Until the culture recognizes the legitimacy of growing “down,” each person in the culture struggles blindly to make sense of the darkenings and despairing that the soul requires to deepen into life.(1)
I see depression as a cultural way of avoidance of this journey. I am so afraid of going into that place of darkness and despair, but it is only there where I find and learn about solace, solitude and connection. I have been afraid of the dark since I was a kid. I am much better about it now, but there are times when the darkness can still scare me.
It is not in the shining moments of attaining those “things,” that I was taught to seek and acquire. The chase of those things left me empty, hungry and broken and feeling like I didnt want to be here any longer.
Jonas Elrod did a documentary film with the above title and I watched it last night. I could rave about the whole movie and do and recommend it to all. Same with “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” a small independent movie made in 2012 and wonder full.
Back to “Wake Up!” There is one particular part of the film that keeps talking to me. It was a part of the movie where he did a 4 day sitting in the woods in Washington state. He created this circle around him of symbols and could not leave that circle as he was told that his life would be shortened if he did. I dont know if he had food, but I remember that he mentioned that he could not bring water with him.
As I was watching the movie I thought about my journey. I dont see “ghosts” or “images” or the other things that Jonas Elrod did. I have been and can still be in that darkness that Hillman says is necessary to deepen into life. That means that I get to deal with the area that the Leprechaun calls the “super ego.”
It is so misunderstood, this topic of the “spirit” world, the unknown, unconscious stimulus that can drive us. It is difficult to even articulate what I am even “thinking,” about. However, I would love to really go there should Ggod allow me to truly do so, that I could become complete with my self and allow me to help others go there also.
“We allow the images to rise up, and maybe we wonder about them, but that is all. We do not take the trouble to understand them, let alone draw ethical conclusions from them. This stopping-short conjures up the negative effects of the unconscious.” (2)
This is where I will default to. When those images of myself that I dont “like,” or understand come up,my unconscious works like hell to push them down. Why? Because I am still at some level buying into the dominant paradigm’s view that I “should,” be “happy,” and “negative” thoughts are to be dismissed.
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” (3) Man, does that statement challenge everything I know. Caves, at least the ones I went into when I was a kid, were scary, dark, musty, full of spiders, kind of places. Yet I know that it is only there where I will find my “self.”
Sacred space is where I get to deal with this stuff also.
What is it that I need to find? What part of me am I “missing?” When I start writing stuff like this I always end up with more questions than answers. Then I feel and fear that I have failed to reach the reader. I fear that I have not communicated with you in a way that you get some understanding.
The mind wants to really twist this topic and make it so confusing that I get frustrated and walk away. Then I can write about how I have “overcome” my depression and that I “should” tell you how to do it.
B.S.! I am still hungering to find that key that leads me to enlightenment. I still want to become okay in my dam skin more than yesterday.
I think this whole process is best articulated by Jung when he said, ““Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
(1) James Hillman (2) Carl Jung (3) Joseph Campbell
*I saw “Wake Up,” on Netflix
123 RV. Forgiveness is necessary for inner peace, permission is not.