1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

What are we longing for? February 17, 2010

So much of our lives is spent in a longing and a search – for what, we don’t know.

So many of our ostensible “goals”, so many of the things we think we want, turn out to be the masks behind which our real desires hide; they are symbols for the actual values and qualities for which we hunger.

They are not reducible to physical or material things, not even to a physical person; they are psychological qualities; love, truth, honesty, loyalty, purpose – something we can feel is noble, precious, and worthy of our devotion. We try to reduce all this to something physical – a house, a car, a better job, or a human being – but it doesn’t work. (more…)

 

How to handle the tremendous power of romantic love? February 12, 2010

As many of you have learned from my earlier posts on the awesome book of Robert A. Johnson “Understanding the psychology of Romantic Love” (here and here), romantic love however attractive and delightful it may occur, brings more destruction than happiness.  Romantic love being the single greatest energy system in the Western psyche, is a tremendous power that attracts. If we can learn how to use it in a constructive, not a destructive way… may be the make up of the modern Western society can change for the better!

Let’s see the Johnson’s implications on the channeling of romantic love, please enjoy the way the author is unfolding it, so beautifully and truly:

 Romantic love is a spiritual power

Romantic love is one of these truly overwhelming psychological phenomena that have appeared in Western history. It has overwhelmed our collective psyche and permanently altered our view of the world. As a society, we have not yet learned to handle the tremendous power of romantic love. We turn it into tragedy and alienation more often than into enduring human relationships. But, I believe, if men and women will understand the psychological dynamics behind romantic love and learn to handle them consciously, they will find a  new possibility of relationship, both to themselves and to others.

When we “fall in love” we feel completed, as though a missing part of ourselves has been returened to us; we feel uplifted, as though we were suddenly raised above the level of the ordinary world. Life has an intensity, a glory, an ecstasy and transcendence.

We seek in romantic love to be possessed by our love, to soar to the heights, to find ultimate meaning and fulfillment in our beloved. We seek the feeling of wholeness.

If we ask where else we have looked for these things, there is an answer: (more…)

 

Romantic love vs. True love and why happy marriages are rare in the West February 4, 2010

This post follows Romantic Love: A book EVERY Western man should read  and  quotes Robert A. Johnson’s bestseller “Understanding the Psychology of romantic love”  . I arranged it the way that it gives the essence of author’s investigations on the topic, but please do read the book, it’s so insightful!

Below you will find the brilliant differentiation between the so called romantic love and true love. After reading this post, be prepared for the next in which you will lean about the amazing potential of romantic love.  In the meanwhile, let’s meditate on the truthful lines below.

What is romantic love?

Romantic love is the single greatest energy system in the Western psyche. In our culture it has supplanted religion as the arena in which men and women seek meaning, transcendence, wholeness, and ecstasy…We are so accustomed to living with the beliefs and assumptions of romantic love that we think it is the only form of “love” on which marriage or love relationships can be based. We think it is the only “true love”. But there is much that we can learn from the East about this. In Eastern countries, like those of India and Japan, we find that married couples love each other with great warmth, often with a stability and devotion that puts us to shame. But their love is not “romantic love” as we know it. They don’t impose the same ideals on their relationships, nor do they impose such impossible demands and expectations on each other as we do.

Romantic love has existed throughout history in many cultures. We find it in the literature of ancient Greece, the Roman empire, ancient Persia, and feudal Japan. But our modern Western society is the only culture in history that has experienced romantic love as a mass phenomenon. We are the only society that makes romance the basis of our marriages and love relationships and the cultural ideal of “true love”.

One of the greatest paradoxes in romantic love is that it never produces human relationships as long as it stays romantic. It produces drama, daring adventures, wondrous, intense love scenes, jealousies, and betrayal; but people never seem to settle into relationship with each other as flesh-and-blood human beings until they are out of the romantic love stage, until they love each other instead of “being in love”.

Romance, in its purest form, seeks only one thing – passion. It is willing to sacrifice everything else – every duty, obligation, relationship, or commitment  – in order to have passion.

Difference between romantic love and true love

People become so wearied of the cycles and dead ends of romance that they begin to wonder if there is such a thing as “love”. There is. (more…)

 

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…)

 

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…)

 

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

 

A truly modern person January 13, 2010

 and

“Dr. Jung once said that medieval man lived by either-or, but that modern person cannot go off to a convent or the Himalayas exclusively to search for spirituality;

nor can she /he pour herself/himself exclusively into the family, profession or practicality.

It is a true task of a truly modern mind to endure both the spiritual and practical as the framework for the life.”

Robert A.Johnson, a Jungian analyst

When I’ve read this quote I thought, oh, that’s just about me 🙂 And I was humble enough to use my own recent picture as an illustration!

LOVE, axinia

 

 
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