Earlier in this blog I described one aspect of my experience of a book called "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. It's the story of a man shielding, protecting, and nurturing his son in the aftermath of some sort of holocaust, probably nuclear. What was raising its hand back in November when I read it was the conundrum of choosing/not-choosing. Choice as a dilemma became alive for me.
Sharon illuminated a larger field by suggesting that there is a new Self, mine, being born into the world. There's a part of me that is debating whether or not to kill It now, to prevent Its suffering in the world. A world, by the way, I see as bleak, perverse, malicious. She proposed the question I've been asking myself since, "Is the world a safe place, or is it a hostile place?"
Reflecting back on the 'stages' referred to on the northwest therapy project website, the notion of birth is compelling. The whole idea of being birthed from the old and familiar and into the new applies to the various stages.
And who are these Guardians at the Thresholds?
And why, lately, am I so acutely aware of the suffering in the world? The prospect of suffering physically at the hands of others horrifies me. The thought of people just living their lives and then events and circumstances overtaking them so they're forced to make horrible choices: between suffering themselves, or allowing someone else to suffer in their stead--that makes me shudder. I feel acutely aware that the stability that we enjoy in the United States may be more fragile than we think--our well-being dependent on the availability of cheap oil and power, abundant resources.
I've been haunted, in my dreams and fears, by a Shadow, a man. I encountered him directly, a year ago. It was precipitated by a realization of the lack of love between my husband and me. I had an experience of total desolation. It was the experience of an abandoned child, alone and at the mercy of a malignancy. Years ago a man kidnapped and killed three children in two separate incidences. The first 2 were brothers. He described in detail what he did in his diary, and he took pictures.
There was a time when I would have liked to 'do' 'weird': things like astral-projection, visions, out-of-body experiences. Time convinced me that I'm not mystical material and that I cannot suspend my disbelief. So it was extremely unusual for me to have an experience like that--it shook me to the core. Alone in my house I experienced myself as one of those children, crying and begging for my life and longing so much for my parents and not understanding why they weren't there. And I also became the parent of one of those children. For me the horror rested in knowing how terrible-alone my child would have felt. And the question would be, knowing that such a record exists in the world, of the death of my child ...I would need to see it, and perhaps in some retroactive way, be there for my child. That somehow it would be wrong to turn away from my child's suffering. But could I... writing this I'm crying and feeling a ghost of the experience a year ago where I cried like my heart was breaking and touched this alone place in my Soul.
Who is this Shadow? Is he a Guardian? Is he a personification of the mercilessness, sadistic, violence that human beings have shown over and over again that they're capable of? I don't think he's a Guardian--Guardians may be fearsome but I don't think they're profane.
Perhaps this all represents a debate inside that's been raging for a year--or longer. Is it best to stay 'unborn' where it's 'safe', or to be birthed into a world that appears to be...bleak, perverse, sinister?