by Hal Stone, PhD & Sidra Stone, PhD
In Tacoma, while in military service, I had my first totally religious experience, one that might be called cosmic consciousness. It was to change the whole direction of my life. I had gone to bed and was sleeping when it happened. It was about 3:00 A.M. when suddenly, while in a combination of sleep and a twilight waking state, I experienced a tremendous infusion of energy. It was not an ordinary energy. It was as though a million volts of electricity were going through my body. It was an all-destroying, all-consuming energy that could not help but kill me.
I knew it immediately as the power of God striking me from within and without. If I didn't surrender to it I would die. There are no words that can convey the nature of such a transpersonal experience. Experiences of cosmic consciousness are varied, but one thing is common-words cannot describe their quality. This experience came to me in a frightening and death dealing form. They generally don't occur this way.
I am reminded here of the man who had taken years of training in the handling of donkeys. He goes out on his first field trip and the lead donkey balks and won't move. He reads his training manual and tries everything to get the donkey to move. Nothing helps. Finally he sends for the dean of the training academy. When he arrives, he surveys the situation. Then he gets a strong branch from a nearby tree and hits the donkey on the rear as hard as he can. The donkey starts to move. The young student is quite shocked and protests the physical violence after all the psychological training he has had to prepare him to be a proper donkey driver. The Dean nods his head in agreement and then says: "All that you have learned is true, my friend, but first you have to get his attention."
My sense is that divinity required my attention. Divinity required my surrender and surrender I did. In the midst of this experience, still in the twilight state, I said: "Please, Dear God, please take this from me. Thy will, not mine, be done."
Not only was I not a Bible student in those days, but I had no relationship to Christ and the meaning of Christ.
If I had ever heard those words, they certainly had fallen on deaf ears, though obviously not a deaf soul. Those powerful words of Christ at Gethsemane have become some of the most significant words in our heritage having to do with our relationship to divinity. It is the ancient conflict between will and fate or surrender. "This is what I want of life, and this is how I want it to turn out; but Thy will, not mine, be done." It seems to me, from this vantage point, to be the healthiest possible connection we can have to divinity; the assertion of our will and the surrender of our being, at one and the same moment.
I went back to bed for the third time and immediately the energy came in again and I repeated the same words and the energy stopped. This time I remained awake, though I can't imagine that a fourth experience would have been necessary.
Something very decisive had happened to me. It was not something I could speak about. It was a private matter between God and me. I didn't worry any more about the word God. I had experienced God. I had no more issues with the nature of God and what God was or wasn't and on and on. I knew. That is what an experience of cosmic consciousness gives to us. We know.
The direction of our lives cannot help but change, because this level of experience and surrender shifts the very basis of our consciousness process. It is not the end of free will. I live my life and make many choices and use my will in many way. Always, however, beneath the will, is the dictum-Thy will, not mine, be done.
Life has a way of always requiring new surrenders. We give up the phantasy that we are in total control of our lives, a silly phantasy at best. We gain the power that comes from surrender. It is difficult after such experiences not to feel the desire to live one's life in a relationship of service to mankind, to help other people come to these experiences and to the realizations that grow out of these experiences.
It is easy to understand evangelists and how they get trapped. These cosmic experiences are very heady, but we must remember that they do not solve all of life's prob-lems. They also do not solve the problems relating to the use and abuse of personal power. Such experiences bring us new levels of energetic awareness. If, however, we do not solve the personality level issues of our lives, then this new energy can be misused. More specifically, what we need always to be aware of is the issue of power and how we use it in our lives. Then we are in the best possible position to take full advantage of such cosmic experiences.
The three energetic experiences all came on the same night. The next night I had another dream.
Dream of Being Driven to My Knees
I was leaving the bedroom area and walking into the living room of our home. As I was under the archway separating the bedroom area from the living room area, I was again hit by the energy. This time it came from above and as it hit me I was thrown to my knees. I awoke from the dream with the feeling of being on my knees.
In the first experience, the energies were coming from within and without me, invading my whole chest region. In this experience they were clearly coming from above and forcing me to my knees. I did not have the feeling of death this time, just that I had to continue the process of surrender that had been started. I had never prayed in my life, but at this point I began a fairly active prayer life. I had no compunction about getting on my knees and praying. Someone up there wasn't fooling around any more and neither was I.
The third night I dreamed again, the last of the series.
Dream of the Cross
I was standing in the bathroom looking at my face in the mirror. The doorbell rang and someone answered the door. Entering the room was Malcolm Dana, a Jungian analyst from Los Angeles. (Malcolm was very related to the mystical Christian tradition.) As he entered the living room, I again felt the energies strike me on the head from above. I was knocked to my knees. When I got up and looked into the mirror there was, etched into the acne scars on the right side of my face, a cross. I awoke at this point.
If Martians had landed on earth it could not have been more alien to me than this image of a cross etched into my face. The Jewish tradition has a difficult time understanding and appreciating the meaning of Christ consciousness, just as the Christian has a difficult time appreciating the qualities of the Hebrew desert God. I was obviously being moved towards a new experience and understanding of divinity, and specifically of the meaning of Christ consciousness. I didn't understand it all at the time, but certain things impacted me very profoundly.
I had suffered terribly during my adolescence. My acne condition had been excruciating for me. It lasted for almost six years and pimples and their eradication became almost a mono-maniacal concern. To see that cross etched deeply into my face suddenly gave me a very different perspective. I felt the meaning of the suffering. I felt that what I had gone through had not been just happenstance. It had meaning; it had purpose. I understood then a fundamental tenet of Holistic Medicine-that symptoms are not simply aberrant conditions to be eradicated, but are opportunities for changing consciousness in new and dif-ferent ways. I could view the awfulness of the pimples as a kind of initiatory rite of passage that helped temper me, to sensitize me, to create the man I was to become. (I also do not want to overdo the effect that this had on me in relationship to all those years of suffering. When all is said and done, if I have any choice in regard to my next incarnation on earth, I'm putting my bid to come in after adolescence rather than before. Needless to say, "Thy will, not mine, be done." If I do come in before adolescence, please have a lovely conscious dermatologist or nutritionist living next door to me.)
