Tag Archives: Jung

The Middle E=Energy Level of the Life Wheel

The stand-alone I Ching reading for October 22, 2020 is ENERGY. In conjunction with that reading, I’m publishing a bonus blog on the vastly important but misunderstood, overlooked middle, e=energy level of the Life Wheel.

This information was originally published in Rethinking Survival, and again in abbreviated form in the Handbook.

Most is written in the language of the person who I was in 2014, which at end-stage 2020 seems a lifetime ago. I’ve reworked it a bit for brevity and timeliness. I’ve sectioned off bite-sized pieces where some has been deleted.

Most, however, stands for itself. Given the dynamics of 2020’s prior-election chaos, with swirling rumors of drug addiction and treasonous corruption in high places, the following is highly relevant RIGHT NOW. None of it makes sense without the whole picture. So it deserves your careful attention.

e =energy. Much ignorance, misinformation and confusion surrounds the middle, energy level of the quantum paradigm.

Chaos in 2020 is a consequence of this tragic information deficit.

The middle level of the Life Wheel is the domain of Natural Law. The Chinese I Ching, the Book of Change, maps its repetitive, cyclic patterns. This body of knowledge evolved over eight thousand years as sages observed the operations of energy and documented the essential dynamics of change.

Natural Law maps the underpinnings of the physical world. Though invisible, everyone experiences its influence in their lives. Changing seasons occur on all levels in nature. They also repeat on every scale of magnitude in human experience, from the personal pattern of birth, growth, decay and death to the repeating cycles of human history. (Strauss and Howe’s The Fourth Turning is but tip of the iceberg.)

The middle level is the realm of less tangible but still measurable states of energy, including electricity. More subtly, it is the chi, ki or prana described by Chinese, Japanese and Indian traditions as the life force which animates all living beings. In Greek and Christian contexts it correlates with the breath, the psyche.

These subtle energies influence internal psychological states and drive external human behavior, which in turn affects social relationships. Knowledge of these dynamics is essential to personal survival.

Effective leadership and the quality of live withing organizations hinge on the quality of awareness brought to dynamics at this level. Some leaders understand the dynamics of change at a gut level as a matter of common sense. However, systematic education would significantly improve results of the decision-making process.

Many “sensitives” survive by channeling socially banned, unacceptable awareness into the arts: music and literature, including romance, murder mysteries and science fiction.

Humor provides another outlet for releasing the pent-up emotional tensions which cause illness. The quantum paradigm gives credence to the Norman Cousin’s belief that “laughter is the best medicine.” It validates the healing wisdom of Patch Adams, the paradigm-breaking physician who’s earned international fame for clowning with patients.

Rather than merely releasing pressure build-up, however, yogic practices harness that energy. They integrate the levels. According to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the purpose of preliminary disciplines is to to heal the physical body of disease and then correct ignorant character flaws which result in personal misfortune.

The next step is to purify the body-mind of toxic, emotional disturbances which clog the middle level. This enables students to penetrate the so-called astral sheath and prepares them to travel deeper to merge with the innermost source, thus fulfilling the ultimate purpose of life. Incidental powers (siddhis) which sometimes occur at this mid-stage of development are warned against as obstacles: dangerous distractions from the goal of enlightened inner peace.

The power generated at this level is the driving force that allows seemingly ordinary people to perform extraordinary feats of strength and endurance. The mother who single-handedly lifts a vehicle off of a beloved child trapped beneath demonstrates the stored energy potentials which can be released in response to a crisis of Titanic proportions.

When sufficiently purified and mastered, disciplined and intelligently harnessed to positive goals, the middle level fuels Anthony Robbins’ “unlimited power.” These subtle energies explain the possibility of seemingly impossible feats, including the miracles attributed to Moses and Jesus.

The concept of Natural Law as America’s founding fathers understood it was based on the writing of European philosophers: Rousseau, Locke and Hobbes. Though in some ways similar, for the most part it’s a different subject. In the 20th century, Wetherill reinvented “natural law.” Unfortunately, his valid contribution is distorted by the imposition of an evangelical agenda.

