I send my voice out until breathless…



There is a mountain

within me

An inheritance

that has now become a polished stone

nestled in flesh,

in blood rich organ


A nameless sadness, it nestles close

real as the moon’s rise,

born within

a pit in the stomach

a seed in the heart


“Take this strange sorrow from me. It is bottomless,” I cry

as I walk up and down

the mourning side of my mountain.


At the top of the mountain

I yodel like a fool…

sounds and sobs issue with spittle and tears

I send my voice out

until breathless


But not spent


In the quieting down

I understand this weight is a broken seam

that can not be healed

It is the rend in the garment

of the turning in and the turning away from.


This broken seam can only be mended

by the flame that burns

in an open heart



Artist: Johan Christian Dahl  1821

He sang my pulse a metronome



I once took a lover

Substantial as the undertow

He sang…

He sang my pulse a metronome

As mermaids surfaced mesmerized


He showed me between his strong legs

Thick hairs, long soaked in the moon

Permeated with his strength and compassion


To love and be loved is evermore

His words becoming the flesh of dreams

I moved like seaweed in his tides

Undulate and grounded

Melding with the cello of his landing


Compelled, the spirits

Shufflling wistfully in dust

Remembered their names

Became eager for color

Incanted lullabies

Spellbound by our heat

As it rose to claim them


Proud, my body animal

Went to ground bearing seed

I became witness and thunder

Rounded and swelling in storms

Unfolding broad wings bearing rain

A haloed tunnel of bone and cusp


All forgotten in the first cry of birthing

As in this moment my world split in two

And continued to divide into ocean and land

Both realms indigenous to the lost souls of Man.


Artist:  “Whispers” Monique Passicot

The Poetics of Light #14



The Dark Earth of our Being


The beginning of this series starts here


      Now with the Principles of Light, I had a viable vocabulary and a new unifying language to draw from. All the seemingly random aspects of archetypal perception began to fall into a complex discordant pattern. For our purposes here we begin simply, with how they originated and what they are, for the archetypes of traumatic experience are a human creation.

           To unravel the complexities of archetypal perception takes a far reaching patience and a self-nurturing heart. Just like the tending of a seed as it grows, we place this seed into the dark earth of our beings and enter the mystery.


“Opening the veil

Seeing the patterns…

Trees growing tall block the sun.

A lone seedling emerging needing strong roots

Digging deeper to find them”


          As I was building and piecing together the random parts of this puzzle, I recalled our early work in the dialogues which had focused on how human perception has shifted collectively to a progressive time oriented perception. Of how our aggressive cultural determination and inclination towards hierarchical structure upholds and reinforces the patterns of cause and effect.

          I considered the species hierarchy that has been cultivated and continues to be maintained creating our belief that we have an absolute physical and spiritual dominion over nature. I considered the human inclination to think of ourselves abstractly as observers rather than direct participants, with intellectual curiosity but also with an agenda. Of how this perceptual time orientation encourages us to measure our relationships with respect to everything outside of ourselves… often including our most intimate relationships. Of how this collective perception fosters and reinforces alienation and separation, not only from the rest of the intelligent life we coexist with, but also personally within ourselves. How as our cultures developed and our populations grew, in a desire to secure a predictable future, we have too frequently been subject to a violent and manipulative history, particularly within our own species but also towards everything that might serve our purposes in the natural world.


“The garden is overgrowing

with fresh blood flowing”


           In the dialogues we now discussed how this perception, based on the progressive perception of time rather than a perception based in relationship, led to extreme acts against life. How systematically within our own species, through wars, genocide, deprivation and actions of hatred, violence, greed and indifference, there have been long periods when incomprehensible numbers of human beings have collectively experienced a common trauma consistently, often throughout the entire duration of their lives.

          This great collective human suffering without benefit of healing, all encompassing beyond personal endurance, beyond seeming redemption due to the indoctrination of separation, the consistency of this collective human suffering itself created the archetypes of human traumatic experience.

          The magnitude of this collective traumatic suffering was dominant enough within the Continuum to form archetypes of traumatic experience that remain attendant only to the human frequency. Empathy is our memory of, but also our empathic connection with the velocity of the archetypes of traumatic experience held in our species frequency.  Our empathic sense developed for the sole purpose of encompassing this relationship.

          In this period of our history there are seven different human archetypes of traumatic experience. Together and combined they encompass the history of the collective suffering of mankind. Since we are consistently violent within our own species, in this one act we created the initial archetype… a person who has been injured by another human being.

           Our consistent history of violence, our adherence to a perceptual time continuum, and the cause and effect imbalance this continually promotes within the Continuum of Life, have all created the conditions for the addition of six other archetypal situations. Together they are…


A person who has been injured by another human being.

A person who has been sexually abused.

A person who is living in harsh conditions inimical to life.

A person who has experienced a life threatening physical condition.

