Alchemical Pairing: Metaphor Plus Archetype

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Life is a Golden Opportunity, as an envisioning metaphor, reminds me of the concept of Emptiness expressed in the Tao Te Ching:

Chapter 11 of the Tao Te Ching:  

  Thirty spokes unite at one hub to make a wheel, But what is missing makes it useful.

Clay is shaped into a bowl,
But it is the empty space that makes it useful.

Cut out doors and windows make a room,
But its empty space makes it useful.

So, what is there is beneficial –
But what is not there makes things useful.

From the unknown the known emerges; from an appreciation of infinite potential, all is possible.

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So allow me to explain further what this new year at Life Paths for Better Endings aims to provide for you. Week One of every month I will present a positive Life Path Metaphor which we will explore and that you can contemplate in relation to your own life.  Week Two presents a relevant monthly Archetypal character image based on Dr. Charles Bebeau’s approach to archetypal psychology which he derived from Sumerian mythology and astrology.  Week Three–beginning in December–will invite you to combine the monthly Life Metaphor with the monthly archetype in such fashion as to consider how you can harness the character Strengths of this Archetypal Ally in realizing the positive potentials of the monthly Life Metaphor. At this stage you will be combining two “elements,” one conceptual/schematic (the affirmative Life Metaphor) and the other personal, based on the ‘personal unconscious’ architecture of your own Psyche in Carl Jung’s or James Hillman’s terms. Then, in Week Four every month, this blog will explore results from combining these elements, both in our own lives and in popular stories, mythology, or in the universe at large.

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In other words, each month I will be inviting you to engage an alchemical sort of psychological pairing process, bringing positively oriented Life Metaphors into conjunction with Archetypal Ally energies to help you develop understandings about your own Better Endings potentials. So then, Life is a Golden Opportunity; it offers the opportunity to fashion something “golden” out of the raw materials of present conditions in relation to your goals and Dreams.

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This monthly process was made more clear to me last Sunday night, while I was contemplating by using Life is a Golden Opportunity as a mantra in relation to my own life. Knowing that the November archetype I will be presenting for you next week is The Descender, I asked inwardly of my own inner guidance to be shown how my own Descender energy might align with this month’s Golden Opportunity metaphor. In my dreaming that night I was shown how the most deeply challenging situations and relationships in my life have offered the greatest opportunities for learning and for personal growth or development. Rather than avoiding those situations that tend to bring out ‘the worst’ in myself or in others I am placed in association with, if I embrace the opportunity for growth and new awareness, I can change how I deal with such situations and TRANSFORM the conditions underlying that situation altogether.

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To be clearer with you about what my dream revealed, it showed me seated between two people who are so different in outlook and personality from me that we have generally irritated one another to such an extent that for over 15-20 years we have chosen to simply avoid one another altogether, “giving space.” No overt problem due to our avoidance, but in my dream I came to understand that these few uncomfortable relationships are spiritually neither accidental nor meaningless. Being positioned in relation to people with extremely opposing philosophical or theoretical outlooks on life offers me a tremendously “golden opportunity.” If I can transform these relationships, by expressing an authentic, genuine interest in these persons’ outlooks and sharing openly from my own for them, we could all potentially reach a higher state of ‘balance;’ see?  By combining disparate elements–viewpoints in this case–in new ways, the opportunity for genuine growth in my own outlook is possible. I can free myself from an attachment to a narrower outlook by opening to the ‘antithetical’ expression of a counter-perspective, arriving at a new order of Synthesis.  This can induce a metaphorically alchemical sort of psychological transformation! My Descender is a part of me that avoids conflicting relationships, rather than confronting or embracing them.  But now, I can be more open to changing these relations, to ACCEPTING the golden opportunities they offer.

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Next then, this Sunday, I will introduce The Descender to you! Meanwhile, I invite you to continue to ponder about how Life is YOUR Golden Opportunity, day by day, moment by moment, with every situation and relationship you encounter.

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I invite and will share each of your insights, comments, and stories.

 

2 thoughts on “Alchemical Pairing: Metaphor Plus Archetype

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