In one form or another, at one time or another, we must encounter a wall, a limit that says we can travel no further as we are.
At one extreme that wall might be an actual wall, an ending, such as an involuntary crash into the finiteness of death, when we are required to leave the lifelong companionship of our physical bodies to travel onward, transformed, as purely energetic beings. At the other extreme is the volitional imposition of a wall, a container that houses the masses of energetic needs and impulses within us. Through bearing the heat of this voluntary containment we activate a process that leads to transformation. In the end, when we are finally released from that containment, we are a whole being, energetically alive in a new way.
One example of volitional containment is Jan’s favorite process: recapitulation. Recapitulation is willed introversion. Introversion imposes a wall around the inner self as the opus of transformation is undertaken. In extraversion we look to the world—our relationships, teachers, jobs, communities, and government, etc.—to be the container and the opus of our change. In introversion we withdraw our expectations for change from the outer world—the buck stops here—and go within the walls of the self.
Part of the challenge of undertaking willed introversion is contending with the compulsive, energetic pull of needs projected onto objects in the world. Those objects glow with the glimmer of gold, as the unknown self projects itself outward onto people, places, and things that we are drawn to consume, possess, love, hate, merge with, and control in the world.
In willed introversion we acknowledge the projective nature of our very alive but very hidden inner selves. The inner self, hiding in the dark, seeks desperately to be known and lived through attaching to the objects that seize us in our extraverted worldly lives. These objects are symbols that mirror the unknown parts of our inner selves.
In willed introversion we withdraw our living of this inner self out in the world and instead contain and interact with it inwardly, learning to know, love, and integrate our unknown self. In willed introversion we view our compulsive and addictive impulses as the symbolic language of our inner truths. We choose not to concretize those impulses in the world by attaching to substance or person. We choose instead to go inward and interact with the energetic source that is being activated.
For instance, during recapitulation, we may notice a compelling, attractive, repulsive, anxious fearful, or disorienting reaction to a person or event in the outer world. Rather than energetically attach outwardly, we willfully go inward and ask to be shown the source of the energetic excitation. Often we are led to images, characters, dreams, and memories that lead us into unknown, forgotten, or split off parts of ourselves that are desperately seeking attention, reconciliation, and new life.
Even our bodies may manifest sensations or pain that may reflect communications from our unknown selves. While of course we must always medically rule out physical challenges, exploring the body as a symbolic object of projective communication might lead into a deep discovery of the unknown self. It doesn’t hurt to ask, to talk to the body.
If we don’t construct a wall, if we don’t accept containment, we cannot achieve the self-knowing that allows for real transformation and genuine extraverted fulfillment freed of projection. Without containment, we find ourselves wandering aimlessly from room to room, seeking our projected gold in a vast and endless consuming world, never realizing that the pot of gold is waiting not beyond the rainbow, but within the confines of the self.
Sending greetings from inside the wall,