Ginger Gilmour & Mick Collins – Matters of the Heart
Moderated by Iain & Renate McNay
Iain: Hello and welcome to Conscious TV.
This is, kind of, a special edition, which we’re adding onto the two interviews we’ve done with Mick Collins and Ginger Gilmour previously. We just thought it would be interesting to go more in detail in their processes, partly through their Jungian work and their dream work, and generally how they integrated some very important and often very difficult experiences that happened with them.
So, they both have books. We have Mick’s book ‘The Unselfish Spirit’ and Ginger’s book ‘Memoirs of the Bright Side of the Moon’.
So we have Mick Collins, Ginger Gilmour, Renate McNay and myself.
So you’ve both had difficult times, which we’ve gone through before, and you’ve both, in the end, had a lot of work with Jungian analysis. So, Mick, let’s start with you: When did you first realise how helpful the Jungian work was?
Mick: Well, I mean, I was drawn to the training so I trained as a – well, I didn’t complete my training – but I did process orientated psychology for 9 years and Arny Mindell was a Jungian who set that up. But it’s a very Jungian-based work, but it also adds in shamanism, Daoism, and things like that, but it’s a wonderful training. And I was drawn to that, particular training through the books I’d read so I signed up for it. So the whole path of taking your process seriously: your body symptoms, your dreams, your higher or altered states of consciousness were all part of your growth and development.
So, for me, that phase – that was ‘96 I joined and went into that training – that then became so pivotal to pulling together all those threads that we spoke about in the previous session.
So, yeah, Jung became – although Mindell has formulated his own therapy approach – it was drawn very much from a Jungian perspective so, naturally, I read quite a bit of Jung as well. But that journey of entering into your process and thinking that there’s a prospective function to it, that you’re going forward, was really important. So that growth, individuation into wholeness became pretty much key for me.
Iain: You’ve used those words before: individuation into wholeness.
Iain: And for you, Ginger, you kind of experienced the wholeness, in a way, before, hadn’t you? Your history was, which we documented before, went to a lot of Pink Floyd gigs, shall we say…
Ginger: Mm hm.
Iain: ... and you experienced the wholeness there. And in the Jungian theory, your Jungian work, it was a way, maybe a way of working back towards that wholeness from your… How would you describe that?
Ginger: Mrs Tweedy, another teacher that you know I was with, said that often the individual’s the last person to know what they have to do. And it was like I – actually ever since I was little – I was in that experience. But then I had to come to a point to understand it and then to know what my purpose was and how it was to manifest.
I mean, even when I was little I remember going out in the forest and being one with the animals and the little tiny riverets of water that were on the building sites and I’d play with the rocks and the pebbles and… just in that world.
Renate: It was more like you remembered.
Ginger: I returned.
Renate: You returned.
Ginger: Yeah. Cecil Collins said that a paradise re-won is of greater value. So I had it, lost it, and came back with a greater understanding.
Ginger: And it was through the teachings of Jung and Mrs Tweedy, sufism, to then come and return to my Christian upbringing. It’s all built the process of my awareness, my awakening, to then be committed to my work for humanity through the art of beauty.
Iain: So your first sessions with Venga Engle, what do you remember about them, in terms of how much they helped you practically?
Ginger: One is that it was timeless, and that, being a grown up, you could be wise and be timeless. That was part of life. And he also made it acceptable for me in how to live it, you know, consciously.
You’re looking at me as though I didn’t finish explaining it. Do you want to know more?
Ginger: Oh God! [all laugh] Hmm…
Iain: If you want to tell us more.
Ginger: Well, I have to let it come… um…
I think that our culture doesn’t raise us to value the beauty of being human. And I feel that we have a purpose to care, guardians, for life. And his wisdom – all the teachers that I’ve been graced to meet – showed me how important it is to value that, and to take on the sword of the warrior of heart. We have to do it or we’ll lose everything.
Renate: Ginger, what does it mean for you being human?
Ginger: What does it mean to be human? It means to totally accept that we’re a being of love, of kindness, of goodness. That we cherish each other. That I cherish myself, I’m kind to myself. That I accept who I am from a soul point of view. That’s being human.
