In this eighth decade of my life, I often turn to the world of imagination, the home of the soul. On my daily walk, in front of an ancient oak tree or at the lake watching the ripples, during my prayer time when I let go of my worries or sitting down at the breakfast table with my husband, grateful for our long love. I welcome whatever image appears.
From a physiological perspective, breathing is a matter of respiration, and shortness of breath can be a medical problem. This perspective is, of course, not only true, it is also necessary and valuable in its medical context. But that context has become the norm of what is real about the act of breathing.
The myth of development sits atop a larger myth—the myth of growth. Now because the word “myth” is so maligned today as meaning “untrue” or “false,” an unfortunate hangover from an older myth, the myth of facts and quantification, I hesitate to use it. But I must.
In the 1960s, the dream of space flight became an exemplary expression of technological achievement. For the first time in human history, we could see from the moon the image of earth rising in the inky darkness of space. I remember being mesmerized by that image. I also remember being dismembered by how the paradoxical tension of that image turned upside down my taken for granted assumptions about who we are as a human species and what our place was in the cosmos.
Longing is a strong, persistent desire for something seeming unattainable or distant. It is related to hunger, yearning for family, partner, group, or self. Psychologically, longing relates to a primal human desire, the need and impetus to overcome the ego alienated from the unconscious, to feel inclusion, not exclusion, acceptance, not rejection, and love, not hate.
Memory can be a path of exploration, a backward glance which, returning one to the moment where the present started, can make one present to the present moment in another way–where one might, as Eliot notes, come to know it for the first time. Are not such returns necessary, especially in moments of change and crises?
Every day seems to bring in its wake a creeping sense of apocalypse that is haunting our individual and collective lives. Apocalypse is one of those harrowing words that seem to foretell disaster. Are we on the edge of a global catastrophe? What is in a word, and specifically such a loaded word like apocalypse?
“Who are you? Who are you?” At the time, it seemed a simple question, which I posed to the young woman in the lucid dream. But this simple question led to profound lessons in lucidity and taught me much about the nature of transformation in dreams, lucid dreams and waking.
Our existence is fundamentally interpersonal. Human beings are not isolated, free-floating objects, but subjects existing in perpetual, multiple, shifting relationships. Life is defined by these myriad interactions – by the push and pull of inter-subjectivity as well as the overt and covert social contracts. Through them we realize our incompleteness and vulnerability.