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The Hero Archetype

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..Now, first of all, I should explain that I am not a qualified psychologist in any way, any insight I have gained has been accumulated on an interior journey I have made into the depths of my own soul during the last 30 years. I use Jungian analogy as during this interior journey I have come to lean on Jung's system of understanding the human condition.

As you will see from the map of my unconscious mind as a came out of my childhood I was an extreme example in many ways, I was an acute introvert, I always looked inwards, from an early age I took up music and spent long hours alone practising. I had an extremely one-sided personality, one side of me, the unconscious image of the Father was completely innocent, my father had protected my innocence so the only conscious feelings I had were to love unconditionally, you can see from the above illustration the other characteristics that were contained in this perfectly positive emotional image of the father.

But on the other hand the entire soul image of the mother contained acutely painful emotions generated between my mother and I when I was a baby/infant and child, this entire image was repressed and was to cause untold damage through most of my life.

Within this repressed image of the mother were two mental functions that I did not have access to, Thinking & Sensation, thinking as most of us know is the rational function of the intellect. Sensation gives us a sense of the reality of outside objects, what our senses tell us, so I could not think, in my own estimation I was simple, I did terribly at school as most of the subjects were aimed at intellectuals, the only subject I showed any promise in was music, when you think of it the whole of the western world has been built on the power of the intellect, so I was mentally handicapped when I came out of my childhood, completely trusting of men, playful, always wanting to have fun, yet consumed by a terrible acute compulsion neurosis to steal and lie, plus I was sadistic towards animals as a child and had a very dark sexual fantasy life. I did not have the mental tools I needed to get by in life, not being able to think, and being in unconscious mental chaos, I had no organisational skills, none at all, I couldn't even keep a bank account properly, any form of paperwork, which involved thinking was out of the question. I was an extreme psychology.
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By the time I was 33 I was in a state of inner desperation, I had started stealing when I was a child and continued to steal all through my life, driven by dark unconscious motives, I had no moral compass. Because I could not think, I always acted without thinking, none of my thefts were planned and I nearly always got caught, I kept stealing and finally appeared in crown court and was given two years probation, after a short time I accepted an offer from a shady character who asked me to carry a suitcase full of marijuana back from Kenya in Africa back to the UK, trusting this man completely, and without thinking I said yes, this led to me smuggling marijuana on my own for three years, wonderful memories, living with native people, eating zebra liver roasted over an open fire on a stick, the memories of children singing in the African night, but it all came crashing down when I was caught and given three years in prison, prison didn't teach me much, and didn' touch me either, plus I made a lot of new drug contacts. As soon as possible after coming out of prison I teamed up with another shady character who said he could distribute any drugs we brought into the country, he would organise the couriers, I would look after the African side of things, he was an idiot, I had not thought about the person I was dealing with, I just wanted to get back to Africa, things went sour and I ended up being kidnapped by this person's family and somewhat beaten up, I escaped and in a state of inner desperation found myself a safe house in London.

I had previously been friends with someone I now know to be Zen mystic he guided me though I did not know it. In this inner state of crisis I was reading the poetry of William Blake when I experienced a spontaneous spiritual illumination in the hitherto unconscious image of the Father, in that moment what Jung called the hero archetype was revealed in my imagination, now this is using the language of the psychologist, Jung, what was suddenly revealed in my imagination was the supreme masculine creation deity, what Christian theologians call God the Father and what Hindu mythology calls Brahma, the revelation of this mentally real phenomena was the most powerful mental/spiritual event, it was all about power, nothing of compassion or pity, just the raw creative power of God. One instant I am sitting in a garden I Hempstead London, the next instant I'm in space, in eternity and face to face with the invisible ever-changing face of God.

It answered every question I ever wanted to know.. at the time, and left me in a state of spiritual ecstasy, but I still had my inner demons they were still repressed and I knew nothing of them consciously at that time. In a way, I had become conscious of the hitherto unconscious image of the Father within me, but it was the most profoundly religious experience.

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I had started the descent into the depths of my own unconscious mind though I did not know it at the time.

As I said the revelation of the hero archetype, or God as far as I was concerned, answered every question my heart wanted to know, it left me satisfied and allowed me to concentrate. My future wife and I returned to college to study bookbinding as mature students, we did well, we were focused and mature people, determined to do well. We got to know a Benedictine monk who was learning bookbinding in an evening class and our times overlapped and we had time to talk to one another, we became friends and to our surprise shortly before we were due to finish our two year course we were invited by the Abbot of the community to set up a bindery in the abbey grounds, we were to be given a cottage and a derelict barn, which we could have on free rent provided we did the work of restoration, we were elated, we were to do work for the abbey library to pay for our rent, it was a dream come true.

