Healing the Heart:
An Alchemy of Consciousness


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Lecture 19
The Dream of the Cosmos
The Lunar and Solar Hero
The Great Work: Healing the Wasteland
The Myth of the Solar Hero
Voices of the Ancestors
A Unified Vision of Reality
A Metaphysical Revolution? Reflections on the Idea of the Primacy of Consciousness
Lecture 12
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Rebalancing the Psyche: Integrating the Feminine Principle Body, Soul and Spirit
Lecture 11
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Love as the Pulse of the Cosmos: Reconnecting With the Divine Ground
Lecture 10
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Seeing through the Veil: Reuniting Three Dimensions of Reality
Lecture 9
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Unexplored Dimensions of Consciousness
and The Visionary Experience
Lecture 8
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An Alchemical Quest
Lecture 7
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Healing the Heart: An Alchemy of Consciousness
Lecture 6
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The Sleeping Beauty - The Awakening of Instinct into Consciousness
Lecture 5
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Rebalancing the Masculine and Feminine
Lecture 4
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The Dream of the Water: A Quest for the Numinous
Lecture 3
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The Evolution of Consciousness
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Jung's Septem Sermones ad Mortuos 
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The Relevance of the Visionary Experience to Culture  



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Lecture 7


Mystics and Scientists Conference, Winchester 1993

Copyright © Anne Baring

This talk is about the quest for an alchemy which could heal the wounded human heart, an alchemy which could transform our perception of life from base metal into gold, transform it from something that is cut off from the profound depths of our soul into something that is consciously in touch with them. Such an alchemy would tune us to resonate ever more finely with the vast, humming music of the ground of being.
---- -The heart is like an umbilical cord which mediates between the life within us and the life around us. It connects us to the life of the whole, the greater life of the divine ground. The heart is our creative imagination, born of our instinct for relationship with this greater life. The heart generates all our quests, all our hopes and longings and will ultimately reunite us with the source from which we have come. Without the heart, without the instinct to feel, to imagine, to hope and to love, life is meaningless, sterile, dead. When we are in touch with our heart, when we are connected to our deepest feelings, it comes alive, it vibrates, it sings.
---- - The life-bearing energy of the heart rises like a fountain within us to nourish and irrigate the soil of soul. As with the physical heart, if the psychic heart is not in a healthy state; if one or more of its arteries is blocked; if the circulatory system is not in good order, then we cannot function at a level of optimum health. Our heart carries many wounds, and these, like blocked arteries, can restrict the flow of energy through the psychic circulatory system, leading to the impairment of psychic and physical health. Where do these wounds come from and how are they inflicted?
---- -To answer this question, we need to understand that the kind of consciousness we now have has evolved infinitely slowly out of the matrix of nature. Once we were contained by it as a child within its mother. Self-awareness, the ability to reflect on our actions, to think, to reason, to focus our thought is a very recent development in relation to the thousands, even millions of years of human evolution. The potential for consciousness was buried within us, like a seed buried with the earth. Once, we lived unconsciously, purely instinctively, without self-awareness as we know it now. The evolutionary development of the differentiation of consciousness from the matrix of nature has inflicted on us the same kind of psychic wound that a child experiences when it is born because we have come to experience ourselves as separate from the matrix that once contained us.
---- -This long process of differentiation has been experienced by us as an exile, a fall, a state of disharmony and disunion. From it has come our present still fragile consciousness and the fears and anxieties which torment us. But the memory of fusion or union with the ground of being we once knew, albeit unconsciously, lives on in us as a longing for reunion, for the ecstasy of belonging once again to the greater Other. We have created all kinds of myths to assuage the loneliness and terror of separation and to re-connect us with the whole. The great sages and mystics of all cultures have tried to teach us how to dissolve the illusion of our separate existence so that we would experience ourselves in full consciousness as the divine ground, as divine being. But only a few individuals, so very few, have understood their message.
