Thursday, January 5, 2023

Midway through life's journey...

From inside the mandala of the wounded healer, there is a call emerging out from the central courtyard: Your grief, your longing, the uncertainty, the loneliness, and that aching and burning inside your heart is not pathology, but path. It is the very path itself

The wound isn’t in the way of the path, but is the path. Each feeling and image, each strand of sensitivity in your body and nervous system are stones on that path, pieces of light on the forest bed that illuminate the way ahead. These figures who carry these experiences, these ones arise not to harm or take you down, but as emissaries of wholeness and allies of integration.

Each thought, feeling, image, mood, and bodily-felt sensation are manifestations of what the alchemists call the prima materia, the essence-material the soul is providing us to tend, to shepherd, to midwife as psychonauts, explorers, and artists of our own inner lives. 

Not only is this material not an error or a mistake, as it is often conceived, but it is valid, workable, and required; it is gold in hidden form. In fact, we can’t transform or heal without it. 

That’s what’s so radical about an alchemical view and practice. That material is actually needed for light, healing, and transmutation to unfold. In this sense, we could even go so far as to say it’s holy, a forerunner or ambassador of wholeness.

No, it’s not always going to feel natural to turn toward the material in the vessel and illuminate it with our awareness and our devotion, to allow ourselves to touch and be touched by it. At times the path forward is going to be dimly lit and we’ll be asked to walk alone into the forest, unsure of how it will all turn out. 

As Dante reminds us in the Inferno, he says, “Midway through life’s journey I found myself in a dark wood, having lost the way.”

This is an archetypal pattern and experience within the human psyche that each of us who makes this journey will be touched by; it’s not a mistake or error or evidence that we’ve done something wrong or that we’re broken or defective. 

It’s evidence, high voltage evidence, that we’re alive, that we have a heart that’s open and raw and tender and beating, a nervous system that is sensitive and online, and a soul that longs for connection and for union. 

There are lamps hidden in the forest which will reveal themselves in moments of interior illumination, often when we least expect it.

Image by Susanne Jutzeler, Schweiz 

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