Category Archives: Pyschology

The Essence of the Marie Kondo KonMarie Decluttering Philosopy

“When you pick up an item, feel it and think, ‘Does this make my heart skip a beat?'” – KonMarie, [Youtube Video Link]

“In the KonMari Method even the contents of a drawer that is hidden away should spark joy in you.” – [12:08 Mark in NHK Video]

“It is very important to choose what you want to keep rather than what you want to throw away in tidying.”  – [10:36 mark in NHK Video]

“The Goal of my tidying method is not just to reduce what’s in a room and remove clutter. My criterion is whether or not, you, as its occupant are comfortable being in that room.”
– [2:42 minute mark in this Video Link]

“Keep only things that bring joy,” she writes. The rest should be thanked and then discarded. – The Japan Times

“Anything doesn’t make you feel happy, get rid of.”  – Marie Kondo, [Youtube Link]

“If you’re not sure, ask yourself if it’s suitable for you. Does it create the image you have of yourself? No? Look back over the memories you shared with it and say, ‘Thank you.’ You’ll end up with only the items you really like.” – Marie Kondo, [Youtube Link]

“It’s paradoxical, but I believe that precisely because we hang on to such materials, we fail to put what we learn into practice.” – pg. 101 “The Life-Changing magic of tidying up”

It may seem rather drastic, but I’m convinced that letting go, at least once, of anything that doesn’t bring you joy is the ultimate way to experience what it’s like to surround yourself only with things that do bring you joy.
“It might come in handy.” Believe me, it never will. You can always manage without it.
– pg. 21, “Spark Joy”

The Key That Makes the KonMarie Method Work Better than Others

The Indians addressed life as a ‘thou.’ I mean trees, stones, and everything else. You can address anything as a “thou,” and you can feel the change in your psychology as you do it. – Joseph Campbell The Power of Myth, Ep. 3, The First Story Tellers, 25m 32s

Holding an old pair of Eddie Bauer Khakis, asking not just my conscious mind, but also my “feeling body,” whether they “spark joy,” I suddenly realized that this method allows you to take the time, that it puts you in another state of mind. I walked into my closet, just now, on about “Day 3” of  my “KonMarieing” adventure, and that’s the exact thought that popped into my head along with a very calm, opening of the heart feeling:

“It allows you to take your time. It puts you in another state of mind.”

I think this is the key why this method works whereas many others don’t.

We’re so used to rushing in every area of our lives: making appointments, phone calls, paying bills, getting this or that done by the end of the week or month. It puts a stress on the subconscious, on the soul.

And you would think that a project like “decluttering” would also demand such a sense of rushing and stress. And when I first started, I found myself almost spontaneously trying to rush, thinking,  “Oh I’ve got to get this row of clothes done in the next hour!”

But here’s the special key: Hoarding is a psychological problem, not a time one.

So the part of her program where you actually hold each and every item allows you to slow down and bring calmness into the picture. It becomes a ritual. Your spirit is invited to the party. A transformation of consciousness occurs. This is the essence of a ritual. And a ritual like this, one that’s sincere and from the heart, allows the hoarder to break the psychological bond. And that’s freedom.

You can feel it.

Although not large, the space I live in is graced only with those things that speak to my heart. My life-style brings me joy.    – KonMarie, “The life-changing magic of tidying up,” pg. 31

The Cure for Fear is Following Your Bliss

“I’ve said in the ‘Hero with a Thousand Faces’ that if you go on your own proper voyage, there will be protection, magical aid to come to protect you. If it’s not your proper voyage, that will be missing, and you’ll be in trouble. But if it’s the voyage of your own spirit and soul and destiny, don’t be afraid. There will come assistance.”

– Joseph Campbell, Collected Works, Audio Series II, Volume II – Perspectives on Creative Mythology, II.2.2 ‘Hermes, Alchemy, and The Voyage of Ulysses,’ The Adventure of Circe (1:43)

The Symbolic Meaning of a Water Fountain

Water Fountain at Chenal Country Club

One can obviously see the phallic symbology of the water penetrating a yoni from beneath, but in a deeper sense, ironically a higher chakra sense, the form of a fountain represents each person and living being itself manifesting from a world of transcendence. And since each particle is of divine nature, so it your whole being.

