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An Unpate On My Journey-Part 2- An Overview of My Path to Wholeness

In this second part of my post I wish to comment on the complexities of having to serve the social dragon while desiring to live out the bliss in life. To understand how I got to this point you can read Part 1 of my post.

First let me say I chose to be in this position. That is, in as much as having control of my life as I could. Managing a business full-time in a year where business was thriving. So many responsibilities with success coming with being on top of things. At times it was almost overwhelming. If not for my physical workout routine {3-4 times a week at the gym, physical fitness being a part of my lifestyle for the past 30 years} I don't know if I could have survived the onslaught of the mental strain. I am very good at what I do, selling being an easy thing because of my belief in being honest and doing the right thing. But the responsibilities of logistics, drawing up contracts, overseeing the installations and collecting monies, there is where the strain becomes a tall task. It has been nearly 10 years since I last worked full-time in my business and I had grown comfortable with living a life partially in the social world of obligations, partially in my world of bliss working with dreams and my websites. Money or material worth are not important factors in living my life. I have lived a life of austerity for a long while and I am comfortable to being in that position. Being cast back into a world where outside forces out of my control were very real. I had worked over the years to take control of as much as my life, especially my emotional life, as possible. In the final analyses that is what I believe is the most important part of being totally individuated. Being in control of one's emotional life by having control over those things in life.

What has been a real in a negative way is how having to live up to social obligations and how they influence the psyche. My motto in live life is WWJD, what would Jesus do in all situations. Living this type of existence even though I had given up on religion long ago and in meanwhile finding a true spiritual identity through Jungian psyche. The influences and obligations of responsibilities took me away from the Self I had been working so hard to integrate into my life. I found myself at time floundering, though all so briefly, reverting back to negative ways I had previously overcome. I am a true extrovert and when I am in the world of social duty I tend to associate myself with those things which are opposite my true self. It is as if the 'other me', the old me is waiting in the wings to retake control. This fits with the Campbell's insistence that the ego self that must be thoroughly annihilated if there is to be complete awakening to the true self. The death and resurrection motif must be complete and through. If not the old self, the devil as some would say, is waiting to take control and do bad things.

I read the news on line every morning and being the 'activist' as I am I tend to comment on stories in the news {especially stories to do with discrimination toward a religious sect or gays/lesbians}. I tend to include my WWJD thinking to my posts, to make a point to the many Christians who do not live let alone understand the concept as it applies to life {the death and resurrection being a literal thing instead of metaphorical of what happens to the individual}. Recently I made a post that came down hard on a person who thought that all those who seek a helping hand {Those who fall short don't deserve any help}. To the point that soon afterwards I felt guilty for doing so. The point is I reverted back to my old ways, feeling it important to make a point by degrading the person {even though I do believe such individuals have a psyche problem to do with narcissism}. This is who the true self would react, it is not WWJD. One can not set an example if he/she does not live it, in every action. We all fall short but it is most often because we do not try to do better. I should have done better.
Campbell: Psychologically, the dragon is one's own binding of oneself to one's ego.

Then there are the times I have had to deal with what I felt were 'silly' issues to do with business. They can seem silly but to the buyer they can be real issues. Having worked with people most of my life {13 years of practical experience while working with the public in health codes enforcement plus the 34 years in the fence business} I know what to expect. And how to react. With the great pressures cast upon me because of the many responsibilities I at times again reverting back to old thinking. Fortunately I seldom let that thinking come through, a result I believe due to the depths of my Jungian education that has become an unconscious controller of how I do feel and act. But the fact that these negative aspects do show themselves, and sometimes come through is a concern I must give a lot attention to from here on. Not to let the ego be in control but the true self which is the being within us all that seeks to be in balance in the individual life as well as with the universe.

Then there are the creative aspects that have been affected. It can be expected that not having the time to work with dreams {I had closed the Dream Forum temporarily and may do so again until I have the time to work with dreams in a proper way} as a valid reason for not being able to work with dreams or my websites. But the listlessness I felt at times trying to bring up that creative aspect has been a bit unnerving. If I can not access that creative being then I am again lost. If has become such an important part of life, a extremely positive part, I could not think of existing without it.

