There is a beautiful note attributed to various sources: writing is easy - you just open the vein and bleed. This voluntarily engagement with the process of destruction for the sake of creation resonates with me strongly. It requires courage and trust in life after death.
Since I started to keep this journal I experienced a new feeling related to the process of writing. I can only describe it with the feeling of being possessed. Most of the times, especially recently, when I start to write I don’t know where it will take me. It is always a surprise and I love this aspect of the process. I’ve been experimenting with different ways to write, sometimes keeping the reader in mind, sometimes not at all and while reflecting upon the process I realised how multifaceted writing is. It has the ability to get out the unconscious, helps to organise, it regulates our emotions, preserves what is important and maintains our relationships. Depending on the goal, writing changes, magically reconfigures adapting to the needs.
I find journaling incredibly effective companion on my shadow quest and it is a way to relate to the unconscious and make it workable. The power of language to bring order helps to layout a map of myself, allows to discover places that I was not aware of. While engaging in shadow work, for me it can be compared with an exploration. Walking in the dark and building street lights along the way, connecting well-lit places and expanding new territories. Everything that is lit allows for quicker movement. Once we have a map and the light we can navigate much easier. I came across a distinction between the light and night consciousness. When we use the light consciousness, we see a goal in front of us and move towards it, but if our eyes are blinded the movement is more complicated. We make small steps, more careful, anxious and alert. I found this metaphor very relatable and motivating to work with shadow. Bringing light into darkness, connecting territories, bringing everything together.
Writing is the deity of formulation - it plays an important role in the process of connection and translation. When a feeling arises in the body it happens in the right hemisphere of the brain. When we start writing unformulated feelings are captured in left hemisphere and once that happens we can reflect upon these sensations and emotions. They become tangible, distant and less overwhelming. Without this transition, from feeling to formulations, it is difficult to take a step back and dissect what has come to light on the level of emotions. Once it is on paper we can think, reflect and move on. Language is incredibly containing. When we have a word for something, it is we that have it and not the other way round. It is metabolising. Writing helps to digest, preserve, enjoy the deliciousness and extract the value. Solidifying and dissolving at the same time.
That is the reason why journaling is such a powerful technique. It accelerates the process of transformation as the reflection part is just so easy to do. Writing creates the possibility to process thoughts quicker. It is impossible to write nothing. There is always something that wants to come out. Allowing it to happen proves to be very effective and liberating. If we give in to it it gives to us in return. Writing asks for surrender and when we agree it is a horn of plenty. Plenty of shadows, blind spots, waiting to be electrified and activated. There is also another interesting quality to writing, experienced from the reader's perspective. When words resonate, participation mystique occurs. This is a concept introduced by Jung which describes the ability to experience dissolution of the boundary between the narrative and a reader’s experience. So not only the writer becomes one with the writing but also the reader merges with it. Words become a magical glue connecting people together without the direct awareness of mediation in-between.