The experiences that took place over these three nights redirected my life. My personal problems and issues were all still there, but there was imprinted upon me, just as the rose had been imprinted years before, a spiritual vibration that gave my life a new and deeper sense of meaning and purpose that has been with me ever since. This energy that I surrendered to then, I have continued to surrender to, even though there have been times when I have had difficulty understanding who inside me was saying what.
Following these experiences I did a great deal of study-ing in the spiritual realm. I immersed myself in Bible studies, Jewish and Christian mysticism, Jung's writings, mythology, fairy tales-literally anything I could get my hands on. And what was fortunate for me was the fact that at the same time that I was exploring these most delicious aspects of the soul, I was getting intensive prac-tical clinical experience through my army assignment. It was certainly this intensification of my persona and academic process that led to my decision to go to Zurich to study and to deepen my persona analytic process at the Jung Institute.
ZURICH-THE PROCESS DEEPENS
From the time I first entered military service to the time of my discharge was a period of six years. In every way it was an outstanding experience. I was planning to return to Los Angeles and our second child was due toward the end of July in 1957. I had applied to the Bollingen Foundation for a grant to study in Zurich for three months and the grant was approved. I took my family to Los Angeles and got them settled and then left for Zurich. I spent the next three months working analytically, attending the Jung Institute, studying, painting and sculpt-ing.
The time in Zurich was very precious to me-three whole months to devote just to myself. I lived to a large extent like a monk, socializing very little. Three days a week I was working analytically and doing an amazing amount of personal work on my dreams and on myself in general. On one level it was anything but a balanced life. On another level, I was literally exploding creatively and personally and my horizons were expanding in so many marvelous ways that my head was spinning. After all, one didn't go to the Jung Institute in Zurich to lead a balanced life. One went to immerse oneself in the unconscious, and immerse myself is exactly what I did.
During this time in Zurich I had a number of remarkable dreams. The unconscious opened up at a deep level in response to this separation from family and responsibility. The opportunity to work solely on myself and my process was a very special kind of experience. There were few outer distractions and my energies had the chance to express from within, with complete freedom and exuberance. The disadvantage of this kind of experience was the danger of losing touch with the outside world. The re-entry into society from the rarefied atmosphere of Zurich could be quite difficult. That came later, however. Now was the time to soak it up.
My first dream in Zurich was simple and to the point.
Dream of the Powerful Wind
There was a giant wind that blew through Los Angeles. It blew through the campus of UCLA ad leveled it totally.
This was a wonderful initiatory dream for me to have. It meant of course that UCLA, the citadel of rationality, was being destroyed by the winds of spirit. I was obviously going to be experiencing new kinds of energies and I looked forward to my three months with eagerness.
The second dream I want to share concerns my father. My relationship with my father had always been rather problematical. He was European, as I have mentioned, and we had nothing in common. As the years moved along I felt more and more negative toward him. I wanted a strong father, someone who would talk to me, who would be a role model. I wanted someone who would in-spire me, someone whom I could admire. Instead, there was my father-silent and brooding and simple; a coarse man, and a heavy drinker. I realized at a fairly early age that he was an alcoholic. He was an extremely strong man physically and was built like a wrestler. He and my mother had owned a beer garden in Detroit and I remember him carrying hundred pound kegs of beer with the greatest ease. His physical power and earthiness did not impress me at all. He was always disappointing and somewhat alien to me and, as my developmental process became more spiritual, he seemed like someone who should be left behind and forgotten. That is, until I had the following dream during my first weeks in Zurich.
Dream of My Father and Jung
I was on my way to see Dr. Jung for a personal appoint- ment. (I actually had one scheduled a few weeks down the line.) The problem was that my father was with me and I could not get rid of him. I did everything I could think of to make him leave, but he seemed stuck to me like glue. I finally got to the home of Dr. Jung and my father and I were ushered into his waiting room. I was feeling terribly uncomfortable and self-conscious. I was ashamed of my father, and here I was about to meet the great man, himself, and I had so many things I wanted to talk about and ask him about. I heard footsteps coming down the stairs and the door opened and there was Dr. Jung. I stood up to walk over and shake hands with him. To my great surprise-shock would be a better word-he ignored me completely and walked over to my father and they embraced. Then, to my amazement, they started talking animatedly together in Yiddish. Jung put his arm around my father and they walked out of the room together, walking up the stairs toward his office. All this time they were continuing to carry on this remarkable conversation in Yiddish, a language which made me feel extremely uncomfortable. I followed them as they walked up the stairs, realizing that there was something very significant to learn here.
It has always amazed me, and never ceased to delight me, to watch the unconscious in action when it wants to make a real point about something. Whatever this amaz-ing Intelligence is that lies behind the dream, it has an ordering function. It establishes priorities. It oftentimes displays the most amazing sense of humor. When it wants to get our attention, it has the capability of pursuing us with relentless precision. It also does not seem to be in the business of giving rewards for good works accomplished.
As soon as one piece of work is done, it is ready to start on the next piece of work. I once heard a dream of a woman who was walking on a path in a forest and, as she walked, the trees were closing in behind her so there was no turning back-a beautiful image of this inexorable forward move-ment.
