Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The Shapeshifter Reloaded

The Shape-Shifter is a popular motif weaving through movies (such as The Matrix) and fairy tales. It appeared as an asylum seeker, begging the rich young prince for food and shelter. Subjected to his lack of compassion, haughty and dismissive arrogance, she exposed him for what he was: beastly.
Luckily, in time, the prince’s steadfast and faithful Soul Companion otherwise known as Belle or Beauty – or what Carl Jung would call his anima or ‘feeling function’ and popularly described nowadays as emotional intelligence – came along to redeem and set him free.
             Whether we behave as heroes or cowards, in our own self-interest or with compassion towards others, the shape-shifter is emerging in extraordinary ways to restore balance.  I know, I have personal experience of Big Mama’s tough love.  And let me tell you, you need to find a backbone, hold the line, and take her medicine. She don’t joke when it’s time for her children to grow in consciousness.
             My own shape-shifter appeared as a critical illness – a silent killer.  I could either have buried my head in the sand, take allopathic drugs and succumb to a posthumous existence because that is the norm response, or I could chose to face an inconvenient truth, acknowledge my culpability and seek to change a particular way of being that had brought me here, and live.
    A young woman very dear to me met the shapeshifter on the motorway one day. She lived to tell the tale. This was no mere accident, the symbolism and metaphors were up in her face; there was no ignoring the message. This was about life change. A couple years later she asked me to accompany her to the precise spot of the encounter so she could leave an appropriate libation in gratitude.  
         It is very difficult to carry on business as usual when the very foundations of life as we know it is being shaken to the core.  Eventually, we are forced to come to terms with the fact that the structures we have erected, which we believe are essential for holding our world together, are dysfunctional and have to be re-engineered or they will  fall on top of us and crush us to death. This is true at both the personal and global level.
           Fundamental change requires a 180-degree shift such that we are no longer able to live with ‘business as usual’, but it takes enormous courage and a disengagement from what I call the matrix of collective thought which is forged by what the majority of people accept and acquiesce to as the ‘norm’, even when this ‘norm’ does not actually deliver what we want. 
          But apart from shifting some of our habitual and ingrained patterns of behaviour which no longer serve us, such as the shadow addict, victim, rescuer, hedonist, vampire, we might also cultivate some new patterns expressed in the light – such as the benign alchemist and magical child – in order to have a positive impact on our world, and especially on those we care about. 
               When the planet is ready to take an evolutionary step, climate change, the supreme re-creator, is one of Mother Nature's modus operandi.  As I said in an earlier post (Obsession and Addiction, December 2012) we may well be part of a civilization that is wiped out by that shift; or we are part of a civilization that gets to re-imagine life on earth, once some of us arrive on the other side of the tipping point.  Or, we are part of a generation that finds a way to simply flow with and survive climate change AND re-imagine a different way of being on the planet.
              In the final analysis Mother Nature just is – beautiful, bestowing, nurturing as well as destroying of a way of life no longer fit for purpose.
 


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