Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Departure. We leave the house at 9 a.m. and drive in silence to the airport. Quick farewell at the door. I go to the counter and wrestle with the machine rather discombobulated. Eventually, with the help of the telephone assistant and a second one I pass the exam.

Checking in: a nice elderly woman. Hands me back my ticket and smiles. She seems familiar. I look into her eyes and have a feeling she knows who I am, and what I was there for...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Last day. The same routine: exercises, 40 push-ups next to the bed. Take a short run, 50 push-ups next to the garage, and a walk around the block. I calculated: during the 10 weeks I walked 100 miles, biked another 100. I took part on 70 various programs, worship services, courses, exhibitions, concerts, meals and hikes. Last talk with Rose.

Thinking on communism: denial of rights and their psychological consequences.

Dinner with Julie and Randy. I talk about my experiences, especially about the Jung lecture. Explain the difference between the theory of Freud and Jung: libido as power and archetypes as ideals. We also talked about the peculiarities and difficulties of learning foreign languages: same word with different intonation => different meaning. Julie learns Chinese. She has a good example: "ma".

Julie drives me home. On our way I sum up the meaning of my trip. Every day had its own message. We talk about the Jungian principle of synchronicity, recalling few instances in his autobiography. Unexpected passing away of my father and my inheritance which made this trip possible.

I invite Don and Pat to my favourite place: the Elmer's. Last dinner. Summing up experiences. (I note: in Budapest they won't believe I stayed with them for free for 10 weeks.)

During the night we watch a documentary about the story of Jesus and Christianity on OPB.

I'm thinking on connection of religion and the psycho-philosophy of authority.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Morning exercises: good to be on the fresh air, good to be here. It is also reassuring that I attained what I had wished.

I packed. Bought a bag in Goodwill. $12.99 on the price tag, they gave it for $6.49. (Later on I checked: a new one is 80-100.)

Pat layed the table for dinner already at noon. She was already cooking at 2:30. I installed Skype on both computers and walked out to Lloyd Center. Strolled in the bookshop, souvenir shop, watched the skaters. Thought about the changes I went through since I've been here.

Meditated on connection between religion, sex and feelings of shame.

At dinner: Ingrid & Henry, John & Mary, Don & Pat, Michael & Susan. Two kinds of vegetarian food + salad. New recipe from the Net, Pat doesn't know its long name. (One of them seems to be mashed squash with grinded walnut and syrup on top.)

After dinner we watched on tv the pictures of all the hikes of the year. Don selected them from all our photos.

Goodbye to hikers.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dream: I'm on the top floor of a high building. I wish to go out to the balcony, but the railing can be barely seen. I'm aware it is there, but still I can't see it clearly, so I do not trust it realy exists. I do not dare to go out and lean on it, so that I can take a look around. I'm afraid of the the deep abyss beyond. I sit down and try to reach out and feel the railing with my feet.

Before worship service I meet Marilyn. She told me about the Saturday lecture, in which there was mentioning about Unitarians in Transylvania. She was surprized on hearing that for them religion means ethnic identity. Yes, it is true, I say, it is the same as in the case of the early settlers in America. Their ethnic identity included religious denomination, too. The Amish are Germans, aren't they? Met Mark and Lil Hosman, talked about how things were going with my translation.

Worship service, Dr. Mark Morrison-Reed Minister in Residence: Christmas in 114th street.

I was meditating again on the mystery of death of God and the ars poetica of ministry. This teaching of mainstream Christianity had a power in America. And in fact all through Western history. From Apostle Paul to Nietzche; starting a new stage with Freud, followed with modern humanism. The UUA should realize it... I start to become a UU... This worship service was different. After 10 weeks an authoritarian church-image was replaced by a more democratic one, where intellectual approach is more likely to have a place.

After service: Randy and Julie introduce me to their daughter, she is home for holiday from New York. We agree on a last dinner. I thank Katie for receiving me as guest on the programs.

After church: lunch in a restaurant with Don & Pat, Henry & Ingrid. Mike will move over, Pat asks me to stay. At dinner: talk about rev. Mark, his intellectual culture (Washington, Chicago). They bring me a sandwich with toast, and sugar powder on it. We talk about the kids' iPhone craze. They text even under the table, without looking at the keyboard.

