Some Thoughts on the Collective Unconscious

the waking state mind is like a narrow film of seemingly concentrated objectivity, i.e. through these human minds we typically only have a thin view of the goings on here, our attention firmly attracted to the seeming density of objects. however, this objective denseness is only an assumption – through the investigation of the substance of what is here, this denseness dissolves into subtler and subtler fields, the mind becoming more and more transparent to the reality from which objects arise. in other words, through relaxation into the ‘space’ of consciousness all aspects of our perceiving, the seeming density of perceivable mentations becomes looser and less fixed, and even the waking state can become invisibly permeable to deeper realms of Mind-at-Large. these deeper realms are shared perhaps by a collective space acting behind the scenes, a realm wherein objects are only half-formed and have not yet broken through the veil of the viewable transcript of what is known in waking. creative inspiration and deep, vivid dreams are two examples of the arisings of information from a deeper realm of mind.

it is sometimes called the collective unconscious, not because it’s ultimately unconscious, but because we typically don’t have access to it in the waking state – it’s more like the ‘collectively unattended’. it is possible that our actions and thoughts and perhaps all our endeavours are informed by deeper realms of Mind to which we have no perceivable access, but when distinct material arises from this deeper well-spring it comes with the stamp of primordial, perhaps archetypal creativity. so it’s not that you can ‘see’ the collective unconscious, as per the limits of the waking state, but that what streams into this waking state can be ideas not bound to the rigid patterning of our typical mentations. the human mind has its limits of attention – but the objects arising within this attention can be informed by deeper realms as we relax into presence and openness.

morning coffee

this my ritual of defrosting the body, absorbing bittersweet warmth into its cool carapace. slowly, slowly, the felt sense that I am apart from the rest resolves itself into the dew of unity’s palate. some days, bubbles of joy break through the froth almost immediately, and there is a waking dance under the lip of my mug. others, quieter days, I am reminded of how the body longs eternal for its release into the open vista, and there is a gentle surrender – a dipping ever downwards into the mystic night of the endless merge – slipping deeper into the thick silvery black of the molten brew.

The Tree

Green,
some of them –
made of oak or pine,
our watchful neighbours,
titans of the forest or on streetlines.
tell, have you ever really looked at a tree:
watched how it grows and yet stands still
what I wouldn’t give to become treelike
a tree has nothing to apologize for!
it insists only on its being itself
on growing into its full stead
without asserting dominant
nor hiding from the day
it is a simple thing
as far as I know
but it’s strong
and gentle
like the
earth
on
some
cool
days
when
your
feet
touch
dirt
and
you
know
this
life
is
perfect.

Freedom Within

Is it possible that this very consciousness that is perceiving in this moment is completely free? Free from the feelings – pleasant or unpleasant – of a body, its up and downs, pains and enjoyments, moods and emotions, even the raw sensations that pulse along throughout the states. Free from the thoughts – the buzz of the mind, the projected self-image, the internal dialogue, even thoughts about the truth. And free from the world – not limited to these five human senses but ‘sensing’ itself in a dimension not quite known to man but rather, man being known through it. Is it possible that we are simply playing this game of being people – and yet we have made these bodies out of our own substance and the world they play in too, while all along we watch happily as the person lives it out, set within. Is it possible that the substance of our being is completely intimate with all seeming things, that nothing arises that is not chosen by It? This Being, this Consciousness, has not for one moment parted itself from its home. It has always been, resting in itself, contemplating itself, loving itself, being itself. This knowing, with which you know yourself and out of which all appearances are made is Freedom…

The Town is Empty, but the Guesthouse is Full

room and board has already been paid
the town is empty but the guesthouse is full
we stay up all night sometimes
dancing to the beat
of the infinite drummer
we don’t worship
we don’t get stuck in dead words
there’s not a lot of room here to get maudlin
and any shame is left on the road by the overpass

to avoid overcrowding, we’ve set up a lottery
but there’s only one name on the ballot
no way to get around that

my friend,

you’re in.

Birdfeed

The world within often draws me towards itself – to leave the cares of moving life behind and to rejoin the eternal. There, I find a jewel that I cannot give away. I might well share it if I could. I would make of it an offering, but it’s stuck in my lungs and hands and all the rest. All I can do is Be it. In the moment, it’s just this sweet sense of Being, and these words, a gesture of gratitude with my attempt at a little stamp of light.

Maybe I’ll spend the morning with the geese that hang out near here, fearless creatures they are. They stroll along busy streets causing a mess and don’t care much about the drivers who gets chuffed along the way. Sometimes I think: I am but a bird singing my song for the simple joy of singing it, not (necessarily) to attract a mate, however, just because it’s my thing. That’s a nice image, but today, I think I’d like to be a goose walking in front of traffic, for the simple joy of charting my own course, not (necessarily) to stump anyone or cause a rift, but just because I’m alive. Let’s not get too romantic about it.

There is more here than just the endless inner world, or at least, I’ll give myself, as bird-feed, the illusion that there is, and touch hands to face under the breaking light of day.

Under the Cool Moon

there is a collapse
of walls held round the heart
and then the reflected light of the body
graces itself to love again:

a slow walk under the cool moon.

it’s not a big moment
it’s not a big event
it’s not an enlightenment
god, to only let go of that word,
we’ve all done our work!
let’s remember what we share

it’s a slow, gentle, patient falling away:
snow drifting onto parched earth
and melting in, deep, through
muscular tissues and fascia
into the cells and marrows
of memories laid down
time before time.

there’s also a sharpening to this,
a grinding away of ignorance’s block
it doesn’t all feel like snowflakes –
but this part comes with that satisfying feeling of
pulling apart pieces of old dead flesh
making way for the light to cascade through

light that is living
that’s beyond care
light just for light

it’s animal and beatific
it’s pure and it’s rude
it’s a divine melting
and a burning crash

This isn’t really for angels.
I mean, I don’t know any.
Do you?

life is red and black and blue and white
and everything else for that matter
it’s a symphony
it’s all transparent

it is