Breath, heavenly wanderings, and The Unholy (Sunstone Press/Release Date August 2013) fit together just as natural spiritual openings that are blocked generate toxic backup. My depth psychological colleague, Michael Eigen, author of The Psychoanalytic Mystic, shared with me the following quote by Chuang Tzu: "All things that have consciousness depend upon breath. But if they do not get their fill of breath, it is not the fault of heaven. Heaven opens up the passages and supplies them day and night without stop. But man on the contrary blocks up the holes. The cavity of the body is a many-storied vault; the mind has its Heavenly wanderings. But if the chambers are not large and roomy, then the wives and sisters fall to quarreling. If the mind does not have its Heavenly wanderings, then the six apertures of sensation will defeat each other."
Psychic breath happens naturally. Toxic religion loads spiritual passageways with shame. Bad things happen when natural spiritual openings are blocked. Here in New Mexico, the realm of Aztlan in my novel, we have witnessed institutional religion inflicting horrors on innocent souls. Both Eastern and Western religions have been implicated on the front page of newspapers. Eastern gurus and Western priests have prohibited what Chuang Tzu described as Heavenly wanderings. They claimed souls for themselves. Shame bore down on souls meant to be nurtured into increasing degrees of freedom.
In The Unholy, Claire discovers that hidden within her own past is a religious skeleton that cannot be escaped. It rattles in the closet like a bag of old bones. The dark side of religion, its masked ways and shiny lures, eclipse the reality of human suffering perpetrated by ecclesiastical masters of illusion.
What is not faced takes us down. Going down, in the realm of depth psychology, is not necessarily a bad thing; it offers psychic prospects. In the case of Claire, she must enter the depths of her own life experience and make discoveries similar to those made by patients in depths therapy. As skeletons are faced, room is made, and transformational possibilities emerge.
All things that have consciousness depend upon breath states the old wise man. So, breath for us, as practitioners of soul, remains the sure conduit to the sacred. Healing soul blockage, induced by the dark side of religion, require opening the mind to darkness and light, the truth of shame and the luminosity inherent in choosing one's own path over institutional demands. Breathing large and roomy breaths ushers us into dream time wandering in spheres of soul where destiny calls and choices lie before us.