Mary has an ancient history in the collective psychic imagination of mankind. Only her names (Asherah, Astarte, Isis, Diana, Ishtar, Venus, etc.) have changed over the centuries while her archetypal reality remains the same. She is referred to as wisdom present in the moment of creation, as co-redemptrix, as all-powerful, as the counterpart of the masculine force within the masculine and feminine fields of energy that exist in an inseparable unity. As the goddess of the divine feminine energy field within us, she is the feminine dimension of the Self. She is the spiritual vessel in which opposites combine. In her, ego and Self become united. In the same way, Mary and Jesus are counterpart personifications of the essential Self. The virginity of Mary means that incarnation is about the conception and birth of a higher consciousness without the intercession or necessity of any human agency, i.e. ego. Jesus is the personification of this and is, thus, spiritually, the son of a virgin mother. She is what we are meant to become. ~ adapted from *Mary Within, A Jungian Contemplation of Her Titles and Powers* by David Richo
If our expectations are too rigid, we may miss opportunities that come into our lives. It is better to have no expectation of the blessings that we might receive, but be open to all possibilities.
There is a story about a man who considered himself a true believer, of having a great faith. He relied on God to provide all his needs. One day a terrible storm was forecast and people were warned to go to higher ground because of the danger of being flooded. However, the man ignored the warning because he knew that God would provide for his needs. A car came by his house with neighbors who offered to take him with them to a safe place, but the man refused because God would provide all his needs. The rain came and began to flood the area. A boat with authorities came by and told the man he should evacuate, but the man stood his ground because God would provide. As the water got deeper, the man went up to the roof. A helicopter flew over and, seeing him on the roof, the people inside told him to grab the lifeline and they would pull him up, but the man refused because God would provide. Finally the water swept over the house and the man drowned. When he got to heaven he met God and indignantly asked, “I had great faith that you would provide what I needed and you let me drown. How could you do that?” God answered, “I sent you a car, a boat, and a helicopter, but you refused them all.”
Sometimes the blessings we receive are either smaller or greater than what we could have imagined, and sometimes they are disguised as difficulties that will lead us to something better.
There is another story of a man who bought a beautiful stallion at a very good price. His neighbors came and congratulated him on his good fortune. He replied, “Perhaps it’s good, perhaps it’s bad.” One day the stallion managed to escape the corral and ran off. The neighbors all voiced their regrets at this difficult loss. But again he remarked, “Perhaps it’s good, perhaps it’s bad.” A few days later the stallion came back with three lovely mares and, of course, the neighbors all exclaimed what good luck that was. But the man only replied, “Perhaps it’s good, perhaps it’s bad.” As his son was riding one of the mares, she bolted causing the young man to fall and break his leg. At which the neighbors again voiced their dismay at the turn of events. But the man only answered, “Perhaps it’s good, perhaps it’s bad.” Because there was much trouble in the area, the king ordered all young men to join in a great war, but the man’s son couldn’t go because he had a broken leg. When the neighbor’s came to congratulate him on his good fortune they heard the same reply – – and so it goes on.
Whether a situation is good or bad depends upon our outlook, the way we perceive it. The situation, in itself, is neither good nor bad, it just “is.” Only our attitude determines its rightness or wrongness. Even those who commit a crime believe it to be a good thing for them, though it may appear to be bad to everyone else. A rain storm may be beneficial to a farmer who needs water for his crops, but detrimental to an outdoor celebration.
There is a saying, “Expect nothing and never be disappointed.” Frustration is a result of expectations not met, and anger is the result of an overload of frustration that is acted out as violence. These are conflicting energies that exist between the ego’s longing for worldly things and the soul’s longing for peace within. When ego and soul are in agreement, there is no agitation, no frustration, no anger – there is only peace within.
To expect nothing is to be accepting of all circumstances, all situations – with the knowledge that we have the ability to refuse from people that which does not serve our greater good, or to accept from them that which does. Refusing what does not serve us is illustrated by the story of the Buddha in “About Bullying,” another blog available here.
Evil is a concept that causes a great deal of confusion. Seeing the horrors of evil causes many to question the existence of a loving God.
In order to understand evil it is necessary to understand its origin. There are myths that explain it as the fall of Adam and Eve from Paradise, and the banishment of the angel Lucifer from the Kingdom of Heaven. These allegories provide a way to conceptualize the way in which Spirit expressed Itself into matter. They show a separation between heaven and earth, angels and devils, good and evil. These are opposing spiritual forces that result in the material forces of positive and negative, attraction and repulsion and are the basis of atomic structure. They also provide us with the commonly understood idea of opposites.
In the beginning all was one within God and it is only through the opposing forces of positive and negative that creation as we know it became possible. Without these forces causing differences as opposites, everything would be the same everywhere and there would be no form, space or time as comprehended by mortals. In our daily experiences we find that opposites are merely expressions of different aspects of the same thing. A top cannot exist without a bottom, there has to be an up to have a down, evil would not be recognized without an awareness of good.
The forces of good and evil originate from a neutral center that is their Source (called the “Father” by Jesus), where both extremes are reconciled into one. A good example of this is temperature where there are extreme opposites of hot and cold. However, there is an undefined central point at which both extremes of temperature meet and blend into one, a place where there is neither hot nor cold, but where it is “just right.” Similarly, evil, weakness, and vice are the extremes of good, strength, and virtue, in the same way that cold is the extreme of hot. Between them is the “neutral center” – the place of the Father or Source of creation that possesses neither good nor evil but reconciles them both into One.
So it is that man, having free will, may direct his inner forces to either extreme, or work to establish harmony through a neutral center or “still point” within – a place where both extremes of good and evil are blended into harmony, peace and unity. While God’s purpose provided mankind with free will and the ability to reason, this awareness of choice has become corrupted through its use as misdirected power. It was not God but creatures who, because of ego, created evil through the use of negative forces to their own benefit.
Evil might be defined as complete disregard of the laws of God, causing a separation from God, while sin might be defined as wrong choice. Choices are tempered by whatever it is that each person believes to be good at the moment, and is an indication of who we are as individuals. The roots of sin are in selfishness as an expression of ego, the force of mind that presents itself in opposition to the mind of Spirit. Ego is the “false god” of the First Commandment that should not be placed above the Creator.
Whether anything is right or wrong is more a personal judgment than an intrinsic condition as it depends upon personal value systems. That which is considered good by one may be considered sin by another. For example, killing people in the name of God may be thought of as good by people having some particular belief while others consider it to be evil. However, every thought and action carries energetic vibrations from intentions, motivations and desires, and these will have a consequence. Because energy operates in cycles and returns to its source while attempting to come to a balance, whatever is sown is reaped.
The ability to choose between opposing situations or influences provides the opportunity to learn from the consequences of those choices and to gain in understanding. But in order to learn the difference between what is good and what is evil some goal or ideal is needed against which progress can be measured. Simply put, a decision must be made as to the kind of person we want to be and that has to be expressed through our words and deeds.