Mind Your Motivation

 

Motivation is a funny thing. It comes and goes like the waves of a tide. I have not published as many Mindfunda’s as I set out to do at the beginning of the year. I wanted to write a Mindfunda every other day. And in numerous textbooks that I had to learn at University, I know that the ultimate form of motivation comes from within. Intrinsic motivation. I agree with you that it is an incredible vague concept. Let’s try to define it in more tangible form. No promises, just an exploration with personal examples.

Motivation Pitfalls

I always get a little edgy when I hear “it is not about the destination, it is about the journey”. I agree with you that I should meditate more soften so I can attain more inner peace. But I want to achieve certain goals, and for me that is fun.

So how can you change your A-type personality into a relaxed B-type that enjoys the journey? Maybe the essential first step is to NOT try to become that B-type personality…

motivated

 

For example, when I stopped smoking, I succeeded by changing one habit for another. So every time I craved nicotine, I drank a glass of water with lemon juice.

So I decided today that I would write about my own inner journey, my struggle every now and then, to come up with interesting blogs. That is a good subject for a blog isn’t it?

Motivation Juice

Like any blogger, about once a week I seriously contemplate stopping. Because in my rhythm of writing every other day, on days that i am not writing, i am working behind the scenes. Trying to make my blogs more goo-gable to increase visitors.

Watching YouTube films with tips on how to increase comments (being heartbroken whenever nobody comments anything). Applying tips to induce comments -> asking questions: How do you solve motivation problems my dear reader? Let me know in the comments

But when nothing helps, my motivation drops dangerously. Now it is not for you my dear readers to come to the rescue. You are my readers, not my therapists.

I usually get motivated when I move. When i get away from that computer screen and go to walking. Even if it is just a strawl to the supermarket, to buy some groceries.

Motivation in Creation

One of the things that motivates me more than anything else is to provide people with the information they need to make their life better.

I cherish the moments that I have experienced in my work when I could give someone information that triggered an inner connection.

Sometimes that happens in my work as psychologist. One time I was working with a girl who suddenly made an important connection between her thoughts about death and the loss of her grandfather at a young age.

Sometimes it happens in my work as mythologist. When you discover who played the role of trickster  in your life it can bring a new meaning to the story of your life.

Motivation: a Tangible Definition

At the beginning of this blog, I made a promise. I would redefine intrinsic motivation in a measurable way. I agree that up till now, I failed miserably.

How do you measure motivation? Motivation is defined as the measurable force that enables action. Or as the Americans say: Just (f) do it!

But there is also process focussed motivation. The reading of new books I do to write reviews on Mindfunda. it costs a lot of time, does not bring in any money but it keeps me informed of the latest theoretical changes in my line of business.

This type of motivation is hard to measure. Furthermore, if you do many tasks that require process focused motivation, you have the danger of getting trapped in a negative circle.

No measurable outcomes can make you wonder if you are capable of doing the tasks you have set out to do.

 

And that is most of the time the reason behind my weekly de-motivation. I hope you liked my brutally honest Mindfunda. let me know in the comments how you motivate yourself.


THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

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What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independant site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Spirifunda:
psychology for everyday with a spiritual layer of meaning, searching for the soul. Our brains are wired for believe in magic. In a world filled with rationality, you sometimes need a little magic, a little “I wonder why”. Synchronicity, the insights of Carl Jung, the mythology used by Freud, the archetypical layers in the Tarot, the wisdom of the I Tjing, Shamanism, the oldest religion of humanity, all that information gets published in the Spirifunda section of Mindfunda.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


Ready for more free Mindfunda content on ‘SPIRITUALITY‘?

Woman Most Wild, 3 Keys to Liberating the Witch Within

Woman Most Wild, three Keys to Liberating the Witch Within by Danielle Dusky New World Library, 2017, $10.84 paperback ISBN-13: 9781608684663; kindle $13.51 ISBN-10: 1608684660 reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn "We are ...
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International Woman’s Day: Be Bold for Change

Each year on March 8, it's International Woman's Day. The theme of 2017 is: Be BOLD for change. And unfortunately, even after so many decades of action, the female principle ...
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Start of Spring: An Invitation to Dream an Ode to Freya

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4 Secrets about Male Mythology: What you Should Know Before You Get One

 

 

Do you want to understand more about yourself, your dreams and the struggles of your life? Join our online course Mindfunda Mythology now.

This is the third of a six part blog about Mindfunda Mythology, an online course that will make your life easier:

The Creation myth: Genesis and The Big Bang
The Amazing Animal: The Animal in Mythology
Mythology of Men 
Mythology of Women
Mythology of the Trickster
Mythology of the Grail, Pulling Out the Sword
male
Big Hero 6

 

Male Mythology in Four Easy Parts

A Male is not easy to understand for a woman and a woman is not easy to understand for a male. But once you are knowledgable of the mythology of this society around gender, your life will be so much easier. This blog will lead you through the contents of a course I have written about the Mythology of Modern life. My next blog will be about the mythology of women.

When I was a little girl I seriously doubted if men had any significant use in life. I saw boys as annoying brainless creatures who spent their time shooting each other with imaginary guns. Some decades later I fell in love with a man, only to find out he was a boy. His mother did not approve of me, so he broke off our relationship. My assumptions about the stupidity of men seemed to be confirmed. Than someone pointed out the book by American poet Robert Bly to me: Iron John: A Book About Men.

men
Use this link to buy the book and support Mindfunda

In his life, each man has to break free from the dreams his mother has about him. Iron John has to steal the key from underneath the pillow of his mother, to escape his golden cage. My first lover did not have the guts to steal the keys away and be initiated.

male Mythology: Secret #1 biology

What does the third lesson of Mindfunda Mythology course has to offer?