A Final Analysis of Engaging the Social Dragon
Working full-time with the fence construction business and having to once again fully engage the social dragon, social duty and its requirements, I have been able to analyze my position as I get so close to final and full retirement. This is important because it does remind me of what can happen when the creative being has to submit to the social requirements which are in opposition. Being so close to reaching the important goal of retirement and a position of which I can be my true creative self, it is probably a good thing to experience since it could be a guide in future experiences. My intent is to share my experiences while on my journey, a prerequisite in the Hero Journey of being the 'Master of Two Worlds' and reaching full individuation. I know I possess the tools to succeed in the social world of business {I have great skills when engaging people if for no other reason than by being my true self}, I've done that and more {my son will inherent the business with a successful attitude of his own}. Now I must be able to move one step higher, not as an ordinary man who is governed by uncontrollable physical desires and unmanageable emotional expressions but being free of the bonds of space and time. To that end I, and anyone who successfully engages the hero journey will be able to cross back and forth between the two worlds but not let the ego have its way. That opens the mind and self to the greater possibilities of the universe, both inner and outer. My desire is to delve deeper into both possibilities. The inner world of my psychological being and the outer world that holds many more truths to be discovered.

Lessons Learned
If there is one thing that I have learned it is 'what is true one one level is true on all levels'. That is a clue to the mysteries of the universe and I seek to examine in great detail as I move to the final stages of my life. My best years are ahead of me. I hope I am able to 'articulate' what I have learned so others can find fulfillment in this life. Campbell was that great articular and my wish is to do as much in the layman terms for which I am a product. Myths-Dreams-Symbols is, has been and will always be an expression of my true self. Given the time I do believe I can improve upon the contents. It will be my legacy and to think of what I have accomplished in life compared to the mistakes, I do hope the former overshadows the later. If I could go back and change things, there are so many things I would have done differently. What I do from this moment on is now what is important. I strive to be and do WWJD. Not for faithful reasons but for reasons of experience.
I don't need faith nor religion. I have experience and true spirituality.

One last note. Due to the responsibilities of the social kind this is the first day in many weeks I have had time to put my thoughts about metaphysical matters into words. I interpreted my first dream in nearly a month. I see the light at the end of the tunnel and as I near October {the month I plan to make my final move to Florida} I know I still possess that creative spirit. Swimming is something you never forget how to do. Swimming in the unconscious is the same. Nearer the ocean for inspiration, nearer the unconscious world for discovery.

Jerry

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Re: An Unpate On My Journey-Part 2- An Overview of My Path to Wholeness

your life is very interesting as is your journey but I am not so sure the ego needs to be annihilated completely. This isn't what I thought Jung meant in his writings but I am not as familiar with Campbell. Isn't your ego always a part of you and hasn't it played an important part in your life----isn't it more about recognizing that there is a lot more to who we are and embracing all of it. And doesn't it take a strong ego to enter the depths of the unconscious? Just wondering and just a beginner.

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Re: An Unpate On My Journey-Part 2- An Overview of My Path to Wholeness

Pat,
You bring up a good point about the annihilation of the ego, one that needs clarification on my part. I have long held questions about Campbell's notation of how the ego must undergo a compete annihilation {The Power of Myth}. We all have an ego and it is essential to our personality. How do you annihilate something that is an intricate part of ones being? Recent experiences in my journey helped clarify what he meant, and in the process also helped me with a better understanding of his statement {also in The Power of Myth} of, "I don't need faith, I have experience". I'll try to explain what I mean and what I believe Campbell was trying to articulate.

In my post I wrote about this annihilation of ego because of the specific experiences I have 'endured' over the past several months related to the 'social' obligations of operating our family fence construction business. In the process of fulfilling these obligations I began to realize a tenancy of building barriers to the creative being due to the great demands of the mental energies required. I had less time in the pursuit of the Individuation to Self, and instead found myself reverting back to the old ways of the ego centered 'self'. I had worked to get away from specific routines of living this ego centered life and in the process a creating of new routines dedicated to my creativity and new identity. This is, in my understanding, is a vital part of the process of rebirth, dying to old ways of ego centered, material driven addictions and a resurrection of a life dedicated to the creative being. Up until I agreed to once again work full time with the family business, I had spent the past 5-6 years working part time and spending the rest of the time devoted to my creative intentions {my dream work and website Myths-Dreams-Symbols}. Also as I have aged the physical responsibilities from the work had begun to take a toll and with this resurrected self I had an outlet that provided a reasignement of these enegies. My understanding is 'in the wake of abandoning the material life there must be something to fill the void', and the 'Follow your bliss' not only became a motto but a vision, a goal. One can not just leave the ego centered, material world behind without replacing it with something more meaningful {one of the greatest reasons most people can not undertake the 'Hero Adventure', they have nothing to replace the addictions of the ego}.

