The Eternal Spiral Return

The Eternal Spiral Return

–master motif of the soul’s journey–

the path of life–of heart, mind and soul.

From birth to mid-life the spiral moves out, expanding and extending until reaching the mid-point. There the direction reverses and the journey outward turns back inward–the soul back to its Source.

In my Jungian writings under Return to the Whole as well as in Higher Ground, I use this spiral as the principle archetypal motif of the soul’s journey. Similar to the Labyrinth and the Mandala, the Spiral Return can cause a shift in consciousness–the movement from one level of awareness to another. The effect of meditatively tracing the outline of this motif can be centering, calming and balancing. As awareness returns to center, receptivity to more inner ways of knowing are heightened. If there is a problem to be resolved, some circumambulatory movement around a center helps the problem be seen from other angles.

So if you can’t walk a labyrinth, or if you’re not inclined to create a mandala, you are welcome to print this enlarged version of the Eternal Spiral Return and experiment with it.

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The Hua Hu Ching

Edward Edinger, one of my favorite Jungians, is the source of one of my favorite quotes:

Man cannot live by spiritual [or maybe he said “eternal”] verities alone; he also needs bread.

I find that as important as it is to keep one’s life in balance, an accompanying need is to determine when we are more in need of one than the other. Bread or Truth?

Truth at the moment is ringing more clearly for me than bread. This, however, is not knowledge about truth; rather it is a level of truth by which to live in a way that leads or opens to what Sri Aurobindo describes as the supra-mental, a level others call Buddhic or Christ consciousness.

Into the equation of knowing if it is really bread or truth I need, is knowing where I am in the cycles of my life, but life cycles is a subject I have written about elsewhere.

I am grateful to my friend Marnia for introducing me to Brian Walker’s translation of Lao Tzu’s Hua Hu Ching. Since the first of this year I have been appropriating these ancient wisdom teachings as words by which to live, and keeping notes on how they are speaking to me personally.

The first saying is about the path that leads to peace. This verse also promises that the collection of eighty sayings contains the entire truth of the universe, and joy as well in carrying out the everyday things of life.

In the teachings of contemporary mystic Eckhart Tolle I hear echoes of the Hua Hu Ching, and hear it also in The Work as taught by Byron Katie.

I reach the Integral Way of uniting with the great and mysterious Tao. My teachings are simple; if you try to make a religion or science of them, they will elude you. Profound yet plain, they contain the entire truth of the universe. Those who wish to know the whole truth take joy in doing the work and service that comes to them. Having completed it, they take joy in cleansing and feeding themselves. Having cared for others and for themselves, they then turn to the master for instruction. This simple path leads to peace, virtue, and abundance.

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The Afterlife

I am convinced that for many, if not most persons, there is an ideal time to be born and an equally ideal time and circumstance for laying down the physical body and reentering the eternal realm of spirit. Whenever I have been tempted to indulge in vain regrets or to entertain guilt over some omission or commission that might have prolonged Bob’s physical life, he has been quick to correct me and in some cases go into great detail in explaining the divine timing, forces, and blessings at work in his return to spirit.

Moreover, because of the nature of an ongoing communication that began early on after his transition, I have been doing a lot of comparative reading on the subject of the afterlife. And although there are differing accounts there is also a consistency that for me emerges and resonates with what I am receiving in my journaling dialogues with Bob.

So, when recently I read Owen Waters’ article “Life in the Afterlife” it struck me as remarkably consistent with what I have been receiving with me here and Bob there—he in spirit form while I am still in physical form. From his higher perspective he indicates there are advantages to this arrangement.

This is not to say that if given a choice I would not prefer Bob still be here in physical form. Bodies can be so habit forming that we tend to forget their disadvantages and built in genetic limitations. One of the lessons I have been learning these past ten months is not to argue with or resist the way things are. This also includes on occasion allowing and going with a wave of grief as a way of not resisting. Acknowledging, observing, and letting it pass seems to work best for me, with the nature of grief being that it comes and goes as waves, washing upon the shore of consciousness from some hidden inner depth, and then back out again, merging and disappearing into the deep and wide sea of our common humanity, appearing and disappearing according to a rhythm of its own and as all forms do. In non-resistance inner peace and even the capacity to feel joy and to laugh returns.

Owen, in his article, writes about earthly life as a primary opportunity for overcoming fear:

The fear of death today is all-pervasive. It is so ingrained in society that it gets avoided wherever possible. If death is mentioned, the subject is usually changed as quickly as possible.

The fear of death is fed by, not just one, but three powerful factors:

A built-in, biological survival instinct.

Fear of the unknown.

Fear of losing the company of a dearly loved one.

His complete article includes his suggestions for creatively facing and overcoming these fears.

If you have something to share on this subject of overcoming the fears surrounding death please consider using the comment box below to do so. [Note: To add comments, click below on words “no comments” and the comment box will appear.]

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Love Really is Eternal

The intention of this blog is to provide a place for sharing around common interests and in this way to feel more closely connected to life and to others. It is about building a sense of our common humanity, what we call community.

Otherwise, or if in isolation for too long, a sense of alienation may creep in. The image that comes to mind is of Adam and Eve cast out–banished–from the garden. (Chagall’s Expulsion from the Garden is shown below, and below that the opening of my Return to the Whole Garden chapter.)

chagall's expulsion from garden

Eden was a protected enclosure. Within the verdant garden’s boundaries God’s first children lived without fear of bodily harm or the pressures of necessity. They lived in a paradise of contentment and comfort. For companionship Adam and Eve had one another and God. For amusement they had the friendly animals. For nourishment they had but to pluck the sweet fruit of their choice. The idyllic innocence of their beginning was the kind we would wish for every child. In truth, life began for each of us within an enclosure comparable to Eden. The maternal womb provided for our every need. There we knew contentment and comfort, until the time came when we had outgrown our protective walls. Then the necessity for expansion pressed in upon us. Instead of a place of comfort the womb became a constraining vise. A principle of life was at work. An inherent wisdom had taken over to apply increasingly greater pressure against the uterine limitations that now had become barriers to further growth and therefore to life itself. As with Adam and Eve, so for each of us the time came when we had outgrown our primal maternal paradise. We, too had to suffer the trauma of expulsion into a larger and ultimately more needful and demanding world.

The story of physical birth, of psychological birth, and of spiritual birth all follow a similar pattern. Psychologically, we are born again and again. In fact, as someone has observed: “We cannot be born enough.” Spiritually, too, the need is to die, again and again, or order to be born anew in spirit.”

See Return to the Whole Book One Part I

If you are a new or old acquaintance of the Murray Creek web pages, you know that Bob (to whom I had been married for fifty-eight and a half years), on the Spring Equinox of last March experienced the ultimate rebirth–from an ensouled body to a soul now en spirit. And my greatest surprise and continuing source of gratitude has been coming to know–experientially–that love really is eternal.

His transition has been for me a profound re-perception of reality as I have recorded the frequent telepathic communications that have passed between us. My intention in sharing around the topic of love being eternal is to invite others to add their experiences and comments, and in so doing help strengthen our collective sense of connection. Your input (below) is therefore encouraged.

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