Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Awakened Lover

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

I recently began reading the book King Warrior Magician Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette. I first heard of these archetypes years ago when I first learned of the work of noted psychologist Carl Jung. I was more recently reintroduced to the power of archetypes when I came across the book I referenced above last month while attending a men's group.  I plan to do some additional review of the material within the book in the next week. I will be attending the New Warrior Training Adventure the weekend of April 17-19th. I am cautiously hopeful this training will jump-start my search for more quality relationships with men in my professional life as well as my personal life. The hope of something bigger and better inspires us human beings to do many things.

When recently speaking with my therapist I spoke of how I have spent much of my life thus far more easily and successfully living out the 'light side' of the king and warrior archetypes. Upon further reflection I feel a bit less convinced that I express the positive aspect of the king archetype as uniformly as I would like to believe.  I will write more about the king archetype in a future posting. As for now I want to focus specifically on the lover archetype.

The following are all informative tidbits taken directly from the book.  The Lover

" primary to the psyche also because it is the energy of sensitivity to the outer environment.  It expresses what Jungians call the 'sensation function,' the function of the psyche that is trained in on all the details of sensory experience, the function that notices colors and forms, sounds, tactile sensations, and smells."

" the archetype of play and of "display," of healthy embodiment, of being in the world of sensuous pleasure and in one's own body without shame.  Thus he Lover is deeply sensual - sensually aware and sensitive to the physical world in all its splendor."

"The man under the influence of the Lover wants to touch and be touched.  He wants to touch everything physically and emotionally, and he wants to be touched by everything.  He recognizes no boundaries.  He wants to live out the connectedness he feels with the world inside, in the context of his powerful feelings, and outside in the context of his relationships with other people."

When I first underwent EMDR therapy in 2013 it was as if a light switch was suddenly turned on. A more appropriate metaphor might be that of a rheostat in which you can modulate the intensity of lighting beyond a simple polarity of on and off. My sensitivity to my outer environment deepened. It was as if the light of the world could suddenly fill and inhabit my own being in a way it had not done in many, many years.  And as the light could more easily enter my person I could consequently also appreciate the light outside of me more and more. The evidence of my heightened sensitivity and appreciation of visible light can be found throughout my blog. I have written extensively about how EMDR therapy facilitated a fundamental change in my perception of the world outside my skin.  If you had to match a particular kind of therapy to one of the four archetypes I would say that EMDR therapy corresponds to the archetype of the Lover.

It has been nearly two years since I embarked on the journey that I have regularly documented in this blog. I still experience moments when the vividness of the world seems positively surreal. The world seems more than real.

My sadness still wells up on occasion when I catch myself noticing the immense beauty of the world. I feel joy at the beauty around me. But then I will feel a sadness arise thereafter as I recall (often unintentionally) how long I did not appreciate the immense beauty of the world outside my skin. Sometimes my sadness wells up when I notice the subtlety of a shadow or the variegated textures of rich, golden light. Other times I marvel at the intricate beauty of a single green bud on a tree or how sunlight brings out the beautiful hues in someone's hair. I think it is also not unusual for a heightened sensitivity to what we can apprehend through the senses to take place simultaneous to a movement away from the unhealthy pattern of thinking I often call black and white thinking. It seems that when we no longer think in such rigid terms it becomes easier to see the variety of the world outside ourselves. The outer world becomes a reflection of our inner world.

I have found myself reaching an important milestone in my own journey.  I have come to accept the very real possibility that some measure of my own sadness may always be with me.  This is not necessarily a good or bad thing.  A capacity to feel sad is a very human capacity.  I feel sad for the childhood I lived in which an experience of wonder and delight was not something I consistently experienced throughout the course of my development.  My childhood was simply filled with so much chaos so often that feeling sufficiently safe and carefree to be able to actually experience wonder was an all too rare gift.  Fear and anxiety were my frequent companions.

And yet my anxiety and fear didn't destroy me. I lived with them for many years. Indeed, I lived with them for so long that these unhealthy states of being began to feel...normal. Now I can release them. I can choose to be a different person.  And each and every day I am actually becoming a different person. I am becoming a grander, happier, healthier, sharper version of my self.

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