Instinctual energy as a guide for psychic growth.

Posted by: admin on Sep 19, 2011 | No Comments

Since I was a child, questions about human nature have deeply interested me. I felt the joyful and playful energy of trees, clouds, flowers and bodies. Being open and curious, I experienced life as an adventure, a quest. I longed for knowledge, for a kind of knowing that would give me insight into things: what does it mean to be a woman? What does it mean to be sexual? What is love? What will give meaning to my life? Who will show me the way?
Every day, I heard a mystery singing and flowing through my blood. It longed to be discovered and to be lived.I thought I felt like this, because I was a child. I was too young to realise what the meaning of this longing was and because adults never mentioned it, I thought it would disappear as I grew older. I also hoped that maybe, I would learn about this longing at school and at the university. But school and the academic education never spoke to my heart, never touched my skin, never satisfied my hunger. The only thing I gradually understood was that life was hard and serious, asking for a well educated mind and a hard working body. I understood that my natural joyful physical energy was “wrong” in one way or another. I was asked to ignore it, to imprison my body. I was told that my beautiful instinctual nature had to be submitted to severe discipline.
Yet, the song in my blood never died. Eventually, it forced me to turn towards myself, towards my body and towards my own inner life. It forced me to start a never ending quest that brought me to the very heart of my conflict: Are the natural energies of my body – especially the sexual energy – “bad” and do I need to suppress them? Does a true spiritual life ask me to cut off my sexual energy? Does psychic growth ask for the sacrifice of my natural sexual instincts? Longing for insight, for deep psychic and emotional growth ,is my natural physical sensual and sexual energy the enemy I have to fight or can it be a friend, even a guide on my quest?
Reading the mystics and at that time, being in Freudian analysis, I got deeply confused. My heart was moved by the poetry of St. John of the Cross, where he writes:

In the inner wine cellar
I drank of my Beloved, and, when I went abroad
through all this valley,
I no longer knew anything,
and lost the herd that I was following.

There he gave me his breast;
there he taught me a sweet and living knowledge;
and I gave myself to him,
keeping nothing back;
there I promised to be his bride.

Now I occupy my soul
and all my energies in his service;
I no longer tend the herd,
nor have I any other work
now that my every act is love.1

And I was shocked by the words of Teresia of Avila:

It pleased the Lord that I should sometimes see the following vision. I would see beside me, on my left hand, an angel in bodily form – a type of vision which I am not in the habit of seeing, except very rarely. Though I often see representations of angels, my visions of them are of th type which I first mentioned. It pleased the Lord that I should see this angel in the following way. He was not tall, but short, and very beautiful, his face so aflamethat he appeared to be one of the highest types of angel who seem to be all afire. They must be those who are called cherubim: they do not tell me their names but I am well aware that there is a great difference between certain angels and others, and between these and others still, of a kind that I could not possibly explain. In his hands I saw a long golden spear and at the end of the iron tip I seemed to see a point of fire. With this he seemed to pierce my heart several times so that it penetrated to my entrails. When he drew it out, I thought he was drawing them out with it and he left me completely affire with a great love for God. The pain was so sharp that it made me utter several moans; and so excessive was the sweetness caused me by this intense pain that one can never wish to lose it, nor will one’s soul be content with anything less than God. It is not bodily pain, but spiritual, though the body has a share in it – indeed, a great share. So sweet are the colloquies of love which pass between the soul and God that if anyone thinks I am lying I beseech God, in His goodness, to give him the same experience.2

I was moved and shocked by the sexual language of both mystics and by the intensity of their experience. I sensed that their experience could not be understood as a pure symbolic description, as an image of something that happens at the psychic level only. Clearly, the body with its natural sexual instinct was involved. How to interprete this? Were those people neurotic because of the absence of a sexual relationship or did they give words to a true natural mystery? Do we see here a neurotic development because of the oppression of natural instinct or does the sexual instinct show its deepest meaning? Is this psychic regression or psychic growth?
The invitation to take those questions serious and to explore them deeply,came through a dream that repeated itself since puberty. The scenario of this dream was always the same:

I was dreaming an ordinary dream and suddenly, totally unexpected, a big stallion appeared, trampling down my dream as if it were only a piece of paper. Then, it showed itself: proud, strong, wild, fiery – its black skin shining like the sun.
And always, I felt a deep admiration and an incredible desire to sit on its back, to feel its energy between my legs, to ride it, to make it mine. I knew, I just knew the horse was showing up to challenge me, to invite me, to give me a chance to come close. I tried to grasp its mane, to get on its back. Every time I failed. I was not strong enough. The horse was too big, too wild – there were no bridles, no stirrups to help me.
Through the years, every time we met, the horse gave me one chance only to try to ride it – only one chance. I failed – every time. Then it ran away, wild and free and God – so beautiful! I wanted to scream, to cry out: Don’t go away! Don’t leave me! I love you! I want you! Come back!
But it ran away – wild and free.

