I have always felt the more we learn about science, the closer we get to God. Einstein, who conceived of Quantum Entanglement (in case you don’t know who he is), said, “Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.” Interestingly, Quantum Entanglement is when two particles behave like one object even though they are physically apart. It suggests space is the construct which gives the illusion that there are separate objects, but in our reality, the universe is the entangled system, and everything in it is interconnected.
Sounds dangerously similar to Carl Jung’s “mystical” theory of a collective unconscious, doesn’t it? Or—oh, let’s just go ahead and say it— like any religion’s assertion that God is in all of us.
And what is God, if not love?
In all of us, there is the capacity for love. Perhaps the more we are loved, the better we are able to access that part of ourselves; there is something to be said for being inspired. But it is the ability to love oneself (in the true sense of the word, not in a narcissistic way, which is actually about insecurity) which creates the capacity for selfless love as well.
I wonder, if we love well enough, can it make sound? One invisible to our ears, but can be felt across the construct of space and time? Like a message in a bottle; “Come find me! I’m drowning.”
“Close your eyes,” my lover said. “Breathe in on the count of eight and out on the count of four.”
I relaxed my muscles and sank further into the chair. My hands felt heavy on my thighs, and my stomach was tight.
“Now, focus only on the sounds within your body. On you heart beat, your breath going in and out…” He padded across the hardwood floors, his voice drawing a circle around me. My head began to spin.
“Empty your mind and focus only on your breathing.”
A hard thing to do. My lover would soon leave me, with no guarantees. This vacant dance studio was supposed to house a workshop that would support future funding, and bring him back to this side of the world. And of 30 enlisted participants, not one appeared–on this, his last day.
My head spun harder and I felt as if my neck were being stretched like a giraffe. Then a knowledge sunk into me with the force of a whisper, or a small insect scratching my brain; the workshop was never meant for them, it was always meant for us.
My tall, blue-eyed filmmaker who should be dead, was meant to give me this thing, here, now. And I was meant to give him something he would realize after he left. Beyond that, there were no assurances to be had.
“Imagine two faces in your minds eye: one, is your own face, the other, the face of the character you’ve created. First, regard the face of your character…”
I saw her there. Beautiful, coiffed, powdered and perfectly drawn. An Okc profile pic; filtered and posed. An object for admiration, but not to be accessed. She looked back at me with a mean, criticizing and unfeeling stare. She was hollow. A vacancy, desperate to be filled with noise. Static. I felt indifference when I regarded her, and she disappeared when I did not.
“Now, look upon your own image.”
And there I was. Softer. Without makeup. Hair wavy and a little frizzy (like when I let it air dry). Freckles were visible on my cheeks and my bangs fell a little over my left eye. My expression was curious, accepting, understanding, and loving. I appeared whole. Present. Of the earth…
My image smiled a little at my observing self.
I felt kicked in the stomach. Tears burned my eyes. I tried to erase the image, but when she disappeared, I still felt her, all around; a warm blanket of endless affection, and it made me ache. I hated it. I didn’t deserve it. I wasn’t strong enough for it.
“Focus again on your breath and notice any changes in your body. Remember them. And when you are ready, open your eyes.”
I opened my eyes, licking the salt off my lips.
My lover sat in front of me, a camera upon a tripod beside him, his hands holding a pen and notebook in his lap. “Any insights?”
“I don’t like myself very much…I feel like a failure, and unworthy of my own love and regard.”
“As a therapist, what would you do now?”
“I would probably capture and contain the feeling through imagery, since the potency lies there. It helps to write about it also.”
And so I did, producing multiple mandalas. A mandala is any image emphasizing a circle with a center, often including some representation of quaternity, such as a cross or square. It is a symbolic expression of one’s “Higher Self,” what spiritual writer Sonia Choquette describes as “your most authentic you,”—the part directly connected to God.
Carl Jung simply used the term, “Self, ” to describe this ordering and unifying center of both the conscious and unconscious. The ego organizes conscious personality alone, and its relationship to the Self qualifies psychological development. In other words, the ego is subjective identity, while the Self is objective identity (check out EGO AND ARCHETYPE, by Edward Edinger). The ego seeks to separate from the Self, and then reintegrate in an upward, spiraling pattern over the course of a lifetime.
Over the duration of this dizzying process, (in other words, as you live life) the ego develops a “persona,” the social face we all present to the world. Jung described it as a “mask to conceal the true nature of the individual.” It could also be considered a character played by an actor.
So, to put it simply, my ego was forced to step outside of it’s box and see its persona in comparison to my most authentic Self, and they were incongruent. This divergence is considered “psychological dissonance,” and the farther apart they become, the more anxious and dysfunctional a person becomes.
How did that happen? I’m a smart cookie. Insightful. In therapy. A therapist. What the fuck?
Tony Crisp, another spiritual writer, states, “Ambition is a misconception. It is a part of the problem that holds back the realization of the Spirit. It is striving for your own spirituality, to develop it as a creation of your own that shuts the door to your spirit. This is like saying – ‘You don’t exist. There is no spirit, so I must make one of my own.’” In other words, “Sorry to break it to you, but even though you can’t taste, touch, see, or smell it, yes, it does exist. And denying it will make you anxious, angry, and sad.”
So, how am I supposed to be my most authentic self if it isn’t something I can strive for? My visualization would seem to suggest the first step is learning to love myself.
“Does this insight make you want to change it?”
Heat flashed through my chest. I pursed my lips. “No.”
He smiled a little. “Why not?”
“It’s too hard. It’s too much work. I don’t have the time or head space to address it at the moment.”
“Are you sad?”
“No. I’m angry…but anger is a defense against sadness, so…maybe I am sad.”
“You know, if you released all that anger you’d be much happier, no matter your circumstances.”
“Is that so.”
“And forgive me for saying this, because I have always hated it whenever anyone said it to me, but stop pitying yourself.”
“While I understand self pity is unattractive, and I am well aware of how not to outwardly express it, it is still hard not to feel a thing inside.”
“Then let yourself feel it,” he winged his large, open palms out to the side, “and then let it go.”
Like I would have to let him go. Tomorrow.
But the thing about letting go… is if it is meant to be, it will come back. And having faith in that, is having faith in God. And having faith in God, is about learning to love yourself. And if I want my message in a bottle to be received, I better learn to love myself as hard as I can, because my invisible song has a long way to travel, at least until I figure out the space-time continuum.