A Great Story

November 23rd, 2021 by JDVaughn Leave a reply »

Father Richard continues to explore how archetypes connect us to the story of God and the universe.

The small self is intrinsically unhappy because it fundamentally lacks reality. To use a philosophical word, its nonbeing means it does not exist “ontologically.” It will thus always be insecure, afraid, and scrambling for significance. With no storyline, no integrating images that define who we are or direct our lives, we just won’t be happy. Carl Jung developed this idea for our generation of Western rationalists, who had thought that myth meant “not true”—when in fact the older meaning of myth is precisely “always and deeply true”!

Jung goes so far as to say that transformation only happens in the presence of story, myth, and image. A great story pulls us inside of a universal story; it lodges in the unconscious where it is inaccessible to the brutalities of our own mind or will, [1] as Thomas Merton observed. From that hidden place we are healed. For Christians, Jesus’ life is the archetypal map of Everyman and Everywoman: divine conception, ordinary life, betrayal, abandonment, rejection, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. It all comes full circle, as we return to where we started, though now transformed. Jung saw this basic pattern repeated in every human life. He called it the Christ Archetype, “an almost perfect map” of the whole journey of human transformation. Jung’s notion of an Archetype or Ruling Image can help us understand the “Universal Stand-In” that Jesus is and was meant to be.

A Great Story Line connects our little lives to the One Great Life, and even better, it forgives and uses the wounded and seemingly “unworthy” parts (1 Corinthians 12:22), which Jung would call the necessary “integration of the negative.” What a message! Like good art, a Cosmic Myth like the Gospel gives a sense of universal belonging and personal participation in Something/Someone much larger than ourselves.

We are finding it is nearly impossible to heal isolated individuals inside of a culture as unhealthy and unhealed as the USA, and inside any version of Christianity that supports exclusion and superiority. Individuals who remain inside of an incoherent and unsafe universe soon fall back into anger, fear, and narcissism. I sadly say this after 46 years of giving retreats, conferences, and initiation rites all over the world. Only people who went on to develop a contemplative mind could finally grow and benefit from the message that they heard.

In the most recent issue of Oneing, Father Richard honors those who make the full journey of integration. These are people who find their own smaller stories within God’s great story, what Richard calls “The Story”:

Those who truly live in The Story have embraced and integrated their personality, shadow, woundedness, family issues, culture, and contextualizing life experiences under The One. . . . This is a truly integral spirituality, a truly catholic worldview, and the unrecognized goal of all monotheistic religions. These, like Jesus, desire “nowhere to rest their head” except in the One and Universal Love. [2]


Sarah Young…

AS YOU SIT QUIETLY IN MY PRESENCE, let Me fill your heart and mind with thankfulness. This is the most direct way to achieve a thankful stance. If your mind needs a focal point, gaze at My Love poured out for you on the cross. Remember that nothing in heaven or on earth can separate you from that Love. This remembrance builds a foundation of gratitude in you, a foundation that circumstances cannot shake. As you go through this day, look for tiny treasures strategically placed along the way. I lovingly go before you and plant little pleasures to brighten your day. Look carefully for them, and pluck them one by one. When you reach the end of the day, you will have gathered a lovely bouquet. Offer it up to Me with a grateful heart. Receive My Peace as you lie down to sleep, with thankful thoughts playing a lullaby in your mind.

ROMANS 8:38–39; For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, ³⁹neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our LORD.

 1 CORINTHIANS 3:11; 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

PSALM 4:7–8; Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound. ⁸In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.


Comments are closed.