1. Use your personal problems as a powerful activating force to heal.
2. Know how your personal problems relate to your ancestral wounds.
3. Understand and identify how personal and collective problems are Archetypal in nature.
4. Learn how the Archetypes inform you about principles that guide your healing processes by valuing the symbolism of your challenges in conjunction with cognitive understanding.
5. Recognize how your personal story relates to your cultural and ancestral story as a means for collective healing.
The Riddle in the Mirror is an essential map on your healing journey, to shift your life out of the struggle of repetitive human behavior patterns and underlying beliefs that keep wounds alive and perpetuate those wounds in your children.
Realize that your personal healing is essential and the primary way that you participate to healing humanity.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.31(d)|
Read an Excerpt
THE RIDDLE IN THE MIRRORA Journey in Search of Healing
By JAYNI BLOCH
Balboa PressCopyright © 2012 Jayni Bloch
All right reserved.
History Is Important
History unmistakably expresses the progression of humankind's evolution in every regard: emotionally, physically, socially, intellectually, and spiritually. Everyone has a personal and a family history. Our cultural past plays a major role in our personal psychological health and formulation of a worldview. The way we move through life depends on the cultural narrative of our time. We absorb the themes of our time like sponges in the same way we do family attitudes.
Every generation has its own stories. As long as we are unconscious of them, we do not have a choice about how their themes and conflicts affect us. These themes inevitably ignite psychological wounds from time to time in unexpected ways. Even if we are conscious of these themes, we may still struggle to integrate them with an objective perspective, especially when atrocities or hardships taint our history. This is why most of us struggle with the question of how to heal ourselves, especially when our history reappears in wounding or shaming memories.
Our personalities have a tendency to discard our history. We rationalize it, keep on suffering it, ignore it, or compensate for it. Our society reiterates the wounds of history, reinforcing blame and a sense of victimhood, by relaying specific biased ideas in narratives that influence our thoughts. These ideas and beliefs, which we repeat in our minds and stories, bond us to their pain. It is difficult to know how to heal the wounding events of life. It can be a lifelong process for individuals to heal personal and generational wounds, and it takes even longer for cultures to heal. When communities struggle with the consequences of cultural history, the wounds are carried over from generation to generation.
Our soul-spirit urgently presses a need in us to heal by exposing us to crises. Its massage about how to change ourselves lies in the symbolism of the crisis on condition that we interpret this symbolism with the right faculty. Our ego and rational mind can lead us astray when it comes to symbolism. Symbolism is found in the themes of our wounds. The stories of our culture, the stories of our families, and our personal story relate and carry some commonality. We suffer generational themes in personal ways. Therefore even if we think we are unattached to our history we notice that cultural and familial stories narrate our personal struggles. Our wounds are part of our human destiny and they connect us to archetypal themes that urge our development beyond our current perspective; as a persona and as humanity. By participating in our personal healing, we participate with the creative universe in changing personal as well as collective patterns of human consciousness and behavior. I consider the personal healing process intimately intertwined with cultural healing.
My healing journey began in South Africa where I started life. I was born into an atmosphere of conflict which became the instigator of my search for peace. It is apparent when reading the history of South Africa that conflict, hostility, and rivalry—especially in the form of war—were rampant over long periods between the different groups of people who occupied and shared the land. Growing up in this atmosphere of open— and sometimes denied—conflict and bias was psychologically traumatic. Especially covert conflict confused my child-mind. There was a continuous underlying psychological battle for the upper hand, prejudice and control, while people pretended to tolerated each other. My homeland was a warring place. The many cultural groups that formed the peoples of South Africa were all in conflict with each other.
Children have a natural ability to love and reach out to each other without bias. They start life free from prejudice until their mentors' attitudes teach them differently. Children know what the adults around them think and feel without knowing that they know, and they absorb these judgments. Children unknowingly take on the biases of the adults. A sense of suffering encourages our primal survival instincts when we feed resentments and ideas about injustices done to us. These kinds of biases can easily perpetuate from generation to generation. The emotional atmosphere in South Africa during my childhood was one such rivalry; each cultural group was trying to protect its own—even if it was to the disadvantage of others. As I matured I became more conscious of the intensity of cultural conflict in my country. I longed for a peaceful, unbiased, and loving community and even though I did not want any part of that conflict, my psyche carried the wounds of my history unconsciously.
When everyone tries to conquer who they perceive as their enemies in a diverse but extreme prejudice and intolerant community, we are tempted to harm each other for our own benefit and staying power instead of supporting each other to grow and heal. This attitude enhances and propagates eternal human conflict against all that are different from you. These same conflicting attitudes in politics replicate among children in schools, communities, and families. When no one knows any better, no one knows how to change this vicious cycle.