We explore, in a biological sense, what determines the sex of a fetus. We start at the root of gender differences, and work our way up to the (expected) role of men in our current society.

Most people see a dream as a symbolic message. The next section is  devoted to an undervalued messaging system in our body: hormones. And to be specific: the hormone testosterone. Testosterone is often associated with enhanced aggression and sexual drive. Why is dreaming often a “female” thing?

Male Mythology Secret #2: Hormones

In the next paragraph I will introduce the first model of typology for males. It is based on hormonal levels in people, males as well as females. It was composed by Helen Fisher, PhD, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Internet dating site match.com. It is the first way of classifying males in your environment. This is an invitation to look at male characters in your life and in your dreams and determine what motivates them. The Explorer, the Builder, the Director and the Negotiator. I choose this typology because it is so intuitive. Everybody is almost instantly able to determine what type of person he/she is dealing with.

 

men
Cartoon found at mattblease.tumblr.com

 

MALE MYTHOLOGY SECRET #3: Archetypes

Then I will discuss the second model of male typology. Four male archetypes as Jung has defined them: the King, the Lover, the Warrior and the Magician. These topologies have layers.

male
Cartoon: Hallmark Licensing LLC

 

A King has a good and a bad side. And so do the Lover, the Warrior and the Magician. Of course during his life Jung himself had developed into a mythological figure. Which male archetype do you think suits him most?

The next step in the course is to use the mythology of Iron Hans to describe the Western path of initiation from boyhood to man.

Male Mythology Secret #4: the animus

The next paragraph focuses on the animus in women. While Iron Hans gave the male version of initiation, it is the animus in women that can make her personality stronger, more powerful and more resilient.

The  last paragraph is focused on gender identification in dreams. More specifically, we will look at dreams were someone is a dream character of the opposite sex to determine how our dreaming mind plays with gender identity.

What are your thoughts about men? Love them? Hate them? Let me know in the comments.

All Excited? Mindfunda Mythology is designed to make the journey of your life easier. You will get:

  • Knowledge about the Sefiroth, the Cabalistic Tree of Life;
  • You will be introduced to the two main categories of myth so you can (re)connect with the strength of your inner animal;
  • You will have access to al the 24 possible ways of behaviour of male and female archetypes;
  • You will be able to tap into the power of the Trickster whenever you feel reluctant to follow the call of your own path;
  • All these methods and techniques will enable you to enlighten your inner fire, your personal Grail;
  • You will get 44 exercises during the course, an average 6 – 10 exercises per lesson to help you master the knowledge.

Click here to find out more: Mindfunda Mythology

I like nothing better than to give away valuable information to make your life better. Here are two books to choose from: 10 tips to remember more dreams and a report on Mutual Dreaming 

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THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!
VISIT COURSES.MINDFUNDA.COM TO LEARN MORE


The Amazing Animal: The Animal in Mythology

The Animal in mythology. What role does it play? What does this tell us about ourselves?

 

“Myths are about the human struggle to deal with the great passages of time and life – birth, death, marriage, the transitions from childhood to adulthood to old age”

–  Michael Shermer, Publisher of Skeptic magazine.

Do you want to understand more about yourself, your dreams and the struggles of your life? Join our online course Mindfunda Mythology now.

This is the second of a six part blog about the course Mindfunda Mythology:

The Creation myth: Genesis and The Big Bang
The Amazing Animal: The Animal in Mythology
Mythology of Men 
Mythology of Women
Mythology of the Trickster
Mythology of the Grail, Pulling Out the Sword

Animal as a symbol of inner force

This lesson of the mythology course focuses on animals.  The first one is the bear. If there is one representative of dreaming, this is the one. I have used the film “The Bear” from Jean-Jacques Annaud as an example to discuss the features of its force. There are questions that will make it easy to recognise the bear power in your own life. The bear is in my eyes a representative of the anima or the female power in the human soul. Bears usually live solitary lives, so the second animal I discuss in this online course is the horse.

animal
Film poster The Bear

The horse is a social animal, the group leaders are the females. The horse, like the bear were among the first animals to be worshiped in ancient societies. What are mythological stories about horses and what can we learn from them?

Animal as representative of human’s helper

The dog, representative of the wolf family, is one of the oldest friends of Homo sapiens. Dogs and hounds are guardians of the way between: a path we all sometimes secretly walk. So many times we feel that we hear, see or feel more than other people do. We know this way between, but we hardly dare to discuss it with others, afraid to be called names that not do us, or our powers justice.

The last animal to be discussed is the Snake.
Once a sacred companion of the Goddess, now despised by many people. You will discover that there is a biological reason for our almost innate resentment of this animal. And you will get to appreciate the Snake and the symbolism it represents.

animal

 

I hope to greet you soon as a participant of this wonderful course. You will learn so much about your life, about your dreams and about your own innate wisdom.

All Excited? Mindfunda Mythology is designed to make the journey of your life easier. You will get:

  • Knowledge about the Sefiroth, the Cabalistic Tree of Life;
  • You will be introduced to the two main categories of myth so you can (re)connect with the strength of your inner animal;
  • You will have access to al the 24 possible ways of behaviour of male and female archetypes;
  • You will be able to tap into the power of the Trickster whenever you feel reluctant to follow the call of your own path;
  • All these methods and techniques will enable you to enlighten your inner fire, your personal Grail;
  • You will get 44 exercises during the course, an average 6 – 10 exercises per lesson to help you master the knowledge.

Have a look at the Course page

 

 

MINDFUNDA FREEBIE:
If you want to sleep well and remember more dreams, here is a FREE eBook
for you with ten easy tips to quickly increase your dream memory.

