Water…

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Imageer,  via Wikipedia

When Chris Brogan asked his readers to state their three guiding words for 2009, I offered water, fertilizer and sun.  I was inspired by  Beth Kanter and the effort she gave this task, so I’m going to break out three posts in succession, one for each word, to better focus my intent.

Water

If our goal is to keep a garden productive, watering strategies become paramount.  Water from the earth, water diverted from a nearby stream, water from the sky, all these are different sources that can be tapped to accomplish the goal.  Often times water is understood as a symbol of the unconscious, and likewise it can be in found at a variety of outlets.

From within the earth: I often sense that the messages that come through dreams are sourced from the deep wells of being, or as Jung would say, the collective unconscious.  Often times this water makes it to the surface only to recede again if we do not do the work to translate the images into a format that will stick in consciousness. Getting our dreams down in a narrative format fixes them in a way that they can be useful and developed.  It takes some work to keep attention directed to these images so they can be useful. 

From other streams: often times we discover sustaining imagery from the life streams of others, whether that be in conversation, books or the digital trail many are blazing on social media platforms.  Reading needs to remain a priority while working to be a content provider.

From the sky:  I like to consider how synchronicity impacts my existence as the rain that falls from the sky.  There’s no reason that a certain random post in twitter will be there and have a certain effect in my life when they do, but they do.  Many farmers in arid climates will put rain barrels to catch rain coming off roofs…that’s how I think of using the hundreds of feeds that bring information to my reader each day.

To take the “from the sky” image it to an entirely different level, here’s the tale of the “Rainmaker” that Carl Jung loved to share (as found in The Earth has a Soul, ed. by Sabitini)

So my first guiding word for 2009 is water.

Written by Richard Reeve

Accept this my invitation to share your thoughts, reactions, amplifications and/or digressions. Dialogue in the comments below, across social media (see links in footer) or privately though this contact form. I look forward to hearing from you!

[Richard is the Head of School at Allynwood Academy, a therapeutic boarding school. Also a candidate at the C.G. Jung Institute of New York, he is in training to become a Jungian psychoanalyst.]
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4 thoughts on “Water…”

  1. Toaism is often called “The Water Course Way.” Because the gentle flowing of the water shapes the land. Given enough time nothing can resist it. So if as the sage in your story says we are looking to the balance of heaven, we must pay attention not only to what the water grows, but also to what is washed away. The one can’t happen without the other.

    As writers or providers of content we have to ask what do our streams of information wash away? What languished while I nourish these ideas here. If I provide content, what am leaving out. We can not help but erode things as we create other things, but both good gardening and good writing ask that we be conscious of the loss as well as the gain,

    Sid Parham´s last blog post..Tragedy, un-American

  2. Richard,

    I appreciate reading your spiritual take on the everyday world around us, it’s a refresher from all the tech speak that goes on in the social media space. I also really like your comparison of feeds to rain barrels. It seems to me that I can’t read all of my feeds each day, but some of the feeds will be of value and hopefully I’ll read those. Likewise it won’t rain everyday, but hopefully my barrels will catch some water when it does.

  3. Sid, thank you for the reminder: what do our streams wash away? According to legend Lao Tse was forced to write by a toll keeper, Socrates and Jesus didn’t write at all, because the concept of writing was still young at their time and they understood the limits of this concept.

    Richard, which part of our psyche is able to relate to the written word? Which part understands “language”? Is it possible to translate an image? Can you translate music into a narrative?

    I stopped sleeping with a notebook on my bed stand, as I often experienced that the dream slipped away in the process of writing it down, whereas it lingered when I simply let it be and let the image and the sounds work.

    Thanks for the invigorating water of this post, Richard.

    Detlef Cordes´s last blog post..Consider yourself lucky

    1. Hey Detlef,
      There’s a really interesting book sitting on my shelf by Havelock called “The Muse learns to Write” which explores the relationship of the psyche to language and the transition from orality to the written word. We no longer give each other the time and space needed to deal with these images through oral sharing, so I really think we need to take the time to put them in writing.
      Thanks for your sharing…

How do you see these things?