1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Romantic Love: A book EVERY Western man should read January 30, 2010

This book is a true revelation, an insight into the depth of a Romantic Love phenomenon. I would strongly recommend this book to every Westerner, but especially to men. For it makes one understand the nature of the so-called love life and how to deal with the obsessive search for love, so common for the Western mindset. The book gives brilliant answer on why relationships in our cultures are in a state of epidemic crisis.

The book is called “Understanding the Psychology of romantic love” and is written by Robert A. Johnson, a world-renowned Jungian analyst and one of 20th century’s most popular depth psychology scholars. The uniqueness of Johnson’s approach is backed up with his long-term visits of India and Japan, profound study of the Eastern philosophy and lifestyle. In his bestsellers Johnson delivers comparative analysis of Western and Eastern approaches which is still a rare take among scholars. Needless to say I am fascinated by him, for his works mirror my own views.

I’d love to share with you here the main idea of the book, but please keep in mind that by no means will my quotation replace the reading of it!

Catharism, the pure love

Psychologically our modern era began in the 12th century. At that time one of he most powerful of the early religions was the Manichean movement, in Europe called “Catharism” (the pure). One of their basic beliefs was that “true love” was not the ordinary human love between husband and wife but rather the worship of a feminine saviour, a mediator between God and man, who waited in the sky to welcome the “pure”  with a holy kiss and lead him or her into the Realm of Light. By contrast with this “pure” love, ordinary human sexuality and marriage were bestial and unspiritual. Many Christians at that time saw Catharism as a reform movement, a reaction against the corruption and politics within the religious hierarchy. The pope declared Catharism heresy, but like every powerful idea, the teachings of Catharism suddenly reappeared in the cult of courtly love (a worship of a lady fair by a knight), in the songs and poems of troubadours and in the “romances”. Some cultural historians belive that ladies and knights who first practiced courtly love were Cathars continuing their religious practice under the guise of a secular cult of love.

 

Courtly love

Thus the ideal of courtly love swept through the feudal courts of Europe and began a revolution in our attitudes towards the feminine values of love, relationship, devotion, spiritual experience and the pursuit of beauty. That revolution finally matured into what we call romanticism. The Western men began to look on woman as the embodiment of all what is pure, sacred and whole, woman became the symbol of a anima, “My Lady Soul”. (more…)

 

How to measure your Spiritual Growth? January 28, 2010

We all know – the Ego wants to take, to absorb, to possess everything and the heart only wants to give, to share, to nourish.

Suddenly a simple idea stroke my mind: it’s so easy to check out how far I am in my spiritual growth by a simple test. I just need to watch and introspect how often I want to get and how often to give.

When I think of it, I remember that people who impress me with their spiritual depth are extremely giving, amazingly generous, heartedly caring… And I recall some who do as if they were spiritually evolved but one can’t get anything from them – no time, no attention, no sharing, no presents… literary nothing.

Since the heart is the place where the Spirit dwells, it becomes obvious that the larger the heart is, the stronger is the manifestation of the Spirit and thus the beauty of spiritual growth.

Check yourself :)

LOVE, axinia

(image by me)

 

Traditional Hindu families – compare to the Western family makeup! January 26, 2010

I’ve just finished an awesome book on LOVE: “We: understanding the psychology of romantic love” by Robert A. Johnson. I tell you, it’s a bomb. And a must for any Westerner!

The things the author (himself an American, lived in India and Japan) reveals about the nature of the so called romantic love and where it leads us are terrific! I am preparing the post on the book and its highlights. And in the meanwhile please check Johnson’s insight into the nature of traditional Hindu families  – I guess it is pretty much same today, although the book was written in 1983:

“One of the most striking and surprising things I observed among traditional Hindus was how bright, happy, and psychologically healthy their children are. Children in Hindu families are not neurotic; they are not torn within themselves as so many Western children are. They are bathed constantly in human affection, and they sense a peaceful flow of affection between their mother and father. (more…)

 

Why we can’t find happiness January 24, 2010

The topic of Happiness, same as of Love is one of the greatest mysteries of all times. Everybody wants it, many have it, even more are desperately searching for it…

When I ask a person: Are you happy? he or she starts reflecting like “yes, basically I have this and that.. must be happy.. but…” Something seems to be missing, at least for the Western mindset.

It’s hard for me to comment on it, for I was already born a happy person. Despite several pretty gloomy periods in my life I remember having inner peace and contentment and even bliss constantly, independent of the hard life tests. However I was not taught that. It was just there… some good luck, may be :).