A person who has experienced an epidemic disease.

A person who has been injured in a natural disaster or weather related incident.

A person who has inherited a life altering condition or disease at birth.


           The archetypes themselves, in their infinite variety of possible personal expression are however, without physical structure. It is perhaps because the archetypes are without physical structure that our relationship with them has remained shadowed. We are aware of this relationship though. This depth of traumatic memory permeates our experience. We have simply given it other names, other faces, and a wide variety of other expressions. We create art, movies, stories, myths, cultural taboos and spiritual/religious counterparts to give definition to our intuitive understandings.

           Although our relationship with the archetypes is most relevant concerning the archetypal traumas incurred in our every day lives, it is compounded by our empathic memories of unresolved traumatic experience that manifests initially as the inherent vulnerabilities we are born with. Here a paradox arises. Within the Continuum of Life existence itself and creative relevancy resides in the present moment. How is it then possible to remain vulnerable to unconscious unresolved trauma that was experienced in another time? How are we able to bring in the memories of unresolved suffering from another life? And since this is generally unconscious, what can we be expected to do about it?

          Within the Continuum, everything that exists has equal value. The integral and operative expression of this equality is compassion. Since Light has total memory of itself in existence within the infinite variety of its manifest forms in both structure and velocity, and reciprocally maintains a balancing within itself, the reciprocal resonance within the holographic whole is relative to the inherent strengths within the archetypes.


“Each moment within the Continuum holds no measure.

We ourselves

filter our past unresolved unconscious memories

through the lens of active perception

until healed.”


          The uniquely personal strengths inherent in the archetypes are acquired by responding to life in each moment rather than empathically reacting to the cause and effect patterns of the archetypes. Even without knowing the details of our past archetypal suffering, life gives us every opportunity to acquire the strengths needed, if when we are the most vulnerable we are present to the insights afforded by trusting in resonant relationship.

           It is truly an act of courage since the world continues to be active and subject to the negative and fear based reinforcement of the patterns of cause and effect. Since this includes an ingrained indifference to the suffering of others, our fears may be based realistically in the reality of our situation compounding our vulnerabilities or in adding and layering new traumatic challenges. The insights afforded by a personal response, rather than reaction to a threat, assists us in navigating these more turbulent waters.

           As empathy matures we are motivated instead by personal resilience as we witness and experience the persistence of violence that we are exposed to daily… without turning away. We become participants in a conscious, compassionate perceptual revolution. 

          Through this response we are then able to acquire the strengths needed to be fully present no mater what this asks of us… and gaining these strengths? This becomes our Path of Healing.



© Jana H. White

Photo:  © LeDoux Provosty

The Poetics of Light #10





The beginning of this series starts here


        In a world like ours, being vulnerable is dangerous. We can easily see that the most vulnerable among us are the ones that are preyed upon and the ones most subject to abuse. So creating a persona of strength and masking our vulnerabilities may seem to be a reasonable approach to survival. The resistance to showing vulnerability, however, reflects even in our most personal and intimate relationships, often depriving us of genuine experience.

          In exploring our perceptual relationship with Time we have begun factoring in the varied aspects of living within a culture, and the cultural consensus that is promoted. In a culture directed to meet the ever increasing needs of securing a projected future, the manipulation of vulnerability in hierarchical structure becomes an essential means of managing its population and producing outcomes. For all intents and purposes it is considered justified and expedient.

          In the dialogues we began further addressing the subject of empathy as we began exploring Culture. Empathy is another broad subject. Essentially invisible, we have only been able to define its warp and weft as it weaves through our lives. It wasn’t until the very end of the dialogues that I came to an understanding of its roots, which is also our objective here. As in the dialogues however, we begin with the breadth of its influence.

          In this context, the manipulation of vulnerability is essentially the employment of the patterns of empathy, how it moves through populations, and then the use of this understanding as a means of influencing outcomes. In practical terms, people who remain vulnerable are easier to manipulate and control. Using the same techniques, businesses and popular culture create prototypes to be emulated and copied that promise safe and effective embellishments to “personas” protecting us from vulnerability at the expense of our own self knowledge.

          On the other hand, there is safety in numbers. When caught in a web of personal helplessness it is seductive to empathize with those who share our particular vulnerabilities, supportively elaborating on the theme. However, without self-healing, these empathetic sympathies tend to validate suffering, keeping us in an empathetic loop and distancing us from opportunities for a deeper self understanding.

          Empathy in one form or another weaves through our lives either through cultural promotion or personal choice. In every sense, hierarchy, empathy and the manipulation of vulnerability are major factors in the function of culture.