These qualities of dreams are not always present for everyone. They seem to come into operation when someone becomes open to dreams, to the unconscious, to the whole transformational process. The unconscious behaves just like you and I do in certain respects. When we are loved and honored and given time by those who are close to us, we blossom and give off wonderful aromas. When we are rejected and ignored, when we are not honored, we become angry and sour and revengeful. The work of consciousness is like digging in a garden, constantly planting new seeds, digging, and watching things grow. The unconscious responds to this process in the most amazing ways. It blossoms when we attend to it.
My father was my disowned self. What is a disowned self? It is a part, or parts, that are negated in our growing up years. They are usually parts of which we are ashamed. We grow up identifying with certain parts of ourselves because of our family and cultural patterns. I had learned to identify with the mind, with achievement and, at a later time, with spirituality. I had disowned my physical power and sexuality. I had almost no relationship to my physical body. I had always been a dreamer, not related to earth. I hadn't known this for many years, but it was becoming abundantly clear to me at this time. My father was earth. He was totally non-intellectual. His job was to see that his sons got what they needed to make it in America. This may not have been a conscious thought for him, but it is the reality that he lived.
There was another disowned energy that was brought through in this dream and that concerned my relationship to being born Jewish. What I began to realize with this dream was that I had serious issues with what it meant to be a Jew. I was quite accepting of the intellectual, cultural and mystical aspects of Judaism, but there was something about Yiddish itself that bothered me. It was an issue I was to work on for many years to come. Yiddish for me was associated with Europe and earth.
I never knew my grandparents, a rather sad thing really because grandparents help tie us back to our origins. My origins were badly in need of being appreciated. Jung was carrying the energy of the new consciousness that was emerging at that time. This new level of awareness gave me an understanding of the real meaning of my father in my life and the kind of balance that it would give to me when I learned to honor him. The spiritual pull in me was then, and always has been, extremely powerful. My father's energies were the balance. He was the earth in which a spiritual process could safely blossom.
Jung himself carried that earth. He was physically strong and vital. When I actually saw him I was struck by his earthy peasant quality. When I sat down for my in-terview with him, he was filling his pipe and he asked me what I wanted. I realized that he had probably never read the long letter I had sent in order to secure the interview. So I told him that I didn't want to work on personal issues with him, that I just wanted to see him. He leaned his pixie face forward, within inches of mine, and said in a loud, booming voice: "Well, take a good look!" He certainly knew how to "talk Yiddish."
One of the keys to the transformational process is the development of an Awareness level of consciousness that can learn to recognize and honor all the parts. This is not the easiest task in the world. We are identified with some parts and we don't know that we are identified with them. Other parts, we have disowned with no knowledge that we have disowned them. There are clues, however, that can help us in this process of discovery. The people we don't like, the people who push our emotional buttons, the people we judge, the people we over-value-these are the direct representations of our disowned selves.
In those years, assuming I knew then what I know now, it would have been clear to me that my father was one of my disowned selves. Fortunately, there was a part of me that recognized this and gave me the opportunity of seeing this heretofore unknown reality. The working through process took many years. I might almost say that it goes on to this very moment in lesser form. It is the age-old problem that all of us have who embark on the trans-formational journey-the need to embrace heaven and earth, the need to embrace both spiritual and instinctual energies.
There was another dream I had in Zurich that came later in my stay there. It was on the same theme, but the approach was from a different direction.
A very profound spiritual opening had begun to take place in me from the very beginning of my analysis. With the religious experience I had in military service, this spiritualization process became much more powerful and much more accelerated. This was compounded during my time in Zurich because of the intense involvement I was experiencing with my dreams and creative process gener-ally. The unconscious, however, was not just bringing me spiritual dreams. The unconscious was bringing me dreams to balance a spirituality that was far too one-sided. The dream of my father was one of these dreams. Another one is described below.
I enter a beautiful church. It has a strong Catholic feel- ing. It is empty of people, but an organ is playing the "Te Deum." It is magnificent music in a magnificent setting. I walk slowly from the rear to the front, behind the lectern, and there lying on the floor, are two women, a mother and her daughter. As I watch, the daughter slowly sits up and very languidly and very sensually stretches her arms over her head. As she does this, she says as if to herself-"I'm tired of waiting for the Christ experience."
Once again the unconscious was moving me towards the balance. My father was the carrier of instinctual energies to a certain extent, and there was now awakening in me a new feminine principle that had been sleeping (unconscious). What was it awakening to? We don't know exactly, but we might surmise that it was awakening to life and to the sensual pleasures of the everyday world.
It is difficult when one has touched deeply into the spiritual reality not to yearn for more of it. It is difficult when one has lived a deeply symbolic reality for long periods of time to come back to what feels like a very mundane world. Personality level issues do not seem very exciting when one has been touched by God in some way.
It is a paradoxical situation. On the one hand we need the reality of spiritual energies. We need to know God, by whatever name we want to use or are comfortable using. Yet, this very experience creates an imbalance on the other side and we are then forever thrown into the conflict between heaven and earth, trying to balance them, trying to honor them appropriately. When we don't, the unconscious helps us to see the imbalance, if we are willing to listen.
The Zurich experience was pure gold for me. It was made possible by a grant from the Bollingen Foundation and I am most grateful to the people who established that foundation. They helped so many students study in Zurich at a time when the world seemed like a spiritual desert. (The memory of this experience is one of the factors that inspired me to create The Hermes Foundation to help students pursue the study of consciousness, wherever this may take them.)
I have shared just a very small piece of my Zurich experience. It was an opportunity to immerse myself for three months in dreams and the creative process. I began to paint during this time and did my first sculpting. Incidentally, I had shipped at least thirty volumes of books to Zurich and they were waiting there for me on my arrival. After a few abortive attempts at reading, I never opened another book in all the time I was there. My academic, scholarly pusher had gone into hibernation. He didn't disappear, of that you may be sure, but for those three months he went underground. It was time a time for pure experience.
