Center for Sacred Psychology

Soul Food Archive: Desserts & Snacks

Radha and Krishna
Radha and Krishna Feeding Each Other in the Glade
Western India, 19th century*

Desserts & Snacks can come in spiritual flavors. There are times when the hearty meal or novel fare just doesn’t appeal to our taste buds. Instead, we hunger for small after-dinner tidbits, simple comfort food, the treats of childhood. Here are some assorted tasty morsels and indulgences for times of spiritual play (and, no calories!).

Please visit our Main Courses and Guest Caterer Specials for heavier meals. Also, don’t forget our earlier offerings, stored in the Soul Food Archive. Your comments are always welcome. Read others' comments about this page.

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Dear Guest,  
            This picture* stopped us in our tracks.  Perhaps it will catch your attention too.  Any time this happens, we know it’s important to pause….spend time with the image….and even ask ourselves questions such as:
                       

What sort of feelings does this picture stir in me?
If this was a dream image, why might it have appeared?

(or, since this isn’t a dream image, but a picture on a computer screen, we might ask)
 
Why have you popped into my space just now?

These are good questions whenever we’re grabbed by something in our environment:
not only pictures, but songs, poems, stories, chance remarks, people, places--anything that stirs us.  And the stirring can be positive ("Oh, how interesting!") or negative ("I detest that thing!").  "Being grabbed," or experiencing affect, has meaning.  The "grabber" is a projective hook that catches something corresponding to it within the "grabbee"--that’s us (how’s this for clinical language?).  And projection is one of the best ways to discover clues about ourselves.
Jungians write about two major ways the unconscious makes itself known: projection, which happens when we find ourself reflected by something in the outer world, and dreams, which come bubbling up from within.  When affect or feeling accompanies either, the message is "Pay Attention!  The psyche is speaking!"

The analytic psychologists, Jung’s school, offer two next steps when such clues come to us.  We can use these with the intriguing picture above, and with any projective hook:

1) Associations:  Our personal reactions to (in this case) an image.  Of what does it remind me?  Did I ever see anything like this before?  How does it make me feel?  Is my response positive or negative? and so on.  My reactions will be different from anyone else’s, because we each draw from our own unique well of personal experiences.

2) Amplification:  Next, we can find out information about the picture (song, person, etc.).  What is it?  Is there a history behind it?  Who made it?  What was the purpose of this work? and so on. The credits section, below, lets us know that this picture is not just an abstract design, but a map of a specific place…and, it’s a quilt, by well-known art quiltmaker Linda Gass of northern California.  And, further, the quiltmaker has a specific purpose in mind behind all her work.
All this information and Linda’s artist statement helps us process our response to this artwork. 

Two of many, many possible responses to this picture might be: "I need to pay more attention to local ecological issues" or "This picture reminds me of the persistent way ideas try to creep into my mind--I need more solitude, more time to read, to meditate, to pray."  The response may be related to either our outer or our inner life--or to both.

Now, just because everyone on our staff looked at this remarkable image and said, "Wow!" (clue that projection is going on), doesn’t mean everyone seeing it here, or on Linda’s site, will have a similar reaction.  The idea is to pay attention to those things which do capture us--in fact, to watch out for them.  With each such experience, we have an opportunity to get to know just a bit more about the unknown world inside.  (See, in the Soul Food Archive, the Fall 2009 Chart of layers of the psyche for more details.)

 

A suggestion: Images that capture our attention are so important.  We might have a folder or notebook for them, both to honor their appearance, and also to refer to as time goes by.

 

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We're interested in ways this Soul Food may have touched your life.

Click HERE to send us your comments...

Read Others' Comments...


Dear Linda and Center, I am in love with the beautiful quilt. Thank you so much for showing it--and, yes, it did bring home the message you desired, Linda. Our Atlantic coastline needs someone to create "this is how it could be" art, and I just hope your northern Calif. folks are as inspired as I am...never thought much about ecology till lately, but seeing the message in art really makes me think.
Sara C.
Massachusetts

 

Dear Linda, How beautiful is your quilt! and how delighted I was to find your earlier "Wetlands Dream" in a great new book I just bought (Katharine Harmon's "The Map As Art," 2009). She also has your "Puzzle of Salt" quilt pictured, as you know. Thank you for fusing message and beauty, to lure us in--as you say. Congratulations, Linda.
Janis
New York City

 

Dear Linda, Your quilt has been one of the most popular images to appear on our website. Again, we thank you for letting us show it and look forward to continuing to follow your creative work on your website.
Blessings and love, The Center Staff
Los Angeles

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* Credits for this page:

~ Radha and Krishna Feeding Each Other in the Glade, Western India, 19th century

~ Wetlands Dream Revisited, © 2008, Linda Gass, 30"x30." Paint and quilting on silk crepe de chine; photo:Don Tuttle.  Award-winning, widely published fiber artist Linda Gass of Los Altos, CA creates awareness of land and water resources of California and the American west through her art quilts.  She strives to "use the lure of beauty to encourage people to look at hard environmental issues...(and through the user-friendly medium of quilting) tries to create an attitude shift from feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problems to feeling inspired and empowered to take action…"  [We delight in Linda's statement, for our Center is also a home to "quilts with voices."  We’re often asked for a definition of 'art quilts'—these are quilts for the wall, rather than for the bed.]

This particular aerial view of Linda's is a revisioning of her earlier Wetlands Dream quilt (2006).  Both quilts are her imagined restoration of Bair Island in San Francisco Bay, near Redwood City, CA.  Since mid-20th century, the tidal wetlands of the bay have been dried out, filled in and/or converted to salt ponds, causing great damage to the local ecosystem.  Fortunately, since 2002, the largest wetlands reclamation in the west has been underway on salt ponds owned by Cargill Inc.  Linda imagines, in fabric, thread and paint, how the Bair Island area will look when restored to its wild and natural state.  These and other of her beautiful quilts, as well as Linda’s paintings, mixed media and environmental art, can be seen and are sometimes available for purchase at www.lindagass.com.

 

WATCH FOR OUR NEXT DESSERTs & SNACKs OFFERING--IN november

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