There is a dark side to any light
Understanding its nature is key
To letting it work for you
Rather than allowing yourself to work for it
He traveled down a river through a dense jungle on a tiny raft with a tattered sail. He wasn't moving very quickly, as there was no wind. His raft mostly drifted downstream at a lazy pace. The jungle caught fire, enraptured in a blue flame. People came out of the jungle towards the river and stood at the river's edge. They called out to the passenger of the raft to help them. There was no room on the raft for anyone else to accompany the man. Any more weight on the raft would cause it to sink. There was nothing he could do for them. At that moment, a great winged beast appeared in the sky. It was black and hideous with gigantic leathery wings. He thought of it as a dragon. This dragon drew back its breath and blew into the sails of the raft, propelling it towards a great light some distance downstream. With each breath, the raft gained speed and soon reached the light.
There is a balance within that must be maintained. To be completely directed by the side of goodness and light often requires that one be rescued by the side of darkness. Had the man on the raft decided he had to help the people trapped in the burning jungle, he would have perished. They would have swamped his raft, destroying it in the process. Seeing this scene only through the eyes of goodness and light, he would have sacrificed himself for the doomed people from the jungle.
Enter the dragon.
Within the blueprint of the soul are a series of circles, wrapped around each other, starting with the outermost circle, which circles the others and continuing inward. The innermost circles contain the most protected and delicate parts of our essence. The closer we come to realizing and actualizing these sensitive areas, the more naked and exposed our essence becomes. As we reveal and open the circles, like petals on a flower, the dragon is awakened. It is the protector of the essence, and it is not interested in playing nice. It is only interested in preserving our essence. In normal life situations, the dragon is known to rear its ugly head when we are emotionally hurt or threatened with harm. It can take over in times of panic or distress, giving us sudden bursts of strength, agility and power we would not normally be capable of. The dragon's blood is pure adrenaline.
You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.
Sometimes people experience moments of anger, rage or emotional distress that they say things and act in ways that are unlike the way their normal self would act. The dragon takes over, protecting what it sees as a threat to the essence. Sometimes people don't even remember what they have said and done. The dragon is merely symbolic of what happens in a heightened emotional state where the soul feels it is under attack. It is a part of us, and we control it, and can unleash it and tame it. I've been known to release it on command at specific times, sometimes just to allow it to get some fresh air.
Don't let yourself be hurt this time.
Survival and self-preservation are also the realm of the dragon. As with the story of the jungle river, the dragon can trump the conscience when necessary. When you are starving to death, the dragon can convince you to eat those maggots in that tree stump. When a tractor trailer truck is bearing down on you after jumping lanes and you freeze with panic and fear, the dragon can grab the wheel and steer you off the road. That little sense you get that something is wrong with a situation and you need to get out of it quickly, that is the voice of the dragon. The dragon sees what you do not. Many years ago I inexplicably woke up at four o'clock in the morning, walked out into my living room and found my girlfriend with another man. I never wake up at four in the morning. The dragon stirred me.
Rock smashes scissors.
Scissors cut paper.
Paper covers rock.
So it is with elements of the soul.
To ignore and misunderstand the nature of the dragon is to allow it free reign. Before you can get a bridle around its neck you have to be able to see and accept it as part of you. To understand its nature and all it is capable of it requires that you love and nurture it. One can see it as one's dark side and try to repel it, but the dragon never leaves the circles of the soul. To do so would leave the soul exposed and vulnerable. You can even play with the dragon once you get accustomed to it, although it doesn't play very nice games. They are very dangerous games as they are games of darkness. I play them anyway, but I am my dragon's keeper and he knows his role.
The dragon feeds.
The dragon grows.
Situations and events rouse the dragon, feed the dragon, and cause it to grow in strength and power. Those with a history of pain, torment and misery have more powerful dragons that are harder to control. The child who experiences and lives through terrible torments and miseries can be taken over by the dragon. As the child loses its ability to control its life and see the light, the dragon steps to the forefront. It will do whatever is necessary to ensure the survival of the child. As such a child grows into adulthood, its ability to reason and determine right from wrong becomes skewed. It has survived on the wings of the dragon and may rely on the dragon whenever any kind of perceived threat or slight comes into view. The dragon is also master of retribution and has no moral code. If it cannot be controlled, it will destroy anything it sees as a potential threat on any level. Ultimately, you must be responsible for the control of your dragon.
If you cannot control the dragon
Then the dragon will control you
A horse knows the difference between a confident rider that is in control and a frightened rider who does not know how to take the reigns. The dragon is much the same. It knows when its host is in control and when it is not. It can only do the bidding of its master, but the dragon has a voice, and that voice is sometimes the only voice the master hears. Centuries have been spent debating the nature of people who commit terrible atrocities, exhibit repetitive violent behaviors and generally act in such a way that they cannot be safely integrated into a collective reality. These people have lost control of their soul, in effect signing control over to the dragon. When you consider that the dragon has no emotions, ethics, morals or filters of any kind, the actions of these individuals are easily explained.
Trust in faith.
Rock and roll.
There are simple building blocks to taking the reigns of the dragon and making it work for you. You must be able to identify moments in your life when the dragon is want to rise. If you are about to lose control, whether it is brought on by anger, depression, hate, or fear, hold off as long as you can. Learn to pause before losing control. Taking such a pause can often allow you to regain control, but there are situations where outside forces will continue to feed the dragon and you cannot get away from them.
Tell yourself that you are about to give the dragon control but that you will observe and hold the reigns. Allow yourself to exhale through the release of negative emotions, but prevent yourself from harming others in any way. When possible, go off by yourself when you lose control. Scream at the moon, cry your eyes out, speak evil of others you feel have done you wrong. When you inhale, bring the dragon back and send him to nap. Eventually you'll find very strange things happening as a result, but stack those building blocks carefully. This is a dark and tangled road.
Darkness protects the light.