Clearance, and the Multiple Sclerosis Archetype
Coming out of tiredness, progressing home clearance, explanation of the "Castle List' of unresolved tensions in my past, first deep reflective work to clear an old block and surprising insights and encounters fromMultiple Sclerosis sufferers, and perhaps the archetype itself
Date: 1/14/2014 7:21:30 AM ( 9 y ) ... viewed 6206 times
How lovely to wake up to sunshine on my face and blue sky.
About half way through today I realized I’m not tired. And at the same time I realize how tired I have been. So tired I can describe a range of tiredness – from the general fatigue which is behind my reluctance to move and resentment of physical tasks, to the exhaustion where it feels like cement has been poured into my bonemarrow and my wrists feel too weak to push against gravity as it pins my limbs to the bed. My attention span for al matters outside myself ranges from 10 minute tolerance to negligible and mostly I ma desperate to get away from people.
Usually I would be impatient with myself for being so “up my own ass” but. . . . I will never get to the agenda I’m on unless I block out most other considerations.
Physically, I think my improvement is partly down to increasing my water and lemonade intake, partly reflecting the fact that my spiritual work also takes a physical toll. Deep work is exhausting, and requires physical clearance and physical recovery. It is partly because of the volume of deep work I am doing that I put myself on the master cleanse in the first place, because I remember that emotional processing is less strain on my body in this state (and for me emotional processing usually involves tears, physical shaking and emotional intensity) if I am going to have lots of that, I need to minimize its physical impact .
With this increased energy, I cleared out a cupboard and drawers and took a load to the charity shop. And then I felt good about making a start on my “Castle list” which is the list I have made of moments I hold in my memory where I have great tensions with another person – usually a friend or relative, sometimes not. Usually the memory is clear and the emotional signature for these moments is intense, which tells me this is lodged in my emotional history, and usually I have a sharp negative reaction to the memory or the person, which often recurs at other times.
This is a backlog I want to clear. I call it the Castle List because this work is recommended in a book called Entering the Castle by Carolyne Myss, and there have been a significant number of extraordinary healings associated with this work. Carolyne makes it clear that healings in her experience occur only in relation to this book in which she directly invoked the power of prayer for the first time. So I have begun my Castle List, which is only about 23 items long so far, and will logically get longer and longer as I have a whole lifetime of clearance to do, but also shorter and shorter as I work through the list.
So today I sat down to work through the first memory on my list – my unsupportive treatment of a lady with advanced MS I was assigned to care for years ago. My serious offence that sticks in my mind was losing patience with this lady, who was unanimously viewed as an impossible client, and saying to her “stop telling me about these dinner parties you are planning that we know do not take place. You have advanced onset MS. Use your planning and organizing skills to deal with the impact of that on yourself and on making provision for this young family of yours that you are neglecting” The lady shouted back :I do not have advanced onset MS and I yelled at her “yes you do, and its obvious to everyone working with you.”
It was of course an appallingly unprofessional exchange, and that was the last time I saw the lady, but it agitated me greatly as our agency had come in to take the strain off a clearly and responsible husband who was abused beyond belief, and I saw the lady transferring the pressure she put her husband under on to her 10 year old son. Clearly she was that kind of perso whether sick or well. But I wrote an extensive letter to my employers and social services expressing my concerns at the time. But over the years I have learned insight, and knowing how the ill often need illusions because “they” (we) haven’t the strength to take them down at that time, it was unforgivable of me to force this lady into a confrontation with her illness that she was not ready for. And the only solution would have been to remove her to respite care of the children to foster care, which would not have been any better for this family.
Because of what happened in prayer, I will briefly mention another lady with advanced MS who I cared for in her remote home over a 6 week period, - a lady extremely competent at handling her illness, life and carers, but lacking in empathy -and her hardworking, alcoholic husband who could not face her illness.
So I sat in prayer, having used a 10 minute meditation (Carolyne Myss – divine chaos – its on youtube) to prepare my mind.
And I called up the lady – Louise- and asked for help to approach resolution and forgiveness with this issue.