 



THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independant site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Mythofunda:
“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths” Joseph Campbell used to say. This part of Mindfunda shows you how your personal mythology can create peace in your life.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


(Ready for more free Mindfunda content on ‘#MYTHOLOGY‘?

Start of Spring: An Invitation to Dream an Ode to Freya

Let's celebrate the start of spring together! I want to invite you to join me on Mindfunda for a spring dream time celebration. This celebration is a part of my ...
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Joseph Campbell: 5 Secrets to Yield Your own Yoda

This is a Mindfunda book review about "The Mythic Dimension", a compilation of essays written by Joseph Campbell, dusted off and reprinted in a paperback. It will help you unleash ...
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Trickster Gods: Tricky Ways to Discover the Self

Do you want to understand more about yourself, your dreams and the struggles of your life? Today I like to tell you more about our online course Mindfunda Mythology. This is the fifth ...
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Ariadne’s Clue, a guide to the symbols of humankind

 

This blog is about symbols and their meaning. The world is filled with symbols. Success in life is often the result of interpreting symbols in an adequate manner.

 

If you buy the book using this link you will support the good work of Mindfunda.

Symbols and Mythology

Ariadne is the goddess of passion. She is the daughter of Midos, King of Crete,   and Pasiphae. She helped Theseus battle the Minotaur who was stuck in the labyrinth. Ariadne gave him the clue to escape out of wandering around in a pool of possibilities. A simple woollen thread, that enabled him to find his way back. But she did not only show him the path, she also helped him to concur the monster that was hiding in the dark, by giving him a sword. She did all that for the promise of marriage. Theseus promised to marry her as soon as he came back from his mission. But he left her. Poor Ariadne…
Dionysius married her and they allegedly had two children: Stapylus and Oenopion.
Continue reading Ariadne’s Clue, a guide to the symbols of humankind

Online Courses from Mindfunda

online courses

Online courses are the most convenient way to keep learning. In your own time, at your own convenience. In your pajamas with a cup of coffee, or when your housemates are away so you have some peace and quite. Mindfunda proudly presents two online courses about dreaming. Continue reading Online Courses from Mindfunda

Romance of the Grail: 3 discoveries

“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature”.

Joseph Campbell

Grail and synchronicity

Several years ago I had a dream that ends with a voice-over telling me: “You belong to the court of Arthur“. I respond that Arthur is just a story.

I was wrong. The myth of King Arthur and the search for the grail is so much more.

Do you believe in synchronicity? When I requested a review copy of Robert Moss’s new book Sidewalk Oracles (a review is coming up, I am playing the games so I can walk the walk just as much as I talk the talk) something happened. Kim  of New World Library asked me, “Would you also like a review copy of Romance of the Grail?” I gasped for breath; synchronicity did not just knock on my door, but kicked it in.
Years ago, after having the dream I mention above, I discovered that Arthur meant bear and bear was the totem animal of Robert Moss. The Bear is the oldest worshiped deity of the world,  “So this is a bear god: the valley, and the river there , running by Lourdes, is called the River of the Bear (the Ourse). This is the God Arthur. I think I can make the point that Lake Geneva  is therefore the source of the whole idea of King Arthur’s departure on a boat after his death to the Isle of the Golden Apple, the Isle of Avalon” (Romance of the Grail).
So I invited Robert Moss to give a workshop on Active Imagination in the Netherlands. And now his book about synchronicity guided me back to Arthur and the Grail

Romance of the Grail

Joseph Campbell coined the term monomyth. To quote Wikipedia: “..Monomyth refers to the theory that sees all mythic narratives as variations of a single great story. The theory is based on the observation that a common pattern exists beneath the narrative elements of most great myths, regardless of their origin or time of creation”.
That is an attractive idea isn’t it? The idea that we, members of the human race, are so very much alike in our needs, in our challenges and in our solutions, that the basic problems myths guide you through boil down to a couple of themes.
I want you to know that I find this a very work-able assumption even though it is criticized now. I also agree with the critics. Ellwood stated in 1999: “A tendency to think in generic terms of people, races … is undoubtedly the profoundest flaw in mythological thinking.” But putting that aside, I think the contribution Joseph Campbell made to mythology is phenomenal. He brought mythology to you and me, into our simple lives and made us feel the energy of the Gods and Goddesses.

The book is composed by Evans Lansing Smith who spent many hours reading and listening to lectures of Campbell and who attended a lot of his travels and workshops. By reading the notes of Campbell Lansing Smith was able to present the wealth of knowledge that Joseph Campbell left behind. The work of a man who used to read 4 hours every day for nine years with the sole purpose of educating himself. Reading this book will let you reap the fruits of his work on what is called “The most important mythology for the Western World”.

Romance of the Grail discovery #1

Editor Evans Lansing Smith, chair of the mythological studies at the Pacifica Graduate Institute, has composed a book that will elicit several aha’s.
He starts out with painting the background of Europe through the centuries. His main point is that there simply was no European culture. Europe was invaded by Indo-European tribes since the Neolithic times, 10,200–8,800 BC. and Roman Emperor Theodosius I, Roman Emperor from AD 379 to AD 395, issued decrees that made Christianity the official religion of his Empire. Europe became subjected to a religion that had its origin in Jerusalem. The old pagan traditions were destroyed. The European (Western) emphasis on the individual shifted towards the Eastern sense of community spirit.
So this totally alien point of view was imposed on Europe. Europe had perfectly good religions and mythologies and this other thing was brought on top of it.”

The Christian church believes that we are born in sin. Jesus Christ can save us but the only way to come close to Christ is to get the sacraments from a priest. And a priest was able to behave in a rather un-Christian manner, without being disciplined by the church.  Of course not all of them, but many did. The Arthurian Romance is a way of dealing with this controversy.

