A bit smaller photo this time as I am putting in two photos featuring women at work at a Habitat For Humanity site in Saskatoon. The purpose is to see that there is value in what could often be seen as an obstacle on the journey of individuation.
One talks about the Hero’s/Heroine’s Journey as one that must conquer all sorts of monsters en route to the prize. Well, the truth is, these are “perceive” monsters. In truth, they are simply aspects of self that have been hidden in the shadows, aspects that have been denied the light of awareness. And as such, they take on enormous energy that often overwhelms the ego when they try bubbling up to the surface.
The archetypal mother in men and the archetypal father in women is a good case to consider. Of course, one could as easily look at anima/animus, shadow, or any complex or other archetypes. In the heroic journey, both the devouring mother and father, are forces that must be overcome. In defeating these “monsters” one finds that rather than being defeated, they are discovered as being necessary forces of energy for the psyche, sources of wholeness.
Their defeat becomes an enlargement of self awareness, a shining of light into the darkness of the unconscious. Their defeat also becomes a path to a larger vision which enables us to recognize that same mother/father in the world at large, in individuals and in communities.
For me, the journey isn’t about defeating, it’s about discovering the tools and the materials, in alchemical terms, the stuff that would transform dross into gold. In other words, one prepares to transform one’s self into a person that is more aware. The blinders are lifted allowing one to see the reality of one’s self as well as that of “others.”
In a way, this whole process is much like pulling together a team to accomplish a task that would otherwise be impossible to complete. That team? The cast of characters that abide within the personal and collective unconscious.
Written by Robert G. Longpré
August 18, 2009 at 11:01 am