Through the Jungian work, I learned to work with my sexual images and dreams at the symbolic level; I learned to dive deeply into my desires and my questions. I developed my spiritual and creative life.Yet, that didn’t seem to be enough. I felt a certain embarrassment with my body and its passions, especially at the sexual level. How to work with that? Was it possible – even necessary perhaps – that I had to bring in the instinctual energy into my work in a more direct way? Would it be possible to get a deeper understanding of my process by turning towards the instinctual physical level? Does instinctual sexual energy at a cellular level play a fundamentol role in the process of psychic and spiritual growth?

Giving birth to my first child, my quest was given a new depth and a new understanding. In one way or another, in the act of bearing, nature gave me the key to the answer, an answer drawing and releasing patterns in my cells as old as life itself, yet surprisingly new and fresh for me. The soft and gentle pulling and relaxing of my womb had been the annunciation, the introduction, the ouverture, a kind of prelude, the soft rising melody of the trembling violins, suddenly changing into a full orchestra – pulsing, beating on the rhythm of a roaring tiger, breaking the membrane, introducing a long intense orgasm of pain, yet giving a new kind of deep pleasure and joy. Step by step, the pain had taken away every kind of rationalisation. Slowly, layer after layer, I was forced to open myself, to surrender – for the first time in my life – to what happened in my body. My body that couldn’t be ignored anymore now, my body at the very centre of life now – and this wild, exciting realisation: this is my sexuality, this is what it means to be a woman. This was my first meeting with authentic spiritual creative life, a first decisive meeting: Birth, teaching me that creative spiritual life is not a matter of mind and psyche only, but a conscious opening of body, receiving with love and tenderness the messages of the instincts, flowing with them, going with them, expressing them in an authentic act, shaped by womb, breasts and blood.
Becoming mother opened something in my body I could never close again. At that time, I didn’t know what happened to me. The only thing I felt was the love in my blood, the tenderness dripping out of my fingers, that incredible desire to touch the whole world with my hands, with my feet, with my legs, with my breasts, with my mouth, with my face, with my hair, with my vagina, with my skin, with my tongue. I wanted to make love to the trees, feeling with my skin the rugged bark, sensing that we share the same sap in our veins, the same roots in our feet, the same flowers in our skin. I longed to lie down, my skin covered with mud, being held and loved and supported by beautiful brown earth, longing to feel its tender fingers drawing lines and love on my skin, longing to receive its wet rainy kisses,longing to melt in its warm sunny embrace on the sand, longing to cover its green shelving face with my hair, longing to run naked through the fields, communicating with the clouds, the flowers, the plants, the animals; not using human words but skin – exchanging touch, sweat, wisdom, knowledge, experiences, stories buried in the earth and in our blood, smelling and tasting each other – learning the essential things: what it means to be born, what it means to have to die, what it means to be a woman. The experience of giving birth had opened that deep instinctual world beneath the thin cultural layer, inviting me into something I had no idea of. I couldn’t go back to my old life and live the way I had lived before. My life was turned inside out and all the wet sensual songs in my body forced me to step out of my conventional life in order to search for a more authentic one. I experienced what Esther Harding puts this way: “But no sooner is a modern woman released from the yea and nay of Mrs. Grundy, than she finds herself immersed in instinctive desires and ways of acting which threaten to drown all that is human in her. She cannot go back but must ask herself whether there is any way forward. Can she be saved from drowning in the flood, and yet not lose the values of the life-giving moisture?”3

The promise of new life and new understanding, inviting me to accept this kind of initiation, came through a dream:

