Thursday, December 26, 2013

Where do we find God?

Watched a wonderful Nova program on PBS last night.   Scientists explained how the great Gothic cathedrals were designed and built.
The program proved more than fascinating.  The scientists helped me understand the effect these massive, light-filled structures had on medieval townspeople.  Instead of the familiar dark, dank stone structure of the period, they entered a miraculous building designed to evoke awe (Jung’s “the numinous”).  From the celestially high walls, to the exquisite mosaic glass, to the intricate floor tiles and carved statues, the Gothic churches tried to create a “heaven on earth.” (Even modern visitors can’t help but be touched by these structures, labored over for decades by local artisans who poured their hearts and souls into each detail.  Did their religious belief compel such exquisite creations?) 

Watching the program, I envied those parishioners who could not help but be moved by the powerful ritual elements.  The attendee not only gazed in wonder but smelled the incense, tasted the Host, and listened to strange chants (the Latin Mass) and angelic choirs. 

Contemplating these gravity defying Gothic miracles, I felt the power and relevance of the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages.  But our world is so different and the church’s rituals are the same!  Is it surprising that so many of us remain unmoved by rituals that have not evolved? 

What do we have in our own age that brings forth the numinous?  What brings us to God?  Movies?  Sports?  The drive to consume and obtain more?   Joseph Campbell was right:  we are living today without a shared mythology or a culturally relevant vehicle for seeking God.  If we had a potent myth, what selfless work could we achieve for the “Glory of God?” 

© 2013 Laura Lewis-Barr all rights reserved No more to read on this post. Even though Blogger says Read more!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Modern Day Alchemy

Lasagna cooking in oven.
The mystery of ingredients cooking into something new.
My soul too.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A online discussion/workshop on Edinger's Ego and Archetype-- Feb 2014

A fascinating book.  Here's info on the upcoming discussion group.

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas Lights

Struggling to untangle Christmas lights I am struck by the metaphor --my labor to untangle the family trauma.  Both seem impossible.   Sitting in the twisted mess I'm tempted to take the scissors and cut the lights off the garland.  Instead of this glacial, confusing unending task.  It is an uncanny symbol  for my holiday temptation -- to cut away the knots that squeeze out joy. 

But I don't want to be wasteful (or do something I'd regret) so I pull and turn and untangle.  I'm separating the garland from the lights, the only way to get to the root of the problem.  But finally, after much time, I come to a tangle too challenging.  I move the lights away and cut the garland.  Or so I think.  The cord was there and now the lights are unusable.  Is this happening with my family now too?  Are we too late to save?  Are there too many jumbled wounds? 

Despite my best intentions, the cord is cut.  Or perhaps the cord needs to be cut so I can get on with my life and the community I seek.  © 2013 all rights reserved.   No more to read on this post. Even though Blogger says Read more!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A trickster story from West Africa...

I love the possible lessons from this story.

On the first day of the week, the trickster God Eshu walked down a country road wearing a strange hat -- red on one side and  white on the other.  He walked between two friendly neighbors who were plowing their fields.   

At lunch the neighbors talked about the stranger who passed their farms. 

"What a fine white hat that man wore."

"White?  No my friend, the sun must have been in your eyes.  It was a brilliant red."

"Are you calling me a liar? It was white as the milk from my cows."

"Do you think I’m an idiot?  It was red as the blood I will draw from your nose!"





Their argument soon escalated into a vicious brawl.  The neighbors gathered to try to stop them but both men screamed, insisting each was right and the other wrong.

Finally, Eshu the trickster returned.  He chastised them and showed them his hat.  How sad to lose their friendship in defense of the color of a hat! 

© 2013 Laura Lewis-Barr all rights reserved No more to read on this post. Even though Blogger says Read more!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

You are invited

Embodied Myth:  Exploring  “The Girl Without Hands” Experiential Workshop

Saturday, February 23
1-4 p.m. at the Burning Bush Gallery
216 North Main Street, Wheaton IL

Embodied Myth is a group process that uses world literature to explore our inner landscape.  Through this process we gain a greater understanding of what is moving in us -- under the surface of life.   Using the myth as a tool, a guide, and a safe structure, we reconnect with unrecognized parts of ourselves.   We also encounter the healing wisdom hidden in myths and fairy tales.  This month’s story: “The Girl Without Hands” by the Brothers Grimm.
Using storytelling, meditation, role-playing, and discussion, we “enter” the story and explore its deepest meanings.   Within the storytelling circle, we encounter not only the ancient story, but our own inner hero, villain, and quest.  No experience is necessary.  Just bring your curiosity.  

Laura was a graduate student in clinical psychology but she eventually switched majors and earned her M.A in theatre.  She is an award winning playwright, theatre director, and teacher. 
$15 per person.  For more information or to register,
contact Tony Asta at or 708-705-8669.
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