April 13, 2022


Green River Canyon 06 05/13/2010 Oil Paint Rendered — Canyonlands National Park, Moab, Utah
"We are who we always have been,"
said Carl Jung.
"And who we will be."

It's a declaration discounting
the value of free will,
and dismissing the prospect of progress
and human development.

But it affirms the resilience 
of the rhizome,
and speaks of the hope
that we might yet find and be who we are,
in the old Taoist sense
of being true to our original nature,
and to the virtues/daemon/genius/gifts/etc.
that are built into our DNA--
realizing the perfection that is pre-existant
in the genome of each of us,
lying latent, waiting for the right combination
of external stimuli 
to call it to life
and enable our response to the time and place
of our living
that is just right,
exactly what is needed,
then, there and how.

If only we get out of the way
and assist its coming forth,
the way the Buddha and Jesus,
Socrates and Gandhi (etc.) did 
in meeting the times that were theirs to meet. 

We determine the meaning of Jung's statement
in our own case
by the way we live our life out
in the time left for living. 



Beulah Land 45 Oil Paint Rendered — Lower Falls, Hanging Rock State Park, North Carolina
Jesus said, "Look for those 
who can hear what you have to say,
and don't waste your time with 
those who cannot."

Those who can hear what we have to say
are those who already know the truth of it
before we begin to talk.

Resonance is the path to enlightenment--
which is never more than seeing
what is right in front of us.

But it flows naturally
from person to person, 
and from person to place
and to time.

It cannot be artificially produced
or created.
It is either there or not.
When you "don't feel it,"
move on.

You are looking for where you belong,
for what you belong to,
and that is a resonance thing,
not a "sales-pitch thing."

When you do not resonate
with the person talking,
or with what the person has to say,
move on.

Resonance is as much when and where
as it is what.

We can resonate with something 
at a particular time and place
in our life,
and not resonate with the same thing
at a different time and place.

It all comes down to the chance 
of pace and timing.

We are ready for different things
at different times and places in our life.

And we "can't hurry the river."
We have to wait for the time to be right
before we can hear what is being said
and know what to do about it.

And so, "the circumambulation of the self"
(Carl Jung's term for "individuation,"
another Carl Jung term
for becoming who we are)
takes a lifetime of walking around
our original nature
in an ever narrowing spiral
as we get closer to being who we are,
but we cannot rush it
in a straight line fashion.

We grow into being ourselves 
over the full course of our life.
Nobody--not Carl Jung and not Jesus--
can speed things up for us.

We hear and see in our own time,
in our own way,
waiting to resonate with 
what is being said and done,
that we might wake up 
and come to our senses.

In the meantime,
we keep walking,
keep listening,
keep looking,
waiting for something 
to "catch our eye,"
or to "strike a cord" with us
that we have always known to be so,
waiting to see/hear it
to realize what is forever so.



Hayden Valley 06/18/2000 Oil Paint Rendered — Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
The sin of Adam and Eve
had nothing to do with eating forbidden fruit
(Give me a break!),
and everything to do with looking for a better deal--
and being more than willing to sacrifice 
their integrity
to find/have it.

THAT is the propensity present in
every one of us
that prevents us from seeing what's what
and doing what needs to be done about it.

"What's in it for us?"
cuts us off from our original nature
(Think "original nature,"
not "original sin"!),
and delivers us to the Wasteland of Our Discontent.

The profit motive is the only sin.

We find our way back to Eden
by "dying" to our own wishes and desires
for more than we have any business having,
and living with filial devotion and liege loyalty to 
our original nature,
and fealty to the virtues/gifts/genius/daemon/etc.
that came with us from the womb
("The face that was ours before we were born"),
and living to serve and to share 
what we have to give
in doing what needs to be done,
when, where and how it needs to be done,
because it needs to be done,
with nothing in it for us
beyond the joy of doing it
and the satisfaction of having done it.

Living like that saves the world.

That's what Jesus came to say.

He also said, "Do it daily and pass it along!"



The Ghost Trees if Boneyard Beach 02 Oil Paint Rendered — Botany Bay Historical Preserve, Edisto Island, South Carolina
Taking the Sermon on the Mount,
the Parable of the Prodigal,
the Parable of the Good Samaritan
and the bit in Matthew 25
about "Inasmuch as you have done it--
and failed to do it--
to one of the least of my brothers 
and sisters, 
you have done it, and failed to do it, unto me,"
as the summation of what Jesus had to say,
we can summarize it even further in this:

"You--YOU--are the neighbor! Be one!"

The Buddha said the same thing. 
And Gandhi. 
And Hafiz. 
And Rumi. and the prophets, and Eddy Cantor…

It is the final solution.


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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