Tina Keller: “Man’s Powers”
In spite of the importance of becoming really conscious of our human limitations and accepting these, there is something in us that powerfully denies them and wants to transcend them.
Paradoxically, it is when we are most aware of our human incapacity that something in us stirs, as if knowing that latent powers of another quality could awaken and lead us toward a new kind of experience.
I believe, with Teilhard de Chardin and others that man is in a process of further evolution; he is not yet what he was meant to be!
Most of us have experiences of special moments where we seem to be more than we are in our routine everyday life.
Some of us have known moments where we could feel a union of the opposites or a feeling of being outside time.
I remember times when I seemed to be in touch with greater powers.
When I fell in love for the first time at about 15, it was as if something opened in me. I felt as if I had not lived before.
My small self was enlarged; I was part of something bigger and stronger, yet intensely myself.
I had a self-assurance and a generosity different than before. I seemed capable of things I would not have imagined, something stronger was carrying me along.
But when disappointment came, I fell into a corresponding low, a feeling of emptiness took over.
Where before I had overflowed with love for everyone, now I was separated and seemed unable to come dose to anyone.
These opposite conditions showed me that I had been seized by a wave of life energy that lifted me in exaltation and then dropped me into a depression proving that both conditions were beyond my normal limits.
Again and again through life such experiences have repeated themselves.
Enthusiasm took hold of me, in particular in my work, where my imagination showed me new possibilities and an emotional wave lifted me beyond myself, so that at times I could accomplish things I would otherwise not have attempted.
When I was successful, I often forgot that this was not due to my limited person and so I became unrealistic and then had an unexpected setback.
The unconscious forces which at times increase our possibilities, come in waves and, while they allow us to be lifted beyond our ordinary
boundaries at times, we need to remember their rhythm and prepare for a low to follow each high.
When I entered marriage I experienced our love relationship as a sacrament.
This image came to me spontaneously and I do not connect it with the fact that our marriage was consecrated in church.
I would have felt the same if we had not been married.
Imagination played an important part; both I and my husband seemed through imagination to be lifted out of ourselves.
There were always new discoveries that touched the mythological, such as when he said, “you let me experience something of Woman, the Unknown.”
In such moments, I clearly felt the union of the opposites. I was truly myself as I was the focus of his affection.
But as I could fully give myself and let go, I seemed to melt into the great cosmic ocean.
I am reminded of the special conditions of an artist who, after trembling as a shy person before going on stage, when once there feels himself invested with a new quality where he or she can transmit something that is a gift beyond the small individual person.
Our personal lives thus in small ways carry echoes of the vast currents of life in general, and as we are struggling with our personal difficulties, we are in our small way also confronting world problems.
As we seek to solve our personal problems in a positive way, we are making our individual contribution to the general problem.
From the many individual tentative solutions, gradually new patterns will emerge.
I here think of the chief of a primitive tribe, who by his dreams and inner vision was able to guide his people across unknown land to a new place, where they could again find food.
Since such a time, when a chief was unconsciously so part of his small tribe that he could dream for them, everything has grown to such proportions that there is seldom someone so identified with the troubles of one specific small group that he would dream as if he were that group.
Groups are too large, problems too complex and the age of reason has built such strong barriers that the hopes of receiving answers from inside are almost nonexistent.
Those who carry such hope see it in rational terms and are mostly disappointed. Because of the strong barriers and the great distance between rational and irrational, finding the inner connection that could bring helpful answers is a long and arduous process.
Yet more and more, in very different places and under very different circumstances, modern persons are becoming increasingly open to inner promptings, urges, or even voices.
- G. Jung’s teachings and the attempts toward reaching psychological balance help toward discrimination of such inner messages.
Here and there a person gets in contact with a more general problem, when he himself becomes personally involved.
In this way Alexander Ziegler wrote a book called Consequence that calls attention to certain abuses and harms of prison life, because he was himself so deeply touched by the fate of a dose friend.
