I think this should be a night log, not a day log.
I started a class last night on themes from Robert A Johnson. Taught by my minister at the Unitarian Church, a class about one of his mentors, a Jungian analyst. I've been struggling lately and very sad. I thought it would make me feel more connected.
When I read the service for the first class, I was really pleased and relieved. The class is based on seven services that our minister did in 2007. He set up two classes, minimum 8 and maximum 18. He had to open up a third class and we still have 23 people signed up for ours. I thought, I don't have time for this class, when I signed up. When I read the service, I thought, oh, now I know why I am signed up.
When I read Robert Johnson, what he says seems clear as a bell, clear as water, clear as light. I had the same response when I read Jung's Memories, Dreams and Reflections. Oh, there is a person whose thought pathways are like mine. Convoluted and circling and tying everything together and playful. I thought, oh, I am not alone.
But last night, my chest opened in the class. A door to longing. The first class was about the Golden World and the near death experience that Robert A Johnson had at age 11. He nearly died and fought crossing a barrier. He crossed it and was in a Golden World. Everything connected and all at peace. He was pulled back and said that he fought returning as hard as he'd fought crossing in the first place. And it changed his life.
We discussed what the Golden World was. We heard Robert Johnson on a couple of tapes and a video. He said that some people would call it the Kingdom of Heaven. His interviewer, also a Jungian analyst, spoke of translation of the question about the Kingdom of Heaven: that it is translated as among you, within you and about you. And that he believes all three are true.
I have not had a Golden World experience that I remember. But I have a longing. Our minister talked about the guilt that some churches describe from losing the garden of eden. I don't feel guilt. I feel longing for connection that is furious and deep. Rumi writes about it over and over, that longing. I was comforted by reading Rumi, to have someone say that that longing is ok and in fact, is needed. The longing is the connection to the Beloved.
I felt very sad last night and after the class. Most of the people in the class did not seem to find Robert Johnson clear as light. They find him mystical and confusing. So I am coming from a different place, and with that door in my chest open, I felt lonely.
At the same time, it made me think about clinic. I have set it up entirely to be about time with patients. Time, time, time. The thing is, I can't see the person, really, unless I have enough time. I have to ask a lot of questions and get a feel for the person. Who are they? I have to see them. And not the social mask. I have to see the whole person, that is, the dark and the light. Robert Johnson apparently can't see a person unless they tell him one of their dreams. This makes perfect sense to me. It did not make sense to most of the class because dreams aren't real. But dreams are real. They are as real as anything else, such as language, thoughts, electrons and, yes, objects like chairs. My daughter said that it bothers her to think that the atoms and electrons in our hands know that they are part of us and don't merge with a wall when we lean against a wall. She already has the idea that atoms are mostly space, so how do they DO that? Dreams are as real as that.
I don't heal by template. Templates block healing because if the provider asks rote questions, they don't see the person at all. Half the healing is being seen and being loved as a whole. Not loved for the social mask, but loved in one's dark and in one's light, mistakes and all. When I was at the Army Hospital earlier this year, I had to watch other providers to learn to use the computer. Not one asked about drugs. Tobacco and alcohol were on their template, but not drugs. I checked with the emergency room. They said that they only checked for drugs in motor vehicle accidents. But MVAs are the number one cause of death in the military outside of combat. Oh, yes, drugs are present, heroin and methamphetamines. But the providers don't ask. They are not seeing the person. I cannot do medicine without seeing the person. "Taking a history" gets the person talking and it is the tiny clues in what they say, the body language, the words, the clues that lead me. I don't ask for their dreams. Mostly. Except sometimes I do.