This is a post from about 2 years ago. Thought I’d re-share in memory of Carl Jung who left this plane of existence 61 years ago today.
Is it possible that “there is no spoon” and mustard seed mountains are the same truth?
Remember how Jesus said, “if ye had but a mustard seed of faith, ye shall move mountains”? It’s a weird linguistic barrier. I don’t even really know what a mustard seed looks like, I have no real context for a mustard seed. It’s just not part of my life except the occasional hot dog condiment. It’s not that I don’t understand it, but I often find the better metaphors are the ones that just speak naturally.
I know what a spoon is, I know what the Matrix is, and I know who Neo is.
Is “There is no spoon” a more relatable, modern metaphor of the same truth? Aren’t parables and metaphors the same? Jung described these types of stories the re-telling of mythological archetypes. Archetypes are figures/mythologies used to describe human themes in an easily comprehensible manner, and you see them repeated throughout history regardless of culture, society, etc. Jesus is a myth repeated in many religions. That’s not to say there’s no Jesus, and that’s not to say myths aren’t true. Our language barriers get in the way of truth and our projections and judgments get in the way of understanding. Myths are like metaphors – we use them to explain the unexplainable.
Many movies are a whisper-down-the-lane version of an archetype. The most popular ones are always beautiful metaphors of the biggest archetypes. Jesus is an archetype, as is Mary, as is Neo, as is Yoda and Anakin and all the Star Wars peoples. It’s not to say they’re not true – far from it – they are expressions of truth. And truth is very difficult for our conditioned minds to accept. Think of the Architect’s explanation of the Matrix and the innate inability to find peace and quiet in the present moment. That’s as much a parable as the sermon on the mount. At least, in my mind because that’s how my mind works.
If you know me (you don’t) then you know philosophy and psychology are my respective jams. My down time is spent poring over lectures, texts, whatever of people talking about who we are and why we’re here. While I can follow the high level stuff and it really excites me and strokes my ego to see how effluent my vocabulary is and how utterly loquacious I can be… I find the deeply intellectual stuff tough for a lot of people to follow because you’re asking someone to bypass all their normal cognitive functions while being bombarded with deeply complex cognitive function… It’s like telling someone to paint a blue ship while explaining red trains. It’s not easy.
Enter the allegory and metaphor. Enter the archetypes. Enter the mythological gods and goddesses. Enter all of the ways we all try to express truth to one another.
I’ve posited for a long time that “the problem with everybody today…” is that “they” don’t know god. Of course, that’s just an easy mental exercise to make me not responsible for me. Because in every “they” is actually “I” and in every judgement is the truth on how I feel about me. Projection is the dust obscuring the windows of the eyes.
It is always the old adage of “be the change you want to see” so I became obsessed with figuring out “the god thing”, as the way I see it – the only way outta this rat race is to transcend it, and I’m sick and tired of rat races, rat people, and rat shit. In my searches or whatever – I’ve experienced a lot of archetypal stuff. I’ve had the falls and re-births, I’ve had the love conquers all, I’ve had a lot of stuff that I read about in textbooks, but understood it far better when I was experiencing it first hand. “The call to adventure” if you will.
So the problem with me most of the time is that I tried to know god instead of embody. I know that because I suffer all the damn time. Whether I suffer stubbing my toe, fighting with whoever, worrying about bills, worrying I’m gonna lose a couple more sammiches in the picnic basket that is my mind, and on and on. Intellectually, I understand from everything I read that the suffering is my own creation. I’m literally the only one saying I have a problem, and no one can convince me I do not. It’s a belief. Yet, the very suffering is the catalyst that drives me to find the answer. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t do much. So then, the suffering is probably my greatest asset, and then what of it?
If I believe I have a problem, I have created the problem and the inevitable suffering. It’s my very statement of problem or seeking of solution to the problem that has made the problem. Does that mean everything is only as real as I make it? A bill may be for x dollars – but the suffering of that bill is beyond measure. If I toss and turn all night, I don’t sleep, I can’t eat, I am utterly paralyzed by this bill. Or, I toss it in a pile and forget it. The x dollars of the bill has not changed. The reality of the bill hasn’t either – or has it? If I forget it exists, isn’t that similar to a tree falling in the forest while I’m not there to hear it?
Does that mean the bill, the spoon, or the mountain only have the power I have given it? Then where does faith come in? What does it even have to do with god then? Where did the power come from? Who made the spoon? Who told me the spoon was real? Who made me? Who is god? This is my mind all the time, and I find suddenly, it’s not about the suffering, it’s about the spoon. How do I bend the damn spoon? How do I move the mountain? Then the suffering doesn’t feel so awful, it feels like an itch in the middle of my back, and all I want to do is scratch it with an answer.
Wouldn’t it be feasible to think that, if life is a quarter – and you are heads, there must be a tail? And what does that have to do with it?
I don’t know. All I know is someone told me there is a spoon, someone else told me there is not a spoon, and all the while – there is a watcher. There is something beyond me – I can call it so many names – there is a force that drives me into darkness and into light, and all the while – the more I become aware and trust – I find it takes me exactly where I want to be. So I surrender to it more because I’m a pragmatist and I dig results and I dig me. That’s what I’ve called faith.
When I thank this force, this force speaks louder. It never speaks words, it seems to just… arrange things – in a perfect order – where I can see that by looking here, I found that, and that led me to this, and here I am. I call it the unifying force. It’s the very space between my eyes and the monitor or my ass and the couch. It appears to be nothing – air – space – whatever, but to me…that is the true nature of reality. The spoon, the mountain, the monitor – all projections of my consciousness. The unifying force is from which I pull these images and manipulate them. For so long, though, they have manipulated me. As Tyler Durden said, “what you own ends up owning you” or Nietzsche, “When you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes back”.
What you give your power to is what has power. The power to the spoon or mountain means you cannot move it. But what of the unifying force? What of the factors in your life that are inexplicable in words, yet perfectly comprehensible in silence?
Faith is to trust yourself to the water. (Watts) Knowledge is to “learn to swim”. (Maynard) Understanding is teaching to another. Resonance is when your words evoke something from another because it has evoked something in you. I can only praise you for what I see in me – if I think I am a genius, I will see genius in you. If I think I am an utter pile of dogshit, I will see dogshit in you. If I see the entire perfect divine unifying force in me, I can resonate with you.
So then, if I can understand there is no spoon, it is because I have found the faith in a force that is beyond me. And in that faith, the truth that sets me free is that I can bend the spoon or move the mountain – as both are constructs of my mind. And I am not my mind. I don’t know what I am because I don’t know god – yet. But I can find no greater meaning to suffering than the vehicle by which I come to know the power of god by knowing the power of myself. That I am a quarter of life, where I am heads and the unifying force is tails. Where I am not even seeing a spoon or a mountain – as all I see are the many faces of god. I believe that’s where I get to, but beliefs are made to be destroyed. So who knows?