Tag Archives: Jung

Serious Dancing Taking Place This Week

This has been quite a week with concentration on three major pieces of work. First up on Wednesday was the preparation for a podcast through Consciously Speaking in Santa Cruz.  Michael Neely the interviewer asked deep questions about my writing, spirituality and how my book Trailing Sky Six Feathers expanded into consciousness. http://www.ianprattis.com/TrailingSky.html

My life as a global traveler certainly stretched my attention beyond any limits I could have placed on it. From teenage volunteering in Borneo with Britain’s Peace Corps to being a yogi in India and a Zen teacher in Canada – expansion of mind was inescapable. My challenging journey navigates shamanic healing of childhood sexual abuse, guru training as well as a near death experience in an ashram in India. From this vast range of experience I found an ability to sculpt narrative in a novel way. I certainly stumbled through the first part of life, but then stood strong in my own sovereignty in the latter part. In India, Arizona, France and Canada’s wilderness, I went to great lengths to transform karma. Over a period of thirty years, four extraordinary medicine people enhanced my process of remembering. I learned how to reconfigure my understanding of time, place, consciousness and re-wrote some of Carl Jung’s psychology. I chose to listen to the feminine voice of Earth Wisdom rather than to the multitude of competing voices in my deep unconscious.

Then it was concentration on a dharma talk I presented on Thursday evening to Pine Gate Mindfulness Community about Right Diligence. I showed from practical experience how the Four Principles laid out in Right Diligence enabled us to not add on mental anguish to any situation that had caused us to suffer. That the constant nurturing of positive seeds in consciousness had remarkable and unanticipated consequence. All good. The reverse also held true with negative seeds. The talk offered guidelines for intelligent gardening in the mind. It will be up on YouTube shortly. The flip chart is reproduced at: https://www.facebook.com/pinegatesangha/posts/957816697584667

Then the prep turned to my award winning book Redemption on Friday. I was interviewed by Derick Fage on his “Daytime Ottawa” show on Rogers TV. He focused extensively on the long gap of first writing (1975) and publication in 2014. In 1975 I was writing way over my head and lacked the maturity to understand the deep nuances emerging from my pen. The book was writing me and it is fitting that it was not published until 2014, as the time lapse allowed me to grow into the insights and revelations writ large. I was a total mess in 1975 – with a failing marriage in the Hebrides and trying to keep my career intact as a young professor at Carleton University in Canada. I was not doing a good job with either. The surprise for me in 2011 was how could I have written such a powerful book while in a desperate state of mind? The themes of mental illness and alcoholism are writ large in this deep and turbulent Hero’s Journey to emancipation. Redemption is an allegory for the depression and life difficulties I once experienced. I did not realize at that time that I was charting the stations of a personal Calvary.

http://www.ianprattis.com/Redemption.html

Some serious dancing taking place!

Ian & carolyn cutting a jiveIP:

Jung, Consciousness & Default Position for the Mind

Extract from Trailing Sky Six Feathers: One Man’s Journey with His Muse

Front Cover Trailing Sky Six Feathers

I am familiar with Carl Jung’s exploration of consciousness – revealed in The Red Book an account of his personal explorations of consciousness from 1912 to 1930. He was quite amazing in his steadfastness to this process; some would say quite mad and foolish in the ‘midst of his brilliance. I employ a different tactic, as I have the benefit of exposure to the Buddhist teachings on consciousness that Jung did not have access to – though he navigated similar waters. The Red Book records Carl Jung’s exploratory practice of encountering whatever was delivered from his deep unconscious – the good, the bad and the ugly, as Clint Eastwood may well point out! Whatever arose, Jung would engage indiscriminately before writing about the experience and transposing it into art and poetry. The lack of discernment in this practice is where I part company from Jung, though I consider him to be one of the greatest minds in early psychology. I concur that something very significant could emerge from the depths of consciousness to speak directly to the contemporary crises of our times – a very Buddhist notion. Yet Jung’s strategy did not grasp the detailed teachings on consciousness that Thich Nhat Hanh had passed on to me through his talks, retreats and books.

