaim something lost?
We see fear as a threat because it is new and unfamiliar. How do we train ourselves to accept fear as an opportunity and not jump away from it. How do we retrain ourselves to jump into it instead?
To retrain in this way is critical to anyone who journeys through this landscape. Of course, some fears are trauma rooted – but even in these cases, the only solution for trauma is to face into the feeling of it as the dreams guide us.
At first we may feel into the anxiety of the moment. But as we feel into the anxiety, we are simply discovering ourselves in a deeper way as we journey back to our soul. It is remembering who we really are. The anxiety covers up all the ways that we cope, which creates the false self – not just a persona, but a false self that copes with the anxiety.
When we jump away from our fear, we identify with our false self – the self we create because we do not want to deal with our fear. Reversing that and dropping into the anxiety is the first step of facing into the fear. It is the authentic experience of “I Am That I Am Scared.”
But the story does not end there; it continues. The journey deepens into the next layer – which is what is revealed through opening up to the fear. Perhaps in the next dream, the child self will be revealed. What may be revealed is that we are scared of nothingness, a nothingness that does have somethingness.
Remember, in the Archetypal journey, we fear what we have lost. Pathology tries to convince us, “No, you are scared because there is nothing there.” It is the same thing with dying. We are scared that if we die, we will go into that everlasting sleep where there is zero. But what if it is nothing like that at all? What if it is all about being conscious? We are so trained to believe in nothing that we are scared of peeling back the layer of fear. We are so scared that there is nothing – yet every dream shows us there is more of us than we thought.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. All of the actions that have happened since the beginning of time have caused reactions. These reactions are projections and reactions. Reactions cause other reactions which cause other reactions which cause other reactions and on and on. This is the world.
In this way, everything that ever was, becomes one big projection/reaction, creating an inverted point. The world is a series of reactions that have actually filled up the physical plane with reactions and projections.
The inverse point, the descent through the deep well, takes us to the point before history. We are all going back to the big bang in ourselves, just as scientists are finding a way to go back in time to the universe’s big bang by tracing gamma rays.
Through this work, we return to the big bang in ourselves, to the place where creation began and then through all the reactivity from that point – all the history, all the lies, all the rape, all the horror, all the wounds.
When we go back to the beginning of time, through the deepest well, the deepest wound, we get to the beginning of creation. We get to the big bang, the spark, to that love that begat us all.
Each of us must journey to the dawn of our own time. Not the dawn of time, but our own time, to find that primalcy, that energy. Once we get to that, it is like going back to the past, back to immortality, back to the beginning of time. From this point, the child, the soul, can emerge in the world.
Instead of pathology flooding the world and flooding our psyches, what emerges in the world is all that “bangness,” all that explosive energy, all that incredible love. And when we go back far enough, perhaps it is collective. We reach the place where it is the violation of us all. When we face our own death, we face the death of every person in the whole world. This is what makes good therapists of this work. If we fear our own death and our own pain, we cannot lead anyone else there.
God may have made us, but it is the terrible things that have happened to us that define us. Gravity, therefore, is what pulls us toward this history, toward this past – personal and collective. Gravity does not pull us toward God; it pulls us to our past. We cannot undo the past and find the Divine love if we do not face into the past.
Most aesthetic spirituality tells us that we simply look up to find God. The dreams tell us we need to look down. The belief is that if we look down, then we will be lost. If we face the monster, we will be lost. This is what horror movies show – the terror of the deep! Go deep enough into the ocean, into the jungle, into outer space and we will be devoured. The message is to not go deep – stay on the surface.
Do not go down those stairs. Do not go into the basement.
And yet, every night we sleep, the dreams attempt to bring us deeper or to show us how we are avoiding going deeper. The dreams reflect the gravity, the focus, the calling us back to that one moment of creation.
Gravity runs counter to everything we do because it is the pull to our past. Because it is the pull to our past, it is also a pull toward God, but we have to face that past. It is the pull to the horror of horrors, to the dark night of the soul.
In that place stands the healing, the forgiveness, the redemption for all humankind. All of us are damaged; all of us have a past that is hard to face. The dreams want to go underneath how we cope with it, underneath our desire to be “better” so that we are more functional or likable or noble.
The things that appear to be good and noble are as much a shallow grave as all the ignoble things we do. Aspiring to be noble is not the same as finding God. Being a good person is not the answer. The answer is the result of Divine living.
What do we see when we look in His eye? Our past; the horror of the past. We are afraid to look at that horror, and pathology uses that against us. But if we have the courage to look at the past, then we cannot be controlled by pathology. It is only when we look away from that past that we are lost and the dark force of pathology can then control us.
The monster that we project onto the past, that we believe actually exists, becomes a thing that actually does exist.
This is why in most dreams, when someone is running after us, it is a good thing because it is usually the Archetypes. But we run anyway. We run until we are most certainly lost from ourselves.
When we become the soul child, we are out of history, out of time. We do not worry about our portfolios, the price of gasoline, how to get money. The whole of history is gone because at the core of it, everything that ever happened was really false.
