This is a very tough story to read--especially when the implications are hardly imaginable to me. At the same time, I think it is absolutely that we DO engage our imagination in this moment--and indeed in all times of crisis-so we can imagine different outcomes and opportunities for healing. I'm hoping each of you will join with me and take moment to put focus and intention on our beautiful earth and all the creatures who are suffering...

Radiation in Japan Seas: Risk of Animal Death, Mutation?

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  • Thank you for offering these perspectives on the radiation in our ocean.  Recently, I saw this article in The Week, and it offered yet another perspective on the disaster in Chernobyl.




























    • I am sharing the article, thanks for that. Here's the documentary about Chernobyl on which the author based some of the references:


    • I keep trying to pick out and work the image fragments that hold the most psychic energy for me. This morning there are two; one, being  “The news keeps emerging as far worse than imagined or hypothesized” and the other, “…I was deeply impacted by this phrase from your poetry:  ...ways/to work the shape of things/sufficiently rotted that once/upon a then I thought holy…Somehow, it feels full of hope to me.…” A poet never quite knows what gets imitated until someone else’s light shines there. The poem is on line to fit my own poetic method which is to let the poem shape itself over time. I am experimenting with poetic remix, letting psyche have its say with the poem or poems. So the poem is undergoing a consistent re-visioning while on line. I began writing poetry this way in 9/11/01.

      The inspiration for the poem was a news article announcing scientists had created a 1cm piece of metamaterial, the coming to reality of Harry Potter’s invisible cloak. By analogy, the image projection onto the world is what’s unconsciously at work right now in the psyche of the cultural collective.

      So, I’d like to thank people for their remarks. They tell me where the shades are and that they are at work and just where they are working me and I then, am to work to re-main faithful in slough.

      Who is it I am being and what is this like when it imitates in me behaving itself as an image of psyche?  And who am I in turn when behaving this “being” out walking with it’s “be”, it’s be/coming nature, it’s “in” when I am participating in all my relations with the wholly world? This mimesis I pretend is what I am to pre-tend, meaning this is what I imagine is meant by  individuation.  

      And then, a new way of be-ing, a be-ing en poieses as this reality is without impediment of image-inertias belonging to phylogenetic overlays, this seems to me to yield to the ways in which to work the shape, sufficiently rotted, the metaphor.  In other words, this is what it is to have found the opening into and out of the underworld of inner life, the mythogenetic center in creative psyche.

      I do not know, but in my unknowing depths to which I have remained faithful it seems something has surfaced and resurfaced or faceted fluidly for me in the inner life that begins showing forth or shining forth the metaphor’s way of seeing?  What is not I (the sufficiently rotted in the personal, impersonal and transpersonal layers ) and the “I” have come close and I find myself no longer indistinct within the inner world and becoming  distinctly someone related to and relating from within as without, above as below, distinct in nature and belonging to it as from within my own nature above and in its unconscious life.

      I understand from having read the words of Jung and many other folks, folks like H. Westman, who was a contemporary of Jung, the most…the superlative gift is that of a self-becoming. I hope so. Perhaps, that is the hope. That there are individual perceptions in the psyche’s numinous ground―rainbows, reflections, mirages and the like and these ‘nothings’ are at once physical and nonphysical, in the physical world and yet not of it “existing from some points of view, from some points in physical space but not from others, spatial, but lacking backs or insides.” (see p16 H Westman, “The Springs of Creativity,” Illinois: Chiron, 1986)

      Perhaps what is be-ing when hope’s being is what is imitated is “a be-ing driven further in-ward” as if a new seed is taking root in the self. Not a mutation after all, it is a reality taking shape continuously and with meticulous care, nourished by the original mother, who isn’t “there” but real nonetheless. The danger here is always falling back into the inertia of the old fathering,  mother principle. There is a difference in  nourishments.  

      For the Huldra image and the discovery of how the mirage (the symbolic order) drives consciousness into deeper, numinous layers to develop complexity in the roots of psyche’s longing (EROS)  “making” psyche’s logical life distinct, see James Hillman, The Soul’s Code, Grand Central Publishing, 1997,  pp. 92-3.

    • @ Lynn -hey, thanks for sharing the link. Over the summer I looked at three generations (isei, nisei and sensei) in vegetal soul after Hiroshima and this article is in part a reflection on vegetal soul after Chernobyl which, as the article states, concerns a radioactive release 10 times that of Hiroshima. Nisei mediates between the presence before the bombing of Hiroshima (isei) and the coming-to-be presence in the absence created within the a-bomb soul after (sensei).

      In my own youth the fantasy image I carried was Ray Bradbury's "All of Summer In a Day". It was a fictionalized account of sensei, life under a nuclear winter after a nuclear war. Hiroshima shows us under certain levels of nuclear contamination a number of various kinds of vegetation/trees do not experience genetic mutation.  That being said, what nature might be achieving now remains mostly unknown. And, its surprising us...gravely.

    • Bradbury saw it all and said it so well. Here is something new..."something strange this way comes"...  for update April 3, 2011, by nuclear engineer ARnie Gunderson and Fairewinds It now appears that Unit 1 is sporadically going critical without human control.


      On another synchronistic note, today, the planet mars, ruler of Aries, joins Jupiter, Sun, Mercury, and Uranus, in Aries. Uranus entered the sign on March 11.

