Halloween tomorrow. Though of course like most things on the calendar, Halloween’s been going on for a couple of weeks now.
I am currently attempting to get to New York in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, so in the meantime, here is a themed excerpt from 40 days 40 nights…
It’s Halloween. A gaggle of girls stand at the bus stop, dressed to the nines.
There is a sexy witch with a huge hat and tiny skirt. A fairy with clinging sparkly leotard and gossamer wings. A vamp with plunging neckline emphasized by a trail of fake blood.
This is how the unconscious speaks – via an excuse. It says “This is not me… Halloween demands that I dress up.”
Of course the boys dress up too, but they can wear an old sheet or some bandages. Dressing up for them is a lark. Dressing up for the girls is an excuse to express their unconscious desires. They can cavort as sexy minxes and then deny all responsibility for an aspect of their sexuality that they don’t want to own.
It’s difficult to see who has the short straw in the boys versus girls debate. The girls struggle with the mirror that society holds up for them. They have to be sexy to get the boy, innocent when they’ve got the boy (don’t make him jealous of other boys), nurturing when they’ve got the baby, then back to sexy again (don’t make Dad jealous of the baby.)
It’s a difficult and exhausting one-woman act to pull off.
The boys always had it easier – get the girl, get the job. But now things are becoming more difficult for them too. They have to be alpha male to get the girl, funny to keep the girl (the macho stuff wears thin), new caring male when the baby comes along, while remaining alpha male in order to get laid occasionally.
The girls smile and say “Welcome to my world” or something equally unhelpful.
This whole “roles” thing that the ego has created is very flawed and in need of a complete overhaul. If we stopped using roles to create our identity then it would be a lot easier to give them up when their time is over.
We fall in love with our roles. Like Narcissus by the side of the pool, we fall in love with the identities we have created. We fear that if we let them go, there will be no reflection in the mirror… and we will cease to be.
In fact the story of Narcissus is an apt metaphor for the times we live in, representing both the fears of parents and the indulgence of youth.
Narcissus was a beautiful boy whose mother was told he would live to an old age as long as he did not see his reflection. She therefore took the obvious precaution of removing all mirrors from his vicinity. One day while walking in the woods he stopped to drink water from a lake, saw his own reflection for the first time, and fell in love. He could not move away from the object of his affection and so died at the waters edge.
Metaphors are brilliant because they create a bridge between the literal (lower consciousness) and the spiritual (higher consciousness). On a literal level, this is a stupid boy, if he can’t tell the difference between a watery image and a real person. On a metaphysical level, this is what we all do every day.
All form is energy. It doesn’t look like energy, but now that we have magnifying glasses we know that everything is vibrating molecules. We “see” this energy according to the lenses in our own eyes… and then we fall in love.
That’s why the phrase “I don’t know what she sees in him” is so unhelpful. When we “see” things according to our projections, we become enchanted. So how could Narcissus’s mother have changed the outcome of her son’s story?
As Einstein said, you can’t solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created it. In other words you have to leave the literal world and go to a higher level of consciousness.
Narcissus needed to find his essence, not his ego identity or role. He needed to recognize the creative spirit inside himself. Having done this, he would have projected a different image onto the water but he would also have the inner sense to understand that he was connected to both the image and the water that contained it.
It is this inner sense or innocence that Jesus referred to when he advised “becoming like little children.”
He didn’t mean become angry, stubborn and naïve (the interpretation of some of his followers), he meant devoid of projections so that the reflection we see, is one we can live with. One in which we can live.
This would have been a better strategy to save Narcissus’s life.
We can’t stop children from playing out in the world. We can only help them explore all the different dimensions of who they are.
We can’t expect them to have focus and clarity, we can only teach them how to be congruent – how to line up all the different forces of who they are behind one clear intention.
We like to skip this part, and just say “Get more focus. Get more clarity.”
If it was this easy we’d be doing it ourselves!
I wonder how the girls will feel after their Halloween party. As they sit on the school bus, they may be absolutely clear about their intention to pass their end of year exams.
Unfortunately, they also have to convince all the other girls – the ones in their head – some of whom are voting to have sex in a cat woman outfit.