Other than to acknowledge that different approaches to Natural Law exist, they’re outside the parameters of this discussion.

In Life Wheel context, the “subtle” energy realm exists between the outer, surface level of matter and the deepest center of unchanging stillness. As the functional link between extremes, both on the out-going and the in-going paths, it serves as the gatekeeper and mediator between the two. “You can’t get from here to there,” except through this middle level of experience. Cluttering or denying access to it make connection with the Center difficult, at best.

Historically, Asian cultures are more comfortable with this middle level. Asian healing arts and practices including as chi kung, tai chi and hatha yoga use exercise to intentionally circulate, balance, harness and direct subtle energies through the physical body.

Westerners are beginning to catch up. As international business and educational exchanges increase, Western technologies and Eastern subtle sciences are cross-fertilizing.

Musicians, especially ones educated in the Eastern and Western sciences of sound vibrations, are keenly attuned to this level. Inspired, harmonious music can heal the physical body and uplift the soul.

It’s no accident that Einstein was an accomplished violinist. Or that the biblical David — first musician, later warrior and king — soothed King Saul’s feverish fits by singing to the accompaniment of his stringed lyre.

Don Campbell describes the benefits of performing or just listening to classical music. His title, The Mozart Effect: Tapping the Power of Music to Heal the Body, Strengthen the Mind, and Unlock the Creative Spirit suggests music’s ability to harmonize and coordinate the levels of the Life Wheel. Research has shown that the effects of music delay or even prevent dementia. Harsh, strident sounds, however, trigger negative emotions and can damage the nervous system.

The middle level is also the repository of karmic information, where the history of past actions is kept, along with a record of debts to be repaid. In psychological terms, it’s the repository of short and long-term memories. The composite of emotions — fears, desires and repressed tendencies — are stored here in what Western psychologies call the “unconscious.” It is the stuff of dreams — inspired visions, nightmares and everything in-between.

The bardo, where (according to The Tibetan Book of the Dead) recently departed souls travel, is located within this level. Spirits, ghosts, leprechauns, angels and demons or jinn acknowledged by various mystic traditions also reside there. From here, unseen hands from the “dark side of the force” reach out to derange the minds of power-hungry rulers and undermine political affairs. (It’s for this reason that disciplines for “cleaning out the swamp” precede introduction to advanced yogic practices.)

So long as invisible energetic influences remain unaccounted for, the failings and depravities of human leaders remain mystifying. Conspiracy theorists can track the complicated networks of human crime on the surface. But to trace world domination plots back to their lair, one must look deeper. St. Paul described it in his letter to the Ephesians:

6:12. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

When cluttered and undisciplined, the middle energy level is like a swamp full of alligators.

Once the swamp is cleared out and the alligators are tamed, however, energetic potentials can be harnessed to worthy goals. They’re like the gas that fuels the car engine, or the horses that drove Plato’s chariot. They become the generator of what Tony Robbins calls “unlimited power.”

But easier said than done. The quantum paradigm validates experiences which report a dark side to the subtle realm, which the life traveler must be prepared to encounter and survive. Some describe it as “Chapel Perilous” or “the Hero’s Journey.”

There’s much truth to the classic lines from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The beleaguered prince, haunted by the horrific vision of his murdered father’s ghost, tells his steadfast friend, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

Here are three examples of encounters with the dark side. The first has a positive outcome, the second a tragic result, and the third a comic twist.

The most familiar is the temptation of Christ. After forty days and nights spent fasting in the wilderness, he was approached by the devil. All the kingdoms of the world were promised to him in return for bowing down in worship. Jesus answered, “Get thee hence, Satan, for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and only him shalt thou serve.”

The tragic example of temptation is the Faust story, most famously told by the German romantic poet, Goethe. Fed up with the arid emptiness of intellectual life, an aging scholar agrees to sell his soul to Mephistopheles in return for youth, power and the love of an innocent woman. Inevitably, he pays a terrible price.

