I am two-years-old, toddling across the farmyard behind our house in Wales. I look down and see my favorite precious little book lying in the mud. I don’t know what to do, don’t know to pick it up or keep it safe. I don’t even ask others to help me. Gradually over the weeks, I notice its pages falling apart until eventually it becomes indistinguishable from the grime around it. [Read more…] about Discovering Happiness
On September 28th 2022, I finally took the Oath of Allegiance and became a US citizen. For most immigrants that is a blessing and relief from the uncertain status of carrying a ‘green card’. Having lived in the US for over 30 years, it was for me a decidedly problematic experience. [Read more…] about The Oath of Allegiance
I decided to update this old blog post (Random Thoughts) and add ideas as they occur to me. I hope one or two catch your attention and are useful for reflection and contemplation.
The Ego and the Mind:
- Make friends with your mind—or live in a tiny room with your worst enemy.
- And don’t fight with your thoughts. It’s like fighting with a pig—you never win and only get covered in muck (adapted from G.B. Shaw).
- Thoughts are the voice of the ego, beliefs are its bones. Never trust your own beliefs!
- The Ego’s four dark aspects:
- The wish to be special and the center of the universe
- The need to control everything and everyone
- The urge to judge and criticize
- The tendency to self-deception and blindness.
Orianne and I set off before dawn for the hospital. Check in was at 5.30 am for a 7.30 operation to remove a large cyst from the left side of my head. I’d had it since I was a baby but it had grown over the years and started pressing on my eye. Now was the time to deal with it.
As we sped along the empty highway, I felt calm and quiet. I knew I had the right head and neck surgeon: it had taken almost a year to find him. To be safe, he had invited two other experienced doctors to do their part: a neurosurgeon and ocular-plastic surgeon. A three-person team of experts was looking after me. The cyst didn’t stand a chance! [Read more…] about Surgery and Healing
The terrible devastation in Ukraine disturbs me at a very deep level. It closely resembles the launch of World War II when Hitler invaded Poland. That war is personal for me; it traumatized and damaged both my parents and as a consequence, created untold disturbance in my family. [Read more…] about War Trauma
“I can’t decide,” said the young man pacing up and down. “It’s a jumble and I don’t even know if I trust myself. What should I do?”
The old man sat quietly looking down at the ground. After a pause he looked at the young man and replied, “That’s because you don’t know where to decide from.”
“What do you mean? How do I make a decision from somewhere? I just need to make up my mind.”
“So you decide with your mind? You think a decision!” [Read more…] about Cultivating Knowing: a conversation
It was winter 1979 in Edinburgh, and as usual the wind off the North Sea cut to the bone. A group of eight of us huddled in a circle around an electric bar heater in Winifred’s front room. Although we met weekly, we knew little of each other’s outer lives. Our only task was to explore the workings of our inner worlds through sharing dreams.
Dr. Winfred Rushforth sat in an overstuffed armchair, a gently commanding presence, her snowy hair forming a halo around a strong square wrinkled face framed by oversize glasses. At 96 she had been practicing as a psychoanalyst for over 50 years and her owl-like gaze could penetrate any dream to its most obscure depths. [Read more…] about Appreciating Dreams
This is the first of a two-part article on how to work with dreams. Tongue-in-cheek, I explore different aspects of dreamwork using the metaphor of fish and fishing. In this section, I deal with how we catch, hold on to and recognize different kinds of dreams. A second article will address how to prepare, cook and digest these strange creatures of the unconscious.
Dreams are slippery fish—hard to catch and difficult to hold. They don’t give up their nourishment without a bit of a struggle and some resolute cooking. [Read more…] about Fishing for Dreams: Part 1
This is the second of a two-part article on dreamwork using the metaphor of fishing. We have caught our dream-fish and held it tight so it does not slip through the fingers of our mind. Now comes the really interesting part: How to prepare and cook our dream so that it provides nourishment for our hearts, minds and souls.
Lay out the fish
Our dream-fish lies fresh in our minds-eye. We examine it carefully to see what we need to do next. This is when we write down the dream. [Read more…] about Fishing for Dreams: Part 2
Published in “Jung and Aging,” 2014
Jerry M. Ruhl, Ph.D. and Roland Evans, M.A.
“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone—we find it with another.” 1 This quote from Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk and author, points toward a neglected aspect of relationship in the second half of life: that it can become the container for profound inner growth.