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An Ongoing Series

Friday, July 30, 2004

Numen of the Flesh

In his letter dated August 20, 1949 Jung says it is the numen which offers "the real therapy, and inasmuch as you attain to the numinous experiences you are released from the curse of pathology."

A brief description by Jung of numinosity might be appropriate here.  He refers to the numen as "a dynamic agency or effect not caused by an arbitrary act of will.  On the contrary, it siezes and controls the human subject...The numinosum - whatever its cause may be - is an experience of the subject independent of his will. ...The numinosum is...the influence of an invisible presence that causes a peculiar alteration of consciousness."  (CW 11, par. 6)

Perhaps the visitation of the numen is mostly understood as a descent of the Spirit into flesh, a transpersonal visitation that floods the body and mind with its presence.  An event in which this is celebrated, for example, is Pentecost, a commemoration of the descent of God the Holy Spirit to the twelve apostles, granting them the sudden and miraculous gift of tongues. 

In contradistinction - not opposition - to this view, I would like to propose, as well, the possibility that the numen is contained by and released from the flesh itself, a presence indigenous within and as the material body.... 

By bringing psyche and soma into mutual focus, we address the full spectrum of the soul:  archetype and instinct.  It is my understanding that this can only unify and strengthen humanity, bringing it into greater relationship and harmony with the rest of the natural world. 

Why are we so afraid of what's right under our nose...or for that matter, what's in it? *

*Special thanks to one of my seminar participants who brought us the Native American tale of Copper Woman... and Snot Boy.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Flesh Memories II

Although I refer to flesh memories in the last entry as somewhat Proustian in that they often feel like memories of things past, they may also be forays into a parallel understanding, a concomitant reality where comprehension is purely instinctual, with the conscious mind simply along for the ride.


these flesh memories may also be, as James Hillman suggests in his book, The Soul's Code, a call from the soul already in full comprehension of our path, beckoning us to some understanding still secret to the ego.



they may be the flesh alerting us to deeper realities through pan-matter communication: electrons of one body - of air, tree, chair, stair, water or stone - communicating to the electrons of our own bodies, helping us make connections in new ways, enlivening a greater sense of Eros.

And then again...

they may be all of the above. Real truths, I believe, express themselves in multiple ways...just as dreams do.

We can be stirred in so many ways, have the ecstatic experience of the flesh with all of life in the exchange of mutual recognition and praise.

Perhaps if we could grasp this understanding, truly grasp it, violence and war would be obsolete.

Image Galleries

The following contain larger versions of images posted on these pages and are keyed to corresponding Reflections posts.

(Photos: Paul Anton Zorn)



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