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Monday, April 4, 2011

C is for Catharsis

In "B is for Balance," I talked about the ways that the Universe has of letting us know that things are out of whack, off the beam. Today, I want to talk about the processes that we go through when we see what needs to be done, and are trying to find an approach to doing it.

Merriam Webster defines catharsis as "purgation; purification or purgation of the emotions (as pity and fear) primarily through art; a purification or purgation that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension; elimination of a complex by bringing it to consciousness and affording it expression."

The theme, here, is conscious renewal through awareness, and it's the awareness that is paramount. You can solve a problem of which you are unaware, and it's all well and good to quest after balance, but you will never get there until you're clear on not only WHERE, but also WHY you're off course.

In my recent Pathwork, I've been taught a great deal about filters and walls as they apply to our mental, emotional, and spiritual state... but, thinking bigger, as a culture, both local and global, and as a species, we've built a staggering network of layered and overlapping protocols and hierarchy designed, in theory, to promote our safety and well-being... but in the long run, what they've really done is insulate us from the world, from the planet, and from each other, oftentimes in ways that do little more than spark conflict and chaos.

Now, anyone who knows me even a little will know out of hand that I am not down-talking chaos. Order has it's place, but in and of itself, it's just a counterpoint to the flipside of the coin, just a way to express the idea that things build, swell, grown, form, come to a peak, burst, burn, collapse, come apart, and start over.

Everyone has their own little ways of dealing with things that "come up." Video games, writing, working out, painting- there are as many ways to work with how you feel as there are ways to feel in the first place. Being in touch with who we are inside is the first step; finding ways to work with what we have is what comes after. Finally, we must recognize our place on the Path, our role in the greater processes that the world spins through.

We are on the descending edge of our "come to a peak" phase, I think; "burst" and "burn" are not far away. Catharsis, though, can only happen if we SEE the process for what it is, if we realize that there's more to all the conflict and turmoil in the world than just a few bad eggs who are only out for themselves. The slow, often painful shift from "build" to "start over" is as natural and ordinary as rain, but because it's on a scale that's generally beyond our immediate comprehension, we view it as a "disaster," as "the end of the world." It is no such thing: it's the end of a paradigm, and if we want to survive the shift, if we really want to seek balance, then we have to wake up to our role in this process.

We have to seek out catharsis.


  1. Thank you, sir. This gives me a whole new perspective on things. A well needed perspective I might add.

  2. Definitely well said, and I completely agree that the way things are headed we're quite close to a societal reboot. Baptism by fire baby! I can only hope (and this is gonna sound like lunacy to anyone that knows me) that soon technology will fail. All I ask of Her is that she allows time for Tribe to gather properly before it happens.

  3. On a micro level, I find it a huge challenge to lead someone who is suffering; IE my children. It is important to teach them how to deal with situations and realize that it's okay to say that they've made the mistake. They just need to move on.

    Thanks for the inspiring post.

    ♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