"Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing."
#rachel naomi remen
The alchemists, who in their own way know more about the nature of the individuation process than we moderns do, expressed this paradox through the symbol of the ouroboros, the snake that eats its own tail. In the age old image of the ouroboros lies the thought of devouring oneself and turning oneself into a circulatory process, for it was clear to the most astute alchemists that the prima materia of the art was man himself.
The ouroboros is a dramatic symbol for the integration and assimilation of the opposite, i.e. of the shadow self. This feed back process is at the same time a symbol of immortality, since it is said of the ouroboros that he slays himself and brings himself to life again, fertilizes himself and gives birth to himself. This is much like the cycle of the Phoenix, the feminine archetype.
Ouroboros symbolizes The One, who proceeds from the clash of opposites, and therefore constitutes the secret of the prima materia which unquestionably stems from man’s unconsciousness.
"Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors."