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Dispelling the ghosts of our parents

The psyche that has lived all its life in fear of not being nourished by the mother, or of being snuffed out by the father – in other words, the psyche that experienced fundamental rejection – can cut the umbilical cord only when it stands on new ground.

Source - Marion Woodman, Addiction to Perfection: The Still Unravished Bride (Inner City Books 1982), p. 51.

When we treat a man who can only express his sexuality when he is high, then we are most likely dealing with a parental inhibition, a complex, a constrictive or punitive message that separates this man from his nature. When we have a woman unable to voice her deepest angers, hopes, and desires, we have some constrictive possession, some febrile haunting. Sometimes these hauntings are so deeply systemic in the person's history that he or she will be unconscious of their presence and will assume that "this is the way things always are" or "this is who I really am" or "how could it ever be otherwise?"

Gaining permission is the implicit task: permission to be who one is, permission to serve what wishes to enter the world through us, permission to desire what one most deeply desires, permission to serve the present hour.

Source - James Hollis, Hauntings: Dispelling the Ghosts Who Run Our Lives (The Ghosts of Our Parents).

One can move from the psychopathology of the hour toward meaning. So rather than repress the symptom, anesthetize the discord it causes, we might rather ask: Why has it come? What is it asking of me? And in light of this portrait from the interior, how might I re-vision my life? Only in these moments do we begin to move out from under the influence, however well intended, of the parental conceptions, paradigms, limitations, and models.

Source - James Hollis, Living an Examined Life: Wisdom for the Second Half of the Journey (Step Out from under the Parental Shade).

Art: Erik Witsoe

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