Much is being said these days about healing and spiritual awakening, and the deep joy, clarity, and peace that are the promised fruits of the inner journey. Not all that much is mentioned, however, about the disappointment of awakening and the ways it can shatter our hearts, breaking us open to the reality of the crucifixion, the resurrection, *and* the transfiguration we are likely to encounter along the way.
In the rush to convert the negative to the positive, to manifest everything we (have been conditioned to believe we) want, and to manage our lives into some permanent state of “happiness,” we lose contact with the reality that there is no transfiguration without embodiment to the dark cross within. The journey of individuation, of becoming a true human person, is a bit messy by its nature, as it requires attunement to the full spectrum.
The confrontation with the unconscious is not pleasant, in the words of Jung, but offers new vision, depth, and meaning. We must come to face the reality that the path is not organized around our hopes and fears, or the dreams of the way we thought it was going to all turn out. It is just too creative, too magical, and too alive for all that. Your brain, your nervous system, your heart, your body – sacred temples appearing before you. There is a unique journey unfolding inside the temple, but requires a non-conventional sort of approach to find the way.
In an inclusive embrace of life - right inside the messy, shadowy, nether regions of the psyche - we are invited to open into wholeness, which includes the dark *and* the light, the joy *and* the deflation, the hope *and* the hopeless. It involves the entirety of what it means to be a fragile, sensitive, and powerfully alive human being. Paradoxically to the mind, but in ways the heart knows natively, in the core of the vulnerability is a non-ordinary gold, a jewel that is found only there.
Awakening is not only a creative process, but a destructive one as well, and love appears to be equally ready to employ either energy in the revelation of the mystery. What this mystery is we can never know in a second-hand manner, ahead of time, but only by way of primary experience, bearing witness to the numinous as it comes alive within us, and as we become crafted as a vessel for it to move out into the world.
The Way of Rest summer retreat – registration open now