Boundaries and Blackbirds: Our greatest challenge is to break away from the herd

What do boundaries and blackbirds have in common?
What do Boundaries and Blackbirds have in common?

Carl Jung said that as humans our greatest challenge is to break away from the herd

Boundaries.  Those lines we draw around ourselves to maintain balance and to protect our psyche from invasion.  Yes, or maybe ‘intrusion’ is a gentler word.

The push of energy that comes from the behavior and the demands of others requires a boundary.  That boundary keeps us from being used or manipulated by others and within that boundary we can express our true nature.  Personal boundaries allow us to be in the driver’s seat of our own lives.

Without healthy boundaries we sometimes give up a part of our self to be available or accommodating in a way that enables others and causes a loss of self-respect.

We can  become so entangled with another person and their needs (co-dependent behavior) that we lose your own identity. This undermines our integrity and leads to a loss of self-respect — and the respect of others around you.

Respecting boundaries. I asked my self today if I honor other people’s boundaries.  Do I push myself on others?  When I get a hint that a person does not wish to socialize with me, do I continue to insist that they do so?  And  do I solicit others in passive-aggressive ways to elicit sympathy from others using them to assist me to push boundaries even further?

Sounds like a little bit like the animal–the bull, doesn’t it.  But you know how some people keep on antagonizing the other, right?   I have a visual.   Someone who is like a bull and charges upon others.   Wave that red flag in my face one more time and I may, do like the bull, and charge!  🙂

Do people have a fundamental right to set limits and expectations in their life without incurring the judgment of others?  I think they do.  You know that saying,  “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.“–??

Can people consider the wishes of others yet still make choices regarding personal boundaries?

People are the way they are.  Can we accept that without judging them, trying to manipulate or change them?

I operate from my own truth.  You do too.  And when we respect other people’s truths,  we expect our own truths to be respected in return.

Manipulative people do not understand boundaries.  They force themselves into the space of other people’s lives.

Where’s the compassion?  Fear is the root of it all, you know?  The boundary pushing person has a fear of not being loved, not being good enough, deserving enough.  Okay, that’s understood.  So then what? Do we let the person keep pushing or what?

Compassion for the boundary pusher and for the one with the boundaries ( both ) is what’s needed here.  There is the defensiveness from the one with the boundaries who says, “See what I see, hear what I hear, feel what I feel and then maybe you will understand.”  And the other one, in the meanwhile,  of course still pushes– the habit of fear being the driving motivation.

“You couldn’t handle half of what I’ve dealt with and don’t understand that there’s a reason that I do what I do”, says the one who has been willing to accept responsibility for their own life and who has developed the self-respect which created the boundary.  Victim talk?

Personal boundaries are more than OK–and it doesn’t mean that you are selfish or unkind if you push back when someone pushes yours.  Boundaries mean that you have a clear picture of who you are and how you want to live.

In a family dynamic it is always more difficult or better said–complex.  Sometimes we have to endure a person for the sake of keeping the relatives happy, right?  Or do we?  Do we enable dysfunctional behaviors in family members? Or don’t we?

The “herd mystique” and it’s allure

There is a quote from Carl Jung about this being one of the human’s greatest challenges.  Fitting in with the group, the herd, the clan–“You are family so you HAVE TO be around me!”  Where is that written?  Genetic connection or NOT;  do we vote with our presence indicating that dysfunctional behavior is acceptable?

On another note, is it our responsibility to straighten other people out in ways that we believe they should ‘act’ according to our own standards of behavior?  Whoa! Now  that’s one huge judgment if we believe that.  Where’s THAT truth?  Speak it.  Does that sound right if you say it aloud?  Best not to push your truth onto others or become a evangelist — that’s a karma creator if there ever was one.

By placing a boundary and living within it, you are living your own truth and being compassionate to yourself and to the other as well.  You are also teaching people in your life what self-respect looks like through example.

We have to trust what we know and what we have learned from the work that we have done in our own life via self-analysis, theology, philosophy and spirituality. 

This is especially true if we speak about times when our boundaries are pushed and disrespected, especially in a family situation.  Those are the most charged with the opportunity for growth and for teaching through example.

People who push boundaries are giving you the opportunity to develop or to teach self-respect.  Pushing back is a delicate art.  Knowing how to push back against pushy people takes stamina and skill. (Personally, some days I feel too old for it quite honestly.)

Anyway, push-back involves maintaining your own autonomy and self-esteem when you are being invaded.  You know that you need to step back and protect yourself, while minimizing any hostility or confrontation.  Not easy.  People are going to be offended.  Sometimes I think pushy people know that and it makes them push all the more–or they enjoy the drama.

People who push boundaries are acting out of fear and desperately trying to fulfill their own needs.  Social self-reliance is not really their forte’, their strong suit yet; they’re working on it.  We’re all a work in progress.