---- -The sacred image, whether goddess or god, is so essential to us because it mediates between our present awareness of ourselves and the deepest dimension of our psychic life. It relates us through our heart to this ground. Looking back beyond the image of the father god who has been worshipped by patriarchal cultures for some two to three thousand years, we find that for some twenty thousand years before this, the mother goddess was the image of that ground. She stood for the whole invisible matrix of relationships that we call life She was divine life, both transcendent and immanent. She was the divine presence within her manifest form, continually renewing and regenerating it in a cyclical process of waxing and waning as immutable as that of the moon. The whole of life was experienced as an epiphany of her being. Through her image, people were held in a state of instinctive participation with the whole. We could think of this as the first phase in the evolution of consciousness.
---- - Then, about 2000 B.C., there was a profound change in mythic imagery which suggests that about this time a new phase in the evolution of consciousness was initiated. The image of a Great Father began to replace the Great Mother. In the earliest myth – a Babylonian one (the Enuma Elish) – the mother goddess was murdered by the god and her corpse was split in half, one half making the heavens and the other the earth. Later, the goddess became the void, the deep, and in the Book of Genesis the spirit of god moved upon these waters and brought life into being. The new image of deity reflected the idea of creative spirit bringing life into being as something separate from itself rather than emanating from itself, invisibly present within the forms emerging from itself. Creation was from the Word of the Father rather than from the Womb of the Mother and this change of imagery reflected a profound change in the way we perceived life. An older, participatory kind of consciousness that connected us with nature was replaced by one that increasingly emphasised the need to control and dominate nature. From now on the head rather than the heart becomes the focus of consciousness.With this change of emphasis in the sacred image, there is both an accelerated development of mind, or intellect, and a tremendous advance in technology and control of the environment but, at the same time, a loss of relationship with it.
---- - During the last 4000 years a fundamental dualism has permeated human culture, a dualism that has split spirit from nature and divided mind from body, intellect from instinct, thinking from feeling. As human consciousness evolved further away from its instinctive ground, fear was constellated: fear of the instincts, fear of the unknown, fear of death, fear above all, of nature as the Great Mother who was the root of all these fears. Over thousands of years and quite unconsciously, this fear has led to the situation where the greater part of life has been emptied of spirit. Nature, soul, matter, body, instincts were gradually desacralised and the sense of life as a sacred totality from which nothing could be excluded was lost. From this time on the emphasis is on the development of power and control over nature, mythically reflected in the image of the hero killing the dragon. The human mind, unconsciously identified with spirit, is imperceptibly elevated to the posture of a god. In our efforts to control and direct life 'from above', and shape it to our defined goals, we have assumed the mythic position of the deity we have worshipped. The idea that life is created and controlled by a power outside and above nature originates in Babylonian mythology and was transmitted to later cultures: Persian, Greek, Roman and Judeo-Christian. This paradigm of control underlies our theological and scientific concepts. We are utterly unconscious of the fact that the structure of our religion, philosophy and science rests on the foundation of a belief system which divided life into light and dark, good and evil, male and female and associated nature, matter and woman with darkness, chaos and evil.
---- - Once, long ago, when spirit and nature were not yet sundered, life was sacred. The Great Mother as the womb from which life emerged and to which it returned was an image that expressed the mystery of relationship between all aspects of life, hidden and manifest. With the loss of the image of the Great Mother, the realm of the heart, the source of the creative imagination, was repressed into the unconscious. It has had to function subliminally, unconsciously, and more and more negatively as long as nothing was done to reunite it with consciousness. No healing could take place, no fundamental shift in human values or human understanding because everything related to the heart, to the instincts and the imagination, was gradually devalued in relation to the rational, conscious mind. Because of the loss of the image of the Divine Feminine life came to be seen as mere mechanism, without meaning or purpose. Modern science has emptied both nature and cosmos of divinity.
