This meeting with oneself is, at first, the meeting with one’s own shadow. The shadow is a tight passage, a narrow door, whose painful constriction no one is spared who goes down to the deep well. But one must learn to know oneself in order to know who one is.

~C.G. Jung, CW 9, part 2, Page 21

The Uses Of Sorrow
(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.

~ Mary Oliver, Thirst

I interpret mainly to let the patient know the limits of my understanding. The principle is that it is the patient and only the patient who has the answers.

~ D.W. Winnicott

There is a saying in the Tibetan scriptures: 'Knowledge must be burned, hammered, and beaten like pure gold. Then one can wear it as an ornament.' So when you receive spiritual instruction from the hands of another, you do not take it uncritically, but you burn it, you hammer it, you beat it, until the bright, dignified color of gold appears. Then you craft it into an ornament, whatever design you like, and you put it on.

~ Chogyam Trungpa

I love the silent hour of night,
For blissful dreams may then arise,
Revealing to my charmed sight
What may not bless my waking eyes.

~ Anne Brontë

Dreams are like archipelagos. Each dream may be unique and specific in its own right, but under the surface we may glimpse the presence of a continuum, the dream of dreams, which is the mythic fingerprint, the unconscious life theme, the theme of themes, for the dreaming subject. 

~ James Grotstein, 2000

I think every individual should strive to attain wisdom, to be a philosopher, not just people who happen to have studied philosophy. That's nothing. Formal education is nothing in itself... I think that th most important things the desire to know and to understand, and that's something people can do for themselves outside of educational establishments. 

~ Nadya Tolokonnikova

The pathway to individuation is a spiral process with each evolution of consciousness hitting the same bumps in the road. Jung observed that "the serious problems of life are never fully solved. If ever they should appear to be so it is a sure sign that something has been lost. The meaning and purpose of a problem seems to lie not in its solution but in our working at it incessantly. This alone preserves us from stultification and petrification.


Life does not accommodate you, it shatters you. It is meant to, and it couldn't do it better. Every seed destroys its container or else there would be no fruition. 

~ Florida Scott-Maxwell

If you bring forth that which is within you,
Then that which is within you
Will save you.
If you do not bring forth that
Which is within you,
Then that which is within you
Will destroy you.

~ The Gospel of Thomas, 70

The act of creative imagining, inventing, saying differently, crafting a metaphor or image, then crafting another metaphor or image when you go further or when you revise - all these take whatever you think "is" and make clear that other possibilities exist as well. The sense of possibility, the amplitude and freedom that sense of malleability brings - for me, that cannot help but be joyous.

~ Jane Hirshfield