The Path to Wholeness
By Colin E. Davis
(originally posted to Facebook on 5-15-2016)
To become whole, which is our greatest inner wish, first we must recognize our disease - within our society and ourselves. We must then go through the shock of facing what we could not face before, because we were not mature enough yet to process the horror. We go through the anger, the blame, the lashing out at the demons (parents, society, etc) who created such a nightmare. Then, the grieving. After sufficient time and acceptance of the external darkness, we turn to our inner representations of that darkness. For every external enemy there is an internal correspondence. There is a devil inside for every devil outside. On the path to wholeness this inner horror show must then be faced, studied and brought into terms we can accept. We have to make sense out of our inner demons within the context of our lives, our ancestry and our unique path.
This process, this nigredo as the alchemists called it does not last a lifetime, but is a definable phase that has archetypal characteristics to it. In a biological sense you could see this phase as the winter time, when the plants die, their bodies are decomposed and the biological processes in the soil convert the plant into fresh material for the birth of the new seed. What if plants would not go through their own nigredo? We would not be here at all. In the case of humans, we do not physically die in this process, but the old skin is shed. The snake shedding its skin is another analogy that applies because like the snake, we shed our rigid ego structures. We lose what we thought we were in order to gain what we know we are. When it is time for us to go through our nigredo, sometimes at the beginning of the second half of life, but sometimes earlier or later, we will be led to the door.
We all have up and down cycles in life, but when the down cycle is not lifting, or when its very deep, we can ask if we are at the door. Sometimes its not time to enter, but only time to look inside. Sometimes its time to enter and when its time for the nigredo, we will know. We also might find ourselves on the other side of the threshold, without notice, and then we wake up, we realize we are there and there's no turning back. Once inside, the hero's journey has begun.
The reason why the nigredo is first and not later on the path to wholeness is because its a training period. Its like military boot camp. Its hard, but not so hard that we can't do it. If you make it out to be worse than it is, it will be worse than it needs to be. If you accept it as a necessary phase of training, you will do fine. On the other side you will have the capacities you need for living your second life. You will have shed the old skin, and although you will continue with the training, and it will always be a challenge, you will be absolutely sure you are on your life's path and you will know that there was no other way. You will have found your destiny and that deeply satisfying knowing feeling will be an inner gold that will uplift you forever.
After you have moved into your queenly or kingly foundation, you will reach out to others who are stumbling and you will be there to light the path for them when they are going through their training. This is how its done and how its always been done. Although we have a choice as individuals and as a society to voluntarily go on the journey, that choce will not be made by all in this lifetime, and one of the hardest parts of this journey is in accepting this fact. Our civilization is about to go though a collective nigredo now. Most will refuse to enter the door, and therefore will continue to live in spiritual slavery. This is going to be very panful to watch, but the few who do go on the path to wholeness will be the ones who will give birth to the new way. If you have read this far, that may be you.