Self-care means recognizing the importance of your feelings and honoring them and when you set boundaries, this is what you are doing.  It’s important.

But we’re “All One”–right?

We’re all one and connected and while this is true, and while we can be compassionate and understanding as we see the ‘bigger picture’ with self and others, we still have to be able to function here and in order to do so we must stay emotionally healthy while maintaining boundaries… all the while doing the relationship dance.  Being human isn’t easy.

Being human isn’t easy and being the best human you can be… well, it’s tricky sometimes.

I think the best thing we can do is get out of the judgment with the whole business with boundaries and relationships and being social.  I think Jung was right about the “herd mystique”– our greatest challenge being to break away from the herd.

To fully “individuate” is to be able to stop trying to “fit in” and  to be comfortable living in your own truth.  Separating one’s self from those to whom one does not feel an authentic connection takes courage.  The wrath of the clan falls upon you sometimes; that comes along with the territory of being your own person.

There is perceived safety in numbers which is an illusion just as much as any other erroneous belief we hold about living in this dimension.  Some people, and maybe I’m one, feel more authentic outside of the herd.  Strong boundaries are needed and when threatened, need re-enforcing.  Should that be a surprise?

What about karma?

Karma.  It’s our intention that creates it.  I think that needs to be said as well.  To have a boundary does not carry ill intent.

No man is an island onto himself, it is said.  We are one; yet, it is ego that separates us or gives a unique history of experiences and thus identity.

Judgment also separates us– i.e. “…you are different” or “… you should behave toward me in one way or another”.  It all gets us to work on our human growth and evolution both individually and collectively.

blackbirdBut in the meanwhile, as we do all of that, I like the blackbird way of interacting with their fellow birds. If a bird lands on a nearby branch and is not the mate of that blackbird they do a little nod (a bow) and fly away. Blackbirds are pretty solitary.  They are known to establish their territory, fiercely defending it (boundaries) by driving off any of their kind that get close to their vicinity.  Boundaries and blackbirds seem to go together.

What’s the bottom line? The ending conclusion? The final thought?  The summary? The point? The meaning?  I don’t know.   I just do hope something here helps someone out in cyber-world as I worked through some thoughts about boundaries today.

Here’s an article about emotional manipulation that I came across shortly after writing the blog above.  Some may find this helpful:

http://themindunleashed.org/2014/09/8-ways-spot-emotional-manipulation-free.html

Waxing Crescent Moon Phase 45 – 90° – September 2014

waxing crescent moon phase

I thought I may be too late–is the Moon gone beyond 90 degrees yet?  We started with the New Phase at 0 or 1° Libra and now the Moon is at 9° Sagittarius today as I write this.    Since there’s 30 degrees to a sign and we started at Libra, progressing in order through the zodiac in the lunar cycle we have…

Libra 30° + Scorpio 30° + 30° Sagittarius and 30 x 3 is 90 degrees; so we’re still in the Waxing Crescent Phase which is from 45 to 90°. Whew! I’m not late with this blog post.  The Moon moves into the next phase when it gets to Capricorn, the next sign on the wheel.   I’m not too late and the Moon didn’t leave me behind.

Today the Moon is 69° into the next phase–the Waxing Crescent that follows the New Moon phase.  So, right on time then, I will continue.  We’re not at 90° yet.  Moving right along because I’m starting to sound like the Mad Hatter of Alice in Wonderland fame.

I’ve had one thing on my mind lately and so when it is said that you should plant a seed during the New Moon (dark of the Moon) or set an intention for the month, there’s no doubt about what that was for me in my life.

I won’t detail that here at the moment (it’s personal for now) but may share it later.  It’s still pretty new; just a seed after all and I don’t want to be digging it up or creating anything that could keep it from taking hold in the soil and pushing up above ground.  More on that in a moment.

The Moon entered the Waxing Crescent Phase when it was at 45° from the last Sun/Moon conjunction.  What was that date?  30 Libra + 15 Scorpio = 45 degrees.  The Moon hit 15 Scorpio on September 27th, 2014 in the wee hours of the morn Sunday last or late Saturday night however you prefer it depending on your bedtime, eh? That’s when the Waxing crescent phase began officially, Eastern time.

So here we are… we’re in that Waxing Crescent Phase now.  Something happened in my life at the end of the New Phase that relates to the seed I planted–it was only a word, a whisper, an inkling of the seed stirring, but it happened!

And now well into the waxing crescent phase I find myself energizing that whisper with many thoughts, hopes, imaginings, visions.  So we will see how it goes as we near the Full Moon–follow along with me through the phases and I’ll keep you posted and maybe even reveal what its all about.  No promises though; we’ll see how it goes.  Like I said, it’s very personal.  Anyway…. back to the Waxing Crescent Moon Phase for now.

