Monday, November 4, 2019

Soul-making: Am I Worm, or a Butterfly?

     The view of "soul-making" that I hold is probably different than many who believe we humans come into this world as perfect little God-souls who become defiled and corrupted by race consciousness manifesting as family and other forms of socio-political conditioning. Many in the New Age Movement tend to think that we are tainted by this dark world and merely returning to our original light form. Possibly, but I don't think so. 

     I increasingly tend to see each of us as very imperfect yet amazing little sparks of God--each of us is a little soul-larva, a distinct juvenile form that many animals undergo before metamorphosis into adults. Over time these little human ego-eggs morph into gray ego-worms--curious, self-serving, lost, confused, and mostly oblivious unconscious human infants, children and young adults--and even well into adulthood. And in my view, our selfishness, unconsciousness, confusion and oblivion are divine archetypal patterns that launch each gray worm into the school of soul-making. Each human soul is born into a matrix of creative chaos, an archetypal void, a living mess--and only gradually may we transform, unless we do not. 

     This human condition seems to me to be a nursery filled with screaming little brats, punctuated with a few rare mature souls. We have the opportunity to grow up. Yet strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to an adult soul-life. Or as Scott Peck calls it, "The Road Less Traveled".

     My my, isn't this a negative view of human nature? Or is it? And are not "negative" and "positive" poles necessary for a continuous current that creates energy and light? Must not a magnet attract and repel--revealing a universe that requires both the law of attraction and the law of repulsion? To ignore or exclude the blatant phenomena of tragedy, trauma and suffering is--in my view--a negative approach to life. Without the suffocating liquification process of the chrysalis, the worm remains a mere caterpillar.

     Over time--as we journey through this world/school--we encounter and experience many other patterns of consciousness through relationships with individual people, socio-political situations, geography, challenging ideas, various emotions, dreams, fantasies, material objects and circumstances that bring each of us ecstasy and grief---countless experiences. 

     It is through these variegated ups and downs that we delightfully little ignorant soul-sparks (gray worms) gradually become more colorful and conscious. And as I acquire color and consciousness through these archetypal interactions, I am able to engage this didactic soul-making process consciously and intentionally. I cease to be a victim of a world out to get me. I become more aware of a larger archetypal reality, more self-reflective, more creative and more compassionate toward others. The divinely selfish little brat that I am may actually transform through my myriad joys and pains, especially the pains.

     It is in my current life process then that makes me conscious and uniquely colorful. This is God growing from worm to butterfly, and it is happening in each one of us--each of us becoming a unique image of God that has never been before----part dragonfly and part butterfly. Or as CS Lewis suggests in Til We Have Faces, "Each of us is 'godding' in order to become 'godlings' (paraphrase). Or as Jesus said after the outraged Jewish political party was trying to impeach him, "We are not stoning you for any good works you might be accomplishing, but for blasphemy, because you, who are a mere human, declare yourself to be God.” Jesus replied, “Is it not written in your scriptures:  ‘I have said you are gods ?' If God called humans gods, then the Scripture cannot be broken..."  (Gospel of John 10:33-35)

Is any of this true? Who knows? I am still mostly a screaming little brat. But I have--in some tiny areas--grown up, I think. 

Monday, October 28, 2019

OUR LADY: 1101 A.D.

In faith, entering Notre Dame,
Our Lady -
a mother kneeling,
in one arm cradling the body
of her dead child,
its ashen skin illumined
by a thousand soldered shards
of colored glass...

She lit an ivory candle
topping the slender taper
with a flash, sobbing,
tears and wax dropping
beneath the Christless cross…

After some time, still weeping,
she rises, releasing the child
from the crook of her arm,
genuflects and leaves
amidst the wistful chants,
looking to the window of Apostles and Saints
lighted by the lens of a moon turning
like a sacred kaleidoscope
by the sovereign hand of chance.


Monday, October 21, 2019


Eros spoke, "May I touch your flesh,
press this dart into your lovely breast?
You will swoon dear one,
my poison must infect your heart
and make you forget the mundane,
those who watch your eyes fall shut
will surely think you quite insane.
This world with all her woes will disappear from sight,
then pure ecstasy, as you slip from your body,
and soar into the calm of the buoyant night."

