Friday, February 20, 2015

Dam the Tension

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. 
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

The insight of shadow work is that there are forces at work inside of you that often conflict with each other. You feel stuck, you feel frustrated and you think that you can't live with or without whatever it is you desire. It could be all about acquired belief systems such as casual sex is sinful while your body tells you otherwise. Or you could embrace the Christian ideal of loving your neighbor no matter what, only to find that ruthless people take advantage of you. Don't despair, you are in for some soul-searching and the harmonious solution will prevalent itself in time. Until then, however, you just have to tolerate the present tension without doing much about it in either direction.

You have to dig out the true underlying cause of your suffering and you can best do this by being at one with the tension without doing anything about it. This conflict hurts a lot but you just have to accept it; in fact, your spiritual sanity depends on resolving this tension once and for all. Perhaps you have to learn that the general spiritual rules don't really apply in this particular situation that you are in. Perhaps it is about coming to grips why your sufferance has spiritual meaning for you personally at this juncture. Either way, it takes time to resolve this tension and it certainly is frustrating to experience that stage. 

Perhaps you can think of this entire process just like building a dam; an obvious construct that stands in the way with the natural flow in life. Enormous water masses have to be held back by tons of concrete; this pressure steadily intensifies as the water level rises. But when it finally settles and all that you can perceive is a beautiful lake, while many turbines provide abundant electricity. In the same spirit, discover the still lake within once you have resolved your inner conflicts. Chances are you will use the new-found energy source for new creative outlets that many will enjoy.

Let a higher authority build the dam for you. Life does that for you.  Often it turns out that problems, tensions and struggles are perfectly designed to enable you to reach the next spiritual level. You don't have to build dams, just follow the flow until you reach a waterfall of Niagara proportions and take the plunge. Everything is meaningful along the Way, even the tensions that you feel right now. Shadow work hurts somewhat but just as Friedrich Nietzsche points out, he who has a why to live by can bear almost any how. Your spiritual sanity depends on it and peace is just around the corner. Let the Tao find you the way that squares the circle.

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