Waxing.  I’ve got to tell you that the choice of words there has always sort of irked me a bit.  Couldn’t they come up with a more descriptive word for indicating that the Moon is growing brighter and larger in the sky?  Can’t begin to tell you how many times while learning this bit of Luna lore that I’d scratch my head and say what’s waxing mean again?  I think of wax as the stuff you use to make candles and I’m not sure what that…. well, “waxing” according to dictionary.com, is from the  Old English weaxan; related to Old Frisian waxa, Old Saxon, Old High German wahsan, Gothic wahsjan,  Whatever!

So the Moon is getting larger, waxing.  We just have to accept that’s what waxing means and try to remember it.

After the FULL MOON it wanes (gets smaller in the sky to our eyes) and the word wane makes more sense to me.

But now we have this Waxing Crescent that we’re well into now (September 29th, 2014) but the date is not much matter since we’ll be here in this phase again next month and every month thereafter, “Lord willen’ and the creek don’t rise” as that saying goes.

We can pretty much count on the Sunrise and the Moonrise and their rhythms; that’s another reason to love astrology–it represents something we can count on and those things are far and few in life. Getting back to business now…

The Waxing Crescent Moon; the separation of the Moon from the Sun is between 45 – 90°

In this phase feelings of hopefulness abound and there is a sense that lingers of that other-worldliness from the earlier phase and the impulse toward action or activity is increased yet there is a struggle to put into the outer world what the inner world is experiencing.

There is the struggle with the need to withdraw from social interactions at this time of the month.  Psychic work at this time will carry the tune of inspiration.

A distance of 45° in astrology is called a semi-square and there is a struggle here, says Dane Rudhyar, for something concrete–a structure or mental concept.  There is the shock of discovery at this angle–it’s thin and new.  There can be a feeling of excitement with a tendency to want to slow down and look at things from all angles.   To our eye the Moon won’t have a distinctive shape until it reaches the First Quarter 90° when it looks like that distinctive semi-circle–until then the Moon’s shape is a straight line more-or-less.

There is gradual revelation in this phase which also includes the sextile (60°) and that’s where a comparison and contrast becomes evident and exciting.  In our current cycle that happened when the transiting Moon was at approximately 1° Sag. (Yesterday, Sunday 9-28-14).

There’s no stress with any kind of sextile and in this phase there’s a good deal going on internally.  There needs to be an isolation from the external world so the soul can ponder what’s taking place and begins to think about the effort and skills needed to work in harmony with the seed that is taking shape.

This whole waxing crescent phase is about allowing the evolutionary intent to take root–new energy with a new purpose.  Keyword:  allowing.

And here there can be those fears… fears of the past repeating itself.  No!  don’t let yourself go there!  We are doing evolution and NOT de-volution.  Right?

(I can feel that within my own experience now and it is very much in alignment with what the books all say about this phase.)

The Moon here in the waxing crescent phase is is young and full of possibility.  If we put this in terms of seasons, we could say that the Moon here is still in “winter” and we know spring is around the corner.  We still feel the ‘otherworldliness’ that carried us from the New Moon phase that came on the heels of the Balsamic phase where something was about to be conceived.  It was conceived!   And now the energy wants to rush out and to manifest.

Before this Moon cycle began, it was abstract and we couldn’t quite conceive of  how our desire or hopes could come about–it was dark and confusing but then a trace of light happened in the New Phase and into the Crescent and it has been growing all along!

Sooner or later what we want to happen will–that’s the feeling now but it feels awkward still.  Yet, at the same time, we’re ready to take it on, go with it, roll up our sleeves and work in harmony with it.  There’s an urgency feeling of something that has to get done but you don’t want to jump the gun that’s loaded and ready to go off– it’s not gone off yet!  And you don’t want to just sit there and do nothing either.  There’s the struggle.

Rudhyar says, about this phase, that people born in this phase “may be characterized in some cases by a deep, subconscious sense of being overwhelmed by the momentum of the past and the power of “ghosts” or karma”.  [i.e. doubt.]

There’s a feeling of not wanting to let things slip through the fingers, not wanting to miss the boat.  The hands are being untied now and there’s a strong desire to use them well.

In the month of October and on the 8th of this month — next Wednesday from now to be exact — there will be a FULL MOON LUNAR ECLIPSE.  (That’s a whole other blog)

Anyway, the energy now indicates that something bigger than one’s own self is about to give purpose, direction and shape to the life.  

I don’t know about you, but I’ll drink to that–raising my coffee cup to the Moon and the Goddess therein!

