Necessary Questions on the Journey
I went searching for an image today as I knew I didn’t have one that would illustrate the idea that came to me while reading James Hollis’ book, The Eden Project. I found this image of Christ’s wound by Luis Guillermo Arroyabe that was found on the Ecce Homo web site. I have an opportunity to engage in a five-week seminar using this book for the foundation of for the discussion and investigation of Other and Sacred Other (Divine Other) within the work of individuation, the work of becoming a conscious (more conscious) adult.
I want to begin the post with the idea that we are all wounded, everyone without exception. We aren’t necessarily aware of being wounded, but our wounds do help shape our response to the world and how we are in relation to the world and to others. The image illustrates the wounding to one’s heart or soul (psyche) by Others. These Others are our parents, our significant others, and any whom we allow to enter into close relationship. Like the archetypal image of Christ’s wound, we learn that the wounding is necessary if we are to transcend from unconsciousness to a state of consciousness. One can either get stuck in one’s wounds as a victim, or one can expose the wounds to light and begin a process of healing, of renewal.
So how does one bring light to shine on these wounds? How does one engage in the process of becoming conscious, of healing, of resurrecting Eros? I want to respond to these questions by bringing Hollis’ words here for you to consider.
“Implicit in the task of becoming conscious of wounded eros are certain questions which constitute an inventory of self and Other. If we do not ask them of ourselves, then our partners will, or we will hit some wall which obliges us to begin. Among them are:
- Where do my dependencies show up in the relationship?
- What am I asking my partner to do for me that I, as a mature adult, need to be doing for myself?
- How do I repeatedly constrict myself through my historically conditioned attitudes and behavior patterns?
- Am I taking too much responsibility for the emotional well-being of the Other? Am I taking on his or her journey at the expense of my own, and if so, why?
- Am I living my life in such a fashion that I will be happy with the consequences of my choices? If not, when do I plan to start? What fears, lack of permission or old behaviors block me from living my life?
- In what ways do I seek to avoid suffering?
Such questions reach down and into our souls. They stir old wounds, test our defenses and illuminate the strategies we play out with our partners. Finally, they reveal not only why our relationships are wounded, but also ways in which we can heal them by first healing ourselvesemphasis mine] (Hollis, The Eden Project, p. 99)