December 04-C, 2022

Barred Owl 01 04/09/2013 Oil Paint Rendered — The Bog Garden, Greensboro, North Carolina
Opposites and contraries,
dichotomies and contradictions,
form the essence of life.

It is our place to bring unity
from duality,
to harmonize/balance Yin and Yang,
to make the peace
by taking two and forming one.

Our work starts with conscious and unconscious.

We are two becoming one.
How well we pull this off 
tells the tale.

Conscious must learn to read/see/hear/attend unconscious,
and bring unconscious to life
within the here/now of the life we are living.

Unconscious knows what needs to be done,
but has no clue as to how to do it.
Conscious knows the limits/restrictions/requirements
imposed by the context and circumstances
within each situation as it arises,
and does the work of integration,
of negotiation,
of working out
the needs of the unconscious world
within the possibilities and limitations 
of the conscious world.

Our conscious ego stands between both worlds
and works to merge the worlds
in ways that honor each world
and enhances each with the inclusion of the other.

Unconscious comes with potentialities
appropriate for every manner of context/circumstance.
It can be utterly ruthless
and completely merciful.

It is the place of conscious 
to apply what is possible
in ways that are needed
by the specific sitz im leben 
of each time and place
of each here and now,
knowing that "there is a time
for every purpose under heaven."

What is called for when,
and how is the question
that conscious must constantly answer,
drawing lines,
setting limits,
reading the situation
and knowing how much of what
is called for in each moment.

The conscious must do its job well
in applying the powers/tendencies/proclivities
of the unconscious
to the particular needs of each here/now.

This is where the metaphor 
of the Gardens of Eden and Gethsemane 
comes full force
into the steel and concrete world
of each here/now.

Whose interest do we serve
with the choices we make
in doing what is done?

We have the option of doing 
whatever we please.
What do we please?
What do we seek?
How good is the good we call good?

The weal and woe that constitute
life in the world through time
reflect the appropriateness 
and the inappropriateness
of conscious' choice
for the application of unconscious' capabilities.

There are those who choose wisely and well,
and those who choose selfishly, 

And, we all step into another moment
in which we make the call,
one after another,
all our life long.

Momentum is karma,
and our tendency is 
to choose to do in each moment
what we have chosen to do
in all moments preceding this one.

How free we are to choose
in each moment
is a reflection of how courageous we are,
standing as we do between our Adam/Eve side
and our Christ side,
with the future in question
and everything at stake.


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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