Through a Jungian Lens

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Finding Proper Motivation

with 7 comments

Getting to the heart of a knotty problem.

With just over a week remaining until my departure for Europe, I find myself doing a lot of thinking about too many things. In an effort to still the thinking I have resorted to finding all sorts of things to do such as digging out old berry bush roots, trimming hedges, and sorting through things that have been sorted too many times already; all without achieving much success at keeping the thinking at bay. Even my meditation sessions have been getting noisy. I guess it is to be expected as a journey into the unknown (spiritually and psychologically) will become an active, day-to-day process.

I have packed my travel items into the backpack and weighed it a number of times. I have about 15 pounds (7 kilograms) including the backpack as my target weight. So far, I have remained under that weight. I take out each piece to reconsider its necessity for the journey. Likely I am still packing too much even though I have room and weight to spare. And this focus on my backpack still doesn’t silence those voices beneath the layer of consciousness. Something else is stirring that wants to be heard.

Pretending I don’t hear, I turn to blog sites about the Camino or to the discussion forum for experience pilgrims and pilgrim wannabes. Then this morning, I picked up a book started long ago which has been lying on my shelves ignored. Why? I don’t ask why when I am drawn to a book. Rather, I just listen to what emerges.

 “Death and hopelessness provide proper motivation – proper motivation for living an insightful, compassionate life.

When we talk about hopelessness and death, we’re talking about facing the facts. No escapism.

Giving up hope is encouragement to stick with yourself, to make friends with yourself, to not run away from yourself, to return to the bare bones, no matter what is going on. Fear of death is the background of the whole thing. It’s why we feel restless, why we panic, why there’s anxiety. But if we totally experience hopelessness, giving up all hope of alternatives to the present moment, we can have a joyful relationship with our lives, an honest, direct relationship, one that no longer ignores the reality of impermanence and death.”  (Chodron, When Things Fall Apart, pp 44-45)

This is why I am embarking on a pilgrimage. I am giving up on expecting others, things, and activities to rescue me from myself. I am daring myself to face my ghosts, my dark holes, my shadows and perhaps learn to accept them and accept myself as I really am. No more chasing phantoms, no more quest for some sort of fame that would define me in acceptable ways. And to do this, I need to put myself in a place where I am alone and dependent upon my body, my spirit, my psyche and all of my warts.


7 Responses

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  1. Dear Friend,
    Thank you for this Post and the words of Chodron recall something in me.
    Every individual has his/hers own experience of course, but reading the words of Chodron makes me sense the shared basic of the experience.

    TREU Hopelessness and seemingly abandoned and forsaken, with no help to be expected by and from anyone or everything – when nothing of Ego matter, matters anymore – Ego is death – we are naked, like the time we were born – and only our conscious is remaining.
    That is the moment of Bliss when our Comforter takes over and we come to know who we are – because then we have reached the point to experience what it means to really give yourself over to the sacred Force.
    I experienced this as the most Holy moment in my life !

    Opa Bear

    August 20, 2012 at 3:54 am

    • I will be taking one or two of my Buddhist books for those contemplative quiet times when I am not walking, perhaps in the shade of some church ruins. Thank you for your continued resonance and support my dearest friend.


      August 24, 2012 at 10:32 am

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  3. Wishing you light and peace on the journey, Robert.
    All the best,

    Walt Pascoe

    August 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    • Thank you Walt. I also wish you well on your journey of body, mind and spirit. Blessings, friend. 🙂


      August 24, 2012 at 10:33 am

  4. with all your Self work done as you do I find it hard to imagine you have many ‘warts’ left !


    August 20, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    • Ha ha ha – my karma must have been quite something else for there doesn’t appear to be a dent in ridding the spirit and soul of warts at this time. 🙂


      August 24, 2012 at 10:34 am

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