Thursday, November 6, 2008

PHARMAKON : a new time

It is a new time....I wish I could have written yesterday, but it was not to be. When I go to work, in order to be non-intrusive, I keep most of my politics in my back pocket, and so yesterday the enduring smile on my face was all I could put out there to express my feelings of joy and hope about the election of President (to be) Obama.

I happen to be reading (among several other things) a book that deals with Jungian ideas. The name is The Scapegoat Complex.
The reading is slow, but one of my office colleagues has recently completed further study in psychoanalytic approaches to therapy and I thought it was time for me to return to some of the readings in order to be able to talk to her about our work more productively. She has, through the years, taught me much, and I wish to continue to learn from and with her.

I mention this because it brought me to thinking about why this election had me in tears for several hours after I got home. These were tears of joy and hope.

As an individual not born to this citizenship, I sometimes feel that I should criticize less and sometimes more. I realized some of what I had been missing in the political life here.

A quote from the book: ..."psychologically, scapegoating is a form of denying the shadow - by projecting it onto others." ....Shadow can refer to....." attitudes, beliefs, behaviors and emotions we do not feel conform to the the idea of omni-perfection with which we define our idea of God or the Supreme Other. (as a beginning student of western Buddhism--20 years or so--I find that I cannot really find the correct word for the universality of one-ness, but still feel that the same holds true.)

We can have such difficulty accepting that all our humanity, whether we welcome it or not, is part of a compassionate, accepting universe. Therefore we find the scapegoat which allows us to repress, reject and make unconscious the unwanted (in us) while projecting those qualities elsewhere.

For a very long time now, our politics, in line with the rigid Calvinism upon which this nation was founded, have sanctioned an atmosphere of scapegoating.

The speech given by Pres. Obama on being confirmed the evening before last, was a new kind of speech. It was something we have not heard in far too long -- a voice of hope and clarity, devoid of scapegoating. Now, it is up to us. ...and to quote that which has been happily quoted much in the last few days---yes, we can.

My postings have been less frequent than I would have them in the last six months or so, due to illness, but I am hoping that I am getting better and will have time to post more.
Please let me know that you are reading this, lest I feel foolish, and return to paper and pencil journals. If you read this, please let me know who you are... tell me about you and argue with me if you wish.

Also anyone reading this who has any good recipes for things to eat that conform to a celiac (gluten free), migraine prevention and diabetic diet.... help me out. It will be much appreciated.

May you and all beings be well and live in peace and joy.
sopha davenport/aka/drsuze/aka/susanne

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The virtual gardener...


I, who used to spend several hours a day in the garden despite soggy weather, armies of slugs and crabgrass that felt like it had developed a personal distaste for me, am watching another fall come. This will be the second summer that I have left it all just about untouched. There are those plants that go on and seem to do just fine without my attention, but others have succumbed to my bad back and neglect.


I have always thought the garden had much to teach me, and I miss the lessons that take place in the quiet. I had worked on my yard for years and at the end of every summer, the result was the same.....all the things I wanted to do, remained undone.
I oddly still think of a year beginning in September when the schools start--you would think I was a teacher or parent or something....; so this year as we have passed All Hallows Eve and are making our dash toward Thanksgiving (culturally I mean), I find myself climbing over the effort I began sometime back. It feels like forever, so I cannot even say how long.
We decided to get a new couch and thereby "redo" the living room, causing all kinds of storage uproar in the other places in the house as well. Everything had to come out so that it could be purged before being put away and I find I am still at it and sooo bored by it. I think this year the garden is teaching me that there is no deadline in these matters so great as to neglect friends, family and oneself. I come to this slowly. It took a bit of illness and pain and discomfort to get me here, but I am slowly easing into things with the grace of a neglected garden.
In that grace I hope to find some of the passion I have lost lately, as well as my blood sugar monitor (helpful, if you have been told to monitor your blood sugar!!)
A long time ago I wrote something about how relationships are like the different plants in the garden and the wise gardener does not try to make any into something they are not. But, still one must attend to the needs of the plant/relationship. As I have had my head in trying to find myself among this chaos, I hope that all those of you that I truly care for remember to consider yourselves among the peonies. They are my favorite, although they had to be carefully tended initially, they now willingly go on and show me their splendid miracle in the spring. So are all of you my peonies and though I may have neglected to treat you as well as I should, I wait patiently until you bid me come to attend to you by your unending patience underground and scented flowering.
I promise to try to post more frequently and to take the time to edit these comments a bit more that they be enjoyable to you and allow me to take pride in my thoughts.
The picture of Kwan Yin (one of many spellings) is one of several that I have been collecting in an effort to bring something of "hers" more graphically into all parts of my life. My favorite is a small statue I have on my desk at work. It keeps me present and aware of my "shen pa" (spelling???) as Pema Chodron would advise.
Wishing you all a most pleasant week. I am off to bed to finish a hat. Yes, of course we have to sleep with pins in the bed... that's life. sopha davenport/aka susanne