Joseph Campbell’s never before published master’s thesis “The Dolorous Stroke” in the Appendix of this book provides clear insight into the genius of Campbell’s mind. His analysis of the similarities and differences in Grail stories with great detail. The Fisher King, based on Jesus his statement:  “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” is wounded by a lance at the time of a feast. So the King is wounded. Worse than that: he is made sterile. He can not reproduce anymore. And he is closely related to his land: his land also becomes infertile. This fertility God is wounded. The church is too much about following rules and ignores the spiritual side of the sun. The connection of people with their own sense of spirituality was cut off. The King was wounded.

The solution was to be found in love. Joseph Campbell’s Romance of the Grail distinguishes between erotic passion and agape: spiritual love. The romance that the Grail perspective prescribes is a combination of love that is born in the eyes as well as in the heart. Parzival as described in Wolfram van Eschenbach (German knight and poet who inspired Wagner’s Parsifal and who uses the name Parzifal spelled with a z), is a happily married man who enters the Castle, meets the Fisher King but does not ask the question: Who serves the Grail?

grail
Parsifal in the tarot

 

Wait.
I just told you that love was the answer.
No here is a happily married man, married out of love which was quite uncommon in these days. He is in the castle, with the wounded King. So all the variables are present but no catharsis. No solution. He fails to ask the question that could heal the King. Why?

Blame it on the mother? He was told not to ask too many questions. He did not want to come across as impolite. So he dismissed the question in his heart. Growing up you need to decide if you are going to head your parental advice or if you are going your own way. And make some mistakes along the path. Because the mother of Parsifal wanted him to be polite.

Again here is a mythical notion to let rules be rules. To follow the heart. Campbell said “Follow your Bliss” for a reason. Don’t we all know that moment when we follow conventions while our heart screams out something different?

Romance of the Grail discovery #2

An important theme in the Grail stories is the theme of enchantment versus disenchantment. Sometimes in dreams you are the only one who sees flowers. Sometimes in waking live you are the only one who sees the beauty of a person, of an event or of a tragedy.
Everything needed is already there only it is not being seen. And what the hero is to do is to clarify the situation

grail
picture: Plantscapers.com

 

I remember a few months before my mothers’ death I had a dream of her sitting with a sister of mine at the couch in the palace of the Bishop. I saw flowers everywhere. All the guests where talking, laughing and eating and I seemed to be the only one aware of those flowers. I followed the trail outside. In the hallway there was an undertaker. I felt so much grief in my heart when I handed over the flowers to him (a lot of the flowers lay on the floor at his feet). I asked him to take good care of my mother. Waking up I realized that I could only survive the loss of my last parent by seeing and honoring the flowers embedded in the situation.

There is enchantment in the descent to the underworld to meet the dark aspects of your soul. To become aware that deep in the darkness is the soil that nourishes the flowers. And to realize that not everybody will appreciate them. That there are people who do not even see them. What was the last time when you saw flowers where no one else noticed them?

Romance of the Grail discovery #3

Almost all  of us know the Grail as the story of the love between Guinevere and Lancelot. In our time this theme is relevant and the most handsome actors and actresses depict the honorable fight between lust, love and honor. In 1995, the film  First night depicted Richard Gere as the attractive Lancelot who tried to walk away from temptation. Romance of the Grail explains how a story about the ancient Celtic fertility gods was reshaped in a story about adultery.

 

Grail
Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot
First Knight

“After Renaissance, a god wounded by a lance, whose injury entails the blight of his land and the misery of his people, revived by a magic question or salve of blood was incredible. Therefore it was not surprising that Tennyson should have substituted a sin of adultery: the sin of Guinevere and Lancelot”.
In the middle ages in the story Lancelot, le Chevalier de la Charrette written by Chrétien de Troyes this love mentioned for the first time.

Guinevere was abducted by a Lord that belongs to the underworld. In ancient times ladies were in the habit of being abducted, waiting for a knight to come and rescue them. While Arthur stays at Camelot, Lancelot climbs on his horse and goes out for his love. He drives so hard that two horses die. He hesitates for three steps if he would take a cart driven by a churl. He would be faster in the tower were Guinevere is kept prison but a card is used for people who ride in the cart are being taken to be hanged or punished in some way. He hesitates for three steps but takes the cart.

Next trial is what we know as the Perilous bed.
“This is the masculine experience of the feminine temperament: that it doesn’t quite make sense, but there it is. That’s the way it’s shifting this time, that’s the way it’s going that time. The trial is to hold on, be patient and don’t try to solve it. Just endure it, and then all the boons of beautiful womanhood will be yours.” [Transformations of Myth Through Time]. Once a hero has integrated the anima or the feminine side of his character there is another challenge. The bridge of Swords.

The bridge of swords is the Razor’s edge as Somerset Maugham described it in his novel.

Grail
The Razor’s edge

If you follow your own path you can be swept away by your own passion. As Jeffrey Leach puts it on Amazon in a review: “The Razor’s Edge” really has a simple message. It asks us to reflect on how we lead our lives. Do we follow the masses or seek inner fulfillment? Is it right or wrong to drop out of society and follow our inner selves? Maugham makes us ponder these questions as he introduces us to his characters.

Finally our hero frees Guinevere out of the tower but she is as cold as ice. Why? Because he has hesitated for three steps. His ego for that moment was a few seconds stronger as the passion in his heart. No mercy for the brain. Ask yourself: when was the last time I acted out of love, without thinking? At this moment whose path do you follow? Your own? And if so: that is still no guarantee for fulfillment: you have to walk on a sharp edge to avoid getting cut. It is almost impossible, but it is worth it.

