Exploring the Inner Darkness

March 9, 2006

Someone asked me:
How do you explore this inner darkness without being afraid?
In order to protect the privacy of this individual – there are parts of this reply that I have snipped.

I don’t think the descent can happen without fear :) but it wouldn’t be heroic if our hero didn’t face demons right? for me the inner predator is one of the many demons who guard the gate to the descent.

I have many guides for my “inner work” and my current sacred text is Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche by Bill Plotkin. You can read excerpts about it at his website. What is Soulcraft?

Perhaps this (below) is why I do the descent – even when I am afraid…

~~^~~ ~~^~~ ~~^~~ ~~^~~
Spirit and Soul: Transpersonal Ascent and Descent Life invites us to grow in many ways – physically, emotionally, interpesonally, and spiritually. Spiritually, we can grow in two directions: toward spirit on the one hand and toward soul on the other…

By soul, I mean the vital mysterious and wild core of our individual selves, an essence unique to each person, qualities found in the layers of the self much deeper than our personalities. By spirit, I mean the single, great, and eternal mystery that permeates and animates everything in the universe and yet transcends all. Ultimately, each should exist as an agent for spirit…

The hero or heroine of mythology represents you and me, the everyday self (the I or ego). If and when you embark upon the underworld adventure, it begins the same way it does in myth – by leaving home. You leave your commonplace world and roles and your familiar way of understanding yourself. Soon (at the threshold of the underworld, the kingdom of dark) you encounter a demon – a shadowy element of your own unconscious- that guards the passage. This is the first test…
~~^~~ ~~^~~ ~~^~~ ~~^~~

What I failed to “hear” the when I read this is that part at the end about the “first test.” :) There have been many – each one of
increasing difficulty – each one with greater riches.

It is the inner gold hidden in the shadow that once discovered can be carried as a gift to others that keeps my feet on this path.


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