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Saturday, March 1, 2014

JUNG AT HEART at Meilori's


Without playing with fantasy, no creative work has ever yet come to birth.

The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable.

-C.G. Jung

Meilori's was much wider, higher, and deeper than seemed possible from how it looked on the outside.

Inside the haunted jazz club, I could see no walls, much less any torches that hung from them.

Only an endless array of tables whose candles pushed back the darkness only a little.

In this dark cavern of a saloon,

things vast, blind, and monstrous took shape in the bronze-hued mists that billowed all through the place.

They lumbered without notice of me. They became almost solid, fuzzed, then drifted apart only to re-form feet from where they had been.

I sat at my table and tried to remember all Samuel had told me of his latest adventure, attempting to put it down just as he said it on my laptop.

A dance macabre formed in the mists to my far left.

Up high and almost lost in the billowing fog, sprites of dark ice spun on one leg, twirling slowly, their angular faces lost in some delirium of madness. They began to sing.

It was an invocation.

Abysses loathsome and endless yawned hungrily in the mists before me. I caught flashes, glimpses of alien voids and unholy dimensions beyond all human experience.

"May I sit down, young man?" said a deep voice.

I looked up. Carl Jung.  His ghost actually.

"Of course, sir."

He smiled and sat down opposite me. "I wrote about the need for finding and living our myth, our story."

He sighed,
"As I grew older, I wrote my most important works and found my own unique ways to play."

He peered deep into my eyes.
"Young man, we need new stories that weave playfulness, gratitude, and compassion for self and others. Re-writing your myth or story can help you understand more fully your core values."

He smiled sadly.
"Your story reflects your uniqueness and the many gifts you have to offer others. You might ask your computer friends:

 If they fully expressed their values, how would others see them? Would it change their life in some way?"

Jung gazed into the bronze mists and murmured, "I had sick bed images, terrible and beautiful both at once."

His chin sunk to his chest,
"I felt as though I were floating in space, as though I were safe in the womb of the universe---in a tremendous void, but filled with the highest possible feeling of happiness.

Everything around me seemed enchanted.... Night after night I floated in a state of purest bliss, thronged round with images of all creation."

The ghost of Mark Twain thumped into the seat beside me and laughed,

"I had me some of those same dreams, there, Young. But soon as I gave up radishes, they cleared out."

Jung glared at Mark.
"Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart not your stomach. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

Mark smiled crooked,
"Wasn't you the pilgrim who said everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

Jung's scowl could have curdled vinegar.

"I also said I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become. Must you be a jack daw, Clemens?”

Mark Twain smiled wide,
"You spout on about the secrets of life. I will tell you the Secret to Life:

 “Life is short, Break the Rules. Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY.

Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably. And never regret ANYTHING that makes you smile.”

Jung huffed, “The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.”

Twain snorted, "Maybe. Maybe not. When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”

Jung rumbled,
"The pendulum of the mind oscillates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong. It is clear your mind has become mired in nonsense.”

Twain chuckled, "T'weren't you the gent who said:

'As a child I felt myself to be alone, and I am still, because I know things and must hint at things which others apparently know nothing of, and for the most part do not want to know.'”

Jung shook his head,
“It all depends on how we look at things, and not on how things are in themselves. The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.”

Mark looked at me. "Suddenly, son, I'm afraid. I actually understood that.
What would say is your own personal myth? 
Are your core values reflected in what you write?
  In the last thing you wrote what would a stranger say are your core values, what you hold to be true about life?

These images (or other media files) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.
This applies to Australia, the European Union and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years.
Buy the Kindle book for 99 cents, get the audiobook for only $1.99 
and hear the introduction of my newest character Lucanus and his ward, Loy -- and hear Samuel being reunited with his Meilori!

 Burnt Offerings
The ghost of Mark Twain warns not to watch this video lest your brain explode!


  1. Waking dreams can be powerful beasties. And how I would love to spend an hour, or a day, at Meilori's, even knowing that if I emerged I would emerge changed.
    And yes, I would agree (again) with Mark Twain. Love and laughter are always a gift - to be cherished, appreciated and shared.

  2. Elephant's Child:
    So long as they are not walking nightmares! :-)

    Yes, Meilori's is the place my mind hangs out and has fun while my body has to pay the bills!

    You, me, and Mark Twain are kindred spirits. Good of you to visit.

  3. I like Twain's rules.
    And I'll be sure to avoid radishes.

  4. Alex:
    Radishes always come up on me! And, like you, Twain's Secret to Life seems to me the best.

    Hey, Jeremy ... Hey! Good to see you back. :-)

  5. Interesting thoughts as usual Roland. I need to pay a little more attention to Mark Twain, and less to the daily stress. We all do.

  6. Yes my core values are very likely incorporated, but the writer can't always see it in his own writing. It is developed in the dialogue to some extent, or lies within an undercurrent of a theme.

    Not particularly fond of Jung. Or Freud. . .

  7. Kat_RN:
    Less on the stress, yes! Mark always makes me laugh -- wait until you see what he is up to tomorrow! :-)

    I like William James over Jung or Freud, and I like Abraham Maslow, too.

    You're right: we're too close to our own writing to see what core values or cardinal traits shimmer beneath the surface of our prose!

  8. I would say my core values are at the heart of everything I write, glaring and unavoidable.

    My stories always revolve around the idea that it's not what we believe but how we believe that matters. The need to respect others and their beliefs without trying to judge, proselytize, change, or demean.

    Hope you're doing well, Roland!

    VR Barkowski

  9. VR:
    In like manner, my stories always seem to revolve around the importance of a decision. We are the product of our decisions. How we choose to walk the path ahead of us shapes who we become and speaks of what we truly believe.

    McCord lives his code silently while allowing others to live theirs ... until they hurt those who cannot defend themselves, then he is that little boy again watching helplessly as his family is murdered -- and things get feisty!

    I am healing well on my forehead -- not so much on my nose. Ouch!

    This weekend has gone more placid than any other weekend I've done solo! The Father is watching out for me. :-)

    May your new locale be all you wish it to be. Roland

  10. A sort of strange couple to sit down and have a conversation. I haven't given Jung a thought since I was young and learned about different people and points of view. But thanks to your writings, I'm becoming very fond of Mr. Twain.

  11. Inger:
    I love to place odd couples down at the same table at Meilori's. I thought Twain was just the man to tweak Jung's nose! :-)

    I have always been fond of Twain's essays and letters. It was fun writing of Twain and Wilde striking sparks from one another in DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE! :-)