Romance of the Grail conclusion

I started this blog by telling you that being offered Romance of the Grail for a review was a moment of synchronicity. So while reading it and making notes I tried to look at why Arthur, the Bear, came knocking again. In four years I have made certain steps to follow my passion about mythology, spirituality and dreaming. And what everybody told me: that it does not pay the bills, unfortunately is true. Still I feel rewarded in so many other aspect: the people I meet, the books I read, controlling my own time.

I like the way the Romance of the Grail is crafted. I like the fact that The Dolorous Stroke is an appendix of this book. I feel so much more informed about the symbols and the themes that prevail in the Arthur myth that I can only advice you to read the book and let the magic work for you. As Joseph Campbell explains:
“We have recognized at the heart of the Celtic mythology, a belief in the might of magic”. I think we should all shelter and nurture this believe.

Can the Grail be here? You range through the house
seeking, only to return to the great sky-lit space.
She says, “Be still, and open. Stand like a tree,
open like a flower, like a chalice, at your crown.”
You remember the crown you once wore
and you let that go, and open. “Drink the light.”
You drink deep, and something opens deeper in you
in the cavity of the heart, a cup is filing with light.
Light streams from the heart, pure waterfall, and you know
you have found the Grail, in the one place it can be found.

Robert Moss

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Mythological Musings: 2 Mindfunda’s to discover mythology in your own life

Remember when you were young? How your history teacher would tell you with radiant eyes- about the Greek mythology? Mythology seems far away. How are mythological stories relevant in your life today? Mindfunda explores mythological themes in 2 blogs :

Your mythic life
Myth Stories

Mythological themes in your mythic life

Personal myths structure our awareness and point us in the direction that becomes our path” as June Singer describes it in the foreword of the book Personal Mythology.

mythological
Personal Mythology

This book written by David Seinfeld and Stanley Krippner, might change the vision you have of your life and your role in it.
The writers invite you to look at your life as a fairy tale and to describe your role according to the hero’s journey. This blog will identify the steps you can take to start writing and re-writing your own story.

Mythological themes in stories

Films and television series: the hero’s journey has become a concept for any scriptwriter. Almost all of us know how the hero’s journey has guided George Lucas in creating Star Wars.

mythological
The Hero’s journey

If there is a film or a television series that resonates with you, there is bound to be a mythological theme hidden that will guide you on your path. If you look at the success of films like the Matrix or Sense8 you will know how alive mythological themes still are. We will also talk about some old gems and their mythological perspective like my fair lady and apocalypse now.

Gaming also uses mythological themes. In gaming you use an avatar while being present: a dream like state of awareness. In that way, gaming represents a form of awareness you also experience during dreaming: a third person’s perspective. You identify with the avatar/dream image, but you are aware that you are not your avatar. Stepping from this third person perspective of awareness into a first person’s perspective will broaden your horizon.

Mythological themes in culture

The culture you grew up in. every culture has its own sense of mythology. Most of us are familiar with the Greek and Roman mythology. we know the Greek and Roman names for several gods: Zeus for Jupiter and Hades for Pluto.
Ralph Metzner has told us how most Europeans and Americans are descendents from the warrior tribes that invaded Europe.

mythological
the well of remembrance


Having a horse and carriage gave them the chance to defeat the original tribes. The third Mindfunda blog will explore the different cultural mythologies.

Mythological themes to resolve crises

Crises: that is when you need the lessons of mythological stories the most. When you fall in love, leave your parents, lose a job, when you feel that the whole world is against you. We have all been there. Mythological stories tell about how sometimes you need some help from a magical creature. They tell you to look for the strength within. This blog will look at leaving home and becoming a (wo)man, about finding true love and about loosing your loved one.

Read on in Part 2

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THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independant site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Mythofunda:
“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths” Joseph Campbell used to say. This part of Mindfunda shows you how your personal mythology can create peace in your life.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


(Ready for more free Mindfunda content on ‘#MYTHOLOGY‘?

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Well of Remembrance: what goes down must come up

well
Ralph Metzner

The well is a familiar symbol in Myths and dreams.
I talked about it with Ralph Metzner this month
for a brand new Mindfunda Interview.

Ralph is a psychotherapist, Professor Emeritus at the California Institute of Integral Studies, poet and author. You can visit his website grounearthfound here. Mythology always played a significant part in his life and he wrote several books about it. One of these books is The Well of remembrance. (Click here to for the interview on YouTube)

The Well of remembrance is an exercise in ancestral remembrance -the kind of remembering that is the healing antidote to dis-membring"

The Well of Remembrance 

is filled with stories and facts about the history of Europe. Mirmir was the guardian of the well of wisdom. The name Mirmir is related to the Latin word memor. Mirmir’s well is the well of remembrance.

well
The well of remembrance

The aim of the book is to be a reminder of the importance of mythology in our critical times. Ralph explains in his book that the tribes that took over Europe had a civilization based on weapons, chariots and the taming of the horse. Their Gods and Goddesses where different from the rather peaceful hunter gatherers they submitted.

The one-eyed Odin is the God that builds three bridges that link apparently irreconcilable differences. Differences between the old Land Gods of the early inhabitants and the Sky gods of the new tribes. The first myth about Odin as bridge-builder is the self sacrifice of hanging himself on the Yggdrasil, the World Tree. Here he gets the gift of nature: to see and interpret natural rhythms.

In the second myth about Odin he sacrifices his eye to see how he can reconcile the war between the Aesir Sky gods and the Vanir land gods by creating a ritual of reconciliation. In the interview Ralph mentions that such rituals are so much-needed today in ordinary life as well as in politics.