After lunch: Powell's. Bought two more Erich Fromm. I was reading: Patanjali, Vatsyayana... Three more days. Loitered in downtown, listened to the guitarist, with a feeling that I was part of that UU intellectual religious spirituality present all over the city.
Lately, I started reading Fromm (The Dogma of Christ). Here, it is different: you can feel the need. It is as if you studied engineering. They should introduce it in schools. In the past religious education had the same role. There are many denominational schools in Hungary, too. During the communist era psychology was a banned science in Romania. In a dictatorship neurotics are enemies of the system, because they are freedom fighters. On the main square young guys hand me a piece of paper: "GOD SAYS PLEASE DO NOT GO TO HELL".

Dinner: the last Hungarian sausage. Afterwards I went to Ross to buy something for our friends.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dream: I'm on the top floor of a high falling building, see the scenery passing by the windows.

My meditations today: death of God (Nietzche) was the beginning of birth of reason, coincided with the birth of psychoanalysis (1900). An implicit contradiction in analysis: you are supposed to exist in present not in the past - only by being aware of this you can do effective analysis. Psychology seems a feminine science because it deals with emotions (sensuality). On the other hand the framework is given by the reality. This corresponds to the male principle of reason. To which the problem of relativity of reality is also added. History of religion is relationship of instinct and reality, implying the struggle for freedom from the matter. (Jung: from darkness to light.) The Self-ideal: God as Father means a patriarch; God as Mother a matriarch. Both imply oligarchy. Psychology implies democracy: a new stage in awareness.

Our childhood situations repeat themselves in adulthood. Religion: father/mother complex, science: adulthood. Its attainment implies struggle with the cultural system and integration of the opposite side (animus/anima). Freedom for man means realization of the male identity. Intergration of the father-ideal, identification.

During the night we had a dinner together with all the family. A big old restaurant. A chain in US, 40 years old. This is the headquarters. Waited for 45 minutes, until a Star Wars device in Don's hand started blinking.

After dinner: Aladdin Theater, a benefit concert for Friends of the Children: Trail Band. Christmas and other songs (classical, blues, pop, rock) and Scott Parker - as 'Harold'. I notice how much people need to laugh: here, in the church, wherever they can. The star of the show seems to be a guitarist virtuoso in bright red: Doug Fraser. He must be 70 but shows off as a 20. Church member, Don and Pat know him. Not this aspect of him, though...

Ideas popping up: the self-sacrificing God is the most important realization of Christianity. Unitarians dropped it with original sin, thus missing a main point: the psychological aspect, retaining the ideological oneness. Thus, unfortunately many identify religion with outward symbols, missing the dynamic content and the therapeutical role. And the real ars poetica of ministry. Same problem as in the time of Francis David.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Today I raked fallen leaves and cleaned around the house from 9:30 to 2:30. It was good. The weather was great. I was meditating on the idea: when one is ready to leave the nest, one doesn't look back anymore.

Last lunch with Lajos and Sharon in a Thai restaurant. The same vegetable soup: big pieces of cabbage and onion. And a huge spoon. I had a bite of Sharon's chicken. It was extremely spicey, I couldn't stop my running nose afterwards. At Lajos we had a long talk about his childhood memories, the story of their emigration and life in the US. Transylvanian and Hungarian political and religious problems. It was very good, I felt as if at home.

Hungarians in US gather each year in Ohio, around 150.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Today I read it through again the proposal corrections made by Don. After we talked, I left to buy some batteries. Strolled in the shops and thought about what we have been talking.

Here people are searching for wholeness, you can feel that. That's what matters in the opposite sex, too: the wholeness of personality. Freud was thinking in instinctive power, Jung in archetypes. The two are in a content-and-form-relationship. We use both in self-expression. The power is universal, yet it takes shape in sexes. This is moulded by our parents, and we imitate their role in our partnerships.

19 p.m. Dr. Mark Morrison-Reed: The Perversity of Embracing Diversity. Talk Given at General Assembly 2009. Enews: There is a surprising, and painful truth behind Unitarian Universalist efforts to become more diverse. This truth must begin with an honest look at who we are and why we are who we are, and it ends in a conundrum but not without hope. If Unitarian Universalists really want to change, accepting the truth is the only place to start. Torn between our reality and our aspirations what are we to do?

The UUA became more and more liberal during the decades, with more diverse membership. (6-7% of the ministers are LGBT.)

I was thinking as I walked toward home on the Freudian theory and religion as a psycho-sexual problem. It is unusually cold. Marilyn's pipes were frozen. Ours too. I saw her there on the lecture, and many more friends. Don and Pat try to fix the problem blowing hot air at the wall from the top of a ladder.

My time is approaching to its end. I think my mission have been accomplished. The Jung lecture was even more than I hoped for.