We often think of pain as the great motivator. We won’t change unless we are in enough pain. Many people come into the dreamwork because they are in pain. But what if it is not pain that propels us forward, but attraction which draws us? The inexorable attraction for the Divine which exists in us all, but which we forget or turn from in pride and fear. Perhaps pain is not a motivator at all. Perhaps it is simply something we experience that reminds us of the attraction. The attraction is forever there, an immutable law of our soul. Our soul yearns to be connected to God.
I first re-discovered my longing for a true spiritual connection in a very practical way when I experience the extreme pain of addiction and recovery. Forced to face into the pathology of my addiction, I discovered that my God did not want me killing myself, oblivious of the love that is here for me. I had only to accept defeat. I had to accept that I was destroyed, that I had made a mess of it all and that none of what I had run from had gone away. It was all still there. I can tell you, there would have been no reason to live if all that existed in that moment of clarity was my own destruction. But, the attraction existed. It pulled me forward, carried me in even the darkest moments, though I mostly had no idea what I was doing or why. But there was something I knew. I believe there is something we all know, if we are willing to open our hearts, let go of our stories, believe that we are “in the spirit”. Plato theorized that like attracts like. How does this relate to my own deep longing for God? I believe we carry within us the powers of our God and so we are attracted to God. A wise man once said “The Kingdom of God is within you.”
But our experiences in this life (and some would say others) negate this attraction. In many cases the negation is so strong that it becomes a repulsion. There is a law of affinity which states that “whenever two substances are united that have a disposition to combine and a third is added that has a greater affinity with one of them, these two will unite, and drive out the other”. Outside forces are at work on us from the moment we are conceived and perhaps before. So, perhaps another way of looking at this, as it relates to this work, is that once our traumas have separated us from our soul, the pathology has a greater affinity with us than God and so drives God out of us. Marc has said that Pathology cannot exist in the presence of the Archetypes.
To re-align ourselves with the soul through the alchemy of the dreamwork could create a greater affinity between us and God, thus driving Pathology out. But this requires the decent into our darkest selves in order to find the lost girl, Puella Aeterna. I believe that the Archetypes are always present in me, but most of the time I do not see them, my vision is blocked, my senses dulled by the whirl of (re) activity in my outside world. If the pathology cannot exist in the presence of the Archetypes, then it is not enough to know that they are there. I must actively, consciously seek to engage and bring and hold them in my awareness. Only then are they “present”.
In the dreams, I have experienced the ecstatic desire for God in the way that the Animus has sometimes come to me in the dreams. There can be no denying this attraction. It is beyond desire, and my ability to speak of it or understand it is limited. But the soul knows and, as it is pulled forward, it carries me. I find this type of need terrifying and so I cannot stay with it. What is in this terror, I do not know; perhaps the fear that I will be consumed. What will become of ME?
I once sat on the ski lift next to a man and his daughter, who was about 5 or 6. We chatted amiably as we ascended the mountain through the snow filled sky. Then the girl asked, “Daddy, why do snowflakes fall from the sky?” The father began to explain how the rain clouds form and how the temperature affected the water. But the girl was insistent, “But why do they come down from the sky?” The father kept trying to explain to the girl the nature of water. And, at the risk of over-stepping my new found chumminess with them on our short ride up the lift, I leaned over and said to the girl, “the snowflakes come down from the sky because they love the ground and they want to be close to it.” The girl understood this. The girl understands love and need.