The third example is the comical but cautionary tale of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, animated as a Disney cartoon, staring (appropriately) Mickey Mouse. In his master’s absence, a lazy student tries to harness the forces of nature to do his cleaning chores. He succeeds in casting a spell on the element of water, but can’t turn it off. He escapes drowning only because the master returns to rescue him.

This third example brings up an important point which deserves emphasis. The Life Wheel’s paradigm is called “positive” because all the components of Einstein’s formula included, balanced, aligned and prioritized. The center is the first and primary core. Energy is subordinate to it. It emanates from this source and returns to it. The surface, though largest in circumference, is but the final and transitory manifestation of the creative process. It depends on the center for its existence and upon the energy level for life-sustaining vitality.

History is full of seekers who get a taste of power and then, tragically, forget from whence it came and to which it must return. They presume to challenge and rebel against the Creator, as if it were possible to usurp the center place within the wheel. They distort the relationship amongst the variables, attempting to turn things upside down. Inversions and perversions inevitably bring harm to those who try to put themselves first, mistakenly attempting to subordinate either nature or nature’s God to the whims and ambitions of human ego.

Turning off consciousness is far from an optimal option. Inhibiting awareness of the energy level cripples efforts to acquire self-knowledge, much less enlightenment. Religionists, moralists and even poets like Edgar Alan Poe warn against exploring the middle realm, portraying it as dangerous, fearful or unclean.

But in effect this slams the lid on libido, the motivating life force. Doing so doesn’t avoid its dangers. It just banishes this level from conscious awareness. This part of inner experience then festers, rendered inaccessible, relegated to “unconscious” status.

Enforcing taboos on access to energy level awareness backfires, resulting in mental illness, socially aberrant behavior, addictions and personal tragedy. Jung’s observation, quoted in relation to irrational prejudice, bears repeating here:

Our time has committed a fatal error; we believe we can criticize the facts of religion intellectually. . . The gods have become diseases; Zeus no longer rules Olympus but rather the solar plexus, and produces curious specimens for the doctor’s consulting room, or disorders the brains of politicians and journalists who unwittingly let loose psychic epidemics on the world.

The facts of religion Jung referred to include not only the existence of a supreme being residing at the center of and permeating the whole of creation, but also the middle energy level — including the dangers of its satanic potentials — as an integral part of that whole.

Chinese sages, who trod lightly but surely in that middle realm, used the I Ching as their instruction manual. Recently, it’s been correctly called a “spiritual GPS.” Jung understood the potential good that could come from introducing this wisdom to the Western world, where it could be used as an instrument for making the unconscious again conscious, restoring intelligent competence at this level.

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I summed up the repressive attitude of the materialistic science paradigm in the following Essay Sketch:

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? Funny how the mind works. For centuries it’s been known that if you tell people not to think of white elephants, they’ll think of nothing else. So, to pervert children, forbid them to think about sex.

Slamming the lid on libido drives it into the inaccessible “unconscious.” While publicly feigning compliance, people thus repressed will privately indulge compulsive sexuality in extreme.

Energy science trains students to be wise/skillful in sexual matters, fulfilling intimate needs without tearing the fabric of their emotional/social life apart or harming innocents. Why aren’t these basics taught in schools, instead of filling young heads with ignorant fear and shame of their bodies and God-given potentials?

Havoc reaped now for enforcing ignorance/silence is sure indicator that long-neglected basics should be top educational priority of Positive Action advocates.

And ask this: Who, if anyone, stands to profit by the results of ignorance?

Many a politician and educator knows this sad truth. It would be instructive to look at the tragic (if predictable) sex abuse scandals which plague the Catholic church through the lens of the quantum paradigm. See Daniel Goleman’s work on “emotional intelligence” (why it can matter more than IQ) for an approach to educating competent behavior at this level of experience.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) looks at emotions from a complimentary perspective. “E-motion” is an energy-suggestive word, suggesting kinetic potential. It’s closely associated with “motives.”

Each of the basic emotions correlates with an internal organ, giving new meaning to clichés like, “My gut tells me . . .” or “It makes my heart ache . . .” In TCM, anger is associated with the liver, fear with the kidneys, worry with the stomach, and so forth. When the physical body is basically healthy and the energies of the internal organs are harmoniously balanced, each is associated with a specific virtue. The virtue of the lungs is courage. The virtue of the liver is kindness. The virtue of the heart is compassion.

