Welcome to a poetic and philosophic blog about the struggles of life and relationship.

“The ambiguity of life exists in every creative process. In every creative process of life, a destructive trend is implied; in every integrating process of life, a disintegrating trend; in every process toward the sublime, a profanizing trend.”(Paul Tillich, Ph.D., from The Meaning of Health, 1981)

Life cannot exist without the essential possibility and existential reality of death. Life is impossible without the daily, chaotic struggle against death... against the unremitting threat of entropy and nothingness. As Tillich again informs us, “Life must risk itself daily in order to win itself, but in the risking it may lose itself. A life which does not risk death--even in the highest forms of the life of the spirit--is a life poorly lived." This willingness to risk ourselves for greater life is the key that opens the door to the wellspring of creativity deep inside of us... that wellspring of transformative vitality that propels us through the struggle of death into the richness and renewal of new life.

"Creativity is 'the elixir of life' that heals and transforms life. Through the creative process we enter that 'sacred place,' that zone of evolution where the world lights up to itself as we light up to the world. It is here, in that 'holiest of holy' places that we are reunited with the waters of the wellspring of creativity, The Source of the 'River of Life' from which all creative energy and vitality issue forth to be manifested as new life. Through every creative act, life fulfills itself. Through every creative act, we transcend the mortality of our separate ego-self of I and enter into the realm of immortality to become one with our contextual self as Thou, as a self-realized collaborator in creation. Through creativity, we are delivered from the chaos of illness into the dynamic order of new life."
(P. Donovan & Herb Joiner Bey from The Face of Consciousness, 2006)

Please join me on this courageous venture of life and "enter into the realm of immortality," the realm of dialogue and relationship by poetically sharing with this community, your struggles to live... to "nullify the unremitting recurrences of death" through the continuous recurrence of birth. Through dialogue and relationship, the Face of consciousness is seen, recognized and witnessed. It is your Face, my Face, the Face of all life, the Face of our God. Thank you, Patrick.

On Health and Healing


Dr. Donovan: Time Spent with Patients






Healing Arises From The Transmutation of Illness


"Our purpose is not to resist illness but to use it... (because) healing arises exclusively from the transmutation of illness never from conquering symptoms." (Dethlefsen and Dahlke from The Healing Power of Illness)



Illness is the destructive trend implied in every self-sustaining process of a living organism. It is the balancing, disintegrative counterpart to every integrating process. Without the potential for illness and disease, life could not proceed on its path of continuous creation because continuous creation is dependent upon continuous destruction. Life, in the physical sense, is what it is only within the context of the reality of physical death. Health exists as an existential phenomenon only in juxtaposition to the phenomenon of disease. Therefore, the time-honored motto of healing - Vis Medicatrix Naturae (The Healing Power of Nature) - is only a half truth. Within this concept lies its 'shadow side,' the full paradoxical, hidden truth of the 'destructive power of nature.' Without a full understanding of this full dialectic in its wholeness, we are left with only a partial truth. The Universe as we experience it, exists in its wholeness because of the paradox of duality and maximal contrast. Life can not be denied its death as light can not be denied its darkness and visa versa.


Image of the Phoenix 



Friedrich Justin Bertuch, Bilderbuch für Kinder, 1790-1830 (Eigenbesitz), Fabelwesen.

Through the process of transformation, the illness itself becomes the healing path... the vehicle through which life is transmuted into greater life. As the 20th century philosopher, Paul Tillich writes, "Life must risk itself in order to win itself." Illness is the physical evidence of life risking itself to win itself. It is the very process through which one must pass to experience one's healing. This is "The Hero's Journey"... the transition from life through death/illness to new life. It is the journey of life's continuous creation.


"We have only to follow the thread of the 'the Hero's path.' And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought ot be alone, we shall be with all the world." (Joseph Campbell from Hero With A Thousand Faces)


P. Donovan



Every Healing Requires a Death of Some Kind

Every healing requires a death of some kind... something must die so that something can be born a new. This is the fundamental truth of all transformative processes. Therefor, the "real" question behind all transformative change and hence all healing isn't "What is it that you want?" It is: "What are you willing to sacrifice or let go of for your new level of order to manifest... for your new way of living to manifest?"


We all want many things but are not willing to sacrifice that which keeps us in old familiar patterns of ego security whether those patterns work (promote soul growth) or not. The belly of the shadow beast of healing and transformation is and always has been an act of sacrifice and letting go, never of desire and visualization alone. There is always a price to be paid.


What are you willing to sacrifice for that which you desire?


P. Donovan

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