In fact, in a way, ironically, it never happened. When we are healed and we return to the love, all of it is forgotten. When God forgives, it is all gone. First, we drink of the river of forgetting, and then we drink of the river of remembrance. We remember Him and we remember who we are.
Suddenly, the worry and the external issues are gone. At this moment, we can truly be with the Divine, truly be alien in the flesh. We can be the incarnation of Divine love. It is a gift for everyone – St. John of the Cross pointed the way. The steps in gravity take us down into the valley of the shadow of death.
Every dream takes us a step closer toward and eventually into the valley. This is why things often feel worse before they feel better. It is a difficult journey, one we can only take with our hearts open. Once taken, we can never go back. There is no back.
It is like the hobbit Frodo in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Frodo cannot stay in the Shire after he returns from his journey because he knows something more. What is better than the Shire? Divine love. We all feel bad for Frodo when he leaves the Shire, when he heads off with the elves, when he is going into the process of Dying to Self.
We feel badly for him because we are in the Shire, watching him go away. Our perspective is really from our reluctance to go where he is going. We do not go; instead, we watch him leave into the sunset.
There are no answers for us when we are in the Shire – the answers come only when we take that journey. Every hero walks into the sunset because we cannot know or even conceive of what the hero is walking into.
Since the story of being kicked out of the Garden of Eden, shame has been pathology’s tonic for the dark mother to project onto the Father. The dark mother can say, “See? Your father hates you – he wants to eat you like Chronos ate his children.”
When we get underneath the shame, there is a more vulnerable inadequacy that will allow us to feel the love of the Father. The problem is that pride wants to protect us from the shame or protect us from the vulnerability.
Although there are other variations of pride that have to do with competition – like anger-based pride or fear-based pride – ultimately, pride always revolves around the mother on some pathological level.
The pathology’s game is to protect us from the shame or from the vulnerability and insecurity with the father and ultimately, to protect us from the love of the Father. The pride says, “I am okay. I do not need any help.”
There is some way pride powers the ego to survive no matter what suffering it is under. We might think this is a good thing, and it is – but it also blocks the love. It allows us to survive and it may allow us to be what we might call heroic.
And if pride does not work then shame will try to kill us. And it does. There are people with very little pride, who have great shame and great self-doubt. They get attacked in a different way.
Pride empowers us, but it is really only on the surface level. We cannot be in our souls when we are being empowered in this way.
Pain kills shame – not nihilism, but real pain. Pain also makes us aware of our need. Pain connects us with our inner selves and from that place we can connect with the Divine – out of passion and need. Not out of shame or unworthiness or fear.
Pain is the ultimate vulnerability. It allows for forgiveness and it allows for redemption – meaning to reclaim what was taken. To reclaim the soul, to reclaim the consciousness, to reclaim the hope.
The point of need is not where we think we need, but the place where our soul self needs. When we face our death with integrity, it is a point of need, but the point of need could be really any moment in our lives where we are in our deepest selves. When our needs are aligned with our deepest selves, then the issues in our outer lives are aligned, too.
Sometimes those needs reflect themselves as support in the world in a particular way, but always the root connection is to the soul.
If we are aligned with our souls, then all the external issues related to our deeper selves create the possibility of the point of need. Of course, the point of need with the Animus is only one aspect of relationship with Him. There are many others – relationship itself, mutuality, fulfilling a calling, healing. But the point of need is the most personal aspect in the sense that the interior and exterior worlds are aligned so that the root connection of the soul and the external issues are also aligned.
Typically, they are not in alignment. When our concerns are different from our soul’s concerns or His concerns, we are unlikely to get much support. We may perceive we have a need such as getting something or making money or even having a certain person love us. But if this is not aligned with the interior world (and typically it is not, because it is too aligned with the world without the soul), then it is not really a point of need.
Most prayers are not answered; our needs are aligned with the ego not the soul. It is very esoteric to understand – but it becomes clear in the unfoldment of the soul self. We feel fulfillment around the issue of the point of need when we are aligned with our souls and not our egos.
When we begin to feel this alignment in our lives, we feel peace in whatever we do. The feeling of peace endures, whether we are facing death, a crisis in our life, the loss of someone we love, or some success. All of these areas are where the external and the internal combine with the connection to the Divine in a wonderful way where we feel this support.
An example would be a performer who is not uptight and nervous and caring what the audience thinks. Or if we are facing death, we have a peace about it because we know we have our immortal selves. We feel the immortality of knowing that we continue beyond this life. This truth can be felt and known not through the mind, but through being touched and loved in our point of need.
In all things, the fundamental issue is that the presence of the Divine makes us understand how to find peace and love in any moment. In all things, He is there. Our point of need can be variable, and He will be there in the midst of it, as long as it is a true need and not a replacement for the Divine, something to help us in the outer world that is unrelated to the true need.
Obviously, we need to eat, we need money to pay our bills, and all those things, but if that need is disconnected from the more profound relationship with the Divine, it really may not answer what we truly need even though we think it should.