Those denied access to material and social resources are often forced inside. Of necessity, turning inward, they develop and depend for survival upon strengths drawn from the middle and center of the Wheel. It these cases, it expresses as “street smarts.”

At times, material deprivation and hardships yield the opposite and equal blessings of in-sight and emotional fortitude. Other times, however, excessive investment at the middle level results in delusions, latent with the potential for erupting into violence.

In any case, making a virtue of necessity by rejecting the material world prevents completion of the pattern. It can’t correctly be equated with spirituality.

Cultures which enforce an exclusively materialistic worldview and deny the experience of everything which isn’t tangible and measurable place severe hardships on those whose inner lives are especially active. The Handbook gives ample opportunities to diagnose such imbalances, the better to remedy them.

Societies which deny their citizens practical outlets for harnessing inner energies creatively drive people crazy — to political extremes, homicidal violence, to suicide — or at best, underground.

Many “sensitives” survive by channeling socially banned, unacceptable awareness and longing for self-fulfilling adventure into the arts: music and literature, including romance, murder mysteries and science fiction.

This is a great loss to society. The world would be better off if high-energy, creative individuals were identified as potential leaders, trained and given employment options accordingly.

The Law of Karma Is a Key to Success

AXIOM FOUR of the Positive Paradigm is the practical foundation of functional ethics. It states, “Consequences of Actions Are Inevitable; Those Who Respect the Law of Karma Succeed.” Were it taught earlier in schools both public and private as the survival basic which it is, today’s world would be very different indeed.

For in an exclusively materialist, linear worldview, it seems possible to “get away with murder.” Unethical leaders mistakenly continue to act on the false premise that they can avoid the consequences of their actions by hiding selfish motives and evil deeds behind a mask of false appearances.

But ultimately, they deceive no one but themselves. (Remember the fate of ponzi racketeer Bernie Madoff and his two tragically unfortunate sons?)

Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray dramatizes the horrific consequences of hiding hideous deeds behind an unnatural mask of eternal youth and physical beauty. Just as Dorian comes to an awful end, in the circular and richly textured fabric of the Positive Paradigm worldview, attempts at evasion and deception are ultimately futile. The concept of a “perfect crime” is an oxymoron.

0 Axiom 4

The Old Testament describes the karmic law of return in agricultural terms. “As ye sow, so shall ye reap” and “For everything there is a season. . . ”

In modern parlance, the saying that underscores the circular dynamic of poetic justice is, “What goes around comes around.”

In the New Testament, Jesus speaks the Law of Karma as practical advice: “Do unto others as ye would have them do unto you.” This rule holds true as axiomatic. It has been observed for a very long time that in fact — even if not immediately, or directly — what is done does, for better or worse, returns in kind.

This code is neither self-righteous nor moralistic. It’s simply a practical fact, an observable law of nature. Because we are all interconnected, good deeds return exponentially, while harm intended becomes harm received.

There’s nothing personal about the Law of Karma. It’s simply how the world works. The dynamics of natural law are similar to computer logic. “If this, then that.” If one respects life and treats others with kindness, then others are likely to respond with gratitude. If one disrespects others, then all but wisest will feel threatened and react with fear, hatred and vengeful retaliation.

This is good news for those content to do the right things for the right reasons. It’s exceedingly bad news for those who choose to intentionally hurt and harm others, whether for immediate financial gain or petty ego-satisfaction.

It’s also incentive to become as knowledgeable as possible about the natural law encoded in the Book of Change. For the more deeply one understands the operations of this law, and the more skillfully they’re applied, the more likely it is that success will follow wherever attention is focused.

The law holds true for relationships on every level and in every avenue of daily life. Family members who honor the law bring blessings upon their loved ones as well as themselves. Those who are ethical in the conduct of their business and political lives succeed accordingly.

