Chapter 7 - On Slaying Dragons - Strength for the Journey
Humanity, at a collective level, reflected in each of our individual lives, faces a choice. Do we continue the cycle of white knights slaying dragons ('Good' vs. 'Evil), or will we find another purpose (& path) for existence? We must come first to realize that our collective oppressors, while not entirely imaginary, are also not entirely unavoidable.
We have fallen into a groove of playing a limited number of roles, there are 'white knights', 'helpless maidens', 'fire-breathing dragons', 'onlooking townsfolk', etc. What we have a tendency to forget, and this is considered a heretical statement to most, is that this whole play is absolutely unnecessary to spiritual growth! The fact that almost without exception, earth-based societies unquestionably accept this concept as gospel, demonstrates just how deeply this cycle (duality) has been embedded in our shared human psyche.
But, "how or why would one 'improve' without 'adversity'", you may ask? What is one 'improving', exactly, I would counter? It is vital to the upkeep of this cyclic system, to maintain each individual's perception of always having something to improve, yet always coming just short of actually improving it, or this farce would simply end. One can see here the purpose of upholding the idea of Original Sin.
Some feel they have made progress, and instead of slaying external dragons, are hard at work 'slaying' parts of themselves. While (seemingly) less outwardly destructive, the basic framework is unchanged. Do we really desire to fight forever? Could we not just stop all this combat, and simply become Loving Beings (again, I would posit), through the healing power of active forgiveness? To those who scoff at such a proposal as being unrealistic, I would have you consider that this is 'unrealistic' in your life precisely because you believe it to be so! But don't take my word for it, I challenge you to give it a fair trial in your personal life (aka, as someone famous once stated: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.")
We have fallen in love with the hero's journey. Each time though, it feels to end abruptly, leaving us as unsatisfied as we were before we ever began. This is because we have forgotten the second half of the warrior's charge, that of healing & reintegration of that which we have defeated. We have split the warrior-healer in twain, that never the two shall meet. It is high time we reexamine this oversight.