There are dangers to such incubatory experience. One is working so intensely on the inner plane that it is necessary to have considerable solidity to be able to withstand the powers that are unleashed. I remember one evening when I was painting. I drew a picture of a bird, a huge bird, that was flying upwards. I was focusing on that bird in a meditative way and I began to feel myself ascending with that bird. The energies being released were enormous and I knew that I was in some danger. I stopped the meditative process, put the painting down and went out for a walk. I realized at that moment I could have gone into a space that would have been very destruc-tive for me. I realized that I had no outer life to balance the intense introversion. I simply paid attention after this to any signs that signaled an overloading of the inner circuits.
The other problem with such intense, ongoing, in-cubatory experiences is that the re-entry into ordinary life is very difficult. One's regular life feels terribly ordinary. I returned to Los Angeles after three months in Zurich to my wife and son and about to be born daughter. I had no money. Within three months time I had two jobs and had started private practice. Both jobs required driving long distances, at least seventy miles a day. In five months I had pneumonia, no doubt a symptomatic reaction to the problem I was having adjusting to the very different realities of my inner and outer worlds. The contrast be-tween the magic of Zurich and the daily requirements of life in Los Angeles was almost too much for the body to bear.
JUNGIAN YEARS-FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF SPIRITUAL ENERGIES
The next period of years was very intense and very fulfilling for me. I officially entered the Jungian training program in Los Angeles and the next four years were busy ones filled with the establishment of a private practice and a great deal of study and work at the Institute. My primary analyst during these years was Hilde Kirsch. It was again an immersion into the unconscious. Hilde was a deeply spiritual woman and a very fine analyst. Her strength was on the symbolic and spiritual side, and so it was that these parts of me deepened and other parts re-mained unconscious and disowned. The problem was that I didn't know what was disowned. Again, I didn't have in those years my understanding of disowned selves and so I couldn't read the signs that were really quite obvious.
At this point in my life I was I was a full-blooded Jungian. I disliked, sometimes intensely, all other forms of psychotherapy. I especially disliked the Gestalt and neo-Reichian systems. It seemed to me barbaric that people would have to make all that noise, do all the crazy things that Gestalt work demanded, or lie on tables in their underwear and breathe, as Reichian work demanded. I rejected group work and encounter work. Nothing really made sense to me other than the Jungian approach. I lived in a particular wave band, a particular energy frequency call Jungian.
One of my very early dreams in my analysis with Hilde was as follows:
Dream of the Sexual Goddess
I was in a field and I came across a gigantic, primitive statue of the Great Mother, but in the form of a sexual Goddess. She was on her knees as though she were in the midst of some sexual fertility rite. In the dream she was forty or fifty feet tall and I was quite in awe at the sight of her.
Hilde's response to the dream was that I was being given an opportunity to see a powerful archetype in action. I also needed to understand that this figure was an archetype configuration and that I mustn't confuse it with her personally. I began working with this image in creative ways. I did painting and sculptings and it led to a very powerful upsurge of creative and scholarly energies. I began to study and read about the great mother. I began what today I would call a Jungian process. I don't mean to say that every Jungian would have proceeded thusly. It simply would be a kind of approach that would be natural to the Jungian process. If I had been in psychoanalysis, I suspect the analyst would have been dealing with my personal phantasies and nothing would have moved in the direction of my understanding of the world of archetypes.
I want to make clear from my vantage point today that I do not feel judgmental about these things. It seems to me important to understand these different processes, why they happen, what is disowned in each process. For me, the process accelerated my spiritual and symbolic growth, but never dealt with my phantasy life. The sexual side and the part of me that had to do with personal power simply were given little energy. Being spiritual meant being nice and loving. Since I was born nice and loving, it was not hard for me to act nice and loving. It seemed to be my natural style.
Everyone in the community acted the same way, so there was a great deal of reinforcement for behaving in this way. I became so one-sided on the spiritual side, that I once wrote a very scholarly paper on sexuality and why it was really not necessary in contemporary society. For-tunately, I never tried to publish it and I am pleased to say that I have subsequently changed my mind.
I had an intensely personal relationship with Hilde. She was the mother who was always there for me. She was the spiritual guide. She was a friend who was always available. Since we never dealt with any of the sexual and power issues, there were whole arenas of material that we couldn't go into. I never expressed negativity towards her, nor did I ever deal with the phantasy structure in me in relation to her. A separation was inevitable and ultimately it came.
I completed analytic training in 1961 and then became active in the Jungian Society in Los Angeles. The problem was that I was beginning to become aware of certain things that I hadn't been aware of before. I began to realize that I didn't feel like a man, and kept wondering when I was going to feel like a man. The men in other psychological disciplines seemed to feel like men. They didn't have my understanding of dreams and fairy tales, my connection to the world of spiritual reality, and they weren't as loving as I was, but they felt like men. Furthermore, I was beginning to feel that I would gladly let go of some of the good things I had in order to feel like a man. Banks terrorized me and I was really a child in the world of money. I was beginning to realize how sexually immature I was. I was beginning to become aware of a negativity that was in me.
I had been working for years with my "shadow," but it seemed to have nothing to do with me in any real sense. I sensed again that primitive energy that had gotten loose in the mental hospital. I was beginning to feel not so nice. In my personal analytic work, every time I would lose control emotionally, I accepted the concept that this was my anima in undeveloped form. (The anima in Jungian terms is the man's feminine side.) I literally had stopped being emotional because I saw emotionality as my undeveloped feminine side. I began to examine these ideas.
THE AWARENESS LEVEL OF CONSCIOUSNESS
The questions about life, about myself, and about my work continued to multiply. I didn't realize it, but my unconscious was gradually gathering momentum for a new leap forward. This leap forward would eventually mean leaving the comfort and security of the Jungian community and going forth to explore other, heretofore neglected, areas of psychology. I remember clearly the first moment of separation between my Jungian thinking and the new Awareness level that was beginning to emerge in me.
