Through a Jungian Lens

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Letting Go and Letting Life Happen

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Northern Three-Toed Woodpecker at Green Haven Naturist Campgrounds

Northern Three-Toed Woodpecker at Green Haven Naturist Campgrounds

I took today’s photo in late June when I decided to attend a naturist retreat – a retreat with only one participant. I needed the time alone, alone with nature and myself in my natural state. The shedding of clothing was symbolic of a psychological emptying, a stripping away to remove as many layers of self-deception in order to leave myself open to something more. I knew that everything that I held on to wasn’t enough. My anxieties weren’t abating and I just couldn’t find a path anymore – live was unraveling in spite of all of my efforts, all of my intentions.

I don’t know what the intentions of the woodpecker were other than to be attentive to what was happening so that he could get his “fill” of bugs. He was open and was teaching me to be patient, to be open and let life happen. I needed to empty myself of the garbage that was overflowing in my mind and spirit if I was going to have room for what was missing.

Spiritual emptiness is not only an open mind but also an open self. We have to get ourselves out of the way – our explanations, our goals, our habits, and our anxieties.. We often try to avoid disaster and fill life with order and meaning, but just as often life unravels all our careful preparations. At that moment we can complain, but I have found it is best to go with the loss and be educated by it. The willingness to stand in our ignorance gives us character and keeps us honest.” [Moore, The Soul’s Religion, p. 10]

In the past, and by this I mean the not-so-distant past, I worked overtime trying to anticipate life: “What did my wife want? What did my children want? What did the world want? What should I do to having the world come crashing down on me?” It seemed as though I was just a half-step ahead of disaster. I didn’t realise it, but I was actually cultivating disaster rather than “cutting it off at the pass.”

The retreat did teach me something. With no one to blame or complain to, I found myself becoming silent, listening to almost nothing. For three days the silence continued and in the silence my anxieties abated. I began to breathe more freely. I felt alive and that, “being alive” was enough of a “meaning” to satisfy the ache within my soul. And then I began to smile.

Deep emptiness lies in the vacant feeling you have when complaints and words of self-defense fall away.” [p. 11]


3 Responses

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  1. Good Morning Dear Friend,

    It is good to see and read from your new start since the beginning of August with all your new interesting Posts – thank you !.

    You wrote in the end of this Post : “I began to breathe more freely”.
    Yes, becoming aware of breathing, (as Tolle wrote) – is a thing that makes one to stay in the NOW.
    Several years ago you wrote about “holding the tension” (yes, the memory of this Dinosaur is still in function, LOL !).
    So, when “holding the tension in the now”, accompanied with (childish) feelings of curiosity and expectation of what new experience will appear by the next turn of the road – one will be surely rewarded – and if that’s what Mr. Moore meant by “emptiness”, I fully agree.

    Like yesterday, being in this state of mind /mood – when I was rewarded (to become aware) with this beautiful, almost unearthly, numinous “sparkling in / from the eyes” of a lady – wow, that was some precious gift to receive !

    I am also aware that being a Dinosaur and enjoying retirement it is easy to be in this state of mind /mood – and I know how hard it was to obtain this state of mind / mood in the period when I was fully involved in society to earn a living – but luckily our Creator also supplied us with a will.

    Opa Bear

    August 9, 2013 at 4:02 am

    • My grandkids say I am older than dirt – pre-dinosaur. 🙂 I am constantly amazed at how there is resonance, almost synchronicity between my life and postings and your, dear friend. May you always receive the gifts such as the sparkling in a lady’s eyes. 🙂


      August 9, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    • Thank you for your words in response, Opa. Thank you especially for the “numinous sparkling in the eyes of a lady. It’s good to be a dinosaur enjoying retirement.


      September 11, 2013 at 6:49 pm

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