Renate: We seem to be miles and miles away from that, being human.
Ginger: And yet at the same time it’s there, it’s there.
Renate: It’s all in here, mm.
Ginger: We just have veils in front of it.
What teacher talked about the onion? You just peel the onion away.
We have great resistance because we’re being indoctrinated that reality, that reality, is false. And that you lose everything, in this world, that we think is reality.
But why don’t we just change it into joy? Why are we going to the movies and watching murder? Why are we doing that? I choose to do it differently.
My poor kids! One of the new Batman movies we went to, I went in and it was, like, so dark. And I just got up and walked out. “Mom, you can’t do that!” I said, “Yes I can. I’m not sitting here and watching this. What’s the point? Why should I do that? Life is challenging enough.”
Interestingly enough, she had heart palpitations at the end of the movie, I had to take her to ER.
Iain: Your daughter did?
Ginger: Mm, yeah.
Renate: So, Ginger, you had many experiences of who you are and you saw the beauty within and so you had pointers what to look for and so many people, 99% of humanity, never have an experience like that, or cannot understand if they have it. And that makes it, probably, so difficult to realise what a human being is and why you’re here. Wouldn’t you think so?
Ginger: Yes, and I think we have, as visionaries, a lot of work to do, to create images. You’re doing it here, creating an image so that they see that there is another reality. But, more than that, it has to be bigger. The film industry has to start shifting, the television needs to shift. We need to understand how we’re indoctrinating people and what are we indoctrinating them to think about life? Right now it’s scary, for the reality they’re putting out there.
I know that the children that I have raised, what is their future? Atomic bombs? Pollution? Global warming? Whereas, when I was leaving home, the scary bit was ‘Can I do it?’ The world was my oyster. I went for it. I believed in Abraham Lincoln, you know, we could do anything.
Now it’s like even if I encourage my children to believe in anything they put their mind to and find your soul purpose, it will happen, they still have to greet that world there and know how to work in it.
Iain: Let’s go back to Mick. So, with your sessions that you had… you had the experience, which we covered in the interview, your mind, or energies, were going way out of control, which Ginger is touching more on the global scale, things are going way, way out of any kind of comfort zone. So, what were the practical things that helped you find grounding again in the understanding of the shadow – you mentioned the shadow a couple of times in your interview.
Mick: Well, I mean, I think that it was a composite of many things, like when you’re doing the work of integration, it’s about your vocation, it’s about your social connectedness and what you’re doing in the world in your community not only in the greater world, and then, coming more inward, so within, I’d say “What are you doing in your job? What are you doing with your friends and social relatedness?”
Then, in here [indicates chest] I found working with my dreams, body symptoms – I had the most incredible body symptoms that were happening. I remember one of my big toes was permanently up and I just used to think ‘well, why’s it doing that?’ and I didn’t realise that, somewhere in me, I was holding that up. And I remember that a friend of mine, who’s a cranio-sacral therapist, I said, “Look at my toe!” and he said, “It’s a very interesting one, isn’t it?!” and I think he wanted to get to work on it! In fact, we spoke about – this was 20-odd years ago – we spoke about this the other day. So, if you’re doing body work, what is it that’s holding all that up, all that energy? So, being attentive to things like that.
Where your dreams are pushing to the edges of your known personality and beyond. So, sometimes, archetypes popping up – these figures or situations that are universal, which, somehow, the human heritage has created in our collective trajectory. So, for instance, I remember one dream of a wizard throwing a ball of light into my solar plexus, and I went into this incredible state. But, interestingly, the solar plexus and the light, you start to think about a wizard as a transformer. So there’s that whole sense that it’s not only figures but it’s process and then what body experiences that you’re having.
So those become, for me, quite numinous and very tangible, not theoretical but lived experiences. So, as Ginger was speaking, two things, when you were speaking about the pebbles and the water I started to get very affected by that and I felt a real sense of something coming over me which felt incredible actually, very warm and soulful. And it made me look at the water, and the shimmering light in the glass of water. And I think, now, just touching into a bit of numinosity is ‘I’m here!’ It’s not only something that’s magical and fantastical and larger than life, it’s subtle and delicate and opening and brings a sense of soul and journey. So for me that’s what my sessions were about, it was about really connecting.
And I think what Ginger was saying about, “Where are we going as a society?” and, you know, I share a similar view. Why aren’t we giving our children the most incredible, exquisite experiences of what it is to be alive and have a soulful connection to learning? As much as I love science – I’ve worked in a scientific faculty for 10 years – I think that needs to be extended to something a bit more whole and not so rational and reductive.
So, for me, there’s these very tangible things about really entering into these experiences and being opened by them and working with their potential. So being in potentia, in growth, in movement.
Renate: You have two children, Mick.
Mick: I have one.
Renate: Oh, you have one!
Mick: Yes, the gorgeous Rosie.
Renate: OK. How do you give Rosie these values?
Mick: She’s amazing…
Renate: Without putting her off.
Mick: I never do that. We’ve got a national shrine to Mary, where I live, and it’s the national shrine of England, it’s called Walsingham. It’s the sacred feminine and it’s in a little village, nobody knows about it, but there is also an old temple to Minerva, and underneath that there would have been a temple to Sulis, the Celtic goddess. It’s actually layers of the goddess in the UK and it’s the most beautiful place. Anyway, I used to take her there for tea a lot – not for any indoctrination purposes because I used to like going there – and we’d have tea and cake together. And subsequently over the years she will just come out with the most divine statements and say, “Well, you know, if there was something like God…” and off she goes and, you know, we’d have these wonderful conversations. And she’s a real explorer, in her own way, which is quite magical, really.
I’ve tried not to layer anything but she’ll often come with a dream and say, “Can I just run this by you?” and I think ‘well, I’m no expert really, I believe you will know the answer to your own dreams’ but I say, “What do you make of that bit? What do you make of that bit? How did that feel?” and we have a conversation. And she’s really good at it, you know, she has that…
Yeah. So I think it’s conversation, it’s relatedness, it’s not… I don’t, like, “Oh let’s do this now”, it’s more…
Renate: Living it. Organic.
Ginger: They absorb it. They see the truth of who you are, all the time. They have their own path as well. As a parent, I know that you have to come to a point of letting them walk their path. And, hopefully, you’ve done your best to live the qualities that bring the best for them. But they still have to go out there and find their way. And I’m always on call, you know, but, now they’re grown up, I just play at seeds. They have to find their way and put the water on it, you know. And I pray a lot. [all laugh]
Iain: And do you still look at your own dreams quite a bit?
Iain: That process has finished for you, in a way?
Ginger: No. They come and go, I have a way of looking at them as an educational aspect but I don’t purposely write my dreams down every night, like I used to.
Ginger: Because I went on to discover that I’m a visionary and Rudolf Steiner said, “There’s three groups of people, there is the leaders, the workers and the visionaries”. And the visionaries bring forth concepts and new ideas for the leaders to pick up, pass on to the workers and they then spread it all around.
Unfortunately, we find that the employees and the leaders are butting each other and they don’t value each other. But ultimately it’s the visionaries that they don’t see the importance of that.
And the whole aspect of being a visionary is that you work through the top, through centres [indicates triangle around her head]. Now I just talk to God directly, but there was a period of time where I was focused on the top three centres, where I would see through, receive, particularly at night before I’d go to sleep – it’s called ‘conscious sleeping’ – that, just before you go to sleep, there’s a flash and you can enter in that space, the God realm.
Whereas if, when I was developing the dream process, I was finding that it was coming in through my solar plexus, predominantly, and you can run the risk of being a medium, as opposed to bringing in higher messages. So I dared to let go of that emphasis – you just have to dare when you go into refinement, you can’t get hooked on anything, you just have to build and spread it out. You become a big puzzle of all these special things, like a pie, you know. And that’s what I do.
