The Wound – The Shadowlands


 I was nearly finished writing my next entry, but just needed some contemplation before completing it. When I came back to read what I had already written, I find my file corrupted and everything in it, gone, lost. Why, I do not know. (I may be adept in some areas but technically I am challenged.) I wanted to throw up my arms and lament in woe, but then I thought, “Wait, maybe the direction or timing of what I was writing was not right, maybe I should be writing something else?” The Wound of course …

I had a dream a few nights ago where I was talking to someone with a black Cobra on his lap. While we were talking he was stroking the Cobra and the Cobra had its mouth clasped on his hand. My attention was diverted from the conversation to this. He smiled at me and said, “It will not hurt you, when you approach it without fear, its mouth is just affectionately on my hand, do you want to try it?” The Cobra looked so serene and affectionate that I thought it made perfect sense. In trust I held out my hand, but as I felt the hardness of its mouth enclose, I felt in a fleeting instant, fear. It coiled back and struck with its fangs on my outstretched hand. Suddenly I was alone and I looked at my hand, the two fang pricks clearly visible on two of my fingers. Now already red and swelling. I have been mortally wounded.

I awoke with a gasp of breath, checking my fingers and then I remembered the ancient initiations where the initiate is given poison to drink, or indeed the lethal bite of a snake, to transmute or die. Illumination or death.

Just so, we are, each one of us, born with a lethal wound, one that will either bring us illumination or will kill us. It is the way the Divine Trickster trick us into finding our own individual strengths, our unique voice in the Universe. Our wounds reveals themselves to us through our childhood environment, those limitations, those apparent shortcomings that we have to transmute, whether they be mental, physical, spiritual, or emotional. The form of our wounds are unique to each individual. We can ignore our talents and positive abilities but not our wounds, for if we do it will surely kill us.

“Our complexes are not only wounds that hurts and mouths
that tell our myths, but also eyes that see what the normal
and healthy parts cannot envision …

Our falling apart is an imaginal process, like the collapse of
cities and the fall of heroes in mythical tales – like the dismemberment
of Dionysian loosening which releases from overtight
constraint, like the dissolution and decay of alchemy…
Afflictions point to Gods, Gods reach us through afflictions.” – James Hillman

It is human nature to reside in complacency unless something forces a change in us.

“Each stage of ego growth contains the seeds of its own betrayal. The soul tricks us into setting up the conditions for that betrayal, which forces a deeper self-reflection that might lead to soul encounter and the next stage of growth. The betrayal by a lover can trigger an ego death followed by the birth of a more soul-rooted self and the discovery of the larger story in which we play a soulful part.

But if we are going to redeem our romantic betrayals, we must ultimately practice forgiveness. We must eventually recognise the betrayer as the instrument of the sacred, the person who was capable of wounding us in just the right way necessary for our further initiation.

Romance places us face-to-face with death in one additional way. The deeper the heart-to-heart connection, the keener the awareness of its inevitable loss, wheher through death or other forms of parting. We feel death lingering around the edges of our most intimate conversations. We know we will sooner or later be separated. Therefore, rather than pushing it away or stoically accepting it, we might boldly ask death to become a third party to the romance. Death will then walk with us, bringing us into the presence of every moment. When death whispers that this may be our last chance to touch, the fullness of the now expands and offers the possibility of soul-to-soul contact. Death coaches us in love.” – Bill Plotkin

It is our wounds, our tragedies, our distasters, our failures that contains our greatest gifts. It is this very inherent weakness, seed of betrayal within each of us, that ensures our evolution, our growth. It is the wounds that brings us to the darkness of the Shadowlands, the Dark Nights of the Soul, it is our soul encounters that leads us to our uniqueness, it is in the shadow of death that we at last experience the sweetness of life.

“Snake… come crawling,
There’s fire in your eyes,
Bite me, exite me,
I’ll learn to realise,

The poison transmuted,
Brings eternal flame.
Open me to heaven,
To heal me again.”
Sun Bear

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