Hermeneutic and Buddhist Meditations
Edited By David W. Jardine, Christopher Gilham and Graham McCaffrey
Chapter Fourteen: A Black Blessing (Alexandra Fidyk)
A Black Blessing alexandra fidyk The dread and resistance which every natural human being experiences when it comes to delving too deeply into himself is, at bottom, the fear of the journey to Hades. ~ c. g. jung, Psychology and alcheMy Right at the beginning you meet the dragon, the chthonic spirit, the devil or, as the alche- mists called it, the blackness, the nigredo, and this encounter produces suffering. ~ c. g. jung, c. g Jung sPeaking: inTerviews and encounTers A pedagogy of suffering begins with black. Descent into the underworld has been called many names: Black, no-thing- ness, the void, the abyss, land of the Mud Mothers, and, simply, hell. It has been accounted for in Goethe’s Faust, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, and T. S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland.” It has been described in the Book of Job; Melville’s Moby Dick; the Japanese Izanami; the Greek Kore-Persephone myth; the fairy-tale maidens who go to Baba Yaga; and Perera’s Sumerian story of Inanna and Ereshkigal, the Dark Goddess. The theme knows no boundaries. It is known throughout history and across cultures because it refers to an “innate, necessary psychic movement which must take place sooner or later when the conscious ego has exhausted the resources and energies of a given life attitude” (Edinger, 1975, p. 21). It plunges one’s whole being into great doubt: Emotions are exhausted; intellect is taken to extremity. While the experience is feared, cultural practices, institutions, and belief systems C h a p T e r f o u...
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