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Painting by Akame Senjudaki

Hillman says his acorn theory “holds that each person bears a uniqueness that asks to be lived and that is already present before it can be lived (p.6)”.
“We live in order to attain the greatest possible amount of spiritual development & self-awreness […] Our life is not made entirely by ourselves. The main bulk of it is brought into existence out of sources that are hidden to us. Even complexes can start a century or more before a man is born. There is something like karma”
- Carl Gustav JUNG, Letters I (1946), pp.434, 436.


When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.

A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.

May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.

from For the Traveler by John O’Donohue.

A frustrated rage to create seemed to be working its way through both sides of my family. Rage is the operative word here, as if living a confused and unfulfilled life was the common experience going back generations. Occasionally someone broke away from the norm to live a creative life, but they were the outcasts. Even they were infected by a deep well of anger, though. It created explosive family situations. There were a lot of judgments based on “religion” flying around.

How do we identify and cure inherited suffering? It’s as if we are born with shackles on our legs. In this situation, the worst thing you can do is conform. Accepting the life you are offered without question could make your shackles permanent. Family and social received wisdom could overwhelm your eccentric sensitivities.

The conflict you identify in the world also exists inside you. Maybe you are crushed by your own precepts. It’s your job to free yourself, but first you have to realize you’re the jailer with the keys in your pocket.

Seeing who and what you are is not easy. It requires non judgmental attention on the fly. The last thing you want to do is to try to change. You can’t force yourself to be other than you are, including all the things you don’t like. And blaming others keeps you ignorant of yourself.

Just watch and let it be, even your reactions and judgments of what you see. Let it play out. Seeing the full picture has its own power. You don’t need to interfere. The point is to let yourself see what’s going on inside you, because that’s where the life you live in is created. Yes, circumstances beyond your control do exist, but how you live those circumstances colors your earthly existence.

Our emotional roots go back centuries. Those energies are playing out in our lives. We are not exclusively contemporary. We are layers of being that has a seed of originality, if we can find it. Finding it involves clearing the path of obstructions left by our ancestors. Listening patiently and kindly to the flow of energies and voices inside us is an important skill to help us live a life that means something.

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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