Center for Sacred Psychology

Soul Food Archive: Guest Caterer Specials


Harlem Renaissance Party (detail)
Story Quilt, © Faith Ringgold 1987*
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Guest Caterer Specials are side dishes that complement our main courses. The experiences of many spiritual seekers are forming a "cookbook for a sacred life" (Ram Dass' phrase). Might some special delicacy from this potluck meal become a staple at your table?

Please sample our current Main Courses menu, as well as our tasty Desserts & Snacks and earlier dishes in the Soul Food Archive. And, do send your personal comments to our busy kitchen staff. View others' comments here.

 

 

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Our Current Guest Caterer is Gary S. Bobroff of Los Angeles

[From the Center: Many who come our way have found the crop circle phenomenon fascinating—as have we.  Our interests lie around the symbolism and synchronicity of these events, even more than the causes.  Gary Bobroff has made a long-time study of crop circles, and reflects for us here on their meaning(s) in the light of C.G.Jung’s psychology.  We’ll be interested in your reactions to Gary’s—and Jung’s—thoughts.  On to Gary’s words…]

 

On Easter weekend 2000, I was reading Edward Edinger’s The Creation of Consciousness,
a commentary on Jung’s Answer to Job.  Jung wrote the latter work during a week of illness and convalescence in 1947, and he remarked that it was something that moved through him, something he had to write—a psychological look at the Western God-image, a consideration of all the interactions between Yahweh and humanity in the Hebrew scriptures.

Referring to the stories of Abraham and Job, and others, Jung concludes that it seems as though humanity is helping Yahweh to integrate his own shadow!  This is a radical answer (especially to the orthodox Muslim, Jew or Christian), but as a student of philosophy I found this answer to be the first satisfying explanation I have found for the existence of evil.  If evil  is “God’s shadow,” so to speak, then human endurance of evil gives our experience an objective moral purpose.  Seen this way, our efforts to embody more consciousness are not simply subjective accomplishments, but instead—as Jung points out—

…in so doing (we are) perhaps laying an infinitesimal grain in the scales of humanity’s soul.  Small and invisible as this contribution may be, it is yet an opus magnum. (Jung, 1966, ¶449)

The notion that there is a dynamic relationship between humanity and the transpersonal suggests an on-going evolution, and it is in this regard that Crop Circles struck me.  Regardless of their agency, the existence of Crop Circles as an authentic mystery* radically challenges nearly every person’s world view.  No matter what kind of box you’ve placed around reality, Crop Circles suggest the incompleteness of that view.  As such, they demand something of us; their calling is a moral one. Will we meet authentically with the new, or continue to imagine we are righteous and complete in the image of the world that we have created for ourselves?  Can I hold the tension of this process inside of myself?  How whole is my response?  How whole-hearted is it?  In the view of the world suggested by Jung, a demand is placed upon us all and each of our efforts matter.

The journey of writing my book* led me to look not only at the science and history of the Crop Circle phenomenon* but also to consider its essentially symbolic nature.  Taking a Jungian view, the image of circle evokes the archetype of the Self—that part of us that knows itself as a whole: complete and innately a part of Nature and the divine.  Crop Circles’ media—grains
--evokes the archetypal Feminine and all of the ways in which humanity has revered the female as an image of Nature’s endless creativity and the miracle of life.

  All of this came together in the journey of writing my book.  In particular it became clear to me personally that we are a culture suffering from a consciousness far too one-sided in favor of archetypally Masculine ways of thinking—rationality, objectivity, linearity—an imbalance leading into grandiosity that has us destroying the very world on which we depend for life.    

  However, seen in this light, Crop Circles become a kind of healing “dream,” a signpost toward what we need to regain our balance and health.  They offer a corrective: because they cannot be “solved” by the rational mind, their mystery helps deflate our grandiosity.  In their beauty, they evoke our heart-felt participation.  In their physical presence, they offer us a way to embody our connection to immanent wonder once more.  Best of all, Crop Circles allow us to feel a sense of being with something Greater, a sense of containment within a larger living cosmos and a connection to the transpersonal through Eros.

 

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* Credits for this page:

~ The quilts of American fiber artist Faith Ringgold hang in museums around the world.  Harlem Renaissance Party, #2 in her "Bitternest Series," is in the collection of the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.  Acryllic on canvas, 94"x82", it pictures eleven guests and their exuberant, mask-holding hostess, Cee Cee.  From lower left around the table, the guests are Celia (or Ceclia), a doctor; Florence Mills, singer and comedienne; Aaron Douglass, painter; Meta Warick Fuller, sculptor; W.E.B. DuBois, organizer and writer; Cee Cee's husband, a dentist; Richard Wright, writer; Countee Cullen, poet, novelist and playwright; Zora Neal Hurston; novelist, folklorist and anthropologist; Alain Locke, philosopher and writer; Langston Hughes, poet and writer.  Gratefully used with permission.  See more of Faith's work at www.faithringgold.com.

~ Large crop circle: in a field of barley, Walbury Hill Fort, Combe, Berkshire, UK; June 12, 2010.  Picture used with kind permission of Steve and Karen Alexander, temporarytemples@sky.com.

~ Gary writes…The scientific evidence for the authenticity of Crop Circles as a genuine mystery includes: physical, germinal, cellular, electromagnetic, biochemical and other changes to the plants themselves.  I look at this evidence in Chapter One of my book; peer-reviewed scientific studies on this material are available at www.BLTResearch.com.

~ Jung, Crop Circles and the Re-Emergence of the Archetypal Feminine, Gary Bobroff, 2011. Available at www.JungAndCropCircles.net.

~ Gary writes…Archival records demonstrate that the Crop Circle phenomenon is at least 325 years old, but likely much longer.  The clipping is from a 17th century newspaper, reporting a diagram found in grain in Hertfordshire England.  At that time, the agency of this phenomenon could best be explained as the work of the Devil! I look at these records in Chapter Two of my book, but an excellent quick online view can be seen at: http://oldcropcircles.weebly.com/uk-circles.html.

 

Gary S Bobroff has a Master’s degree in Jungian-oriented psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute of Santa Barbara, CA, an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from the University of British Columbia, and has completed post-graduate coursework at the California Institute of Integral Studies.  He has been privileged to visit Crop Circles in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Gary speaks and leads workshops internationally, and also has a private practice, working predominantly via distance (phone, Skype™).  For more information, please see www.JungianOnline.com.

 


WATCH FOR OUR NEXT GUEST CATERER SPECIAL THIS SUMMER: PART 2 OF NOOR-MALIKA CHISHTI’S MEDITATIONS ON THE ELEMENTS

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