Decorative frame for class description
Thursday Jan. 10th 2013

The power of the Unconscious lies in the fact that it is just that: unconscious. There are all sorts of weird and wonderful parts floating around in the Unconscious. Some of them are full of magic, creativity and a knowledge that far exceeds anything the conscious mind can sum up, because the Unconscious is connected to the Bigger Universe that we inhabit beyond the physical plane. But then the Unconscious is also full of nasty things like painful memories, feelings of loss and nostalgia, guilt and judgements over things that we have done in the past and in other incarnations, and anger and fear that has its roots in other worlds, experiences and misperceptions. The ninth sephira or sphere of the Qabalistic Tree of Life (the sphere immediately above the physical plane), Yesod, translates as "Foundation" and "Storehouse of Images". The spiritual work that goes on here has to do with purification. I have sometimes, with some frustration and a sprinkling of humour, referred to Yesod as a "cesspool" because, frankly, I often feel that I am swimming around in an emotional cesspool that would take a whole urban sewer system to clear.

I saw a comment today on Facebook which referred to a song of lost love as "messing around with my unconscious" (thank you Carolyn Elliott), a comment that synchronised exactly with what I was feeling and having to work on. It's a theme where an idealised past seems lost and gone forever and the experience is one of immense pain and loss. Wake up! This is another one of those shadowy forces in the unconscious that needs to be brought to light and given a good dressing down and reality check. What was that past really? Was it so great when you start really looking at it? It's interesting to note that the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism), in its lure to the middle ages, doesn't usually pick a peasant lifetime to re-enact, with all the likelihood of dirt, poverty and starvation hanging around it, not to mention the plague. On the other hand, what the SCA does do well is an exploration of the past in a controlled environment, which is what a lot of the work at Yesod needs to be: exploring all those shadowy images floating around in the unconscious and becoming conscious of them in the controlled environment of meditation or other self-awareness practices, therapy included. These experiences need to be put into context and not, as A Course in Miracles puts it, fragmented.

Dreams bring up these images in a much more immediate and charged fashion. And, since I quipped in my dream last night about a gun being used, these self-awareness practices certainly beat shooting or being shot at, all of which we have experienced in some lifetime or another. One of the women who survived the LA Fitness shooting in Bridgeville several years ago apparently told the EMT in the ambulance, as she was being driven to the hospital, that she'd always known that this was going to happen some day, as she'd had a recurring dream about being shot. From the follow up article I read about her in the Post Gazette this past summer, it sounded as if she was doing well after the experience, healing both body and mind. What was noteworthy was that neither she nor her family harboured any violent anger toward the shooter. Now that is a "purification". With all of the gun violence and debate over how to deal with it that we are experiencing in this country at this time, it is important at both a personal and a collective level to work on understanding where all this violence is coming from and why.

A Course in Miracles lesson (I believe for today) states "I see nothing as it is now". This requires that we keep coming back to our experiences and adjusting the lens..... again and again. At some point we stop reliving (often literally) the past experience, whatever it is, pain, loss, fear, anger. At which point, we can begin to see straight. Or, as St Paul so eloquently puts it: "Now I see through a glass darkly, then I shall see face to face." At that point, the channel is clear and Yesod is no longer a cesspool. But until then, beware "the giant sucking sound" of your emotions!

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