I was sitting in my office conducting a regular analytic session. I was talking about a dream that the client had related to me when suddenly my awareness separated from the me who was talking. It was an eerie experience. There was a Jungian me who was talking, quite brilliantly I might say, about the client's dream; and on another level, I was watching this whole transaction in amazement. I realized at that moment that all the knowledge and language that was coming out of me had very little to do with me. It was like discovering a computer program. I didn't say anything to the client, but I knew that something irrevocable had happened.
The separation from an organization or a body of ideas goes on for a long time in underground channels before we are ready to deal with it in a more conscious way. The painful thing about separation is that there are always people involved. My relationship with Hilde had been central in my life for about ten years. Now, something was beginning to change. I had a critical dream around this time in 1964 that clearly marked the turning point in my relationship with Hilde. It showed quite clearly why I had to separate from her. First, let me review some back-ground so the dream may be better understood.
I am the youngest of three brothers. My older was, eight years older and my middle brother was six years older. Joe, the eldest, was very much my opposite. He was a powerful, successful attorney, very much oriented to the real world, well traveled, very much at home in the realms of power and sexuality. I was the youngest brother of the fairy tale. I was the dreamer. We were for many years disowned selves of each other. The longer I was with the Jungians, the more intense was the support for the disown-ing this "Joe" in me. I had become aware of many aspects of the disowned archetypal patterns that he represented. He now appeared in my dream in a very significant way.
I'm sitting in an analytic session with Hilde. She is talk- ing to me when suddenly the door opens and my brother Joe is there. His wife is with him and they take me away from the analytical session and they also make sure that Hilde can't do anything to interfere with their plans for me. They do this by locking her in another space. They then proceed to take me on a tour of all the night spots of L.A. The purpose of this tour is to show me that sex- uality is all right. They take me to strip joints and dance halls, to any and every place where the female and male anatomy is being shown. This goes on all night long. It ends finally with them showing me billboards of women's bodies and then saying to me- "You see Harold- It's all okay. It all belongs and it's all all right." After this last statement they return me to the analytical session and release Hilde and the dream ends.
This dream was in 1964. My analysis lasted for a while longer, but it was essentially over. A few months later I had the following dream:
Dream of Krushchev and Satan
There had been a long war, one that had lasted for many years. It was finally over. The war had ended. I was standing facing "no man's land." Across from the other side were coming our former enemies. They were cross- ing "no man's land." It was my brother Joe. He was however not one person but three persons. He was himself, he was Khrushchev and he was Satan. They came into our lines and joined with us and we began talking.
DISOWNING INSTINCTUAL ENERGIES
With this dream my analysis was over. It may have lasted a few more months, but it was really over now. I had disowned my own dictatorial, power-oriented nature. I had disowned my sexuality. Whatever it is that we disown is projected outside of ourselves. It is projected onto other people, things, political parties. What is the image of Satan that occurs with such frequency in people's dreams? Satan is a mythic image of what has been disowned in contemporary culture. Western culture has been forced to disown, to bury, a great deal of its natural instinctive apparatus. For civilization to evolve it has been necessary to curb our natural appetites such as aggression, sexuality and power. The curbing of these instincts forces them back into the unconscious where they undergo a change. The more they are bottled up, the more unfriendly to us they become. We refer to these energies as daemonic. The image of Satan comes up in dream material as the carrier of much of this disowned and buried instinctual material.
My Jungian years had brought me great riches. I had developed my symbolic and spiritual energies to a very high degree. The artist in me had been born. My creativity was flourishing. What I had not tapped into was the instinct life. I had very little connection to my power side outside of the Jungian community. I did not have access to my aggression, nor to my sexuality. I had little sense of money, business and finance. My Jungian psychology continued to nourish the areas of myself that were already highly developed. I couldn't see this at the time, so the unconscious brought my brother to me to help me to separate from Hilde. He was really introducing me to my sensuality, to my Dionysian and Aphrodite nature. The later dream of the Satanic completed the job. I could no longer project my power, my sexuality, my daemonic energies. I had to take responsibility for them myself.
People get frightened when they hear such words as daemonic and satanic. All I am describing are instincts that have become repressed. They go sour. If you disown aggression, it goes sour. If you disown sexuality, it goes sour. It goes sour because it cycles back into the unconscious and there it festers. At this point we call it daemonic because it is capable of behaving in very destructive ways.
I would like to try to clarify this for you with a further example. A ten year-old girl has the following dream:
Child's Dream of Evil
There is a large machine that is run by a bad man. The machine has a net on the bottom and the bad man presses a button and catches animals, friendly animals, who are playing on the street. The animals go into the machine and there something happens to them. They turn bad. The hero comes along and when the bad man sees him he presses a button and releases the animals that have been locked up and changed. The animals come out of the machine and they attack the hero. The question posed in the mind of the dreamer is as follows: Is the hero going to know that the animals are really good and that they are just acting bad because of what the machine did to them-or is the hero going to think that the animals are really bad and try to kill them?
This remarkable dream of a ten year old child gives a vivid picture of what I have been describing. The machine is the machine of civilization that captures the animal side, our instincts, and buries them, sometimes very deeply, sometimes not so deeply. The instincts go through a process when they are buried. They become infused with even more energy and they go sour. They come out attacking or in extreme ways. When they come out negatively, we take this as proof that instincts are dangerous, that they must be blocked at all costs. We, like our hero in the dream, do not realize that the animals are really good, and that they have been made to act badly by the repressive requirements of our civilization.