---- - I remember a dream I once had of the Eiffel tower straddling the surface of the moon. At the time I had this dream, it referred to the sterility of my own consciousness, and the rigid control I had over my instinctual life but I think it may also apply to the cultural paradigm that we have accepted today. Identified with this iron construction of our control over nature, unable to trust or listen to our deepest instincts, we no longer know how to love life as divine life, how to listen to its voice, or enter into communion with its harmony within ourselves and the life around us. We no longer know how to value or create beauty, how to stand in awe of life, how to wonder. Everything has to pass the voice of the stern judge: 'Can it be proven?' before it is acceptable to us. So much of immense value to us is lost through this censorship. To sum up, because we have lost the feminine image of the divine, we have lost touch with the instinct for relationship with life and this has deeply wounded our heart and our culture.
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The Myth of the Fall
There is a myth which stands at the root of Judeo-Christian civilisation that has also wounded the heart because it has ratified the split between spirit and nature as something that is divinely ordained. The myth of the Fall or of Exile from the Garden of Eden draws an image of humanity as essentially flawed, expelled from the divine world, blamed and punished by God for a primal sin or fault committed long ago. The myth was interpreted literally, as what really happened at a specific historical time, not as a myth about the great evolutionary step of the separation of consciousness from the matrix of nature. It has imprinted the Judeo-Christian psyche with a fundamental dualism and a deep sense of guilt. On the one hand there is God in the Garden of Eden, the higher, divine world. On the other, there are Adam and Eve exiled from the Garden and condemned to a life of toil and suffering on earth – the lower world emptied of divinity. This image of exile and punishment has made us look for the divine beyond rather than within life, beyond rather than within ourselves, longing to get back into the Garden but forever unable to.
---- -Because of its influence, active over nearly 3000 years, nature, matter, body, sexuality, and the instincts in general have all been dissociated from spirit and desacralised. Woman also, by her association with Eve, was included in this process. The image of exile from the Garden, inflicted on Eve and Adam as a punishment for their disobedience, infuses the story with a melancholy tone that offers a tragic image of human existence on earth.
---- -How has this myth formed our image of ourselves? It seems to me that there is a shadow aspect to Christian teaching, an unconscious sado-masochism in the doctrine that human existence and the created order are intrinsically flawed; that suffering and death are are a punishment for a primal sin and that sin has been transmitted like a fatal disease through the sexual act from generation to generation. At the root of our culture there is the image of a punishing Father who inflicts abandonment and suffering on his children. The negative imagery of the myth has deeply undermined our trust and delight in life, setting us against ourselves and against our instincts.
---- -With this myth as a divine model for human behaviour, how could we not blame other people in order to shift the intolerable burden of sin and guilt from our own heart onto another's? How could we protect ourselves from the belief that everyone, including children, is born sinful rather than simply unconscious? Imagine the effect of this myth on generations of children and how evil was beaten and punished out of them. Imagine its effect on generations of husbands and fathers whose subjugation of their wives and daughters was ratified by it. Consider how negatively it has structured man's perception of himself, his relationship with woman and his own feelings and instincts and how deeply it has undermined woman's trust in herself. In the image of Adam blaming Eve and her bringing sin, disease and death into the world we have the root of the deep distrust of woman in Judeo-Christian culture. In the image of the angry father punishing his errant children, we have the justification for punishing all those who seem to err - including our enemies. It was to be expected that we would divest ourselves of our sense of sin and guilt by blaming and punishing others. The myth itself has given rise to great evil, compounding human suffering, splitting nature from spirit, body from mind, creating negative habits of thinking and feeling which have profoundly affected the lives of generations of human beings. We bring into the culture that is the result of what we believe. Who knows whether the atrocities we are currently witnessing may not have their distant origin, like all our hatreds and cruelties, in a fundamental flaw in our religious beliefs which have set us against ourselves and, therefore, ultimately, against others. It might be more true to believe, as Matthew Fox does, that we are a supremely blessed species instead of a flawed one. Perhaps leaving the Garden (separating from the matrix of nature) was a privilege, a sacred trust, something life asked us to undertake for its sake, with all the bewilderment and suffering and search it entailed. Perhaps our life, together with all life on this planet participates in that divine life we have been taught to believe is something different from us, beyond and above us.