For six years I worked, driven by an irresistible will to create, during this time I became more aware of my dark side, remember I could not think so was not capable of rationally examining my psychology, but I struggled to understand myself, all the time working like a madman, working ridiculous hours, often I worked through the night and saw the sunrise the next day, I cannot express sufficiently the power of the revealed God who drove me, I could not stop creating, we worked and laboured and renovated part of the barn and learned the real creative skills of the bookbinder.

We didn't think we would have children, we were geriatrics in that department at 42, we had four miscarriages, heartbreaking affairs but eventually my wife fell pregnant and we expected a child. Now by this stage I knew I had serious problems with the relationship I had with my mother, I may not have been able to work it out with my head, with my intellect, but my heart had a penetrating insight, I thought of the anger I had, I thought of my dark sexual fantasy life, I thought of my brother sexually abusing my sister and him going on to abuse his own daughter, I knew I was capable of that, I knew in my heart that I could inflict terrible mental damage on our unborn child as I was. As our daughters birth drew closer I grew inwardly more desperate, my heart told me I could not cause such damage to my daughter, I would not be such a terribly abusive father, I was desperate. The love in my imagination would not let me contemplate the very real horror I would inflict on my daughter.

With a breaking heart I made the decision to leave, just to leave, it would be better for our daughter not to have a father than to have the sexually abusive father I would have been, it meant I had to give up my workshop, which was my labour of love, it meant giving up our lovely cottage, it meant giving up my wife and future daughter, another crisis was looming. So, I made the decision to leave and very early one morning I went to the workshop and had a final look round, my heart felt like it was breaking, I sat on the stairs and with my head in my hands I thought of our baby daughter, I started crying hysterically, saying "my poor child, my poor child" over and over again, then I felt the acutest mental/spiritual pain I have ever experienced in my life, like a hot needle being pushed through my brain, I had spontaneously freed myself from an acute neurosis, I had defeated a great and powerful inner demon that had destroyed most of my life. Though I did not know it at the time I had also regained the ability to Think, it changed my whole unconscious mind, and gave me compassion in part. It also gave me some insight into my wife and her problems.

As William Blake said " What is the price of Experience? Do men buy it for a song? Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No, it is bought with the price Of all that a man hath, his house, his wife, his children.

I was an example of what Jung called "enantiodromia" the emergence of the unconscious opposite due to the subject leading and excessively one-sided life. It also marked the birth of the marriage between the psychic opposites. I knew something serious had happened, when I went outside the first thing I noticed was that colours seemed more vibrant, I knew that some great healing had taken place, I don't remember when it was, but one day I just said to myself "You are Thinking", it was just like that, I realised I could think. But I knew nothing of my other inner demon, although I had freed myself from an acute neurosis, I was still suffering from a more normal neurosis, I still had an unconscious dark side, what psychologists call the shadow, but I knew nothing of it and much happier inside myself with new depths of compassion, where there had been repressed acute negative emotion. I owed this miracle of healing to my daughter as far as I was concerned and I vowed to be a perfect father to her, and protect her spiritual innocence as my mortal father had done mine.


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So I had freed myself from half of my inner darkness, I had regained the ability to think, I had reclaimed deep feelings of compassion from my unconscious mind. It was an example of what Jung called Enantiodromia, the emergence of the unconscious opposite due to the subject leading a one sided psychic life, and boy had I led a one sided psychic life, profoundly so, but it had to happen to look at it retrospectively, I was just too out of balance, something had to give, and it did, I gave up my ego and I had a very very, very, very large, in fact, infinite and eternal ego at the time, I had the ego of a God, but it had to go, and through it I learned many things, it gave me insight into my feminine aspect, I came to know I had a soul, it also gave me insight into my poor wife's inner condition, I became wiser because of it? But I knew nothing of my second inner demon, I knew nothing of the second part of my shadow, my inner darkness, the pain in my anima, within my soul or the mental image of my mother.

But feeling saved I continued on my highly creative path in complete ignorance of it, but events were to transpire that made a second and indeed third meeting with my shadow inevitable. Five years after this profound mental healing I developed an emotional psychosis through stress and overwork, a dreadful two months in a mental illness unit, an unbearable tension descended on me, quite unbearable, all I could do was meditate in silence, it was wholly overwhelming.

