The Darkness Within

26 06 2012

By Julia Indigo/@juliaindigo


“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” – Carl Gustav Jung

Such is the theme of my WIP, His Original Sin. Steven Canelli, for all his good points, cannot – WILL not – face the pain that drives him. It’s easier to use – whether it is alcohol, nicotine, work, or women – and, in spite of his prodigious intelligence, he takes the ‘easier’ way out time after time, until he hits bottom. It isn’t that he doesn’t see the endpoint. He uses (that word, again!) his brilliance to rationalize his actions.

That’s the way it always is, isn’t it? People in general won’t face facts until they have to, until they have no other choice. I know that’s been true in my life. I refuse to enumerate the many times that I continued on a particular path in spite of that nagging ‘oh dear, this isn’t going to end well’ feeling, that inner warning system maxed out in the red. Usually when I’ve stayed with a course (never mind the looming brick wall) it’s been because I felt that I had no other options. The truth? I had no other easy options.

In Steven’s case, it’s easier to just pour another drink, light another cig, or chase another skirt. Easier, until it becomes impossible to overcome the consequences of his actions. Perhaps that’s why I adore this character, in spite of his behavior. He’s me, in a different body, making different choices, avoiding different pain… but still running, running, running, until he can’t run any longer.

(And what is he really running from? There’s a hint of it on this page.)

Thanks to my good friend Gayle Greenlea for posting the Jung quote to Facebook. I hadn’t intended this Tuesday Quotes blogpost to become copy about my book, but it fits so well!

What about you? What are you running from? What situations aren’t working in your life? Where could you make other, harder, choices, which might result in beauty? Where are you holding back out of fear of… success? failure? Let me know in the comments.

Oooh boy. I could go on and on with those questions, and probably will, in my journal!

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10 responses

26 06 2012
Lorinda J. Taylor

This really doesn’t apply to me personally, but it sure applies to the protagonist of “The Termite Queen.” He isn’t running from his problems so much as finding a way to cope and thus keep living. But this coping mechanism is failing him … Original sin plays a role, too. You’ll just have to read that book. When yours is published, I promise to try it.

26 06 2012
Julia Indigo

Ditto, Lorinda!
I find that we do spend altogether too much time running from things which would be better confronted. It’s just so hard!

26 06 2012

omg. It’s amazing how you and this person I know* keep talking about similar things! Check out the big suck!

* ;-)

27 06 2012
Julia Indigo

Jesus. I may just quit this blogging thing. Meghan is an amazing writer! (and do you mean to be commenting as ‘alcie’?… though it’s cute and all..)

Thanks for the linkage to her column. Many hugs and good wishes to her!

27 06 2012

WordPress seems to want me to post as “alcie,” so I go along (I must have fed it to wp at some point, it is a childhood nickname). Will send on the kind words, thanks!

28 06 2012
Julia Indigo

Okay, you are Alcie to me from now on! :D

26 06 2012
KM Huber

Just recently, I watched an interview with Caroline Myss, whom I have not read, but hers is a name I keep running across. There were various references to an early book of hers, Spiritual Contracts, and the conversation was about the detours we take from our path (spiritual contract), specifically your point about ignoring one’s instincts.

We always know, don’t we?

Fine post, Julia.


27 06 2012
Julia Indigo

I’ve read some of Ms. Myss’ stuff, back in the day… there are widely varying opinions of her and her work.

That being said, I’m not sure about the whole Spiritual Contract thing. In my understanding it’s a contract made pre-incarnation, which we need to figure out as we live, and is our One True Path. That feels like Destiny with a Big D to me, and if you conflate your indigestion with your instincts you’ll never figure it out!

I’m saying that I don’t know. I know when I’ve stayed in places that I shouldn’t, but I can’t say that I know where I should be.

I don’t look at Steven’s choices as turning away from what he could ‘become’, so much as not sitting still long enough to learn to ‘be’. Missing the knowledge that he’s perfect as he is, a Child of God(dess), and as worthy of beauty and joy in his life as you or me. If he doesn’t face his pain, he will miss that, because his pain is born of falsehood.

I prefer Brene Brown to Caroline Myss, FWIW.

28 06 2012
KM Huber

Thanks, Julia, for such a thoughtful response, and you know I mean that sincerely. Brene Brown is another name I have run across in my study of authentic ancient traditions; I have come across both names in the context of Christianity, mostly tangentially. I really appreciate your guidance and thoughts.

I am not sure about spiritual contracts, either, but I am in complete agreement with you about destiny. As you know, I lean toward Taoism but am now considering the Vedic tradition as well; it seems to me, Steven’s issues are more within the context of either of these traditions.

I apologize for my tangential comment, although I have learned a great deal in making it, and for that, Julia, I thank you. As you say, detours are often more recognizable than the actual path. I always learn from your blog.


28 06 2012
Julia Indigo

Karen, Taoism appeals to me as well, along with esoteric Christianity. Yours is an interesting take on Steven’s issues, I hadn’t considered that. I guess I look at it from more a psychological/metaphysical slant. More grist for the mill!

As you undoubtedly noticed, I tend to be quite direct in my communication! Thank you for not taking offense. :\ I’m glad you’ve learned something here – me, too! I love it when comments turn into conversation.

::heading off to think about Steven/Taoism/Hinduism/Beingness::

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