• "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.
    From Ariadne with Sorrow
  • "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
    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
  • 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 Hero Within
  • 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
  • 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 Way begot one
             And the one, two;
             The the two begot three 
             And three, all else.       

             All things bear the shade on their backs
             And the sun in their arms;
             By the blending of breath
             From the sun and the shade
             Equilibrium comes to the world.
                     From The Way of Life (Tao Te Ching, No. 42), trans. R.B. Blakney

    In Zen Buddhism: 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
  • 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 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.
  • 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
  • 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."
  • 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
    The Center Cannot Hold
  • 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
  • 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
  • The shadow is the primitive, uncontrolled aspect of ourselves. It is the part that we are afraid of, repress, and project onto others. These element live on in the dark and ofter 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
    Call of the Wild
  • 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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