The way of the growing soul is not a linear path.
We do not slay dragons one after the other, proceeding in a clear and chronological line towards enlightenment.
We are not made like that; we are messier. It takes us time to process material, for damage to be dissipated and dissolved.
It lingers, in hidden places, appearing suddenly from the deeps. And what I thought I had sorted this morning may well return this afternoon.
But neither is the way a circle, a despairing and closed circuit in which we return again and again to the same experiences, as on a treadmill.
‘It’s going wrong, just like it always does! Nothing’s changed!’
The way of the growing soul is neither linear path nor closed circle. Rather, it is a spiral way, spoken of by Evelyn Underhill…circular, but with ever changing vistas.
On the spiral way, we may appear to return to old scenes or meet again with old dragons.
We return to them in our thoughts or feelings, over which we have so little power.
But each time we return, we do so as different people, and from a different place.
The experience is not the same:
‘I am here again – but I can see it differently.’
‘I am here again – but I have never been here before.’
The growing soul may say things like this on the spiral way.
And maybe instead of slaying old dragons, we simply view them differently, with less fear, even to the point of offering them a home.
On this path, old scary dragons are increasingly revealed as toothless.