Friday, December 19, 2008

On joy and pain

From Ministry and Imagination, Ch 6:

"The fact is that contemplatives, who make the inward journey into the unconscious, frequently have spoken of the joy and pain, apparent opposites, that confronts them: the symbols and the diabols. Again and again I am reminded also of comments Castaneda makes, or rather quotations he records from his shaman. It is only when one claims to understand, that he is really 'in a mess.' The task of the 'warrior' is to achieve a balance between terror and wonder. The numinous and hidden quality of the vision, combined with the seeming multivocality of its symbols, are a common perception with those who surrender to the unconscious. Marghanita Laski, as we said before, has noted that 'ecstasy' has both its fearful and attractive dimensions, just as Otto spoke of the numinous as terrifying and fascinating."

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