“The road of experiential knowledge that Jung spent most of his life leading people along is clearly not a road that is readily walked. As Jung relates, for many ‘the steep path of self-development is . . . as mournful and gloomy as the path to hell’” (C.G. Jung’s Psychology of Religion and Synchronicity by Robert Aziz, p.23).
The path through hell is more hopeful than the path to hell. But the path to hell is a prerequisite to the path through hell. In the Four Quartets T.S. Eliot states the following:
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
On the road to self-knowledge we all encounter this place without hope. The way out is the way in. I wrote a poem expressing this paradox:
threads of light
threads of darkness
Photo Credit: Photo by Smithsonian Institution at Flickr Creative Commons.