Individuation

18 Jun

Kathryn Hauser’s Reflection for Trinity Sunday 03 June 2012

Individuation

Today is Trinity Sunday.  The Trinity is three Persons in One: God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit making a balanced Community.  Each Person emphasizes a part of God’s Personhood with each part contributing to the whole.  We get some understanding of this dance of wholeness when we worship God in body, mind, and spirit, with all three parts coming to God as each part makes a contribution toward integration; integration being the process of shedding the lies of one’s personhood and keeping what is Truth.  In the Gospel Lesson for today, Jesus told Nicodemus,

“Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.” (John 3:5)

In the process of integration, we individuate; honoring the parts that contribute to making us whole.  Freud gave us terms that differentiated the various parts of the personal unconscious.  The “id” is the instinctual part of the psyche.  The “ego” is the sense of self and identity.  The “super-ego” denotes the collective consciousness, of which the individual is partly conscious [ie, “awake”] and partly unconscious [ie “asleep,”] (‘asleep’ because it is repressed.)  Before a complete synthesis of the personality happens, the self is (as Jung says):

“still in the plural stage, ie, an ego may be present, but it cannot experience its wholeness within the framework of its own personality, only with the community [!] of the family, tribe, or nation; it is still in the state of unconscious identification with the plurality of the group.  The Church takes due account of this widespread condition in her doctrine of the corpus mysticum, of which the individual is by nature a member.”[1] (p 165)

Individuation, then, would be the process by which a person becomes an “in-dividual,” [ie, the inward journey and fully claiming the Truth within ourselves,] and that by so doing the separate becomes an indivisible unity or whole. (p 275)  Individuation, then, would be a sense of being at-one with the Truth.  The goal of maturity, then, would be to bring to light that which is repressed, ie “asleep.”  The individual turns inward to examine the Truth within oneself and fully claims the Truth within. 

I asked God if He was at-one with having made us, His children, since we’ve made such a fine mess of things, and He smiled and purred, “Oh, yes!  You are My children!”

I thought some more about individuation and the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit is an individual Person Who brings unique gifts to the community of the Trinity.  These gifts of the Spirit bring unity and balance to the Trinity.  They create a oneness in the Trinitarian Body of an ethereal, watery-like nature, but are real nonetheless.  Just because God’s nature is ethereal doesn’t mean we can’t sense and experience His/Her nature within us.  We, too, have both masculine and feminine characteristics within our own personalities to make us a balanced whole.  This same Spirit of God leads us as the children of God. (Ro 8:14)  We did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but have received a spirit of adoption as we are His children. (v 15) 

In our “Me” centered culture (represented by all the Babylons in our lives that keep babbling on and on, yada, yada…) in self-absorption and self-consumption, we have the privilege to take a stand to respectfully use the word “no” as we recognize in our own lives the counter-influences of the world’s indoctrinations, attitudes, and ways of thinking which seek to destroy this harmonic balance.  We must be born of Spirit and water.  Our brains do rest in water: in the cerebrospinal (brain) fluid inside the skull.[2]  Our bodies are made up of about 70% water with our brains using 85% of that.[3]  Water is a conductor of electricity which our bodies also generate.

“Water is a perfect conductor of electricity and this becomes important in the day to day operation of our bodies. For example, the electrical potential is shared between the brain neurons through electrochemical transmitters. This electrical potential of brain chemistry must be present for any of our “thoughts” to take place. [Emphasis in article.][4]

Our attitudes and spirit within us are directed by our thoughts and therefore they must be constantly renewed. (Ro 12:2)  We really do know that the universal Laws of Attraction work (cf Rev 2:24) and that we will definitely attract to the ego-self that which it wants.  Our world has received what its collective ego (ie, “super ego”) has attracted.  Since it was the ego that attracted what we individually wanted, then it will be the collective super-ego that will attract the Holy Spirit and what God wants, if we want and invite Him to give us His Fresh Spirit.  The Holy Spirit, in turn, gives us His desires for us to our corpus mysticum of which each individual is a member by faith.  The key is in Whom do we put our faith?  Do we just join the club?  Nicodemus was not the only one who needed to be born again of water and Spirit.  The Seven Churches must also choose.  We can follow God as the Holy Spirit is leading us from an individualistic corpus mysticum into a balanced wholeness reflecting the Trinity’s individuation in community, or we can remain in the current ‘Club Mentality’ of the Seven Churches. The “in-DIVID-” in the words individual, individuate, individualistic, individuality, individuation, etc, draw us inwardly into the DIVINE within.  The Church-as-Bride will reflect outwardly what her inward choices are.  God has not forgotten His covenant.  Are we discerning His love language as He woos us back to Himself?  We already know that love language from Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus.[5]  And Christ had said, “I will also give him the morning star.” (Rev 2:28)  We can bash each other over the head with our egoistic individualistic clubs (ref Rev 2:27) and interpret “Morning Star” as the mythological reference to Lucifer’s fall from heaven because his ego could only worship himself (Isa 14:12-15), or we can see the “Morning Star” through the eyes of love.  Both are true.  The Truth is in us.  Will we express the Truth as God’s children in love? (ref 1 Cor 13:8-13)  The Church, herself, is in a position similar to Nicodemus as she asks the same question:

John 3:4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?”