And I couldn’t shift it. The more I looked at this person, hoping for insight or a wider context to appear, the less I saw the context of her illness, and the more I saw her, and truly more and more she seemed to me a horrible person, an awful soul, and yet I know there is no such thing. I had long since hurt and been forgiven for my action towards her, and intellectually, I know confronting serious illness brings profound fear, but I could not get past this block . More and more she magnified to me as a vampire-like entity, preying on the life energy of her husband and children. And the more I asked for grace to see beyond this, the more I saw this quality.
Somehow my attention slipped sideways to the second lady, and her relationship with her husband, and I tried the same thing with her, but more and more my empthy for her illness disappeared, and I saw again the implacable deliberate negative attention she aimed at her husband – as if seeing him hurt and break would give her pleasure. And I think it would. And I tried to get past the husband, whose own mother had had the same illness and whose aversion to the MS was so bad he could hardly bear to touch his wife and would cringe at the door until she was dressed by a carer – and again I could not get past my personal distaste for what I saw as his lack of courage. . . . . . Again and again my attention veered between these three, especially the two lady sufferers. And the awareness I had of the two ladies was of their utter inflexibility,.
Sheer will. No love. And that implacable loveless force they directed out into their life and loved ones.
Finally, as I looked at the first lady (with young children), something moved, and as I watched the image of her, it was like a layer of her peeled off the frozen image in my head and fell to one side on her knees
“This is not the life I should have had!” she cried. And her voice was full of pain and fury. And then she cried like a child, and finally I could some softness in her to offer blessing to. And I saw her image of her life, herself and her attractive husband and their good looking children, mostly in public places, well dressed, receiving attention and approval by similarly dressed people in lavish places.
And the other lady, I knew, having cared for her, had had such a life, and expended much effort in reaching for the atmosphere of that life and spent much energy on work that earned her public approval.
Considering both these things, a word came to me to describe what preoccupied them both.
Power. Power, and nothing else.
Looking at her again, I remembered a different characteristic of hers – her protective love of animals, she had worked with them and many shared her home and life, and her fury at her husband’s failure to maintain the freedom and exercise regime of those animals. She herself walked dogs daily in her electric wheelchair.
Looking at her with this characteristic in mind, I could see this different quality come to the fore, and I could see who she might have been if the inflexibility had not been so prominent. And I could see her with a different face – more careworn, but kinder. More human. And I could see her husband next to her as a tall, erudite sensitive man, touching her kindly, not the tired, often-cringing character interspersed with the bitter drunk with the abusive tongue.
Is that who she would have been without the MS?
No. It’s who she would have been without the addiction to personal power.
I looked for a different view of the first lady, but other than the sobbing child who would not look at me, I could not find one.
At this point I heard the impersonal voice I know, saying with great regret:
“She would not bend her will.” The implicit end of the sentence, not spoken but clear to me in the moment, was “so it was necessary to break it.”
And then, as if the personality of these two people became less the focus, my attention was taken more and more to the characteristic of inflexibility they shared. And as I watched, I saw behind the mask of their inflexibility, the terror in them, and them scrambling to get out of the back of their psyche like rabbits trapped in a burrow. Such terrible panicked fear. But all the energy was about getting away, not being present.
My attention was drawn further to the inflexibility, and as I stayed with that, all personality disappeared, and I was left with the frozen form of the MS-ravished body in its supporting chair. And as I looked the chair became bigger and blacker, and the metal arms and leg supports more silver, until the form resembled a great black throne with manacles and chains attached to it. Absurdly, it looked like Skeletor’s throne in the He Man cartoon. And I understood I was looking at Multiple Schlerosis itself – that the illness itself has some kind of form and substance. I was looking at the Multiple Schlerosis archetype, a terrible thing which inflicts such horror on human lives. And I had no idea how to bless it, or even if I should. I began to imagine myself sitting in that awful chair, but stopped myself because surely that is inviting the MS archetype into my life. I don’t want MS. The fear and aversion I felt told me I’m no more immune to that rabbit-scrambling terror it can invoke than the suffers I knew. Several times the impulse came, and several times I avoided it, but there was no movement away from it in the image.