The water represents the energy, the ambrosia of eternity pouring into the field of time. The endless flowing, the continuous flowing, represents the eternal nature of this mystical dimension and also the infinite nature of its source. Since you can’t see the water’s source, that represents that it’s coming from the ground of being and also that it’s coming from another dimension which is invisible to our senses. On a deeper level there’s the paradox and the archetypal sense of the infinite coming from nothingness, which ironically enough is being postulated as the literal truth in the latest scientific origin stories such as the Big Bang theory.

Most fountains that you see spring from a round bowl-shaped container or vase. The inside of the bowl or pool is sacred space, a “Holy Grail” you might say, which represents the transcendence of duality or on a psychological level, the gap between our thoughts.

Water has long been seen as symbolic of the ambrosia of eternity—and in mythology and psychology as symbolic of the subconscious. A fountain represents a sacred opening, gap or tunnel which is a connection to eternity itself—as well as to the depths of our own being.

In a way, a kind of mini temple, yet completely natural: a religious, mystical experience paradoxically combining both the mystical and the physical, representing a connection created by nature herself.

This is why it evokes an archetypal response of beauty in most people: The aesthetic being, at least on the symbolic level, the manifestation of a mystery.

02/09/16 Update: One element that struck me recently, especially looking at the still photograph, is the Lingam/Yoni symbolism. And there is a strong dichotomy of the Lingam, representing Shiva, coming out of the bowl/vase shaped Yoni, which is representative of the feminine aspect. But if you think about it from a Hindu perspective this makes total sense: The “Void” out of which everything comes and back into which everything goes is the Mother Goddess of the Universe. She is it. Symbolically speaking, the divine feminine represents life itself, and the Lingam, the male divine, represents the snake, who by piercing life, right through the middle, throws off death, just a snake throws off its skin.

The fact that the Lingam and Yoni are seen as together, like the Ying and Yang of Asia, as well as the water and bowl of a fountain, represents that the two are one, that the feminine and masculine are merely two different aspects of the same thing, just like the eternal and the imminent, the mysterious and the manifest, and indeed, life and death: this represents to the soul the transcendent nature of its own being.

Read this quote by Joseph Campbell

“Nevertheless-and here is a great key to the understanding of myth and symbol-the two kingdoms are actually one. The realm of the gods is a forgotten dimension of the world we know. And the exploration of that dimension, either willingly or unwillingly, is the whole sense of the deed of the hero.” – The Hero with a Thousand Faces, page 217, The Crossing of the Return Threshold

Here, the “realm of the gods” is symbolized by the Yoni, the void, the bowl, the feminine. And the “world we know” is represented by the Lingam/Masculine aspect. The masculine is representative of manifestation, but that manifestation has the potentiality to come in contact with the divine, indeed become divine, if it has the energy, drive, and intent to summon itself into one direction, namely that of the spontaneity residing inside the bowl of its own heart.

Another dichotomy: Notice in the fountain and in Hindu temples, the Lingam aspect is coming out of the Yoni, not going in: That’s symbolic of a resurrection. New life (Nova Vita) in this case not coming from sexual intercourse, but from a birth of the heart.

The Basic Theme of All Mythology

Opening the world to the dimension of mystery. To realize the mystery that underlies all forms.

“That’s the message of the myth: you as you know yourself are not the final term of your being.”

Joseph Campbell: The indication is of a notion of a plane of being that’s behind the visible plane and which is somehow supportive of the visible one to which we have to relate. I would say that’s the basic theme of all mythology… That there is an invisible plane supporting the visible one. Now, whether it is thought of as a world or simply an energy, uh, that differs from time to time and place to place.

Bill Moyers: What we don’t know supports what we do know.
JC: That’s right.

*About the 11:30 mark in the Power of Myth, the First Storytellers.

Ritual is one way of relating to this invisible plane.

JC: “Through the ritual that dimension is struck which transcends temporality and out of which Life comes and back into which it goes.” – 24:16

“What all the myths have to deal with is transformation of consciousness, that you’re thinking in this way and you have now to think in that way.” – JC – 16:10 Power of Myth, The Hero’s Journey.