This is the king whose story you know. Through an unusual turn of events everything he touches turns into the same thing. Entertaining at first, even a source of pride, soon enough this becomes unpleasant. The same material: whatever he grasps becomes the same as everything else, and it’s all dreary, monotonous, hateful. And he grasps things so quickly—as quick as that! Only what puzzles him retains its own essence. What doesn’t add up. What makes no sense.
Tag Archives: therapy
Emblem 025: Neither yes nor no
Three brothers, orphans, grew up in an isolated cottage. One day the first brother said, “There’s nothing for me here. I’m going out into the world to make my way.” Off he went.
He didn’t get far when he came to an old woman who stood in the middle of the path so he couldn’t get past. “Shall I help you or shall I not help you?” she asked. “I don’t need anyone’s help,” said the first brother. “Then you’ll get no help from me,” she cried, and struck him a blow with her fist knocked him into the forest. And that’s the last we hear of him.
Meanwhile the second brother said, “There’s nothing for me here. I’m going into the world to try my luck.” And off he went. He didn’t get far when he came to an old woman who stood in the middle of the path so he couldn’t get past. “Shall I help you or shall I not help you?” she asked. “I need some help,” said the second brother. “Here’s some help for you then,” cried the old woman, and struck him a blow that sent him flying into the forest. We don’t hear any more about him, either.
So there was only the third brother left, and with no one to say anything to he simply set out from the cottage. And he hadn’t gone far when he came to an old woman, standing in the middle of the path so he couldn’t get past. “Shall I help you or shall I not help you?” said she. “What do you think?” asked the third brother. “It could go either way,” replied the old woman. “That works for me,” he agreed. She stepped out of the path and let him pass. He continued on his way.
Emblem 019: The beautiful city
A man once lived in a city where life was effortless, graceful and beautiful. Fruit hung ripe on all the trees and the fountains ran with whatever you wanted to drink. The man lived there for many years, or, since years weren’t kept track of in the beautiful city, for as long as he could remember. So far, so good. One morning he woke up outside the city walls. He didn’t try to make too much of this and walked back into the city where he continued to live in style and ease. But again next morning he woke up outside of the city, and the morning after that as well. Each morning he was a little farther out into the desert, so that it took him longer to walk back to the city’s gates. You see where this is going? Eventually he had to jog all the time just to stay inside the city, and soon after that even running as fast he could he fell behind and watched as the city slowly pulled away and moved towards the horizon, where it seemed to hesitate for just a moment and then dive down the other side. He stopped and caught his breath. For all its speed the city appeared to be traveling in a straight line. If he kept following it at least he’d be moving in the direction of the place where he wanted to be. He looked back the other way, where the desert lay. Actually at this point it was desert wherever he looked, but he thought in terms of only two directions, towards the beautiful city or into the desert. He wondered if the desert was endless, and if not, what was on its other side. What really decided him was that like it or not he was in the desert already. And so, not without some trepidation, off he set.
Emblem 013: Symptom seeks cure in poison
Everything seeks wholeness. Everything moves to complete itself. Rain seeks a river, rivers the ocean, ocean sky. When impacted by our symptoms our drive to fulfillment is guided by the symptoms. Perhaps they want to individuate, too. When depressed we want to stay home, draw the curtains, have a drink. When anxious we run fast and breathe little. When compulsive we seek relief from the compulsion in acting it out.