Reply To: On Synchronicity and Meaning
Shaaheda; thank you for your sensitive, kind, and tender thoughtfulness on my attempt at describing what I experienced. Putting such things into words as you know can be extremely difficult; but as you, Marianne, and Stephen have often referred to about the writing process a door is opened through which another realm is accessed where transcendent and transformative elements are allowed to alchemize if you will our innermost thoughts and feelings of our experiences where as Joseph mentions in: “The Hero’s Journey”; although I can’t remember what page I copied it from my old notes: “Alchemical Imagery is one way of telling this same story in terms of getting gold out of the base matter.” But these other quotes of his are some of my very favorites of his from the same source that marry to what we are discussing concerning from where these realizations come from out of our own experiences:
“In the journey of the soul itself the way out is the way in. It is a movement beyond the known boundaries of faith and convention, the search for what matters, the path of destiny, the route of individuality, the road out of original experience, a paradigm for the forging of consciousness itself: in short the hero’s journey. (It is a composite like the legendary gryphon, taking shape gradually, piece by piece, an individual assemblage of key ideas: “the will to be oneself is heroism”.)
And added to that from the same source: “The seeker is the mystery which the seeker seeks to know. The hero’s journey is a symbol that binds in the original sense of the word, two distant ideas; the spiritual quest of the ancients, with the modern search for identity.”
There are of course many other quotes of Joseph’s that could be added to this list but the point is this internal process out of which we are able to access them. And then a path is forged which leads to more of these things and then all of a sudden you are no longer who you once were and your understanding of these experiences becomes a kind of guide in a way toward this new realization you are struggling toward. Looking at your unknown face often conjures up very unpleasant memories that have to be assimilated as well; but pushing through is often the most important part toward achieving this thing you are reaching for. I had several of these experiences that confronted me in ways I am still processing; one of which happened when after a year in lockdown I went to visit one of these places where I had lived for five and a half years wondering if it still stood and it was completely wiped from existance as though it was never there to begin with. Developers are tearing the city apart; and the history and memories that go with those places are now gone except in books and photos and stories that people tell about them; so it was a real shock to see it erased.
I will leave a link to the above Facebook webpage that contains more information and pictures of the mental hospital so you can get some idea of what I was talking about; and there is information included about the series that ran in the paper on mental health reform I mentioned. Many of homeless population of Viet Nam veterans I mentioned came from places like this because the funding was taken away during the 1980’s and mental health care has taken on a somewhat different approach now with large institutions being replaced with smaller facilities; but homelessness itself is a much larger issue that has evolved over the years because of changing political views and social values that have lost touch with this tragic human need that has now begun to resurface in a much more profound way because of the economic collapse caused by the covid pandemic. (It should also be mentioned that the Veteran’s Administration handles most of these mental healthcare needs of Vets now as far as I know.)
There are others who are more qualified than I am who can provide more current information about the way mental healthcare is handled now; but during my experiences back in the 1960’s it was a horrendous thing to endure; and not something that was socially acceptable to talk about except in whispered conversations that were mostly kept private. Here is the link which also has information about the upcoming book: