Issues like abortion test our ability to tolerate ambiguity and anxiety without activating the polarizing defenses of judging, moralizing, or demonizing the other.
Schools have existed across cultures and throughout time; the knowledge they transmit leads us out of childhood, shapes our values and world view, and grooms us for citizenship.
Guest Machiel Klerk has worked with dreams and healing traditions worldwide; his new book is Dream Guidance: Connection to the Soul through Dream Incubation. Religions, shamanic practices, and depth psychology have recognized the significance of dreams and sought their aid.
Awareness of death can help us create an intentional life—one that serves the movement of soul toward wholeness. Jung realized that although we experience death as “a fearful piece of brutality,” the unconscious images death as celebration.
While many of Hans Christian Andersen’s 19th-century stories have moralizing motifs, their universality and depth places them among ageless fairy tales.
Pharmakon, the ancient Greek word for drug, can mean both “remedy” and “poison.” There is a close connection between poison and cure. Poison is stealthy, and takes us by surprise, whether through an unseen snake’s venomous bite or a ripe apple’s alluring disguise. Psychological poison glides past our defenses, pervades our being, and wounds us where we are most vulnerable. We participate in our poisoning through our own unknowing, from toxic cognitions and rigid fixations to self-doubt and self-sabotage. Poison can transform us by stinging us into building the immunity of increased consciousness and insight. Reason and objectivity can act as antidotes, allowing old attitudes to dissolve and new awareness to arise. Whether a poison is injected or ingested, we can use it for cure.
Homesickness asks that we bear leave-taking and loneliness in service to belonging to a wider world, building new relationships, and the eventual realization that the soul’s true home is a transcendent source of personal being.
Vocation, once associated with serving God through service to others, is now most strongly associated with a career having personal worth. Vocation spans a range of needs and values: commitment to making ends meet, striving for material rewards and social status, or the more internal satisfaction of research, helping others, and artistic expression. Freud considered love and work the cornerstones of our humanness, and Jung said, “In the final analysis, we count for something only because of the essential we embody, and if we do not embody that, life is wasted.” A discernment process is essential to determining the difference between a true calling and ego ambitions, what we want versus what we can have, and distinguishing dream from dedication. Ultimately, however, vocation is a state of being—so perhaps we can invest the work we have with a sense of call.