In the third myth about Odin he descends down the roots of the Yggdrasil, meets Mirmir and gives one eye to the water that feeds the World Tree. Loosing the ability to recognize depth, he gains inner vision.

In my talk with him, Ralph Metzner emphasis that we should connect with the knowledge our ancestors. They wisper the stories you can only hear when you are at the foot of the World Tree Yggdrasil, diving in the emotional water of your past. The generations that lived before you, your ancestors can connect you with the Earth and all its wisdom.

He concludes the talk with the dedication in Well of Rembrance to the ancestors:

To
our ancestors,
who kept and told for us
the ancient stories

Our brothers and sisters,
who love the Earth
with all her beings

Our descendants,
who will inherit the Earth
and hear and tell again
the ancient stories

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PS:
I will be uploading another very interesting interview on my YouTube channel soon.
 Jean Raffa author talks about her award winning book  Healing the sacred divide so be sure to sign up!

Grab yourself a free e-book and learn all about mutual dreaming using this link

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Aboriginal ancient secrets scientifically explained

Aboriginal
Photo @aboriginal art australia

Homo Sapiens left Africa 125,000 years ago and traveled to South Asia and Australia about 50,000 years ago. The aboriginal legends can help science now, but like in the old days: knowledge has to be paid for.

You have to pay knowledge and sometimes more than that. Science has gotten into a project of paying with astronomical knowledge to the Gunditjmara, an ancient tribe who has a legend about a wave killing everybody. It tells about the people who fled way up high and survived this giant wave. Professor James Goff, who specializes in Tsunamis, researched the land in the vicinity to find a layer of ocean sediment. This suggests that the legend indeed describes a Tsunami.

Scientists now are starting to believe that these old mythologies tell about events that took place thousands of years ago. But not a lot of aboriginals who can speak their ancient language are left. And those who still hold on to their old knowledge are reluctant to share it with scientists. So the scientists nowadays trade in the old-fashioned way. They trade knowledge: giving the aboriginals their knowledge of astronomy.

If you want to dive further into the mythology of the aboriginal there are some very good books available:

Myths and legends of the Australian aboriginals tells about their ancient stories.
A lot of myths are in this book: animal myths, personal myths, the myth of Puckowe, the Grandmother spirit…

 

aboriginals
Myths and legends of the Australian aboriginals

 

Another book filled with information about aboriginal wisdom is Voices of the first day written by Robert Lawlor. The book is a guide to the essence of a culture that was peaceful, wise and filled with dreams.

aboriginals
Voices of the first day

This book tells you about the spirituality of aboriginals and their Dreamtime: alcheringa. Alcheringa is the word used to denote the mythic times of ancestors of the totemic groups. Connecting in a very ancient manor with the wisdom of the earth and tuning into Dreamtime in another way.

 

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PS:
I will be uploading two very interesting interviews on my YouTube channel soon:
– Ralph Metzner, author Well of remembrance and one with
– Jean Raffa author of Healing the sacred divide .
So be sure to sign up!

Grab yourself a free e-book and learn all about mutual dreaming using this link. Don’t forget to join me on twitter: @susannevandoorn

Things my grandmother didn’t tell me

I am at a party, but I have left the house were the music is playing. I walk outside and see a pool of water. Near the pool there is a lady. Black curly hair. With an incredibly fast move of her fingers she snaps a fish out of the water and slaps him against the ground. The eye of the fish jumps in the air. I am in shock. I capture the fish and lie it back in the water, trying to revive it. But it is too late...

The lady in my dream is my grandmother. I never knew her. She died in childbirth. In Japanese mythology she is considered to be an Ubume. A spirit that wonders around searching for her child.

Ancestry is important

Ancestry
My grandmother

Ubume was originally the name for a small fish. With her smashing the fish in my dream she seemed to have a message for me. When she died giving birth to her fifth child at the age of 35 she had been a faithful Catholic. She had no knowledge of Japanese mythology, yet this dream was the first one in a dream – epos she wanted to share with me.

I am walking in a town I do not know. All of a sudden there is a woman walking behind me with a baby. I turn around and look into her eyes. I am startled that her eyes have a very spiritual green-brown color. She has a baby in her arms and hands it over to me. I do not feel like taking it from her, my baby-days are over. She is persistent and pushes the baby in my arms. A very lovely chubby baby boy.
ancestry
Ubume Toriyama Sekien

My grandmother gave birth, the morning she died, August 22 1928, to a baby boy. My uncle. The Japanese folklore assumes a mother that dies in childbirth is not able to find rest untill her child is put into safe care. Did she smash the fish in the first dream to make way for the second one? The dreams were she gave her chubby baby boy a safe home?

About a year ago my uncle died, very unexpected. I went to pay my respect to his wife and his children. The night after his funeral I met her again…

I am sitting at a dining table with a lot of people I know in my dream (but not in waking life). We are talking laughing and eating. Then the mood changes. Very strange, but something is happening at the energy level of the dream. And there she is again, at the head of the table. Those same mesmerizing green brown eyes.She says: "did you take care of him?" I don't know what to say but we exchange a lot of feelings in the look we share. Desperation, joy, the feeling of incompetence, anger at the brutality of the world, a feast of recognition that there is a woman so similar to me. 

Ancestry has this strange way of connecting themes, worries and sorrows.

My grandmother had to work very hard, being pregnant every year and she did not see much of the world. Ancestry also can help you to realize you are not the only one that has to solve problems in this world. In her picture, the only picture I have ever seen from her, she wears her best hat and necklace. She looks a bit scared, as if the flash light from the camera startled her.

The things my grandmother never told me… About children, about childbirth and its dangers. And maybe the stories about how she perceived the world. All those things she gave to me in that one look filled with emotions. It was magic, a form of communication I only know from my dreams.