Friction can stimulate creativity and innovation and is therefore potentially liberating, but can also be incredibly destructive. Conflict can lead us to shift our past or current point of view or keep us adamant about convictions. Conflict has us fear losing our standing, convictions, or values. Everyone on earth has experienced to one degree or another creative as well as destructive times because of the consequences of conflict. The leaders of our time guide the direction of the consequence of conflict to be helpful or hurtful in communities. We need principled parents and cultural leaders to guide society not leaders that influence destruction of relationships. True leaders help us learn to listen to one another's perspectives without bias so that we can reach a peaceful understanding of each other. Our wise, visionary leaders—men and women who lead from a place outside of self-interest—can channel the sparks that conflict creates toward cooperation instead of war and competition. True leaders encourage healthy relationships among all people to benefit everyone, not just combating ones. These kinds of leaders are rare. Nelson Mandela and F. W. de Klerk are two such leaders.
If we want to grow and evolve, we all need to heal the past and move beyond the repetitive nature of holding regrets, resentments, wounds, and vengeful attitudes. Justifying our anger because of past atrocities is obsolete. Let us step into each other's worlds with compassion and let go of our misleading perspectives. It is difficult to be neutral when we are emotionally affected, and this is where we need true social and personal leaders to support and guide us in a healing process with practical spiritual principles.
The conflicting attitudes among various cultural groups during my upbringing mirror the many coexisting inner points of view that we find in our individual psyches. The world outside us reflects the world inside us and the other way round. There are many parts, some of which we are unconscious of, that completes us. Some of these parts compete with others for a position of power within our personalities. Our soul battle for wholeness, so that all of the parts of our personality co-operatively unite in our psyche. Our personalities on the other hand love to rule our being with an ego state or two. This results in us not realizing that we are far more than the sum of the parts. Humanity is destined to cooperate spiritually, but our personalities are trained to look out for their own needs and therefore ignore the souls calling in experiences of unhappiness. Without the unease of external conflict that brings awareness of the internal battles between the parts of our egos, the urge to change would not happen. Without discomfort, there is no spark toward growth or need to discover solutions within one's self and between societies and cultures. Our personal healing always ripples out toward humanity.
People all over the world live in physical, emotional, and spiritual exile, needing to heal relationships, families, cultures, or countries. Different people and cultures share universal patterns in their personal lives that connect us all as one human family. In the search for healing, we all share the longing to find "home," a place of belonging where we all give each other acceptance, respect, and nurturing support. When we find "home" within ourselves, humanity is a step closer to finding peace with each other. Our individual stories are not identical—just as our cultural stories are not—but our experiences bind us in a common evolutional challenge. We grow through the healing process as individuals, cultures, and humankind as a whole.
Chapter TwoClimbing the Mountain
The weight of fear crushes our connection to the meaning of life because it triggers survival instincts that taint human perception. Struck with fear and sadness or greed and desire when met with challenges, we sever ourselves from our ability to connect to our spiritual insight for guidance. Initially challenges are riddles to our mind as we struggle to find answers, but from the perspective of our spirit, every painful experience clearly reveals the way to heal.
The healing process is like climbing a mountain. In meditation or during sleep, ask God-in-you what you should make of the burdens you carry. A drop-of-God exists inside everyone. In the silence of this symbolic walk up the mountain, your God-self opens insight like an eye at the center of your being. Your heart starts to glow with new vision and useful perspectives. You see your difficulties are in reality the seeds that stir transformation in you. Communicate with your inner God-side and walk the mountain of contemplation in silence, listening and observing. This silence is a symbolic place between heaven and earth where all opposites disappear. Light and dark unite; sorrow and joy merge. Heaven grows on earth, and earth expresses heaven in its growth.
How It All Started
I was born during the peak of apartheid in Johannesburg, South Africa. Trade restrictions isolated our connection with the rest of the world. Global and local news was controlled. A fundamental divide existed, most obviously between black and white people in South Africa, but multiple other divides immersed the country. After the Boer War, the white population split its alliance between Afrikaans and English-speaking peoples. Most English-speaking people had alliances to the British who were involved in a massacre of the Boers, (mostly Afrikaans women and children who were put in concentration camps during the war).
The Afrikaans people carried much resentment against this carnage, which in turn fueled more animosity between them and the English-speaking groups. I first experienced awareness of group hostility at school when the children severely bullied each other. They based their differences on language.
South Africa is home to many different ethnic groups, as well as many immigrant cultures. Of the 45 million South Africans, there are nearly 31 million blacks, 5 million whites, 3 million colored (mixed race), and 1 million Indians. At the time of this writing, the population density is 32.9 people per km2. There are four major ethnic groups among the black population, namely Nguni, Sotho, Shangaan-Tsonga, and Venda. The Zulu and Xhosa (two subgroups of the Nguni) are the largest of numerous subgroups. The majority of the white population is of Afrikaans descent (60 percent), with many of the remaining 40 percent being of British descent. Most of the colored population lives in the Northern and Western Cape provinces, while most of the Indian population lives in KwaZulu Natal.