When we find our souls, we will find the support. He does not like to support us in our need in the world – He wants to support us in our need in our inner lives.
Selflessness and giving to others without God’s love creates narcissism. If narcissism does not create tyrants, it creates martyrs. Martyrs are good tyrants – the difference is that the tyranny of their existence is that they go it alone. All in the name of love. Martyrs become bigger than God. They eclipse God.
Our heroes are martyrs.
The only way to really be a person that can give to the world and can love others is to first be the one that is loved. We have to become the Prodigal Son/Daughter; women have union with the Animus. Why? Because we must matter first.
To truly be in relationship with the Archetypes, we must matter. Otherwise, all the love we give comes back as martyrdom, which is a form of tyranny.
We can hide in a fear of being persecuted. The fear says, “Do not be the one. Do not stand with God.” We try to find some way to manage. It is a difficult position – to be a person who wants to serve the world, to help others while at the same time hiding under a rock.
Persecution does not mean God abandoned us. Jesus was beaten and then nailed to the cross to die. God did not rescue him. But Jesus did not say, “There is no God.” He did have his moment where he felt forsaken, saying, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” We all have that – it is part of the human condition. But Jesus moved through it; he did not stay with feeling abandoned. He moved to, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.”
God cannot protect us completely – does he need to? If we truly have ultimate faith, we can suffer the consequences of our beliefs and not abandon God or feel abandoned by God. Just because the world betrays us does not mean God betrays us.
Many of us make this mistake – when the world does not treat us “right,” we complain. We ask, “Why did God not do something?” We blame God for what other people do to us, as if God is supposed to rescue us or as if He is responsible for how people treat each other.
He is not. We are responsible for how we treat each other. But we make God responsible, and then blame Him.
Losing faith is a form of blame. The deepest faith is knowing that the most awful things can happen on this planet and it does not mean that God does not exist. The greatest faith is realizing that people are just lost and that we are destroying ourselves, that He is trying to help, but He cannot change our will. Only we can do that.
Vulnerability breeds potency. It allows for the Divine love to enter the vessel of the self. The reason for this is that when we are in the state of vulnerability, we also feel pain. The precursor for love is pain; we cannot sustain the love without the pain.
But, if we put love and pain together as a function of reality, we find that we are either in the love or in the pain.
Rather than being opposites, they are the same. When we feel this pain, we are in the Divine love and we are not lost. If we believe that being with the Divine is only about feeling love and we do not allow ourselves to have our pain, then we are going to jump away and back into pathology.
The essence of every child is devotion. Every soul child loves its parents, loves God. It is innocent. It does not have an “I” that can rebel. It only has an “I” that can be hurt and wounded. It is the vulnerable self.
It is also very powerful because in devotion, the child has all the passion and all the colors of feeling – anger, pain, passion, creativity, surrender, obedience, all the way through love – it is all part of the devotion that comes from love.
Needing love, wanting love, needing to be loved, needing to love – the devotional person cannot be separated from the object of the devotion. This is supported in the image of the Madonna. This is the soul’s rite of passage – to be supported and reinforced through the feminine.
This is why the mother is so important. To the degree that women are not devotional, children learn to be twisted out of their innocence. It does not mean the father does not have an effect, but when the mother is so close to the child, the child shares everything with her.
In this way, the child’s ability to be a clear prism for love can be compromised very early by both the mother’s inability to be in her own devotion and around her struggles with men, other people or with even herself. How the mother jumps away from her devotional side creates a separation.
Our core yearning for the Divine gets lost. This is the secret of the pomegranate; that the tear, the wound, the desire for God comes from the place of devotion. It is the clitoris; it is the girl. It is the feminine side that both women and men have. It is not about gender.
But men and women both have severe reactions to that level of innocence and vulnerability and passion and need. The essence of the soul is just that – essence, power, vulnerability and need. We all want to jump away from it because we have been hurt there. If we need, we get rejected. We have all learned to deny our need. Some get really angry, rebellious, belligerent; some become passive aggressive; some become broken to being a nothing, then follow somebody else. When we follow someone else from this place, this is a negative form of devotion. It is neediness, not autonomy.
The child knows what it is. The child needs out of the self, the autonomous self that is healthy. When we lose our child self, need becomes pathological. Many of us associate devotion with neediness which is why we believe devotion is bad. When devotion is seen as pathological neediness, it means we are under someone else’s control and abuse. When we are the child self, we are potent; when we are potent, we do not need someone who controls and/or abuses us.
The idea that being needy and vulnerable invites abuse is simply not true. Being needy and vulnerable is the place where we want the purest love. We would know the difference between pure love and abusive love, just as a child knows the beloved.
Many women react to vulnerability. They are afraid that if they become their vulnerable, feminine selves and care for a man, they will be abused. This is their belief around vulnerability from childhood.
But the true caring has already been lost. It has morphed into an adolescent caring that is not the same need for care that we felt as children. We take whatever is left of that need for care and project it into the world. We either get slammed or we are bored by the person who loves us. The only way out is to find and face into our vulnerability.