Satan, for me, was the mythic, symbolic personification of certain tendencies in me that had been repressed for many decades. They had been projected into people all around me. I could no longer do that. I had to now meet Khrushchev and Satan and recognize that they were really a part of me. The concept of the shadow was now to become a living reality, not a matter for my theoretical understanding. My childhood innocence was ending.
How had all this come about? How had I come to disown so much of my instinctual life? How had the "bad man" caught so many of my animals in his machine and transformed them into negative energies? I want to summarize this process, at the risk of repetition, because it seemed to be so critical an issue for so many of us.
Each of us is born into the world totally vulnerable. We discover very early in life that being vulnerable is not a particularly safe or easy way to be while living on the planet earth. We learn that we have to take care of ourselves, to meet other people's expectations. We learn to control our environment so we won't be hurt. We develop a part of ourselves that begins to control our life and our environment.
This controller behaves like a gigantic computer. Its first job is to gather information. It looks around and sees what is going on. It sees what kind of behavior satisfies our mother and our father. It evaluates the kind of behavior that is appropriate and not appropriate to living a successful life. It determines how we can be powerful rather than simply vulnerable.
This controller is generally confused with the entity that we call our ego. When most people refer to their ego, they are in fact referring to this controller. The controller is like a master puppeteer, utilizing other sub-personalities to accomplish its aims and desires.
My controller learned to utilize the part of me that was known as the pleaser and the nice guy. I was a good and very kind person. I never asked for anything. I learned to behave unselfishly, putting other people's needs before my own. My controller also allied itself with my ambition and success voices. I had a good mind and the controller recognized that the academic and verbal success was a way to be safe in the world.
The key to the activities of the controller is being safe. The job of the controller is to prevent us from being hurt. The controller is a kind of parent to the inner child, a fairly rejecting parent, because keeping us away from our vulnerability is the only way it knows of dealing with the child. It is always essentially rational and so must do everything it can do to keep us away from pain and hurt.
The controller in me had done its job well. As a child I had been totally vulnerable. I had learned to use the mental side of my being and had utilized the energy of a very ambitious driving pusher to accomplish a great deal in my life. When the development of my spiritual and symbolic nature began to occur, the controller got into the act there too. Here was an opportunity to become powerful, really powerful. I was becoming a leader in the spiritual field, beginning to lecture and teach. In the Jungian community itself, I was carving out a wonderful niche for myself.
For the controller it spelled security; it meant that I did not have to be vulnerable. It became a way of being in charge. From being a disciple and student for so many years, I was moving into being a Guru/Teacher. I didn't know all this was going on at the time. It is only in hind-sight that the dynamics became clear. My developing awareness and sense of dissatisfaction began to interfere with the plans of the controller.
It is amazing to discover how much energy goes into the negation of our vulnerability. The inner child is the carrier of our sadness, our vulnerability, our sensitivity. A yet different aspect of the inner child is the quality of playfulness and our sense of spontaneity. It is not just a child who carries these qualities, but it is the child in large measure who is the originator of these energies.
There followed now a number of years of great profes-sional activity. It was also a time of integrating various parts of myself that I hadn't gone near before this time. I was becoming increasingly active in the Jungian community while at the same time getting into many more arguments. I was still a long way away from understand-ing the inner child. He had been nested and taken care of by the Jungian community and by my relationship with Hilde. This is one of the very important things that we need to understand about this child. If we don't know about it and take care of it, then it will seek someone in the environment to care for it. As my psychological separation from Jungian psychology continued, my inner child lost its protection, and it needed to withdraw fully from my life. Since I wasn't conscious of its needs, I was unwittingly exposing it to too much danger. What began to develop in me was my power side, my ability to react, my relationship to my physical body. In short, I was beginning to accept the daemonic energies, the instinctual heritage that had been essentially unavailable to me all my life. It took some rather amusing turns, and some that were not so amusing. My brother was a major influence in helping me claim this instinctual heritage.
INTEGRATING INSTINCTUAL ENERGIES
One of the first areas that came up for me to deal with was the area of my physical body. I was never a physical child. I suspect that this had to do with the fact that I lived so much in phantasy as a child. The educational process places a great deal of emphasis on competitive sports, especially in the upper grades. This works for some children, but it doesn't work for children who are more introverted and who live more out of their phantasy life. I solved this problem in high school by joining the R.O.T.C. program, and I did the same thing during my first two years at U.C.L.A. There was a period in college when I bought some weights and I used to work out with my friend, Harvey Mindess. We took it quite seriously for a time, but I let it go fairly early down the line. My warrior energy was totally lacking.
My choice of profession was not one that enhanced my physical body. There can hardly be a more sedentary profession than the practice of psychotherapy. The uncon-scious, however, was beginning to prepare me for the dis-covery of a new disowned self - the reality of my physical being. My spiritual and symbolic development, along with my developing scholarship, was also moving me far-ther and farther away from my physical body. I started private practice in 1957. Somewhere about 1964 or 1965 I began to develop pains in my lower back and legs and a variety of other places. I was convinced that I had cancer. My father had died of cancer in 1963 and these were my cancer years. Later I graduated to heart disease and a wide range of other symptomatic possibilities.
My experience, in hindsight, with these kinds of fears is that they are a function of blocked energies. I certainly had a wide range of blocked energies. The concern about cancer finally drove me to my physician where I had a complete physical, including upper and lower G.I.s and a wide range of other medical tests. When all was finished, I was found to be totally fit, except for what might be some slight arthritic spurs in the back area. He gave me some stretching exercises to do once or twice a day. These I did religiously for one week and then promptly forgot about. After all, as long as I didn't have cancer, why would I worry about a back that was hardly bothering me?
