Taborda, Freddie

Freddie Taborda | “JAMAYA PU’LAPUIN?”: A Brief Archetypal Teaching from Wayuu Aborigines to Jungian Psychology

Jamaya Pu’lapuin?” (“How was your dream?”) are the first words with which the Wayuu greet each other daily. In contrast, when people from industrialized societies meet, they may say, “Hi”, “Hola”, “How are you?.” The greeting of ‘How are you?’ does not exist in the Wayuu language. An initial comparison of the greetings between these two groups of people may reveal the following: the Wayuu emphasize the primacy of the aa’in (soul) in life, which gets manifested in dreams, as well as the individual caring for the soul in another person’s life. Given the daily forgetfulness of the existence and subjective experience of the unconscious in the industrialized people, the word “You” in their greetings may be referring to the “Ego” and, less so to the integrated whole of the conscious and the unconscious. From a Jungian perspective, the Wayuu seem to be, initially, more interested in unconscious processes than “civilized people” are.

Therefore, Jungian analysts could learn, from the Wayuu aborigens, that the first question to be asked, when an analysand comes for the first time and to subsequent sessions to analysis, is “How was your dream?” (“Jamaya Pu’lapuin”). This is congruent with Jung’s writings and clinical practice where the centrality of dreams, as revealing the wisdom of the Self, was fundamental. There are exceptions, of course.

The Wayuu (“The People of the Sun, Sand, and Wind”) are an indigenous tribe that live in the desert of La Guajira Peninsula, which borders Colombia and Venezuela. They live in small settlements called “Rancherias,” which consists of five or six houses made of branches, corrals, and mud houses. Because their societal structure is matrilineal, each Rancheria is composed of people belonging to the same matrilineal clan. Some of these clans are, for example, the Aspushana (“Sour with Something”), the Epieyu (“Where Sleepiness is Felt”), the Jayaliyuu (“Eyes without Head”), etc. Furthermore, Wayuu children primarily bear their mother’s last name (and not the father’s), and each clan is identified with a symbolic drawing (“Kanaas”) that usually has a geometric shape that alludes to an animal, a plant, or a geographical place.

Therefore, the importance of images in Wayuu’s cosmology is comparable to the primacy of images in Analytical Psychology.

According to Paz (2017), Lapu refers to a deity that, through dreams, conveys messages to people. Dreams help the Wayuu to prognosticate many of outer events, such as death, health, adversities, etc. The Wayuu seek signals in dreams on how an adverse event can be prevented. At night, the aa’in (soul) of a Wayuu wanders, and such travel is aptly described in dreams. In recent decades, and within the field of Analytical Psychology, there is a greater tendency to see dreams as a comment, primarily, of the “analytical field” and, less so, of the intrapsychic life of the individual. The Wayuu perspective that dreams are helpful comments or warnings about outer events, such as a marriage, taking a trip, buying a house, taking a new job, moving to another city, etc, is becoming, unfortunately, less relevant to Analytical Psychologists because of the idea that “subjective interpretations” of dreams are emphasized more than “objective interpretations.” A close reading of Wayuu’s cosmology may help Analytical Psychology to have a more balanced view and hold the tension of the opposites of viewing dreams subjectively and objectively. Therefore, next time we want to relocate to another city, change jobs, have more children and, (why not?) getting together with a friend, etc., let us consult a dream about it, like the Wayuu do.

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Freddie Taborda | Psychological Wisdom of the “Lord’s Prayer” (English/Español)

I would like to take some time to write about the psychological wisdom of a prayer -“The Lord’s Prayer”- that has guided the lives of millions of Catholic people around the world. My objective is to offer (like Edward Edinger did; see his book, “Transformation of the God-Image”) a brief psychological distillation (intra-psychic perspective) of that prayer.

First, here is the prayer:

“Our Father who art in Heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.”

From a psychological point of view, the relationship between our ego and the unconscious is important for our psychological well-being, especially the relationship between our consciousness and the center of the unconscious, which Analytical Psychology (Jung) calls the Self or the God Image in us. According to Jung, God is in each of us and that He/She is the center of the unconscious, which contains not only all the undiscovered and unknown potentials, talents, and abilities in each human life but, also, the dark aspects of human nature.

“Our Father who are in Heaven”

Then, what does the first sentence – “Our Father who are in Heaven” – mean psychologically?

It may mean that, inside of each of us, there is a place (Heaven) where all the undiscovered and unknown potentials, skills, talents, abilities as well as the dark aspects are located, and that the Creator of Life -God (Father)- as well as the fundamental impulse to create is there, too.

“Hallowed be Thy name”

What does this sentence mean psychologically?

The Self -God in us- is sacred. The prayer is asking people to declare the Self sacred and to view the inner center of our lives -the Self- as holy and whole. Given that the Self or God in us is dynamic center from where all psychological life begins -wishes, desires, thoughts, unknown potentials, undiscovered talents, and untapped skills- the second sentence of prayer is asking us to view and hold our psychological lives as sacred and divine. In a world where, unfortunately, outer reality seems to be the most important aspect of a human life, redeeming the “inner life and its center” as sacred seeks to restore the great psychological value of inner life.

