ToV 5 – making friends with your goblins

The Tao doesn’t take sides;
it gives birth to both good and evil.

I’ve been reading my niece fairy stories. As an aside, if you want to make great gobs of cash, find something small girls obsess over (like fairies or ponies or princesses), write a story about it, when it’s a hit write the same frickin’ story over and over again with slight changes to plot and auxiliary characters. It’s basically the young mind version of formulaic trashy romance novels, great to see those neurons mapped early! (sheesh). So, after about the 8th one of these highly predictable stories (okay it probably only took to the second book) I started interjecting some critical thinking amid the plot – trying to explain to a seven year old the use of goblins as a narrative device, and asking why the main characters never seemed to grow or change when several years must have passed with all these stories. My niece just gives me that look (that I seem to get around here a lot) where she’s trying really hard to understand where I’m going with all of this, but really wishes I would just shut up and read the story.

After so many of these stories I’m really beginning to feel serious empathy for these fairy nemisises (nemisi?). The more I read the more I’m thinking if the fairies were a little nicer to the goblins, if they let them join in their parties and games, if they shared the cool magic they had, then maybe the goblins would stop trying to steal the magic, stop trying to ruin the parties. The Tao doesn’t take sides, it gives birth to both good and evil; maybe those goblins are no more evil for trying to bust up the fairy fun, than the fairies are for keeping the goblins out of it (an idea I tried to introduce to my niece, which naturally got me the look again).

But then again, I’m a little older than my niece, had a few more years to make friends with my own inner goblins. Which brings me to the next line in this chapter:

The Master doesn’t take sides;
she welcomes both saints and sinners.

The way I read this (right now anyway) is about welcoming the saint and the sinner within you. During sitting meditation I often get some really vile feeling bubble up, it’s natural to try and push it aside, try and seek that feeling of peace instead. But peace comes when you embrace that vile feeling and say: Hello! You are a part of me too, sit down and join in! When you can welcome all of who you are, it also becomes easier to see the saint AND the sinner in those around you. Maybe they aren’t evil after all, maybe they’re just working through their stuff, just like you are. And maybe if what they’re doing really bugs you, it’s reminding you of some of your own stuff you don’t want to look at, otherwise it would be easier for you to just welcome it (As I type this, I know it’s really easy to say – as per Enlightenment and Shit – and really bloody hard to do. So good luck with that).

There’s a lot of saying sorry goes on around here, with 3 kids all mashing their lives together. Lots of hurt heads, hurt toes, hurt feelings. Sometimes the kids need a little prompting, sometimes the sorry is hard to get out, but what amazes me is when the sorry is said how quickly the kids move on. Maybe they’ve got a little more wisdom than I thought, knowing they’re all saints and sinners, forgiving their siblings, forgiving themselves, and just getting on with the next adventure.

2 thoughts on “ToV 5 – making friends with your goblins

  1. It must be a time of synchronicity. I’m reading a book called the Shadow Effect which is all about recognizing and embracing the shadow in ourselves so that we can become whole again. It quotes the tao te ching and other sacred writings to show how the concept of no evil, no good is a result of seeing it all as a part of the whole is quite ancient.

    I also treasure a book called How to Befriend Your Shadow – Welcoming Your Unloved Side. I’ve been trying to embrace my shadow for the last 10 years and feel such freedom as a result.

    So bring on the fairies, but bring on the goblins too. Let’s celebrate the magical world of both. Besides if you know the true history of faeries, you know they are closer to goblins than the sugar coated, glittery winged that Disney presents. the real faeries are immensely more interesting because they are dark.

    Carl Jung had a lot to say about the gift of the dark. It is the way we find our luminosity (his word). Can’t have the heroes if there are no dark forces.


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