About two months passed and then I had a dream that once again marked a major turning point in my life so far as my physical body was concerned. I was born in Detroit, Michigan, and I went to a high school known as Central High. It was a school that was predominantly Jewish and it had a reputation for being a school of many brainy kids. On the other side of town was a community known as Hamtramack and there stood Hamtramack High School. It was known as the school of brawn. When the two teams played football, which they did every year, the score (on a good day for Central) was 75 to 6. This is the context of my dream.
Dream of Krupnick
I was sitting at my desk in my study doing some work. It was a place at which I spent a great deal of time. The study faced the street. I heard a car pull up. It was a foreign car, possibly a Volkswagen. Out of the car stepped four gigantic Polish boys, probably in their late teens. They looked huge and powerful. They stood by the car in a position that looked like they were forming a square. Then from out of the car came their coach and he stepped into the middle of the square. His name was Krupnick. They marched to the front door and began banging on it. It was more like they were smashing on it. I was very frightened and I timidly opened the door. They grabbed me and said-"You're coming with us." There was no argument. They pulled me out of the house and I awoke from the dream.
The means by which we disown parts of ourselves is truly amazing. Once we become aware of a part, we wonder how in heaven we could have spent so many years without this awareness. I can remember watching joggers run and they all looked so silly to me. Belonging to a gymnasium made no sense. I was identified with my mind and spirit and the controller was behind them and they represented what I thought was my ego. They were the parts of me that were negating my physical body. I was again being separated from my introverted nest. My Hamtramack cronies and my new coach Krupnick have been with me ever since that dream. I joined the YMCA the next day and never since that time have I been sepa-rated from my body. As the years have gone by, I would say that I have taken it more and more seriously. Krupnick is a living entity in me, a good advisor on matters of my physical being.
Illness can be a very powerful teacher in our lives. It all depends on the attitude we take toward it. If we become ill and see the illness in purely symptomatic terms as something to be eliminated, then we do what we can to eliminate it. If, however, we see illness as a natural pro-cess of life, as an opportunity to become aware of certain energetic imbalances of blockages, then it becomes an amazing teacher. We begin to look at the things we eat, at our emotional blockages, at the thought patterns that constitute our belief system about living. We think about the sense of meaning and purpose of our lives and whether we have any or not. We begin to view our environment differently, and our relationships - where we feel free and where we feel trapped. The concept of illness as teacher is one of the most significant ideas that has emerged from the holistic movement in contemporary medicine.
In the same way, when we have fears of illness or dreams of becoming ill, these experiences can also be looked at as potential teachers. How are our energies not in balance? Where are they being blocked? What am I doing that I don't want to do? What do I want to do that I am not doing? Our so-called symptoms, illness, dreams of illness, and phobic reactions about illness are all wonderful opportunities for new awareness.
The beginning integration of my body was really a continuation of the process that started with the dream of my father in Zurich. My relationship with my father had changed considerably through the years. He still was a man who talked very little, but gradually a love developed between us that was there until the very end. When he became ill in 1961, it was my mother's preference that he not know that he had cancer. This was not something I agreed with at all, but I felt the need to honor her wishes. He had cancer for two years and remained at home until about ten days before his death.
One afternoon my mother called me in something of a panic, telling me that my father was hallucinating. I got to their home as quickly as I could and my father was having a persistent vision of "death" trying to enter his room through the back door. He was quite frightened, but after a few minutes became more calm. He looked at me and posed the question I could no longer deny - "I'm dying, aren't I?" I nodded my head to indicate that this was so. That was the end of the hallucinations and within a few days he was moved to the hospital. He died shortly thereafter.
It is not a pleasant thing to die without knowing that you're dying. It is not pleasant for the dying person. Everything becomes forced and artificial and the beauty of the death process is denied to all concerned. We can all be grateful for the work that has been done on death and dying because it has changed the climate so much in relation to the death process. Now it is the rare experience to find someone who is dying who is denied that knowledge. We think we are protecting the dying person when in fact we are protecting ourselves from our own tears and sadness.
LEAVING THE NEST
The period from the mid-sixties to the late sixties was a time of professional and personal expansion. In addition to my Jungian activities, I was beginning to branch out and do teaching in other places. On the personal level I was getting in touch with my emotions, particularly my anger and rage. The nice guy was dying and in his place appeared someone who was very new to me. I was constantly arguing and fighting at professional meetings. The situation got worse and worse because the angrier I got the more quiet everyone around me became. They were in the place I had been and the expression of anger was not considered appropriate.
In fact, what was happening was that I was shifting into another archetype without the awareness that this was happening. From the archetype of the spirit, where I had lived for so many years, I was moving into the archetype of the daemonic. I would come home from meetings and have dreams that my EKG was showing a heart problem. I was literally out of control. Over a period of four years it was as though I had moved from Christ to Satan.
One of the seductive things about rage and anger is that they fill us with a great deal of energy. I was filled during these years with a great deal of energy. The other seduction is the righteousness that one feels when one is angry. It is like a blindness and one keeps pounding one's opponents, feeling completely justified in what one is doing. People were afraid of me, and for good reason. However, through this whole period, I felt like the man I was becoming. I was no longer waking up and wondering when I was going to feel like a man. The man had arrived.
During this time I had a number of dreams that had to do with the integration of the more primitive and instinctual energies. I want to share these dreams because this is such a critical step in the transformational process.
Dream of Integrating Instinctual Energies
Dream #1: I am lying in my bed looking out at the tree in the garden. There is a cat in the tree and it is about to pounce on a bird to kill it and eat it. I cannot stand the thought of the cat doing this and so in the dream I arrest the process. I stop it from happening. In doing so, I interfere with the natural process of nature. The cat starts to swing around the tree out of control, as though it were the victim of some centrifugal energy. I awaken with the cat swinging around the tree, out of control. This feeling of the cat swinging remains with me the whole day.