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Freddie Taborda | The Hermit is Knocking at the Door (English/Español)

During this pandemia, the archetype of the hermit is knocking at the door worldwide. Then, quietly, he looks at us in the privacy of our homes, with ancient eyes, offering the gift of contemplation with which we awake to what is around us. We sense ourselves more. Also, the hermit’s abode is silence, which welcomes and embraces the fullness of life within; yet, at our homes, his visit may make us tremble with terror when facing such emptiness of sound and the magnitude of the space within. He carries a lamp to guide the inner traveler to the realm of solitude. Yes! During this pandemia, the hermit has brought, worldwide, the gifts of solitude, silence, and contemplation, which, for some people, may be unbearable to withstand, forcing them to run away from themselves. Thomas Merton wrote: “Not all men are called to be hermits, but all men need enough silence and solitude in their lives to enable the deep inner voice of their own true self to be heard at least occasionally.”

(Español)

Durante esta pandemia, el arquetipo del ermitaño está tocando la puerta en todo el mundo. En silencio, el nos mira en la privacidad de nuestros hogares, con ojos sabios, ofreciendo el regalo de la contemplación con el que nos despertamos a lo que nos rodea. Nos sentimos más nosotros mismos. Además, la morada del ermitaño es el silencio, que acoge y abraza la plenitud de la vida interior; sin embargo, en nuestros hogares, su visita puede hacernos temblar de terror al enfrentar el vacío del sonido y la magnitud del espacio interior. El lleva una lámpara para guiar al viajero interior al reino de la soledad. ¡Si! Durante esta pandemia, el ermitaño ha traído, por todo el mundo, los dones de la soledad, el silencio y la contemplación, que, para algunas personas, esto puede ser insoportable, obligándolos a huir de sí mismos. Thomas Merton escribió: “No todos los hombres están llamados a ser ermitaños, pero todos los hombres necesitan suficiente silencio y soledad en sus vidas para permitir que la profunda voz interna de su verdadero esencia se escuche al menos ocasionalmente”.

This post originally appeared on thehealingpsyche.org.

Freddie Taborda, LCPC, PsyD is a Jungian Analyst with over 30 years of clinical experience. He maintains a private practice in Chicago, Illinois.


Links: Dr. Taborda’s Website | About Dr. Taborda | Dr. Taborda’s Page on the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago’s Website

Freddie Taborda | The Future of Jungian Analysis After Coronavirus

Several years ago, I arrived at a building, and I thought it was empty. To my surprise, I ran into a man from another country (Mexico). I asked him if he was by himself. He said, “No.” Then, he added, as a clarification, of who else was with him: “My soul and I.” 

I was struck by the beauty and the wisdom of his comment, and I found out, later on, that his response was a cultural and popular phrase from his native land. I believe his comment (“My soul and I”) is an archetypal experience that highlights the primary and fundamental direction that Jungian analysis needs to take during and after the time of Coronavirus.

Coronavirus has forced individuals to ‘stay home’; it has compelled people to distance themselves from others; governments from around the world have implemented “social distancing” measures in public places, and the streets of major cities from around the world are somewhat empty. During this pandemic, people are forced to spend more time alone, at home. Solitude has increased world-wide. Individuals are noticing they are forced to be by themselves, at home, unless they distract themselves with electronic gadgets. Silence is more noticeable as well as the absence of other people. Therefore, Coronavirus is leading us to a spatial, temporal, emotional, and spiritual space of “My soul and I.” It is a space of possibilities and terrors.  

I believe the archetypal sentence, “My soul and I”,  has laid out the path that Jungian analysis needs to primarily pursue during and after the time of Coronavirus: the exploration, cultivation, and the caring for the Ego-Self Axis or “the soul and I.” In a letter to P.W. Martin, Jung (1945) stated, “…the main interest of my work is…the approach to the numinous…[which] is the real therapy…[and] as you attain to the numinous experiences you are released from the curse of pathology.” Furthermore, Jung delineated the relationship between images, soul, and the Divine, and emphasized the centrality of the Divine through working with images from dreams, active imagination, and synchronicities. Therefore, in time of Coronavirus, it is important that both analysts and analysands focus, during analysis, on those images (Soul) for ‘releasing’ the individual from pathology.

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Freddie Taborda | A Symbolic Meaning of Corona Virus: An Opinion (English/Español)

(English)
What could be a psychological meaning of the corona virus?
Upon reflection, and without denying the frightening, tragic, and devastating effects that this virus is bringing to individuals, families, groups, and countries from around the world, some of the interpersonal isolating measures may help us find some value in solitude, silence, and introspection.
These three human experiences have a positive aspect in terms of connecting with our inner lives and the mystery of life. However, for some people, these experiences may be unbearable.
Now that you will be spending more time at home, consider the possibility of cultivating those three experiences. Solitude may open up the opportunity to be with your Self, with the images, feelings, and thoughts that come to your mind. A befriending of them may contribute to the processes of self-understanding and self-realization, if you chose to. Furthermore, silence may help to quiet down the racing thoughts of the civilized mind. Finally, a willing attitude towards introspection may open up the door to the hidden treasures that are within.
Let us not be surprised if, during these health-related and world-wide crisis, solitude, silence, and introspection awaken, every night, vivid dreams that seek a more meaningful and balanced life from us. Perhaps Nature may be forcing us, through this virus, to a greater connection to our inner lives and to the divine mystery of life.

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