There is a tale from the Grimm Brothers entitled Old Sultan. It tells of the perilous adventures an old dog will undertake to show his owner he can learn new tricks. However, as with any story of psychological merit, one must strike a deal between the dark and light and unite these two opposing forces towards individuated growth.

In our story, Old Sultan is sentenced to death by his owner, who no longer sees the dog as useful in his now young and growing family. On the other side, Old Sultan has wisdom, knows how to show his use, and devises a plan with the wolf, that most wise of creatures to paint himself in the light of heroism. After saving the farmer’s child, Old Sultan can retire to his master’s bed and live out the remainder of his days by his heart’s content. However, when one strikes a deal, there is always a payment to be made.

In the second part of the story, Old Sultan must use the wisdom of light to negate the shadow element’s aims. In the second part of the story, the wolf encourages Old Sultan to turn his back and concede the fattest sheep of the flock. To this idea, the wise dog could not agree, for he had a duty not only to himself but also to those he swore to protect. After confronting the shadow, a war ensued, but the wise dog, being one step ahead of the wolf, created the means from which the Shadow and Light can reignite a friendship based upon mutual direction, not as opposing forces.

Psychologically, there is much to hold here. Light cannot exist outside the vacuum of space. As Genesis tells us, out of the darkness came light. Neither can a shadow exist without the light of Self that creates the ego-self in its wake. As EGO emerges, our capacity to Edge God Out (EGO) makes the very shadow we must face in the journey to move back towards that all guiding light. But is that shadow us? No, of course not. Instead, it is just an element of what we move towards as we engaged the moment in the direction of what will become.

I hope you enjoy the psychoanalysis of this wise tale. I enjoyed producing it, and the series will offer keen insight into the dynamics of wisdom apparent in old age. Sometimes, an ugly old deal has to be struck with that shadow element to realize that more youthful state we once enjoyed as we saw the world with new and inquiring eyes of consciousness. As always, namaste, my friends. May blessings find you on your journey to advance confidently in the direction of your dreams.

Dr. Thomas Maples: The Myth Within

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