THE SYMBOLIC LIFE (Winter 2000)
As we discussed in the last newsletter the most direct access to the symbolic life we all share is our nightly dreams. Each night as we sleep the psyche imparts it’s own unique--though usually perplexing--form or wisdom.
However, there is also a cultural component to this experience, a time of year in which various cultures believe that we are closest to the “spiritual realm.” While this may vary in some societies, it is primarily the fall and winter that most people experience this affinity to the mysterious side of life. We have just passed one such juncture in Western culture with the celebration of Halloween, which now is the second busiest commercial holiday (after Christmas) in our society. Here the dark elements are imagined and “incarnated” through the various decorations and costumes. Aspects of life that lie in the further reaches of the imagination are manifest much more directly. Similarly the spirits of the dead are assumed to be closer to us than at other times. Psychologically, all these various components bring us closer to parts of ourselves that require more attention.
Similarly, as we get closer to the winter Solstice, Christmas, and New Years we encounter another time when our imaginations are pulled to consider the transformative elements of the human soul that can come into play to enrich us. It is a magical time of year when myths of the imagination are on display more than any other.
We at Coldwater Counseling Center hope that even as you may touch the dark points of your soul’s struggles as the days shorten, that you will find ways to ignite the spirit that brings light and hope to those places that may need it most.
Editor: Steve Galipeau