Rend Your Hearts

From the Office of Readings: A Commentary on Joel, by St. Jerome 

Return to me with all your heart and show a spirit of repentance with fasting, weeping and mourning; so that while you fast now, later you may be satisfied, while you weep now, later you may laugh, while you mourn now, you may some day enjoy consolation.

It is customary for those in sorrow or adversity to tear their garments. The gospel records that the high priest did this to exaggerate the charge against our Lord and Saviour; and we read that Paul and Barnabas did so when they heard words of blasphemy. I bid you not to tear your garments but rather to rend your hearts which are laden with sin. Like wine skins, unless they have been cut open, they will burst of their own accord. After you have done this, return to the Lord your God, from whom you had been alienated by your sins. Do not despair of his mercy, no matter how great your sins, for great mercy will take away great sins.

For the Lord is gracious and merciful and prefers the conversion of a sinner rather than his death. Patient and generous in his mercy, he does not give in to human impatience but is willing to wait a long time for our repentance. So extraordinary is the Lord’s mercy in the face of evil, that if we do penance for our sins, he regrets his own threat and does not carry out against us the sanctions he had threatened. So by the changing of our attitude, he himself is changed. But in this passage we should interpret “evil” to mean, not the opposite of virtue, but affliction, as we read in another place: Sufficient for the day are its own evils. And, again: If there is evil in the city, God did not create it.

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Jungian Dream Interpretation

Carl Jung taught that the structure of a dream is similar to that of a drama, comprised of four different stages:

  1. Exposition: The opening scene, which introduces the place, characters, and situation that the dreamer will face–the issue or problem as expressed through metaphor.
  2. Development: The emergence of the plot.
  3. Culmination: Something significant occurs, and the main character responds.
  4. Lysis: The result or solution of the dream’s action. The lysis signifies how the dreamer might deal with the problem or issue that was expressed during the exposition stage. In effect, the work of the dream has produced a solution or result for the dreamer.

Carl Gustav Jung 1875-1961

Jung considered the lysis the most important part of the dream because it showed where the dreamer’s energy wanted to go. Daryl Sharp writes, “Where there is no lysis, no solution is in sight” (Jungian Psychology Unplugged).

While some dreams are too short or fragmented to lend themselves to interpretation, the manifest (or remembered) dream can be important. Such a dream contains within itself the actual meaning of the dream; one needn’t understand its esoteric symbols in order to glean the meaning. The dream is a message from the unconscious, spoken through symbols meaningful and peculiar to the dreamer.

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Are we, like, stoopid?

I recently ran across an article that made me wonder if writers, and people who want to be writers, are, like, stoopid.

Fact: 70% of American adults haven’t been in a bookstore in five years. Wow. So all those people are going to Barnes and Noble for the Starbucks and muffins. That’s a surprise.

Fact: 57% of new books are never read to completion. I’m pretty sure that a substantial portion of the 43 percent of books that are read to completion are read in the bathroom. I think I can be pretty confident, too,  in asserting that some of the 43 percent that are read to completion are being read in New York City, because the Manhattan Institute for Policy research reports that 43 percent of NYC high school students actually graduate from high school. Reading whole book = high school diploma. Keep reading, kids.

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Quoting Daryl Sharp on Temperament Types

From Jungian Psychology Unplugged: My Life as an Elephant, by Daryl Sharp, M.A., a Jungian analyst and publisher and general editor of Inner City Books.

Among other topics in this book, Sharp writes about the Myers-Briggs Temperament Inventory types. Temperament or personality is what drives a person to think, feel, and act as they do in a somewhat predictable manner. Theoretically, each person’s temperament or character is comprised of various personality functions. In the Myers-Briggs Temperament Inventory (MBTI) system, the Sense (S) function tell us that something exists; the Thinking (T) function tells us what it is; the Feeling (F) function tells us what it’s worth; and the Introverted (I) function tells us what can be done with it. Introversion is energy directed inwardly, to the inner world, while Extraversion (E) is energy directed outwardly, to the outer world. Finally, the Perceiver (P) function speaks to possibilities and the journey, whereas the Judging (J) function speaks to finality, the destination. There are, then, 16 possible personality types. For those who are unfamiliar with temperament types, you can take a short, free version of the MBTI temperament test here.

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Quoting Jung

Parenting 

“If there is anything that we wish to change in our children, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.” The Development of Personality (Princeton), p. 170.

The child is helplessly exposed to the psychic influence of the parents and is bound to copy their self-deception, their insincerity, hypocrisy, cowardice, self-righteousness, and selfish regard for their own comfort. . . The only thing that can save the child. . .is the efforts of the parents not to shirk the psychic difficulties of life by deceitful manoeuvers or by remaining artificially unconscious, but rather to accept them as tasks, to be as honest with themselves as possible, and to shed a beam of light into the darkest corners of their souls. —The Development of Personality (Princeton), p. 79.

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