This dynamic is central to martial arts and the conduct of war. At the middle level, there are no reservations attached to energy manipulation. In a vacuum, out of context, motives are irrelevant. The playing field is open to all who know the territory.

To the extent that we’re not conscious of the energies that drive us at this middle level, we’re easy prey to behind-the-scenes puppet masters. American journalists see U.S. politicians’ abysmal ineptness at this level (in contrast to their Russian and Chinese counterparts) as putting Americans in grave danger.

Those who go with the grain, being truthful and trustworthy in their words and deeds even (and especially) when the going gets rough, find life ultimately abundant. Those who choose to go against the grain, preferring to get whatever they want however they can get it with as little effort as possible, find the opposite.

The popular riddle asks, “Why do con artists do shabby work, charge unreasonably high prices, and get away with murder.” The cynical answer: “Because they can.” However, this cynical half-truth tells only part of the story.

They can, because there’s free will. They can, because they’re ignorant, or else incredibly stupid. Choices have (all too often unforeseen) consequences. Whether one believes in God or not, whether one respects the natural law or chooses to be blind to it, these consequences are the same. In modern parlance, “Do the Crime. Do the time.” Or, as it’s also said, “Pay back is a bitch.”

Punishment for unrepentant wrong-doing can take many forms. The consequences of breaking human laws include fines. jail-time, and in the extreme, death. Over time, retribution for violating the natural law is visited in many forms, from mental or physical disease, to personal, professional or financial misfortune

Consequences of misdeeds often return on the psychological level. Carl Jung, the Swiss analyst who popularized the concept of archetypes, also wrote the introduction to the Wilhelm/Baynes version of the I Ching. He noted the unintended kickback from rejecting the basic axioms of religion and natural law with mere reason. There are consequences not only for decision-makers, but also those they influence.

In sum, Jung noted that modern thinkers have made a fatal mistake. The facts of inner life can’t be driven out of existence by arbitrarily banishing them from the decision-making equation. Saying God doesn’t exist doesn’t make it so. It just leaves the unbeliever at the disadvantage of being cut off from the center.

According to Jung, denying the facts of inner life has the effect of burying rejected aspects of the whole in the “unconscious,” where they continue to reap havoc on our daily lives. Politicians and journalists under the influence of unacknowledged emotional demons “unwittingly let loose psychic epidemics on the world.”

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Corollary A: Free will allows that no one’s fate is irreversibly cast in stone. Destiny is the result of many choices made over a very long time. But even at the eleventh hour, consistently better choices can ameliorate and redirect the outcomes of history, on a personal and on up to national levels. The Law of Nature allows that everyone can change. This is the eternal and best hope of even the seemingly worst among us.

Corollary B: The intricate workings of karma are unfathomable to the human mind. Asking why events happen is productive only insofar as it’s instructive as to how personal beliefs, attitudes and behavior can be improved to generate better results. Then, the most practical question to ask is, “What is the best way to respond to immediate events now?”

Corollary C: It’s best to forswear ignorant meddling. Life is infinitely complex. Humans can’t possibly fathom the far reaching effects of their actions. The best results come from listening to and acting on conscience without imposing selfish ego.

Corollary D: The atheist uses personal suffering as proof that either God does not exist, or that God is so cruel and unjust that this being deserves no trust, respect or allegiance. The answer is, that human suffering is a consequence of consistently poor choices made over a very long time. The opportunity inherent in suffering is to take responsibility for making better choices, beginning with an acceptance of and realignment with the basic axioms of life.

Corollary E: The Law of Karma operates without exceptions. Ignorance is no excuse. Violate it only at your own peril. Nature and Nature’s God cannot be fooled or circumvented. There’s no way to cheat. Nature can’t bet bribed. Conscience can’t be bought off.

Corollary F: A best-selling shaman book advises that it’s okay to go full bore after whatever you want. If others get in the way, it’s their problem. If they hurt you, it’s your fault for letting them. His answer to God, like Cain’s, is, in effect, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Implying, “No way.” But in Positive Paradigm context, the correct answer is, “We’re more than our brothers’ keepers.” We not only share the same seed origin in common. We’re inextricably connected. The pain and suffering we inflict on others returns, magnified, as our own – as do the kindnesses we compassionately provide along the way.

