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Gateways Coaching for Arts Professionals
Barbara Bowen : Carl Jung and Gateways Themes

Carl Jung and Gateways Themes

By Barbara Bowen

The Gateways coaching method employs universal themes that help arts clients to illuminate and Clarify their creative career challenges. These themes provide insight and guidance in practical terms, helping clients to harness their creativity and channel it to reach new goals. Gateways Coaching themes integrate understandings from the mythologist Joseph Campbell and various spiritual traditions and teachers. Grounded in the core ideas of Carl Gustav Jung, they are designed to foster the spiritual aspects of Creativity and to coach highly Creative professionals into new or expanded expression.

The Swiss psychologist Carl Jung (1875-1961) integrated spiritual understanding with scientific investigation, discovering patterns of growth toward psychic wholeness that he called individuation. His discoveries and therapeutic methods include familiar terms like personality types, shadow, anima and animus, active imagination and much more. His work has been deeply embraced by artists, spiritual leaders, and others who have experienced its rich insights into Creativity and spirituality. Jung found correspondences between dream imagery and mythological motifs, and he noticed that the most powerful symbols and myths expressed by humanity seem to arise from a common deep substratum of the mind he named the collective unconscious.

Jung used the word "archetype" to describe the persistence of patterns he discovered to arise from the collective unconscious, that have operated through the millennia. Archetypes can be described as primal patterns (of action or behavior), primal forms, images and energies that govern our creative lives. A child's devotion to the parents, whether they happen to be reliable parents or not, is an archetypal behavior pattern. Personifications appearing in dreams can be archetypes, as are the Gods and Goddesses of religious traditions, who personify various energies or human realities. Mythology is the oldest picture language of mankind. It portrays these energies of the inner life, and their outer manifestations. For example, in Buddhism we meet the elephant Ganesh, destroyer of obstacles; Brahma the Creator; Vishnu the Sustainer; and Shiva the Destroyer. In Christianity, we meet Mary Mother of God, the feminine aspect of the God force. And there are many more. The snake image, coiling in upon itself, can be a symbol of history repeating, of spiritual energies rising, of regeneration, of elemental life, or of something negative and threatening, depending upon which cultural lens it is viewed through.

In Jungian terms, our psyches are born encoded with the "archetypes" of the collective unconscious with which we remain uniquely connected throughout our spiritual lives. Jung's teachings can help us to be fully engaged in life while growing spiritually at the same time. When we encounter an archetypal image, our inner lives can be animated by the energies running through that image.

Gateways Coaching themes address universal aspects of the Creative Process. The themes consist of universal images/patterns that coach Clients to Clarify what is working, or not working, along their Creative paths. In other words, each Gateways theme is a "window" into one aspect of the Creative Process: a universal entry point. Universals help clients to sift out what is *uniquely true for them. Empowered with this Clarity, needed actions also become clear. When actions are taken, clients move into momentum and acceleration. We can each relate to all seven of Gateways' universal themes. However, most clients are experiencing present challenges that are illustrated by one of the themes predominantly.

Gateways coaching themes help clients to clarify and meet the following universal challenges to the Creative life:

  • Coping with attitudes about Creativity that influence our expression, both past and present.
  • Facing colleagues, friends and significant others who influence our Creative Process.
  • The obstacles that present themselves as we embark upon a career transition or a new goal.
  • Lightening up the Critical Voice and fine-tuning our Creative gifts.
  • Finding a balance between the head and heart in our Creative Process.
  • Moving into closer alliance with our intuition and revitalizing our Creativity.
  • Gaining more insight and trust in the Spiritual aspects of Creating.

QUOTES by Carl Jung:

"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens."

"The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity."

"What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes? Herein lies the key to what you should be doing in your worldly pursuits." •

© 2003 Barbara Bowen

Barbara BowenBarbara Bowen owns Gateways Coaching and helps artists and other professionals to master the creative process, build momentum, and take sensible risks to move careers to the next level. More »

6/13/05