|“Allo!” ~ Worm, Labyrinth|
“Notice to those making up religions: the most powerful secrets aren’t secrets. They are things we may have known for a while but then suddenly feel the full force of when the time is right.” ~Anne Hill, comment on her blog post
Sarah: You dont by any chance know the way through this Labyrinth do you?
Worm: Who me? Naahh I’m just a worm, heh.
Worm: Come inside and meet the missus.
Sarah: No thank you but I have to solve this Labyrinth but there aren’t any turns or any openings or anything, it just goes on and on!
Worm: Well… you ain’t lookin’ right! It’s FULL of opening its just you ain’t seen em !
Sarah: Well where are they?
Worm: There’s one just across there its right in-front of ya.
Sarah: No there isn’t.
Worm: Come inside and have a nice cuppa tea.
Sarah: But… there isn’t an opening!
Worm: (laughs) Course there is! You try walking through it, you’ll see what I mean!
Worm: Go on, go on then!
Sarah: That’s just wall! There’s no way through.
Worm: Things are not always what they seem in this place. So, you can’t take anything for granted.
Sarah: (walks through the ‘wall’) Hey!
Worm: Hey ‘ang on!
Sarah: Thank you! That was incredibly helpful! (starts to turn left)
Worm: Don’t go that way!
Sarah: What was that?
Worm: I said…Don’t go that way! Never go that way!
Sarah: Oh… thanks! (Sarah goes in opposite direction)
Worm: If she had kept going down that way, she would’ve gone straight to that castle!
For the context of this post, it is good for you, dear Reader, to know that I believe the following two things:
1. Information is not dangerous.
2. Things of value have layers.
In my studies, I often go back to the same material. I’ve reread the Spiral Dance more times than I can count. I have gone back to the material in Evolutionary Witchcraft time and again. I reread poems and experience myths in various retellings and contexts. I have repeated classes and workshops that my tradition offers. I am a fan of reusing that which is useful.
I am constantly changing, and thus, the Work that I am doing is also changing. I find that the material that works for me works differently when I go back to it. Material is the same, I have changed…or, I have changed, and thus the material has changed as well.
I have a really hard time with the idea of information that is too powerful to be appropriate to beginners. I think this notion is a load of horseshit. People can be dangerous, but information is not. A dangerous person can take any exercise/discipline/material and make it dangerous for themselves. I would hate to see transformative information hidden away because those that are knowledgeable fear that an inability to grasp meaning is synonymous with a propensity toward damage. I choose to think well of others on similar paths, expecting that they will be successful in their quests to transform themselves.*
It is my opinion that interested parties that are not experienced enough to comprehend the depth of a teaching will understand the material at a level appropriate to their level of skill and expertise. They will glean what they can get from whatever they are working with, hopefully getting something out of the exercise/material/etc. They may later come back to the same material and discover it now has a deeper, nuanced meaning…and again, hopefully they will use the information and get even more out of the teaching. Coming back again, a different take on the same practice may emerge. The beauty of spirituality, for me, is in the growth experience. I shift, my perspective shifts, and my tools shift to continually be appropriate to my growth.
In the beginning of the movie Labyrinth, Sarah didn’t know enough to trust her own instincts; she listened to the Worm. Because of this, she goes through the full experience of the labyrinth, learning to trust herself and her gut. The challenges she met were appropriate to her current state of being, or they were growth experiences.
One can easily miss what is valuable. We can choose to focus on the betrayal, or on the gift, or incorporate both into the telling of our reality. The Worm lied and he delivered Sarah to her own becoming. You can’t take anything for granted.
*For more on choosing to think well of others, look at the Diana’s Grove publication The Bones of Mystery School – specifically, the section on the Cornerstones of Community.