Spiritual direction is largely about listening. We listen deeply to the story of another through what is spoken and what goes unspoken. We tend to words, body language, intuition, images, gestures, and felt senses. To hear requires that we slow down and make space both in our schedules and within our hearts to create a receiving place. Listening demands we grow quiet, so that we might encounter the essence of things. Because listening involves multiple ways of tending the soul’s voice, it becomes a path to intimacy with another person and with God. The practice of listening is a way to go beyond the rational, chattering, divisive mind and feel the language of connection among things and persons…..Christine Valters Paintner
which ‘I’ shall we choose? and if we forget, who shall appear? developing a steadiness becomes a stifled and wrenching task if we do not allow the radiance of our lives to shine from a more unpredictable and authentic depth….may the whirling of the wild soul begin….
Embracing the soul’s debased expression as expressed in the images of art and dreams involves a shift in consciousness that transforms psychotherapeutic values. I have become more interested in acknowledging and feeling the condition than in fixing it. The exclusive belief that therapy repairs what is wrong keeps us in a condition of eliminating symptoms. When these attitudes are applied to psychic images, we essentially eradicate the expressions of soul rather than entertain them. I have learned to view art’s pathological manifestations as ‘angels of the wound’ who open us to the life of soul. The wounded animal that comes in a dream helps me to see soul’s suffering as expressed in its language of imagery. The rejected image in a painting or dream is usually the one that has the most to offer. It opens to the unrealized spectrum of the soul’s compassion…..Shaun McNiff
Before Freud, knowing thyself in psychology meant to know one’s ego-consciousness and its functions. Then with Freud, ‘Know Thyself’ extended to mean knowing one’s past personal life, a whole life recalled. But after Jung, ‘Know Thyself’ means an archetypal knowing, a daimonic knowing. It means a familiarity with a host of psychic figures from the geographical, historical, and cultural context, a hundred channels beyond my personal identity…..James Hillman