Together with my parents, my sister and brothers, I was travelling through Germany. We were travelling by car. My father was driving. At a certain moment, we arrived at the market place of a small German town, where my father decided to stop to take a short break. At the moment we were all leaving the car, I saw a bus with tourists, stopping at the same place. The tourists were leaving the bus; they decided to visit a famous cathedral in this town. One of the tourists was a black woman, accompanied by her daughter. The woman was about forty and her daughter must have been about twelve. The woman was very quiet and very beautiful. Her skin was almost shining like the sun. In one way or another, I could see she had a very mature sensuality, but also a mature spirituality. I could feel she deeply knew and trusted her instincts; that she combined a warm, sensual and sexual life with a deep spiritual knowledge and practice. She seemed to feel completely at home in her female body. As soon as I perceived these qualities in her, it felt as if my heart was cut open. All my misery and pain flew out towards her, and inside, I started crying: “Please teach me, teach me what it means to be a woman. Please teach me how to handle my burning sensual energy, please, please, help me. Please, tell me what it is to be spiritual. Please, accept me as your daughter.“ I felt completely vulnerable and ashamed. I saw she took the bus to visit the cathedral. I forgot all about my family and stepped on the bus too. I was not interested in visiting the cathedral; I just wanted to be with her. On the bus I took a seat close to hers. I tried hard not to look at her, but my eyes couldn’t help it: they were so hungry for her. Inside, I felt confused and the crying went on. I felt ashamed about my own behavior.
The next moment, I was in the cathedral with her. We were both sitting on the floor, in a dark corner. No one seemed to notice us. Everyone was watching the beautiful paintings, sculptures and windows. I still felt confused, not knowing what to say or what to do. The black woman didn’t say a word. She was simply looking at me. She started taking off my clothes. She did that in a very slow way. Every time she took away something, I experienced a chaos of fear, desire, questions and shame. Although she didn’t speak, I felt she knew the chaos I was in. All the time, she was watching me carefully, only taking a next step in this process when she knew I was ready for it. I felt extremely vulnerable, because I was not allowed to help her. I had to let it happen. Everything was in her hands. I was scared. I was terrified to be naked because then, she would see my white skin. She would see I was a white woman and I thought that therefore, she would not accept me as her daughter. I was scared she might say that I belong to a part of the human race that is destroying earth and its wonderful nature; that has used her people as slaves. I was scared that she would refuse to teach a white woman. I felt ashamed again, because I was aware of the fact that often, white people feel superior and that their culture has had little respect for nature and its laws.
When all my clothes had been taking off, she layed me down on the floor and spread my legs. She was sitting between them. Once again, I felt confused. What was she going to do with me? Very gently and very softly, with the back of her hand, she touched my vagina. The quality of her touch brought about a deep silence. Had I ever been touched that way? In her touch I felt no desire to possess me, nor to live out her passions. She didn’t take anything from me; there was only a deep respect and a deep love for my body. I felt she profoundly honored and loved my female body. My body responded by opening itself. I felt the warmth and the love of her touch spreading all over my body. I wanted to thank her for that touch; I wanted to say something, but I couldn’t bring out a word. The experience totally overwhelmed me. She waited. Then she touched me again in the same way. This time, the inner chaos, the fear, the confusion and the questions disappeared. The body opened at a deep level. There was immense rest and silence. I felt loved, held and accepted. Again, she waited. It felt as if she was taking time in order to allow me to experience deeply. Then, she touched a third time. I couldn’t hold back anything anymore. I surrendered completely. I gave my body, my breath and my heartbeat into her hands I completely trusted and died. I felt the floor of the cathedral opening and I fell down into earth, my head first. I was in a total darkness. I had no body-awareness anuymore. Nothing was there. There was a complete absence of every material thing and yet, I felt deeply connected with everything. There was consciousness and deep knowing, yet I din’t know what it is I knew. I felt held and loved completely. In this void, in this complete absence of everything, I experienced the fullness of life. I was held, I was loved, I was known. I knew that this love without beginning, without end, without reason and without any purpose was the very ground of my being.
After a long time, I heard music playing. I felt someone was beating and kicking my body. I felt very irritated. I didn’t want to leave this dark void. Why would I take up a difficult life again? Here, I felt loved. Here, I wanted to stay. I tried to open my eyes. They felt as heavy as lead. I couldn’t move my body. The rhythm of the music became wild now. I heard the drums and the flutes, it was African music. Finally, I could open my eyes a little bit. I saw the black woman, dancing around my body. While she was dancing, she was beating my body at the place of the heart and with her feet,, she was kicking it continuously. She was sweating, this was hard work. I realised she wanted to bring the body to life again, she was doing a kind of reanimation. I felt split: part of me wanted to stay in that darkness; part of me longed to cooperate with her. I couldn’t decide what to do. I was struggling, trying to make a choice. Eventually, I decided to cooperate and to leave this dark nothingness. At that moment, I woke up.

