Beliefnet

Sit back and listen

to Marion Woodman's talk about the power of the unconscious.

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Marion Woodman's audiotape series, "Sitting by the Well" is available from Sounds True, PO Box 8010/Dept. BP98, Boulder, CO 80306-8010.
Excerpted with permission from the Sounds True Audio Collection "In Their Own Words"

Text of the audioclip

:"The logic of the unconscious is very different from the logic of consciousness. Because we have been taught to be logical, because we have come from a patriarchal culture, we are trained to think in a linear way. In the unconscious, the movement is cyclical so that you are moving always in a circle or spiral (some of you might see it more as a snake movement).

So, if you want to think in terms of a spiral for the moment: Imagine that spiral always opening. Sometimes a man will think, "Oh, I just keep repeating the same old pattern: I keep falling in love with a woman who can't love me, who can't marry me." Or a woman thinks, "I keep falling in love with men who desert me. I know I will be abandoned. How do I get out of this? I just keep going around in a circle."

"What is not brought to consciousness, comes to us as fate."

But if you are working on yourself, you will shift the level of the spiral so that every time you go around the circle, you're in a different place. And eventually the message does gets through: that maybe you have to change something in yourself in order to change what's going on out there, because what is going on in our unconscious is being mirrored in our life. And if you are not working on your dreams, you are living them, because you are living the unconscious.

As Jung says, "What is not brought to consciousness, comes to us as fate." In other words, if you don't bring to consciousness the part of you that is creating a situation, where you are always falling in love with someone who has to reject you, you will go on living that, and you will consider it your fate. You will wonder why God is so cruel to you. But if you work on it, you can change it. And by working on it, I mean that you follow the natural pattern of the unconscious, and you heal. You work with the dreams to heal that difficulty in yourself.

I wouldn't call it a problem; it's not hopeless at all. It's simply a matter of bringing it to consciousness. In the darkness of the unconscious, it doesn't shift. The minute it crosses over into the sunlight, it immediately changes.

If you've got an issue in your unconscious, you do not know it's there. And you do not know what actions are coming out of you because of it. So you fire off these arrows unconsciously--they are called projections--that just go "zip!" into somebody or something. And you are then tied to it until you--painfully--pull it back. Gradually--hopefully--you bring to consciousness what it is that you are projecting. Then you don't have to project it anymore."
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