Today has been a very long odd day and tiring. I had some things going on these past few days that when they were finally resolved, I was caught off guard by my intense reaction – just oblivious to the amount of stress I had been under, stress that came from not losing my mind when everything happened, but choosing instead to stay the course and keep moving forward without any realistic hope that things would work out all right – and they did. And as soon as the reality of them working out sank in, I took many, many naps. I caught myself sitting online and clicking buttons before I realized that I was not doing anything and just exhausted.
I slept. I walked in silence in the night. I got rained on and here I am again.
I ran into my dangerous landlord and we are going to start up a mid-week game of canasta in the cave. Just the two of us, but we have been fooling around for over a year trying to find a game we could play together. The online stuff didn’t work, but turns out she used to be an avid player and is fixated on coming to the cave because it has the appeal of a gambling den. So, I am off to get some felt and cards, she will bring the table and I made her promise me that she will pee before she arrives so she does not have to experience the compost toilet.
MK and I spent about an hour grooming each other. We have both been busy with our other things and I didn’t realize how long it has been since we just sat with each other and bonded. She then go off and do her thing and then jump back on the desk and touch my face with her paw and then take off to parts unknown.
“Writing Your Self into Life” started last night. It is going to be an amazing workshop, it is packed so I have to dance around to make sure that the same feel of the smaller versions are kept. The place I do it at cornered me and wants me to do more.
The first thing I had to explain is why the title is written as “your self” and not “yourself.” It is a constant fight with copy editors to make sure that is not “corrected.” But ‘yourself’ and ‘your self” are two very different concepts, yet they exist simultaneously. ‘Yourself’ has to do with a life that is centered upon you and your experiences and “you self” has to do with how you relate and place yourself and your actions with a concept of timelessness recognizing that you are independent and individual but also inextricably woven into something much larger then your life span. Roberto Assignioli (I think I spelled that right) explains it much better than I do. He uses a drawing called the “egg” diagram to explain the levels of consciousness and different aspects of “I.”
When I first saw the egg diagram I was like, “f–k, why didn’t someone tell me about that before?” Roberto was a peer of Freud, he broke with him and developed something called psychosynthesis as way of explaining how we grow and develop, especially in regards to our personalities and centers. As I was looking at his famous egg diagram I realized I had seen it before, that this drawing, this explanation has been around for centuries. It was first brought to everyone’s attention by Hildegaarde of Bingen in the 10th or 11th century. She used it as part of her tome “causae et curae,” if you are unfamiliar with that book the thing you should know about it is it is the earliest known manuscript of homeopathic and natural medicine and process of diagnosis and treatment. The “causae et curae” is considered to be the “mother of medicine,” in the same way that the Biblical texts of Leviticus and Dueteronomy are considered to be the “father of community health care.”
For what that is worth….but seeing her vision (she was a mystic) distilled and recreated as a dry, line drawing and all cleaned up of the mysticism gave me pause.
Which, btw, if you can find a copy online of her illuminated painting of that egg/universe thing it is beautiful to behold.
Poor Carl Jung, everybody liked him and thought he was balls on until he got to the universal unconscious, the mystical side of understanding the human psyche. Then they decided that he had gone mad. Roberto played it safe and called that area of the diagram “#7 – collective unconscious” and spent more time focusing on parts 1 through 6; Hildegaarde called it ‘Heaven’ but then again, she regularly had tea with God in her dreams and was respected for it until she fudged a vision once to try and get her way in a romantic obsession (God told me we belong together kind of thing) and then had some issues with credibility.
The point being, this idea has surface, not just in the Western world but in the Eastern, pretty much since the beginning of time. It keeps trying to be heard and then gets “cleaned up.” Edited. Corrected.
I have several people in the class who are planning to write memoirs or biographies, a few who want to move from keeping a journal to being “diarists,” a poet, two who just want the habit of writing back in their lives, one who wants to use it as a means of preventing herself from killing the two people she is a caregiver for, and one who wants to be able to write convincing fictions about serial killers.
It is the last that is providing me with the most fertile ground to introduce ideas related to the exercise “the room” (which you can find a condensed and free version of on the inkwell at blogtalkradio) – horror in all of its forms – fiction and nonfiction is one of the types of writing that creates a kind of level and neutral ground for everyone and anyone to explore the meanings and purposes of their life.
Just look at Frankenstein.
c.2010. Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved.