• "The essence of life is movement, and form is but the 'robe' of life!

    Man climbs a mountain step by step...; only the climbing is worth while. Achievement is at best a pause for breath on the upward climb, for life allows no halting, and ever cries from higher up the hill—'Walk On'"!
                                From Studies in the Middle Way, by Christmas Humpheys

    This is simply an invitation to a journey that is a dream played out in the dance of life.
    Dream, Dream, Dream
  • Theseus of Athens went to Crete to kill the Minotaur in the labyrinth where he lived. Ariadne, Princess of Crete, fell in love with Theseus and gave him a golden thread to escape from the labyrinth. He killed the Minotaur with a sword she provided. They then set sail for Athens. On the way, Ariadne was abandoned on the island of Naxos. She subsequently married Dionysus, God of Wine.

    He left with the wind
    My hopes have gone.

    This island life is not for me.
    It's Athens beyond the sea
    Where I want to be.

    His life hung by a string,
    Just a little golden thing
    I spun for him,
    But not as a whim.

    Round the cavern
    The white bull roared.
    With my sword he was floored.

    To the god of wine I am now wed,
    Sad in my wedding bed.
           By Timothy McCoy
    From Ariadne with Sadness
  • "Until you've lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is."
          Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell

    The wind took our lives away.
    Some say they are forever gone.
    Heads turning, houses burning
    Can the wind ever atone?
    Or leave us eternally alone?
            By Timothy McCoy
    Gone with the Wind
  • The pink lady wears a blue velvet dress. Velvet is soft and can evoke repose. Dark blue symbolizes intuition, depth, loyalty, and peace. Alternatively, blue is the color of sadness and depression ("the blues"). 

    In the film, Blue Velvet, a blue robe is a fetish object in a hallucinatory, erotic nightmare—therefore violating all traditional symbolic meanings.
    Blue Velvet
  • Prometheus stole fire in order to ensure the survival of humans, with whom he felt a kinship. He accepted the consequences. Humans also would suffer for their part in the heresy. Many obstacles were placed in their path to impede the journey. Nevertheless, the fire survived, and the brightest of flames occasionally burns in the imagination of artists. The Muses are the keepers of the flame that fires the poets.

    First the deed of noble daring
    Born of heavenward aspiration
    Then the fire with mortals sharing
    Then the vulture—the despairing
    Cry of pain on Crags Caucasian.
          From Prometheus by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    Keeper of the Flame
  • The Egyptian Book of the Dead, also called The Book of Emerging Forth into the Light, was essentially a funerary text full of stories, incantations, and magic spells. It was intended to help the souls of the dead on their journey through the underworld. Isis, the wife of Osiris, was the goddess of healing. In my image, Isis holds The Book of Emerging Forth into the Light, an inner light more precious than gold.

    Take a look at the book
    So old and so gold.
    On the journey through night
    There will be no fright
    For holding your hand
    In the underworld land
    As you merge into the light,
    The whispering fold.

    When the daily sun goes down
    And my breathing time is done,
    Please wrap me tight
    Against the night—
    Or eternity.
           By Timothy McCoy
    Egyptian Book of the Dead
  • Dionysus is often seen in the company of wild dancing women (Maenads) who were devoted to his rituals that were held in the forests. Dionysus, the god of wine, represents the "spirit" of excitement, joy, and change. His excesses lead to ecstasy that may result in the terror of Dionysian possession. In Jungian terms, he represents release from cultural bondage and transformation.
    Dancing with Dionysus
  • One stage in the path of the Hero involves clarifying difficulties. That is, give battle to the nursery demons of the local culture. Afterward, the Hero must break through to the undistorted direct experience.

         The Hero with a Thousand Faces,
    by Joseph Campbell
    Nursery Demons
  • I love the feathers on my head,
    That's why I know how to fly.
    Like a bird, I can roam the sky
    To live forever and shun the dead.

    The bottom half has scales
    Remember, the dead tell no tales
    Sliding low on the grass
    In an endless morass
    The forked tongue gives warning
    Of a life filled with mourning
    I won't repent
    For being a serpent!
         "The Feathered Serpent" by Timothy McCoy

    The Magician archetype goes beyond fighting the dragon to the realization that the dragon is an integral part of himself. His task is to transform the dragon. This Feathered Serpent must be "named" and treated as one's internal Shadow. The Magician may appear to be strange and irrational, even a fool.

    While the Warrior archetype may use causal thinking, the Magician archetype uses C. G. Jung's "synchronistic" thinking, which is opposed to cause/effect relationships. Synchronistic elements may be "meaningful coincidence," or simple happenstance.
    Feathered Serpent
  • Lives of great men all remind us
    We can make our lives sublime,
    And, departing, leave behind us
    Footprints in the sands of time....

    Let us, then, be up and doing
    With a heart for any fate;
    Still achieving, still pursuing
    Learn to labor and to wait.
          From "The Reaper and the Flowers" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    The archetype of the warrior hero is alluded to in this image. He/she is engaged in fighting the internal dragons. Courage is the reward for breaking the bondage of fear, and fear is seen as an invitation to the dance of growth and fruitful labor.

    The kernel of the hero
    Lives in the heart, not the head.
    The beating part, less the dread.
    From the Shadow, not far ahead,

    He leaves on a quest.
    He keeps to his task
    Until the inner dragon
    Has dropped its mask.

    On his return, all will learn
    That the journey, not the slaying,
    Serves the Seeker best.
           By Timothy McCoy
    The Hero Within
  • My Shadow and I
    Shuffling down the street
    Nodding to all we meet.

    We rarely see eye-to-eye
    He is sometimes high
    Sometimes low.
    There must be a reason!

    The sun keeps moving,
    And then there's the season,
    Or is it the moon
    Tugging at me
    Just like the sea.

    While thinking about
    My shady side—
    Deep in dread
    About being sordid and slimy.

    Suddenly, I see
    The brother Shadow
    Lives inside of me.
    Stained in blue,
    Hard to sooth,
    He haunts my every move.
           By Timothy McCoy

    The Shadow is that part of our emotions and desires that is unacceptable to ourselves and is repressed. It is the inferior, other side that lives in the shadow rather than in the light of consciousness—The Light Within.
    The Shadow in The Blue Period
  • All is one. Say Om!!
    No, not one
    But not two
    Three maybe

    The path lies straight ahead
    Two heads are better than one
    With Cabbage, anyway
    All is one. Say Amen!!
         "Not One, Not Two" by Timothy McCoy

    Yin and Yang are the ancient Chinese pair of opposites. Yin is seen as the shade. It is darkness, cold, negativeness, weakness, and femaleness. Yang denotes sun, light, heat and maleness. It is the interaction of these concepts that explains the nature of the universe.

    "The Many and the One are only poles in a bipolar field. Beyond both is Non-duality, which is not One, not Two, nor Both, nor Neither."
           From Zen—A Way of Life, by Christmas Humphreys
    Not One, Not Two
  • Strolling down the aisle
    All eyes fixed on me
    For a wistful little while.

    Now the cutting of the cake
    Then the honeymoon to take
    Followed by the cutting of the cord.

    The flickering flame of eternity
    The burden of maternity
    Again the cord is cut.

    Dreams descending from afar
    The dimming of the star
    The final door is shut.

    Full grown babes
    Waiting for the wake
    Blending smiles and sighs
    Into the still-stuck eyes
    Eyes that can't forget.
         "Eyes That Can't Forget" by Timothy McCoy
    The title and the image are a poetic summation of C.G. Jung's book, Memories, Dreams, Reflections.

    According to Plato, all knowledge comes from memory, a recollection, which is cosmic and not gathered from personal experience. Therefore, he would place mind rather than matter as the starting point. Jung would express this as an archetype—a forgotten memory that awaits reflection and dreaming.

    Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting,
    The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
    Hath had elsewhere its setting,
    And cometh from afar
    Not in entire forgetfulness...
          "Ode 536: Intimations of Immortality" from Recollections of Early Childhood, by William Wordsworth

    Eyes that Can't Forget
  • The lantern is lit
    A flickering flame
    Behind the crystal lens
    Shining through the eye.

    In the light a face appears,
    Affirming life.

    Hopes and fears
    Down through the years
    Can then be traced
    In every deepening line
    Playing out in time.

    On and on until
    The fire is sinking low
    The fuel is spent
    The rosy glow is gone.
           "The Rosy Glow is Gone" by Timothy McCoy

    The process of civilizing humankind, which is often undertaken by parents and teachers frequently involves minimizing disagreeable tendencies and behavior. This is a compromise between the individual and society. The individual dons the mask and assumes a role that can be played out in society. C.G. Jung calls this mask the persona. The masks worn by actors in Greek drama in order to play various roles not related to the person wearing it. Changing the masks is akin to changing social roles that can be recognized by the audience. In Jung's view, the persona can be contrasted to the shadow—which involves the personal unconscious and is a suppressed element rather than a played-out expression.
  • Creation and negation
    Are brothers
    If not twins.
    Creatures in their den 
    Far from the din.

    Is it mean
    Only from boredom
    Forlorn playthings to form?
    Infused with a dream
    By a hand and a scream.

    Straight from the start
    Doomed to depart.
    Paradise wasted
    Without having tasted
    The fruit that is hidden
    By ill will so ridden.

    Remember the dream
    The brothers - a team
    Cycling forever, are found
    First one then the other
    In the round
    Of birth and death.

    The orthodox creation myth is Deist. This viewpoint envisions a celestial architect God that sets the world in motion. It is materialist and rationalist. It emphasizes a creation of separate objects and their categorization (good-bad, man-woman, spirit-body) that leads to dualistic separation.

    The Christian Gnostics and others view the "creator" God in a negative light. He is seen as tyrannical and the originator of pain and suffering.

    The vision of Christ that thou dost see
    Is my vision's greatest enemy
    Thine is a friend to all mankind
    Mine speaks in parables to the blind
    Thine loves the world that mine hates
    Thy Heavendoors are my Hellgates.
          From "The Everlasting Gospel" by William Blake

    The Gnostic dictum is "know thyself." Its starting point is mind, not matter. It emphasizes inner light that awakens the state of being before the good-evil dualism. Gnostics long for the divine light that has become imprisoned in the material world.
    Creation Myth
  • First creating man from clay
    Then stealing fire
    For human desire
    Prometheus must pay.

    On the mountain bound
    His liver can be found
    Eaten freshly every day.

    The hungry eagle flies
    with flaming eyes
    As he cries
    Zeus sent me!

    Meanwhile below
    In the fiery glow
    They struggle and strive
    But will survive.
           "Zeus Sent Me" by Timothy McCoy 

    Zeus and his fellow Olympians had defeated the elder gods (the Titans). The Olympians, in their boredom, populated the Earth. Zeus gave Prometheus, a Titan, the job of assigning form to all the species. Zeus declared, "This is the day of fire," and gave fire to humans. Later he withdrew his gift. Prometheus, a friend to humanity, stole fire from the heavens, restoring it to humans. In retaliation, Zeus bound Prometheus to a crag in the Caucasus Mountains, where an eagle gorged daily on his liver.

    The eagle in my image contains and reflects the golden glow of man's flame below, symbolizing persistent hope.
    Zeus Sent Me
  • As if some arctic flower
    Upon the polar hem—
    Went wandering down the latitude
    Until it puzzled came
    to continents of summer—
    to firmaments of sun—
    To strange, bright crowds of flowers—
    And birds of foreign tongues.
          "As If Some Arctic Flower" by Emily Dickinson
    Birds of Foreign Tongues
  • 'Hope' is the thing with feathers—
    That perches in the soul—
    And sings the tune without the words—
    And never stops—at all—
               Emily Dickinson
    Hope Is the Thing with Feathers
  • "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed to a gigantic cockroach."
            From Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

    Is Gregor a human or an animal, and is there a difference in the ultimate analysis? Is his transformation a physical change or a spiritual evolution/regression? The cockroach is a dream-form of the "totem animal."
  • Three birds in a gyre
    Not on a wire
    Escape from the fire

    When in a fit
    Of rage
    The flock was lit
    By a trusted sage
    With evil in its eye
    The rotten deed 
    From a bad seed.
         'The Bad Seed" by Timothy McCoy

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.
          From "The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats
    Bad Seed
  • St. George knew him well
    The story he could tell
    Of when and how
    It fell.

    The fall is where 
    He earned his fame
    But both went down
    When he chose
    To kill instead of tame.

    Deep in his heart
    Birth got it's start
    It grew and grew
    Until it flew.

    It's breath felt hot
    The demon slain,
    Was not!
         "Tale of the Dragon" by Timothy McCoy

    Heroes take journeys and confront dragons. The developmental result of facing the suppressed dragons of the mind (the Shadow) is freedom from one's bondage to fear. If the dragon is not confronted during the journey, it may become internalized and extended as a projection onto others. The object of the hero's journey is to transform the dragon, not to convert or slay it.
    Tale of the Dragon
  • Alone, alone, all all alone
    Alone on the wide sea;
    And Christ would take no pity on
    My soul in agony.

    The many men so beautiful
    And they all dead did lie!
    And a million slimy things
    Lived on—and so did I.
         From The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    Demons of the Deep
  • It springs from our sire
    An image so dire
    The need to flee
    From a fire.

    A strange inner creed
    Creates the need
    For far voices to heed.

