The Symbolic Life: Ancient Wisdom for a Modern World
We moderns live on a thin crust of the earth. Go three miles up into the environment and one freeze; travel toward the earth’s middle less than a mile, and one succumbs to the warmth. We are liable for the absence of oxygen above and the molten rock under. Yet we often take existence on our thin little crust of the earth as a right so that its fragility seems transitory and perhaps even inappropriate. How did the ancients manipulate to survive, so we are now here to ask this question? Carl Jung and his fans preserve that residing in a symbolic life engenders an existence closer to the historical knowledge we soon know, long before we were born, a way of lifestyle that sustained primitive people through ritual and culture and the sacred tales we call mythology.
Jungian analyst and author J. Pittman McGehee said, “In an international that has lapsed into rational modernity, we have to reclaim the nonrational because of the fact.” The right news is that symbolic existence can be determined in the present. It has the greatest capability of creating that stability necessary for concord and contentedness with ourselves and others. So, how do you start to live a symbolic life? Many of you will do it now; do not think about it. Nevertheless, I suggest eight approaches to growing a more potent focus on what you’re already doing.
First, be conscious of your participation in rituals.
What topics do we know nowadays? Is it best to what motive defines, or can the nonrational be crucial in taking the time to stay within subculture or go through the motions of symbolic conduct? In our places of worship, do we sincerely notice the icons and logos of our ideals? Do we mild candles, stand, kneel, stroll, chant, go ourselves, accept the wafer and wine as the frame and blood of Christ? Outside faith, a vital cultural system, we have personal ritualistic celebrations and holiday traditions. We make toasts to every other’s health and happiness; we place money below a child’s pillow in exchange for lost babyhood, and we mild candles for another 12 months of existence.
We baptize our infants and communicants and have a good time coming of age with conventional ceremonies from bat mitzvahs to Eagle Scouts. Every season allows us to engage in time-commemorated, routine occasions that solidify in our memory the procedure and the stairs we take that we look forward to re-enacting. Our calendars are packed with a full year of special days–President’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Valentine’s Day, all the days surrounding Lent and Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Holloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, and all of the vacations on the Jewish, Orthodox, Chinese, and multiethnic calendars that richly beautify our lives. We are a society brimming with commemorations and festive observances, which have elevated us to ritualistic lifestyles.
Second, think of sharing food with humans as sacramental.
Food is not just a necessity. To what first-rate lengths we’ve traveled is obvious in our admiration of pinnacle cooks and movie star cooking indicates and prepare dinner books that persuade us of the graciousness of eating well with family and friends. First dates, engagements, weddings, retirement, funerals, and various vacations–we define their meaning to us with food. Even in our goals, food is sacramental and is often associated with sacrifice, the bread, and wine of the Eucharist. We share meals in our connectedness at a birthday party, and while we do that, we share a bond in unity, the starting place of which lies deep within our subconscious.
Breaking bread with others has turned out to be an expression more than its literal, which means bread symbolizes from ancient instances the meals of the frame and soul, the bread of existence. It isn’t coincidental that the breaking of bread happens in sacramental sharing and communion. In John 6:35, Christ is called “the bread of lifestyles,” in Luke 22:19, bread is called “the body of Christ.” Loaves of bread percentage their existence-awakening properties with corn, which depicts fruitfulness and abundance, especially in Greek myths. Corn is the emblem of Demeter, who withholds the earth’s lot from humanity while her daughter Persephone dutifully descends to Hades during the autumn and winter months. No other fantasy expresses existence/dying/rebirth quite aptly as the tale of Demeter, the Greek goddess of grain.
Third, take pictures and study them often.
Photographs allow us to revel in critical moments in our lives, and as we examine them repeatedly, the moment captured in a flash transcends the past and turns into the present. But what approximately are the contents of the snapshots? When we look at a group of people with their hands around each other, that symbol of bonding reminds us now not best of 1 treasured flicker of time. However, a relationship encircled in safety and safety that we always want to hold. Photos of people splashing in replenishing water, celebrations, and sacred activities born in holy places remind us of the nonsecular commitments that exceed the instant and travel into the remainder of our lives. Technology has placed the capacity to image special and even regular activities at our fingertips. The digicam is the most commonly used on clever telephones, consistent with Apple’s latest studies. Further proof to substantiate our hovering interest in images is our ardent adoration of photographs on social media and private and professional websites. Our symbolic recollections captured in a picture create institutions that deliver abiding reason to our past, gift, or even our future endeavors cyclically.
Fourth, think of water as refreshing and purifying; however, additionally sacramental.
Water, an image of the subconscious, may be understood on less complicated, similarly critical stages in our everyday lives. Water dissolves, purifies, washes away, refreshes, and regenerates. Whether we wash our fingers or immerse our complete bodies, water revivifies us and infuses new life. Baptism re-enacts lifestyles, demise, rebirth, and christening and reminds us to wash away the vintage lifestyles and sanctify the new. Without rainwater, our planet could dry up, and we’d die. The existence of waters of rivers, lakes, seas, and oceans permits the flowers and fauna and humans on the planet to have a sustainable area to live. We are continuously reminded of the vital fitness blessings of ingesting water, and on a hot day, we want no reminders of its resuscitating consequences. Each year at the beginning of college, a priest from the Greek Orthodox Cathedral with whom my college is affiliated visits every classroom and offers a blessing, followed by the sprinkling of water on teachers, college students, and the lecture room. As we near our eyes and feel the tiny droplets of water, we agree with the strength of ritual and image that the 12 months might be fruitful.
Fifth, love the earth, particularly timber.
In his classic observation of 1984, with patients getting better from gallbladder surgical treatment, Roger Ulrich manipulated the view from the patients’ windows so that group one noticed bushes and the institution noticed a brick wall. Group one recovered quicker and with fewer complications or want for ache medications. What we know about timber is that we could not live environmentally without oxygen-generating, pollutant-cleaning trees. But for most people who swear they can’t live fine lives without bushes, there may be no medical proof, alternatively intuitive know-how of what contributes to their well-being.
Research suggests that bushes and green areas in neighborhoods and parks create happier, more healthy environments. In a UK study that ran yearly from 1991-2008, 12,000 people were studied in a longitudinal survey as human beings moved around. The analyses cautioned that humans are happier when residing in urban regions with extra green space, especially parks and woodlands. Furthermore, the inexperienced workout has truly been more effective on mental fitness than an exercise in a fitness center without a view of a green area. The logical end is that we need to hold our earth; we first need to understand the pressing necessity and enthusiastically receive the task of doing so.