The Project of Consciousness

Carl Jung referred to man’s evolutionary journey from unconsciousness to consciousness as a project. I am feeling the import of that meaning especially recently. A project is something you work at, a major undertaking, requiring effort and planning. It does not come by non-effort and non-doing, but rather by focus, commitment, intention, will and motivation. Consciousness is not a given, it is something we give to ourselves and the world.

I have recently completed a detox, and as things go, the effort continues in surprising ways. Nature is so much more conscious than we humans are, and I am trying to catch up with her. The way she planned it, I did this physical detox and then soon after, even during, she brought in a whole life transition. I am moving into town part-time and putting my house up for rent. To seriously rent my home means to clear out (detox) closets and drawers in the space that will be rented. This means that boxes of things I stored in some of the closets when I moved here, almost SEVEN YEARS AGO, must be opened! Back then I was starting a new life and, without really intending to, burying the hard-to-face lost parts of the old one, mostly the memories of a happy family that had once been.

There was a lot of unconsciousness set into the patterns of that life, cultural, familial, religious, archetypal. We in the family were all doing the best we could to live up to our roles, until the drive toward consciousness made it unsustainable on all counts.

During the detox I was increasingly aware that being conscious of what I was doing in that project was hard! I wanted to just go for that habit that supported staying below the level of consciousness. I could even hear myself saying “I just want to go unconscious!” not only regarding the food intake but with other issues that nature threw at me during that period. I heard myself with love, pity, marvel, intrigue, fascination, worry and joy.

Now, unpacking the boxes in the closets has stirred up a miniature crisis. (Since I don’t live in Japan, every crisis right now seems miniature.) Out come huge memories of a different life and identity, a then hoped for and imagined possibility, ideas of what was supposed to be vs. what actually was meant to be that apparently still aren’t fully resolved. My body/psyche/mind/spirit wants to go unconscious so desperately that it is anesthetizing me, putting me in a semi-comatose state.

But, I love the project of consciousness. I am committed. I know the whole world depends upon each of us doing the best we can with it, each in our own way. Jung stated his belief that the future of the world is hanging on one thin thread, and that thread is the psyche of man. Whatever the individual can do in our particular way to beef up that thread into a strand, a string, a rope, a strong cord, on and on, I am in love with.

It is a project. It takes every day getting up and being committed and in love with it. The present is pregnant with gorgeous, deeply longed for possibility. Clearing and detoxifying the by-products (shit) of what has been once the nourishment of that has been assimilated, prepares the womb of the present to give healthy birth.

2 Responses to “The Project of Consciousness”

  1. ljcollins Says:

    Putting your house up for rent? Good heavens, we really do need to catch up. Blessings, lovely.

  2. Tayria Ward Says:

    For rent by the week or month – like vacation rental, or if someone wants to do their own retreat here. Now that I have a place to go in town, people can rent this. The idea is for it to help generate income for this next step. Spread the word if anyone wants a quiet week away in the mountains. You know the beauty of it! And yes, we do need to catch up. xoxo

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