Teresa whispered in her sleep,
"I have never known a man,
nor will I defile this flesh,
such love will never scorch my soul,
no palm nor lip shall cross my breast;
please take your barb and fly away,
let me wake another day
to love my God and serve my Lord,
murmur my prayers, recite His Words."

Eros held the shaft aloft,
tilted his head and exposed her soul,
"Dear Teresa, do you not understand?
Your God has come disguised as a man,"
and drove his arrow home.

end/Michael Bogar

I Hide in the Stars

Nefertiti, smooth as amber has it all,
honeyed lips, midnight silk for hair,
breasts full as the ample moon.

Each evening she stands, empty hands
longing for the diamonds of the Gods.
She reaches through the diaphanous dark
into the vault of sparkling fire,
fingers piercing dusk.

Desire is the blight of sated eyes
and empty nights. Dispirited by fortune,
the Queen turns up her palm, fingers
beckoning the unclaimed charms
that dangle over an endless Nile.

Beyond her reach, knitted together
on indigo, the stars are called.
Heavenly bursts strewn like glitter,
radiant before her stately hex...
yet each speck remains immobile, unclaimed.

Buxom brown sovereign stirs the aethers,
casts another spell; they always work
on the wills of simple adoring men,
but not on the twinkling stellar gems.

That is why I hide with the stars.

end/Michael Bogar
Published in Between Journal 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2019



One of my favorite songs is by The Doors, titled "Waiting for the Sun". At one point in the song, Jim Morrison woefully mourns:

Waiting for the sun…Waiting for the sun…
Wait—ing.... wait—ing.... wait—ing.... wait—ing....
Wait—ing.... wait—ing.... wait—ing.... wait—ing....
Waiting for you to — come along
Waiting for you to — hear my song
Waiting for you to — come along
Waiting for you to — tell me what went wrong

I am all too often a waiter, unconsciously waiting for the sun—waiting for things to line up, or postponing enjoyment until the good outweighs or eradicates the bad. I am reminded of Woody Allen's role as Alvy Singer—the neurotic romantic—in the movie Annie Hall. There is an interaction between Alvy (Allen) and his ex-girlfriend Annie Hall, played by Diane Keaton, at an outdoor restaurant. Annie suggests they go somewhere and have some fun. Alvy gloomily declines. Then comes this dialogue:

Annie Hall: Alvy, you're incapable of enjoying life, you know that? I mean, you're like New York City. You're just this person. You're like this island unto yourself.

Alvy Singer: I can't enjoy anything unless everybody is. If one guy is starving someplace, that puts a crimp in my evening.

I now call this
Alvy Singer Syndrome, or A.S.S.—always waiting for something before I can allow myself to enjoy anything. Like Woody Allen's character, I have often seen the world through the lens of ubiquitous suffering and universal darkness, "If one guy is starving someplace, that puts a crimp in my evening."

And lest you think you are exempt, consider this cultures chronic obsession with reading food labels, chronic dieting, Global Warming, political corruption, the latest fashions, wrinkled skin, not having a 'healthy' relationship, recycling and bicycling, the unemployment rate and frequent urination. Now I am all for being conscientious and healthy, however, sometimes I am unconsciously "waiting for the sun to come along," or for someone, or come along before I can experience joy.

After the death of my son in 2008, I entered into an emotional descent that took me a long way from the sun. I found little joy in much of anything. I was in the muted winter of grief. For about eight months everything was viewed through the lens of my boy being shot and dying in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan. I have never known such darkness—such waiting for the sun. About eight months after Jason's death, I was walking along a quiet beach on Bainbridge Island, praying, crying and waiting for the sun to return. I glanced up and saw a Heron gliding high above the water. He tilted his wings downward to slow his flight and regally curved across the sky and settled on the bouncing branch of a Douglas Fir. My heart spontaneously swelled with joy at this surprising visitation of Beauty. I then noticed the setting sun radiating a pinkish-orange circlet along the horizon behind the tree. I thought my heart would burst. My joyful experience was suddenly arrested by the thought: "I shouldn't enjoy this, my son has just died." At that same moment, an internal voice whispered: "When the moment of Beauty arrives dad, enjoy it." Jason told me years ago that his favorite animal had always been a Heron.