The Afrikaner population is concentrated in the Gauteng and Free State provinces, and the English population resides in the Western and Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal. There are eleven official languages in South Africa: English, Afrikaans, Ndebele, Sepedi, Xhosa, Venda, Tswana, Southern Sotho, Zulu, Swazi, and Tsonga.
From 1652 until 1835, migrant and refugee Calvinist Protestants— primarily from France, the Netherlands, Germany, Scotland, and elsewhere in Europe—came to South Africa, following the example of the French Huguenots in the early 1600s. Their persecution lasted for a hundred years after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. There was also an infusion of Indian and Malaysian people brought to South Africa to help farm the land in the 1600s.
By the end of the eighteenth century, these persecuted Europeans no longer identified themselves as such, but rather as Afrikaners. The new integrated culture called the Afrikaners assimilated from many of the original immigrants as well as local people. The Afrikaners became a group of explorers who wanted freedom to farm and serve their religion with freedom. They developed a new indigenous language, called Afrikaans which had roots in all their combined original European languages. Their Calvinist religion (Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk) as well as their new language bound them together. Any threat to their newfound freedom instilled an oppressive collective fear. Paradoxically, the very religion that brought these diverse people together later underlies the divide of the country of South Africa.
Ten years after the Anglo-Boer War, the Afrikaners negotiated a home-rule arrangement in the four British colonies, and firmly established themselves as the ruling minority in South Africa. Their policies became one of exclusive control, called apartheid. After long struggles between the cultural groups over many years, F. W. de Klerk recognized the absurdity of apartheid and negotiated freeing Nelson Mandela from prison where he played a major role with his vision of freedom for all cultural groups in South Africa. The abolishment of apartheid announced a new era in the history of South Africa.
Afrikaner Calvinism, according to theory, is a unique cultural development that combined the Calvinist religion with the political aspirations of the white Afrikaans-speaking people of South Africa. Consciously and unconsciously, they reinforced a dictatorial and authoritarian social climate that controlled the nation's thoughts, under the illusion of protecting the Afrikaners from oppressive forces. The Afrikaners, compelled by loyalty to each other, the Church, and the State, protected their identity against oppression by the British, especially after the Boer War. The Afrikaner people's paranoia of suppression resulted in isolating themselves culturally.
The majority Afrikaner government managed a censorship program that prevented contact with the rest of the world. The government of South Africa monitored all information available to its citizens by manipulating information in all media. Blinkered and isolated, the people of South Africa, especially the Afrikaners, understood and interpreted events through a shroud of delusion. Government and church indoctrination promoted fearful survival instincts in this small group of white people. The rest of the cultural groups living in South Africa fractured into categories where language, religion, and color would define and distinguish them. All the groups mistrusted each other. Every person's color and language immediately indicated their particular class. Assumptions discounted all individual beliefs and sentiments. Your language and color immediately labeled you no matter what your individual ideas, which was never asked only assumed.
Survival of the fittest and caring for your own kind ruled the everyday ambience. Every cultural group felt righteous and victimized at the same time. Consciously, everyone overtly denied mistrusting each other, but conflict and discrimination were distinct.
This discriminatory atmosphere severely distressed me as a child. It was confusing to observe people treat others without respect or fairness while the Church and State constantly preached humanistic values. Groups kept fracturing from each other. All the cultural groups treated each other with bias. It embarrassed and confused me, so I did not allow myself to identify with any one group. I felt lost without a sense of belonging. I felt a part of everyone, yet no-one. At times, I tried hard to belong but always felt uncomfortable. My ideas of union were often judged. An internal sense of ideological detachment grew stronger and left me emotionally alienated. I did not belong yet I was part of a judgmental culture who excluded others. These were the only people I knew and I was an outcast if they knew how I felt inside.
The motto on the South African coat of arms is "Unity is Strength." I really liked the idea of unity and longed for it to be a reality, but people's behavior toward each other was at odds with that concept. Even the verbal proclamation of good principles and intentions only applied within a cohesive group and never towards people outside of one's own group. I very soon learned that the execution of principles and ideas often contradicted the verbal declaration of them. Maybe a culture adopts a motto that their souls recognize as the one they most need to learn. Maybe individuals are part of a culture with a motto that as individuals we need to understand and act on, not only unwittingly accept. Unquestionably, I wanted to learn about the true nature of unity grown from diversity. (Continues...)
Excerpted from THE RIDDLE IN THE MIRROR by JAYNI BLOCH Copyright © 2012 by Jayni Bloch. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
2. Climbing the Mountain....................5
3. Finding My Drop-of-God....................25
4. Once More into the Abyss....................33
5. Healing Principles....................45
6. Conceptual Model of the Meaning and Purpose of Life....................63
Appendix: History of South Africa....................91