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Archive for November, 2010

One of the many things we all share, as members of the human family, is our recurring experience of what we perceive as the clash of opposing forces, whether we see these forces as positive and negative, good and bad, or light and shadow. They are all parts of the whole of reality that are not only necessary but also extremely purposeful. Light and shadow represent the core opposition we face in this life. And their purpose is nothing less than to bring about transformation in our lives.

When we can see the entire picture of reality in its wholeness, rather than get lost in or overwhelmed by any of its parts, we are much better able to appreciate both the light and the shadow that does come into our life. These essential opposing forces in our lives not only create growth opportunities for us, they facilitate our progress toward reestablishing the original unity we were born with.

The intermingling of light and shadow in our lives is actually a blueprint for transforming our lives. Knowing that there is a blueprint to our growth (physical, psychological, and spiritual), allows us to see and understand both the detail and the whole while keeping us focused on the whole.

A 44th way to explore your soul’s story – What is it that has brought light to your life? What is it that you are most thankful for in your life? How has the light in your life made you a better person, or more of who you really are? Would you have really known the value or benefit of this light if it hadn’t also been for the shadows in your life, those things that greatly challenged you, created tension, or made things really difficult for you? Think of those times when you have been most aware of the forces of light and shadow in your life, and reflect on how they were at odds in your life, as well as the greater purpose they represent, and how either would not have the meaning they do for you without the other. Write your thoughts down, and tell this story of light and shadow in your life.


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Contrary to popular usage, myth does not mean a falsehood. Myth is a very real representation of reality. For indigenous and ancient peoples, myth is the representation of the way things really are in the world. Just as scripture in the world’s religious traditions, myth operates at the sacred level.

The most common and profound archetype in mythology is that of “the hero’s journey,” a form of the pattern of birth, death, and rebirth, or in Joseph Campbell’s words: departure, initiation, return. This pattern defines the process of transformation. Myth thus expresses a dialectic of opposites, which provoke an interaction culminating in a synthesis of the thesis and antithesis, which further combines and transcends them both. Transformation occurs by following a dialectical process which itself makes up the archetype of transformation.

We get to the sacred, mythic level of our life story by telling our universal story, the story of our lives that connects us not only to those we know directly but also to all those throughout time and across distances who have lived similar experiences or archetypes as we have. This is how and why our universal story carries the sacred and enduring truth – and power – of myth.

A 43rd way to explore your soul’s story – Sometimes in our lives we are not aware of the truth that we are living, especially when we are in the midst of experiencing struggle, conflict, or tension. Yet it is precisely this kind of challenge or “muddle” that is needed to show us the truth and the necessity of the difficulty, which is really the only thing that can lead us on to a “resolution” and the completion of the transformation process. Think of a time in your life when you were able to turn what felt like a falsehood into a truth, when something that you didn’t want or didn’t like the feel of eventually showed its value and importance to you in a way that ultimately led to the completion of the process of transformation in your life. How did a new realization, clarity, or awareness assist the quickening of this process for you by helping to bring about the unity of opposites? Please share this story here if you would like to.

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