Now, having gone through practicing that and contacting… talking to God, in whatever name people tend to talk to… in whatever name they’re given. I personally work through the Christ now and the love aspect of it, and I’ve had experiences where He appeared before me. And I can’t deny that. And he guides me. The more that you spend time on the divine principle, in whatever name that you do relate to, it will build up. And that’s what we have – the problem is we’ve left that because of the wars of religion. The separation that religion has brought in has undermined the essence of what they stand for! And some of the fundamentalists, even atheists that are fundamentalists… We need to bring in the divine and the sacred again and care, and that will balance it off.
I don’t have to try very hard with my children, that’s what they see: my love for the lilies, for whatever, the silence. I don’t push on them anymore. Of course, I was a vegetarian then I didn’t want meat in the house for a phase of their life. I stopped drinking alcohol, so alcohol wasn’t allowed in the house. But they used to steal it out of the basement where the old wine was kept. And one of them – I was about to take her back to boarding school and she was about to get in the car and suddenly SMASH it slipped from under her coat and she was like a dog in the headlights: Oh no! She caught me!
But I didn’t even drink coffee and I went to Florence with one of my children who was studying Italian there, and we were walking down the street and I finally thought ‘Hey, it’s one of my favourite smells, I wanna have an espresso. You don’t get to Florence very often’. And you should have seen the look on her face: ‘Mom! You’re drinking coffee!?’ Yeah, I think it’s important sometimes, but I’m serious in my commitment of goodness and beauty and things like that. But, when you build a box, and you’re following it, is your box got a lid to you expanding or are you suffocating?
Iain: Mm. [To Mick] Are dreams still significant to you?
Mick: They are. I think I go with what Ginger said, I’ve got a very strong connection to Jesus. I’m not a Christian but I’ve got a strong connection to Jesus and angels, particularly inspired by the work that we’ve got these helpers, guides, with us. But the dreams play into that. In Sufism, I think, Henry Corbin said, “The dream is an angel”. So the imaginal is coming through.
And in a way, I mean, these are all just ways of framing things, which may or may not be helpful, but I, sort of, try to work with the inspiration as it comes, I try not to get overly analytical about dreams, I try to look for where there’s a kind of numinosity in them, you know, where there’s something that – I was telling Renate when we were having tea, a dream that still figures strongly is a dreaming of a font with three priests and monks, I can’t quite work out what they were, around the font and a young boy, about 10 years old, pouring sand into the font, but the sand moves clockwise of its own volition and forms into the most beautiful droplet of liquid. And then I had this explosion of… just bliss that came upon me in the dream state. I woke up in it and then it faded – I didn’t get the two days like I had… [laughs] … in the last experience. But, to me, that felt like an angel, that was angelic. And it then made me think… so, where I value Jung in this, there’s a mandala, there’s a baptismal font but there’s 4 points in it – he talks about the quadrated circle as a symbol of Self and wholeness (Self with a capital ‘S’). So that dream, for me, would almost be – well not almost, was a dream of really stepping into and connecting to something higher and also to me as an individual, growing.
So, yeah, they are important but not in their ‘Oh, I wonder if this is just part of my complex with mum or dad or whoever or my wife or whatever’. I try not to do that but I’m looking for it as its higher appeal to growth. Yeah.
Renate: So you think, through the Jungian work you did and the dream analysis, you work, pretty much, through your unconscious?
Mick: Yes. And, of course, the collective unconscious. Everyone would think ‘Oh well, that’s just stuff that’s underneath that we’re not sure about’, but I see that as all around, not under, as a field. So, for me, that… I mean, there’s a lovely saying so I’ll say it: The unconscious isn’t unconscious, it’s just that consciousness is unconscious of what the unconscious is conscious of. [all laugh]
So, in a way, it’s doing something to you, it brings a divinity in there, it’s not just psychological. And I think – me and Ginger were just mentioning before the camera rolled that Jung was very, very keen on this numinosity, this numinous spark, being the real point of Jungian therapy, not only the resolution of our neuroses. So there’s something about that, touching into that numinosity…
Ginger: I don’t think you find a resolution for neuroses without including it…
Ginger: … that’s what the premise, or… particularly Mrs Adler worked in that way.
