It is by going down into the abyss
that we recover the treasures of life.
Where you stumble,
there lies your treasure.
Last time, we began to explore the idea of the soul's recurring requirement to descend, to find its true nature in response to an inner call to deepen. In answering this call, the soul and the being in whom it dwells, often encounters loss and suffering, and is challenged to carve out character and find courage by facing up to and taking on its greatest fears.
This then, is the archetype of the "Hero", one who takes this journey on behalf of his own unfolding and for the greater good of the whole.
Restoring wholeness is the ultimate task of the Hero. One could say the soul chooses our bodies as its earthly vehicle, necessary to ferry it to the worldly classrooms where teachers abide and lessons unfold.
One such candidate for Hero has presented himself on the world stage today. President-elect Barack Obama. Only time will tell if he fulfills this destiny. But the stage is set. The mission is complex, as heroic missions often are.
The mission? Restore the Soul of America. An archetypal heroic assignment if ever there was one.
Approximately eighty per cent of the American people feel our country has lost its way.
But what does that actually mean and what are the implications for us and for our new president?
Surveying the wreckage left behind by the absence of leadership for, let's just say, far too long, we see a country that has lost its rudder: that being the principles upon which the founding fathers wrote into our constitution 232 years ago. The last eight years have been a wholesale betrayal of that vision and of the pillars of the democracy, upon which we as a nation, have stood.
With no captain at the helm of this ship, we've gone seriously off course, and find ourselves having crashed up on the rocks. Huddled together as citizens, we cling to the rocks, wondering what will become of us? What will become of America? Will we make it and if not, what's the alternative?
We're just beginning to wake up to the realization that something more is going to be required of us as citizens. We can no longer simply be passengers on this ship and go to sleep for the next four years. We need to develop our "citizenship" muscles and take an active role in helping to guide this vessel.
There is a certain responsibility waiting to be shared by every American. By responsibility, I don't mean burden or obligation. I'm talking about a more enlightened understanding of what responsibility is: as in, the "ability to respond". This implies we have a choice about showing up. Or not. However, know this:
The soul's journey requires that it discovers its true nature and expresses itself authentically, so it's going to find a way to make that happen, whether we like it or not. And this is where the "dark night of the soul" comes in.
If we don't respond to the inner call to deepen, if we manage to distract ourselves successfully, drown out our ability to hear the inner summons through our addictions to substances, or the delusion that something outside ourselves will be the answer, we will miss the call. In which case, we'll create yet more challenges, more crises, more opportunities to do the work.