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Photo by Maria Gomes

Although many human problems are similar, they are never identical. All the pine trees are very much alike (otherwise we would not recognize them as pines), yet none is exactly the same as another. Because of these factors of sameness and difference, it is difficult to summarize the infinite variations of the process of individuation. The fact is that each person has to do something different, something that is uniquely his own.”

~Marie Louise von Franz

What our age lacks is not reflection, but passion.

Soren Kierkegaard

There are as many ways to be spiritual as there are human beings, but religions are codified. They like to lay down rules. Once a person starts to take responsibility for their own soul, the obedience factor becomes problematic.

Inconvenient questions arise. Reward and punishment no longer has the same power to convince. Those who remain among the faithful are required to keep their doubts to themselves.

At age twelve I was afraid of hellfire and brimstone, but a few years later I was not only refusing to believe, I was passionately pursuing my own questions. I was refusing the party line. I had to find my own truth.

Here I am now in my late seventies still reading, watching and questioning. I am not looking for any final answers, but I am working to deepen my understanding of things.

If I could bear the sense of “not knowing,” I’m sure I would settle on some ironclad explanations and be done with it.

Frankly I don’t know any final answers that have as much energy in them as the questions themselves. All the received truths look a little too facile, a little too simplistic.

I also doubt humans are equipped to know any final answers as to where we come from and where we’re going. We can see the obvious, that we are fractals of the Universe itself, which seems to be sewn together from Love.

That can be observed if you want to pay attention.

Love, kindness, forgiveness and generosity are more convincing principles of a good life than hate and indifference, wouldn’t you say? It’s pretty obvious from all the evidence that greed, exclusion and antipathy cannot be the building blocks of existence. The fact that the human race has cornered the market on those forces and supports them with comforting belief systems confirms that idea rather than refutes it, in my opinion.

Quantum physics weighs in with reports of the web of life we swim in and how it interacts with the human mindstate. This is fascinating because we find not only that we create our circumstances with our thoughts, but that we are more powerful than we suspect. We still haven’t proven that physical matter is created out of the energies of love, but it has been suggested in some quarters.

Sectarian religions are speaking in the metaphorical language of dreams and myths mixed in with a jumble of cultural traditions and prejudices. Buddhism alone seems to be an exclusively psycho-spiritual system that only concerns itself with how the mind works.

Our excessively rational age has left people adrift, longing for more soul and for deeper meaning to life. You pretty much have to fashion a life of substance for yourself. The great traditions have lost their halos. That fact is both a curse and a blessing, though. We risk going off the rails as a species because of fixed ideas, but we also have the chance to discover the treasures at the heart of existence if we keep looking.

Stay tuned.

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Artwork | Salvator Mundi, Leonardo da Vinci

Too few people have experienced the divine image as the innermost possession of their own souls. Christ only meets them from without, never from within the soul.”

— Carl Gustav Jung, Psychology and Alchemy , P. 12

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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