          As human beings, it is within our most basic nature to mirror the emotions of others, reflecting our own conscious and unconscious thoughts and feelings. It is felt that expressing empathy affords us a way of dealing with our own vulnerabilities by experiencing them together or through the lives of others, giving breadth to our social instincts. Moving us to feel deeply and follow our need to belong and to be understood, we form supportive relationships that have the expectation of enhancing life. These relationships have the opportunity of promoting personal and collective growth and well being, or at the very least they give us a “safe” place to inhabit until challenged further. Empathy is complicated and has many sides.

          As humans, our reliance on empathy and its patterns have become the means by which we organize our projections, judge the value of relationship and steer our course, anticipating progress through the patterns of cause and effect that have defined our history. We will begin to understand that as human perception has moved deeper into a perceived separation from the Continuum of Life, we alone as human beings have developed our mental and emotional empathic abilities to both heal this perceived separation, but most often to maintain it.

         Even though we witness emotional depth in other creatures besides ourselves, as we continue to explore our human relationship with empathy it will become clearer that it is incorrect to assume that this depth of relationship in other creatures is an empathic response. In the dialogues it was said that empathy as a form of response is solely human. However….


Through the continual balancing

of our thoughts and emotions into an integrated physicality

empathy matures,

or has the opportunity of maturing,

becoming less selective, less self protective, less manipulating

and more open to a compassionate and equable response to all vulnerability.”


          Despite the seduction and continual employment of empathy, we remain part of the Continuum of Life whether this is acknowledged or not. The nature of the Continuum is to be adept at sophisticated reorganization in organized complexity, adjusting and healing any imbalance. And though we are an integral part of this,


“The essential requirement

of creative reciprocal relationship itself

is trust


          In our current worldview our regard of time as absolute, as opposed to time being simply a useful measure, substitutes for trusting. It substitutes for trusting that we have the ability to survive by being in a creative reciprocal relationship within the natural organization of life. Culturally we have determined that it is for our highest good to base our endeavors on ordering all of life to our own requirements, thus insuring our future. I was told that, in our current paradigm…


“Culture is the measure of our empathy.

Time is the measure of our perception.”


          Hierarchy in all its manifestations is the natural extension of this marriage and a pervasive means of measure and control. However, as our perception becomes a cognizant physical embodiment, we realize that inspiration is the common reciprocal language of a spiritually intelligent world. As we shift our perception to the immediacy of relationship, rather than a perceptual relationship with time, reciprocal resonance in the form of insight replaces empathy as a means of connection.

          Our regard of time though, may still hold us in the illusion that everything we experience, including insight, has a forward linear motion. Perhaps not realizing that insight moves in waves…multi-dimensional, multi-layered.

          Sometimes inspiration is simply… a grace-full-ness. Enlivened by these synchronicities we reach for understanding about ourselves, our relationships, our work. As these waves of inspiration move us along, our sense of connection and relationship is enhanced and in our own way we open to everything around us. With our senses heightened, we deepen our cognizance of the physicality of insight.

          As our recognition of insight increases, the dichotomy inherent in a time continuum may foster the feeling of being “singled out” creating either confusion and/or delusion. The images of “winners and losers”, and “chosen ones” are strongly imbedded in our psyches.


“In the Continuum

there is no measure

in kinship”


          New insights that allow us to venture into unfamiliar or darker territory can also be complicated. We may only comprehend their immediate relevance as insight continues to move deeper in our experience. Only then do we begin to understand further relationships and connections… which then lead to new and deeper insights. We begin to realize that insight is a pulse ever beating, requiring continued responsiveness to actualize further within us and manifest fully in our lives.

          All relationship within the Continuum is based on trust. As we open to insight in these darker realms we are given the opportunities for understanding all that is necessary to heal our vulnerabilities. Because this is a reciprocal relationship we also have the ability to slow the momentum… to take a breath when needed or when becoming overwhelmed.

          The more cognizant we are of our own internal balancing act however, no mater how confusing or difficult, no matter how young or old we are, the more likely we are to be responsive to the subtleties of insight. We are also better able to distinguish when our vulnerabilities are manifesting, lending weight and coloring our experience. Life hands it out in inscrutable ways to have a closer look. Opening to this gives us what we need. Need here is the operative word. Not desire or projection.

          In coming to a level of maturity in the balancing of our thoughts and emotions, at any time in our lives, we have the opportunities to learn resilience, to gain the strengths needed to heal our vulnerabilities, equipping us to handle whatever presents itself. The guidance for this is within us. Acknowledgement is our prayer, a prayer without measure or future tense. It was stressed that this relationship requires no less than daily spiritual acknowledgment, in whatever form our spiritual practices take. Acknowledgement is simple and immediate. It is a matter of conscious relationship not necessarily of form.


“Large tree in winter with branches touching the sky.

The cold winds twist and bend the branches into grotesque postures.

A prayer for the purposely obscure and conventional postures

seated in better times.

The world revolves around the sun

Spring follows winter

Summer follows Spring

The tree prays in all seasons”



© Jana H. White

Artist: Kathe Kollwitz