Corollary G: Justice belongs to the Creator, the all-seeing eye and all-knowing heart that resides at the center of the Wheel. Since everyone’s misdeeds are accounted for, there’s no need for revenge. Why try to even the score? It’s already been taken care of. Besides of which, who are we as short-sighted mortals to presume to judge? It’s far more beneficial to focus on personal karma and dharma.

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Influencers Cut Through the Noise

To change the world for the good, the multiple authors of Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change recommend a three-stage process. As author of multiple books on change, I was eager read about the new science whereof they speak.

However, their content confirms what a Jungian analyst reminded me of in response to a recent blog on Therapists as Positive Change Agents. Namely, there’s nothing new on leadership under the sun – just infinite variations on a few important themes.

In fact, with the exception of a single random remark debunking the role of intuition in the decision-making process, their worldview is remarkably compatible with the Positive Paradigm of Change. Here’s how it translates into the Bible-, Yoga- and Einstein-compatible Unified Theory Wheel:

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Influencers cut thru the noise

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Authors Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler speak to our common challenge. “How can the leader as alarm sounder cut through the noise to effectively wake the unaware up from their slumbers?”

Their solution, like the Positive Paradigm of Change, recognizes a necessary relationship between motivation and action (ability). However, I see the two as residing on qualitatively different, interior levels of a two-directional life wheel. They posit three paired levels of influence – personal, social and organizational. This yields a total of six areas which can either impede or accelerate positive change. The key is to harness all six and focus them like a laser on a finely tuned purpose.

In Positive Paradigm context, the universal atom-like structure repeats on every scale of magnitude. The individual is a complete unit. By extension, so is the family. The ongoing units of business and government organization are all multi-level organisms, each with its unique motives and action abilities.

But rather than side-track deep into academese, I’ll focus instead on applying the concept of Influence (focused, effective leadership) to my ongoing discussion of survival and Millennials. As the generation apparently disinherited by their elders, Millennials have little ego-investment in the dysfunctional paradigms that have gotten the world into its current political-economic mess. So they’re the most likely to welcome and champion a Positive Paradigm shift.

Here’s the premise: While marketers are correct in selling Millennials as the best hope for the future, as of yet, the hope is only potential. In “When the Lights Go Out, Who Will Millennials Call?” the very real danger – along with its hidden opportunity – is explored. Millennials are fluent to a fault in all things digital. But there’s an inherent risk in lopsided over-investment. What would happen if, overnight, their iPads ceased to work and they were cut off from their social networks? They might suddenly become as helpless as fish out of water.

The hidden upside to their imbalanced addictions to things digital and social remains to be realized. To actualize this potential, the correlations between the ancient science of change and modern binary digital computer language must be drawn. To repeat, when they recognize that they contain in their innermost DNA the very same potentials that drive computers, that their brain functions are limitless beyond even the most powerful digital instruments, then there’s real hope.

In response to the blog When the Lights Go Out, D.R. Baker wrote a complimentary comment, calling it my best, most relevant work yet. He complained about relatives whose addiction to their gadgets seemed mindless and asked for suggestions as to how he could control the situation.

My response was that, in general, it’s better to focus on self-control rather than controlling others. Since D.R. is familiar with the Book of Change, I suggested that he query the book for insight into his specific situation.

His question, however, got me thinking. I should do the same with my compassionate concern for Millennials. It’s not enough to tell them they have marvelous, latent potential but are at risk, or to suggest wherein the positive future lies. I’ve written books on change and survival. I’ve repeatedly tweeted Einstein’s warning, “It will take a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.” But that’s apparently not the alarm that suffices to wake sleepers up.

I would have thought Einstein’s wake-up call was powerful and sufficient motivation. But that’s my point of view. What’s theirs? In a future blog I’ll present the results of asking, “What benefit does the Book of Change offer the Millennial generation?” In addition, I’ll ask, “How should this answer be presented? What’s the right, most influential approach for me to take?”

Phoenix - sized