This dissolution of the darkness also dissolves the picture which we have made of ourselves. –Carl Jung, ETH Lecture, Page 111.
Sometimes, I don’t want to create beauty, I want to destroy, tear apart and see things going wrong for people around me. I want to smoke, drink, hurt myself, I want to create uglyness in my relationship and pull out the bitterness and fight with fists and claws. I want to be thrown around and reduced and spat on and I want to snarl and kick. I want people I love to suffer. I want to taste pain. When I think my dark sadism has faded, or I’ve moved past it somehow, it returns and looks me in the face. My light only gets as bright as I allow my shadow to be dark.
Dream – Black Dog
Last night, I dreamt I was looking for my spirit-guide – I saw a magnificent hawk like bird with grey and purple flying in a forest, but when it landed it turned out to be a strange looking comical pigeon. I wondered grudgingly if pigeon and comedy was my spirit guide, but then a huge black dog appeared – towering above me – snarling and fierce. I went up to it and laid my whole forearm against his muzzle. I was calm and I spoke to him gently. He bonded with me, and I could ride on his back. He was very male, and linked to Cerebus (Anubis?) or the Underworld. It reminds me of a dream years ago when a crow-raven landed on my shoulder. The dog took me to a warehouse party-club that reminded me of London. I was stripped and dressed in gimp-like black straps and hoods/masks and the ultimate humilation of having a brand-name/advert stuck to my back – like “sponsered by Nike”. A man led me around on a chain, was a little bit like my husband – clamps on my nipples, everything – sucking on his cock – being degraded and reduced down, I’ve never in real life really enjoyed this feeling of degradation/humilation plus being paraded around, but in the dream I loved it. I was passed on to another man, a criminal leader perhaps, but he dropped the leash and ran off to escape when the police/society came in. I wasn’t ashamed, in fact I tried to explain to them that ordering the chaos and mess of sexuality and dress ruins the point. The point is the contradictions and the light/dark together.
I have such venom and bile inside me, that comes out when I feel the most lost and far from the ideals I had, or someone had, for me. I struggle without identity or purpose or money and the last few years have been a rape of my ego and facing a deep lack of self-value and worth – I find it hard to exist without others defining me, desiring me, wanting me to be something or produce something. To live without the shiny coins going in my bank account. To feel my body rebel against my mind and get both defiantly healthier and fatter. And when I see other people getting pregnant, getting creative, getting careers going – even those I love – something in me wants to rip them all up, and myself in the process. A part of me watches and imagines it going wrong, failing. I’m aghast at how I feel this, along with a heavy cynicism and bitterness that I didn’t have in my twenties.
In Alchemy, there is a stage Mortificatio – a death phase, I feel that at the moment, like I’m stuck inside this sealed vessel, a growing sludge at my feet of all these old ideas and ideals. There is also a vapor of new life, energy, and inspiration that rises from it. But if I pull out the cork too soon I will be left formless.
“If a man’s life consists half of happiness and half of unhappiness, this is probably the optimum that can be reached, and it remains forever an unresolved question whether suffering is educative or demoralizing. ~Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 248.”
I found this list of quotes – Darkness, Darkness Mortificatio, Nigredo & Shadow; The Wasteland of Despair and Delusion – in amongst them is some Joseph Campbell, he is my voice of youthful spirit and reminder to follow bliss and unfold myth, sometimes Jung gets too heavy for me, although I feel an easy slide into Saturnian realms.