“Is this necessary?” I asked the voice finally, and the answer came as “yes” with a rush of blinding light. So I sat on that dark throne and felt the manacles and chains close around me.
And then the grace flowed through me in a rush of loving volume and force, turning the whole atmosphere of my inner vision rose-gold. And I felt how the archetype – the receiving vessel of human rage and bitterness for millennia, was itself stiff and pregnant with power-lust and cruelty, overwhelmed and not itself.
My other questions came and I looked for answers to them – is such an instrument of cruelty God’s creation? What does that say about the God I experience as loving and just and a source of healing and blessing?
Is this archetype under some kind of demonic influence or even creation? Should it be blessed or turned away from?
The only answers that were clear were: yes, the MS archetype is a part of God’s creation, and yes it should be blessed, and in fact, what happened to me sitting in its chair was I became in my vision a channel through which it was blessed, for the purpose of relief of suffering – its suffering.
And it is clear to me that anything which marks its progress through the world being associated with suffering and hated, is progressing through the world in an unenviable way. Has anything which is not the creation of its own existence earned that?
I asked God – how do I get up and walk from this chair with these manacles on me? And in the vision, the black chair vanished, and the manacles and chains became internalized in my bones giving stiffness and resilience and tenacity to my strength of will, and it was not difficult at all to stand and walk, in fact, I was aware of more strength in me –defensive, protective strength, not aggressive strength. And I walked easily, in a blaze of rose-and-gold grace.
It was the grace that made the difference. And grace is unconditional love.
And I THINK I heard – at least it is in my awareness – that the impersonal voice suggested to the MS archetype that its time in its current form is coming to an end.
Finally my attention came back to the first lady in my account, the one I could only see crying in terrible rage, and finally in the vision, she turned her face to me and I could see her, as a child of about 10, shy and desperate for acceptance, with none of the brittle desperate bright animation she wore like armour by the time I met her. And somehow in the vision her 10 year old son, somehow an adult man, came and took her up in his arms and gave her masculine safety and protection, of a form she had needed and never received from a fatherly force before. And when I looked at her, her cheeks were roundand didn’t have the pinchedness which was more from bitterness than illness, and her lower lip was full and trembling with emotion, and not drawn thin and straight and white with anger against her teeth, as it was when I met her.
And her, I could love, and thank for teaching me. Her, and the husband and wife I could now see containing the potential for wisdom and equinamity and good stewardship of each other I had not seen expressed in their lives.
The vision ended there. 0r rather it veered off towards a new subject on my list, but I asked permission to take a break as I know I have to do this in stages.
That is a lot to process. Writing this down here helps me to process it.
Reflecting on this later, my thoughts – partial and not reinforced by any kind of revelation, lead me to some questions and conclusions
The analysis of Dr Myss and others has long noted the relationship between inflexibility of character and Multiple Schlerosis. But obviously that generalization cannon apply to all sufferers.
“She would not bend her will,” said the voice of the first lady, clearly linking that statement to the presence of her illness, with the clear impression that the instrument of this lady’s will had to be bent. And that fits my impression of the MS archetype as having legitimate existence in the MS form within God’s creation. But it was also clear that in my vision I perceived the archetype in 2 ways – as the terrible dark throne with chains on it, and as a bright silver substance reinforcing my capacity for resilience and protective strength at a bone-deep level and not hindering me at all.
So the MS Archetype clearly has a light and a shadow side, and those in contact with the MS archetype are facing the challenge of how to mediate power. . . .?
What forms of power are good and bad is already a well rehearsed argument in theology and philosophy. In a nutshell, forms of power that enhance and don’t corrupt are the forms where the user of power has the capacity to put others first or equal to self.
And Judeo-Christian-Islamic literature makes it clear that a great grant of power from God (gifts of the holy spirit in Christian terms) comes only after someone has been through their personal trial and determined to submit their will to the will of God.
Some time I am going to go back and ask the MS Archetype why it is a prison, and see if there is an answer.
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