Filters, Resistance and Quaternity

Estimated read time... 3 minutes

Lately I’ve been thinking about how we filter our lives, what we take in and digest, what we let go, what we resist, and the images that define us.  My hope is to explore, without purpose, ambition or goal, what comes from our experiences and how they inform our health and well-being.

Quaternity is a square or four-sided symbol that represents wholeness; or, in the case of Jungian psychology, which has been a “hobby” of mine for over a decade, psychological totalitity.  In the Jungian stance it is the “marriage quaternio archetype of: ego, female, anima and Wise One.”(1)  Sounds fantastic right?  All the parts of use working in unison, as a whole.

For me, quaternity is the sacred space, the temenos, a mandala, representing the self and all the aspects therein.  It also serves as a symbol for what TCM means for me: the sides of the quaternity symbol are facets of Yin, Yang, Qi, and Spirit (Shen, Hun, Po, Zhi, Yi).  When united and working together, we are whole, healthy, and at peace in the flux that is life.  When not united and working together, we are imbalanced: in mind, body and spirit.  We will also become imbalanced in our relationship with others and life itself.

Previously, I had viewed the quaternity image as a square divided into four, now I have shifted to the circle representing the world and person moving in unison divided by a cross representing the different directions, sides and influences that make us whole.

QH logo

With the overlap of Jung and TCM (which I hope to explore further if my muse continues to inspire me), I see and have first-hand experience where filtering issues and resistance to experiences – positive or negative – can create massive disruption in the system.

  • If we are unable to properly filter an experience, resistance sets in disrupting the cycle creating patterns of imbalance psychologically, spiritually and physically because, we are after all, holistic beings where mind-body-soul are one and informed by each other.
  • We can absorb much more than we realize through a lack of filter (aka boundary), and unconsciously assimilate ideas and feelings that are not our own.

In the first example, we meet with someone who has suffered due to heartbreak, loss, or a hurt of some kind (physical, emotional, spiritual), who has also been unable to fully process, feel, and work through the experience, and has lingering effects from the experience for a time afterwards.

In the latter example, we meet someone who is not able to discern what is theirs, what is not, and knowing (or unknowingly) “plagiarizes” an idea or experience. Ever spend time with someone and end up “absorbing” their anger and becoming angry yourself?  Succumbing to propaganda is another example.  Those are two over-simplistic examples of a lack of filter or boundary.

Too often our imbalances arise from our inability to properly filter what has happened to us, thus disrupting the sacred wholeness of our selves.  When that happens, our integrity, wholeness, totality, are compromised and the trickle down effect can impact us for years to come before we are able to return or be on the path to wholeness and totality.

Being conscious of our self is not just a matter of what we eat, how often we exercise, how much we sleep, or if we meditate.  It is also about what our consciousness and unconsciousness are participating in, and how we respond: by filtering or resisting what we are given and react to and assimilating it all in a healthy way – for the self and those we are in relationship with.

We may “think” we have resolved an issue, moved on, no longer affected by what has happened to us (due to lack of filter, or resistance to an experience), however that issue has only been buried by our unconscious, waiting to be rediscovered and processed/worked-through later on when we are ready.  It is only when we are ready to truly see what it is that we are doing, knowingly or unknowingly by looking inward, digging in, and taking a close look at ourselves, that we are able to truly initiate a sense of wholeness of self.  Then can we be represented as the ultimate: quaternity.

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