“As the color of night and darkness, as the color of the bowels of the earth and the underground world, black is also the color of death. From the Neolithic, black stones were associated with funeral rites, sometimes accompanied with statuettes and objects very dark in color. The same is true in the historical periods throughout the Near East and in pharaonic Egypt. Yet this chthonic black is neither diabolical nor harmful. On the contrary, it is linked to the fertile aspect of the earth; for the dead, whose passage to the beyond it ensures, it is a beneficial black, the sign or promise of rebirth. That is why among the Egyptians the divinities related to death were nearly always painted black, like Anubis, the jackal-god who accompanies the dead to the tomb; Anubis is the embalmer-god and his flesh is black.” – Read more here Black Blacker than Black
I am bored of this heavy dark and yet my Soul still pulls me in, again and again, I am drawn into the heavyness and destruction and I wonder WHY, I am suspicious of it and yet it is full of truth. Should I just surrender or continue to struggle? I know that I need fertile vision, and for some reason I don’t trust what is born in sparks of light but rather yearn for what is born in the Earth. Death, time, bones, grief, these are solid truths that in earlier years we feel shielded from somehow. There are constraints and limits we can not just fix, there are pains and hurts that don’t go away. The spiritual escapism feels facile and shallow and I want another answer.
“The answer lies at the juncture where light and dark cross, the agony and the ecstasy, the bringing of death into birth and creating despite it all. The Rebel heart when matured is the one that can say fuck it, whatever I choose to do can have meaning and magic to it and if not, who cares? Dance, fuck, feel, be. Nothing and Everything.”
I have forgotten what is important. I pray to my dreams and my heart to guide me home.
TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE
Part of the art of alchemy is decoding your own symbolic language. Depression means you have lost your dream and have yet to reconnect with a new one, with the new images or symbols that can pull you forward toward your future. Primal people call it loss of soul. We recognize it as loss of self-worth.
You hurt so much that you may be convinced you are going to die or even wish you would. But the fantasies of death are telegraphing a metaphorical message. Your old self is on its way out. Getting into this morbid state is the point. You have acute awareness of your mortality. The experience of maximum despair is “hitting bottom”. You are a mess. The good thing is there is nowhere to go but up. What do you want your tombstone to say?
You are metaphorically decomposing. This is the paradoxical flip side of ego inflation, toxic narcissism, and shallow self-absorption. It keeps us from responding to even outstanding opportunities. This crisis is an extraordinary opportunity to re-create your life and world. You have to learn how to use your strengths and skills while you meet multiple challenges and stressors. You need to uncover your buried potential and mine the gold of your buried talents and creativity.
This hero’s depression lifts once you embark on your mission with purpose, based on finding your inner vision. Once you’ve heard the “Call to Adventure” you have enthusiasm, passion, intentionality and direction. You determine to persevere through the crisis, but the road has many trials. The devil comes as chaos, suffering or pain. Psychophysical suffering feels like wandering around in fear and darkness – a dark night of the soul, even a journey to Hell.
The ancient Greek vision of Hades was that of a dark, cold, windy, dry realm. This is a good metaphor of all our early traumas of abandonment, hunger, loss, sorrow and shame that are frozen in the labyrinthine halls of psyche. We cannot meet or accept life’s legitimate suffering. We can’t grieve these ominous shadows so they pile up on us creating blind spots, despair, denial, and wrongful assumptions. The trouble they cause is their demand to be seen for what they are.
This glacial ice cave houses unresolved issues that continue to affect our relationships with self, others and world. It drives our compulsions for achievement and the pain of loneliness. We all carry the burdens of self-doubt and loneliness. We simply remove ourselves from whatever we cannot or will not process, but they remain alive and powerful though buried or frozen, multiplying in scope and weight as we grow older.
Though lack of unconditional acceptance is a natural part of human experience, these unhealing wounds are the hidden focus of our conscious lives. These early losses hang around frozen in time, as if they are still happening. Simply changing their apparent expression, they obstruct the flow of our lives until we recognize and acknowledge them.
The unhealing wounds of unrealized suffering, self-delusion, addiction, chronic depression, compulsivity, failed relationships and some physical illness present opportunities throughout life to reconcile and resolve what we couldn’t heal earlier. The word ‘resolve’ echoes the alchemical maxim of ‘Solve et Cogaula,” the liquification and reintegration of essentially frozen psychic energy.
(from here, about mid-way down.