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The Loss of Soul
Jung called attention to the devaluation and loss of the soul, showing how the extraverted emphasis of our religious beliefs (with divinity outside us), and the brutality of our rationalist philosophy did violence to our instincts: how our instincts or feelings were so devalued in relation to our intellect, our heart in relation to our head, that a deep chasm has developed in the psyche between the conscious mind and the unconscious. When the realm of instinct is dissociated from consciousness, the injured instinct is increasingly focused on power and the need to achieve it. When psychic injuries are not acknowledged and healed, when the creative imagination is denied expression, when the flow of life is blocked, instinct becomes compulsive, ruthless, even demonic. Eventually, the waters dammed up behind the fragile wall of consciousness burst through it, destroying everything in their path. It is not because human beings are intrinsically evil that they create evil, but that they cannot survive such injuries to their soul. Everything we call evil, the huge aggression in today's world comes from the wounded heart of the culture and the unrecognised suffering of millions of individuals.
---- - Jung saw that our consciousness has become one-eyed, a monolithic consciousness that sees only the surface of life and takes that for the only reality. He saw that the neglect of our inner life, our deep instinctual needs and wisdom, had led to the situation where, as in the Grail legend, the territory of the soul is in the grip of a terrible drought. No-one understands any more what the landscape and the language of the soul are like: no one can read the images. They are like hieroglyphs whose key has been lost. He saw that there was an immense work to be done in recovering the soul and that time was very short.
---- -He saw that the decay of the old god-image and the disintegration and barbarism of this century heralded a new phase in the evolution of consciousness, one which would recover the feminine value and the dimension of the soul. This transitional phase of the loss of the old god-image is extremely dangerous. In our fear and confusion, we may lose the priceless attainment of the level of consciousness and insight we have struggled for millennia to achieve. Because of the polarisation of rational mind and instinct within us, everything around us is increasingly polarised: on the one hand there is the impulse to overthrow authority; on the other, repressive authoritarian tendencies, fundamentalism of all kinds, which attempt to resist any impulse for change. In its fear and confusion and in its archaic habits of response to danger, the instinct may turn demonic, threatening the delicate fabric of civilisation with disintegration and descent into barbarism. Rage accumulates in the unconscious and bursts forth in a tidal-wave of violence and cruelty. Religions that did so much to create civilisation, are powerless to prevent this regression, perhaps because they are unable to recognize their authoritarian shadow and because they cling to an image of the divine which projects divinity beyond human existence. Belief will not sustain us through this perilous phase. We need insight into why this situation has arisen, knowledge of our nature, understanding of our instinctive habits of behaviour, above all, the integration of thinking and feeling, mind and soul.
---- -The twentieth century has been a century of concentration camps, hydrogen bombs, human sacrifice on an apocalyptic scale and theologies of power which aim to manipulate and control both mind and body. Where does the pathology of the split psyche reveal itself? How is the creative imagination perverted and used to destroy life? Prisoners of archaic tribal responses, we spend a trillion dollars a year on arms. Prisoners of fear, we justify the invention of weapons of destruction that can exterminate millions of human beings by remote control. If we knew that life is one and indivisible, would it be so easy to destroy our enemies since in essence, they are ourselves? If religion had taught us that the body was sacred and had not itself tortured and murdered in God's name, would it be so easy for us to atomise it? We seem, in a state of unconscious identification with deity to have assumed the power of the godhead itself, using the elements of life to destroy life. This malignant aggression (Erich Fromm's phrase) begins at the point where the heart is paralysed, frozen, where our psychic life cannot grow and begins to wither and die. At this point the attraction to sadistic behaviour and death begins and with it the addiction to the power to inflict suffering and death on others. ealing this Pathology---- -

Healing this Pathology
How could we heal this pathology be healed? Once, long ago, we felt contained within the ground of being in the image of the Great Mother. Then we learned to fear and obey the image of the Great Father and to sacrifice the flesh to the spirit. Now we are asked to restore the feminine dimension of life to its former sacredness, so we may heal the dissociation in the soul. This means loving and honouring and valuing human existence on this planet, undoing the negative imagery of the myth of the Fall, becoming aware of all the rigid patterns of belief which block the flow of life in the individual and in society. It means restoring matter and the physical body to the realm of spirit, understanding that they are sacred because they are the manifestation of divine life. It means learning to cherish them instead of trying to manipulate and control them, learning to cherish ourselves as an infinitely precious vehicle of life. This focus on healing our inner life is not introspective selfishness, as we have been taught for so long. It is loving and serving the divine life that we are.