It was not the first time in my life that I entered this void, that is in fact the fullness of life. I had had this experience while listening to music, first becoming the music myself – experiencing no duality between the music and me anymore – and then finally falling deeper into this void. I had called this a spiritual experience, being enabled through it to understand life in a complete new way ,opening the door to strong challenges and psychic growth. This experience in my dream was new: I had entered this void through a sensual-sexual experience; through physical pleasure. The energy of the immense pleasure had not been used in order to have an ordinary sexual experience by letting the energy flow into the direction of more physical excitement ending in an orgasm. The energy had been directed towards a quiet enjoying of the pleasure, deepening the relaxation, the silence and the opening of the body until the openness was so extreme that I “died”, falling into the void. The dream seemed to suggest that this way of using sexual energy was able to open the mystery of life itself, that the “ordinary” instinctual energy carries a promise, a secret, a deep mystery that can be discovered if one knows how to use it. The dream suggested that my sexuality was connected with my spirituality. And here is where my deep personal work started: to learn to work with the natural sexual energy in my body. I wanted to explore the possibility to use it in the service of personal growth and spiritual development and also find out if there exists a theoretical framework that can contain and help to explain this kind of work. Because I had had a scientific education, I was familiar with doing experiments and drawing conclusions. So, I decided to work the way a scientist does. Only: the object of my experiments would be my own body, my own spirit, my own emotions and my own feelings. I started with the very beginning: my fear for my own body with its instinctual desires I always had to control and to oppress. I decided to free them, gradually, step by step, and to follow their deepest hunger – all on my own, in my own living room.
I knew I didn’t dare to move my body freely. I was too scared, too shy, too ashamed. I was afraid my strong sensual energy would be seen by others – and be jugded. So, gradually, day after day, I learned to lock the door of my room calmly, not to be surprised by the cold sweat on my back and on my face, my cold fingers wanting to make circles in the air – trying to remember the dance. Every day I learned to go deeper, further. I put on the music I loved and invited my body to start dancing, rolling, touching, singing. I was never trained to do this, never supposed to remember my instincts, never supposed to return to the point where movement becomes pleasure, never supposed to know that moving starts where movement ends, never supposed to discover that my body is not a slave, not a machine, but a question of head, arms, breasts and legs asking for fulfilment, asking for the smell of the wilderness, asking for that calm ecstasy of a prayer slowly danced by moving feet, pulsing heart and the quiet flow of nerves drawing unique patterns, bleeding colours – leaving traces for the next generations. I learned to accept the excitement of feeling the support of the floor, of feeling my fingers investigating intensively having been numbed for years – now feeling the refreshment of touch again, learning how it is to touch in a slow deep tender way, learning to listen to tensions, songs, rhythms, blood, skin and bones. Slowly, I made it more difficult: I took off my clothes, dancing, moving,… naked. I learned to watch my belly, my breasts, my thighs, my feet, my knees, my flesh. I learned to touch the floor with them, I learned to” taste” with my skin, my hair, my lips, my tongue, my fingers, my toes. I discovered I could bring in my full sensuality into the movements. Flowers bursted open all in and over my body. I didn’t know what happened. I felt shame and guilt. What was I doing?
I decided to go further. I took a mirror and sat down in front of it. I took off all my clothes. I sat down, naked and vulnerable, watching and touching my face with all the tenderness I could possibly feel for myself. Slowly and consciously, with my hands touching, softly squeezing my face, my arms, my legs, my hips, my vagina until my whole body trembled, and could have no more. I held it in my arms like a child, facing shame, guilt, blame, loneliness; teaching myself to let them be, yet also holding on to the pleasure, to this being moved deeply, to the pain of my crying instincts. And the next day, the play went on: I learned to open my vagina, to penetrate deeply, to love her with all my heart. I touched my stomach – just another stone in my body. Carefyully, my fingers told me their diagnosis, gently shoving towards my galbladder, my liver, my belly – all rocks: insensitive to touch, closed, scared, having turned away, not breathing anymore, almost dead. Slowly and tenderly, my hands started to move, first very softly, not pressing at all, only caressing, inviting, whispering – promising safety and understanding, promising time and patience, promising food and sunshine, water and rest, promising respect for wild nature and instinctual beauty, begging nature to teach my fingers how to listen. I played – a naked child. I played – all alone on the wet grass surrounded by the open hands of God.
At a certain point, the sexual and sensual pleasure had been explored long enough to take a next step. So again, I sat down, loving, holding, caressing my body, exciting it, slowly bringing it to the point where an orgasm would be inevitable. Instead of taking this known path, explored already, I stayed in the fiery energy. Instead of enjoying the explosion of energy, I closed my eyes and listened to the music, to the waves of love the violin was spreading in the room. In a very concentrated way, still and tense like an animal, I took in the music I loved so much the way I would take in a lover. My body was totally open, my heart, my womb, my blood, my skin drinking the sounds – the music like a soft blanket caressing my body – inside and outside – and concentrated, still, yet exploding with growing effusive excitement I started making love to the music. I let the energy explode in a quiet deep dancing, being totally “woman” by taking in, being totally “man” by expressing. I moved – my sensuality, my fire, my tenderness, my courage, my shyness, open and visible in the movement. I moved in ecstasy – the music, my bones, my movement: all intensively alive; my cells, the air, the floor, the window vibrating with meaning and fulfilment I had never known before. Walking this path every day,my body became an open flower and gradually my movements slowed down: no need to show – it showed itself. Gradually, I could allow stillness to rise up in my body and in my mind: no need to be still – it stilled itself. Thoughts, emotions, desires fell away. I surrendered in a totally concentrated way: listening, moving, feeling, breathing. Here and now. I didn’t need sexual desire anymore. My body was open and ready – always. The sexual energy simply waited for my decision, for the direction I would choose.
Living my sexual energy this way became my daily training, my unique spiritual path: not only in the bodywork I did, but gradually in every kind of situation: penetrating whatever moment and at the same time opening and surrendering completely. Going in so deeply that time, shape, feeling and knowing no longer existed. Step by step, treading nothingness, finding the deepest meaning of life in the endless twisting, moving, reaching, touching and flowing with whatever situation: Writing, teaching, playing the recorder, working with a client,being with a friend,… all those very different situations simply ask of me to open my body cells by allowing the sexual energy to rise and then to relate through the fundamental openness this energy creates in my body.
To my big surprise, descending into my body cells deeper and deeper, I discovered they have no ideas, no images and no judgements. They don’t know fear, for they accept and simply live what is. They even don’t seem to know fear of death, for they know the cycle of life goes on and they know that, in one way or another, they are part of it. They are not interested in a bigger house, more money, more succes. Their deep open nothingness seems to be filled with energy, love and readiness to live, readiness to explore every situation in a creative way, not interested in the own profit, but in the possibility to live their creativity in a more conscious way. They seem to be interested into discovering themselves. Surrendering to this way of living, life becomes very simple, very much uncomplicated and surprisingly enough: full of meaning. This kind of life seems to still the deepest hunger of my soul. Life becomes authentic. It doesn’t place “me” in the middle anymore, but life itself. My cells seem to know that this bodyshape known as “An” is only temporary and that they long to serve and to live the ongoing unfolding of consciousness through me. Everything that is not needed is – slowly – burned away. Only the very essence remains. Learning to live this way is the most easy thing to do and yet, it is also the most difficult.