  • Stephanie and Genevieve: Thank you both so much for responding. Stephanie, I was deeply impacted by this phrase from your poetry: 

    to work the shape of things
    sufficiently rotted that once 
    upon a then I thought holy;

    Somehow, it feels full of hope to me, a reminder just as you point out of the cyclical alchemical nature of all things - that there WILL be death and destruction no matter what and it is but there is something powerful about holding even the horror. We CAN Be the container, if we are only conscious of it. I loved Robert's paper--of course I find him prolific anyway--but his reminder that the "unconscious at the center of Depth Psychology is actually the consciousness of nature" is also profound. It seems to indicate to me that Nature knows exactly what is going on in this scenario--and while I have a hard time buying into the theory that she is out for revenge, I'm more prone to imagine she is going through her own alchemical individuation process through her relationship to the human organism that she (as Robert points out in his book Technology as Symptom and Dream 'under-stands' (stands under, supports, hosts).


    Meanwhile, Genevieve, as you clearly point out, this is really horrific and it prompts me to wonder if we may have, through our unconscious development and use of technology, gone too far this time--thrown a radical element so otherly and toxic into the distillation and alchemical process that the materia (matter, mother) may not be able to withstand it this time. Certainly, though, the earth will go on...even if the process turns back and drastically changes the fate of our species and of those many others that are directly assaulted in this particular initiation. Sometimes, some don't make it through initiation to be sure. However, I am reminded that in some villages the returning initiates are greeted by doors opening all along the path of their return, symbolizing the new possibilities. If only we can imagine those and apply them--and soon....

    Thanks for the note about Dr. Emoto's daily intention--I didn't know but will certainly make that effort myself to join with the world in taking responsibility for my own capacity to create this crisis and actions that have contributed to all of it....

    • @Bonnie-

      "I loved Robert's paper--of course I find him prolific anyway--but his reminder that the "unconscious at the center of Depth Psychology is actually the consciousness of nature" is also profound."

      That's it; you've got it; the psyche of nature and the nature of psyche are one; nature's psyche-making powers are the powers with which to see through (anything). And this "moisture" --I like the image of "moistening" better  is itself the alchemical vessel, the solve and coagula holding the wits and their humours belonging-together in the moistures of  many psyches (vegetal soul and mineral soul included!) in a larger self-reflection. (For notions of belonging-together see David Miller's "Traces of a Trinity" p28 and for the archetypal split between the wits and humours see particularly ch15 of "Christs".) 

      I keep Bachelard's understanding about creative life and also Heinz Westman's understanding about psyche's ontogenesis (likened to the Ansatz)  close to me these days. The two hold hands when they go out into the world like I once learned  as a child was the way to walk into and out of the world. We are all in this together; we are all learning how to live in this world without destroying it completely.

      I particularly like RR's notion of the gap between presences and absences as the alchemical 'vessel.'  The gap is the vessel, the moistening place in the self.  

      Westmen knows nature's psyche is the center of the creative impluse and Bachelard remarks that "We always think of imagination as that faculty that forms images.(We wouldn't say "faculty" today, we would say "a field that forms /i.e. "in-forms" our fates -Conforti.) On the contrary, it is what deforms what we perceive; it is, above all, the faculty that frees us from immediate images and changes them." (Air & Dreams, p2)

      Frees us. Changes them. There is no artifice of fancy here; there is a difference between imaginal life and imaginary life. This may be something RR meant when he wrote me early this year noting how much emphasis there is just now on destructions and very little awareness of renewal. Yet, renewal is what operates when nature's psyche "creates".

    Thank you for posting and passing this along. The news keeps emerging as far worse than imagined or hypothesized in Nat'l Geo or most media, horrifyingly. We are whistling in the dark.

    Here's the latest bare bones update on each of the 6 damaged plants on April 2:

    For very thoughtful and extremely well-informed analysis i recommend Arnie Gunderson at

    alas, alas. I am utterly without hopeful words on what is transpiring. . Plutonium has been recovered in 5 soil samples outside the reactors. There is no meaningful "containment" going on. The temenos, or alchemical vessels, do not hold.

    Each noon, people are invited to join Dr Emotu in a water blessing: "Dear water, we are so sorry for having caused you such suffering. We love you and thank you."


  • Hi Bonnie-

    It seems to me it is as you say, imagination, one of the five wits that engages us through the moistures of the in-ward striving toward the ontogenesis of a self that IT is.

    My own imagination activates around the following passage from the article


    Ocean Resilient Against Radiation

    The ocean has a "tremendous capacity" for diluting radiation, Colorado State's Whicker noted.

    "It also has resilience... Kendall..."The dose makes the poison"

    That's an alchemical image.  Deliteralizing it, that is an image already undergoing psyche-making. This past summer I worked a little bit with Japanese images of a-bombed soul and the allele, at work in vegetative soul's mattering manner of re-mattering;how it imagines. The allele is the poison certain plants, like the oleander, make which doesn't let any other variety of vegetation grow in the soil except another oleander plant. Turns out this "survival" poison also protects the first generation (in Japanese, isei) plant from mutation and when it throws new seed these 2nd generation plants grow in the now radiated soil. The third generation, sensei, carries on life after radiation literally as if radiation itself didn't matter!The Japanese people discover the second-generation a-bomb soul of certain plants do not mutate and are able to grow in the radiated soil around Hiroshima. I can't locate that poetry off hand but I did go on to fictionalize a remix of my poetic experience in nisei soul with notions of metamaterial resurfacing  around the globe in a kind of hidden if a kind of Ansatz image is at work.

    Here is more on the notion that a metaphoric sensibility is an alchemical process. The lecture was presented by Robert Romanyshyn to the British Association of Psychotherapists, London, April 24, 2009. For more of Robert's lectures visit his website.

    For the poem,
    Metamaterials & The Power To See by myself, click on the poem title. Enjoy National Poetry Month!  ~stephanie

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