---- -Only in this century has our attention been directed towards the suffering hidden beneath the surface of consciousness. The new insights offered by psychology are a great advance or increase of consciousness because they offer us the opportunity of freeing ourselves from unconscious habits of behaviour, personal habits as well as tribal habits. Now, as the old paradigm fractures and dissolves, a new conception of reality is struggling to be born. A new holistic approach to the Earth, to the body as the manifest aspect of the soul reflects this new vision. New discoveries in science and medicine, new and experimental forms of healing are part of this impulse. Where religion has judged and condemned negative patterns of human behaviour as sinful, our growing insight into our nature can understand them as symptoms of psychic injuries, of deep injuries to the heart. This new impulse is grounded in compassion for life, compassion for ourselves as participants in a divine drama and the realisation that the healing of the culture begins within ourselves. It is helping us to see that people are not bad but sad and that sadness can lead to badness and even to madness and to all the patterns of evil that are so resistant to our efforts to eradicate them.
---- -This descent into the realm of the instinct is not without danger. Psychology that offers itself as a redeemer can easily degenerate into authoritarianism or facile technology. As we penetrate deeper and deeper below the surface of consciousness into the neglected dimension of the soul we reach the molten lava of long-buried emotions, the hidden turmoil of individual and collective suffering. Healing comes with the recognition, acceptance and transformation of powerful and frightening feelings. This is the direction which could lead us to the further evolution of consciousness. Where religion has emphasised repression and sacrifice, conformity to collective beliefs, guilt and punishment, the new approach does not judge or condemn but seeks to listen and to heal. Instinct is the tumultuous creative energy of life. It can never be controlled by consciousness; but it can be transformed through insight and compassion. If you tell someone he or she is bad, sinful, you will not heal the heart. You will compound the pain and rage in the unconscious. Compassionate insight can offer release for intolerable pain buried beneath years, even centuries, of repression. Slowly, it can free us from bondage to the collective habits of belief and behaviour that have blocked our true response to life. With infinite care, it can dissolve the false self – the defence we construct against suffering and fear and regenerate the lost true self, the treasure of the heart.
---- - Creating a relationship between consciousness and the deeper instinctive dimension of the soul works an alchemy within us. The goal-oriented consciousness we know and live by encounters the mysterious dimension of the soul. This encounter brings into being a different relationship to life, a different attitude to it, a different way of living which one might call the Way of the Heart. It takes many years and infinite patience and trust to bring into being. It is about becoming aware of oneself as innately divine instead of innately flawed. It is about becoming the humble servant of life, devoted to caring for it, healing it and freeing it from our archaic fear and violence towards it. It is about retuning oneself so that one begins to resonate with life, harmoniously, ecstatically.

The Child
Tthe Chil---- -
This brings me to the child, for the child is both our past and our future and it is only through our understanding of the child's needs that we can hope to change the present. What wounds the heart of a child? There is a general belief that children are resilient, tough, able to survive the most atrocious experiences. But my experience with my patients suggests that this is not true. The child may survive physically and intellectually, may be able to hold its own in the world, but the wound to the heart will show in its close relationships, in the way, as an adult, it treats its partner or its children, and in depression, obsessions and compulsive behaviour of all kinds. It will develop a defensive carapace, a false self, in order to survive the pain of its experience and may believe this false self is its true individuality. The false self in league with the superficial goals of our culture, will drive the person to seek greater and greater power, wealth or success, for to be at the top or in control of other people, is to be beyond the reach of the child's sense of powerlessness and worthlessness.