Looking at people around I am wondering why can’t they be happy. If happiness is about having the material wealth, then most of the people in the West must have been the happiest in the world. But the opposite is true. Ask anyone “what do you wish for yourself?” and the most common answer will be “I want to become happy”.

That was always puzzling me… until I discovered for myself a great Master of a human psyche,  a Jungian analyst Robert A. Johnson. In his book “HE”  Johnson gives probably the most accurate and brilliant explanation what happiness is and how to achieve it.

Modern western man has some basic misconceptions about the nature of happiness. The origin of the word is instructive: happiness steams from the the root verb to happen, which implies that our happiness is what happens. Simple people in less complicated parts of the world function in this manner and exhibit a happiness and tranquility that is a puzzle to us. (more…)

 

In the Beginning of Time January 21, 2010

Filed under: poem,poetry,spirituality — axinia @ 10:58 am
Tags: , , , ,

In the beginning of time,

 there rose from the churning of God’s dream two women.

One is the dancer at the court of paradise,

 the desired of men, she who laughs and plucks the minds of the wise
from their cold meditations

and of fools from their emptiness;

and scatters them like seeds with careless hands in the extravagant
winds of March, in the flowering frenzy of May.

The other is the crowned queen of heaven,

 the mother, thronedon the fullness of golden autumn;

she who in the harvest-time
brings straying hearts to the smile sweet as tears,

 the beauty deep as the sea of silence,

-brings them to the temple of the Unknown,
at the holy confluence of Life and Death.

Rabindranath Tagore

(image by me)

 

The rules of the game: 10 Golden Rules of Social Media January 19, 2010

Filed under: thoughts — axinia @ 5:03 pm

I normally don’t do such things, but I found the article so good, clear and important, that I decided to re-post it. Since Social media are growing and almost everyone seems to be using Facebook &Co, and many are blogging (not like even 2 years back!) it is good to remember “the rules of the game”!

10 Golden Rules of Social Media

I know, I know — it’s a bit presumptuous of me to think I can write the “10 Golden Rules of Social Media.” Then again, I’ve been online since 1987, consulting clients on the Internet since 1992, on the web since 1994, immersed in working on and speaking about the web since the mid-1990s, so I do feel like I’ve paid some dues and learned some lessons along the way.

So here are my 10 Golden Rules of Social Media to embrace, debate, pass around and refine. Have at it.

1. Respect the Spirit of the ‘Net. Since 1995, I’ve been writing about and talking about what I call the “Spirit of the ‘Net.” The Internet was not meant for marketing and selling but for communication and connection to people and information. Understanding this, even today, can flip your marketing and selling strategy on its head, but you’ll have far more success respecting the spirit of the ‘Net, rather than throwing money at hard-sell tactics.

2. Listen. In the ’90s, the Golden Rule of posting to a Usenet Newsgroup or other online community was to listen first before speaking. Listening thoughtfully gives you a better sense of not only what people are saying but also how they are feeling. In virtual spaces where there are no visual cues, good listening skills become a powerful asset. Listening also helps you map out your current social media footprint and measure your marketing campaigns over time. The key to successful social media marketing is listening.

3. Add Value. Enter any online conversation with the aim of adding value. Before posting a message as a new participant in a forum, ask yourself: How is this providing value to the conversation? To the community? In some circles, talking about your product or service can be considered valuable, but in most, it is unwelcome and intrusive.

4. Respond. From the early days of setting up the first web presences for clients such as Origins and Dr. Atkins, my company outlined the importance of timely responses to any feedback or queries generated from those sites. The burden of response can be great, but it can be lessened by using the right tools and crowdsourcing answers. A quick response is more important than ever, and thanks to search tools, alert apps and other services, it is possible to achieve. Don’t be a dam in a conversation flow. (more…)

 

Why a marriage works or not January 17, 2010

One may view a marriage as two people standing back to back , each protecting the other in a particular way.

It is the feminine task to protect not only herself but her man nad  her family from the dangers of inner world; moods, inflations, excesses, vulnerabilities, and what used to be called possessions. There are the things a woman’s genius can manage much better that a man’s. Usually he has his own task in facing the outer world and keeping the family safe.

There is a particular danger in the modern attitude in which both people face the our world, both spend their time in outer things. This leaves their inner world unprotected and many dangers creep into the household through this unprotected quarter. Children are particularly vulnerable to this unprotectedness.

When a marriage begins the partners are like two discrete circles overlapping a little. The division between he two is great and each has a specific task. As the marriage partners grow older, each learns a bit of other’s genius, and finally the two circles overlap more and more.

found in “She” by Robert A.Johnson, a Jungian analytic

 

 
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