Thay Bowing (2)

These teachings have been verified by Buddhist masters for over two thousand years, as they observed the changes taking place in their consciousness. They observed the same process in the training of their disciples, which further confirmed the validity of their own experience. This would not be a verification process that Western science would necessarily agree with, as examining the mind from a vantage point of an awakened mind is not something that Western science is equipped to do. The strategy I chose was to focus primarily on one aspect of my deep unconscious – the internal feminine face of earth wisdom, brought to my experience through training in the Native American tradition. I certainly shared Jung’s experience of encountering a self-correcting autonomous source of internal energy. A source of guidance that I should say frequently defied my logic and intellect. I also warmed to Jung’s courage when his findings found their way into Joseph Campbell’s creation of The Hero’s Journey. But I disagreed with Carl Jung’s approach and also on his views about the anima and the animus. Jung theorized that men had a female archetype – anima in their unconscious, while women had a male archetype – animus in theirs. In Jung’s view, it was essential to engage with the gender opposite buried in the unconscious. I would like to temper this view with the contention that both archetypes are present in men and women.  The transformation to wholeness for men and women requires engagement and balancing both of these two internal energies. It all depends on what we choose to feed and nurture and just how discerning we are about this.

I chose to concentrate on a particular autonomous source – the feminine face of the Earth Mother – and chose not to focus on the vast range of demonic and unwholesome competitors that lurk in my deep unconscious. The male archetype had been reinforced and ignited throughout the early part of my life – with often disastrous and unbalanced consequences. It was now time to provide a corrective navigation which was much more than the anima archetype proposed by Carl Jung and his followers. I also felt that this primary concentration diluted the energy of other autonomous forces that could be harmful, both to myself and to others.  This preference – I call it a strategy based on discernment – drew on my understanding of Buddhist teachings on consciousness. Here is a simplified view of these teachings.

Consciousness, in these teachings, has many levels. The deepest level is known as store consciousness – and it does exactly what the name implies. It stores everything – all our experiences, the information taken in by our senses, the memories of our ancestors and species. It contains absolutely everything; all possible mental formations, the darkest elements of ignorance, hate and greed as well as the enlightened mind of the Buddha, the Love of Jesus. The seeds of suffering passed on by our parents, inherited from our ancestors – are also stored without discrimination, as seeds of potential. These seeds become reality when we activate them with our thoughts and intentions or allow the triggers from life circumstances to do so. This all lies latent within us, buried, veiled and hidden. It is like the hard drive of a computer, hidden behind the screen, storing all the programs that are downloaded. This primary level of consciousness shapes our lives because we feed off it. In the teachings, store consciousness is considered to be the ground of definition for how our body, mind and environment manifest.

Then there is mind consciousness – our everyday rationality engaging with what it thinks reality is.  The mind consciousness is the apparatus that makes sense of, and orders, the information pouring through the senses. So mind interprets the information coming through the senses – sight, sound, smell, touch, perceptions. However, to complicate matters there is another level of consciousness that is absolutely key for our understanding. In store consciousness, the storage of seeds of potential that have characteristics of suffering, hate, anger, fear, ignorance and shame – the unwholesome seeds – glom together as an energy to form another level of consciousness called Manas. This is a distorting, delusional level of consciousness based on suffering and ignorance.  It corresponds to ego. It seeks to grasp and possess things, power, fame and celebrity, regarding itself as separate whereas the reality is its integration with all other levels of consciousness.

To maintain this sense of separateness, manas props up its importance with the acquisition of more and more “stuff.” This is hidden under false perceptions of reality. Does this sound all too familiar? If not, just turn on the daily news. But here is the kicker – manas regulates mind consciousness. This means that how we interpret the world through our senses takes its cue from a distorting, delusional level of consciousness that runs the mind. Our view of reality is always skewed and off line while manas holds sway over the mind. The energy of manas is fostered by our dysfunctional habits that create suffering. It comes from our cravings, attachments and delusions, which find their form in how we speak, act and think. It is the energy of fear, addiction, hatred and desire and it never shuts up.