I believe the Church can be born again even though she is old.  Christ does see the Church-as-Bride and Christ calls us all (the corpus mysticum) into mystical marriage with Himself.  We can make a recommitment to Him the way Hosea made a recommitment to his wife.  Hosea (1:2 ff) reflected to (and on) our human plane the love that God feels in (what I call) “grace time” (or on the divine plane.)  Hosea’s life represented a “divine marriage.”  Hosea pursued his wife-gone-prostitute, Gomer, because his heart listened to God AND he still loved his wife.  The Woman and the Dragon in Rev 12, who later confronted the Harlot and rode the Beast in Rev 17 and Rev 18, (like Hosea) also listened to God and still loved the ‘Seven Churches’ even though they behaved badly. The Seven Churches are also “married” in Spirit by belief in Christ, Who is part of the Community of the Trinity.  Thus, the community expands, but the expansion is not by the people marrying or being given in marriage, like Jesus said would happen in Matthew 22:30.  This type of love expansion resurrects the spirit.  The Pharisees had asked Jesus about bodily resurrection, which also relates to being born again, because it relates to us in the land of the living:

27 Finally, the woman died. [cf Dan 9:20 ff, specifically v 26] 28 Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven [overlay that meaning on top of the ‘Seven Churches’ (Rev 1) and Daniel’s ‘Sevens’ (Dan 9:25)], since all of them were married to her?”

29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. [cf Heb 13:2; Hermaphrodite? We all carry both opposites within us of male and female.  It is wisdom that honors them both within.] 31 But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the LIVING [!].”

In Revelation 20:14 Christ explained, “The lake of fire is the second death.”  Going through the individuation process and shedding the false ego-self IS, indeed, a fiery death.  Where we must be born again to truly live, we must die again to the ego-self to experience resurrection in our own lives, because Christ came to make it personal.  (I see “resurrection” on multiple levels.)  Since this process of individuation is still happening among the Churches, then we must continue to grow up into the likeness of Christ by gazing at Him and sharing the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which have already been given to us (as the Spirit had them to begin with and shared them with us, and has asked us to keep sharing.)

Prayer: Lord, in our quest to express our individuality, may we integrate everything You have taught us.  From that place of integration, may we shed the lies and keep what is Truth.  May we be born afresh, alive, and new in water and Spirit as You wash us with Your redeeming grace.  As the collective consciousness of the Church-as-Bride sheds her super-ego and becomes awake, help her to fully claim the mercy of the Truth within herself.  Just as the Holy Spirit brings unique gifts to the community of the Trinity, may we also connect to the unique gifts You have lavished upon us to share and to bring wholeness and balance to our community as we anchor in You.  Forgive us for bowing to the god of attraction and for reminding us that ‘all that glitters is not gold.’  We are Your corpus mysticum, truly Your mystical body, and You have made us well in Your mystery.  We bless You and honor You, Lord.  May our love language reflect as a mirror, as we put aside childish ways, so that we shall no longer know in part, but shall know You fully face to face even as we are fully known by You in Your love, kindness, grace, and forgiveness. (ref 1 Cor 13:12)

 

Trinity Sunday          3 June 12                                                      Gospel: John 3:1-17

Isaiah 6:1-8
6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple.

6:2 Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew.

6:3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

6:4 The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke.

6:5 And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”

6:6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs.

6:7 The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.”

6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!”

Psalm 29
29:1 Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

29:2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory of his name; worship the LORD in holy splendor.

29:3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over mighty waters.

29:4 The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

29:5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.

29:6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.

29:7 The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.

29:8 The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

29:9 The voice of the LORD causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, “Glory!”

29:10 The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.

29:11 May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace!

Romans 8:12-17
8:12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh–

8:13 for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

8:15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!”

8:16 it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

8:17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ–if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

John 3:1-17
3:1 Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews.

3:2 He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.”

3:3 Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.”

3:4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?”

3:5 Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.

3:6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.

3:7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’

3:8 The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

3:9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?”

3:10 Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?

3:11 “Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony.

3:12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?

3:13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.

3:14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

3:15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

3:17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

 


[1] Jung, CG; The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious; Princeton University Press, (1969) Bollingen Foundation (1959); p 165

[5] John Gray, Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus, (Harpercollins; Stated First Edition edition, 1992)

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