Withdrawing from the world into the inner recesses of my mind gives opportunity to encounter the demons within. Observant Spo-fans see the motto of my blog is the Ibsen quote:
To live is to battle with trolls in the vaults of heart and brain.
Like many I have to somehow manage my anger, hurt, and bitternness without succumbing to them. I can not become a replicate of those I presently want to label monstrous and inhuman. Synchronicity is at work: I was recently listening to some history on Martin Luther. Martin Luther often came to the conclusion those with different opinions other than his own were ‘anti-Christ”. This is convenient; when someone or something is Anti-Christ you don’t have to bother with reasoning with them or seeing them right about some things and wrong about others or merely agreeing to disagree – you expunge them as 100% wicked with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. You do not try to work with or reform the Anti-Christ; you eliminate him. Tempting as this is I must not do likewise.
One of Dr. Jung’s greatest contributions to human psychology is the concept of The Shadow, on which I have written. It is not a question ‘Do I have a shadow?” but “Where is my shadow now?” Unlike the Archetype of Anti-Christ you do not eliminate Shadow; you come to terms with it – and make sure it does not unconsciously run the show.*
Another event of Synchronicity occurred last night: I suddenly remembered the story of St. Gallus and the bear. It is story worth repeating.
Centuries ago St. Gallus went to the mountains of Switzerland to preach to the pagans and convert them to Christianity. No one would house him; he had no shelter. In time he found a cave. He moved in and felt fortunate to finally have shelter from the storms. Then he discovered living in the back of the cave was a horrible large truculent black bear. The two came to loggerheads. The bear would not leave and St. Gallus could not fight the beast. So St. Gallus sat down with the bear and they struck a bargain: the bear would allow him to stay in the cave and in return Gallus would provide their food and fire. A few other stipulations: the bear would gather the firewood and Gallus would protect the bear from the locals who had long wanted to kill it.
This story illustrates our psyches. We must come to terms with our inner-bear rather than trying to drive it away or slay him. What strife or fights lie ahead is anybody’s guess. One thing’s for certain: inner-bear Shadow energy is not the key to vanquish The Collective Shadow.
*Alas, the USA is now running in full-forward in Shadow mode.