Monday, September 28, 2015

Only the Shadow Knows, Part 2

Poems, Readings, Meditation on the Shadow

At last year’s DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church Goods and Services Auction, Soni Simpson and Holly Harris-Johnson bought a sermon topic.  After much consideration, they chose the topic, the Shadow.   In Part I of “Meeting the Shadow” I offered my reflections on the topic. 

Part II is a compilation of art, poems, readings, and meditation on the shadow. 

Faces of the Enemy, by Sam Keen

Start with an empty canvas
Sketch in broad outline the forms of
men, women, and children.

Dip into the unconscious well of your own
disowned darkness
with a wide brush and
stain the strangers with the sinister hue
of the shadow.

Trace onto the face of the enemy the greed,
hatred, carelessness you dare not claim as
your own.

Obscure the sweet individuality of each face.
Erase all hints of the myriad loves, hopes,
fears that play through the kaleidoscope of
every finite heart.

Twist the smile until it forms the downward
arc of cruelty.

Strip flesh from bone until only the
abstract skeleton of death remains.
Exaggerate each feature until man is
metamorphasized into beast, vermin, insect.

Fill in the background with malignant
figures from ancient nightmares – devils,
demons, myrmidons of evil.

When your icon of the enemy is complete
you will be able to kill without guilt,
slaughter without shame.

The thing you destroy will have become
merely an enemy of God, an impediment
to the sacred dialectic of history.

Prayer/Meditation, Rev. Tom Capo

While awaiting his death in a Nazi concentration camp, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote:  “In me there is darkness, but with you there is light; I am lonely, but you do not leave me; I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help; I am restless but with you there is peace…”  As we explore our inner darkness, know that we are here together to support one another.

Spirit of Light and Darkness,

I seek to better understand myself, to look into my heart and mind for those disowned parts of myself. 

I seek to journey inside to bring light to the darkness, to be whole. 

The path inside is before me; it leads me to a place of darkness, a place not often explored, and I feel alone.  I may be afraid of the dark, but with the light of spirit, with the light of those here with me, with the light of compassion for my own disowned parts, I will continue my journey. 

The darkness gradually lessens as I travel deeper inside. 

I search for clues to better self-understanding.  Sometimes I stand still and just absorb what I encounter.  Sometimes I move quickly, recognizing aspects of myself that I am familiar with, though estranged from.  Sometimes my walk is easy, but expectant.  I am permeable to myself, open, waiting.

I will light these recesses; kindle my hearing and sight; quicken my feelings and body; spark my right hand and my left; incandescence above and beneath me.  I will see what I need to see, hear what I am called to hear, feel what I need to feel. 

I begin my journey outward. 

I have gained insight, understanding; I will continue this journey toward wholeness.

Spirit of Light and Darkness, increase the light within me that I may see into my darkness, illuminate me, always.