“I also believe there is an evolutionary movement towards love in the universe, a self-organizing process around love that’s moving us toward what we call higher levels of consciousness.” — Riane Eisler, IN SWEET COMPANY: CONVERSATIONS WITH EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN ABOUT LIVING A SPIRITUAL LIFE
Trying to decide what to “be” for Halloween is sort of like trying on a new life: Will I be the jester or the witch? the princess or the current pop super star? the Lion or the Tin man or the little girl from Kansas with the shiny red shoes?
Part of my training when I donned the costume of therapist was in a transpersonal modality called Psychosynthesis, a blend of Eastern and Western psychology that, among other things, believed we each have a cast of “sub-personalities” (a.k.a. old tapes) that unconsciously run our lives in times of great duress: “The Scaredy Cat,” “the Cop,” “the Witch,” “the Savior,” “the Martyr,” and so on. Our task is to pay attention to and befriend these distorted versions of Self so we can transform their dysfunctional expression into some higher aspect of the Soul — Scaredy’s inherent courage, the cop’s self-discipline, the witch’s transformational power, the savior’s selfless service, the deep spiritual surrender of the martyr, etc.
Once I learned about sub-personalities, I began to use Halloween as an opportunity to explore some of my “sub’s.” I wrote Halloween plays for my community and worked out a lot of my petulance as a witch. (I must say that to screech and scowl in front of an audience of 5,000 people is immensely therapeutic, and I always felt lighter come November 1 st!) Over the years I’ve settled up with my cranky teenage self dressed in a thrift store poodle skirt find and saddle shoes, I tapped into my inner joy as a clown, exchanged entitlement for a modicum of dignity as a princess, and learned to listen to my inner voice as a gypsy. Every costume/ “self” I put on taught me something of value I could integrate into my Whole Self and prosper from.
I have boxes of Halloween’s Past I will search through this week — spider earrings, silver slippers, fake noses, wigs and great white wings. I’ve not yet decided what I shall be — or “un-be.” I do know that underneath the tricks, a treat awaits me.