This state of suffering and delusional affairs remains in place until mind consciousness decides to do something about it. Mind can choose to switch on the light of mindfulness practice – healing and transforming practices based on meditation. So the mind brings in concentration and insight, making meditation processes a daily and valid option in everyday life.  This is in radical contrast to being run on automatic pilot by manas as the generator. The mind is now choosing which seeds of potential from store consciousness to nurture and bring into awareness. Mind consciousness, instead of being enslaved by manas, now becomes like a fresh memory stick creating new programs and concentrations. It delivers them as downloads to the hard drive of store consciousness.  In other words – re-written programs replace the old worn tracks that only cultivate manas. We dance to a different music. All levels of consciousness are malleable so they can be reshaped by human concentration. Mindfulness is a necessary food for the reshaping. Its application can bring about an end run round manas by changing and defusing the programs and seeds that enabled manas to come into being in the first place. Thanks to this freshness and discerning concentration and insight, we can retrain the mind with every act of meditation. We start to come into alignment with universal energy of a higher order.

Order Book: http://www.ianprattis.com/TrailingSky.html

AWAKENING IN OUR TIMES: THE TALE OF MY BOOK

Our industrial growth civilization is a system devouring itself; dislocating the organic structures of Mother Earth to the point that all species – not just our own – are at risk. It has taken us to the edge of a dangerous precipice. From there we stare into the abyss of climate change, ecosystem and financial collapse, nuclear energy breakdown, resource wars, cyberbullying, terrorism and anarchy.
These issues are making civilization vulnerable to extinction. I believe that our culture needs to awaken spiritually in order to ensure survival. Our world has become an unpredictable beast that we fail to work with intelligently. We have to take back control of ourselves and this is a spiritual matter.” My new book “Trailing Sky Six Feathers” illuminates issues that will impact the human race for generations. The book follows my spiritual journey as I travel across the globe throughout the course of two lifetimes.

The darkness before us does offer an opportunity, a chance to remake ourselves by transforming our minds. Instead of being eaten up by the abyss we can choose to Awaken Spiritually, for that transforms the one thing we can control – our minds. It often seems that we are waiting for someone to step up for us – a Mandela, Ghandi or Martin Luther King. But they are dead and gone. So it is up to you, up to me to step up and awaken spiritually. That’s what my book – Trailing Sky Six Feathers is about – though I was indeed very slow over four centuries to accept what I have just intimated.

There are two main characters that open the book in 18th century Arizona– Trailing Sky Six Feathers and Eagle Speaker. When the reader encounters Trailing Sky Six Feathers, my muse from the past, they encounter a powerful, relentless woman who transforms my life in reality in the 21st century, not in historical fiction. She has been described as one of the most powerful women in modern Canadian Literature. Eagle Speaker is her husband and also my transformation vehicle. He dies cradled in her arms in a medicine wheel in the year 1777. As he takes his last breath Trailing Sky whispers to him:
“I will find you my husband, I will find you.”

Light Beam at the centre of the Medicine Wheel

KEY POINTS IN THE STORY
– HERO’S JOURNEY OVER FOUR CENTURIES
– PLANETARY CARE – 18TH CENTURY RENEWAL, 21ST CENTURY ACTIVISM
– EARTH WISDOM OF THE ELDERS/ SHAMANIC HEALING
– FUTURE GENERATIONS
– GURU TRAINING IN INDIA/ NDE/TRANSFORMATION
– REMEMBERING; PAST LIFE COLLIDING WITH PRESENT LIFE/ RESISTANCE
– TRANSFORMATION OF KARMA/CONSCIOUSNESS
– VERY DIFFERENT KIND OF LOVE STORY THRO CENTURIES – not a Harlequin Romance!

Ian in India

This exciting Hero’s Journey is like Indiana Jones meets the Buddha with a dash of Celestine Prophecy. The story told shines light on the darkest elements of the human condition, including my own. This challenging journey has me stumbling through the first part of life, then standing strong in my own sovereignty in the latter part. In this book I navigate past and present life experiences from brutal raids on Indian settlements in 18th century Arizona, insane sea voyages off the Scottish Hebrides in the 20th century to surrender to The Muse in the 21st century. These

We follow my journey to accept The Muse capable of transforming karma from violence and abuse to clarity and purpose. Readers will travel the pages as I learn to embrace The Muse, Trailing Sky Six Feathers, a South Western Native American wife and medicine woman in whose arms I died in 1777. She vows to find me to complete my purpose despite resistance from my highly intellectual mind in this lifetime.
My severe and challenging journey includes shamanic healings of childhood sexual abuse, guru training as well as a near death experience in an ashram in India. Trailing Sky Six Feathers initiates a dream vision in 2008 that caps my slow process of remembering a clear mosaic of experience stretching back in time two hundred and thirty one years. Over a period of thirty years, four extraordinary medicine people enhance my process of remembering, while Trailing Sky waits patiently from the distant past. I learn how to reconfigure my understanding of time, place, consciousness and Carl Jung’s psychology. I chose to listen to the feminine voice of Earth Wisdom rather than to the multitude of competing voices in my deep unconscious. Past life memories collide head on with the present, all thanks to the persistence of Trailing Sky Six Feathers, the Muse who refused to give up. Karma is reversed, the internal battles are over as I begin to live life as a Meditation for Gaia. The relentless shadowing by this engaging Muse brings understanding not only to me, but to anyone engaged in overcoming the darkness of their past. This book caps my long-term fascination with consciousness.

In the next blog I will draw on a recent sterling Review of this work.

Overview: Trailing Sky Six Feathers

We are all staring into the abyss: climate change, ecosystem and financial collapse, nuclear breakdown, corruption, terrorism and anarchy. Instead of being eaten up by it all I say, “Awaken Spiritually,” as that transforms everything. We have made our world an unpredictable beast because we fail to work with it intelligently. We have to take back control of ourselves and this is a spiritual matter. Turning on the switch of awakening is a good idea right now.

Trailing Sky Six Feathers sheds light on issues that will affect our world for generations to come. This exciting Hero’s Journey is like Indiana Jones meets the Buddha with a dash of Celestine Prophecy. The story told shines light on the darkest elements of the human condition, including my own. This challenging journey has me stumbling through the first part of life, then standing strong in my own sovereignty in the latter part. In India, Arizona, France and Canada’s wilderness, I go to extraordinary lengths to transform four centuries of karma.

SKU-000915196_COVER_V2.indd

I am an Editor, Poet, Professor Emeritus, Founder of Friends for Peace, Spiritual Warrior for Planetary Care, Peace and Social Justice. In this book I navigate past and present life experiences from brutal raids on Indian settlements in 18th century Arizona, insane sea voyages off the Scottish Hebrides in the 20th century to surrender to The Muse in the 21st century. These screenplay epics weave together to create inspiration for a wide range of spiritual seekers, environmentalists, Generation X, feminists, younger generation and academics alike.

We follow my journey to accept The Muse capable of transforming karma from violence and abuse to clarity and purpose. Readers will travel the pages as I learn to embrace The Muse, Trailing Sky Six Feathers, a South Western Native American wife and medicine woman in whose arms I died in 1777. She vows to find me to complete my purpose despite resistance from my highly intellectual mind in this lifetime.

My severe and challenging journey includes shamanic healings of childhood sexual abuse, guru training as well as a near death experience in an ashram in India. Trailing Sky Six Feathers initiates a dream vision in 2008 that caps my slow process of remembering a clear mosaic of experience stretching back in time two hundred and thirty one years. Over a period of thirty years, four extraordinary medicine people enhance my process of remembering, while Trailing Sky waits patiently from the distant past. I learn how to reconfigure my understanding of time, place, consciousness and Carl Jung’s psychology. I choose to listen to the feminine voice of Earth Wisdom rather than to the multitude of competing voices in my deep unconscious.

Readers will be inspired as they watch my intention and strength of purpose to transcend harmful patterns carried since childhood. Past life memories collide head on with the present, all thanks to the persistence of Trailing Sky Six Feathers, the Muse who refused to give up on me. Karma is reversed, the internal battles are over as I begin to live life as a Meditation for Gaia. The relentless shadowing by this engaging Muse brings understanding not only to me, but to anyone engaged in overcoming the darkness of their past.

