Good Fences Make Good Neighbors
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Card #621 – Good Fences Make Good Neighbors


Boundaries (good fences) are essential to life.

I recently saw a documentary that speculated about the origins of life. Crucial to the beginning of life was the formation of a chain of molecules — lipids, I think), that could create a boundary, an interior space, otherwise the potential chemical constituents of living metabolism would just diffuse into the environment.

“Oneness” is one of the great principles underlying everything, but it is a pole of a dynamic paradox. The other side of that paradox is “eachness,” though for whatever reason, “eachness” is not as popular with some Buddhists and New Age folk as oneness and “emptiness,” which are thought to trump everything else.

My bias is toward individuality and content over oneness and emptiness, and this is why I am a content provider rather than an emptiness provider like so many Eastern guru types who manage to find time to come out of oneness and emptiness to sexually abuse disciples and teach via “crazy wisdom paths” like Tibetan Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa.) See A Spiraling Eye-Encrustged Overview of the Art of Alex Grey for more on the psychology of abusive gurus.

See my philosophy, Dynamic Paradoxicalism. For more on why oneness is not superior to eachness, see also Lessons for an Entity Incarnating as a Mammal.

And yet, one of the first things that should strike us about the phenomenal world, as William James pointed out, is that nature loves eachness. We see highly individualized and differentiated trees, not a homogenous mass of treeness. Life loves eachness, and for there to be eachness, for there to be individuality, and what Jung calls “individuation” , there must be boundaries.

But we live in an era where people love to confess their deepest secrets on national television and Twitter away their every inner content for anyone who will pay attention. Many people lose their chance at individuation, at individual evolution, because they lack strong enough boundaries to allow themselves to become distinguished from the collective.

One of the extreme examples of poor boundaries is sexual promiscuity, a dangerously naive practice that’s often red-flagged in nightmares as an extreme danger to the individual. In waking life, the dreamer may feel that “casual sex” is a healthy thing and even that they are somehow being daring and avant-garde by “letting go of inhibitions” and having sex with strangers even though their actions are in perfect conformity to the reigning culture of promiscuity. But there is no dumber oxymoron than “casual sex.” It is not casual on the microbiological plane, and (as above, so below) it is not casual on the bioenergetic and spiritual planes either. See: In on the Joke?

Jungian analyst Edward Edinger wrote,

“…allowing unknown persons into their homes and into their bodies and into their psyches — with no sense of individual boundary. This is an exceedingly dangerous thing to do, on the physical level alone, inviting robbery and even murder. Psychologically, it is just as dangerous. Yet, these individuals feel so profoundly empty within themselves, that there arises a compulsion to be filled with some kind of intimate contact. Compulsions, however, do not work; they are unconscious behaviors and merely repeat themselves. Sexual promiscuity is the sort of behavior that reveals a grave defect in the “boundaries” of individual identity. These boundaries are lacking, or they are porous, and the psychological doors are wide open.”

Promiscuity is part of a general sickness in which we do not recognize the value of our individuality and desire causes us to become submerged in collective values and identity. Our life force spills out into the environment and becomes indistinguishable from the collective energy.

In Mysterium Coniunctionis, Jung wrote:

“You too are infected with this collective sickness. Therefore bethink you for once . . . and consider: What is behind all this desirousness? . . . The more you cling to that which all the world desires, the more you are Everyman, who has not yet discovered himself and stumbles through the world like a blind man leading the blind with somnambulistic certainty into the ditch. Everyman is a multitude. Cleanse your interest of that collective sulfur which clings to all like a leprosy . . . This means burning in your own fire and not being like a comet or flashing beacon showing others the right way but not knowing it yourself.”

Strong boundaries are what you need so that you can glow and become luminous with your own fire rather than consumed and burnt out by the general conflagration.

Consider this an auspicious time to repair and build the good fences in your life.

Super relevant: Defending your Sovereign Domain

See the Robert Frost poem, The Mending Wall.

For more on how the dreaming mind views promiscuity and its origins in the cycling of patriarchal history see Born Under a Blood Red Moon — Metamorphosis of the Feminine in the Dreams of Young Women

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