---- - The psyche of the child is like warm wax. Its sense of self is barely formed by the time it reaches adolescence. It is impressionable, fragile, sensitive, vulnerable. What it absorbs from the atmosphere of the home and the wider environment of school and society, is imprinted indelibly on the memory. Children without a stable and happy home, children who have to survive in a brutal or depraved environment, often witnessing the emotional or physical cruelty inflicted on one parent by another, children who are exposed to the anger, lust, cruelty or the rigidly imposed belief system of their parents or step-parents, are like a baby thrown into an abattoir. They have little hope of psychic survival. Indeed, as someone has written, they are the victims of soul murder (Shengold). As they grow up, the memories of intolerable pain are repressed into the deeper levels of the unconscious, and into the muscles and nervous system of the body where they may manifest as illness. There may be no recall of the actual circumstances or traumas which wounded them. Later these repressed memories are re-enacted in destructive or self-destructive scenarios which are a kind of code language telling the story of what happened to them thirty or forty years earlier.
---- -Now the tragic fact is that in every case, the child unconsciously blames itself for what has happened in the same way that humanity in the myth of the Fall blamed itself for the experience of suffering and death – believing it must have angered the heavenly father to have been so punished. Children depend absolutely on their parents for their survival. A child has no reflective consciousness. In a situation of terror, bereavement, punishment or abandonment, or if it has to witness the cruelty of one parent towards another, it feels unbearable fear and pain. But it can neither flee nor fight, so the instinctive response to danger is suppressed. There may be no witness to its suffering, no-one to confirm its feelings of distress, to say, "this is terrible, this is wrong. I will help you." To explain the situation to itself, it says, "I must be bad for this thing to be happening to me." It takes the guilt upon itself. The deep conviction that in some way it is responsible for any of these disasters and therefore guilty, establishes itself in the soul as an internalised inner critic, a persistent negative voice – even a demonic voice – which undermines and destroys its feeling of value and may destroy its life. This deeply unconscious negative internal voice is the root cause of depression and other compulsive patterns of behaviour such as alcoholism, anorexia and bulimia, drug-taking and promiscuity, and the violence, cruelty and depravity that are increasingly seen in our society. All these are symptoms of original pain, not of original sin. All are patterns of self-destruction. Because soul and body are essentially one matrix of energy, the unacknowledged suffering of the heart may place great stress on the immune system of the child, preparing the way for illness and disease later in life. Yet, as many people are discovering, the breakdown of the body may lead to the healing the heart of the child they once were.
---- - When the child enters the wider world of society already damaged by the home situation, and finds an impersonal, frightening environment and a curriculum that awakens neither delight nor wonder, where there is no beauty or poetry or mystery, no welcome for the heart, it will again be traumatised and the neglected imagination will be distorted into negative fantasies. The pathology of destructive violence presented on television, film and video increase the sense of fear and powerlessness. What children watch, night after night, in scenes of sadistic violence, is the spectacle of the desecration of the soul. Consciously, they may say they don't copy the negative mythology they see, but unconsciously the instinct sees violent, threatening images and it identifies with the aggressor, as the only way to survive.
---- - Children whose feelings did not matter to their parents will, as adults, ignore their own feelings and those of others. Compulsively, in addictive or manipulative behaviour of all kinds, they will repeat or re-enact the original trauma by attracting to themselves situations or relationships that punish them, traumatise them. They may also, by unconsciously identifying with the aggressor who wounded them, wound their own chosen victims — always someone weaker than themselves, making them suffer the intensity of the pain they once had to endure themselves.
---- - The work of healing and transforming the wounded heart is what in Alchemy is called 'drawing the dark matter out of the sea.' It is creating a relationship with the shadow side of ourselves, the part that is hidden from our rational consciousness, the part we are frightened or ashamed of acknowledging because it has been named as evil and sinful and because it has the power to control us. If this work is not done, if we fail to understand and heal the wounds that lie behind the violence in society, there is a real danger that the instinct will indeed overwhelm us. The more dissociated this dark side of ourselves becomes, the more dangerous and uncontrollable it is when it breaks through as some violent form of behaviour. The life of the planet and the continuation of our own life on it depend upon the growth of our consciousness and our ability to understand and redeem the dark aspect of our own nature.
