I saw the movie The Black Swan the other day, and I resonated with it on several different levels. I actually felt my soul blazing throughout the whole movie. It’s about the ballet Swan Lake, which I have never seen (but now of course I want to see it). The main theme of the movie is, I would say, the universal human struggle with the Shadow.
The main character, Nina, is a carefully controlled perfectionist, a young woman still tied to her mother. She never lets go, and therefore the Shadow bursts out in strange ways. Nina scratches her skin until it bleeds, and experiences psychotic hallucinations.
She will be a great artist as soon as she learns one more lesson — how to accept the deep violent passion within her. And by the end of the movie, she has learned.
Anyone who has read any of my posts might know that I believe in trying to face Reality. Rather than escape into comforting fantasies and ideologies, I try to see what is there and find ways to live with it.
The post that I think expressed my philosophy best was, by a strange Jungian “coincidence,” about swans on a lake. We look at swans gliding effortlessly and we never think about the hard ugly reality that supports their beauty.
We think that grace and beauty can be manufactured and maintained by us, by our cleverness. Our mythology tells us that we are gods, that we are in control.
We are not. Just like Nina, everything we fear and hate rages within and around us. Our deepest love and desire rests on the Shadow. Our greatest and most perfect artistic expressions rest on the Shadow.
How could any so-called “progressive” ever reconcile these horrible blazing truths with their bland fantasies of peace and fairness for all?