One of the dangers in all of our waiting—for wholeness, for ideal health, for perfect love or for that profound moment of mystical enlightenment—is that we may be residing more or less in a chronic state of inflated anxiety.
And Jim Morrison sings:

Waiting for you to - come along
Waiting for you to - hear my song
Waiting for you to - come along
Waiting for you to - tell me what went wrong
The soul is made for joy. Open. Watch. Receive. Stop waiting.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

War and Peace: A Third Path Between Conservatives and Progressives

"As a connecting link, or traditionally third position, between all opposites, the soul differs from the terms which it connects...It is not life that matters, but soul and how life is used to care for soul." James Hillman, Re-Visioning Psychology, pp. 174-175

     I see war or conflict as a necessary and normal part of the Cosmos – whether these conflicts show up as comets smashing into planets, stars in perpetual nuclear fusion, rain eroding rocks, or time withering once smooth skin. The cosmos is a place of war and peace.

     I disagree with the sometime myopic ideologies of both Progressives and Conservatives. Conservatives sometimes see war as a solution while Progressives sometimes  see war as something that must be eliminated. I see both ignoring the evidence found in Nature and Psyche. When I see bumper stickers advocating War or advocating Peace, as though one could exist on this planet without the other, I find myself in disagreement with both extremes.

     Many in the New Age Movement suggest that we are evolving as a species into a planet of peace, while the more traditional religions often suggest that the world will get worse, eventuating in an apocalypse. I see no evidence that either trend will overtake the other. Both extreme views are missing the point of earthly existence: we are here to make souls, and all of the opposites have been built into the psycho-cosmic curriculum for that process.
This third way is not a synthesis or blending of the two extremes, but a middle path that sees both sides as normal and necessary for the game of Soul-making. The football game metaphor works well. The aim of a football game is goal-making, requiring rules that allow moments of brutal violence and moments of huddled tranquility. Now imagine a football game where the compassionate Progressives argue that the players ought to completely stop blocking and tackling each other, while a group of hawkish Conservatives argue that the players ought to be able to block and tackle each other the entire game. The game works because it has fixed rules of conflict and concord to be followed for the purpose of goal-making. Similarly, this is how the human soul making game operates—by the laws of opposites. We did not create this game, we merely play it, consciously or unconsciously. (Incidentally, this is how all relationships function in a soul-making universe).

     There is an African Swahili Warrior Song: “Life has meaning only in the struggle. Triumph or defeat is in the hands of the gods….so let us celebrate the struggle.” The same notion is found in Hinduism where the Divine Lord Krishna claims that He generates little babies while He devours the corpses of dying men on the battle field. The mystical poet William Blake wrote: "Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human existence.”   

     Each person is here to experience duality in order to make a deep and fascinating soul. In this view everyone is “spiritual” because souls are being sculpted in each moment, whether one is an atheist or agnostic, Jew or Taoist, church-goer or heroin addict. Like a butterfly struggling to get out of the chrysalis, each of us is struggling to emerge from the undivided into the individuated.

In this view, “spirituality” is not a little slice of life where you chant, pray and get happy on Jesus or Energy Crystals. Full spirituality is found in the clash of Contraries, in war and peace, cancer and health, loss and gain, eating gourmet food or eliminating waste. The world of Nature is our teacher: Sharks kill seals while ants organize colonies, lions kill gazelles while birds sing songs in the Spring, frost kills leaves while the sun rises over a blue lagoon, people divorce while lovers share a first kiss, and on and on…

     Don’t get me wrong, I WAY prefer peace, health and prosperity – but I also preferred to skip algebra, and to watch TV rather than memorize my spelling words when I was in school; that which is easier and preferred is not always the most beneficial.

     So with Hillman I choose the third position between the necessary contraries. And when I am ravenously tackling and blocking those I oppose, I remember that it is not personal. And when it gets personal, I eventually take a breath, reset my heart to a soul-making stance, and only then do I understand what Jesus meant when he said: “Love your enemies, and bless those who oppose you.” Our enemies are the artists of our unique souls.


     Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote:
"We lie in the lap of immense intelligence, which makes us receivers of its truth and organ of its activity...we do nothing by ourselves, but allow a passage to its beams...Its presence or its absence is all we can affirm." (Self-Reliance Essay)

Emerson's words caused me to reflect back on my 19th year of life as an oblivious college student. One night I was lying in bed reading the Gospel of Matthew for the first time because someone close to me had been "born again". Having been raised in an irreligious home, I had no clue what that meant, or what had happened to alter my friend's personality for the better. As I completed reading Matthew's gospel which described Jesus' arrest, trial, crucifixion and resurrection—some strange and palpable compulsion came over me, whispering simply: "Believe." I did. The result? My entire psyche was rearranged in a flash. The weight of my failures and anxieties lifted off of me. My grade point average went from 1.5 to 3.8 in a single quarter. I had no desire to party every night. I experienced an extraordinary sense of connection to life and to the entire universe. I had never been much of a student, but began to read voraciously. I prayed to an actual God whose presence was tangible. Prayers were answered. My heart, mind and life changed notably.

     I have struggled to make sense of that night for the last forty years. That night I was impressed—stamped by something or some One beyond anything I had ever known before. Emerson's words ring true: "We lie in the lap of immense intelligence, which makes us receivers of its truth...we do nothing by ourselves, but allow a passage to its beams...Its presence or its absence is all we can affirm."

     In James Hillman opus, Revisioning Psychology, the  last chapter is titled "Dehumanizing" because he argues that:

"Gods...exist 'outside' human beings...All psychic reality is...given sanction by a God....Man can never be large enough to possess his psychic organs; he can only reflect their activities." 
Like Emerson, Hillman reminds us that we don't have nearly as much to do with psycho-spiritual encounters as we think we do. Divine experiences, like mathematical equations and musical notes, exist apart from the human brain. They come to us and through us, but not from us. Einstein was gifted with mathematical insight but he did not invent math; Mozart was impressed with musical scores but he did not create musical notes; the mystic is a gracious recipient of divine encounters, but he does not originate psychic phenomena. Of course we can employ spiritual practices to prepare ourselves for such experiences, but we neither invent nor originate them. They come in their time and manner, not mine. Much of our spiritual angst and frustration arise from thinking we must somehow conjure the divine from within or manipulate God to appear at my behest. Making God arrive is not my job. What is my job? Live life "in the lap of immense intelligence...[and] allow a passage to its beams." 

Keep the lamp filled with oil, God will light the blaze when it is time.

Sleep Poems


Indra spread his mantle
over my star-stippled eyes -
the palm of black on blue
tucked me under the curve of sky.

Fire fell from Agni’s lunar mane,
silence swirled,
then rested quietly
purging all worry, erasing all pain.

I counted Gurus
leaping like sheep over the Taj Mahal,
then I tallied Lamas
scaling the great China Wall.

I flip the pillow to the cooler side
to chill my fevered cheek,
the is of sleep opens below me,
and finally,
I fall.




Indeed, then
do you have big brown sleepy eyes
that make the stars come out at night?
Or do you dream
in front of your eye lids
and call it make believe?




A thousand poems have slipped away
not because the Muses are silent,
but because I am water skiing across
the face of the digital clock trapped inside
monitors in every room.


Monday, August 7, 2017

Do I Really Always Need Healing?

Do I Really Always Need Healing?

"Healing" seems to be the primary or even solitary spiritual metaphor these days. Sermons, book titles, seminars, YouTube talks, etc. are fixated on spiritual and psychological healing:

  • How to Heal Your Soul
  • Ten Steps to a Healthy Relationship
  • How to Cure Depression
  • Spiritual Healing
  • How to Heal P.T.S.D.

The implication is that I am sick, broken and fundamentally defective.
First off, let me acknowledge that healing is a legitimate metaphor when referring to psycho-spiritual traumas, but it is not the only symbol for approaching emotional distress--nor perhaps even the best. When the healing metaphor fails, I am stuck without alternative ways of seeing my trauma. There is another metaphor found in Carl Jung's autobiography:

"It has always seemed to me that I had to answer questions which  Fate had posed to my forefathers and which had not yet been answered, or as if I had to  complete, or perhaps  continue, things which previous ages had left  unfinished." (Jung,  Memories, Dreams and Reflections)
Here Jung sees his psycho-spiritual problems, not as inherited family illnesses, but as congenital "questions posed by Fate" to his ancestors. In this view, my ancestral connection has passed along the assignment to for me to take up. Here Jung uses a developmental metaphor in order to emphasize the soul's ongoing process of continuation and completion rather than that of inflexible sickness and brokenness. In a developmental metaphor, trauma is more like an algebra assignment. I am not broken and don't need to heal anything, but am allowed to continue working on and completing the Fateful family assignments.
Jesus and the Apostle Paul frequently use developmental agricultural images to symbolize the spiritual life:

  • Jesus: "The kingdom of God is like a seed that grows over time." (Mark 4:26-29)
  • Paul: "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase." (I Cor. 3:6)

Many early Christian theologians viewed Adam and Eve--planted like human seeds in the Garden of Eden--as a parable for human development. The so-called "fall" denotes the moment the embryonic human is cast into the soil of life in order that each of us might move from the raw image of God into the completed likeness of God. In this view, I don't need healing, but rather maturation through ongoing life experiences--negative and positive.
But when healing is my sole symol for spiritual and psychological traumas, I assume
the only alternatives are to get well or remain sick. If I don't "get well," then I have failed and remain sick and broken. But the educational and agricultural developmental metaphors allow for progress through the ancestral journey. I am merely one student in a family endeavor. I am not defective, but merely incomplete until the assignment is finished--likely many generations from now.
When it comes to psycho-spiritual traumas, let's utilize our metaphorical imaginations. Life is more than a disease to be healed, much more than the mere cessation of all suffering. It is a vital journey through many stages and modes of being and living. Perhaps instead of R.I.P. ( Rest in Peace ) on our gravestones, we ought to etch the letters T.B.C. ( To Be Continued ).


Why We Need the Fundamentalists

Why We Need Fundamentalists

"It is a psychological rule that the brighter the light, the darker the shadow..." 
C. G. Jung

These days we hear a lot about Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist fundamentalisms. What these groups most often have in common is a radical and forceful return to the religious "fundaments" or foundational beliefs and practices of their various cultural traditions. One derisive comedian said a fundamentalist might be defined as "a person who hates fundamns everyone else, and has lost his mentalreasoning abilities!" Many of us sympathize with this critique and have nothing but disdain for anything related to fundamentalism

However, from a soul-making perspective, every "fundamentalism" is an archetypal rejoinder to a potentially dangerous personal and/or cultural pattern of consciousness. You see, fundamentalisms have not only dangerous aspects, but healthy aspects as well. They are always compensatory, archetypal responses to personal and cultural imbalances. Not understanding this psychological axiom keeps us from seeing the important insights embedded within a particular
fundamentalism. Fundamentalists act as modern sibyls proclaiming the loss of mystery while rigorously championing cosmic and psychological enchantment. In his bestselling book, The Soul's Code, James Hillman has praise for fundamentalism:

"Fundamentalism attempts, literally and dogmatically, to recover the invisible foundations of culture. Its strength lies in what is seeks; its menace is in how it proceeds..." 

With his usual mercurial dexterity Hillman captures the light and shadow of fundamentalism in a single sentence. In 1948 theologian Nels Ferre--while recognizing the dangers of radical religionists--said every religious fundamentalism is also a:

"...defender of supernaturalism, has...a genuine heritage and profound truth to preserve.... We shall some day thank our fundamentalist friends for having held the main fortress while countless leaders went over to the foe of limited scientism and a shallow naturalism."

Hillman and Ferre both recognize a fundamentalist as a person who is not afraid to stick their finger in the eye of the messianic political sophists, the pretentious secular media and the reductionist academies. These annoying radicals rightly criticize modern culture for leaving no room for mystery. And of course the methods of the often pretentious and even murderous fundamentalists may be menacing, but their deeper archetypal mission is to restore the invisibles to their rightful places in a frenetic world reduced to statistical facts and socio-political ambiguities. One may disagree with their theologies, revelations and menacing methodologies while remaining prescient enough to let them remind us to take the imaginal realm seriously in a world reduced to anthropic scientism and materialist absurdities. They may literalize and dogmatize their myths, but at least they fight for the essential reality of mythic truth while many of us remain silent, or try to impress others by bloviating about esoteric metaphysics, or waxing scholarly about arcane mythic trivialities. Archetypal reality is fundamental to every thought, feeling, dream and action. If we lose these fundaments, our personal, relational and cultural lives will perish. In the words of Hillman: "The great task of a life-sustaining to keep the invisibles attached..."