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Healing the Heart
How can we heal our heart? The child is our conduit to the heart. We can seek out this child in ourselves who was abandoned, rejected, terrorised, tortured and paralysed with fear or left bereft by a catastrophe which broke its heart. The child is the key to healing all our habits of aggression. If we can heal the child in ourselves, if we can melt the long-frozen capacity to feel, if we can transform fear, rage and guilt into trust and delight, the heart will begin to heal. The soil of soul, so long parched and dry is watered by the flow of released feelings. Regenerated, it becomes rich and fertile. The imagination begins to function creatively instead of destructively. Ideas appear, take root, grow and come to flower in creative work that nourishes both oneself and the community, so returning transformed pain as compost to the psychic earth of humanity. Life then becomes the companion who is a constant help and support and guide. Like Tobias with the Archangel Raphael, we can discover how to trust and communicate with life as with a guiding and directing presence, above all, as a friend.
---- - The child who is the artist, the poet, the musician and mystic at the heart of each one of us, the child who is the true creative nucleus of the individual, who is our vital connection to the ground of being, begins to feel, begins to come to life, begins to trust life and, no longer fearing catastrophe, begins to feel happy. Then a miracle takes place. The person imprinted with guilt, whose internal voice said 'I hate myself' and whose actions said 'I hate life, I hate other people' begins to say 'I love myself, I love life, I love other people.' The love flowing from the healed wound in the instinctual life, the life of the heart, grows and spreads and expands. And so it happens that the lead of a blocked and tortured heart is transformed into the gold of a loving and compassionate one. This is alchemy, the recovery of the heart's capacity to love – the most precious treasure of the soul.
---- - Resurrection is about a slow transfiguration of consciousness, a gradual experience of revelation offered by a deeply compassionate relationship with life, lived at all levels of our being. Healing brings transfiguration. Healing is discovering how to live life in a different way, in trust rather than in fear, learning how to relate to life as partner and lover. It is about falling in love with life, about 'following our bliss' — Joseph Campbell's phrase which describes the rapture of being alive, following the longing impulses of the heart in whatever direction they lead because these alone guide us to realise life's intention for us. In following the impulsion of the joyous heart, we are doing life's will. The happiness of the heart is released when the guilt, anger, envy and self-hatred originating in childhood suffering are redeemed. The feeling of happiness grows as one begins to experience the revelation of what life is, and begins working consciously and deeply with it, as a contribution towards restoring the whole damaged fabric of life both within us and without.
---- -To me, healing the heart to me is about raising everything to do with the rejected feminine principle to consciousness, resacralising it, crowning it with our insight and understanding. It is about learning to love and understand ourselves and therefore others at the deepest level. It is about transforming our darkness instead of projecting what we fear and reject in ourselves onto someone else. Healing is about cherishing in every sense: cherishing the heart, cherishing and healing the once and future child within us; using our compassion and insight to become our own redeemer; cherishing the time given to us as our life to discover our true direction and who we truly are; cherishing the body which has been sacrificed for so long to our distorted image of spirituality; cherishing the lives of the people who have been given into our care; cherishing the planetary life which is the great field of all our endeavours.
---- -A culture grounded on extraversion alone will not survive because its values are too shallow to sustain it through the kind of crisis we now face. But there is a new consciousness coming into being. I will call it quantum consciousness — prepared and mediated by many thousands of individuals in different parts of the world. With it, all things are possible. With its help, we can change our image of reality and the crystallised habits in which we are imprisoned because we don't know how to trust the heart and the imagination. The answers to our questions cannot come from the incomplete consciousness of the intellect but from a deeper revelation which may be born in our hearts, a new mythology of the whole of life as a divine unity. There is, in this new myth, no essential distinction between transcendent and immanent life; as the mystics have always told us, the distinction and the duality are in our distorted perception of reality. The divine is what we are. We are eternally in the divine. This revelation above all others may heal our heart.

This talk was published in The Spirit of Science, Floris Books, Edinburgh, 1998

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