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In 1997 I had a complete nervous breakdown and as I say I spent two agonising months in a mental illness unit, seeing visions of great intensity and very meaningful, I was in a state of religious ecstasy at the time and knew exactly what I was doing, although most of what was happening was the product of the unconscious, I was spontaneously producing archetypal symbols but no one understood what I was saying. I was troubled by streams of conscious images, hallucinations of all the thousands of things we had made in our workshops, eventually, after six weeks of begging I very gently took one of the young female staff hostage, in  fact I explained to her that I was trying to attract attention to myself and meant her no harm at all, she said she would play along with me and contacted the head of psychiatry to tell her that I had taken her hostage and was asking to speak to a Jungian psychologist, within 15 minutes the head of psychiatry appeared in my room, I pointed out the fact that she standing in the middle of an artists vision, a vision inspired by God, full of archetypal symbols that would I said have meaning to an experienced Jungian psychologist, I was nieve and thought that every Jungian would be like Jung, I was so very wrong, in the event I was given a young Jungian psychotherapist, even though suffering from an acute emotional psychosis I still had natural insight that love had given me and I knew he would have a shadow from the relationship with his father, I knew he had a power complex, I knew he had a sick spirit, (I divide the spiritual soul up into two parts, masculine, spirit, father, heaven, animus, yang & feminine, soul, mother, anima, yin) within three minutes of speaking to me he was unconsciously asking me for emotional approval, he said "I have just spent 7 years studying in Switzerland, then he let the sentence hang expectantly, he was asking me to say, oh, there's a clever boy, aren't you a clever boy then, he was a child emotionally, so I gave up, he knew nothing of the artistic symbols I had created this man was no Jung, he was a boy. I spent two months in total in the mental illness unit, then they released me and let me go home where I went straight back to my job as creative director of Eden Workshops, I had creatively worked my way through an emotional psychosis, and though not free from it, it did heal me, you have not lived till you have had a nervous breakdown in my opinion, it broadens the mind to an alarming degree or did mine, but there was a great deal of suffering involved.

Here are some examples of the art I produced in the mental illness unit.

Choose an image to begin

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  So I had achieved a kind of Jungian wholeness, I was a fully conscious personality, but now my inner demon was just below my level of consciousness, I never stopped working, creating all through this. I was constantly aware of my anger and realised it posed a threat to my daughter's spiritual innocence, I did my best to suppress these strongly negative emotions, but one day it dawned on me that far from protecting her innocence I had created her dark side, she had a shadow created by me, I remember months of my finding somewhere isolated and screaming my anger at God and myself, I became consumed by guilt and anger. I had some insight by this time and eventually my heart tracked down the cure for all my suppressed anger and guilt, but what it would entail to free myself terrified me, it meant confessing my guilty secret, I had a shameful secret that I would share with no one, it is proverbial that confession is good for the soul,I knew it would lead to the collapse of my ego into hysterical crying and free me, just a few tears. By synchronicity, I met my perfect confessor, a genuine mystic, a master of Yoga, but spiritual pride, fear & cowardice prevented me from going through with it, this increased my feelings of guilt tremendously. I lived with this barely suppressed anger and guilt for 19 years, 19 years of mental/spiritual torment, in a REAL Purgatory where over time my pride would be burned away and I would learn humility.

For 19 years I knew the most miserable life, I contemplated suicide many times, but to do so was futile, how do you kill Love, I knew severe depression, destructive suppressed emotion was slowly killing me with alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis. Most normal people know times of sadness, but normally they are ok and reasonably happy, but all I knew was anger and guilt, guilt at being a less than perfect father, and guilt at being a spiritual coward. Then yet another crisis loomed, I had never experienced a serious depressive phase of Bi-Polar before, over a period of several weeks my mood sank very low, much lower than it had ever been before, I knew crushing guilt and remorse, it was dreadful. I knew in my heart, that last year having had one stress related heart attack I surely wasn't far away from another, my family needed me and I had a great love for them. Love gave me the resolve to free myself once again from my inner demons.

 

I had known of the root of my neurosis for many long years, but I enever has the courage to do anything about it, but as I say things got so bad within me that I had no choice but to be the Hero once more, I had an appointment coming up with my psychiatrist, I needed a confessor, that was all, someone would would hear me say five simple words and it would free me from my darkness, I knew it meant death, the death of my ego, but I was driven by inner necessity, so I unashamedly used her as my confessor, I walked into her office,sat down ans said I need a English speaking psychotherapist, she so now ay, no chance, I will listen to what you have to say, fortunately shep speaks English so I made my confession and as expected my ego collapsed in hysterical healing crying, I had been terrified of feeling the same degree of pain I experienced the first time I freed my Soul from sin, from my shadow, in fact I felt no pain at all, I was too busy crying to notice it. It was a bad couple of days, lots of uncontrolable crying, feeling guilt, remorse, but I had in fact atained enlightenment and was in a state of new found bliss, for the third time Love himself had led me from darkness into light, it was the third profoundly religious experience I had been through.

