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Forest Seeds, End of Year Contemplation

“You know that the seed is inside the horse-chestnut tree;
and inside the seed there are the blossoms of the tree, and the
     chestnuts, and the shade.
So inside the human body there is the seed, and inside the seed
     there is the human body again.”

~ Kabir  (1440-1518)

The winter solstice has just passed, the New Year is on its way, and we are all turning in the wheel of a new beginning. In the northern hemisphere as winter is new, it’s still very dark where this beginning has been turning in us. As Kabir notes above, inside the seed all the pleasures and gifts of the rooted life are possible, within our bodies, the seed of a new body; I’d add, the seed of light. So I was taking deep breaths, walking past the frozen, snow sleeved pines and I realized that we are much like this forest, a community with roots sunk into labyrinthine dark feeding us all simultaneously as we filter light. Wellness culture so frequently focuses on self care, I was imagining that to emphasize care for the whole rooted community first is to emphasize care for the self in a more expansive way, that perhaps the reversal of priority would bring us to an understanding of each other more extended than we’ve yet felt. I’m reminding myself of this. I was thinking of Jung’s concept of the Unus Mundus (one world), and how it might, like these snowy intricately connected trees, inform a new breath that would give shared vigor to the requirements of our time, requirements that necessitate we become engaged in protecting each other as individuals, regardless of where we fall on the spectrum of social vulnerability.  Weak or strong, within the human body, the seed of the body.

Like trees in the forest, we are all connected.

“The idea of the Unus Mundus is founded on the assumption that the multiplicity of the empirical world rests on an underlying unity and that no two or more fundamentally different worlds exist side by side or a are mingled with one another. Rather, everything divided and different belongs to one and the same world, which is not the world of sense but a postulate whose probability is vouched for by the fact that until now no one has been able to discover a world in which the known laws of nature are invalid. That even the psychic world, which is so extraordinarily different from the physical world, does not have its roots outside the one cosmos is evident from the undeniable fact that causal connections exist between the psyche and the body which point to their underlying unitary nature.” The Essential Jung, p. 334

Embodied individuality seats imagination as a quality of the interplay between the single tree and the community, where the mineral feeding one entwines it with the collective in both depth and height. Where can we deepen our engagement in change? Where can we rise to the occasion of the incandescence we dream of expanding into?  Walking in the mercifully crisp air of the forest I was thinking, there is a localized divinity in this group/individual process of sustaining flower and shade, or works and safe shelter. Our multiple expressions of unique experience, as they grow, transfer back a forth between psychic and physical experience within the Unus Mundus. The pitch and bark, the way we use what feeds us to structure our supports carries a god-light, the accessible spirit glow, that allows us to seed a new futures for the community, futures that hold space for the many within the one. May 2018 grow our mutual engagement into a great and protected grove emboldening each single flowering human.

“For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity, a human face:
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.

Then every man of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine
Love Mercy Pity Peace.”
~The Divine Image, William Blake

Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

 

Andrea Jivan, L.M.T., M.A.
Depth Psychotherapist Intern
Blog Team Member
Jung Society of Utah

 

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