Too often, in analysis, the body is understood as a place where physical symptoms become manifest. But as Jung says: “In reality, there is nothing but a living body. That is the fact; and psyche is as much a living body as body is living psyche.”4 Working with matter and with physical sexual energy itself reveals the same kind of process we know from working with the psyche at a symbolic level. This kind of physical work seems to reveal that instinctual physical energy and psychic energy are two aspects of the same.By celebrating my natural instinctual energy, by following it and by playing with it in a free, yet disciplined way, I stepped into sacred space, the same kind of space psychic work opens to us. Two things showed me the way: my instinctual desire for deepening the pleasure and my strong, focused desire to meet everything this play would bring me: shame, depair, excitement, ecstasy, pain, doubts, deep loneliness, the many many tears, joyful laughing,… Diving into matter, into the natural world of cells, bones, blood, skin,… opens the body until a crucial openness is reached, where one meets the fundamental spiritual nothingness- being Fullness itself – of mattter and at the same time of the whole universe. Living daily life from this creative level – being an open flowing nothingness, communicating with Nothingness all around – becomes the challenge. It is the challenge of individuation lived to its very end. It brings healing, wholeness and compassion. It gradually shifts the focus of the consciousness from the small personal life to Universal Creative Empty Love. In this whole physical process, the role of the sexual energy is crucial and fundamental: Because the body is hungry for pleasure, it opens for the sexual energy so deeply – when one is able to work through shame,guilt and embarrasssment – that the fundamental spiritual level is touched. Playing gently and lovingly with the body in this way, at the same time being focused on going deeper, instinct is very willing to show us the way. Of course, this physical process is reflected in powerful dreams. Out of Nothingness, images rise up in order to help us to understand and to integrate the experiences. Themes from earlier dreams may be developed during the process. After having worked with my sexual energy a few years, the black stallion re-appeared in my dream. I wrote about that:

This night was different.
The horse returned. I had not seen it for years. I had forgotten about it. I was very surprised it showed up again, challenging me once more.
I felt an enormous strength rising up in my body
a firmness
a deep certitude: I started running
I seized its mane taking a huge jump
I landed on its back.
As soon as the horse felt I was there, it started running. It ran as fast as the wind.
It felt big, supple, strong.
I was not afraid.
I pressed my legs around its beautiful body, clasped its neck with my arms.
Wild wild triumph flew through my blood.
Songs and sounds rose up out of my lungs.
The horse was running so fast that it felt like flying. Its hooves hardly touched earth.
It took me all over the world.
I remember watching beautiful beautiful earth, seeing its continents – their shape, their colours and a wild love and joy filled my heart.
The whole night, we were running together. Then I made it stop its wild run, got off and looked for a rope to strap around its neck.
I wanted the horse to stay close – for ever. I admired its beauty and stroke its neck.
I felt excited because it was finally mine.
I said: You are mine now
We will work together
I will ride you
I will train you – together we will be one body, one soul.
I will honor your beauty and your energy and you will bring me where I have to go to.

Through the years, I started wondering if there was any theory available that could help me to understand the very nature of matter and why “material processes” seem to be analogous to psychic processes. I found that quantum mechanics can be helpful here. Reading quantum physicists, thinking over and over their words, I started realising that the world they discover at the very depths of matter – at the subatomic level – is the same kind of world I discover playing with my matter and with my psyche. Let me explain this a little bit:5,6,7

1. First of all, matter that in our daily experience seems to be so “solid”, consists of “open space” and “clouds of probability”. Those clouds are “tendencies to exist”. The very ground of our whole universe seems to be a void that gives birth to matter, to existence. This void is not “empty”, it is an ocean of quantumfields, an ocean of energy and activity, an ever moving flow of particles jumping in and out of existence. In his book “The Spiritual Universe”, Fred Alan Wolf calls the vibrations of the void “spirit”. The void is filled with those vibrations.8 They can give birth to everything. Ken Wilber points out that the third level of transpersonal growth – the causal level – consists of the experience of Nothingness. One is absorbed in the void, a void that is not empty, but that is full, the fulness of Being itself.9 Both science and spiritual tradition know this “emptiness” that, at the same time, is the fullness. I would call this void the Eternal Womb that gives birth to everything: the emptiness that is full of activity and potential manifestation. The void discovered in the very depths of matter is the same void that is discovered on the spiritual path. It is this void the black woman opened in my dream, simply by opening my “matter” by pleasure, showing me the deep ground of my own body, my own being, my own life. This void can be seen as a huge field, a kind of penetrating, energy -loaded background. The existence of this field means that all matter in the universe is connected through waves that travel through space and time. One of the most important aspects of waves is that they carry and exchange information. If all the subatomic matter of the world is in constant interaction with this fundamental basic field of energy, then the subatomic waves of this field will constantly registrate everything that exists. This Zero Point Field is a messenger and a container of all waves and frequencies; a kind of shadow universe for all times and a kind of collective memory of everything that ever existed. This field can explain the existence of Jung’s archetypes: they are accumulated human experience about certain important repeating themes in the life of every human being. This experience has been registrated and preserved by this field. Research has shown that when we are in an altered state of consciousness ( dream state, deep relaxation, meditation, deep need for insight, deep interpersonal contact…) we have access to the information of this field.6 This field with its fundamental connecting quality could also be the source of what Jung has called synchronicity.
2. Matter seems to have two aspects: a wave aspect and a particle aspect. When not observed, subatomic particles seem to be waves of probability. That means that being a wave we cannot define the position of the electron in ordinary space and time. Between observations, the electron spreads out; it exists as a possibility form; it can be at more than one place at the same time. When we observe it, the wave collapses and becomes a localized particle. We can only focus on one aspect: whether we will see the wave or the particle depends on our way of observing. Don’t we know this experience from our inner process? When we are exploring a dream, moving our bodies in a free way, searching for meaning, insight, understanding,… we are “waving”: seeing all kinds of possibilities, all kinds of directions that are open, moving and turning, looking for what it is that wants to become conscious. Then, suddenly, we “see” it: we recognise where we are, what it is we want, who we are. Then, consciousness identifies with a certain “position” it chooses: out of a lot of possibilities, one position, one possibility is chosen and identified with: the endless wave becomes a particle. After some time, this position is given up again, we are moving on: searching, asking, trying out, “waving” again until a new position is found. In fact we always live both the “wave” and the “particle” aspect, but they cannot be seen at the same time. Either we focus on the “wave”aspect, seeing our process, or we focus on the “particle” aspect, seeing where we are.
3. The principle of uncertainty:We can never determine both an object’s velocity and its position simultaneously with absolute accuracy, strict determinism does not prevail. Again, we know this so well from our inner process. When we are flowing with it, we don’t know where we exactly are, nor where we are going to. When we stop and identify with a certain position, we don’t know what direction the process will take next. We have to get used to a certain degree of uncertainty.
4. A quantum object ceases to exist here and simultaneously appears in existence over there; we cannot say it went through the intervening space. This is called the “quantum jump”, a quantum discontinuity. Quantum motion acts in discontinuous steps. The same is true for our inner psychic process: only if we have stayed in a certain phase long enough, when we have given enough energy to it, when we have done enough work, a next “jump” – a next step – will be possible. Our process develops in a discontinuous way.