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"My brain is the most beautiful part of my body" - Shakira quote
“My brain is the most beautiful part of my body” – Shakira quote

Mythology: 5 mythological themes in modern films

When I was a kid, my father used to tell me stories from Greek mythology. He would tell about Zeus, who was always chasing after beautiful girls, about Hera who was the mother Goddess and about Aphrodite being born from the foam of  the sea. I was always fascinated, amused but it had nothing to do with me. I bet that is what you think too.

Well over the years I have discovered that there is a lot of value in mythological stories and we often fail to recognize them. Re-reading the myths in the beautiful “Complete world of Greek mythology” brought me back in time. I love to read it, so if you would like to know more about greek mythology, or would like to refresh your memory: Richard Buxton’s book is one of the best. Being a lot older, it was easier to see how mythology writes about the human vices and gives advice.

For more information: this book of Richard Buxton is one of the best I have ever read

But mytholgy in the Western culture seems to have taken a backseat. Except in films and television series… Here is a list of 5 films that have a mythological theme. If you know more, I would like to hear from you.

1. The mythology of King Midas

On one of the best known stories of Greek mythology. King Midas of Phrygia is a great and wealthy king with a daughter. Midas loves gold. He loves counting his money.
One day Silenos, teacher of Dionysos, took a nap in the rose garden of King Midas.  The King, walking around, saw him, recognized him and invited him to stay for a few days. Then he brought him back to Dionysos. The god of celebration offered Midas to satisfy a wish….

In modern day life we know the story of “Jerry Mcguire”: show me te money. This 1996 film shows how easily one gets stuck on the dollar. The gold in this film does not mortify the loved one like in the myth but the message is clear: work hard for what you love, money will be a nice by-product.

2. The mythology of Narcissus

Echo falls in love with Narcissus, one of the most gorgeous guys on the planet . She lost her voice because she talked too much , and now she can only echo the last thing said to her. Unable to get into a meaningfull conversation because she can only echo the lasts words he speakes, he is not very interested in her affection. Broken hearted she fled into the woods, fading slowly untill nothing was left but her voice.
Narcissus was punished by the Goddess of love Aphrodite, She let him fall in love with someone who would not ever love him back: his own reflection.

In “House of Cards, Francis Underwood is looking out for Francis Underwood. Not only is he very pleased with his own actions, he adores himself. He can not stop looking at his own reflection, projecting his own heartlessness on the people who care about him. He thinks he is so important that it would be unjust to love anybody back. Like he is a god himself, people bow for him and his plans.

3. The mythology of Orpheus and Eurydice

Orpheus lost his wife and loved her so much that he dared to enter the realm of death to search for her. Penelope felt toched by so much love and he was to walk outside and not look back. Once in the human world he was able to look back- and if Eurydice had followed him they where able to live together again.

In “What dreams may come” Chris Nielsen and his wife Annie face the tragic loss of their children. Then Chris looses his life to. He gets comfortable in the afterlife, but one day finds out his wife has commited suicide. Now she is not able to join him in heaven. Chris decides to take action.

4. The Mythology of Apollo and Cassandra

Apollo falls in love with Cassandra, daughter king Priamos of Troy. He gives her the gift of prophecy. But when she rejects the love of Apollo the punishment is that nobody will believe what she says…  It will be the downfall of Troy.

In the series “Lie to me” Tim Roth is an expert in seeing detailed expressions, micro expressions that tell the truth. He has a remarkable accuracy in predications but is often not believed. Like Cassandra, he is very unhandy in his love affairs.

5.  The mythology of Pan

This Greek God of sensuality, guides girls and boys into connection with their bodies. The god of the shepherds, guiding the animals that give us food and shelter he is depicted with two horns. Later on he got known as the devil.

In the film “Pan’s Labyrinth” a little girl growing up during war time struggles with the changes in her body. Her mother is occupied in a new love affair with the cruel captain Vidal. The mother is pregnant with a child and does not have time to guide her daughter (still a modern day problem). The new husband of the mother is very unbalanced. Finally, his animus-outbursts shake the labyrinth down to its core.

Pan’s labyrinth

Want to explore Mythological themes in Film yourself? Check out Mindfunda Movies.

Red book jung, should you read it?

He sees the tree of life, whose roots reach into Hell and whose top touches Heaven. He does not longer know differences: who is right? What is holy? What is genuine? What is good? What is correct? He only knows one difference: the difference between below and above, and that it has its crown at the top, clearly differenciated by the roots. To him this is unquestionable. Hence he knows the way to salvation”
Carl Gustav Jung, The Red Book

A couple of years ago I stept into the Jungian Institute at Nijmegen. And there it was the Red book. A big, no I mean BIG red book, liber novus with gothic language handwritten by Jung. I was allowed to look inside (carefully tough because it was as expensive as it was tall), turned over the pages and enjoyed the artwork I saw. I was impressed. I was craving.

Red Book Carl Gustav Jung, reader’s edition

A couple of years later I saved enough to buy myself a copy of the Red book. Reading it over the years has helped me in my own religious wrestlings. Like Jung, I like science. But science despises magic. I need some magic to make my live more interesting.
Please do not take my curiousity badly. Recently I heard something about magic that awakened my interest in this bygone practice. And then I came to you because I heard that you understand the black art. If magic was 

Jung’s inner explorations are moving: “I suffer my agony between two madman. i enter the truth if I descend. Become accustomed to being alone with the dead.”,
they outrage you sometimes: “She moaned and whispered in a weak voice: “Give me blood, I need blood” . Jungs’ anima Salome, was based on his crush for Sarah Bernhardt:

Sarah_Bernhardt_by_Paul_Nadar
Sarah Bernhadt by Paul Nadar

 

and shaped by his sexual addiction to Sabina Spielrein.