This book caps my long-term fascination with consciousness. As a Professor of Anthropology and Religion I taught courses on Ecology, Symbols, Engaged Buddhism and Meditation Systems. I am a healer, mentor and educator, able to encourage people through example to find their true nature so that humanity and the world may be renewed. This story is offered as a gift to our planet. My purpose in life is to share my wealth of experience on how to live in harmony not just with ourselves but with the place we call home… earth.

Tipi

In 2010, after an intense internal dialogue with my Muse, Trailing Sky Six Feathers, I asked if I should write her story. There was a long silence that stretched into infinity until I finally heard her affirmation. I stood up and reached for my backpack and took out a writing pad. There was a gold plated fountain pen in the pack, rarely used. I inserted an ink cartridge into the pen and sat in a chair overlooking the sea and mountains on the west coast of British Columbia. Putting pen to paper I started to write the first line of this book:
“Put down your weapons, my husband,” she said quietly with steely insistence.

Why Am I Writing This Book?

When I talk to folk about Trailing Sky Six Feathers: One Man’s Journey With His Muse this is usually the first question I am asked. Here is what I reply:
Global citizens are staring into the abyss–yet instead of being eaten up by it all, I say to them: “Awaken Spiritually,” for that transforms everything. We have made our world an unpredictable beast because we fail to work with it intelligently. Rumi’s wise words are cogent: “Sit down and be quiet. You are drunk and this is the edge of the roof.” We have to take back control of ourselves and this is a spiritual matter. Turning on the switch of awakening seems to be a good idea right now. We just need to touch the sacred in ordinary experiences of life to find the courage and determination to transform.
I am writing Trailing Sky Six Feathers to shed light on issues that will affect our world for generations to come. The example of my own challenging journey and personal transformation illuminates a path for others to expand their consciousness and chart the course for a future beyond the abyss. The human race does not need to be stuck with maladaptive options and patterns. We can and must transform. The key to change this deep freeze is Awakening, a spiritual relationship with self and Mother Earth.

The next inevitable question is – Who would be interested in this work? I reply that there are four audiences.
The Main Audience: Spiritual Seekers
I like to consider Trailing Sky Six Feathers the real life version of James Redfield’s best-selling fictional book The Celestine Prophecy. I have nine chapters, loaded with Insights and adventure. Trailing Sky Six Feathers is drawn from my actual lived experience. Reality based information is in high demand in today’s society, which provides the potential for this project to become a fresh, new icon for today’s hungry culture. Hungry, that is, for authentic transformation.

Trailing Sky Six Feathers delivers a vigorous message about personal transformation in order to become different stewards of the earth and society. Extensive shamanic training is highlighted, as it was the instrument to overcome my childhood sexual abuse. The journey of remembering childhood wounds and past lives will draw in people searching for interior solutions. In Trailing Sky Six Feathers I show that we can transform the damage and limitations of the past and step onto a path of enlightenment for all who suffer from road blocks in the mind. People around the world are overwhelmed by distraction, fear, suffering and violence – all of which keeps them frozen in a state of inaction – deeply wounded and unable to make changes within themselves and for the planet. The inner journey that occupies this book demonstrates that we do not have to be caught by our suffering, fear and maladaptive responses to Global Warming and Violence. We can take steady steps with wise mentors to break free of the chains and liberate ourselves.

The book will also attract the attention of people interested in Shamanism, Jung, Religion, New Age, Alternative Medicine, Meditation, Consciousness, Buddhism, India, Native American Culture and Wisdom of the Elders. The Sky People who mentored Trailing Sky in medicine lore will certainly pique the interest of Trekkies, given this extra-terrestrial component of the book. Ever since the Star Trek series captured the public imagination with time/space crossovers – there is an intense interest in how past realms and dimensions impact our present reality. That is the very fabric of Trailing Sky Six Feathers and it will appeal to the large Trekkie population who may be surprised that the adventure can happen without science fiction.