[I will see you somewhere near the Square, the 90° angle of the Moon to the Sun and that’s going to happen (as stated earlier) at 1° Capricorn.  In this time zone (Eastern) this happens on October 1st!  See you in a few days; that is, if I can stay on time here with my blogging intentions I will. :0] 

 

QUICK MOON PHASE LINKS: 

New Moon 

Crescent (Waxing)

First Quarter

Gibbous (Waxing)

FULL MOON

Disseminating (Waning)

Last Quarter

Waxing Crescent – Balsamic 

 

The Nature of the Mind – The Nature of Reality – The Fascinating Study of Enlightenment and the Karma of Ego

nature of the mind

This is IT for me, you know?  Contemplating the nature of the mind and reality makes it all bearable.  No.  Not right.   Much more than bearable; it makes life a total celebratory event.

You see, we all think (or feel) that we have our own personal single mind that is so very real because it experiences and recognizes things.  Yet, how often (if ever) do we stop and examine those experiences that the mind thinks are so real?  Break them apart, open them up, see what’s there at the core–do people do that?

Trauma or crisis can help us contemplate this type of thing (or not)–happiness too; any intense experience.   Many times doing that drives us to addictive distraction instead of some level of enlightenment and joy.  But if we really examine the experiences that the mind is having and we do so carefully, and we really contemplate this experience that this mind has and we look for that mind that has this crisis or happy experience, we cannot find a single thing!  Not one single thing but a blend of many components that we call “consciousness’.    It’s NOT YOU!

Here’s what I mean–there is no solid mind or self at the core of the experience or no real experience-ER.  I know, it sounds crazy if you’ve never thought about it but give me a chance to explain.

Consciousness has many various components–parts!  You know like a car, a vehicle has many components, parts–engine, tires, frame, door and so forth.  Is not our mind and our consciousness the same?  Consciousness has awareness of visual objects (forms, shapes, colors) and then there is awareness of sound, touch (tactile consciousness), taste consciousness and all these are separate parts or functions of the mind.  It’s like the car analogy–separate parts, gas tank, gas pedal, speedometer, steering wheel and so forth.

Consider the experience of anything for a moment–it doesn’t have to be crisis or trauma.  Anything.  Happy experience let’s say.  If we consider that each type of consciousness recognizes a particular field of experience (sound awareness or consciousness recognizes sound and visual consciousness is aware of shapes and colors of forms)… if we consider this as part of any experience we see that each of the types of consciousnesses function in an independent way from the others.

So the mind is a blend of consciousnesses and not one single unit or not one single, unitary thing.  Rather it is a compound object just like the car, the vehicle.

There are said to be six consciousnesses and in some books I’ve read there are eight.  And one of those eight include the consciousness which clings to the notion of EGO or “I”.  And another consciousness that is part of what we think of as “me” is called ground consciousness — and I wrote about this a week or so ago.  

The ground consciousness  stores information from all other levels of consciousness and accumulated past lives.  You can see how this level of mind would easily support the idea of an individual identity called “me”.  It would seem so ‘real’ but it is a grouping of consciousness; a grouping of experiences.

To explain further, it is fairly easy to grasp that the visual consciousness perceives objects–that’s the potential of the visual consciousness.  If you look at a red cloth, you see red.  If you look at snow on a mountain, you see white.  We are able also, quite obviously, to see things in succession–first seeing one thing and then the next with one thing disappearing and the next thing appearing in consciousness.  So visual consciousness is multiple and successive and has the potential to see many things at once and so is not single or solitary or one thing.  Nor is it one single solitary unit of time.

strawberry fields foreverEven if we could isolate a single solitary unit of time, it would only occur within the framework of ongoing consciousness because awareness is never static–its fluid.  So every moment has to relate to a previous moment and a future moment—meaning, it is not any more singular than we ourselves are.  The future moment is the present being the past in relation to it.  Yeah, I know that last sentence is pretty deep; but the point is that time is not solid, solitary and static and neither is consciousness and neither are we!  

There is no single unit of identifiable reality in either the external world of appearances or in the subjective mind.  Even space does not have a fundamentally real, inherent existence. Space is not a compound, and does consist of various parts like the car or like our mind.  Space is not a thing–it seems to exist but it is the negation of a particular appears of anything else.  Even the space in a room only exists because of the walls–take away the walls and the space that you thought existed in the room is not there and only depended upon the walls around it to appear as if it existed.

So the whole point in this blog post brings me to the point of liberation–even if I can’t fully understand it all in a way to describe it in words; in an experiential way I’ve known this truth from meditation…   it’s all true.

For example, in a contemplative meditation last evening, I tried to find… well, I asked, “Where is Joy?  Where am I located?”  It took less than a nano-second to realize I’m not my body and once you get past that basic truth, look for the location and you will find it’s everywhere!  And now here!  and nowhere!

And this, my friend, helps me to chill-ax (chill out and relax) and to see the humor in it all…. appearances are empty forms!  And again, quoting the Beatles once more, in the Strawberry Fields song, “Nothing is real; and it’s nothing to get hung about.”  

DEDICATION:  May this post help another in a way that is in divine order when they come upon this post–for this is my true intent in writing it today!