Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Hero's Journey Stage 7: Approach to the Inmost Cave

Stage 7: Approach to the Inmost Cave

The Shadow. In Jungian psychology, the Shadow represents the parts of our inner selves of which we are not fully conscious, the parts suppressed or undeveloped. Often, these are “dark” aspects of our personalities. From a Freudian perspective, the Shadow is neither positive nor negative, and those of us who suffer from low self-esteem or anxiety are often harboring Shadows that are confident and secure in whom we are. Kaufman further expands that “in spite of its function as a reservoir for human darkness, the Shadow is the seat of creativity”….the dark side of our being, our sinister shadows, represent the true spirit of life (society) against us, repressing our collective opposition to the status quo.

At this stage of the journey, we confront the Shadow within the deep of our minds, the unnamed fears, the self-destructive habits and cycles we harbor in the furthest corners of our minds. Without naming these, we cannot hope to complete our work for once we know their names, they can no longer control or hinder us.

In the light of the seventh flame, we confront The Shadow.

Guided Meditation: The Mirror of Truth (Confronting The Shadow)

In the light of the seventh flame, breathe deeply, and rest in yourself.
Turn your thoughts onward, for here is where our journey becomes more earnest.
Let the tangible space around you blur and fade.
Sink into the darkness behind your eyes and enter the landscape of your mind.
This trial you must face alone.
You find yourself, in your mind’s eye, deep within your dreamscape.
As your eyes adjust, you notice you are standing in a dark wooded area.
There is a path before you, leading on and to the right.
Follow this path.
Note the way the moonlight glimmers off the wet stones along the path,
Seemingly guiding you toward your destination.
The path takes you to the mouth of a cave.
Inside, it looks dark and uninviting, but there is no going back now.
With a deep breath, you plunge yourself into the mouth of the cave
And walk head-on into the darkness.
Keeping your hand along the side of the cave as you walk for support and direction,
You continue to move forward. Slowly yet decisively.
After you round a bend, you see a dim glow,
As though firelight burns in the distance.
As you approach, you notice there are two distinct flames,
Sconces hanging on either side of another doorway? No, a mirror.
A mirror at the end of the tunnel, embedded into the rock-face.
With a small amount of trepidation, quickly dispelled by your curiosity,
You approach the mirror and look up to meet your own eyes.
You see yourself, at first, then, it changes.
Your face shifts, and you can see images behind your reflection.
This is your inner self, surrounded by your instinctive and primal desires,
The traits that arise when your adrenaline surges.
Make note of what you see with honesty and acceptance.
Look into your eyes reflected here. Look into your face.
Look over your shoulder. Remember what you see.
Now, find your cultivated inner strength, the You of your higher Self.
Find it and overlay all you see with what you want to be in the full glory of your potential.
See this You shining, growing brighter and brighter until
The Shadow is defeated and dissolves into the darkness of the cave.
The shadows may return, but now that we know their names, their power is diminished.
Close your mind’s eye, and when you open it,
Find yourself standing once more at the mouth of the cave,
Your talisman strangely in your hand.
Feel it pulsing with a new power.
This power is your ability to overcome your shadows.
Place your talisman in your pocket, and remember once more the names of your Shadows.
They no longer have dominion over you.

As you open your eyes, remember the names you gave to the Shadows within, and consider a journal entry for your thoughts.

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