Men and Feminists
In Chapter Six: Rainbow Bridge Calling, I spend time exploring maps of Central Arizona to acquaint myself with the region’s ambience. I saw that Oak Creek ran through the Red Rock country of Sedona like a thread – drawing the canyons together. My exploration began with this Water element. This was one component of the Five Great Elements in Buddhist, Taoist and Native American belief – Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Space. I understood the sequence as the correspondence of all things to each other driven by the feminine vessel of enlightenment. I have always thought of the present millennium as the century of the daughters. Not so much as a gender separate thing, but as attributes of a holistic, nurturing presence of mind. The feminine principle is the creator of all matter including the five elements and ourselves. This is why I began my exploration of the region with Water. Oak Creek was fed by spring water from the sacred canyons and she carried their unique energies in one stream. The foundation of the book is the feminine principle with a strong, powerful female character whose task is that of tutoring male stubbornness to surrender to the Muse.
This book will be sought out by men who acknowledge the feminine principle as a staple foundation of their masculinity. The story of my resistance, then final surrender, to The Muse will strike a chord within most men and provide encouragement for their persistent engagement with the internal feminine. Feminists will applaud and readily endorse such a book. The strong characters in the book are all women and the book revolves around the difficulties for men of engaging with the internal feminine principle. The testosterone ended drive of modern society raises the prospect of our species going over the cliff into the abyss. Trailing Sky Six Feathers moves the pendulum the other way to create a balance.

Environmentalists
In Chapter Seven: The Compass Changes, my point was that in every mind there is a Failsafe that would activate when matters grew so bad that moving to a new mindset would be inevitable. I argued that the notion of innate earth wisdom, when combined with tipping points in the mind and counter culture, would be sufficient to change our collective mentality in the direction of better earth stewardship and a new spiritual paradigm. On the flip side, I am very aware of the cascading collapse of the world’s eco-systems. That our overpopulated, technologically based civilization may not adapt to a fast changing future without wrecking the environment. If we wreck the environment we are toast. I knew to look for the means to shift our mind set. I replaced the question: “Can we fix the planet?” with a deeper question: “How do we fix ourselves?” I recognized that the modern era transition from “Reverential” to “Referential” with respect to the earth had to be reversed, pointing out that our technical and economic institutions were outstripping our basic humanity.
Planetary care is woven into this book in both the 18th and 21st centuries. The Wisdom of the Elders about the spiritual connection of humans with the Earth Mother provides the template for renewal in the first three chapters. That template is taken into the 21st century with my activism for planetary care through the Friends for Peace organization I established and write about in later chapters. This consistent address of environmental issues directly appeals to the growing environmental movement that Global Warming and Climate Change has catalyzed in the 21st century.

The Younger Generation
Also in Chapter Seven: The Compass Changes, I write about my last ecology class before retiring from Carleton University in 2007. Students encouraged me to get belligerent about Climate Change and its consequences. I enlisted their brilliance and diligence with a collective focus on eco-communities – from rural communities to urban condos – and promised to get testy. This adventure into the pre-conditions for eco-communities, however, had a much bigger intent. It reflected the particular shift in mindset required to salvage the global ecosystem for human habitation. Wherever we are located on the planet – it is essential to conduct ourselves as being part of a global eco-community. Our mindset has to be focused on the reality of living as one component of Gaia’s ecosystem. An edited collection emerged from the enthusiasm, insights and sheer hard work of these students.
This mentoring exercise with brilliant ecology students produced an excellent volume, which contributed to the 2011 Earth Day Environmental Award I received at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. The highlight for me, however, was not the award. It was that the majority of students in this class chose to work as environmentalists in different sectors of the Canadian economy. They cared as much as I did and that was deeply fulfilling.

When I look at the younger generation emerging into maturity, I see beyond the ipods, electronic gadgetry and attitude to the deep intelligence that yearns for something better. I love their in-your-face attitude, as that is the energy of determination that will drive them to put things into balance on the planet. They are not caught so readily by the identities and trade-offs that my generation is so good at entertaining. They are breaking down the barriers of discrimination, storming the barricades of separation. I have only one thing to ask of them. That they slow down for a moment and hold out their hand. For as long as I have a spark in this mind and breath in this body I say to them: “Wait for me, because I am going with you.”
Young people just need to be presented with an opportunity for a way forward and the bell to step up. This book provides both. I can guarantee that Generation X and Y will respond.

DCF 1.0