Seeing a fundamental analogy between material and psychic processes, can we conclude that matter and psyche are two aspects of one and the same creative consciousness? This would mean that the work with instinctual body-energy, such as the sexual energy, is able to show us the deepest Nature of nature: an open nothingness that longs to become manifest through creative instinctual-spiritual expression, in this way allowing psychic growth to happen.
In our Western culture, the relationship between human beings and the Divine, is often understood within the image of the mother-child relationship or within the image of the father-child relationship. No matter how beautiful and rich these images may be, they keep us children. They suggest that we, as children, are depending on an almighty Father or Mother. This kind of relationship leaves us little room for equality. Relating to the Divine through the sexual function creates a whole different kind of relationship. We can understand ourselves as adult beings – having an adult sexuality and sensuality – ready to enter a relationship based on equality: We need the Divine as much as the Divine needs us. The meeting between human and Divine becomes a real love-affair that is the ground for an adult creative life. Through our mature sensuality and sexuality, we become co-creaters, not only at the material level, but also at the symbolic level. We need to connect to the Divine in order to be nourished, inspired and initiated. The Divine needs to connect to us in order to become manifest. Opening creative life by working with our sexual energy is able to transform our lives into manifestations of the Divine. This doesn’t mean that we become “gods” or “goddesses”. It means that we find our creative place in this world and that we have the courage to accept our humanity in all possible ways.

NOTES

1. St. John of the Cross – The Spiritual Canticle. http://www.karmel.at/ics/john/p_2.html
2. The Life of St.Teresa of Avila. http://www.catholicfirst.com/TheFaith/CatholicClassics/StTeresa/life/teresaofavila7.htm
3. M. Esther Harding. Woman’s Mysteries,p.124. Shambhala Publications.
4. C.G.Jung. Nietzsche’s Zarathustra. Notes of the seminar given in 1934 – 9, p.396
5. Amit Goswami. The Self-Aware Universe. How consciousness creates the material world.
6. Lynne Mc Taggart. The Field – The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe. Harper Collins Publishers, 2001.
7. Danah Zohar. The Quantum Self. Morrow, 1990.
8. Fred Alan Wolf. The Spiritual Universe. How Quantum Physics Proves the Existence of the Soul. Simon & Schuster, 1996.
9. Ken Wilber. A Brief History of Everything. Shambhala,1996.

Deze tekst is de weergave van een lezing die ik gehouden heb aan de Universiteit van Toronto (Centre for Diversity in Counselling and Psychotherapy) tijdens de “ 4th Critical Multicultural Counselling Conference June 4-5, 2007.