Dream #2: A mother cat has given birth to a litter of ten cats. Then I watch the mother cat begin to eat her young. I realize there must be something wrong with the litter and this is why she is doing this. I realize also that I am being forced to watch a natural process of nature, a process that is very difficult for me to accept.
What message was the unconscious trying to bring to me? I needed to become more related to nature, to the natural instinctual laws that govern the animal kingdom. I was having restored to me, much against my will, my natural instinctual heritage. As nasty as I was being in my outer life, at some deeper level a very important transformation was occurring. There then followed the next two dreams.
Dreams of Mongol Warriors
Dream #3: I am in my home when suddenly I become aware that California has been invaded by a horde of Chinese Mongol warriors. They are primitive and bloody and I am separated from my family. I start to run out of the house to find them when I am stopped by a man who is the leader of the invasion. He is a white man, however and he forces me to sit down at a desk. The essential thing is to use the experience well and to write and not to panic. I begin writing.
Once again the unconscious brings to me the power of the instinctual energies. Starting with my father in the Zurich dream, to Krupnick and his men, to the cat energy and now to the Mongol warriors. Invasions such as this break the form of the traditional civilizations. They break the form of the consciousness in which we are living. The form of my life was being destroyed and the people around me were paying the price. There followed one additional dream that I want to share.
Dream #4: I am wrestling with a powerful Chinese Mongol. It is a battle to the death and we both know it. He is very powerful, but I know I am powerful too. The battle rages on and on, neither of us able to gain the advantage over the other. I sustain an injury to my left hip but it does not deter me. We are finally exhausted and we begin to rub oil on each other. We embrace and neither is the victor and both are the victors. I am aware of the injury to my hip.
Both of the Mongol dreams were very powerful experientially and both have stayed with me over these many years. The Mongol is such a perfect personification of primitive earth energies. The Mongols were powerful; they were cruel. They were masters and they were conquerors. In the wrestling dream I finally came face to face with the energy that I had fought so hard to disown for so many years. Through the years, however, I had become stronger. Neither of us could vanquish the other.
The hip injury has other associations. It brought to my mind immediately the image of Jacob wrestling with the angel of God at the ford of Jabbok. Jacob also suffered an injury to his hip in this encounter. Could my Mongol opponent be likened to an angel of God? Would this be blasphemy? It would not be blasphemy if we think of each of our disowned energy patterns as being an aspect of a universal energy that has to be integrated by each of us.
The intelligence of the universe was again acting through my unconscious psyche and giving me a series of dreams to help bring a greater order to my life. This Intelligence is a mathematician. It has a sense of harmony and balance. It sets priorities. It seems to have an end in view for each of us. It wants us to be aware of all the patterns, to honor all the gods and goddesses. The power side was being integrated, for what outer purpose I knew not.
I have described how impossible I had become with associates during this period. I had also met and become friendly with a psychoanalyst, Ernie White. We began meeting regularly on Monday evenings and, in effect, he was psychoanalyzing me and I was doing Jungian analysis with him. This work was extremely important to me for several reasons. Since I had begun my separation process from the Jungian community, I had been feeling more and more isolated professionally. I had become increasingly aware of my lack of friends, of how much I had played the professional seer and wise man. In this relationship we were equals. I began to deal with the phantasy structure that I had never touched in my Jungian work. I went back to the original dream of the mother goddess and started from there to deal with the personal material that I had previously neglected. It was a healing experience.
My naughty boy days ended one morning when I was driving to my office in Westwood. I was making a right turn and an old man was crossing the street, using a cane because of his infirmity. Waiting for him to pass, I started swearing at him to hurry. At that moment I awakened from my archetypal slumber. Living identified with an archetype is like being asleep. I had been asleep at some level. My awareness now witnessed the voice of the daemonic, just as it had witnessed at an earlier time the voice of my Jungian training.
I didn't understand everything at that moment, but I understood enough to realize I had to leave this scene, to get away and have time to think. I had turned from Jesus Christ into Satan and enough was enough. That morning I booked airplane passage to London and then passage back on the S. S. France to New York. Three weeks later I left for London and the next stage of my journey had begun.
I have always loved the ocean, and a real crossing is an amazing journey for me. I was seated with a lovely group of people and we all became quite friendly over the next few days. On the second or third day out they showed the newly released film version of Romeo and Juliet. For me, it was just what the doctor ordered. About half-way through the film I began to cry and I cried non-stop for about four hours. It seemed as though every bit of hardness had melted from me.
When it was over I felt a clarity I had never known before. I saw where I had been and from where I had come and I felt free. I returned to Los Angeles and it was clear to me that I could no longer remain affiliated with the Jungian community. It was no longer a question of anger, though I was not fully freed of that. It was just not my home any more. At that time I was president of the L.A. Society. I completed my term of office, another two to three months, attended the last business meeting, and my connection was finished.
I have subsequently learned many things. One of the significant lessons is that sustained anger always has something underneath it and behind it. One need only to look. I have never been an easy person with endings. My tendency has been always to chop, and I have not been too graceful. For that I am sorry. On the other hand, these were major shifts in consciousness that were taking place in me and there were not a great many people available for support.
Shortly before my final decision to leave the Jungian Society, I had a dream that I was living in a house of death, and that if I didn't get out, I would die. The dream made my decision irrevocable. I realized that it was talking about a state of consciousness and, for me, separating from the group was essential for my leaving that condition of consciousness. The hardest, the most difficult aspect of the transformational process, is the working out of relationships as we move through major changes in our lives.
For my Jungian years I am eternally grateful. The richness and the texture that they brought to my life were, and remain, invaluable. It was becoming clear to me that I couldn't be identified with anything. Being a member of the Jungian community felt like a form that stopped me from going wherever it was I had to go. On a psychological level this was a time of death, a time of endings and new beginnings.
Embracing Heaven & Earth ©1985