flame casts no shadow
all can be seen by its light
light and heat radiate
toss it all on
enjoy your feast dancing fairies
oh how they dance before me
over me and through me
captured in their beauty
i willingly give myself to
those dancing crimson flames
light and heat consume
nothing can stop its dance
you can find me there
a pile of ashes in the corner
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what is in us.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
I had to reblog this below from An Accidental Anarchist, it was a question and answer in one for me when I read it. It is from an ex patient of Carl Jung. I think it stands pretty well on it’s own, those who read my blog, know of what it speaks. Interesting to see and experience the commonality of experience across a century. I echo the patient below, what a fool I was, but I still am today!
“Out of evil, much good has come to me. By keeping quiet, repressing nothing, remaining attentive, and by accepting reality – taking things as they are, and not as I wanted them to be – by doing all this, unusual knowledge has come to me, and unusual powers as well, such as I could never have imagined before.
I always thought that when we accepted things they overpowered us in some way or other. This turns out not to be true at all, and it is only by accepting them that one can assume and attitude towards them.
So now I intend to play the game of life, being receptive to whatever comes to me, good and bad, sun and shadow forever alternating, and, in this way, also accepting my own nature with its positive and negative sides. Thus everything becomes more alive to me.
What a fool I was! How I tried to force everything to go according to way I thought it ought to.”
— an EX patient of C. G. Jung (Alchemical Studies, pg 47)
Let us examine that statement. Our belief must be anchored as the statue is. Bodies and thoughts are always in motion.
How can we transform this belief that is now anchored like a statue into real knowledge?
It can’t become knowledge until it is thought of and experienced.
You think about it. But what if you can no longer think? You have to be electrified and shown your ignorance. It can be a painful process seemingly like torture.
You are made to examine your life and you are turned around and shown the difference between the sun and the shadow.
You feel dumb having thought the shadow was real.
Enlightenment and education thus seem natural. Release from the cave is natural and will happen for each in due course through a myriad of means.
It is unnatural to remain in the cave. Education infers responsibility. You were grabbed and led out of the cave and shown your ignorance until it arose in you to help others out of the cave into the Light.
You were able to see the Sun and then it was all clear.
The curse is you must now go back into the cave and help drag others out. It is natural for you to do so though.
They killed Socrates for leading us to the light.
Things are a little better for us since 500 BC, no? Neoplatonism is the foundation of Christianity and Judiasm.
The illusion and shadow seems much more real now though.
But all you have to do is walk outside and smell the flowers today to wake up. The choice is much more clear now.
Act natural and go with the flow of your life or stay lost in shadow.
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” – Carl Jung
Did humankind develop speech and thus awareness, which brought knowledge of the consequences of our actions? Was it worth eating that fruit of awareness in that ancient garden? We are working that out as I write.
Do you see one thing with your eyes focused together or do you see different things with your right and left eyes? Do you know yourself? Do some parts inside scare you and others inspire? Sometimes the way forward is not toward the light and bliss, but deeper into the darkness and pain. Great creativity and genius often goes hand and hand with an equal measure of shadow. Your unconscious selves will be acknowledged one way or another. For the artist, they have a natural outlet to project their light and shadow on and hopefully find wholeness in the acknowledgement of both.
This can be a confusing and counterintuitive process. Many people are unconsciously led by parts of themselves they are ignorant of or are actively hiding from or ignoring. This may make it seem like we have little free will. Life can seem chaotic. Not so, in the moment we have choices to love or fear, embrace truth or lies. Your journey into the darkness must be led by the Light of Love though if it is to succeed. The Light followed us into this natural plane and provides what we need to rise above it or we can descend into the depths of the natural. There is Truth in the Light, external and internal. To connect the Light outside to the inner Light is true illumination. You can transmute anything with this (W)Holy Light.
In darkness within, you are searching for the lost and scary parts of yourself if you seek wholeness and a unity of opposites. It has something to do with the Law of Attraction, which implies opposition and duality in all things. As humans though, we may seem like an individual on the outside, but inside, we are Legion, multi-faceted with many voices. Carl Jung’s archetypes describe the inner world or Dante’s Inferno. You need heat to facilitate the chemical reactions. The journey to wholeness is a lifelong and perhaps eternal one. Goethe explores this journey in Faust, where at the brink of suicide, a way through is found acknowledging the light and dark within. So many of our myths inspire and speak of these deep hopes and fears in ourselves buried in our individual and corporate consciousness.
What is wholeness?
Learning to confront our inner impulses and desires perhaps and balance them with the outside world we experience that changes moment by moment. This provides a new context to consider suffering and desire. To seek wholeness leads one to confront the opposites within, which can lead to balance. With no unity, a person is fractured and unable to face adversity and challenge. Through learning the nature of the opposites within ourselves we find inner and outer balance and peace.
There are many cultures that have a creation myth similar to the Eden story of the major religions. In western religion the Devil represents the great tempter of mankind. But I have experienced and accepted that this is incorrect and all metaphor and allegory. Through my own inner journey, I have learned that the Devil represents the divine feminine in us. The creative force and hidden natural self loving desire that drives us. The Devil or serpent brings knowledge of the consequences of our actions and demands us to stand up and accept responsibility for our actions.
Now, this is likely to spark a deep reaction in the religiously minded. This is by design. We are not encouraged to explore the darker aspects of our natures, but you are what you are. There have been many systems developed to help transcend suffering and transcend our lower natures. These kind of skipped past something big for me. They provided little help in understanding and processing the shadow thoughts that seem in opposition to our drive upward. Carl Jung helped me best. He bridged eastern and western thought and helped describe this process of spiritual alchemy and unification in a way the western mind could understand. We are not good or evil, but a collection of opposites in need of balance and maturity.
A fractured inner mind can be expressed through physical and or mental imbalance. We must relate with the world calmly in Love shining the Light of Truth. A fractured mind is full of sharp edges that cut and makes it difficult to relate to others. If you are experiencing pain and suffering, this is a sign of imbalance. It takes careful deliberate incremental steps to find the causes of and to apply solutions for the sources of these imbalances physical, mental and spiritual. This is our work to do in this and perhaps many lives and the first and most important way we heal the world, by balancing ourselves first. To know thyself is to see your actions honestly so you can keep things in balance.
You will know the quality of the tree by its ripe fruit and the roots of that tree must go down deep, as Carl Jung said, even into hell. This is my experience. To find wholeness you must embrace your shadow. That does not mean act out on your darker desires and impulses, but to acknowledge their presence and explore their sources.
I feel like I am wandering in dark caves at times, I shall not fear (But sometimes I do). I have my Light and hope and the Love I feel behind that Light inspires me onward and inward. I feel the many visions of Eden point us to our Source above and inside. Eden will not allow those not worthy to enter and we are all on our journey back to wholeness in the Light.
The Truth is, you already have that which you seek, eternity in your hearts, so just chill and go with the flow and just act natural.
I think I will take another bite of that apple now.