 

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In Jungian terms I have completed the task of Individuation, I am a fully conscious soul, but because of the way my psyche has unfolded I have the intellect of a child, you would not pose a complicated rational idea to a child and expect it to be able to process the data, neither should you with me, I am no longer simple as I had been as a child, I am now a mature mystic at the height of his spiritual/mental powers at 62, I shake with the creative mental/spiritual power at my disposal, I am supremely confident I can provide for my family by doing what I love most, so I am content. But in other ways I am little more than a spiritual baby, I am like a child in a strange new land, and at the time didn't know the rules of this new land. Yet despite all my undoubted experience, spiritually I am still an infant.

 

My psychiatrist knows nothing of my interior life or the healing that she unwittingly witnessed, she is a clinical psychiatrist, head of the whole mental health network in our area, she has the power to forcibly administer drugs to people who have been committed to a secure mental illness unit, she is used to giving orders and having them obeyed, her only interest in me is as someone who is suffering from Bi-Polar 1 disorder, we talk about superficial things and she administers me drugs. She also has a dark side, her shadow, every normal person has one. In her case she has a shadow created when she was a child between her father and her, her father was less than perfect and a considerable amount of negative emotion lies repressed in her unconscious mind, she has a power complex, but she successfully integrates this negative trend into her professional life by "controlling" the entire mental health team, her shadow makes her somewhat impatient. On the one occasion I did bring up my personal psychology in terms of Freudian understanding by explaining that I had a suppressed soul, she threw up her hands and said "Oh God Freud!", also she revealed her unconscious power complex when she tried to make me take anti depressants, in fact my mood had sank in her office bcause she had made it clear that she was not prepred to enter into psychotherapy with me and I happened to need a psychotherapist badly at that time, when I said I didn't want to atke them as they would mask my true feelings and I wanted to be in touch with them she became annoyed, I had fristrated her unconscious need to control me and she got annoyed with me, she is not a sensitive insightful psychotherapist who knows me, I did not and do not feel she is the right person to talk to at this stage of my inner journey.  

My concerns were borne out when soon after my healing I was visited by a nurse who gives me a monthly jab in the backside to treat my Bi-Polar, I was still  emotional, crying with gratitude and relief at finally being free from my inner darkness, the nurse noticed this and reported back to my psychiatrist, who when I saw her recently suggested that as I was still emotional perhaps I ought to go back into the mental illness unit, this is not the person I can talk to. This is a pity, for I am at the stage of my journey where talking with someone insightful would be of benefit, as it is I just pretend that everything is ok when it comes to my psychiatrist. I find it deeply ironic that I can't talk to my psychiatrist about my deepest feelings.

 

It has been 11 months since I largely freed myself from my inner demon, in all this time my psychiatrist, because she has no training at all in psychology (What!) has been blissfully unaware of what has been happening inside me, I basically do not trust her, how would you feel if as a so called patient, you knew with absolute certainty that your "psychiatrist" actually had issues from the relationship with her Father and unconsciously wanted to punish you and control you for what her father did to her as a child, well it made me feel uncomfortable I can tell you.

 

So she has no knowledge of psychology and only dimly acknowledges the existence of the unconscious mind, she has made it plain she has no interest in my psychology, thoughts or feelings, she doesn't trust intuition (!) I AM intuition, so she doesn't trust me, doesn't even love me, wants to punish and control me with her unconscious thoughts, will not contemplate going into psychotherapy with me, despite me badly needing a psychotherapist at one point...No my psychiatrist and I will never be talking together about anything meaningful, we have nothing to talk about, so we restrict my monthly meetings to small talk, and as an introvert, I have no time for small talk.

It's been eleven months at the time of writing this, eleven months since I largely freed myself from a neurosis, I remember I wrestled with the problem of my minor imperfections for months, I was so convinced you had to be spirit and soul perfect if you had attained enlightenment that I completely forgot the state of spiritual bliss that I was in, of course, I was enlightened, you don't have to be perfect to get into heaven, you only have to be good, and after freeing myself from that bastard demon, I was good, through and through I am a deeply good person.