So I can definitly advice you to buy the Red Book. The Red Book helps you dive into the brilliant mind of Carl Gustav Jung. What he has offered the world were the results of inner musings like he describes in the Red Book. Even tough it can be difficult to display the discipline to read it, even though sometimes you get a bit offended, even irritated at the text and you have to tell yourself it has to do with the zeitgeist, the era in which Jung lived. He can be irritating, he can move you, you can recognize your own doubts about the life you live in his writings.

Now the Red book is available on a smaller format. My Red book can be very user-unfriendly if I need it to quote or if I take it with me to give workshops. If I had to buy it again I would certainly go for the smaller version.

If you would like me to orginize an online course about the Red Book please let me know

 

 

 

 

What does my dream mean? Four ways of looking at a dream.

“I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.”
– Albert Einstein

Is in our modern era the question “What does my dream mean?” still a valid one? Let’s explore.

The latest scientific research of our dreaming minds states that dreams are just images our brains construct out of the continuous firing of neurons during the night.

But having worked with dreams I want to invite you to put that notion aside for a while and dive into your dreams. See, after you played with your dreams for a while, if you still think that they are just random electric impulses.

James Hillman, psychologist, gives in his book: The dream and the underworld” a list of approaches to dreams that is still valid today.

James Hillman: The dream and the Underworld

There are three dominant views of the dream:

    1. Romantic: the dream contains a hidden but important message from another world. In today’s world, this view still pertains in films and television series, where a character receives important warnings through dreams and visions. For example, in the series Merlin (BBC) the Lady Morgana has several precognitive dreams and in Once upon a Time,  an American fairy tale drama series about a contemporary vision on Snow-white, Prince Charming has this dream about his daughter. (Yes, in this series he and Snow White have a daughter)
    2. Dreams are a worthless jumble of nonsense (however interpretable by a good psychiatrist). Because psychotherapy becomes out of fashion, analyzing dream on the canapé, like Freud once did, is not regularly used anymore.
    3. A dream reflects the physiological process going on while the body is asleep. This approach has been researched thoroughly, most of all by Vasily Kasatkin who collected data from all of his patients. Kasatkin was a psychiatrist working in several hospitals in and around Moscow. He analysed the data and wrote a book about it: A theory about dreams.
Vasily Kasatkin: A theory about dreams

4. Dreams are an invitation to get creative. This one you can not find in James Hillman his terrific book. It is my own. If you do remember a dream, write it down, draw it up, google it, associate symbols, re-write dream-stuff. There are so many cool ways of working with dreams: music, dancing, acting, painting, writing haiku’s… It really does not matter so much if they are nonsense, as long as you have fun with your dreams. They can give you a new sense of self. Dreams have led me into new ventures:

  • I studied the tarot because of a dream I had.
  •  I once dreamed about a one-eyed wanderer, and years later I discovered there is a one eyed God called Odin in Norse Mythology. This opened up a new way for me to explore Norse Mythology, and helped me to dive in ancient stories telling me more about the archetypical challenges life has to offer.
  • I made a couple of real nice clay works inspired by my dreams.
  • I had several real remarkable precognitive dreams about important things months and sometimes years before they manifested in my life: for example about meeting my husband.

So my advice to you is: dreams can be a guide into your own creative depths if you allow them to mean things.

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Who am I? Know Thyself

Know thyself

Mindfunda: the site to help you with funding your consciousness. From the root ‘fundamental’, the underlying principle in something usually complex, Mindfunda wants to help unravel the underlying principle in the most challenging mystery in this world. The most essential question that can take a lifetime to answer: Who am I? Know thyself, in Greek: γνῶθι σεαυτόν on the temples of Apollo in Delphi, Temet nosce in the movie The Matrix.

Know thyself using scientific research

We collect articles and information from a psychological, spiritual and mythological viewpoint. Science, books, films, personal experience, and dreams can help with your current life issues, to help you answer life’s most important question: who am I? The ancient wisdom “Know thyself” is taken into the modern age using scientific research, neurology but also mythology used in films, television series and plays.

Know thyself through the latest psychological insights


Mindfunda gives you the basic, fundamental knowledge in psychology. Know thyself begins at a personal level. This knowledge can be found in the department called “Brainfunda” on this site.
Know thyself also implies acknowledging your spiritual side. This fundamental knowledge on spirituality can be found on the “Spirifunda” area of the site. Do not be scared away by the spiritual layer of this site. Everyone has a brain wired for spirituality, and living in accordance with your brain increases happiness.

Know thyself using mythology

In the Western culture mythology seems to be forgotten. Could that be the reason we feel so unhappy sometimes? Let’s find our mythology. Our Personal Mythology, looking at our own lives, our own ancestors, our dreams, using the information on this site can give you the “Aha Erlebnis” that gives you the inner flow you are craving.

Know thyself using Mindfunda’s gifts

Mindfunda has a mutual dream e-book for you to download. usually we think dreaming is all about the dreamer. Mindfunda shows that you can be able to connect with somebody while you are dreaming. This book tells you about an experiment where two people meet in dreams and exchange a gift. The book explores the methods used by the couples that succeeded, making it easier for you to “mutual dream”.

Another gift Mindfunda has for you are interviews with writers of books that really give you a different perspective on live. For example: Stanley Krippner, professor of psychology about his view on mythology, Anne Baring who talks about how the universe is communicating with us, award-winning author Jean Raffa about the key to be happy and many more. Sign up for the YouTube channel here.

Feel free to leave a comment or suggestion!

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