As he expresses his own pain and indignation, he stirs the emotions of others by his book, which to a great extent is autobiographical.
The psychologist Erikson has shown in his books Young Man Luther and Gandhi’s Truth how at different times, when a man was personally deeply affected by a problem of his time and place, his personal solution had a decisive effect on many.
His individual emotional involvement gave him access to latent powers that lifted him beyond the personal.
It is emotion that seems to lift us into a condition where our ordinary limits are transcended.
All through the ages there have been persons whose interest and feeling reached out beyond their everyday preoccupations, while others around them seemed to see and feel only what immediately concerned themselves and their family.
A few seemed conscious of conditions around them.
They could not be happy while others were suffering and felt the tensions that were in the air and some were able, while suffering from the trouble and dilemma of their group, to find a new way, speak a word that showed a new truth, becoming pathfinders in an impasse.
In Luther’s case, for instance, many people were troubled by the abuses that had crept into the church at that time.
Traveling monks had come from Rome and sold bonds promising the church’s absolution from various sins.
The church’s pardon could be bought for money! Most people remained unconscious of what was at stake.
something an institution decrees is generally considered
When should a member of an organization criticize and stand up against its decisions?
Such questions are becoming more and more acute today.
Many people obey blindly, many do the things that are most profitable for their personal interests.
Others feel uncomfortable; they feel “something should be done about it,” but they themselves remain inactive.
The young man Luther was in such inner turmoil.
It was as if in his personal conscience there were acted out a whole battle between good and bad forces.
That which was really happening in the unconscious collective background, as a battle between spiritual reality and worldly tendencies toward power and riches, was played out in the emotions of that man, who became the mouthpiece for many.
In our present time C. G. Jung was one of the persons whose personal problem was also the problem of our age.
He seemed already as a child to have had intuitions and dreams of a collective nature.
As a very introverted and also a lonely child, fantasies had free play.
In his confrontation with the unconscious he was faced with the dissolution of outdated values and the flood of tentative new beginnings that stir in the collective unconscious and cause the present confusion in people.
He felt in danger of insanity and as he was able to give form and verbalize the irrational emotions, he brought insights to many and became a pioneer for dealing with non-rational powers.
Following his ideas gradually new ways may be found to channel the irrational as helpful powers.
While repressed, they had been threatening.
Dr. Jung often said how we were only at the very beginning in dealing with the unconscious and that our knowledge was quite inadequate as yet.
I heard him challenge his pupils to go on searching.
The English author Colin Wilson, in his book The Occult, tells of his deep search as to man’s latent powers.
He has no doubt that man is in an intermediate stage; he is not what he was meant to be.
There are latent potentials that he does not use, but that Colin Wilson finds exemplified here and there through the ages in various places.
Often persons having special gifts lacked the vision or the qualities of character needed to put such gifts to adequate use for the good of others.
Wilson deplores the passivity of people and how the majority have no wider interest beyond their personal concerns.
Few people find their life meaningful and fulfilled.
These questions become acute in our time because for the first time there is for most people more leisure.
Attention is no more primarily focused on survival, nor does the basic work for everyday necessities occupy all the time available.
But it would seem that when outer necessities do not oblige people to act, inertia takes over.
Yet there are always some who feel a motivation from within that gives their whole life incentive and meaning.
So the question arises: could not more people find motivation from within and thus escape boredom and find meaning for their lives?
The reporter and author Allen Spraggett who wrote the well known book The Unexplained, made a very careful study of Kathryn Kuhlman’s healing missions in a book that carries her name and adds, “the woman who believes in miracles.”
It is fascinating to read the description of this woman who combines living as a natural human being fully conscious of her limitations but who, when she goes on her mission, is invested with greater powers.
While she was just another evangelist preaching in many different places of the American Midwest, one day a woman announced that she had been healed.
During a sermon of Kathryn, she had had a strange sensation in her body and she “knew” she had been healed of a tumor.