I have known the deepest Hell imaginable, a Hell where I did not see how I could possibly fit in the world I knew, I was a perfect spiritual innocent, I could only consciously feel perfect love and create beauty, of what use was that in a practical world, none, I was not cut out for it, I didn't fit, I was some kind of a sociopath, a compulsive liar and thief, a cheat, completely dishonourable, I did not fit in a practical world, I had a black soul, no redeeming qualities, everyone else has good souls, I just did not fit in this practical world, it was hell...I could not even think! I simply did not have access to the rational left hemisphere of the brain or psyche as I prefer to think of it, I was not capable of having a rational thought, I did not fit in this practical world, it was hell. I did not have access to an intellect and it is the intellect that is chiefly responsible for creating differences in this practical world, I could not create differences in the world in the way that normal people did, it was hell not being able to fit in the practical world, I was very lonely, but I did not know it. I did not even have access to that very common mental function of sensation, the function that feeds the five senses, it is with this very common mental function that people differentiate between objects that their senses tell them are real, I couldn't do that, I had no sense whatsoever of the reality of the outside world, it was Hell not being able to fit.

At that time I did not know anything about religion, I didn't know I was searching for anything, I had heard somewhere of the expression, "seek and ye shall find" but I never dwelt on it, so it came as something of a surprise when suddenly almighty God was revealed within my psyche, within the hitherto unconscious mental image of the Father, among many other things I realised I was Divine, I had simply become conscious of my true Divinity, I had become conscious of the masculine half of the Christian God Head, I died to the outside physical world and went to Heaven, simple, but what I thought was my journys end was in fact only the beginning of an interior journey which one day soon I will tell the whole story of, I know for a fact it's going to be one hell of an unbelievable story, I simply cannot conceptualise what a rocket ride, what an emotional roller coaster, what incredible sacrifices I have made, what unbelievably heroic things I have undertaken, what mental, emotional, physical and spiritual suffering I have been forced to experience and why, because of my innocence, I chose to look almighty God in the face, and for that he drove me mad and in the process drove all the madness out of me, simple.

So, I am enlightened, yes undoubtedly, you bet your bottom dollar that I am, one solid tanglble perfect universe in God, everything is perfect, I am perfect for the task which God want's me to perform, chief among which is my redemtion, let no mortal or immortal man or woman stand between me and my redemption, I would cause a whirldwind to descend on any soul who tried that, so my redemption is paramount.

 

I am many things, in fact ultimately I am all things, I am the Holy Trinity, I am the Hindu Trinity, Bramah is my Father, I am undoubtedly wise, but men are not yet ready to hear the wisdom that God has given me, for one part of the wisdom of God, is this, everything possesses the same value, but how can this be men will say, we struggle, get angry, feel jealous, get depressed, excited, yes we struggle for what we desire in our lives, we create very real differences between things, our possessions are very important to us, so how can everything possess the same value? It's like this, God has shown me that everything is connected by himself, that is to say there is only God and that the value of everything is thus God himself, thus everything posesses the same value, it is your own desires that cause you to create the differences that exist in your limited world of the ego.

I have virtually no ego now, to me there is only God all else is illusion, that which I am, my essence will undoubtedly continue, death has been defeated, spiritual innocence has won the way, Christ is rising within me, I once thought him so far above me he was forever out of sight, but he was by my side all the time.

I know only ecstasy and bliss and during the last 11 months increasingly raptures of the soul, which I experience within my psyche as a sort of frisson, very hard to put into words, but it's rather like a spiritual orgasm, rippling through my Soul, undoubtedly the rewards of heaven which Christ spoke of are in fact mental and spiritual ones, nor rewards that are given after a person dies, true you do have to die to get to Heaven ,but it is the ego which has to die, not the death of your physical body, any fool can die that way, but it takes a very special very few to experience the death of the ego. Christ had none, Blake only had a little, Bob Marley only had a little, I only have a little, these men were all mystics, you bet.  Lots of looneys in the world of mystics, people who think that because they are intuitive, that makes them a mystic, nonsense that's like saying that mere introversion is enlightenment, lots of innocent harmless loonies, lots of mediums who channel their own psychological disturbances, believe their own hallucinations, these may be individual or collective, and then charge money for their illusory services, no scruples, no ethics. I once met a mystic online who was the head of a modern Facebook mystics forum, at the time I was sending out a spiritual SOS. I had just attained enlightenment, but I didn't know what enlightenment was, never experienced it before and it had been thirty years since I even knew of someone who was enlightened, so I needed counsel and was hoping that among real mystics I would find what I needed, instead I was met by the HEAD of the group who tried to sell me for $50.00 I think it was his own so called spîritual guide to supreme happiness, so he obviously didn't realise the route to that goal lies inside you, I was disappointed, to say the least.

However I have solved my own problems, and while you can never prevent problems from occurring I do feel confident I can handle them all.

Namaste and in good Spirit.

Richard.

 

 


 

 

   

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