Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Illusion that We Are Not Darkness













The Ascending Quality of the Lotus Flower, 
 and How it Translates to the Healing Process 

 "I must have a dark side also to be whole." -Carl Jung 

The lotus flower and the healing process. 
The growing of the lotus flower has similar qualities as a person heals from the heaviness and murkiness of darkness. Darkness can be attributed to the likeness of symptoms and behavior left behind from an abusive and dysfunctional family such as depression, anger, or shame, for example. While in the mud of darkness, the stored, or potential, energy begins to move, such as with the implementation of therapy. Therapy (a catalyst for the stored energy to become kinetic energy) causes a movement of energy in the mind to create awareness.

The hidden parts of the lotus seed.
You cannot see this aspect of movement or growth within the shell of the seed or within the cranium. You can only feel something is going on within. The shoots, then, burst out of the shell's seed, the aha moments, and slowly rises to the surface of the water where leaves are formed. Finally, where light is, the flower begins to blossom; this is the new-found you or self-discovery.

What we don't see is that the lotus flower is still attached to roots in the mud at the bottom of the pond, and the only way that it will survive is if it remains attached. Only the beauty of the leaves and the flower appear for you and others to see, but don't get stuck in the illusion that there is only beauty and light. So, if you are the lotus flower, you will realize that you are always connected to darkness, no matter what. You cannot survive without it.

Resisting darkness. 
So why is it that we resist darkness? We blame it, hate it, try to muzzle it, discriminate upon it, spit at it, hurt it, and bury it.

"Our greatest treasure is that which is hidden deep within our own subconscious; it is that dark unused part of our self that is in fact light that is unconscious of itself." -Carl Jung 

FEAR! Fear is the culprit of denying darkness. Fear of the unknown and what we may discover about ourselves.

"There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious." -Carl Jung

Social norms to resist darkness. 
However, let us not forget about the SOCIAL NORMS. Social norms are rules of behavior that are considered acceptable in a group, and people who do not follow these norms most often are shunned or suffer some sort of consequence. Whether or not you want to believe it, the majority of us are a world of pleasers and followers. This does not mean that being a follower is a bad thing. We can't all be leaders.

Social norms are a good thing. They provide order. They guide and predict behavior in social relationships, and they allow us to make some sense and understanding of each other's actions. On the other hand, social norms produce pressure to conform to social roles and beliefs held by the majority. Even if we don't whole-heartedly believe in a concept, we conform to the expectations of others, and we will respond by their approval or disapproval. This is how the majority of us live our lives. However, will you be the one to begin questioning the social norms for truth?

I see the social norms today as telling only part of the truth when it comes to the healing process, not the whole truth. Social norms, today, consist of looking into the light as though there is no darkness. The social norms are to be happy and positive and to leave the dark past behind--to never look back--because this will make your life empowering and successful. To some degree this is very true, but we cannot forget about acknowledging and responding to darkness.

Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment on social norms. 
 I recently reread an article on the Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment only a couple of weeks ago when I was completing an online Research Ethics tutorial. The participants adapted to their roles of prisoner and guard. The guards enforced authoritarian measures and subjected prisoners to psychological torture. The prisoners passively accepted the psychological abuse. They also harassed other prisons at the request of the guards.

So, how does this all sum up? Each one of us is composed of light as well as darkness. Without one or the other, we would not be alive. You can see how each play or live within each of us: some express more light, others express more darkness. What we need is more balance between the two. So in order to live harmoniously or balanced or to have some sense of peace-of-mind, we need to acknowledge and respond to our darkness, not deny or hide it. We need to learn how to manage it successfully without shunning it and resisting it. This means that we need to look at it, examine it, ask it questions, and accept that it is a part of us. Our growth would, essentially, not happen and is not complete without darkness.

"Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness of others people." 
-Carl Jung

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