Next day she had gone to her doctor who confirmed the healing. Kathryn Kuhlman felt this event as “the coming of the Power.”
It divided her life into two phases and when asked about her life before, she said she had the feeling that the former Kathryn Kuhlman really is dead and a new person had taken her place in the healing services.
She told Allen Spraggett that she had had a great sorrow, a heartbreak, and it was then that she totally surrendered to God, giving him everything.
She said it was then that Kathryn Kuhlman died and then God, the Holy Spirit, came in.
According to Spraggett, she said that in the miracle services, when she walks out on that platform, she dies a thousand deaths.
She told him: “I walk so fast because I can hardly wait for the anointing of the Holy Spirit to come upon me.”
Then Spraggett adds: “This is the altered state of consciousness in which Kathryn Kuhlman is caught up in mystic rapture. This is the ecstasy in which I have seen her.”
Kathryn Kuhlman said to Mr. Spraggett: ‘Tm glad I am stupid. I’m just as amazed as anybody else in the auditorium at what’s happening and I know that I have nothing to do with it.”
The latent powers in man seem to be neutral energies like nature forces, neither good nor bad.
It is here that man must awaken to his responsibility and that his insight, motivation, and discrimination are essential.
But as yet we can only see that certain persons are spontaneously invested with special powers.
We ask how could we come in contact with this latent source?
The question remains how the individual could contact and use his latent powers, be carried by them and yet direct them?
One can think of a rider who is able to tame a wild horse that becomes his friend and carries him, while the rider is in control and directs the course.
Colin Wilson speaks of Jung’s technique of active imagination as a way of contacting latent powers.
In active imagination Jung could see his emotions as images. Psychic forces became personified and he entered into dialogue with them.
Jung insisted that the ego must remain active and must never identify with any of the imaginary figures he “saw.”
I have earlier described my own experience with active imagination,, where it was crucial when I refused to lend my voice to the “dark man” who addressed me.
I believe my example shows clearly how important the firm position of the ego is.
I can today gratefully testify to the help “Leonard” gives me as I visualize him during therapy sessions and he often brings up just what is needed, sometimes in my mind, but quite often in what comes up in the patient and is then expressed by him.
If you re-read Jung’s “confrontation with the unconscious” as it is recorded in Memories, Dreams, Reflections, there stands out the idea that strong emotions could become images and some of these could become personified.
Through meaningful dialogue irrational elements could enter our life and bring helpful suggestion that brings about real change.
Jung wrote in the same book, in a later chapter, how all his life work was an elaboration of the emotional upheaval and its manifestations of the confrontation with the unconscious.
We cannot know details of what happened, except that emotions became images.
We know that Jung wrote and painted and carefully elaborated what had come to him.
We are also told of the figure called Philemon and of the dialogues Jung had with this figure walking in his garden.
There is not a recipe anyone could follow, for such inner experiences are different for each individual.
I know we need help for such encounters and I have tried to show how Toni Wolff gave me such help and I know that she gave such help to Dr. Jung and to others also.
Such encounters can be dangerous, probably more so, because the age of reason has so long and so fiercely repressed the irrational.
So the translation and discrimination is a long and arduous task and is probably only for those who feel definitely called to it.
There needs to be a real spirit of consecration and prayer for such confrontation to give positive results.
Yet I believe that many persons who feel inner tensions are in some way participating in the strong currents of changes that are in the air.
Instead of trying to discharge the modern psychological methods as advertised, such persons might consider letting the tensions become images by letting the hands model in clay, or draw or paint, or by letting the whole body express itself in “dance.”
If one has no technique, it is all the better, because expression is then more spontaneous.
I am more and more convinced that much of our inner tension, perhaps even troubles which we attribute to sickness, are an inner need for expression and a way to articulate things we could not say in words, but that are realities we cannot as yet grasp.
Anyone can wait and ask “what does this trouble want to say to me?”
There is much to be discovered that cannot be taught. ~Tina Keller, Tina Keller Memoirs, Pages -125-132