About gigglinginthegutter

I read science at University with a final year specialisation in vertebrate evolution. I believe. There is meaning, and that is to be found in connection. Life and love are two sides of a coin. I'm a practicing Christian, but I'm not convinced about the Church (es). I'm particularly interested in quantum physics and what new discoveries tell us about reality and the meaning of life. For me at least, they point to a deeper meaning rather than the opposite. I'm also a musician - though as with my spiritual life I practice intermittently and struggle with manifest imperfection. I have been deeply influenced by Martin Buber, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Karl Jung, Wolfgang Pauli, Niels Bohr, Alfred Einstein, Professor Owen Chadwick, my family and friends, Jesus Christ and the Dalai Lama. Since nothing can be proved we owe it to each other to listen as deeply as possible, rather than to preach. If reality is indeed within connection, then it's the intensity of the act of conversation that is important rather than conversion to a particular point of view. What about you?

Untied States of America

I shouldn’t be surprised. It seems to me that liberals here in the USA are beginning a process to accommodate Donald Trump as their President. The words are “no one’s all bad”, “it’s really just the way he talks that offends me”. And so forth. I shouldn’t be surprised. I am disappointed though.

But, though British people feel that we have a deep bond with this great country – really, do we? After all “English descent” is only the fifth population group here. First are the German descent then African descent – between them 100 million.”, then Mexican descent and Irish descent – adding a further 75 million or so. Before you get to the 20 million English descent.

Of course, we thought we shared common values. Rule of law, tolerance, democracy, freedom of press, word as bond. Apparently not. President Trump has ripped up the climate treaty, and the Iran nuclear treaty. Both painstakingly achingly crafted internationally and signed up to by the USA. Gone. On the changed word of this country’s president. Shame. What does it teach Iran? The USA is fickle. Don’t trust their signature on treaties. Learn from President Kim. Build nuclear arms and threaten to use them. Shame.

I’m not proud of many things about the United Kingdom, but we still abide by our word. The Scots had their vote on independence. If they so chose they would have had it. The Brexit farce is just that, but it’s being played out openly and democratically. There won’t be revolution in the UK whichever way it turns out. Just sorrow.

In different ways we are now the Untied States drifted apart from the Untied Kingdom.

Shame.

Death is an illusion, so is life (by our definition)

This is how I imagine consciousness. There is a “self”, but it’s a force that attracts and captures stories – narratives. What others mostly perceive as us, and which our ego reinforces – is actually (I think) a bundle, a quiver of stories.

Why then is death an illusion? Because our “ego” doesn’t really exist anyway. The ego dies, but what is it in the first place; a phantasm that acquires a will to continue.

What we think of as “life”, that of our ego – doesn’t exist. Neither then does death. What of the rest, the real stuff. Well the stories – the ideas weaving together – persist. As for the force that attracts – well that’s a mystery beyond this bodies imagining. I don’t believe it dies though. I think – like the Hindus – that it is a droplet of existence that returns to the ocean.

And there, dear Heart, is a joyous thought. This life is lonely. We are boundaried. If at our body’s dissolution, as ego fades – so then evaporates our boundary. To the loving infinite. To each other. Then: Bring it on. Comrades. Sisters. Namaste.

Alone?

We arise from a state of Being ” a pulse in the eternal mind, no less”. We are in and part of our mother, without boundary; and being born we are separated out from her. The edge that defines each as individual also encloses and imprisons. The pain of our loss is the absence of connection to all that is. The struggle toward consciousness – the vital urge that drives evolution – is surely the need to re-connect. It is a mistake to equate consciousness with thought or the ego. Consciousness observes the mind and emotion. Consciousness springs from the space between Ich und Du. It is the force (be with us!) that de Chardin names as Love. It is Jung’s insight – the drive toward integration (of opposites).

Without separation and boundary there is no form; no possibility of self-awareness, of perspective. Indeed there is no internal and no external. “Let there be light” – does not abolish dark, but separates from dark and becomes it’s opposite. Understanding can only spring from boundary, edge, individuality and separation.

But separation without re-integration is imprisonment, loss and loneliness. It is the narcissism of Ich und Es – the connection with the material rather than Being. Self-reflection instead of integration.

Boundaries are simply discontinuities. Lines in two dimensions, surfaces in three. On the other side, through the looking glass and in the land of the other – lies the answer to loneliness. My Nation, My Religion and My Life have borders beyond which are the Enemy, the Damned and Death. (Oh yes, and Loneliness). However Our universe has none of these – only Love.

Don’t believe me? Try smiling at a stranger and see how you feel when they smile back.

Father Hunger

This excerpt from “Under Saturn’s Shadow” by analytic psychologist James Hollis speaks to me anyway – I’ve been working on the “deficit” he speaks of much of my life…

All imagos are two-sided. If an image has a depth dimension it must express the dual character of reality. Acknowledging and maintaining the tension of opposites is a fundamental Jungian tenet. One-sidedness begets distortion, perversion, neurosis. Thus, for example, the archetype of the mother expresses the dual aspect of nature, that which giveth and that which taketh away. The Great Mother represents a life force that both begets and destroys, gestates and annihilates. As Dylan Thomas so succinctly put it, “The force that through the green fuse drives the flower… is my destroyer”.

So , too, the archetype of the father is dual. Father gives life, light, energy – no wonder he has historically been associated with the sun. But father can also blast, wither, crush. The preliterate mind, playing with the image of the sun as centre of energy, the vitalising principle, evolved God the Father who energises and fecundates the feminine earth. Patriarchy replaced the worship of Earth Mother with that of Sky Father. (The halo associated with Christ is a relic of the solar aura of the Father even as the serpent associated with the maternal deities is spurned by the emergent patriarchy in Genesis.). When the experience of the father is positive, the child experiences strength, support, the energising of his own resources and modelling in the outer world. When the experience of the father is negative, the fragile psyche is crushed.

To use a modern metaphor, the child’s psyche is a set of potentialities, a data base to be shaped by the affirmation and modelling of the parents. Through his mother he may experience the world as a nurturing and protective environment. From father he may receive the empowerment to enter the world and to fight for his life.  Of course mother can help empower him and father nurture him, but archetypally they play specific roles. Mother also actives the mother complex, which must be transformed and transcended lest he remain childlike and dependent. He must leave the world of the mother and enter that of the fathers. All mythology is a playing out of some variant of two great mythologems. The mythology  of the Great Mother is the great circle, the death-rebirth motif, the Eternal Return. The mythology of the Sky Father is the quest, the journey from innocence to experience, from dark to light, from home to horizon. Each mythic cycle must be served.

When the parental imagos in the child are inadequately modelled by the parents, he carries the deficit throughout his life…