Before I provide a final clarification of what i mean about the complete annihilation of the ego I want to point out something else Campbell has said. It has to do with a physical trait we all possess, what he termed in his telling of the 'Forest Adventure of Percival' {the Arthurian romances}, which includes' a final barrier' that must be overcome to achieve a complete individuation. That trait is sex. But in doing so I wish to remind all of another statement from Campbell about the Kundalini, that sex comes from the same zone as the heart, or love {as Myth comes in the same zone as dream}. From this I understand, and believe from experience, that we can supplant the temptation of the body with the experience of the heart/soul, for which the spiritual/creative being is a part. Instead of a focus on the bodily temptation of sex one can learn to replace it with a creative spirit. Let go of the ego centered, physical addictions of the body and instead focus on the 'inherent' creative aspects we possess.

The Percival version of the Grail myth is primarily a story of a failed opportunity to bliss. I remember this myth because it so strongly resonates with my journey, as it does so many who have travel a similar path as I. The sexual aspects, or addictions, was an unconscious forces in my early life. The final barrier for Percival was to overcome the temptation of the 'garter' from a married woman and instead show chivalry of a knight. I found myself cast once again in this mold during the past months and in remembering the story of Percival I have retained the sense of chivalry. That in turn is a spiritual thing in that bu not giving into the temptations of the body there is a higher existence. And in that higher existence comes a higher degree of return from natural experiences. In other words the philosophy of cause and effect are in play, 'what goes around comes around'. I do believe nature has its mechanisms to guide a person and when one takes the higher road not only does he/she eliminate the possibilities of negative experiences, nature itself provides opportunities that would not exist. In a manner of speaking I have replaced a mythical god with a natural element of a superior entity.

Summary
I do agree with Campbell that there must be a complete annihilation of the ego if one is to achieve wholeness. But it is with the death and resurrection motif. Death to the ego centered, material addicted self and a rebirth/resurrection to the spiritual identity. The annihilation is a complete remake of all that the old self believed to be important from the body. Old habits, addictions that leads one 'astray' from a spiritual life. What is reborn is a new identity based on a spiritual concept that recognizes man is not separate from nature, or god, but is a living part of each. There is no distinction from one to the other. There must be a recognition of the natural world, and true self, as a part of life if there is to be a spiritual rebirth. Instead of religion and its mandates a simple WWJD will suffice. The ego is trained to another tune of life, the muse and not the material world. The natural world and not the dogma of the church. the Self and not the selfish person who lives from unconscious addictions that leave life without any meaning. As Campbell said, 'you have to find meaning in life'. Life is without meaning, like the flower it is 'just there'. By being a flower we are capable of full bloom. By living from the ego self we will wither and die. A complete annihilation is essential, something I realized over these past weeks, from experience.

'Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning'.

I hope I have provided a good clarification. I for a long time struggled with Campbell's concept of annihilation of the ego. But as usual from experience I now understand what he meant. As in so many instances it takes an actual experience to truly understand. Wisdom is experience and more often than not it is experience that leads to true wisdom. Applying wisdom in the right fashion determines just how wise one is to be. Having a great teacher like Campbell makes it all easier to understand. I know it has worked for me.

'Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls'.

Jerry

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Re: An Unpate On My Journey-Part 2- An Overview of My Path to Wholeness

Pat,
Perhaps a good analogy of the annihilation of the ego I wish to convey is that of Germany after the first two world wars. After the first world war Germany armed forces were imposed restrictions on its war making abilities {Versailles Treaty} but not to the extent that kept them from starting the second world war. But Hitler merely ignored these restrictions and Allied powers were reluctant to engage in another war and tried the policy of appeasement. After World War II much of Germany's infrastructure was completely demolished, the people were demoralized. This is how the ego must be treated. Appeasement only shows weakness. Just like Germany with a dictator in control the ego will act the same. Take control by force, using whatever methods it deems necessary. Because of the harsh restrictions placed on Germany after the second world war West Germany became a democracy and eventually East Germany joined them {after the fall of the Soviet Union}. The ego is the ultimate 'Self-sabotager'. Our ego feeds on fear, doubt and pain. The more we attach ourselves to our ego thoughts, the further we move away from our soul truth. It is our 'dark side'. It is the polar opposite of who you really are, it is not your True Self. Our dreams try to convey who we really are, make us whole, be our true Self. Jung talked about our some complexes usurp the ego, take control. We have to be mindful of this power or, as I described in my experiences over the past few months, loose control of our destiny to the ego-centric self.

Jerry

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