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Carl Jung and James Hillman: The Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowing Good and Evil

I found this great quote from Tom Cheetham (in his works on Henry Corbin). I think only true Hillmaniacs can understand it, especially when we are trying to reconcile the drive toward integrative wholeness while recognizing the necessity of falling apart:
To compare Hillman and Jung in any detail is far beyond the scope of these remarks...Hillman is "a Jungian" by any standard, but rather a wayward one. Any simple contrast will be inadequate and perhaps misleading; but if Jung is the Wise Old man, Hillman is the Trickster, or pretends to be. Years ago when I was immersed in reading them both rather obsessively in the midst of the beginnings of my own psychic crisis, the difference was quite a practical one about which I thought very little. If I were feeling threatened by fragmentation, I would read Jung. If I were in terror of being bound and stifled, I would read Hillman. I still think  that says a lot about their differences. (All the World an Icon: Henry Corbin and the Angelic Function of Beings, pp. 190-91)

This contrast may help to explain and understand the juxtaposition of the Jewish tree of life right next to the deadly tree of pathologizing (knowing good and evil) found at the center of Eden. The Hebrew authors typically honor the phenomena of their observed experience, even when the phenomena screws with their received tradition. They acknowledge that humans want long life, and yet recognize that the same humans yearn to defy life by breaking the rules and challenging all boundaries. 

When the Genesis author writes that "Adam [humankind] became a living soul," he is recognizing the innate human propensity for life and survival, subsequently stating that God provides a tree of life to feed that original desire to live. But then God creates the puzzling tree of knowing evil as well as life-giving good, presided over by the divinely fashioned wise snake to give that tree of death (desire) a voice. Why? I think this image is added in order to acknowledge that there is also deep within the human psyche a yearning for something more than merely staying alive and following the rules; there is also a drive to challenge death. Humans not only desire to live and follow orders; but from crawling infancy we desire to rise up and walk, talk and act in forbidden ways. Humans have always been compelled to defy that most feared enemy of human existence, mortality. Paul calls death the "final enemy" (I Cor. 15:26). In the Eden story, by placing that final enemy in the form of a deadly tree of good and evil at the center of the garden alongside the tree of life, we see the ultimate challenge of humanity. God's good created order is made to be challenged. The purpose of life is to charge straight into the certainty of death, the real final frontier. Overcoming death is the final obstacle, the last enemy of complete dominion. The Hebrews knew this to be the final goal. In Isaiah the prophet we read of the final removal of the veil of death that encloses all humans:
And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, Even the veil which is stretched over all nations. He will swallow up death for all time, And the Lord GOD will wipe tears away from all faces, (25:7-8) Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end. (60:20)
Paul quotes this passage in the light of Christ's resurrection: "When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: 'Death has been swallowed up in victory'" (I Cor. 15:54). This is reiterated in the Christian book of the Apocalypse: "Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Rev. 21:1-5)

The final obstacle, represented by the tree of knowing good and evil--the tree of death--has been overcome. The seed of the woman (humankind) has crushed head of the snake and his death-test. I am not setting forth a theological or metaphysical system here, though I think one can. I am merely suggesting that the Eden story posits what the human psyche intuits: humans desire both to live in order (tree of life), and we are brazenly compelled to transgress every boundary (tree of knowing good and evil) in our autonomously compelled pursuit of complete dominion, healing, wholeness, integration or individuation. 

Psychologically this plays out in everyday life. Humans are chronically discontent, simultaneously seeking order and disorder, pleasure and pathology. The single person wants desperately to be in a relationship; the married person fantasizes about freedom. The demure house wife or house husband ponders or pursues a covert tryst with a stranger. The born again Christian cheats on his taxes. The militant atheist secretly reads books about life after death. Our Jekyl-Hyde character is what makes us so fascinating. This enigmatic combination of loving peace and wholeness along with our innate compulsions to addictions, neuroses and fifty shades of gray is what makes us so damn human. After all, according to Isaiah, this is the schizophrenic or bi-polar image of God in which humans are designed: God says, "I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things" (Is. 45:6-7)

Finally, this ambiguity was not discovered by Freud. The Viennese doctor merely reinvented the Edenic wheel by restating this psychological ambivalence in his theory of the eros (life) and death drives--like it was some novel idea. This moral duplicity is also found in the Hebrew God who sent a flood to obliterate the earth that he so delicately created; and again by destroying the beautifully constructed Tower of Babel built by the very humans he created to have dominion over the earth. 

The biblical human is a delightful contradiction, intentionally. The two sides are represented in Carl Jung and James Hillman; Jungian and post-Jungian, wholeness and fragmentation.