Mick: I agree.
Renate: So what is numinosity?
Iain: That’s a good question!
Mick: I think it is, I mean, the classic thing is describing light and you run the risk of putting yourself in a difficult position but if we go with the… Rudolf Otto was a theologian, professor of theology, and went around the world looking at different spiritual, religious traditions: theistic, polytheistic, shamanistic; and noted that they all seemed to be describing something that was very similar when they spoke about the sacred, or the divine. And so he, sort of, thought ‘well, there’s this, sort of, wholeness – there isn’t all these divisions and separations. Actually there is something that binds us’ and he called it ‘the numinous’ to give it that freedom from any one tradition, if you wish. And it ties into a mystery. It comes with grace, you can’t manipulate it, it comes… maybe you’re washing the dishes and it comes into you, or around you. It is very much connected with the divine spark within us, so our soul connects with that.
I think it’s a beautiful thing, actually, yeah. I really thank Jungian analysis because Jung really did bring that forward in a very practical way, through dreams and just, yeah, archetypes.
Renate: So, you both worked a lot with dreams, and a lot of time in your dreams, and, it is said, that this life is a dream as well…
Renate: … so how do you know what’s the real? [all laugh]
Mick: Well, I might ask you that question! I don’t know. What do you think, Ginger?
Renate: Where are we?
Ginger: I don’t seek to find out if one is a dream, fantasy or real, because, to me, the imagination is a dream, it is a place that I live. Though, at the same time, some traditions say that everything’s an illusion. And then, when I heard that, I said, “OK, do I get to choose my illusion?” So I choose my illusion. And if it’s to be happy and smile and create and play with clay, or laugh in the garden or something… We’re creators of our reality. And, if that’s all a dream, I’ll keep it.
Iain: I’d like to – we need to finish in a few minutes – I’d like to just talk about something that we didn’t in the interview with you, Ginger. There’s a documentary called ‘Matter of the Heart’…
Ginger: Mm hm.
Iain: … which you talked about, which we watched – it’s actually on YouTube, anyone can. It’s a documentary about Carl Jung. And it was important for you because you understood, or started to understand for the first time, this shadow collective unconsciousness, which you hadn’t quite grasped before. You did touch on this earlier but do you mind talking a bit more about that? And you both – Mick can come in on that as well.
Ginger: You know how I was talking about building up a box, a structure, that you work from, interpreting life and things. Well, I started getting one about anger, and not being able to confront, or even some days not liking myself. But I was so determined that I had to be happy, I had to meditate, I was focusing on – and people, a friend, would say, “You’re not looking at your shadow,” well, I went, “Forget it, I don’t need my shadow. I’m going to build up the importance of what we focus on and I want to focus on the highest and work that way”. And I’m still like that but I went through a period of, finally it was like, watching that, I went, “I can accept that, what Carl Jung talked about, the shadow”. It isn’t what other people thought the shadow was, or what I had thought the shadow was. And how important it is to recognise what lies within as well as without, to blend it together, work, accept it.
And it wasn’t the anger of my mom when I wasn’t behaving myself. I put anger right out the door and I thought ‘I’m not doing that!’ But then it would happen, it would show up and I couldn’t accept it, but I can see there’s a point to certain aspects of that to work with, being human.
Iain: And on a more collective basis, the collective unconscious?
Ginger: Well, we’re certainly going through it!
Iain: It seems to be happening in so many ways at the moment and people complain about Putin or Donald Trump but –
Ginger: Can I share a story with you with regards to this?
Iain: Stories are great.
Ginger: We always go to Lindos, on the island of Rhodes in Greece. And I am considered a dolphin, I swim across this bay, backwards and forwards. We were there in August, the kids were playing on the beach. The tourists were maxed out and they were making so much noise and just pushing into each other and it was so… I couldn’t handle it, I thought ‘I’m going out for a swim’. So I go out for a swim and I’m lying there and suddenly I hear this most wonderful angelic sound and I’m just blissed out with the warmth of the sun and the body on the water and floating there hearing this and I suddenly realised ‘the reason why they’re acting like that is because they don’t know how to deal with the fact that all this high energy is coming down and this is their way of dealing with that degree of wonderful energy and sound coming to them, their unconscious, but they’re getting it’.
