So how does that make sense, that we find the strength to overcome our greatest fears about ourselves and our inadequacies within the fears themselves? I have to tell you, I have no idea. I’ve been searching for a grand ending for this piece, and I can’t find one. But I guess that this is how I make sense of it.
The sword that Beowulf stole from Grendel’s Mother, Cliff’s hidden doors, C.S. Lewis’s strength from darkness, all are the same thing. They come from the fact that we’re going into the deepest, weakest, most frightened and inadequate part of us. Trying to “take strength in” or relying on the support of others will not work because that would imply that whilst we are in that darkness we can somehow be two people: the brave strong resilient person we imagine ourselves to be on the outside of the dark, and the craven inadequate we become on the inside. It is that weak and frightened person who needs to find and use the strength, not the brave sorted person who stands on the shore vowing that this time it will be different, because once you are in that space, the brave sorted person ceases to exist and you are left with the miserable coward.
More – the last part – tomorrow.