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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Dark Caves & Locked Doors


How do you feel about going into deep, dark caves? Not into spelunking or abseiling? I'm not either. Nevertheless, there's a lot to be said about sinking into the depths to see the beauty that we'd never see up here on the surface. What about trying to get into locked doors? Not your cup of tea either? It might lead you to problems? Perhaps with the law? Or the owners of the place? Or simply because unlocking that door might lead you into a place that contains unknown and fearsome things?

In our inner world, dark caves and locked doors are potent symbols for much that we have not uncovered about ourselves. They may show up in our dreams, or conversely, we may never actually have any specific contact with such things in our lives out there in the world. But what they symbolize is all that holds us back. All that pops up unexpectedly as in a parapraxis that we just blurt out (Freudian slip), and then wonder where on earth that came from ... as in the woman, for example, who continually mis-refers to her husband as her father when speaking about him with others.

Plumbing the depths of our being for meaning and understanding is a quest that requires much courage, and it's only possible if you become diligent in being aware and conscious of yourself. But here's the thing: Imagine a house in which you live which has one locked door (as in the tale of Blue Beard). You know you have the key somewhere for this locked door, but you're not sure where that key is, and furthermore, you have a certain amount of anxiety about actually opening the door. You simply don't know what you'll find behind it, and furthermore, you've lived for such a long time with it closed that you're relatively comfortable with it being locked. And so you let it go. You don't bother with it. You tell yourself it's not important, not necessary, and that you are capable of living your life without knowing what's behind the door. occasionally you may even go for days, months, or weeks, without remembering such a door exists in your house!

But consider this: what if there is a small child behind that who needs your help? Who needs to be encouraged and nourished and supported? What if there are bountiful riches there that would make your life so much easier if you had access to them? What if there were even more doors in that locked room, each one of which would lead you to greater and greater vistas? Think: what do you lose by not opening the door, or going into the dark cave?

It was Joseph Campbell who said: the cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. Dark caves and locked doors can be frightening, and certainly are challenges, but are you really willing to not discover what lies there?

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