And I really think that we’ve heard so much that the planet and humanity is at a pinnacle point where we have a choice, we can go right down or we can go out. And the reason why is that consciousness, the energy of consciousness, is coming down on us big time and we have a choice which way we’re going to go with it.
And often, just before a pustule were to heal, it has to explode and all [makes splat noise] and we need people who are very conscious and awake, how to help in guide the breaking down so it’s a breaking through.
Mick: I agree with that and, for me, the shadow, just putting it in that Jungian terms, Jung said that 80% of the shadow’s pure gold. So, straightaway, all we’re dealing with is something that’s disavowed and marginalised, it’s not bad. We’ve all got one and it’s quite healthy to go with it.
The thing that I think we’re in at the moment is that the collective shadow, if we’re not looking at our individual shadows, then the sort of things that get put out as prejudices, remarks that are hurtful and full of disdain and ill will, start to resonate and gets crystalised in the collective. And you can see that happening, we know that historically, and we can even see examples of that today. The point being is, it takes enough of us to keep saying “No” and doing our shadow work publicly. The teacher I work with, Arny Mindell, said, “City shadows is the work,” you know, let’s look at the city shadows, the collective. And then, I think, if we can start to really resonate with that… And Debbie Ford, who’s now passed away, wrote a really nice book on this and she said, “You know, you’ve got to be able to go to that place where you think ‘oh, I’m not like that! And you think, well, actually maybe I am a little bit’ then you liberated, you don’t have to act on it, or pretend that you’re this or that. ‘Yeah, there’s a bit of that in me’. Drop it, move on, do something, you know, useful, rather than pretending and shaping yourself in a way that’s a fantasy.” So I, kind of, like that viewpoint, that ‘yeah, you can, sort of…’
It’s a bit like owning the thing that, if you don’t own it, you end up unconsciously projecting it. It’s just like reclaiming that and not feeling weird about it.
Iain: It’s not about judging yourself and saying, “it’s bad,” you’re saying, “it’s there”.
Iain: And understanding it’s there and not energising it.
Ginger: But the reason why, that you will look at it, is because you have a higher idea that’s going to replace it. It’s this judging of it, saying it’s something wrong, so you put it away. But, if you can look at the dirty laundry, if you have really good laundry powder to clean it up. Because you’re going for something so magnificent! So why keep that stuff in there in judgement? It stops you from seeing the God in you.
Mick: Shall I tell you a very quick story, very briefly?
Mick: It’s a beautiful illustration of consciousness is always beckoning. Synchronistically, things will happen that you couldn’t manufacture.
Hitler entertained Mussolini in Berlin, put on a big show, and said there would be no public talks in Berlin that day. Max Zeller wrote a book and said “well how interesting” because Jung had been invited to Berlin on that day. And Hitler then thought ‘Oh!’ he got in a complex and thought ‘well, it would be very rude of me to deny this very eminent psychologist so I’ll let him come’. So the only two shows in town that day were Hitler and Mussolini being adored by the collective shadow and enough people in one room talking about consciousness. And Hitler passed under the window of Jung’s talk at the time he was talking, he went very silent and Max Zeller said, his response was, “Well, ladies and gentlemen, world history has just passed us by”.
And it’s up to us whether we want to make history that’s right for us or the one that we’re going to unconsciously let happen.
Mick: So that takes awareness. And, what I find very interesting was, that was a minority in that room; what would it take to make that the majority? That’s the question.
Iain: Thank you.
Ginger, Mick, thank you very much.
Ginger: Thank you.
Mick: Thank you.
Iain: I’m going to show the books once again: ‘Memoirs of the Bright Side of the Moon’ by Ginger, and ‘The Unselfish Spirit’ by Mick.
So thank you both for coming along.
Ginger: You’re welcome.
Iain: And thank you for watching Conscious TV.
Renate: Thank you.
Mick: Thank you.
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