    The mob needs no tears
    To soften its fears
    The answer is clear
          "Wild Fire!" by Timothy McCoy

    In this image, the overwhelming fact of fear—and the response to it—is evident in the horses. They are no different from us in many respects, such as an having an exaggerated response to a perceived threat that may be either real or imaginary.

    Willing acceptance of life as it is makes it easier to face all fears as they arise. The power of emotion to cloud judgement will recede.
    Wild Fire
  • We ride the night
    Free from confusing light
    Reveling in fright
    But no place to hide.

    Hearing strange voices
    Stuns us with choices,
    Forcing a run
    Far from the sun.

    Manes wildly flowing
    Wide eyes clearly showing
    The image so stark
    But far from the mark.

    From fear of the fight
    Sinews so tight
    Freed at midnight.
          "Midnight Riders" by Timothy McCoy

    The shadow is the primitive, uncontrolled aspect of ourselves. It is the part that we are afraid of, repress, and project onto others. These elements live on in the dark and often are Midnight Riders!
    Midnight Rider
  • The Call of the Wild is in all creatures. In the novel by Jack London, the call is issued to Buck, the domesticated sled dog, who is transformed into his wolf-nature:

    And when on the still cold nights, he pointed his nose at the stars and howled long and wolflike, it was his ancestors, dead and dust pointing nose at the star and howling down through the centuries through him.... And not only did he learn by experience, but instincts long dead became alive again. The domesticated generations fell from him. In vague ways he remembered back to the youth of the breed. To the time when wild dogs ranged in packs through the primeval forest and killed their meat as they ran it down.
                       From The Call of the Wild by Jack London

    The instincts buried in Buck are fully latent in man and ready for recall. The "call of the wild" is evident in the following:

    It is in vain to dream of a wildness distant from ourselves. There is none such. It is a bog in our brains and bowels, the primitive vigor of Nature in us, that inspires that dream. I shall never find in the wilds of Labrador any greater wildness than in some recess of Concord, and that I import to it.
                         Henry David Thoreau, Journal, August 30, 1856

    Our hearts swelled 
    With Love,
    Teeth stained with blood.
    Stray prey we felled.
    The pack will not lack.

    Long, long ago
    We gnawed at a bone.
    They patted our heads,
    But it filled us with dread
    Of slipping further from home.
    A soul cannot hold
    The need to roam.

    With the full, silver moon
    Came a distant growl
    That changed to a mournful howl.
    We strained at the chains,
    We answered the call 
    And melted into the wild.
           By Timothy McCoy
    Call of the Wild
  • The Judgement of Paris
    "For the Fairest"
    Left the apple of discord

    It fell on Helen
    And all the fallen
    Of Sparta and of Troy

    They left a gift
    For victors fit
    But, never open it!

    Inside you may find
    Something less than kind
    And far from your mind.

    Achilles was so brave
    But Patroclus he could not save
    From the hands of Priam's son
    He could not run

    With fresh armor
    Achilles avenged his honor
    Hector was slain
    Leaving Troy in pain

    After being dipped in the river
    Achilles can't be killed
    Unless there on the field
    An arrow finds his heel

    Ten years we are lacking
    For this we will be sacking.

    As for going home
    Across the great white foam
    There in the bath
    We face the wrath
    That marks this path.
    On the plains of Troy
    And from the tragic gift
    Color stains the air
    The world is set adrift

    The golden apple keeps its place
    Coagulated blood so thick
    Heads stunned with blows of blue
    The grass is green
    Infused with bile
    White is there
    But only in the night
    Black for the buried soul
    That sinks in the wine-dark sea.
           "Welcome to Troy" by Timothy McCoy

    The Iliad
    is perhaps the birthplace of Greek theatre as an expression of myth. I have discussed this extensively in my portfolio, Tongues Turned to Stone: The Fate of Ancient Theatre. The Trojan horse of myth was wooden and filled with very real warriors. The "warrior hero" was crucial in Greek life. War itself was more significant than the theatre. In this image, the horse is translucent and filled with expressionist colors, indicative of the "The Light Within."
    Welcome to Troy
  • We seem to be caught like flies in honey. The more we cling to the "fruit" of life, the more we are anxious about losing it. Life and change are synonymous. Movement and rhythm define our essence. To resist change, to cling to things, is akin to breath holding. 

    The answer to the desire for permanence is to recognize the fact of continuous change. Controlling fear of change leads to freedom of movement (in this image, flight) and a "Lightness of Being."
    Lightness of Being
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